By Kristen Leinbach, Dramaturg
When Margaret and Clara leave for their vacation in Italy, Roy Johnson – Margaret’s husband and Clara’s father – stays home in Winston Salem, NC for work. Margaret frequently calls Roy to update them about their adventures in Italy. It is through Roy and Margaret’s relationships that we are introduced to another difficulty in Margaret’s life that she must overcome and as a result learn and grow.
Cameron Smith, who portrays Roy Johnson shared the following…
“I’m from Sandy, UT and am a Junior in the Music Dance Theater program at BYU, I’ll graduate next year and begin a professional career in acting. I served a mission in the Arizona Mesa Mission, and theater dance and music are my biggest passions in life. I love Hip-Hop and venting my troubles and joys through dance. I love my family and know they are a big reason I perform.
Being in Piazza is the most beautiful theater experience I’ve had in YEARS. The story is so poignant, so perfectly crafted. There is so much to be learned from watching it.
Specifically the character I play, Roy, who is the father of Clara, I’ve learned some things from. There is a scene in the second act of the show where he and his wife are having an argument and he just keeps starting his argument points with “if”…
I realized while working this scene one day, that this is a person ruled by ”if’s”… by doubts and fears. Because of this, as you see in the play, Roy doesn’t blossom and find greater happiness, like the rest of the people in the play do.
Realizing this taught me once again, that I can only make my choices in life based on what I know, and that hope is vital for happiness. We have to hope. We have to hope that the unlikely or even the impossible can happen, if we need it to. And we can’t let fear dictate our decisions and affect our future. We worship a God of miracles, who does impossible things for us. The Atonement was the greatest miracle that proved that, and we must hope in that for ourselves, and our families.
As Margaret says to Roy in this scene: “Why can’t we hope for once instead of dreading everything?”