A budding thespian, 10-year-old Alexis Rosinsky got the idea of doing her own Shakespeare show to benefit 1-year-old Lilly Bumpus from a teacher at her school, Branch Elementary in Arroyo Grande. The teacher had introduced the school to buying wristbands for Lilly, who had Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare childhood cancer.
Fifth-grader Alexis wanted to help “and come up with something unique.” She wanted to “do a play that could bring in more people and more money.” She had seen the play “The Hairy Ape” at The Spot in the Village in the spring. Her mother spoke with manager Jake McGuire after the show and he was supportive of Alexis doing her show there this fall.
So, Alexis will be presenting 13 Shakespeare monologues at The Spot this weekend. She has memorized all 13, which include one male monologue (Caliban from The Tempest) and 12 female speeches. The shows will begin with Alexis’ sister, 7-year-old Sofia, doing the curtain warmer, and thanking everyone for coming.
Alexis’ speeches include those by Beatrice from “Much Ado About Nothing,” Portia from “The Merchant of Venice,” Julia from “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” Juliet from “Romeo and Juliet,” and Joan of Arc from “Henry VI.” Alexis will also be wearing costumes and performing some of the roles, such as doing fencing as Joan of Arc.
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Lilly Bumpus, now 15 months old and cancer free, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma at four months of age. She was born with a tumor on her chest, only the fourth infant to receive this diagnosis.
Her parents, Trisha Anderson and Larry Bumpus, of Arroyo Grande gave up their jobs and home to live at a Ronald McDonald house near Los Angeles Children’s Hospital for several months. After 14 rounds of chemotherapy and seven surgeries, Lilly has been cancer free for 112 days.
Now they are raising money to help pay the tremendous medical expenses. Now living in Rialto, they must stay near the Los Angeles hospital as Lilly must have several scans and tests every three months for five years. Trisha needs to stay home as Lilly’s caregiver, while Larry searches for work there.
A $50 champagne gala benefit for Lilly will take place Nov. 1 at The Spot at 7 p.m. In addition to Alexis’ performance, there will be champagne, hor d’oeuvres, wine and desserts.
There will also be a silent auction. Auction donors include Le Papillon gift shop, Willis & Bennett, McLintocks Restaurant, Luxe clothing, Baileyana Winery, Ben Joy Nursery, Tom’s Toys and Ghigo Press.
There will be four more performances by Alexis on Saturday and Sunday, a 2 p.m. matinee and a 7 p.m. show for $10. They will not include the auction or hor d’ oeuvres, and will not be specifically a benefit for Lilly. But there will be a donation jar for Lilly and her family.
Alexis lives with her parents Louise and Anatole (a violinist) Rosinsky and sister Sofia in Arroyo Grande. She wants the show to be “scary, fun and funny.” “I have been working so hard,” Alexis says. “I hope everyone will enjoy my show.”
Contact Louise Rosinsky for information on the performances at 310-430-2724.
For more information about Lilly or to donate, go to Lilly Bumpus on Facebook.
Gayle Cuddy’s column is special to The Tribune. She and Cynthia Lambert write the South County Beat column on alternating Wednesdays. Reach Cuddy at 489-1026 or firstname.lastname@example.org.