Having cerebral palsy has never stopped Hermosa Beach's Casey Rohrer from achieving his dreams. The 14 year old acted in a Family Theatre play in 2013 and recently wrote his own short play about a road trip to Yellowstone National Park, which debuts Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m., at the Second Story Theatre in Hermosa Beach.
All proceeds from the play benefit the Casey Rohrer Scholarship Foundation, which provides artistic opportunities for special needs children to discover performing arts. The scholarship was created by Family Theatre, Inc. founder Craig Greely in 2015. Rohrer was an eighth-grader at Hermosa Valley when he acted at the Family Theatre and fell in love with the performing arts.
Rohrer also stars in the play with local actors, pitched in with the direction, and wrote “Once Upon a Road Trip.” Local playwright Angelo Masino directs the play and helped with the writing as well. Rohrer, who is unable to speak, walk or stand on his own but communicates through an electronic device, said he and his tutor were figuring out what to write one summer when she suggested writing about Yellowstone.
“She said, 'Since you're going to Yellowstone next week, why don't you write a little play, and you could perform it for a bear!'” Rohrer recalled. “I did what she suggested and wrote a 10-page little play. Time passed, we went on our trip, performed the play, and when I came back, the first thing she said 'Did you perform it?' I said yes. She said, 'send it to Craig.'"
Rohrer did and several days later Greely responded with an email and said he thought it was a great play and he wanted to produce it. He thought Greely was joking but a couple of years later, Greely created the scholarship. In September 2015, Rohrer met Masino at the first scholarship fundraiser.
“When Angelo came to my house, and started talking, I knew I was in for a challenge,” Rohrer said about writing the play. “We had to have blood, sweat, and yes, even tears to get to this point.”
Along with Rohrer and Greely, the cast includes Sondi Kroeger Foley, Liam Foley, Kyli Scharmach, Conner Foley and Bill Goldman.
Tickets, which are $25, can be purchased at Familytheatreinc.com.