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The Story of My Life’ to rekindle old friendships on Columbus stage

Courtesy of Red Generation Photography

Nearly everyone has had a friend they lost touch with, and sometimes it only takes a little reminder to bring back the memories.

Director Steven Anderson is looking to evoke that feeling from audiences with his production of “The Story of My Life.”

“I think if everyone could see the show and remember somebody, a friendship, that would be my ultimate goal,” Anderson said. “I think it’s just that we go so fast through this world and then lose each other.”

“The Story of My Life,” originally a book by Brian Hill, retraces the friendship of two men as they age from 6 to 35, and is slated to be shown by CATCO 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Riffe Center’s Studio Two. The performance is scheduled to run through Dec. 16.

The narrative follows Thomas Weaver, who moves away and becomes a famous children’s writer. But when relocating, he not only leaves his hometown but his best friend and biggest supporter, Alvin Kelby.

“I think for everybody there’s a friend that they’ve sort of lost track of,” Anderson said. “And there’s a regret involved and (they want to) backtrack and say, ‘What was the moment in which we lost contact?’ And that is what this is about.”

Joe Bishara, who plays Thomas, said the story expresses the importance of friendship.

“There are people in your life that inspire you in ways that you might not even know,” Bishara said. “In this case Thomas became a world-famous writer of children’s books and I don’t think he quite realized how much his childhood relationship with Alvin is what really, not only sparked that, but foraged it.”

Bishara also said it’s a reminder to value those in your life during the holiday season.

“I think it’s more of, as the holidays come around, just helping to bring further awareness to be appreciative and understanding of those who have helped you become what you become,” he said. “And I love how it depicts in a very real, but also in a very beautiful way, how a friendship can be foraged between two men and really resonate throughout both of their lives.”

Although the plot isn’t Christmas-themed, the story does take place during the holiday season in which the two characters annually get together. Anderson agreed that the production is good timing during the season.

“It’s a holiday piece that doesn’t shove the holidays down your throat,” he said. “It takes you on a journey of happiness and sadness and ultimately, of redemption.”

For Jeff Horst, an Ohio State alumnus who plays Alvin, this story is one he connects with on a personal level.

“I recently moved back from New York City where I was working and performing as an actor, and I grew up in Columbus. I went to Ohio State and for myself, it’s very interesting that some of this storyline in the show parallels my own life,” Horst said. “I went away, I’ve come back and it’s just fantastic to be back and to reconnect with friends and just settle down a little bit and reconnect with these people.”

Aside from Horst’s personal parallel to the plot, he said the story is one that isn’t usually told but is great for anyone interested in a smaller, intimate show.

“I think the story is fantastic. It’s a story that you don’t see every day that’s told in the traditional sense, so it is very refreshing to watch because it’s told in such a different way,” he said. “And for someone looking for a show that is uplifting and heartfelt and will reach out to people on many different levels I think this is the show to go see. It’s just the two of us on stage the entire time and it’s very intimate so if people just want to tear down from the big spectacular musicals, this packs just as much a punch as any tour coming to town.”

Tickets range from $11.50 to $45 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or at the Riffe Center, located at 77 S. High St.

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