Remembering Fr. Guy Guyon, O. Praem.

Cemetery Wreaths 2016“Come let us worship …”

For Christmas 2016, in a touching tribute to their confreres who have passed into God’s Eternal Kingdom, members of the Norbertine community placed a Christmas wreath on each headstone in the St. Norbert Abbey cemetery. Below, several Norbertines share their thoughts about the headstones they selected and the impact that these respective Norbertines had on their lives.

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By Fr. Stephen Rossey, O. Praem.

Fr. Guy Guyon, O. Praem.
Fr. Guy Guyon, O. Praem.

I chose to remember Fr. Guy Guyon, O. Praem. († December 4, 2003), because of my delightful times with him designing sets for his musicals. Several shows hold special memories:

  1. “South Pacific”: Guy wanted the proscenium arch flanked with palm trees. I designed trees that were stage height and each leaf took a full roll of crepe paper. I climbed to the top of the ladder to install the leafy structures and the ladder broke in the center and I came sliding down the wall. Lying on the floor, Guy ministered to my needs.
  1. “My Fair Lady”: Eric Butikus designed the sets: 22- and 14-foot revolving platforms with multiple sets on each occupied the stage floor. The large turntable had a circular staircase that was mounted from off-stage. Unfortunately, when the large table turned, it bumped the small table! Unnerved, Guy told Eric to redesign it. Eric refused and left the stage. Guy and I went to the gym with a large roll of butcher paper and laid out the drawing for each step to assure maximum clearing. It worked like a charm. The audience cheered when they witnessed the table turn and Eliza dismount the staircase! Guy could not have been more pleased.
  1. “Brigadoon”: Guy was delighted with my Arcadian dream scene of trees blooming with tissue-colored leaves.

We spent 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays, from dawn to dusk, on-stage creating the sets, after which we adjourned to the priory kitchen to cook dinner together.

At rehearsals Guy sat in the top row of the balcony and would yell at the cast, “I can’t hear you!” He refused to use mikes or employ stand-in actors, in case someone became sick! Being a thespian myself I asked him not to be so hard on the kids. He complied as best he could.


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