Is it really possible that we are celebrating 30 years? Yes, in the summer of 1985 that first production of Tom Sawyer was held in Honeywell Center, then traveled to Manchester High School and Peru High School to complete three performances. During these 30 years, we have seen many talented students who have joined together to present wonderful shows. You are a part of our rich history! I have so enjoyed looking through printed programs and the picture collages as I’ve worked on constructing a VPA database (We’ve never had one.)
and collecting information to try to get in touch with alums. I’ve had fun reminiscing!
The program has undergone some changes through the years, but there are still some familiar faces on our staff. Charly and Eileen Dye have been with us since 1990 and Gary Dale has been our set designer and head of construction for several years. Emily Unger France has returned as director for several summers, including this year. I have been with the program since the 2nd year, 1986.
From the time we expanded the program to include high school (1990) we have maintained the 2-show format until this year. With our numbers of younger students, we decided to split the program into 3 parts this year with a new 2nd/3rd grade show, then grades 4/6, and 7/12. All of our rehearsals and performances are at the Honeywell Center. Beginning this year, we are also under the umbrella of the Educational Outreach Program at Honeywell Center. I continue as coordinator of the program, but Teresa Galley is my contact person at Honeywell and the staff there has been a great help with the clerical and organizational part of this year’s program. The Honeywell Foundation is committed to helping the program continue. As you know, money is tight with many families right now so some are not able to pay the class fees. Through donations, grants, fees,and a Port-a-Pit chicken sale, we are able to continue our efforts with the collaboration of Honeywell.
For our 30th reunion, we invite you to come help us celebrate on Saturday, June 21. The high school show this year will be Oklahoma so we thought it would be fun to have the alums join us on stage to sing that song. So… we want you to get on You Tube or Google the words for Oklahoma and learn those words. Emily and Marilyn Mason, the other high school director, want to have a short rehearsal with you on stage in Ford Theater at 3:30 on that Saturday. That will be after the 2:00 matinee of the 2/3 show and before the 5:00 time for the 4/6 show. After your rehearsal, you will have time for reminiscing with friends and have some time for eating or looking around Wabash to see some of the changes in town. I have asked for a room at Honeywell Center where you can relax and visit. The Plaza Grill will also be open if you want to purchase a light meal of hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, salads, ice cream treats, and canned sodas. After the curtain call for Oklahoma (that begins at 7:30), we want the alums to come onstage and sing Oklahoma as an encore with the cast. There will be a cookies and punch reception in the lobby after the show, giving parents a chance to see some of you.
We hope you will try to attend, if possible. I have not been able to find email addresses for everyone so if you keep in touch with any Summer Theatre alums, be sure they know about our plans. Have them send their contact information so we can have a more complete record.
Speaking of records, I am missing printed programs from 8 shows so haven’t been able to record what students were in each of them. If you or your parents have programs from these, would you please scan a copy and email it to me. I am missing: Tom Sawyer (’85), Wizard of Oz (’86),Oliver (’87), Grease (’89), Music Man (High School show ’91), Alice in Oz (Younger show ’91), Swinging Piper (Younger show ’92), and South Pacific (High School show ’93).