One of Anne’s gifts was her ability to help those new to the stage to feel welcome and comfortable, and to quickly acquire the skills and self-confidence that enabled the performer to deliver a quality performance.
— Dave Myers, Life Partner

 

 

Theater Career

Anne minored in theater in undergraduate school at Beaver College, Glenside, PA, now Arcadia University. She attended two quarters of graduate school in theater, emphasis on directing, at the University of Minneapolis in Minneapolis, 1971-1972.

Her next foray into theater arts was when teaching art at Dekalb Community College, Decatur, GA, a campus of Atlanta Perimeter College. She served as stage manager for a production and was in line to direct a play when she was offered a full-time teaching position at Edison Community College.

In addition to being hired to teach art at Edison, Anne was also involved in the rejuvenation of the theater program, Edison Stagelight Players, a community theater based at Edison Community College. She quickly implemented a mainstage production each semester, and for awhile a children’s theater production each semester as well. Performers and support crew were drawn from public schools; Edison students, faculty, and staff; and community youth and adults not necessarily having an affiliation with Edison. One of Anne’s gifts was her ability to help those new to the stage to feel welcome and comfortable, and to quickly acquire the skills and self-confidence that enabled the performer to deliver a quality performance.

In June, 1997, Anne completed the 28-day training offered by Shakespeare and Company, Lenox, MA, in all phases theater related to Shakespeare, including acting, directing, combat, and text interpretation. Anne was 50 years old at the time, older than the other students in her class and one of the oldest students to complete the program, and she kept up with the 12-hours-a-day, 6.5 days a week schedule like the trooper she always was. 

In addition to directing plays, Anne produced and was always involved in all phases of a play run. She designed costumes, shopped for fabric and outfits at thrift stores, supervised seamstresses, designed and supervised set construction, designed light and sound, coordinated daytime performances for the public schools, and developed background educational materials for the visiting classes. She directed and produced the following plays at Edison Community College.

  • Romeo and Juliet, spring 1996
  • The Importance of Being Earnest, fall 1997
  • Hamlet, spring 1998
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, fall 1998
  • Harvey, fall 2000, which Anne started directing, but assumed the major role of Veta Louise when that actress withdrew for health reasons. She learned her lines in 10 days, and Patti Speelman finished as director.
  • The Merchant of Venice, spring 2000
  • Beginning fall, 2000, Anne’s friend Patti Speelman began directing the fall productions
  • Macbeth, spring 2001
  • Twelfth Night, spring 2002
  • Romeo and Juliet, spring 2007
  • Hamlet, spring 2008
  • Much Ado About Nothing, spring 2009
  • Macbeth, fall 2009

Acting credits at Edison include the following:

  • The Widow – Taming of the Shrew, spring 2010
  • Spirit/Sycorax, and costume designer – The Tempest, spring 2011
  • Cobweb, and costume designer – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, spring 2012
  • Ramona, maid to the Fords and assistant director - The Merry Wives of Windsor, spring 2013

In the Adirondacks: After a hiatus of directing following her retirement from Edison in 2009, Anne directed and produced 3 plays in the Adirondack Mountains region of upstate New York,

  • Dracula in fall 2014 for Our Town Theater Group (OTTG), North Creek, NY
  • The Importance of Being Earnest in June 2016 for OTTG; she also played Cecily
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor, which she abridged to a 55-minute version, in July 2017 for the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, Blue Mountain Lake, NY. Anne, of course, produced, and she also played Mistress Quickly. Costumes were designed jointly with Robin Jay.

Even though Anne was a purist and initially turned up her nose at the prospect of cutting lines and scenes from Shakespeare, I believe she was happy with the finished product in Merry Wives abridged in summer 2017. She was looking forward to doing a few more abridgements.  She realized it’s another way to bring the Bard to the masses.

In August 2016, Anne played a teenage boy in a historical production in Long Lake, NY titled Moonshine, Mobsters, and Mason Jars. In August 2017, she played a recently deceased sailor in a cemetery scene of another local history production of Long Lake. You can see her in a sailor suit in the picture collection.

Anne valued putting on a good play over creating her own fine or visual art. There were many reasons for that, including engineering a spectacle, treating and entertaining audiences, watching performers grow and grow into their roles, and designing costumes and sets.

Anne was also quite a performer, although she felt herself too nervous about forgetting lines to act on a regular basis. She stepped up to the plate and played an awesome Veta Louise in "Harvey" fifteen years ago, a most impressive 17-year-old Cecily in "The Importance of Being Earnest" in 2016, and Mistress Quickly in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" in 2017. She was also director and producer for "Earnest" and "Merry Wives." All three of these major roles were assumed at the last minute. 

 Anne as Veta Louise in "Harvey"

Anne as Veta Louise in "Harvey"