40 Years of The Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre
Thursday night marked 40 years since Steve and I opened the Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre. We had a gala celebration at the Nassau Valley Winery, and invited current and former actors, board members, and friends of the theatre. Delighted to report that over 60 folks attended, some traveling from as far as South Carolina, Maryland, NYC and Massachusetts.
We’re especially tickled that four of the five Seyfried kids were here too—the gang certainly deserves recognition, beyond just being our long-suffering offspring. Over the years, Sheridan and Evan played keyboard for our musicals. First Rose, then Julie, baked the yummy chocolate chip cookies we sold before the shows. Julie was also box office manager, and helped with the theatre camps. Sher and Patrick even performed in several shows. All hands (and aching backs) were on deck for our annual, “fun-filled” strike of the set and stage (which had to be carried in pieces up to the attic of the church) after each year’s final performance.
Looking back now, it’s hard to believe we pulled it off at all, juggling five little kids and doing everything else needed to produce a full season of main stage shows, touring plays, and theatre workshops and camps every summer. But we were too naïve to understand that by rights we should have failed, and so we forged ahead and made it work. (Btw, this “ignorance is bliss” approach is how both RSCT and Family Stages have stayed afloat all these years.)
The other day, Steve and I posed in front of All Saints Episcopal Church Parish Hall, our original venue in Rehoboth, for a photo. While so much has changed in town, the little beach block church (at least from the outside) remains the same. As I stood on the brick front walkway, I was suddenly overwhelmed with memories (good, bad and funny) and the bittersweetness of it all. Our program for the gala night featured both this photo, and a pic of us from that first summer in the exact same location. I’d love to tell you that we haven’t changed a bit, but it’s a sin to tell a lie. We look the just like the grandparents and senior citizens that we are.
With Sheridan’s expert help, we put together a video retrospective that we showed at Thursday night’s party. It included clips from our goofy version of “Aladdin” featuring a really young, super talented pair of actors circa 1995 (now parents of teenagers themselves!!) as well as a cute scene from “Snow White,” with Stevo as the beleaguered dwarf Mr. Lumpy, and yours truly as the air headed ingenue. Steve and I also sang a number from our musical “Goosefeathers.”
We joke that we are doing this anniversary up right because the odds of us still producing RSCT at the half-century mark are slim to none, but it’s true. And it does remind me (yet again) to savor every milestone on the road of life, a life that really has, on balance, been filled with blessings.