NORTH DEXTER - Renovation work on the former North Dexter Grange building is well underway, but there are still many projects and repairs that need to be done. As a fundraising effort for this work, Millside Fitness Center and Wayside Theatre have joined together to sponsor a 4.5 mile Wayside Walkathon to be held on September 22, starting at 9 AM at Wayside's new home on Route 23 in North Dexter.
Since its beginning during Dexter's Bicentennial Celebration, this year-round theatre has survived its “infancy” struggles and has just completed its first full production season. The first season productions were: “Our Town”, “Shirley Valentine”, and “The Dining Room”. The tentative next season productions are: the first of Wayside's Original Script Series, “Aging DisGracefully”, “The Rainmaker”, and “Shenandoah”, a musical. Fundraising events include the Wayside Walkathon on Sept. 22, a Talent Night produced by Bob Lodato on Sept. 27, a return performance by Marie Cormier, who performed “Shirley Valentine”, and an “Evergreen” concert. Plans are currently underway by Wayside Grange to offer old-fashioned Grange dinners on a regular basis. Grange Flea Markets were held on Sundays through July and August, and will return again in May.
As expressed in their Mission Statement, the Wayside Board of Trustees feels that the theatre should offer programs for all age groups, and they are well on their way to fulfilling that part of the mission. Already established is Act II Players, a play-reading group directed by Isabel Jacobs which is offered to men and women over the age of fifty. This group meets twice monthly to read scripts, with each participant taking one or more roles, and it has proven to be very successful. There is none of the stress of memorizing lines and performing in front of an audience, and no requirement of acting experience or skill. Its purpose is for the members to just have fun enjoying the experience of theatre. The Wayside Actors Workshop, under the direction of Margaret (Dodie) Stowe, also meets twice monthly, and welcomes new participants. Dodie's class helps actors or aspiring actors of all ages from high school up to hone their stage skills. They learn relaxation techniques (warm-ups), how to deal with stage-fright, stage movement, and character analysis. Both of these groups are open to new members, and neither has a fee.
The latest new venture is the Wayside Youth Theatre, directed by well-known community theatre performer and theatre camp director Bob Keniston of Dover-Foxcroft, who is assisted by his talented wife, Raelene. This program, which is expected to start in October, is for children 6-8 and 9–12 and there will be a reasonable enrollment fee. Watch for further announcements regarding time and day, but students may reserve a space in the class by calling 924-8813.
The Wayside Walkathon is for the benefit of Wayside Theatre and Grange, and all proceeds will go toward making this fine old building shine like new again. Please join the Walk!
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