Last summer I was given an incredible opportunity. I was hired to return to the Weathervane stage as an actor. It had been a mere 22 years since I had called The Spruces my home...and honestly, something I had never expected to do again!

When Jacques asked if I would be interested in the “OLDER WOMAN #5” track I was elated & shocked! I was amazed at the support that I was given to make the dream a reality. My husband agreed to hold down the fort & my teachers agreed to cover my classes, I packed the car & headed north to God’s country with Ava, the youngest of my 3 children & Bennett, the oldest of my 2 dogs.

Moving into the Spruces as a “grown up” was...interesting. Walking into the dining room that first Sunday night, with all of the interns sitting around the ping pong/dining room table talking & singing through the entire scores of “Les Mis”, “Shrek” and the Patchwork show, at the same, was a reality check. I had once again entered the Land Of Weathervane. A land unlike any other. My senses were remembering...I thought, “Here I am, once again” I was in my own kind of Heaven.

Rehearsing was thrilling. Learning all of the shows, especially “Funny Money” was grueling. The experience of performing on the Weathervane stage again, priceless.

But, wait...it gets even better! My youngest, Ava, went to the community auditions at the Grange. She was hoping to be in “Les Mis” and maybe even “Shrek”. A star was born on that breezy July day. Ava played Gavroche AND Young Cosette! She was also Little Shrek for a few performances. She was amazing, if I do say so myself! She had the summer of a lifetime at the age of 8!

The love that I have always had for our incredible theater in the mountains is now stronger than ever! The loyalty, support & excitement that the audience & the theater community share with the actors & crew is a rare & beautiful thing. The time that I was able to spend with Gibbs was just perfect. The new friends & the old friendships that were reignited, perfect too.

Thank you Jacques & Colin & the Weathervane gods for giving this old gal a chance to perform again...and to perform with my child as well. Thank you for reminding me about who I am and what I truly love. It’s NEVER too late!

The WVAA would like to thank the generous donors who have contributed during our current fiscal year, October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.  With the help and commitment of friends like you, the WVAA is successfully pursuing its mission of enlarging creative and financial support for the Weathervane Theatre.  Your generosity helps make it possible for the WVAA to foster greater awareness of the Weathervane by enlarging its network of former staff and company members through annual events like the Alumni Weekend and The Drummer Boy.  In addition, these contributions provide invaluable support for the WVAA’s purpose of furthering the goals of the Weathervane by supporting the Portner Fund and undertaking projects such as the purchase, renovation and maintenance of the Grange Hall, the Weathervane’s office, costume shop, storage and rehearsal space.  Please forgive any errors or omissions.  Write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.  If you would like to make a contribution to the WVAA you can go to the website wvalum.org and click on the DONATE button on the right hand side.  Or you can send a check to WVAA, P.O. Box 69, Gardiner, NY  12525.  Thank you.

 

Cathi Hodil
Charles Alterman
Dan, Moocho, Ben Salomon
David & Judith Adamson
David & Tanya Tellman
David Prestigiacomo
Deborah Jean Templin
Elizabeth Behnke
Elizabeth Craig
Geoffrey Tarson
Gibbs Murray
Jacques Stewart
Jay Johnson
Jeff Zadroga
John & Jeanne Wissler
Kathleen Kaminski
Leigh Kamioner
Lyn Winter
Mary Ellen Will
Melodie Wolford
Michael Ferris
Nick Searcy
Paul & Tina Lister
Richard & Terry Portner
Rick Farrar
Scott Hunt
Sharon Tupper
Shaun Altman
Tim & Jaime Miller

  

 

WVNewBarnFireworks

 

Geoff Tarson and Nanette DeWester
FLOUR’S FOR YOU Geoff Tarson offers Nanette DeWester some baked goods during a rehearsal of the 9th annual alumni show, Mambo Italiano: A Roman Holiday.
Photo: J. Simon
My first reaction when I saw the rehearsal schedule for the alumni show was, “Don’t give me a big role.”  Actually, my first reaction was, “I need to back out of this.”  But Rhonda and Rick talked me back off the ledge.  They said I could be involved as much or as little as I could handle.  I said I could handle just a minor role.  But I agreed to return for the 2009 alumni show.  This would be the first one for me.  After working at Weathervane as an actor and director (and one year in a backstage capacity even I can’t define) in the 80’s and 90’s, I would be heading back to Whitefield. 

On Saturday, I drove five hours north and made my way to the new rehearsal space.  Well, not that new anymore.  But I hadn’t been there in a while.  I found a large group of performers—most of whom I knew.  And all of whom were friendly, supportive, funny, and only a little grayer than I remembered.  (Who am I to talk about graying anyway?)

Read more: Weathervane Alumnus Attends Alumni Weekend for First Time

Old Weathervane Barn Fire by Paul HayesFAREWELL, OLD FRIEND Firefighters from the towns of Whitefield, Littleton, Dalton, Lancaster, Twin Mountain, Dummer, Groveton, and Bethlehem, New Hampshire save the Weathervane Theatre as the original structure is engulfed in flames. Photo: P. HayesOn the night of October 9th, the old Weathervane Theatre, the Red Barn that graced the landscape as you crested the hill from Whitefield since 1858, burned down in a fast-moving fire. With nine fire departments battling the blaze, the heroic fire-fighters were able to save the new Theatre building (built in 2002) from being lost as well. 

In the hours and days following, word spread quickly by phone, e-mail, and Facebook postings. The current Weathervane staff, alumni, Board of Directors, volun- teers, and long-time theatre supporters were all deeply saddened at the loss of a place that held so many dear memories. But something wonderful happened,too. People began to look through their old photographs and post them for others to see. A string of “Do you remember the time when . . .” began to make the rounds among Weathervaners past and present. Jacques Stewart, Taryn Herman, and Joanne Jacaruso threw a Barn Bat party at the Inn—a wake of sorts to celebrate the many joyous, funny, ridiculous, and inspiring moments that took place in the old building and to acknowledge its passing. People came together, in body and spirit, and we were reminded that the Weathervane is not a building but the people who put their talents and pas-sions and hearts into shaing the art of theatre.

For me, the old barn was where I spent my summers from age 16 onwards. As a North Country kid, the Weathervane was where I discovered a world far broader, more diverse, and more exciting than any I had yet dreamed of. I found laughter, acceptance, and encouragement from strangers who became mentors and friends, and even family. Charlie Sachse will forever be sitting in a dusty sunbeam in the old box office, Ginger at his feet and a cigarette in his hand, regaling me with tales from his misspent youth in a gruff voice.

The echoes of “The Riddle Song” from Floyd Collins are in my ears whenever I close my eyes and picture the stage. I remember the panic and elation many a sold-out show towards the end of a season, when we scrambled to find space for one more chair or opened the big doors at the side of the lighting booth so a few more eager audience members could squeeze in and share the magic. I always thrilled to the collective gasp of the audience when a bat, disturbed from his rest, would swoop over the audience or dive bomb the stage. I know that many an actor sang their heart out from the Weathervane stage and dreamed of Broadway. And we were there.

Dreams may burn, but they are not consumed in the fire. They emerge, like the Drummer Boy weathervane himself who was rescued from the rubble, ready for a new life if only we have the courage to raise them up again. The board of directors of the Weathervane Theatre is working diligently to do the repairs needed to be ready for the 2012 season as well as to create a master plan for a capital campaign to begin replacing all that was lost in the fire— we will keep you posted. Please save your pennies so that when their plan is announced, you can contribute to the Weathervane’s renewal and future.

Charlie Alterman and Nicole Lewis
WHERE’S CHRLIE? Charlie Alterman and Nicole Lewis at the Tony Awards.
Photo: C. Alterman
Charlie Alterman was the W’vane’s Assistant Music Director in 1995 and Music Director in 1996.  He is now the Music Director of the TONY Award-winning Next to Normal at the Booth Theatre.  Here is his conversation with Mary Whithed.

How did you end up at the Weathervane? They hired me very last minute.  Most of the big breaks in my career have been at the last minute.  It was through the NETCs.  I didn’t actually meet with anyone from the Weathervane there, but they had my form and realized they needed someone.  They saw that I’d been at Brown with Heather Cousens, and they called her to get the scoop.  She said something really flattering, along the lines of, “Anything that went right in those shows was because of Charlie.”  And then they called me.

Read more: Music Director Charlie Alterman Revisits Weathervane Days

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_________________

WVAA, Inc. 
Board of Directors 

Officers 
President: Rick Farrar 
Vice President: Rien Schlecht
Treasurer: Jeff Zadroga
Secretary: Colin Keating

Directors 
Brandi Varnell
Michael Sheehan
Catherine Carter
Laura Manos-Hey
Kellee Marsh
Timothy Breese Miller

_________________ 

Weathervane Theatre Alumni 
Association, Inc.,

P.O. Box 69, 
Gardiner, New York 12525.