JUNIOR-SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
new classroom theatre after Ray Day.
four years in the classroom (teaching art and theatre),
five years as director of development ([PR, fundraising
and events coordination), and four years as a student
(graduated in 1957) - in a nutshell that's 43 years
at Our Lady of Providence High School.
Following retirement in June 2007, I continued working
part-time as the schools webmaster. After all that,
it is time for a bit of reminiscence - an indulgence
allowed to those of us on Medicare, while drawing Social
Security and watching the Stock Market plunge. If you
will indulge me a bit of "horn tooting", I invite you
to read on.
occurred at Providence on October 4, 2008 that prompts
this introspective dissertation. You see, 40 years ago,
after introducing Acting and Theatre Production to the
Fine Arts Curriculum, I transformed a small lecture
room into a Little Theatre seating about 55 patrons.
Today, a new experimental black box theatre has been
built and dedicated to the present and future students
of Providence. This 2300 square foot state-of-the-art
experimental black-box theatre includes a supporting
academic classroom, backstage space and performing arts
offices for a total of about 5,000 square feet.
the $250,000 project came just three years after the
dedication of the Sam and Paula Robinson Performing
Arts Center theatre. Nearly $3,000,000 was raised
to fulfill that dream.
are three significant reasons for sharing this news
with you. One, it has been a career-long dream of mine
to co-design and oversee the construction of the high-quality
performance space for the school. Since 1951, a small
gymnasium/stage or makeshift facilities were the norm.
Working closely with the architect and serving as the
school's on-site project manager provided me the opportunity
to approve every detail of the project.
the school's Vision of Faith Capital Campaign was a
central part of my role as Director of Development.
Being directly involved in raising the funds was a challenging,
yet rewarding task. Indeed, I'd never before asked anyone
for a million dollars. Furthermore, I was overwhelmed
when the donor said "yes", then voluntarily raised it
to $1.5 million.
receiving the honor of having the new black-box theatre
bear the name, the Ray Day Little Theatre.
As soon as I began teaching in 1962, theatre was my
extra-curricular passion. Creating the musical theatre
program, the 38-year-old dinner theatre program, the
40-year old little theatre program, were successful
because I always believed that kids can accomplish great
things only when challenged to do great things. That
they can discover their God-given talents, and together
they can produce a result far greater than any one individual
tradition continues in the Robinson Theatre and
the Ray Day Little Theatre. I am both humbled
and overjoyed. As the decades go by, I have often mused
over my dual careers of artist and teacher. What would
they remember if God called me home today? Would it
be a painting on the wall? Would it be an inspired student?
And who would have dreamed it would ever be a theatre?
learned that we all touch other people throughout our
lives. Some will remember us and some will not. Our
life is the journey, the people are the thrills.
work at Providence is not done. The third jewel in the
Robinson Performing Arts Center is on the drawing
board - a new Music Studio adjoining the RDLT.
yes, I'm still involved, because the fund-raising continues.