Home News Local News Roswell Community Little Theatre celebrates 60th season

Roswell Community Little Theatre celebrates 60th season

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From left are presenter Louise Montague, Edie Stevens, Bianca Cheney, Betty Lou Cheney, Hugh Taylor, Reece Blake, Carole Schlatter, Jim Goss, J.P. Cheney, Carol Bignell, Tom Blake, Kevin Roe and Bob Lynd. One of the highlights at the Roswell Community Little Theatre’s 60th anniversary celebration at the Roswell Country Club on Saturday evening was the platinum member awards presentation. The new platinum members of the Roswell Community Little Theatre are seen here. Each member has been active with the theater for a minimum of 25 years. (Christina Stock Photo)

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RCLT’s anniversary celebration provides laughter, memories and a look into the future

The four c’s (cut, color, clarity and carat) show the value of a diamond. But in the case of the Roswell Community Little Theatre (RCLT), its value for the community can’t be measured. Looking back on 59 seasons, the thespians were surrounded by their fans who came to celebrate the 60th — diamond — season of RCLT on Saturday evening at the Roswell Country Club.

Edie Stevens is proud to present Jim Goss with his platinum members pin. Fellow platinum members in the background are Reece Blake and Carole Schlatter. (Christina Stock Photo)

Doors opened to the tunes of the Roswell Flute Ensemble and the guests — actors, directors, sponsors, politicians and fans of the theater — were seated at exquisitely decorated tables fitting the event.

Once everybody was seated, RCLT president Connie Hester welcomed everybody and thanked the guests for coming out. After the welcome, Hester introduced some of the longest active members of RCLT.

Reese Blake started out with the theater when it was known as the Roswell Players. “She is probably our oldest living member,” Hester said. “We do have some others who are real close behind her. She was also Miss Roswell of 1947.

“In 1958 we became the Roswell Community Little Theatre,” Hester said. “We have several people who have gone on and are no longer with us. If you come to the theater we have their names up on plaques. We have people who donated money; we have people who directed and donated money; we have people who spend a lot of time with the theater and we appreciate every single person. We are also saddened because tonight Mr. Goss is here, but he was not able to bring his wife Vonnie.”

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Hester continued with the introduction of Carole Schlatter — Schlatter was in more than 50 shows at RCLT and is still actively helping the theater — as well as Hugh Taylor, who has been in 60 shows at RCLT.

Ahead of the awards, former RCLT president and director Edie Stevens talked to the Roswell Daily Record about the new awards to be given. “We are pinning a little lapel star on the members whom we call platinum members,” she said. “They have been with us longer than 25 years and they are active. We have some that are with us that long, but they are members who support us by buying tickets, we appreciate that as well, but it’s different. To be active you can build sets, you can do costumes, you can help us in the lobby. There are a lot of things to do.”

Hester asked the guests and RCLT members to find new members, to find new sponsors to be able to continue to put on new shows and plays. She then talked about the theater upgrades that were recently done, including lighting upgrades to reduce energy costs and traveling lights that were put in front of the stage at the event.

“We want to continue working on lights, sound system, our backrooms, kitchen and makeup room. That’s our focus for this season,” Hester said. “We are hoping that all come and watch our shows, support us so we can keep our Little Theatre here.”

According to Hester the new season will have a wide variety of shows. The first show will be “Willy Wonka,” directed by Zack Anderson, on the weekends from Sept. 14 to 30. On the weekends from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9, the production of “A Christmas Carol” follows under the guidance of new director Don (Donald) James; Feb. 8 to 17 weekends will feature the production of “Lovers, Wives and Tennis Players,” directed by Louise Montague and April 26 to May 5, “Southern Fried Funerals,” directed by Alethea Hartwell.

The last show of the season will be directed by Michelle Massey, though the title is not yet known. “It is between two, we have to make sure to get the royalties,” Hester said. “We have season tickets available, call 622-1982 to get yours.”

Hester then asked the new platinum members one-by-one to step forward and receive their star pins, joking and talking about each member’s part in the theater. Every announcement was accompanied with loud applause and hooting, celebrating the award winners.

First to be pinned with the star was Reece Blake, followed by Schlatter and Taylor.

Stevens then stepped forward and told the audience she had asked to be the one to award Jim Goss. “He has been with the Roswell Community Little Theatre for well over 25 years,” she said. “I was very lucky — when I had my term as president — to have him as vice president and I learned a lot. Jim and I were the ones that signed off to have the building at South Union (Avenue). I am very honored to present to him his pin.”

The other awardees are Betty Lou Cheney, J.P. Cheney, Bianca Cheney, Carol Bignell, Stevens, Tom Blake, Kevin Roe and Bob Lynd.

Goss was then asked to talk about some of his early memories with the theater. The witty thespian had several anecdotes to share.

The highlight of the evening followed the dinner, a whodunit murder mystery performance of “The Curse of the Hopeless Diamond,” which was written by Eileen Moushey, directed by Louise Montague and cast with award-winner Taylor, Gina Montague, Veloy Millet, Mathew McNeil, Donna Paul and Joshua Carrell. The host role went to Zack Anderson. Sound and lights were in the hands of Mim Carrell, Kim Seyler and award-winner Blake. Choreographer was Kendrick Smith.

After the murder was solved, Jean Glover was announced as the lucky winner of a $1,200 diamond necklace by Bullock’s Jewelry.

Diamonds are forever and hopefully, so will be the Roswell Little Theatre.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.

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