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Stars shine at SJCT silver anniversary
Say what you will about theater people, but they sure know how to throw a party.
Maybe that’s why the seats had all been spoken for, in anticipation of San Juan Community Theatre’s silver anniversary celebration, weeks before the curtain rose on the theatre’s special evening of entertainment and much-anticipated 25th-year birthday show.
The July 28 anniversary extravaganza drew a standing-room-only crowd. Artistic Director Susan Williams opened the show with a salute to that fabled “casual conversation” 25 years ago and to SJCT’s founding fathers and founding mothers who, spurred on by a challenge and $500,000 donation by Paul and Lucy Whittier, overcame countless hurdles in a quest to build a new performing arts, and home for the island’s performing artists, out of thin air.
The evening included encore performances by The Orphans from the spring musical, “Annie”, Dance Happy, La Dance de la Mar dancers Joely Loucks and Caitlan Ross, The Island Chordsmen Plus and Melodius Notes, actor Nick Bey’s monologue from “Working,” General George Pickett (Mike Vouri) and a SJCT “Bricks & Mortar” tale by former theatre director Merritt Olsen.
Since its construction, the Community Theatre has presented 120 productions of its own on the Whittier Stage, and dozens more in the Gubelman Theatre. Aided by a crew of 300-plus volunteers, the theatre draws an audience of 10,000 or more each and every year.
The show concluded with performances by stage stalwarts Jacki Altier, Daniel Finn, Jill Urbach, and with a medley from the musical “Chicago” by the ever-popular San Juan Singers.