Everyone living in the Wayside Theatre community should realize what a very special gift we have here. A small hometown theatre where one can go for a bit of escapism fare is something to be nurtured, treasured, and protected.
The plays at Wayside were my introduction to live theatre. Living in the mostly rural area of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, there was seldom an opportunity to see a play performed by professional actors. When we were teenagers back in the 1960s, my sister and I would attend Wayside's matinee productions during our summer vacations from school. We would "dress up" and she, the one with the driver's license, would drive us in daddy's car to Middletown for an afternoon of delightful entertainment. I still remember leaving the hot summer sun behind as we entered the tiny, darkened theatre to find our seats and read our playbills, quietly anticipating the curtains opening and the enchanting world of real actors on a stage to appear before us. I know we saw many actors and actresses who went on to become famous, but we were most delighted when Linde Hayen and Harold Herman performed.
I have enjoyed productions at Wayside for the past 45 years. I guess having a live theatre nearby where I can see the same quality acting as I can see in a theatre on Broadway has become a given for me. I thought Wayside would always be here, ready and waiting when I wanted to attend. I can't imagine not being able to do so.
I hope there are many who feel the same way. I hope there are many who can help Wayside now when it so greatly needs our support.
Diane Artz Furlong, Strasburg