Saint Vincent Summer Theatre will celebrate its 50th season of professional theatre with special features and activities all summer in honor of the Theatre’s founder, the late Fr. Tom Devereux, O.S.B., according to Saint Vincent Producing Artistic Director Greggory Brandt.
“Saint Vincent Summer Theatre patrons will be celebrating with us all season long,” predicted Brandt. “We have planned some special activities to mark the achievement of our 50th year and to honor our founder, Fr. Tom, and those who succeeded him.”
A special 50th anniversary logo has been developed by Saint Vincent art director George Fetkovich that combines the theatre’s historic logo with the numerals 50, marking the years from 1969 to 2018 in black and gold. The logo will be applied to a variety of collectibles including t-shirts, coffee mugs and refrigerator magnets.
A history of the Saint Vincent Summer Theatre, in words and photos, co-written by Don Orlando, director of public relations, will be distributed free to all patrons at each performance. The 3,000-word history focuses on Saint Vincent Summer Theatre founder, the late Fr. Tom Devereux, O.S.B., the importance of patrons to keeping the theatre alive, hundreds of performers, a complete summary of the more than 200 productions which have been presented, a look at the popular cabaret and a summary of the Galas which have been held for the past 28 years.
A new feature at each performance will be a traditional 50/50 lottery, in honor of the 50th season. Patrons will have an opportunity to purchase 10 tickets for $5 with the winning number drawn at the conclusion of the intermission. Patrons can purchase as many tickets as they like, in denominations of $5. As is customary, half of the proceeds will be awarded to the holder of the winning number and half will benefit the Summer Theatre.
Historic photos from past performances will be displayed in the Theatre lobby throughout the summer. In addition, a new 55” television will display photos from each current show in the lobby. Banners adorned with the 50th anniversary logo will also be displayed on campus light poles, across the front of the Carey Student Center, on digital billboards on Route 30 and on floor banners in the lobby.
On the opening night of the first show, Harvey, on Friday, May 25, patrons will enjoy a 50th anniversary cake and champagne at the Cabaret.
As Saint Vincent Theatre celebrates its 50th anniversary this summer, it also celebrates the life and contributions of the late Fr. Tom Devereux, O.S.B. (1932-2008), founder and producer of this widely-known and respected theatre.
Fr. Tom was a creative Benedictine monk and priest of Saint Vincent Archabbey who dedicated his life in service to the students of Saint Vincent College as a faculty member and administrator and to the community as a cultural dynamo who was passionate about his work with the Saint Vincent Theatre as well as with the Saint Vincent College Players and other area theatres and organizations.
While Fr. Tom generously accepted major assignments including service as Dean of Students, Director of Activities and member of the Board of Directors, he was most enthused whenever he was involved in preparing for a show.
A native of St. Marys, Pennsylvania (Elk County), Fr. Tom was a graduate of Saint Vincent Preparatory School, Saint Vincent College and Saint Vincent Seminary. He also completed graduate studies in drama at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
In 1969, the curtain raised for the first time on the Saint Vincent Summer Theatre with the production of Arsenic and Old Lace. He produced hundreds of memorable plays and musicals over the years including West Side Storyand Fiddler on the Roof. The impact of the Theatre on the cultural life of the region is immeasurable.
Saint Vincent Summer Theatre employs professional actors and actresses. Most of the performers are members of Actors’ Equity Association. It also offers Saint Vincent students a unique opportunity to be involved in the box office, in the cabaret and in the production of sets, lighting, sound and special effects.
Fr. Tom was honored numerous times for his contributions by many organizations including the Latrobe Area Chamber of Commerce (Community Service Award), Tall Cedars of Lebanon, Ligonier Valley Writers Association and the Saint Vincent Student Government Association. In September 2007, more than 500 alumni and friends gathered to honor Fr. Tom with an original tribute production of songs and stories and comedy written by Stuart and Joy Pankin and Reilly and his family. Saint Vincent has presented 208 shows during the past 49 years.
The 29th annual Saint Vincent Summer Theatre Gala, chaired by Phil and Bill Dymond, will be held Friday, June 29. All proceeds benefit the Saint Vincent Summer Theatre. To receive an invitation or further details, phone 724-805-2901.
The 50th season’s productions include Harvey (May 24 to June 10), Nunsense (June 28 to July 15) and Leading Ladies (Aug 2 to 19). For further information, call 724-537-8900 or visit the website at www.stvincent.edu/summertheatre.