From Karen Smith (whose mom, Margaret Smith, is one of Playcrafters’ founders):
My memories of Playcrafters go back to when I was 9 and Playcrafters was started by Mom, Peggy Suydam, and John Binnington. It was borne out of the experience of my mom and dad doing Musicrafters in Philadelphia before we moved to Bellport. Playcrafters was a constant in my life and am thrilled it is still going strong.
Playcrafters was actually our babysitter – my mom used to take us to rehearsals. My brother was the newsboy in Look Homeward Angel (1964). I did a ton of backstage stuff but was only onstage once, as Mrs. Mullins in Carousel (1977). Mrs. Mullins was a mid to late 40's character and casting me seemed a bit odd since I was only 25. Last summer I spoke to Jane Love who directed Carousel. I asked her if it was sympathy casting since my mother was suffering from cancer at the time. Jane said no, I was cast because she knew I could do the part. That was one of the sweetest things she could have said (whether she was bending the truth or not) and I appreciate it.
From Michele DePalo:
Mame (1976) was my second show with Playcrafters. It was a fabulous production and we packed the high school auditorium almost every night. Mame was an ambitious undertaking with elaborate sets and costumes. I was in the dancing chorus and we had seven costume changes! Toni Reams' choreography of the fox hunt scene was vigorous, and I have the scar to prove it. That summer I spent my 30th birthday recovering from hernia surgery!
From Joe Skelly:
I became involved with Playcrafters in the 70s – built sets, did lighting, even appeared onstage. I got a brief stint in the costume department, in an odd way. When Playcrafters did Gypsy (1979), we rented a twinkle costume for Miss Electra – one of the three strippers. (“If you’re gonna make it, twinkle while you shake it”). But the costume that arrived had seen better days, and invariably failed to light up before each performance. So as the lighting guy, I was recruited to fix the wiring in the costume each night – while Miss Electra was wearing it. She was a good sport about enduring my repairs. It was the only time I ever worked on costumes.
From Jane Love:
I have been involved with Playcrafters close to 50 years—first as a play reviewer, and
then in 1973 in the chorus of Brigadoon (where I was given a pattern, some material, some lace and told when my costume had to be finished. Those dresses were seen often over the years). From then on I was on stage, back stage, on the board, directing, audience, selling cookies, and enjoying every minute—cherished friendships, hundreds of laughs, and such good memories.
I remember Mame (1976); I had the pleasure of playing Gooch. I directed Carousel in 1977. Those were the days at the high school where there were as many backstage as on stage. There had been a hurricane, we lost many trees. The Bellport Garden Club was trying to replant and held a fund drive. The cast of Carousel took a collection and donated a tree. Somewhere in Bellport is the Carousel Tree. It was a real nice Clam Bake.
And so it goes... memories of great shows, great friends, good times and more to come.