From Frank Nelson:
The story I remember is one performance in Barefoot in the Park (1983) when Pam Hannon and I completely got lost. We forgot every one of our lines. We improvised for probably about 5 minutes (which seemed like an hour) until she finally said “I want a divorce!” and we could go on. Ahhh... the good old days.
From Jill Linden:
My first role in a Playcrafters production was Joanne in Company in 1988. I was 30 years old (wayyy too young for the part) and it was there that I was I introduced to what has truly been one of the warmest, inclusive and talented companies I had ever worked with. One of the memories that stays with me most from that production was Judy Perfido affixing a beautiful scarf, Oprah-style, onto my dress to try to give me some sort of 'Ladies Who Lunch' appeal. And there is Judy...32 years later...still there...because, why would you leave Playcrafters?
So much laughter! Such amazing voices and sets and cast parties and going to a restaurant whose name I can’t remember (because I am now wayyy old enough to play Joanne in Company!!) Lifelong friendships...I took a 15 year hiatus from performing and was welcomed back to Playcrafters with open arms. This company...always in my heart!
From Judy Perfido:
I have been a member of Playcrafters since 1980 for the show Guys and Dolls. My cousin, Michele DePalo, had the lead and needed someone to be in the wings to help her with her costumes. I got so involved in the production, I was bringing on props, changing sets, etc. I was hooked. I was then the prompter for Hello Dolly (1981) and in one of the scenes one of the leads, Chuck Colllins, had to hide in a free-standing closet. I guess he went in with such gusto, the closet it fell backwards (crash). The audience gasped and the cast was not sure if he was okay. When it was time for him to deliver his next lines, he opened the closet door, sat up and delivered the line. The audience howled and applauded.
Then Michele invited myself, Bob Maletta, and Frank Nelson to her home and asked us to be producer, director and musical director for Grease (1982). It was a wonderful production that had full houses every performance and that was something in a 750-seat theatre in the High School. The cast got along so well that they would meet during the summer at BBQ’s, etc. I then went on to be the producer and stage manager for several Playcrafters productions as well as working on props, costumes, publicity, etc. It was a wonderful experience, being with such talented actors and singers and I made many friends. I will always have fond memories of my time with Playcrafters.
From Michele DePalo:
I was anxious for us to do Company in 1988 and with myself as producer, Tom Elliot (musical director), Ray Rueger (director), and Brian Hannon (set designer), the Board agreed. With Joe Agosta’s talent, I knew we had our "Bobby". All went well until three weeks before opening when Pam Hannon broke her leg. She had the most difficult song in the show and handled it beautifully. I called every theater company on L.I. and found a replacement, but we really missed Pam. And that wasn’t the end of the troubles. Cast member Bob Kinsey became ill during opening weekend and Ray had to step into the role after intermission (with book) and for the remainder of the show’s run. When Cathy Schiera called me the following weekend to say she had laryngitis, I told her she was going on, voice or no voice! (She did fine.)