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Theater Scene Barbara Bottini Stars in Comedy, Fundraiser for Parkinson’s Research Written By Matthew Russell Hendrickson B arbara Bottini entered the community theater scene in Gilroy during the summer of 1972. Her husband had recently passed away and she had just left her job as a teacher to raise her six-month old son. She auditioned for a part in Fiddler On The Roof and got one as an ensemble member. She was soon hooked on theater. She balanced being a single mom and theater acting for the next 17 years until her son was about to head off for college. She decided to follow-up on a dream of living and working in Europe and applied with the American military to be a Special Education teacher on an Army base. She had her fingers crossed for Germany, but she got Korea. She realized her foot was in the door and that she could always just keep trying for a transfer. During her next four years teaching on a military base in Korea she still felt the theater itch and auditioned for a part in The Fantastiks for the recreation center’s theater program, which was an all-female cast. The theater program was struggling but with the help of the recreation center coordinator and some diligent planning, the theater program survived. After four years and several transfer requests her efforts paid off. She got a transfer to a military base in Kaiserslauten, Germany. After arriving to her new assignment and settling in to the new classroom she instantly set her sights on the theater GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN program there. During her six years on the base she was a performer, director and producer for many of the shows. In 1999 Barbara moved back to Gilroy. Gilroy Community Theater had become known as South Valley Civic Theater. She auditioned for a role in Oklahoma and got a part as an ensemble member. Since then she has been in numerous shows for the theater groups in the area. Her favorite roles include one of the Pigeon Sisters in The Odd Couple, Stephanie in Cactus Flower, Mavis Templeton in The Murder Room, Vera in Nana’s Naughty Knickers and as the Unknown Sister in Christmas Belles. Barbara is currently in a production of Lend Me A Tenor at Limelight Actor’s Theater in Gilroy. This will be her fourth appearance on their stage. This production is a fundraising event for the Fox Foundation benefiting Parkinson’s research. Their fundraising goal is $5,000 and to date their seven fundraisers have generated a total of nearly $38,000 for the Fox Foundation! This fundraising production will be the sixth at Limelight Actor’s Theater. Steve Spencer and his wife Kae run the fundraising aspect. Steve has Parkinson’s and he started fundraising because he felt it was the “best way to fight the disease.” For information on show dates and times as well as tickets go to Limelight’s website: limelightactorstheater.com. JULY / AUGUST 2016 gmhtoday.com 67