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Matthew Russell Hendrickson THEATER scene Matthew has been involved with community theater for over 35 years. He is currently a designer’s assistant for Brotin Design, a founding member of a local film production company, Oscar Dante Motion, and is still heavily involved with local theater. Meet C arol Harris grew up in Cheek- towaga, N. Y., a small suburb of Buffalo. The first play she was in was Lonesome Valley, a musical, and the first stage production ever produced at her school. It was in 1955, her senior year of high school and she landed the lead. Before that she was in many talent shows, concerts and dance recitals. She also enjoyed writing and participating in skits at summer camp. As a younger child Carol grew up before TV, and videos. So instead, she listened to the radio. Her favorite program was Let’s Pretend with Billy Burke. She would recreate the program, adding her own embellishments, and would put on neighborhood shows with her friends. From the beginning she has always gravitated towards music. “I played air piano, using every flat surface in the house as a keyboard until my father went to the Wurlitzer piano company in Buffalo and bought a piano. I was the kid who never had to be told to practice. I also played flute/piccolo in the school band.” Carol went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from New York State University in Fredonia. She majored in Piano/Voice and became proficient on 66 brass, woodwind, string and percussion instruments. She earned her spending money playing for the college’s dance classes and opera productions. During her college yeas she only performed in two productions, Tomfoolery and The Women, although she designed and made costumes, created sets and directed student productions. In her junior year her percussion teacher started a Scottish band. She joined as a dancer and also played tenor drum in the ensemble. Dressed in Frazier plaid kilts and tams her band played at the Scottish Games in Canada and various venues in NY including the state fair. After graduating, Carol took a job teaching elementary school music in Niagara Falls, NY. Part of her job was to write and host music enrichment programs for children for WNED-TV in Buffalo. Her first show was the story of Francis Scott Key and The Star Spangled Banner. She became involved with Community Theater in Hamburg N.Y. and landed the role of Gladys in The Pajama Game and Adelaid in Guys and Dolls. In in 1962 she married Dave and they moved to Rome, NY. She did graduate work in theater at Oswego State College and Oneonta College and GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN december 2018-january 2019 became active in the Rome Community Theater and the Rome Singers. Her involvement was mostly at the piano but she did get a chance to act. “I was in two productions of God Spell, one with RCT and one with Upstate Lyric Theater, a semi pro company. We did a summer tour of the resorts in the Catskills and Dave and our 3 children got to go along at the company’s expense. I was involved in many productions with RTC, both adult and children’s shows. My favorite rolls were Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel, winning best supporting actress, and Myra Bruhl in Death Trap.” She also played Eve in Applause with Ron Medici Productions at the art deco style Strand Theater in Rome NY where she had her own dressing room with a star on the door! Carol and Dave moved to California in 1983 and in 1985 she and her daughter, Nancy, auditioned for and were cast in the Gilroy Community production of South Pacific. George Costa was the director and Richard Nelson was the music director. At the first rehearsal, Richard announced that the piano player was ill and asked if anyone could help out. Carol volunteered and after the rehearsal Richard asked her if she would be willing to play for the gmhtoday.com THEATER Carol Harris