Press release from Asheville Community Theatre:
Tanglewood Youth Theatre began in 1959 in Asheville with a boy, a backyard, and a dream. In 1959, John Haber was 11 years old and already involved at Asheville Community Theatre, but was hungry for more opportunities to be on stage. So, he did what any burgeoning producer would do: selected a script from a catalog of children’s plays, held auditions in his backyard, and booked a weekend of performances at the North Asheville Public Library. The first Tanglewood production was The Ghost of Mr. Penny. It was performed in November 1959 at the North Asheville library, had a cast of 8, and was directed by 11-year-old John Haber.
Asheville Community Theatre is marking the 60th anniversary of Tanglewood with a reunion on Sunday, Oct. 20. John Haber is expected to attend. Asheville residents and Tanglewood alumnae Stuart Camblos, Gay Coleman, Deborah Lewis-Smith, and DeDe Swift are helping to organize the event.
“We are inviting all former Tanglewood participants to join us for a matinee performance of The Wizard of Oz and a post-performance reception,” said Susan Harper, Executive Director at Asheville Community Theatre. “This reunion is more casual than the big celebration we held for the 50th anniversary. If you’re reading this, and you’re a Tanglewood alumni, consider this your invitation!”
Tanglewood lives on 60 years later at Asheville Community Theatre, where the youth programming proudly bears that name. Thousands of local children have participated onstage and backstage from the days of performances in local libraries, to classes and productions at UNC-Asheville, to the camps, classes and performances at Asheville Community Theatre.
“John Haber planted seeds with Tanglewood in 1959 that continue to grow in Asheville,” said Harper. “Tanglewood has always empowered children to have fun and be creative, collaborative, hardworking, and responsible.”
Asheville Community Theatre has set aside a block of tickets for Tanglewood alumni for the 2:30 pm performance of The Wizard of Oz on Sunday, Oct. 20. To purchase a ticket in the Tanglewood Alumni block, please call the ACT box office at 828-254-1320 and ask for the Tanglewood section for the Oct. 20 matinee performance. The ticket price also includes the post-performance reception.
Here are the details for the Tanglewood Alumni reunion:
Sunday, Oct. 20
2:30 p.m. – Matinee performance of Asheville Community Theatre’s The Wizard of Oz.
5:00 p.m. – Reconnect Reception: Post-performance reception in the ACT lobby; light bites served with beer, wine, soft drinks
If you have a story, memory, or photograph you’d like to share prior to the reunion, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Asheville Community Theatre, please visit www.ashevilletheatre.org or call 828-254-1320.