s p ot l i g h t o n a l u m n i a r t
"Strange Fruit," Los Angeles, April 2011. A Mexican circus plays to an empty house.
After playing with cameras his whole life, Charles (Winecoff ) Christopher '78 got his professional start as a still photographer on a string of independent films shot in Los Angeles. He has since branched out into architectural interiors and fine art photography. In August 2011, he made his art world debut in the California Open Exhibition at TAG Gallery in Santa Monica. In March 2012, one of his photographs of Venice, Italy was displayed in the International Photography Awards exhibit "One Shot: The City" also in Los Angeles. He is currently working on a book of his Venice photographs, featuring original texts by fellow Venetophiles including Woody Allen, Julie Christie, James Conlon, Fabio, and Hutton Wilkinson. View more photographs at www.charleschristopherphotography.com.
News from Friends is published by the Development Office at Friends Seminary two times each year for alumni, parents, grandparents and friends of the School. The mission of News from Friends is to feature the accomplishments of alumni, while capturing the School’s remarkable history, values, and culture. Each issue will have an underlying theme, such as (but not limited to) the sciences, the arts, athletics, history, literature, and service. Additionally, the magazine will give insight into recent events at Friends Seminary.
features 13 | Stage and Screen At Friends 15 | Stage and Screen Throughout The Years 17 | Liev Schreiber ’85: Actor, Director, Screenwriter 19 | Roger Hirson ’43: Playwright 21 | Sarah Halley Finn ’82: Casting Director 23 | Amanda Peet ’90: Actor
departments 1 | Mission Statement
10 | Spotlight on Service
2 | A Word From Bo
11 | Notes On Silence
3 | Opening Shots
25 | Class Notes
7 | Buzz On 16th Street
38 | Tributes
9 | Awards & Grants
41 | Back In The Day
On The Cover clockwise from right
1. As You Like It, 2011 2. South Pacific, 1987 3. Thanksgiving Pageant, 1936 4. Pirate's Play,
1935 5. Pirate's Play, 1935 6. Pirate's Play, 1935 7. Twelfth Night, 1981
Editor John Galayda
Principal on sabbatical Robert “Bo” Lauder
Designer Anna Pipes
Assistant Principal + Acting Principal Tom Perry
Photographers John Galayda Scott Smeltzer
Director of Development Selena Shadle
Development + Special Events Manager Amanda Perlmutter Director of Annual Giving Jenny Nichols Major Gifts Officer Patty Ziplow
Database Manager Valerie Delaine Director of Communications John Galayda Graphic Designer + Communications Assistant Anna Pipes
Director of Alumni Relations Katherine Farrell
CORRECTION In the the Fall + Winter 2011 issue, in the Friends in Far Places feature on page 24, we reported that Brazilian illustrator and author Roger Mello visited Friends. He did not visit, but librarian Constance Vidor brought books by Roger Mello to Friends to share with students.
OUR MISSION Friends Seminary educates students from kindergarten through twelfth grade, under the care of the New York Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Through instruction and example, students follow their curiosity and exercise their imaginations as they develop as scholars, artists and athletes. In a community that cultivates the intellect through keen observation, critical thinking and coherent expression, we strive to respond to one another, valuing the single voice as well as the effort to reach consensus. The disciplines of silence, study and service provide the matrix for growth: silence opens us to change; study helps us to know the world; service challenges us to put our values into practice. At Friends Seminary, education occurs within the context of the Quaker belief in the Inner Light – that of God in every person. “Guided by the ideals of integrity, peace, equality and simplicity, and by our commitment to diversity, we do more than prepare students for the world that is: we help them bring about the world that ought to be.”*
D I V E R S I T Y The Society of Friends is founded in the belief that there is that of God in every person and that truth emerges as new voices are heard and incorporated in our understanding. We believe that the quality of the truths we know is enriched and deepened by welcoming people with diverse experiences of the world into our community. We want to foster a community that addresses the challenge of valuing difference and making every individual feel welcome, supported, and safe: a community in which each person is asked to make the rigorous commitment to recognize the Light within every other, to hear that piece of truth each person brings to the continuing dialogue which is the foundation of our community. We want our daily interactions to demonstrate that maintaining respect and pursuing the hard work of understanding difference creates strength as we work to define and move toward common goals.
S E RV I C E Our mission as an educational institution is to prepare our students to participate in an increasingly interdependent world and, by graduating an increasingly diverse group of students, to help build a more effective citizenry and representative leadership for the future. We seek to develop the skills and discipline necessary to communicate effectively and to learn from a rich variety of experiences and points of view. This work is central to valuing diversity, to the purpose of education and to the Quaker ideals of integrity, peace, equality and simplicity. In a world in which people continue to suffer profound inequalities of opportunity, we dedicate ourselves to stretching what we have and are capable of: to working to become a community more representative of the city in which we live and to improving our ability to support a diverse student body. The gap between our ideals and the possible creates struggle to which we commit ourselves with energy and joy.
Service is integral to Friends Seminary’s educational mission, along with the disciplines of study and silence. Our Community Service Program strives to instill a sense of stewardship of school community and respect for responsibility to our urban neighborhood and beyond. By providing opportunities within the curriculum and in other relevant activities for students to witness and understand the needs of others, we hope to prepare them for a life that includes service. Our goal is to integrate knowledge and undertaking with compassion and social responsibility. Only through reflection and understanding the need to put our values into practice will students be able to grasp the importance of the gift of caring for each other, for all humanity, and for the natural world.
* This last sentence is adapted from Faith and Practice: The Book of Discipline of the New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (1974).
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Curtains up! This school year, students at Friends Seminary are performing off-campus at the Vineyard Theatre near Union Square. The collaboration between the School and the theatre is due in part to an anonymous $2 million gift to the Schoolâ€™s endowment for performing arts.
Reaching beyond the school walls and working with a neighborhood theatre has been particularly special because many schools throughout the country are experiencing a contraction in their education.
In some states, the arts have suffered for so long that it may take years, and considerable investment, to turn things around. In California, for example, participation in music courses dropped 46 percent from 1999 through 2004, while total school enrollment grew nearly 6 percent, according to a
study by the Music for All Foundation. The number of music teachers, meanwhile, declined 26.7
percent. Here in New York's public school, Mayor Bloomberg is making arts education a priority in his school reform plans. The city has begun the launch of comprehensive initiatives to connect
more students with the city's vast cultural resources. So, it is with great pleasure that we have begun successfully forging bonds with cultural resources in our neighborhood to enhance our drama
program. These mutually beneficial alliances will not only benefit Friends and its community, but
also will strengthen and enhance the greater local community that the School is a part of, further emphasizing the civic-minded thinking that we encourage our students to explore.
In closing, Iâ€™d like to stress that involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation,
a nonprofit global policy think tank, found that the basic pleasures and stimulation of the art
experience do more than sweeten an individual's life, it can connect people more deeply to the
world and open them to new ways of seeingâ€”a contention that is very supportive of our mission here at Friends.
Tom Perry Acting Principal
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NBC Today Show host Natalie Morales engages with third graders through a plexiglass stage during a performance with the cast of Fuerza Bruta at the Daryl Roth Theatre. The Third Grade was invited to be the audience for a special performance of the show, where Today Show anchors Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, Al Roker, and Morales participated in the show. MARCH 2012
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Students light up the Vineyard Theatre stage during the all-school musical production of Guys and Dolls. MAY 2012
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R H ST T 6 1
Brian Willson, a prominent peace activist, lawyer, environmentalist and author, visited the Meetinghouse to talk about his new book of memoirs, Blood on the Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson, which details his transformation from conservative Baptist to peace activist after fighting in the Vietnam War.
Isaac Solotaroff ’88, documentary filmmaker, spoke to Middle and Upper School students about producing Pelotero, a documentary about hopeful young Major League Baseball players in the Dominican Republic seeking professional contracts as a way out of the poverty that surrounds them.
Friends English teacher Maria Fahey read from her recently published book, Metaphor and Shakespearean Drama: Unchaste Signification (Palgrave Macmillan), which explores the ambiguities, complexities and double meanings generated by metaphor in Shakespearean prose.
Former Friends English teacher Donovan Hohn spoke to students in the Meetinghouse about his book, Moby Duck, in which he tracked down over 28,000 bath toys lost at sea, and discovered much about plastic pollution, beach-combing, and toy factories along the way.
Pyeng Threadgill ’95 and Evan Pazner ’95, two-thirds of the jazz group, Of The Air Trio, performed their song, “On and On,” during an Upper School assembly in the Meetinghouse.
Harry Moses ’54, Emmy-winning producer, writer and director of documentaries, led a six-week documentary filmmaking workshop. Students learned the basic principles of photography, editing, interviewing, story structure and screenwriting as they created their own five-minute documentaries.
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FEBRUARY 22 FEBRUARY 9
Michael Arad, architect and designer of the National 9/11 Memorial, presented a lecture, entitled “Reflecting Absence: Designing the 9/11 Memorial,” as part of the School's 2012 Peace Week celebration. He discussed how he designed the monument to show communal loss. The waterfalls represent an ephemeral void that we can fill with memories. At an assembly earlier in the day, a group of students announced to Michael and the School that they had raised $500 for the National 9/11 Memorial.
Janice Erlbaum ’87 visited Friends to talk to students grades 7–12 about homelessness and at-risk youth from the perspective of someone who experienced it firsthand in her teens. Pam Boehm’s Poverty class, whom Janice visited earlier in the school year, presented her with supplies for the residents of Covenant House, a shelter for girls where she lived as a teen and where she volunteers as an adult.
A group of Upper School students took part in a new digital series hosted by Katie Couric. Katie’s Take, presented by ABC News and Yahoo!, covers health, parenting and wellness. During the episode filmed at Friends, Katie and parenting expert Wendy Mogel talked with students about over-parenting and the teenage mind.
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awards + grants faculty + staff Faculty Grants Micah Morris, Chair of the Modern & Classical Language Department, traveled to Argentina and Uruguay last summer to further enrich his knowledge of Spanish as well as investigate possibilities for a student trip to the region. Music teacher Bob Rosen attended classes at the Vermont Jazz Center this past summer. “It was a chance for teacher performers like myself to refresh skills both in the classroom and in live performance,” Bob said. Art teacher Jesse Pasca traveled to Italy during Spring Break for an art and architectural experience that provided him with first-hand knowledge of many subjects in his curriculum. History teacher Bram Hubbell traveled to the Swahili Coast this past summer for a three-week study tour of Tanzania and Kenya. He chose to focus on this region not only because of its importance in world history, but also because of its links to all the regions around the Indian Ocean. “Since the beginning of the first millennium C.E., this region has been in regular contact with people from the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. As a result of these connections, the Swahili Coast has developed a rich and diverse culture,” Bram said.
3rd Century Faculty Grants
The 3rd Century Grant, established as a result of Friends Seminary’s bicentennial capital campaign, provides for a selection of faculty to attend conferences, participate in special projects, or take short-term leave in order to pursue professional growth. This year, four teachers—Ben Horner, Kerry Kline, Jack Phelan, Derek Reid—will attend the Teachers Conference on Experiential Education at the Island School in the Bahamas. Two teachers will enrich their music education: science teacher Eileen Wildman will take cello lessons so she can continue to play with the student Chamber Players, and math teacher Ben Frisch will spend a week at the Pine Woods Music Camp. Photos correspond from left to right in the order they are mentioned.
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Christiana Ley Parker ’92 Humanitarian Award Christiana Ley Parker ’92 Humanitarian Award honors faculty who exhibit goodness, grace, and dedication to the community in memory of Christiana’s thirteen happy years at Friends. Tim Cooper, the Middle School Technology Integrator, was honored for the passion with which he leads students to discover their talents and ambitions in technology, as well as establishing “Sense of Place,” a program which allows Upper School Arabic students to communicate with the Ramallah Friends School. He has has also been instrumental in launching the iPad Program. Experiential Education instructor Deanna Yurchuk was also awarded for the infectious enthusiasm, humility and grace she brings to her outdoor learning expeditions. Over her years at Friends, she has chaired the Experiential Education department, served as an advisor to student clubs, established the Outdoor Leadership Seminar and, more recently, she chaperoned the trip to the Ramallah Friends School.
Richard Eldridge Staff Grants John Galayda, Director of Communications, traveled to Gustavus, Alaska to visit with Abigail Calkin ’59. John wrote a feature article on Abigail, which appeared in the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of News From Friends. Abigail, a Quaker, helped John discover and appreciate the rugged simplicity of living in rural Alaska. To watch a short video tour of Abigail’s home in Gustavus, visit www.friendsseminary.org/gustavus. Constance Vidor, Director of Library Services, traveled to Paris, France to complete her research for a young readers' biography of the classical composer Louise Farrenc. Farrenc was the best-known woman composer of her era and a champion of young women who aspired to professional careers as pianists. Constance’s ebook can be found at http://free.yudu.com/item/details/390938/LouiseFarrenc--Classical-Composer.
Hana's family brought suitcases of books to the McColins School in Ho, Ghana. The children, who had no books prior to the volunteers' visit, were ecstatic. "It was difficult to read with one kid without getting swarmed by ten more kids because they were so eager to read," said Hana (pictured in center, below).
service spotlight on
This past summer, Hana Koob â€™14 traveled with her family to Ghana with Ghana act, a non-profit that provides aid and resources for schools.
Saviefe Deme, a village near the city of Ho, had no school when Hana arrived. Ghana act brought concrete, which the men of the village made into bricks, and the volunteers helped the women carry bricks to the foundation of the schoolhouse.
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silence notes on
Arthur Fink ’64
’ll not pretend that the silent meetings I attended during my two years at Friends were an occasion for deep spiritual experiences. They were not. Had you asked me about them at that time, I’d probably have said that they were a welcome period of mental rest, of refreshment, of time slowed down. But that was it. I might also have commented about times the silence was broken-most often by Anna Louise Curtis telling us stories of the underground railroad, and how even Friends in New York were active in helping former slaves on their way to safety. Once, during excavation for the “new” building (now the main building, I believe) one student whispered
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to another, “They’ve just found the underground railroad station” and this “news” quickly made its way around the Meetinghouse. For all I know, it might even have been true. Of course, meeting was also interrupted at times by loud whispers as students helped each other cram for a test the next period, or otherwise used meeting as a place to catch up on academics. While such dialogue was promptly suppressed, it was never replaced with a lecture about what should happen in a silent Meeting for Worship. Friends, for me, was a place with a deep spiritual core, but no spiritual dogma, and that was never more true than in our silent meetings.
Little did I know how much I was learning in the depth of that silence, how much I found that could invite and nourish my latent faith, and how important those lessons were. It was only years later that I could appreciate this aspect of my Friends education. I eventually became an active member of a Quaker meeting, and part of the Ministry and Counsel Committee. We were approached by a local church whose pastor was going to be away for a particular Sunday, and who wanted worship in his absence to proceed as in a Friends meeting. Members of our committee met with him and some members of his congregation to explain how a Meeting for Worship typically operates-the period of centering down, followed by a period when some vocal ministry might be shared. We spoke about listening into the depth of silence rather than waiting for words to be shared, how we seek to resist the desire or call to speak, but may submit to what really feels like a divine pull. I always seek to teach the classes or workshops I need to take, and this was a perfect example of that. We were sharing precisely the lessons that we understood in our heads, but didn’t always live in our complex and busy lives. And these indeed were lessons that I had begun to learn at Friends Seminary. The Meeting for Worship at that church was, indeed, deeply gathered, with a rich, full silence, and bits of vocal ministry that arrived as true ministry. At the end of the service, one person said to us, “I heard things in that silence that I’ve never heard before. I understand, now, how it is that you Friends are pacifists.” Was it really at Friends that I learned to crave such silence? I really do believe that seeds were planted there, in the fertile soil of a Meetinghouse that was regularly filled with gatherings of great spiritual depth (depth that at the time I didn’t even know existed). The gentle tending of Friends—like Anna Louise Curtis—who understood so clearly that prayer and witness are both parts of living a faithful life, and valued inward life and outward intellect, made a lasting impression on me.
We seek to resist the desire or call to speak, but may submit to what really feels like a divine pull. It was also at Friends that I found moral ambiguity, or sometimes a deviant moral clarity. Our wonderful gay English teacher (I want to call him “professor”) was tolerated for some time, but was not embraced when sexuality became an issue. Equality and diversity were great ideas, but barely visible in the composition of our student body at that time. We were appropriately troubled, and that led to welcome growth. It also led to welcome changes at the School, and so my comments are deliberately in the past tense. I still ask how it was that several in our class became such committed activists, practicing compassionate witness, but not embracing angry protest. Perhaps the silence that we learned to fully experience had its effect upon us-energizing our vision, while leaving space for love in our protests. What a journey! I started this tiny essay on the theme of silence and the silent meetings I experienced at Friends Seminary. And I’m delighted-not surprised-that this strong beginning became an anchor for so much that matters. For me, it’s now the core practice of a very fulfilling faith, but I can believe that others with radically different beliefs can find strength and solace in that same experience. Thank you Friends Seminary, and all who left their spiritual guidance in the walls of that wonderful Meetinghouse. Arthur Fink '64 is a member of Portland Friends Meeting in Portland, ME, and a consultant helping nonprofit organizations develop clarity in their board process and governance, and in their mission and focus. He’s also a photographer of dance, and runs workshops on “Photographing From Within” and “Art and Spirit.” Visit www.arthurfinkphoto.com.
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STA G E SCREEN AT F R I E N D S
successes, but she is even prouder that they were inclusive of all who wanted to perform. “Sometimes the cast size in the Middle School play was up to 96 students,” Jennifer said. “My policy is everybody in, nobody out, wherever possible. I do not think drama should be an elite activity for a special few.” Jennifer said that there have been many, many memorable and rewarding experiences during her time at Friends. “I remember the final performance of A Winter's Tale in the McCray one year. There were many seniors in the production, and it was their last play. During the last scene, emotion was running high, and as the statue of as the famed Christmas Pageant. A ics through the grateful acceptance of Hermione came to life, many were memorable production of a Quaker an anonymous $2 million gift towards quietly weeping. During Hermione’s reunion with her daughter, Perdita, pageant in 1936 was performed in endowment for the drama program. everyone onstage was crying, which honor of the School’s 150th anniverThe gift has allowed students to was very powerful and appropriate. sary, in which a young Earle Hunter perform off-campus at the Vineyard, There was not a sound from the acted alongside students, all of whom a professional theatre near Union audience. It was absolute magic, and wore traditional Quaker attire. Square. Fast-forward to 1991, five years “It was so special for the students to people sat there, stunned.” “I also remember a number of following the School’s bicentenperform As You Like It there this past students over the years who were havnial anniversary, and the value of the December,” she said. “It was extraoring difficulties who found their niche Performing Arts at Friends was fully dinary to be in a professional theatre in the drama program, and found acknowledged through comprehensive with a good, big stage, a raked audiself-esteem, acknowledgement and offerings in music history, chorus, ence so that every audience member chamber music, jazz and drama. At could see, a dressing room for the girls recognition from the community in a way they had not before. I remember that time, Jennifer Fell Hayes, the and one for the boys (instead of the current head of the drama program, Physics Lab or the Music Loft), bath- the faces of all the students on stage was hired. room facilities for both girls and boys, for their curtain calls, so often beamThroughout her tenure, Jennifer has a green room with room for everyone, ing with pleasure and delight at their achievement.” witnessed and been a vital part of the a box office and lobby. We were just evolution of a thriving drama depart- thrilled to be there.” ment, which included the opening of Jennifer is proud that the majority the Joyce McCray Blackbox Theatre in of her school productions over the 1999 in the 15th Street Annex. past two decades could be counted as “The opening play at the theatre was one I was commissioned to write, rt at Friends crept into called Shadow of Olivia, and it was the 1890’s curriculum as wonderful to rehearse in a space in manual training (woodshop, which students could keep their consewing, design, clay modeling), all centration without interruption,” she steered toward practical ends. A slow, said. “It is small, but we have managed but steady ascension of art and its im- to be very creative with the space, and portance soon followed. Beginning in I have loved the intimacy of it.” the 1930’s, pageants were performed Then, just last year, Friends was able annually in the Meetinghouse, such to further its commitment to Dramat-
“My policy is everybody in, nobody out. I do not think drama should be an elite activity for a special few.”
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Jennifer Fell Hayes Director of the Drama Program at Friends • Created her first play at age 7 and casted her brother and neighborhood children to perform it in her playroom • Graduate of the Central School of Speech and Drama in London • Began teaching at Friends in 1991 • Has directed over 60 shows at Friends • Directed her first play at Friends, Find Me by Olwyn Wymark (also
performed last fall—20 years later) • Has written over 30 plays, many of them published • Received the Yale Distinguished Educator Award in 2007 • Currently writes plays for the Workshop Theatre Company in Manhattan • Co-authored an awardwinning book about drama in museum education, and is the author of a children’s book and a young adult novel
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S TAG E &SC R E E N
T H RO UG H T H E
1899 PLAY UNKNOWN
1977 WEST SIDE STORY
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1926 ANTARCTIC EXPLORER'S CABIN
1981 TWELFTH NIGHT
1935 PIRATES OF PENZANCE
1986 SCHOOL DAZE FACULTY PLAY
From Christmas pageants in the Meetinghouse to Shakespeare at the Vineyard Theatre, here's a small sampling of Friends productions spanning three centuries.
THE ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PAGEANT
1999 SHADOW OF OLIVIA •WRITTEN BY JENNIFER HAYES •COMMISSIONED FOR THE OPENING OF THE MCCRAY THEATRE
2004 TRELAWNEY OF THE WELLS
2012 AS YOU LIKE IT •INAUGURAL PRODUCTION AT THE VINEYARD THEATRE
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ACTOR DIRECTOR SCREENWRITER
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iev Shreiber ’85, a Tony-award winning actor and accomplished director and screenwriter, never thought of himself as much of an actor during his days at Friends. He said he had to be coaxed into trying out for plays and recalls Friends drama teacher Laura Eliasoph gently encouraging and somehow convincing him to try out for plays during his senior year. “I was nervous about the whole thing,” said Liev. After an ambivalent experience in the musical Spoon River Anthology, Liev played the clumsy character of Nick Bottom in the School’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream before graduation. It was in this role—in which his character is famously known for getting his head transformed into that of an ass—that he cast aside his reservations about the theatre and turned his nerves into vitality onstage. “I liked the energy that I got from the audience. I liked the terror that I felt being in front of people,” he remembers. Even in the classroom, Liev said he thrived on anxiety and volunteered to read poetry and prose aloud. “I was the kid who always raised his hand to read and embarrass himself.” Liev said his time at Friends allowed him to discover and nurture his unique capabilities. He remembers Friends as “the right place for someone like me who really had very few things I was good at other than this one very particular thing that I managed to find here.” He attributes this to the relationship of
Liev Shreiber '85 (center, standing) as Nick Bottom in the 1985 Friends production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. bottom Michelle Browne '85 preps Liev for a production of The Madwoman of Chaillot. top
I was the kid who always raised his hand to read and embarrass himself. trust and respect between faculty and students. Coming from a public school of 6,000 students, he was shocked to find that students were allowed to roam free without supervision, and even smoke in the designated “Smoker’s Alley.” “You felt like they were going to respect all aspects of your personality, whether they were socially acceptable or not,” he recalled. “They would deal with them if they weren't socially acceptable, but they were going to accept them.” Although he was new to acting, his affinity for Shakespeare started at a young age. A Midsummer Night’s Dream proved to be the perfect bridge between his budding passion for performance and his love of language. At his mother’s encouragement, he began reading Shakespeare at a young age—ten years old or so. Initially, he took a liking to the plays for their air of Renaissance magic, but as he kept reading, he began to discover the musical potentials in language. “Normally you would say that somebody was musical, but I wasn’t really musical. My mother tried to get me to play piano, she tried to get me to play violin and I didn’t have the discipline to stick to them,” he recalls.
Liev went on to pursue acting at Hampshire College, Yale School of Drama and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. After years of academic training, he started to get supporting roles in major motion pictures such as the Scream (1996) trilogy, The Hurricane (1999), Hamlet (2000), The Manchurian Candidate (2004) and The Omen (2006), with fellow Friends alumna actor Julia Stiles ’99. More recently, he has starred in The Painted Veil (2006), Love in the Time of Cholera (2007), Defiance (2008), and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). He still loves the thrill of a live audience and continues to act on stage. He won a Tony for his role in Glengarry Glen Ross (2005), and was nominated for Talk Radio (2007) and A View for a Bridge (2010). He also directed Everything is Illuminated (2005), which he adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel of the same name. Despite his dizzying schedule set amid the chaotic, boisterous world of entertainment, Liev finds that his enduring connection to silence is a constant source of refuge and inspiration. Silence and stillness are essential to centering himself and figuring out his relationship to the character he is playing, along with his relationship to the audience.
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P L AY W R I G H T
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ozens and dozens of times a year, the Broadway musical Pippin is performed throughout America on stages in high school auditoriums, gymnasiums, elk lodges, YMCA’s, community recreation centers and outdoor theatres. The musical about a young prince on his search for meaning and significance hit Broadway in 1972 and is no doubt one of the most popular musicals to perform in the country, even today. But, there was one production of the play at the Fifteenth Street Meetinghouse in 1987 that was special. Roger Hirson ’43, the musical’s playwright, was in attendance, sitting unnoticed, unannounced on a bench in the back of the Meetinghouse during a Friends Seminary production of his play. “It was disappointing!” Roger recalled half-jokingly during a recent interview in New York City. “But, I’ve seen it so many times that it has made me a very hard critic. It was also the Meetinghouse—it did not provide the best space for the production.” Furthermore, Roger admitted that he had set his expectations very high for a performance of his creation in the very space that he spent so much time in as a student—a space that was so instrumental in shaping him as a person. “The silence of the Meetinghouse,” Roger said, “I have felt it throughout my life. I can be alone and I can be quiet. This stillness and peace is very helpful in my writing.” Roger estimated that he has worked as a dramatist or screenwriter on more than one hundred projects, which include musicals, plays, movies, and television series. Theatre, however, has always been his true love, he said.
John Rubinstein and Jill Clayburgh in the 1972 original Broadway production of Pippin, directed by Bob Fosse. Photo © Martha Swope.
Roger was also on the staff of The Stove, the School’s literary magazine at the time, and he recalled Rowse Wilcox and his other teachers encouraging him as a writer. Following graduation from Friends, Roger briefly attended Yale University before enlisting in the Army. After the war, Roger returned to Yale where he honed his skills as a storyteller and writer through a writing class led by Professor Richard Sewall. He was writing at least 500 words a day, everyday for that class, he said. After graduating from Yale, he worked as a newspaper reporter on Long Island. He later worked extensively as a writer for original television anthology series starting with The Philco Television Playhouse in 1947. Other early television projects included work on the Armstrong Circle Theatre, Playhouse 90, and The Alcoa Hour. Roger has also worked as the writer of many television movies,
"I drew on a lot of myself for the character of Pippin. Pippin is a Friends kid." His exposure to the industry of stage and screen started both at Friends and on the streets of New York City. Roger said he saw a lot of second acts of theatre performances through a technique called “backing in to shows.” Growing up on Washington Square, Roger said he would join the intermission crowds outside of nearby theatres and walk with them as they re-entered the theatre for the second act. At School, he recalled Mrs. Winterbottom chasing him and other boys around to join choir practices and other School productions. He remembered playing one of the wise men in the School’s annual Christmas pageant, and he remembered being part of a play about the founding of Friends during the School’s 150th anniversary celebration in 1936.
mini-series, and film adaptations, including A Christmas Carol (starring George C. Scott), The Old Man and the Sea, The Ted Kennedy Jr. Story, and A Woman Named Jackie. “I always felt like a worker, not an artist,” he said. “I always tried to just make a living.” Today, Roger is working on three theatre projects, and Pippin is in the works of being revived on Broadway in 2013. “I would like to do one more show before I die,” he said with a big grin. Another production of Pippin would be a celebration of his life’s work. “Spending ages 5 through 17 at Friends made me who I am,” Roger said. “And, I drew on a lot of myself for the character of Pippin. Pippin is a Friends kid.”
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SARAH HA LL E Y
Finn '8 2
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rom her days on the Meetinghouse stage to Hollywood film sets, Sarah Halley Finn ’82 has always found creative expression to be central to her life.
After graduating from Yale with degrees in both theatre and history and with the drive to become an actor, she began working for a multidisciplinary theatre company in New York where actors were taught everything from running the lighting board to producing. Inspired to expand her horizons, Sarah moved to Los Angeles and began to direct while continuing to pursue acting in films such as Alexa (1989). After meeting the right people, she says, she ultimately got pulled into casting because
“Students finally got the nature of the meeting in the real Quaker sense,” she says. “Everybody was standing up; people were weeping; people were talking about the meaning of art and the meaning of life. The tragedy was something that the whole school shared together, and deeply, because we had meeting as a form of expression.” Sarah refers to her high school self as a bit of on overachiever. But when thinking about her personal definition of success, “The first word that comes to mind is balance,” she says. “I have three young children and a twenty-year marriage, so to have the opportunity for creative fulfillment but also a fulfillment in my personal life has been ideal for my success.”
"We had meeting as a form of expression." it’s acting, producing, and directing all-in-one. Now, she’s a fourtime nominee and one-time winner of the Casting Society of America Award. Sarah’s creative roots were planted during her years at Friends, where she was heavily involved in the music department and with drama productions. Her proudest theatrical moments include starring as Maria in The Sound of Music (1981), and playing Viola opposite Kyra Sedgwick ’83 in a musical version of Twelfth Night (1981). Both plays were performed in the Meetinghouse, a place that continues to hold a special spot in her heart. Although the idea of silent meeting was familiar to Sarah because of her family’s background, she credits Friends’ practice of “bringing people together in a consistent way” for providing her with a sense of support that encouraged her to attend Yale, and to continue to aim high throughout her life. Memories of Sarah’s years in the Meetinghouse remain especially potent. She recalls an assignment for English class where students had to pick a place in the city that they felt transported them back in time. Many chose The Dakota apartment building on 72nd Street and Central Park West. Coincidentally, John Lennon was assassinated in the lobby of the landmark the students had chosen on the very same week the project was assigned. Many students had even seen Mark David Chapman wandering around. Sarah describes the Meeting for Worship after the shooting as one of the most profound experiences of her life.
Some of Sarah’s greatest accomplishments are charted in the upcoming documentary, Casting By. The film details the history of casting through its fifty years as an official profession, exploring the many roles of the casting director and their importance to a movie’s success. “The film is going to be a great thing for the profession,” said Sarah. “It leads the audience to question why casting directors cannot be nominated for Oscars or receive more major awards.” Sarah notes that she feels personally attached to the documentary because it follows the story of filming Crash (2004), a project that she worked on for two years without knowing if it was ever going to get released. More certain, however, are the upcoming releases of Iron Man 3, Captain America 2(a continuation of Sarah’s work with the screen adaptations of Marvel comics), and her first novel. She has projects in the works with Tony and Academy Award-winning playwright and filmmaker Martin McDonagh. And because her endeavors during her time at Friends remain a big part of her, she’s looking to return to her roots and begin casting for the stage.
Ali Weiss ’11 is currently in her freshman year at Chapman University, majoring in Theatre with a minor in Broadcast Journalism. She will be appearing as Donna in Chapman's upcoming production of Check, Please: Take 2 at the end of April. Next year, Ali will write for Chapman's newspaper, The Panther, and anchor for the Chapman News Station, which broadcasts to all of Orange County.
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by J O H N G A L AY D A
he Fifteenth Street Meetinghouse is a very memorable space for actor Amanda Peet ’90. Within its walls, she sat in silence as a student. On its makeshift stages, she performed in school plays and musicals. Down its center aisle, she walked with a diploma in-hand out the Meetinghouse doors and into the world beyond 16th Street. And then, sixteen years later, she returned to walk back down that same aisle during her wedding ceremony. “The Meetinghouse was always really special to me,” she said. “Walking down the aisle was very poignant, and surreal. My husband was waiting for me at the spot in the Meetinghouse where I graduated from eighth grade.” While she played the leading role of “Sandy” in the musical Grease under the direction of teacher Laura Eliasoph, Amanda really shined on the playing fields under coach Debbie Feretti in basketball and soccer. She even played on the boys’ junior varsity soccer team with Susie Matthews ’90. As a very busy student athlete, Amanda cherished her time in the Meetinghouse as it gave her focus and perspective. “Sitting in silence in a big group is very calming, and I think that’s partly because it’s sort of humbling—the feeling that
Amanda and her husband, screenwriter David Beniof, at their 2006 wedding in the Meetinghouse.
Love, Syriana, 2012, and Please Give. This summer she starts filming on Identity Theft, opposite Jason Bateman. Off-screen (and when she’s not busy raising her two children) Amanda tends to her other passion—advocating for childhood vaccination. She is the spokesperson for Every Child By Two (www.ecbt.org), an organization that fosters a systematic way to immunize all of America’s children by age two. “When I talk about vaccine safety, I think about how we’ve really lost that sense of being neighborly, which I felt at Friends,”
"Cliques will always exist, and popularity is an issue for everyone, but the message was to fight against it, and to view difference as an asset." the silence of the group trumps whatever you’ve got going on personally. I like the idea that you have to respect the silence, and sort of become part of it.” Amanda also said she valued the overall school atmosphere and culture. “We called our teachers by their first names. We didn’t have proms. The whole idea of being left out, or of being a wallflower or prom queen and prom king is antithetical to the school’s philosophy,” she said. " Cliques will always exist, and popularity is an issue for everyone, but the message was to fight against it, and to view difference as an asset." After graduating Friends, Amanda attended Columbia College where she majored in American history. Her junior year, she began studying with renowned drama teacher Uta Hagen. Amanda began her career in television commercials, and progressed to small roles on television, before landing The Whole Nine Yards in 1999 which brought her to a much wider recognition. She was named one of People’s "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" the same year. She has also showcased her talents in such feature films as Something's Gotta Give, A Lot Like
Amanda said. “People say, ‘Well, my kid isn’t going to die, my kid is two.’ Guess what? It’s not just about your kid. It’s about the 3-week-old infant who is your neighbor. That newborn infant is not safe if you don’t vaccinate your child.” ECBT has recently partnered with the United Nations Foundation for the launch of a new campaign called Shot@Life (email@example.com). The campaign seeks to engage moms across the country to champion vaccines as the most cost-effective way to save children’s lives in developing countries where one child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that could be prevented with a vaccine. During her time at Friends, Amanda recalls that community service was deeply-rooted in the identity of the School—so much so that she felt that she was always experiencing it all around her. She remembers leaving basketball practice and seeing the cots set-up in the gymnasium for the homeless shelter—an image that has left an everlasting impression on her. “Those are probably my most vivid memories,” Amanda said. “The older I get, the more I cherish my time at Friends.” s pr ing 20 1 2 | 2 4
class notes know your reps! cs
alumni council member
collects Class Notes- send your news to this rep!
fundraises for the Annual Fund
provides strategic direction for alumni program
volunteer today Please contact Katherine Farrell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.979.5035 ext 106.
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KNOW YOUR REPS
1935 Richard Hanau CA CS
1938 Alexander Watson CS
1939 Barbara Valentine Hertz CA
1941 Barbara Kugel Herne CS J. Richard Hunter CS
1942 Margaret Dorkey McCormick CA Richard Scully CA CS
1943 Eugenie Grey Laidler CS
1944 Hope Franz Ligori CA CS
1945 Marion Hausner Pauck CS
Marion Hausner Pauck writes, “I shall deliver two lectures in the theological division of the University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, on June 6, 2012. And several days later I shall deliver the same lectures at the Roman Catholic Ecumenical Institute in Salzburg, Austria. I usually have large audiences. My subject will be “Paul Tillich, Friend and Colleague of the Jews.” Tillich, a Protestant, had Jewish friends throughout his life. In Europe he was at the center of their intellectual and political life. And in America he helped Jewish refugees find jobs. I will remain in Germany after the lectures, visiting in-laws, and ultimately visiting a close college classmate in Paris and in Provence. I shall be away for June, July, and probably part of August.”
1946 Stuart Robinson CS
STA G E
MARION CLEVELAND COHEN '43 In Tamworth, NH, Marion Cleveland Cohen '43 is keeping the tradition of summer stock theatre alive through her work as an honorary board member at the Barnstormers Theatre which was founded by her father, Francis Cleveland. As a young girl, Marion would travel from town to town with her father's theatre troupe. Each week they put on a different show in tents, barns, or whatever they could find until 1931, when the troupe made a home in an old general store they converted into a professional theatre. Like her father, Marion loved to act and sing. At Friends one year, she took the stage in the annual Christmas pageant, starring as the Virgin Mary, alongside Roger Hirson '43 as a Wise Man (see page 21 for a feature on Roger.) After a long winding road from Friends, followed by many years as a travel agent in Italy and then Baltimore, Marion has found herself back in her parents' old farmhouse. She carries forth her father's vision with warmth and vigor, and is pleased to see that the Barnstormers ambitiously carries on as the only residential theatre in the country still producing a different show each week, just like they did when she was a young girl. www.barnstormerstheatre.org
1947 Jean Taylor Kroeber CS
1948 Anne Codding Tonachel CS
1949 Jean Allen McCardell CS
1950 Henri Caldwell CS
1951 Stephen Chinlund AC CS
As reported by Steve Chinlund: Dick Wedeen continues his brilliant work as a photographer. His latest photos are from his trip to Mali. He has made it
into a charming calendar. Note especially the little girl in a bucket for December! Write and ask for a copy! Christian Wolff continues his amazing music career with more CDs. And he was featured in the farewell program of dance and music by Merce Cunningham’s company. It was performed for the very last time on December 31, 2011. Classmates may remember his early work on the “prepared piano.” Christian now tours the world conducting and playing his music, honored everywhere by “New Music” groups of all kinds. I, Steve Chinlund, continue work on my play about two 70-year-old men falling in love with a 70-year-old woman. It has helped me think about my own old age and the increasing reality of the anticipation of death. There is a positive side to all that! I had another reading in March. Also, I had another show of my watercolors. Finally, I have had a good time leading a course titled “Happy Surprises in Later Life” at the Open Center, 22 East 30th Street. The fourth cycle will be in the fall. It has been an inspiration for me.
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Edes Powell Gilbert '49 enjoyed a lunch with fellow alumnae Jeanne Seebe Manser '52 and Debbie White Andersen '52 in Florida this March.
1952 Martha Manheim Green RC
1953 Nora Palen Roberts CA CS Joan Parker Wofford CA
1954 Constance Black Engle CS Judith Owen Bates Lopez CS
1955 Jackson Bryer CA CS Gail Richards Tirana CS
As reported by Gail Richards Tirana: Paul Allersmeyer spent three weeks on a Semester at Sea cruise up the Amazon. Anne Carriere is reading a lot about the Middle East and is about to start Art Goldschmidt’s textbook. JohnDePauw is doing therapy at the University of Maryland for aphasia. George French writes, “I have a new hip. Soon I will qualify as the bionic man. Only problem now is airport security. Happy Days." Ellen Friendly Simon writes, “My foray into English Country Dance has ended after a six-month trial. Just too mental for my shrunken brain. Now thinking of joining the Ethical Culture Society here in White Plains. I’ve gone to their meetings a few times and am quite impressed. The members bear the closest resemblance to my happy days at Friends as I’ve found since graduation. They have interesting discussion groups, speakers, Ladies Night
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Out, book clubs, etc., so there are many opportunities to widen my social contacts which I feel have diminished to an uncomfortable level. It would be a comfort to be part of a concerned and socially active community in these despairing times.” Arthur Goldschmidt writes, “Louise and I have sold our house and moved less than a mile to a Quaker-managed continuing care retirement community called Foxdale. Our apartment has a great view of Mount Nittany (in case you ever wondered why Penn State sports teams are called Nittany Lions; and, yes, I did write an article on memories of Joe Paterno)." Anthony Manheim writes, “Little change, still (52 years) renting an apartment in Brooklyn Heights. Still maintaining a 335-year old farmhouse, as well as a 22-year-old sloop, but have all but abandoned the ambition of sailing her across the Atlantic (a cruise to Bermuda, another to BVI & Gaudeloupe 5+ years ago may have to suffice). But news: a grandson, Jamison Arthur Scott, born to my daughter, Sarah Duart, in early November—right on his due date (surely not my genes!)—joining his older sisters, Caroline Simone, now 5, and 2½-year-old Elizabeth Anastasia (she has a Ukranian great-great-grandmother on her father’s side). Still happily connected after 15+ years to Elaine Serlin Reiss, whom many of you will remember from our last class reunion brunch which she hosted in Peter Schrag’s absence. Brooklyn Bridge ‘Park’ (no park, but great new public space) has been my major “public benefit” activity. Stephen Mittenthal writes, “You got me roused from my septuagenarian splendor and will share accordingly. All is well in Arizona (the strangest place on earth). We get east to Bethesda, Maryland, regularly to see granddaughters Sydney (almost 4) and twins Alexandra and Samantha (2 on April Fools Day, of all ironies). We plan to take an Adriatic cruise in May and spend some time in Venice before it sinks altogether. Gail Richards Tirana remarks, “A name in FS Class Notes can yield surprises: A Washington Square sandbox playmate saw my name, emailed, and we filled in all the decades. Amazing. So keep writing.”
David Wartels CS Wendy Weil CS
1958 Nicholas Etcheverry CS Thomas Munnell CS
1959 Frederic Buse CA Helen Davis Chaitman CS
1960 Elizabeth Peale Allen AC Catherine Munnell-Smith CA Elizabeth Lyons Stone CA CS Derek Van Hoorn CS
1961 Barbara Hertz Burr CS
1962 Jean Seligmann CS
1963 David Lowry CS Stephanie Van Hoorn CA
Melanie Buse Bussel retired after 30 years in the publishing business and now devotes her time and considerable energy to helping former prisoners of war. She is Chapter Commander of the Hudson Valley Chapter AXPOW, the largest in New York State. She lives with her husband in
1956 Peter Filene CS
1957 Stephen G. Rostand CA John Schwartz CS
Melanie Buse Bussel '63 with her rescue dog, Evangeline
Mohegan Lake, NY, along with a Katrinarescued Rottweiler named (of course) Evangeline. Her husband, Norm, was a WWII prisoner of war and has written a memoir, published by Pegasus Books, entitled, My Private War: Liberated Body, Captive Mind. In her spare time, she is the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Choir soprano soloist, and sings in the soprano section for the Taghkanic Chorale, a 45-voice community chorus. In the spring of 2004, she and her husband were accredited as AXPOW National Service Officers. They can be found most Wednesdays at the VA Hospital in Montrose in the NSO office helping veterans file claims for serviceconnected disability compensation.
1964 Barbara Carey CS Valentine Hertz Kass CA
1965 Scott Garren CS
1966 Anne Shapero Adler CS
1967 Pierre Lehu CS RC
As reported by Pierre Lehu: Another mini-reunion occurred with Leslie Rahl and her husband, Andrew, visiting Susan Taylor Martin and husband Jim. The Rahls just bought a beach condo in Naples not far from where Susan lives, in a house with a grapefruit tree in the front yard, samples of which Leslie brought home. Leslie has a one-year-old grandson and Susan has a 12-year-old granddaughter whom they see often. Joanna Redfield Vaugh reports, “Sept. 16, my daughter Marina Peterson became a mom and I became a grandma. The wonderful baby boy is Cassius Hue Walker! They live in Athens, Ohio. On Dec. 11, my son Jesse Peterson married Mia Doi Todd in Los Angeles. I retired from teaching (after 28 1/2 years) and am enjoying retirement— yoga classes, Friends Meeting committee work, gardening, a writing class and a whole lotta housecleaning! All best wishes to each and all.” Emily Kaufman Saur Gallo
just lost her sister, Laura Kaufman ’63 (see page 42 for a full tribute). Our condolences go out to her. Emily is teaching writing to the homeless and they have published a magazine called “The Derelict Voice.” Ken Dodge and Maureen Moo-Dodge visited the highs and lows of Ecuador, the mountains and the Galapagos in March. In May they’re joining the Lehus for a trip to Portugal and Spain. And my son has just made me a grandfather while my daughter just got engaged. Busy times.
1968 Sandra Baum CA Penny Craven CS Barbara Kates-Garnick CA
1969 Michael Beckerman CS Daniel Conrad CS
Compiled by Daniel Conrad: Charlie Rose writes he is “a grandfather now, truck mechanic for 30 years, back to school at age 59, now a paralegal in a Lancaster, PA law firm, love the Lord, love my family, fond memories of Friends, wish you all the best.” Frank Weiss writes, “I am currently an animation timing director on a new season of Curious George. I have worked on SpongeBob SquarePants, Winnie the Pooh, Duckman, Hey Arnold!, Pinky and the Brain, and Phineas and Farb in the 20plus years since I moved to Los Angeles. I met my wife at a swing dance class. It was free and I had always wanted to learn how to dance. She was there because she was working on a sequence of The Simpsons that involved dancing and wanted to see it up close. My wife has become a certified ballroom dance instructor. As well as aerobics, she teaches dance at our local YMCA. Needing a partner, she volunteered me. She says I dance well and I’m a good teacher. My daughter is nine-going-on-ten and is in the fourth grade. I went to the Friends get-together a couple of weeks ago. The only person I knew was Floyd Katske. We had a pleasant conversation and exchanged email addresses.” Robert Fisher writes that he has “been happily working as an editor for the past 15 years at Fodor’s Travel, the guide-book division of Random House. I have mostly edited their European all-color guidebooks, from Fodor’s France to Fodor’s Greek Islands, and have not taken a real vacation for many years, thanks to all the working press-trips I go on (the last one was an Impressionism tour of Normandy). After umpteen trips to southern Italy, I wrote and photographed a book that was published in 2011, Close to
Paradise: The Gardens of Naples, Capri and the Amalfi Coast (Frances Lincoln, $45), a lavish tribute to some of the most gigglingly gorgeous places in the world. The book (the London Independent called it “ridiculously wonderful”) also came out in Italian and German editions. I also edited Fodor’s Amalfi Coast guide and that has a lot of wit and warmth in it, as Dan can attest, as he used it when he traveled to Italy in 2009. If I can’t live in Europe, working at Fodor’s is the next best thing!”
1970 Belinda Broido CS
1971 Mindy Fischer CS Laurence Seegers CS Laura Ward CS Richard White CA
Kate Johns Shaw writes that her husband Jason is now a partner at Whiteman Osterman and Hanna, a law firm in Albany, NY and her architecture firm, Kate Johns, AIA, continues to grow in Chatham, NY.
1972 Cynthia Fissel CA RC Derrick Gibbs RC Lynda Godkin RC Jay Goldman CA RC Emily Medine CS Pamela Perkins CS RC
1973 Barbara Michelson CS Lisa Ernst Mierop CS
Alison Dale writes, “Am pleased to report that Michael and I both really enjoyed the Friends cocktail reception last Thursday in West Hollywood at a very happening place with gorgeous views. Predictably, Lloyd Korn and I were the only reps from the class of ’73. But there were many interesting and accomplished alums there to pick up the slack. I knew one other person, Floyd Katske ’68, who lived in my building on 86th St. When I was in seventh grade, he was a senior, which I’m sure was a bigger deal to me at the time than to him. We both got a big kick out of seeing each other again. Got to talk to principal Bo Lauder who I’m crazy about and seems to have done much to preserve the essence of Friends while advancing it’s educational offerings. Did you know you can soon study Mandarin at Friends?” The following is reported by Barbara Michelson: In s pr ing 20 1 2 | 2 8
Lloyd Korn '73, Alison Dale '73 and Floyd Katske '68 at the Los Angeles Alumni gathering on February 2
the last three years, I have moved to NH, learned something about farming, learned to weave, and become a grandmother of three. Phoebe married Russ Berger a year ago this past July. They just had a little boy, Avery Cole in January. Phoebe is a pediatric nurse practitioner and Russ is an ER doc. I found this most convenient when I broke my arm walking their dogs while "helping" with the new baby. Sarah and companion, Craig Thompson, have two kids, Callan, age 21 months and Fiona, age three months. Sarah, Craig, Callan, and livestock moved near us in NH in October. They are farming and Sarah cooks food they raise and they put on farm events. I’m her "consultant." I can’t believe that in work and in grandparenting I get to have all the fun while others shoulder the responsibilities. My husband Jim helps out a bit with farm work and childcare. He is Callan’s favorite person in the universe. Jim is in Latin jazz and bebop ensembles, plays in jam sessions and otherwise has his saxophone going as much as possible. My daughter Claude has been stashed in W. Helena, Arkansas for two years teaching high school for Teach for America. She’ll be in NYC getting her MSW at Columbia come fall. I learned from Carol Pomerance Cataldo that Bill Elliott died recently. For his last years he lived in the same town as she did (Concord, MA). Carol and Bill visited me about a year ago when he was in remission. I was worried in anticipation of the visit that anything I could say after years of not seeing Bill would seem shallow in view of what he had been facing. He was wonderful to be with as ever, interested and enthusiastic about absolutely everything in my life and his own. We were really privileged to be taught by such a vibrant, interesting and affectionate man. (See page 43 for a full tribute.) Prospecting for news has been rewarding as I have heard from some fairly long lost class mates. David Menken is living in Bedford, NY, married for 22 years to Julie Stern. His son Jacob is a senior at UVM, and daughter Emily is a freshman at Johns Hopkins. He does IT law at a firm in White Plains, and for fun he is a volunteer firefighter and EMT in his local fire department. Also living
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in Bedford, NY is Rick Marx, who plays sax in Latin Jazz and Bebop bands, such as the Katonah Studio Jazz Band. He continues to write for the local paper, the Record-Review (www.record-review.com). Dan Greenbaum writes, “My daughter is in her junior year at Horace Mann. One of her classmates is Aimee Telsey’s daughter, Emma. The college push has begun. I continue to run my own real estate business. In the last year I have taken karate and samurai sword classes. Hopefully before tax time I will have closed on my new apartment.” Webb Keane writes, “So my update is this: I’m a professor of cultural and linguistic anthropology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where now and then I get together with Fred Conrad, who’s a cognitive scientist here. My research base is Southeast Asia; I have written a few books, enjoy teaching, and in my rare spare moments like walking, swimming, cooking, listening to music, and looking at art. My wife is a professor of English, and my daughter is getting ready to enter high school. I’d say more about my fabulous daughter but it will surely be out of date by the time anyone sees this. Ann Arbor is a great place, but a significant piece of me still dwells in lower Manhattan.” Lisa Ernest Mierop’s daughter Emma will be going to Parsons in the fall. Dan Schoonover writes, “Well, since I finally have some news, I’ll share! I got married last July 2nd to Marjorie Dugan, a nurse at Columbia Greene Community Hospice. We were married in Westport, on Lake Champlain, and have since bought a house together at 63 Novak Rd., Valatie, NY 12184 (in case anyone wants to know!). Marjorie has three children from a previous marriage, Anthony at R.I.T., Kathleen at Suny-Albany, and Joe, still in high school, while my son Jack graduates Bard this spring. On a sadder and more personal note, my mother Jean passed away last April at age 90, at her home on Stuyvesant Street (my father having predeceased her in 1993). Jim ’75 and I have both been mourning her and getting the old family home ready to be sold—a daunting and poignant task. You will be happy to know however that I have custody of all the old 16mm films (all 2,300 pounds of them), which I’ve been showing at the Kinderhook Library for many years. So the tradition continues! Carol Pomerance Cataldo writes, “I’m rushing as I’m going to my annual mosaic conference at before the crack of dawn tomorrow. My kids are good…Simon is in his first year of law school at UVA, liking it. He’s busy with that as well as the Harlem lacrosse program he started 2 years ago. So far this year he’s gotten 4 middle school kids full scholarships to boarding prep-type high schools. Eva lives in NYC and is finishing the Urban Zen certificate program in alternative health care. She has internships
at local hospitals and spent a week in Haiti ministering to health care providers and children. Anna goes to Oberlin and is spending a semester in Philadelphia doing internships and taking classes. Jim is in what will be his final year teaching graduate accounting classes at Suffolk U and is looking forward to finding work and doing research in public policy. I continue to work in a local tile store, make mosaics on commission and volunteer using my social work skills at a non-profit program in Gloucester, MA. I am training for a half marathon in May and a bike trip in Europe next fall.”
1974 Kenneth S. Grossman CS Ivy Baer Sherman CS
As reported by Ivy Baer Sherman: Class of 1974 News! I’ve been remiss in my class representative duties, failing, rather miserably, to report news since we last gathered together for reunion back in May 2009. But here’s to the present… I open with the exceedingly sad news that Bill Elliott passed in February. Bill made every effort, every year, to attend reunion and spend time with our class. I remember him as he stood in our classrooms— a Renaissance man in jeans, often T-shirted and with his distinguishing long reddish hair—guiding us through Supreme Court history; or 11th grade chemistry; or Upper School in general. He will be remembered as an inspiring, kind, loyal and thoughtful (in the fullest sense) teacher and friend. Jonathan Turkle draws a keen, moving portrait of Bill: “As a non-Quaker in a in a Quaker school, Bill Elliott seemed to represent some of the best qualities of what a Quaker School should represent. He was smart and giving, and treated all his students with equal respect. Bill always seemed to have had time to share and give of himself. His generosity and friendship were great influences on me and the person I grew into over the years. I feel very fortunate in that I was able to share some of that gratitude with him in a few brief correspondences since he came to our last reunion.” From Joe Church: “…a dear and inspiring man. The present could use more Bill Elliotts.” A memorial in Concord, MA is being planned at the time of this writing. Peter Jenkins suggests that we try to meet during Reunion Weekend (May 19th) at the Old Town (or similar establishment) for “a toast or two to Bill’s memory.” Let’s try to make this happen. See page 43 for a full tribute. In other news from Peter Jenkins: “This past December, I ‘had’ a grand-daughter birthed to me (not yet used to this grandparent-speak; I can take ownership of it all but really do not have to exert much effort in the least!).
Perhaps this is the first grand-baby for the class? My daughter Kate and her partner Zach welcomed Maya. Joe Church writes, “My daughter Susannah Jane Church ’12 will be attending Tufts next year (go Susie!). I will finance it by continuing to plug away on Broadway. I finished two years as Associate Conductor at In The Heights in January 2011; after a year of composing and writing a book about music direction I returned to the performing biz by subbing at Book of Mormon and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. I am presently conducting for Sister Act, where I will remain steadily until it closes (hopefully a long time from now). Had a nice reunion a month ago with classmate Zack Davis and friend David Menken '73 and our Stuyvesant buddy Jon Bauer. Laney McHarry is “now ensconced in Rockville, MD. Still adjusting to suburban living after almost 8 years here, whew! Time does fly. Luckily I do get up to the City, not as regularly as I would like, but often enough. But having said that, I am enjoying life with my partner, Kate. After being together 15 years, we are closely monitoring the Maryland marriage bill. Thank goodness for a liberal governor! I am working full time at Montgomery Hospice and have a part time private psychotherapy practice. For down time, I enjoy walking the dog, visiting out-of-state friends, and doing the occasional vacation. The days of volleyball, tennis, softball, and whatever else I was involved with at Friends are over, sigh. But am still enjoying singing in the church choir, thanks to Eugene Davis, that incredible choral teacher we had. And at times, going to the theatre which is not too shabby down here. That’s all for now. Vote early, often, and in November, for Obama!” Colorado-based Jonathan Turkle writes: “I am just about to depart to Little Rock, AR from my home in Boulder for my second half marathon race in as many years. I have been training hard in the gym and on the road for this event, and have been enjoying the Boulder lifestyle complete with some bi-weekly boot camp training sessions doing wheel barrow races up stadium steps, flipping tractor tires and running up stairs giving piggy back rides. Take that Cliff Lauder! —may he rest in peace. I seem to recall bringing up the rear with the admirable Jonathan Kaufman during our phys-ed runs around Stuyvesant Park. On a more professional note, my company Envisiontel is in the on-line content development business and has recently launched a new software as a service product we are very excited about. Besides enjoying the thrills of living and skiing in Colorado, I try to spend as much time as I can with my good friend Josh Schwartz who lives in Frisco, CO. He and I have spent a number of years enjoying downhill and back country skiing together. Larry Parker visits about once a year and we have enjoyed retelling a number of stories about
our times at Friends Seminary. I continue to volunteer for Audio Information Network for Colorado. I would welcome anyone from our class should they find themselves out in this direction. Oddly enough, I know Nina Webb’s brother, Robert Webb ’77, lives and works in Boulder, but I have never run into him—at least to my knowledge. As for me, Ivy Baer Sherman, I launched Vintage Magazine (www.vintagezine. com) in November 2009. Inspired by Fleur Cowles’ legendary Flair (published 1950– 51), Vintage, a twice-annual publication, is a celebration of history, design, culture and the creative possibilities of print. I am proud to say that it is sold in fine book shops and museum stores throughout the United States and abroad, and has won several top industry awards for design and editorial, and has been deemed “the masterpiece of magazines” by the Wall Street Journal’s Charlotte Druckman. Please keep the Friends Seminary alumni office and/or me apprised of any changes to your email or snail mail addresses. ‘Til next we meet, Ivy.
1975 Francesca Bruno CS Diane Gordon CA Cella Irvine CS
1976 Scott Sklar CA Suzanne Telsey CS William Webb CS
As reported by Susan Telsey: Sonia Didriksson (née Marjorie Mawby) writes: “Jon and I live in Norwood, MA— it’s about 30 minutes south of Boston, but I work at Suffolk University, right near the State House, in Boston. I’m a reference librarian, and I’ve been at Suffolk for 11 years. Suffolk is known primarily for its law school, which has its own library. Our library serves the other parts of the University—the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Sawyer Business School. It’s too long a story for now to say how I meandered from a major in German Literature and physical education to becoming a reference librarian (with lengthy stops in Germany, Iceland, and Colorado), but I’m very glad I did it. My job is a lot of fun. I love the students, and I’m impatiently looking forward to their return next week.”
1977 Deirdre Murphy Bader CA Alvin Mack AC RC Valerie Ramos-Ford CA RC
1978 Andrew Owen CA Barclay Palmer CA Antonia Torres-Ramos CS
Barclay Palmer has launched a new programming line-up for Reuters (www. reuters.com/reuters-tv) and for YouTube (www.youtube.com/reuterstv), part of Google’s $200-million investment into online programming.
1979 Darcy V. Flanders CS Victoria Wightman Pierce CS
1980 Karen Gross Fittinghoff CA CS Michael Golden CS Sarah Edmunds Goodwin CS Steven Lowen CA
1981 Rachel Dorin Jones CS
As reported by Rachel Dorin Jones: Well here I am, Dr. Rachel Jones, taking over as your new Class of ’81 representative. Over the last 30 years I have made my way through veterinary school and have been in small animal practice for 12 years now. My family and I have settled for the most part in the Los Angeles area, where I own a full service integrative medical & surgical veterinary practice (www.marinavet.com). I have been married to my husband Tony for 11 years now and we have a daughter named Jessica, who is now 11. My son Eric is now 19 and in college in Stockton, CA and wants to be a chiropractor. Mom is still in the city and I will be making my way back, as I just got my NY veterinary license and will be trying to become bicoastal. My latest venture is to open up a no-kill animal sanctuary for animals in need of fracture repair. Harriet Barovick is still living in NYC with her wife, Ericka. Harriet is a reporter for Time Magazine. Read one of her articles at www.time.com/time/nation/ article/0,8599,2080265,00.html. Ericka is the Director for Habitat for Humanity in NYC. They have eight-year-old twin boys named Max and Jakob. Paul Drazen is married and living in Shrewsbury, NJ and works in NJ and NYC. He has been a member of the International Labor Union of North America for the past 28 years and an international representative for them for 11. He enjoys photography, bird watching and gardening. Ruth Mayer (Cornell ’85) lives in Charlotte, NC with s pr ing 20 1 2 | 3 0
and her teenage boy has adapted nicely to school life. She has been focusing on her writing, publishing and a new venture since closing her business of 15 years. We wish her luck! Adina Sandman is living outside of Philadelphia. She works as a psychologist in her own private practice. She visits NYC on occasion but is quite content with her 2 cats and still loves the beach and traveling. Her idea to celebrate our 50th birthday year together in 2013 at our 32nd reunion is a great . Holly Sklar (Brown ’85) is married to Mike Berman and lives in the Los Angeles area. They have 7-year-old twins named Jacob and Samantha. Holly has been a story analyst at Warner Brothers Pictures for the last 10 years and her husband is a supervising producer at NBC.com. She has blogs (www.latebloomingmom.com, www.momsla. com) that you can follow, and also other mom-related sites. Theresa Butts is living in Titusville, Florida and working as an executive assistant to a lawyer at a hospital. She is also an aspiring screenwriter and is close to submitting her first screenplay based on a Latino family in El Barrio, USA. She can be found at 1770 Windover Oaks circle #28, Titusville, FL 32780. Please update Friends with what you are doing, it is simple, just email me. Anyone interested in planning an appearance at our 32nd reunion in May 2013 can celebrate their big 50th birthday. Make 50 the new 30 and celebrate at our Friends reunion in 2013! Good wishes to all!
4 1. Rachel Dorin Jones '81 with Phil Schwarz 2. Ruth Mayer '81 with her family 3. Paul Drazen '81 4. A sample of Paul's photography
her husband of 17 years, Bill, who is a psychologist. They have 2 girls who are active in sports, Sophia, 14, and Katherine, 10. Over the last 10 years Ruth has spent time working for Planned Parenthood and as a developmental writer for the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She currently works as a journalist (newspapers and woman’s magazines) and also does fundraising and advocacy work in the field of woman’s and reproductive health. Vanessa Cox Nishikubo is still in NYC and has been able to enjoy her two boys with her husband Toru. She has been fortunate enough to homeschool them both
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Lisa Hertz Apkon RC Elizabeth Baer CS RC Elizabeth Brownrigg RC Sarah Halley Finn CS Melanie Roth Gorelick RC Jin Lee AC CA RC Marc Rachman CA RC
1983 Jason Ablin CA Martha D. Ehrenfeld CS Keith A. Smith CS
1984 Suzanne Gottlieb Calleja CA CS Alexandra D. Levinsohn CS Rebecca Moore CS
1985 Linda G. Baer CS Nina J. Christopher CA Anne E. Kner CS
Rebecca Moore '84 and Suzanne Gottlieb Calleja '84 with their families in Miami in December 2011. Clockwise from bottom left: Rebecca's daughters, Virginia and Eleanor, Rebecca, Suzanne, Jose Calleja, James Saft, and Suzanne's son Carlos.
1986 Schuyler K. Allen-Kalb AC CA CS Rachel Shapiro Axinn CA Nathaniel Caldwell CS Lida Moore Musso CA Larissa Thomson CA
1987 Ellen Deutsch Diamond CS Robin Weiswasser Markus CS RC Leslie Werthamer Rottenberg CS RC Cassandra Dragt Stafford CA RC Paul Testa CA RC
1988 Cory Diamond CA Alexander Kriney CS Wyeth McAdam CS Jennifer Padgett Orser CA Alexandra Mairs Tart CA Susannah Friedman Vickers CA
1989 Bess Abrahams CS Jordan Barowitz AC CA Weston Konishi CA Amy Leshanski CA Joshua Wachs AC CA Indira Wiegand CS
1990 Michael Bedrick AC Daphne Dufresne CA Nicolo Marcellino CS Belkis Rodriguez Talarico CS
As reported by Belkis Rodriguez Talarico and Nico Marcellino: Hello Class of ’90. This issue of the magazine brings us news from a couple of folks we never read enough about. We are thrilled to learn that Michael Bedrick has returned to the Friends fold. Michael was asked to join the Friends Alumni Council by Jordan Barowitz '89 last year and has enjoyed getting involved again. He is impressed with the growth and direction Friends is taking under principal Bo Lauder and company. During his last visit he was lucky to run into John Byrne. Michael is an attorney and lives primarily in Greenwich Village. However, he also spends time on the fjords of North Dakota with his wife, feminist activist Jennifer Baumgardner, stepson Skuli (7), son Magnus (2) and an ancient feral cat. By the way Michael, did you happen to notice if John Byrne still carries a drumstick? Susie Matthews sends word from Rhode Island. She and her husband Jim bought a 35 foot wooden sailboat last year and look forward to spending some time this summer cruising with Jane (5) and Peter (3) around southern New England. Anyone visiting the Island is welcome aboard. Sounds great Susie. We just hope you have some Dramamine on board. Now news from the usual suspects. Maisha Yearwood is chillin’ in Harlem at the moment. She is writing a lot and is about to make a move to L.A. for a few months. She will be looking for work as a screenwriter. She will be in L.A. officially until about November but is pretty sure she will make sporadic visits to NYC. She will always travel for a party! And we know there will be a lot of partying this year because most of us will be turning the Big 4-0 this year. In the meantime, she will make sure to let us know when one of her movies or sitcoms comes out. Nicole Davis and her partner Colleen have been busy. As we announced in the last issue, their daughter Leila was born on Sept. 23rd. They have been getting to know her and trying to figure out how to function on two hours of sleep. However, she gets bigger, cuter and funnier every day, which is such a delight. They also recently decided to make the big move to Brooklyn and just found a place, so by the time this comes out they should be all settled into their new home. It’s busy, but exciting! Matthew Aulicino is enjoying his newly purchased house in L.A. with his fiancée Veronica. They plan to wed soon. We will keep you posted. Thanks to all of you who have graciously submitted your updates. We look forward to more updates in the next issue. Your class secretaries, Bel and Nico.
S TAG E
S CR E E N
GREG COHEN '86
At Friends in the 1980’s, there probably wasn’t anyone who knew the balcony of the Fifteenth Street Meetinghouse as well as Gregory Cohen. Greg, who was a lifer at Friends, spent most afternoons from seventh to twelfth grade up there either setting-up heavy (and at times scorching hot) spotlights or moving them around during play and musical rehearsals and performances. “With the questionable infrastructure (of the lighting apparatus), it’s a miracle no one died,” Greg joked. “I didn’t know anything about electricity and I wasn’t even handy. I was just looking for a way to be involved.” Greg recalls the anxiety of working on student productions that required up to 60 lighting changes throughout a performance. “It’s almost a performance in itself,” he said. “You’re creating something in the moment. It requires taking risks.” Following graduation from Oberlin College, Greg continued work in the theatrical world. He lit Saturday Night Fever in Argentina and Mexico City. New York off-Broadway credits include, Maybe Baby It’s You at St. Luke’s, Magic on Broadway at the Lambs Theater, Easy at Dance Theater Workshop, and The Hasty Heart at Ubu Rep. He did lighting for the Irish Repertory theater, Mickey Rooney’s caberet act, as well as 14 other productions. He designed the 1999 Fireside Christmas Show, Saturday Night, South Pacific and Little Shop of Horrors at the Weston Playhouse Aunt Dan and Lemon at the Dallas Theater Center. Today, Greg primarily works in corporate lighting design. He is the cofounder of Unlimited Visibility Lighting Design in New York City focusing on corporate theatre. Clients include Sun Microsystems, Coca-Cola, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Nissan to name just a few. He has also supervised the lighting installation for a number of large scale productions, including the 125th Anniversary Celebration of the Brooklyn Bridge in 2008 (pictured at top) and the Christmas tree lightings in Rockefeller Center for NBC television since 1998.
1991 Michael A. Martinez CA Nicholas Testa CS
This season Jeffrey Mandelbaum made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in The Enchanted Island. He sang the role of Ferdinand in a series of performances alongside Joyce DiDonato and Plácido Domingo, under the baton of William
Christie. He has been hailed as a "first-class countertenor" by The Washington Post, and is fast becoming known for his powerful and elegant voice, and his dynamic stage presence. He lives in Park Slope with his wife, Lucero Quiroga, and their three-yearold son, Simón, and continues his studies of vocal technique and artistry with the former chair of Friends’ Performing Arts department, Linda Monssen.
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1992 Michael K. Bachrach RC Noah Gaynin RC Lila Margulies RC Jessica Wapner CS Boji Wong AC RC Alexandra Zissu CS RC
Jeffrey Mandelbaum '91 as Ferdinand in his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in The Enchanted Island
Michael Bachrach writes, “I’m happy to report another major win in federal court. This time not as noble as the last trial, but we still saved a politician’s career. See below for a link to the article that ran in today’s New York Times, which includes a great photo (www.nytimes.com/2011/11/11/ nyregion/assemblyman-boyland-acquitted-inbribery-case.html?_r=1&src=tp&smid=fbshare). I’m on the left, my client is in the center, my co-counsel is on the right. I think my client’s reaction says it all. Also, in a related piece of news, last month the New York Times recognized me as one of the top young lawyers in New York".
1993 Sandra Jelin Plouffe AC CS Helen Rhim CS
Natasha Norman Encarnacion '93's twin sons Dante (left) and Kyle (right) bottom Her daughter, Tahlia top
older than my daughter, Phoebe. It was one of what I hope will be many a playdate over the years. Lauren Cardonsky Gretina is in the midst of renovating her new apartment in Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn. She is still working in the Manhattan DA’s office. Claire Richard and I have been trying to connect but it is hard when she is always out of town! It seems she is either busy driving across the country or UK-bound. We tried to schedule a time to catch up but off to Venice she went. I am excited to say that my older daughter, Sylvie, will be starting Kindergarten at Friends in the fall. It is incredibly strange to walk into the school as a parent, but I am looking forward to starting a whole new chapter with the School. I have actually been back a lot lately as the Alumni Council has begun to swing into full gear. The Council is an exciting new venture that will hopefully 3 3 | nff
As reported by Sandra Jelin Plouffe: Hello Class of ’93 from Steamboat Springs, CO! Enjoying some lovely spring skiing in 55 degree weather and thinking of you all as I write the notes for our class. It was great to hear from some of you recently. If you don’t get my request for notes it is because I don’t have an email address for you or we are not linked on Facebook. Please email me an address at Sandra.Jelin.Plouffe@gmail. com or find me on Facebook. Natasha Norman-Encanacion writes: “I have 3 very big kids always available for babysitting... lol. I hate that I live so far. I miss you all. I will be finished with Law School in December, the twins (Kyle and Dante) are starting High School in September. The baby girl looks just like me and is doing well in school. Work is great...I am the Business Development Coordinator for NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, so I work with municipalities to build and administer their affordable housing programs. It is stressful but rewarding. I’m not getting married (divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me...lol), not having babies (my youngest is 12...I’d be crazy) and not thinking of scaling Everest anytime soon...so life is just regular. I would love to see everyone.” Natasha contacted me this summer about having a class gettogether and not waiting for reunion. I love the idea, but was extremely pregnant and hot this summer so I never got around to organizing. Would anyone else like to take a stab? Helen Rhim and I got together with our families earlier this winter. Helen’s son, Isaac (6 months old), is a couple weeks
bring more cohesion to the alumni body and move back and forth between the alumni body and the School. The Council will be hosting a professional networking event this summer during the reunion weekend as well as a few other upcoming events. Check out the school website for more details. As part of our last meeting, I attended the Alumni Basketball Game and saw Lute Breuer and Arya Shirazi. It was fun chatting with you both! In addition to seeing the new Athletic Director, Dave Leiber, I also saw and talked with some other alums-Zach Roth '92, Josh Griffiths '95, Nick Bowers '94, and Liz Grace '95. It was a lot of fun and I hope some of you will join us next time. All for now. Stay in touch!
1994 Jodyann Blagrove CS Stephanie Davis Hazelkorn CA CS Samantha Liebman AC CA
As reported by Jodyann Blagrove: I can’t believe it has been almost 18 years since we graduated from Friends. I am still working for the federal government in Dallas, negotiating contracts for various supplies. I recently started a new side gig, speed dating events for urban professionals. I host them in major cities such as NYC, DC, Dallas, and Chicago. Using modern technology, I reached out to my fellow classmates to find out what they are up to. Brandon Primack just finished his 6th season as the assistant coach at Friends and got his 100th career coaching win this season. Danny Owen lives in Brooklyn and is running a very successful Tour and Production Management Company. Over the past 10 years he has worked with such artists as Kings of Leon, Sufjan Stevens, Taj Mahal and is currently tour-managing Lana Del Rey. He spent the last 4 years as production manager for Central Park Summerstage. He continues in his passions for the live music industry but is looking forward to settling down soon. Sharonda Callendar Ware wrote that her kids are growing up
In 2011, Amber Levinson '96 and Patrick Donohue welcomed baby Leonardo (Leo) to the world. Leo is 9 months old.
quickly Trey (9), Corey (5), and Victoria (3my goddaughter). She earned her master’s in Real Estate from Georgetown University in May 2011. In addition to working as a real estate broker in DC, MD and VA, she also works as a Realty Specialist for the federal government. In trying to live a healthier lifestyle (yes we are getting older), she lost 15 pounds since last July and hopes to complete at least a half marathon by the end of the year. Ben Hindell is living in Denver, Colorado while he finishes up a doctoral program in clinical psychology. He is also getting married in September to a wonderful woman named Caryn. Although he likes the Giants, he has become a Bronco’s fan. Go Tebow! Sami Liebman is working as a TV reporter at FiOS 1 NJ and still writing her blog (Bloggains. com). Vivian Rosenthal founded a mobile augmented reality platform called GoldRun that works with retailers, musicians and sports teams. They raised 1.2 million dollars in an angel round and are seeking investors in the tech space. The website is www.goldrungo.com and her email is vivian@ goldrungo.com. Steve Kosinksi has been living in Boston for the past 10 years. He owns a business selling and installing residential audio video equipment. January Massin received her PhD in clinical psychology a year ago, and is going for her licensure in March 2012. She works at Saint Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in NYC counseling college students with substance use and co-occuring psych issues. She loves her new career, though it was a big switch and long haul to get there. She still lives just a block away from Friends. Kate Krone has been a professional chef for years and is now trying to open a small but elegant vegan restaurant. She has a cooking blog: www.theherbivorekitchen.com. She also has an antique and vintage clothing and textile archive and restoration company in NYC. She is getting married this summer to her longtime boyfriend, Adrian Bartos, aka DJ Stretch Armstrong. They live in SoHo with their four dogs, two of which they rescued off the streets of Bangkok. Stephanie Davis Hazelkorn writes, “My husband and I welcomed a second daughter, Sue, in September (big sister Eve is almost three). Kelly Kent Marin writes, “I got my PhD in Neuroscience in May of 2011 from USC and I had a baby boy named Bruce (my second child) in July of 2011. I’m doing a post-doc in a neuroendocrinology lab now and trying to get into teaching. I love living in Culver City because my parents live next door!”
1995 Benjamin Ensminger-Law CS Seth A. Goldberger CA Sarah Greenbaum CS Bonnie Bucknell Morris CS
1996 Sarah Cox CS Natalie Nymark CS
forward to seeing you next June at our 15th reunion.
Adam Honig CS Andrew Laird CS
Jessie Chaffee RC Brian Davis CS Lynne DeSilva-Johnson CA RC Janelle Garrett CS Manya Rubinstein RC
Will Schutt was chosen by acclaimed poet Carl Phillips as the winner of the 2012 Yale
1998 Sam B. Hofstetter CS Robin L. McKinney CA Lee Rothchild CA CS
Jaqueline Ross Albano writes, “We have news to share! My husband and I welcomed our first child, Miles Theodore Albano, on November 13, 2011. The following was reported by Lee Rothchild: I am thrilled to announce that Robin McKinney has joined me as a class agent. That is not Robin’s biggest news though. On May 19th he will marry Nancy Stipp in Brooklyn. Reda Woodcock will be the best man and Jeremy Schwartz and Katy Tokieda will be in attendance. In July, Robin and Nancy will move to Detroit where he will start a fellowship in pediatric critical care at Detroit Children’s. May is a big month for the class of ’98. While Robin will be walking down the aisle, Allison Raybin Murphy and her husband Tim are expecting a baby girl. Allison, who will be a fantastic first time mom, has been practicing on other people’s kids. She recently received her master’s in early education and she will be starting a new job in the fall as a head teacher at Merricat’s Castle School on the Upper East Side. For those of you with kids, you might want to consider sending them to Allison (before Friends of course) while those of you with dogs should contact Annie Grossman who is dog training and writing about dogs full time. She offers private lessons and group training classes, and hosts seminars on a wide array of dog-related subjects. Annie would be thrilled to teach any dog owners who are Friends alumni. She has worked with my parents’ puppy, Barney, and he is just perfect so she must be good at what she does. You can find her website at www. SchoolForTheDogs.com. And as long as you’re online, check out Alan Ramos at www.greymusic.com where you can follow his work in the music industry writing, producing, performing and interviewing. And if you’re still online, please shoot me a note about what you are up to so I can include it in the next News From Friends. I hope to hear from you all and I look
Former faculty Yarrott Benz and pricipal Bo Lauder at the LA alumni gathering in February, 2012
Series of Younger Poets Competition. Yale University Press will publish Will’s book in April 2013. His poems and translations appear in Agni, FIELD, Harvard Review, The Southern Review and elsewhere. He lives with his wife in Wainscott, New York.
2000 Lisa Hofstetter Frank CS David W. Gilbert CS Fred T. Isquith CS Russell Labiner CS
2001 Ashley Herriman CS Joanna Shapiro CS
As reported by Joey Shapiro: Big news from the class of 2001! Matt Seltzer reports that he and his wife Lauren are expecting their first child, a girl, in August! Baby girl Seltzer will be the first of the second generation of 2001-ers, and the class couldn’t be more excited. Congratulations, Matt and Lauren! In other 2001 news, Peter Hagen is still living in Los Angeles, honing his cooking skills at a local restaurant and pursuing his screenwriting career, while Ashley Herriman was recently promoted to assistant director of communications and media relations at the New York Racing Association, Inc. and, after nearly four years at NYRA, still delights in watching horses run around an oval all day long. In January, Joey Shapiro re-joined the National Basketball Association where she’s a manager in the League’s Basketball Communications department, and very happy to be back.
2002 Alex Agnant CA RC Richard Barbieri CA CS RC Sydney Blumstein RC Joanna Hunter AC CS RC Melissa Kao RC Nicolaas van der Meer CS
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THANK YOU TO OUR RECENT ALUMNI EVENT HOSTS
Washington DC Alumni Gathering November 2011
San Francisco Alumni Gathering February 2012
Alumni Volunteer Recognition Party April 2012
Host Josh Wachs '89 with Faculty Emeritae Debbie Ferretti and Christina Moustakis, and Josh's wife, Molly Levinson
Host Martha Ehrenfeld '83 with her wife Carla McKay (left) and English teacher John Byrne (right)
Hosts Edes Powell Gilbert '49 and Liz Peale Allen '60 with Nina Christopher '85 (left)
If you would like to host an alumni event, please contact Katherine in the Alumni Office at 212.979.5035 x106 or email@example.com.
2003 Talisa Anderson CA Hallie Davison CA CS Eric Obenzinger AC CA Daniel Willner CS
Taylor Owens CS Emma Quaytman CA RC Jacqueline Seegers CS RC
Hayden A. Hatch CA Jackson Sinder CS Alexander Winter CS
Mary Gaynin Agnant CA Jennifer Conrad CS Jesse Mark CA Legacy Russell CS James Sumers CA CS
James Sumers will be moving to Boston and starting school at Harvard Business School in August.
2005 Cole Blumstein CS Nusrat Chowdhury CS Sam Rabinowitz CA CS
2006 Aaron Bloch CS Zuzanna Drozdz CS Cory López CS Cameron McCully CS Naledi Semela CA
2007 Rachel Colberg-Parseghian CS Lucy Lydon RC
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Claire Brennan CS Lauren Chin CS Allison Hartel CS Cristian Lopez-Balboa CA
As reported by Lauren Chin: Travis Bogosian writes, “Neo Sora ’09 and I have been working on a short film, Solomon. The film centers around the mystery of a kidnapping in New York City. It’s a fast-paced thriller that spans the course of a single day and explores the twisted relationship of two businessmen. We are currently in the post-production phase. For a look at some behind-the-scenes work and progress as we edit and finalize the short, check out (and like!) our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/#!/SolomonFilm.” Lauren Chin has been continuing her year abroad in Paris and is spending her Spring Semester studying political science at Sciences-Po. Otherwise she has been traveling around Europe, meeting up with a bunch of Friends kids along the way! Nicki Zenker is studying positive psychology in
Copenhagen for the semester and is playing soccer on a Danish club team. She also ran a half marathon in January and raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Harper Gany-Beitler is spending a semester abroad in Madrid and doing an internship in the food industry. She will be living in the co-op during her senior year at Hamilton College, where residents cook their own food and promote sustainability. Sam Nebel has been honing his skills as a math tutor. Visit SamNebel.com for testimonials and contact info. Samantha Tharler is going to Hong Kong this summer to intern for Ann Taylor sourcing fabric and visiting factories. Francesca Acocella, class of 2013 at Wellesley College, is a political science major and art history minor. She spent January in Italy looking at amazing art. She is starting to look at law schools and plans to begin law school in the fall of 2013. After spending the last two summers in Washington, D.C. she is excited to be spending this summer in New York City and hopes to reconnect with lots of people from Friends then! Emma R. Weinstein was studying abroad at the University of Sydney last semester and had an awesome time cuddling koalas and learning about Aboriginal art. Forrest Petterson was the student director for the 2012 ACC Leadership Conference that UNC hosted this February. The conference’s theme was The Ethics of Globalization with a Special Focus on Water Issues. She has also had fun working for an events photography company and taking pictures at different sorority and fraternity events.
Miles Arntzen is finishing up production on the new album release from his 11-piece afrobeat band, EMEFE. Miles recently recorded an album with Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra and is getting ready to tour in support of the record, which will be out this summer. When he’s not doing all that, he’s chilling with his dog, Russie. Tyler McCully is in industrial design and has been competing D1 on the track team at Syracuse University. Jordan Feinstein spent the summer working at the architecture firm Richard Meier Partners. Dylan McDougle writes, “Over the past year, I’ve been managing a recording studio and working out of two others discovering and developing talent. I’ve travelled across the country with some of these acts performing with Lupe Fiasco, RJD2, Chiddy Bang, and even the Swedish DJ duo, Dada Life. Also, over the past two years, I’ve been intimately involved in New York’s nightlife community, DJing at some of the city’s most exclusive clubs, lounges, and private events with celebrity attendees that have included Jennifer Aniston, Aziz Ansari, Lindsay Lohan, and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls, amongst others. Claire Brennan has been fully enjoying her semester abroad in Morocco. She is looking forward to her summer, during which she will continue her studies while working with a children’s rights NGO, spending time in both Morocco and Jordan.
2010 Nathaniel Chumley CA Kate Fisch CA Ellen Mayer CS Alexander Shepherd CS
Kim Clancy is currently Business Manager for KUPS, one of the top ten student run radio stations in the USA. She has been selected as the station manager beginning September 2012, her junior year.
2011 Myles Davis CS Andrew Ghalili CA Cooper McLane CA Alison Weiss CS
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friends for the
future “As those who attended Friends in the
past, who were educated and nurtured in this special environment, it
is up to
us to preserve and sustain the School shoulder-to-shoulder with current Friends families. The values and priorities instilled in us by teachers and administrators who dedicated
their lives locally
to Friends but globally in terms of their world-view—for this precious legacy to Photo by Lois Greenfield
continue, Friends needs our assistance now
and in the future. This is all the more important in an uncertain economic environment. Alumni and alumnae (thank
Heidi Reavis ’77 Managing Partner, Reavis Parent Lehrer LLP Co-Executive Producer, A Walk to Beautiful FOR MORE INFORMATION on making a planned gift, please contact Patty Ziplow, Major Gifts Officer, at 212.979.5035 ext. 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have made a provision for Friends in your estate plans, please share this information with us so that your generosity can be acknowledged.
you Don Wilson and Phil Schwartz) need
continued participation in School life is vital. It is for this reason that our family to appreciate how their
has included Friends in its giving over the years and in our estate planning for the future.”
FRIENDS FOR THE FUTURE, our Planned Giving Society, honors those members of our community who have arranged to support Friends Seminary through a planned or estate gift. These donors have helped provide for the School’s future through a variety of gift planning vehicles including bequest intentions, testamentary trusts, gifts of real estate, and other deferred gifts. Their vision and wisdom extend beyond the immediate needs of the School, and their generosity provides a source of income which the School can depend upon and use to plan for generations ahead.
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Bill Elliott On February 3, 2012, William “Bill” Elliott, a wonderful human being, passed gracefully at the North Shore Hospice after a hard fought, three-year battle with melanoma. He was 68-years-old and is survived by his companion, Stephanie Reid of Concord, MA; his daughter, Julia Elliott of Santa Barbara, California; a sister, Kathleen Elliott Yinug of Hyattsville, Maryland; and a brother, David Elliott of Braintree, MA. He devoted his life to teaching at the secondary school level. Bill grew up in Braintree, graduated from Braintree High School in 1961, Amherst College in 1965 and Fordham University Law School in 1973. His teaching career began directly after graduating from college where he taught biochemistry, chemistry, biology and physics at the Loomis-Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut. While there he also coached lacrosse, basketball and club football. Thus began his lifelong
love of teaching the sciences, math and coaching various sports. From suburbia he moved to the city life of New York City where he taught and coached at Friends Seminary from 1968 through 1974. He was the first director of the Friends Seminary After-School program where he transferred what he was learning at Fordham to his students. He then returned to Braintree and taught at Thayer Academy until 1986 where he coached varsity basketball, an activity that culminated in 1978 in winning the first New England Championship Class C Division for Thayer Academy. This brought credibility and respect for Thayer Academy basketball. Thayer went on to procure several more New England championships in basketball. He was also very proud of his involvement in the metro program where he befriended scholarship students from the inner city. Throughout his life as an educator—headmaster,
teacher, coach, father and friend—he considered education a lifelong process and sought to incorporate the spirit of cooperation, friendliness and collegiality for one another into his daily activities, both in the school environment and in his community. He believed that both the learning and the living environment should be places of enthusiasm and mutual respect. In 1986 Bill moved his family to Encinitas, California where he founded the Success in Learning Center. He taught learning enhancement, learning disability correction, tutoring, college and career counseling. He incorporated these skills at Muir College at the University of California in San Diego and became the head of the upper school and college counselor of the Francis W. Parker School. When he was offered the job as the sixth headmaster of Thayer Academy in 1991 he was very eager to return to Braintree and the school environment that he loved. He remained there until 1995. At Thayer he displayed his strong concern for the personal and moral development of young people and sought to balance the educational value of athletics, arts and extracurricular activities. Upon retirement Bill moved to Monticello, Kentucky in 1995 to pursue his many interests. These included hiking, gardening, horseracing, woodworking and bluegrass music. He returned to Concord, MA in 2002. He will be greatly missed by his family and his many friends. Bill requested that donations be made in his memory to The Carpenter’s Boat Shop, 440 Old Country Road, Pemaquid, Maine 04558. It was there that Bill spent a year in a loving environment learning the skills of boatbuilding and where the Elliott family roots originated. Originally published in The Boston Globe on March 25, 2012.
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tributes Margaret Klaw Tenney ’38
Eric Sokolsky '44
Margaret Klaw Tenney ’38 of Berkeley, CA passed away peacefully after a brief illness on April 18, 2011 in Lafayette, CA. Born on May 30, 1922 in New York City, Maggie was the daughter of Alonzo and Alma (Ash) Klaw, and the granddaughter of Marc and Antoinette (Morris) Klaw and Mark and Rose (Sternberger) Ash. She attended Friends Seminary in New York and then Bennington College in Bennington, VT, graduating in 1942 with an emphasis on music. She married Thomas Walker Tenney in 1944. Moving with her family to California in 1950, she quickly became immersed in the Bay Area art scene, studying musical composition with Darius Milhaud at Mills College. She was also an active painter and collage artist, and took up photography in the early 1960s, joining her photographer husband, she exhibited at museums and galleries up and down the West Coast during the 1960s and 70s. An avid reader and book collector, for many years she was an international dealer of antiquarian books with an emphasis on historical cooking, household management, and manners. She is survived by her husband, Thomas W. Tenney; two sons, John and William; three grandchildren, Julian Tenney, Sarah Tenney Blackburn, and Whitney Tenney; and five great-grandchildren. Eric Sokolsky ’44 attended Friends Seminary and Collegiate School in New York City and then went on to receive a BA in Political Science from Harvard University 1948. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, his proudest achievement. He was later the Commander of American Legion Post, Los Angeles and lifelong Member of Veteran of Foreign Wars. He devoted his professional life to the film industry, doing public relations for the movie industry including Hecht Hill and Lancaster (Burt Lancaster's company), Columbia Studios, Republic Studios and Samuel Fuller (independent producer). He was a columnist for Los Angeles Valley News, Southwest Wave Publications for approximately 20 years. He was married for about 40 years to Anita Carrell Sokolsky until she passed away in 2002. He had one child, Anita, who is an attorney in Los Angeles, CA. Despite a well traveled and interesting life, he always cherished Friends as the wonderful beginning of his 84-year journey. Constance Bartlett ’45, died on December 29, 2011, at home in Essex, CT, after a year’s struggle with cancer. She died in her apartment, surrounded by her books and the things she loved. She never got to see her latest book which will be coming out in February, but at least she knew the advance copies were on their way. She would have been very pleased with the book as it turned out. She also finished the first draft of what was to be her last book and then managed to pencil in most of the corrections she wanted. I will be working on adding those corrections to the book, and Brenda Hosington has kindly agreed to look at each section, as it is completed, to see if there is more that should be done. So Connie's work goes on. —Marion Hausner Pauck '45
Constance Bartlett '45
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Ben Mordecai ’62, a theatrical producer and educator known for staging plays with social themes, particularly those by August Wilson from “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom” to “Radio Golf,” died in the spring of 2005 at age 60 of cancer at Yale Health Services in New Haven, Conn. At the time of his death, Mordecai was associate dean and chairman of the Yale School of Drama's department of theatre management. He began championing Wilson’s plays in his previous position, managing director of the Yale Repertory Theatre from 1982 to 1993. Laura Helen Kaufman ’63, veteran record industry publicist and manager, died March 3, 2012, at the age of 66 in Simi Valley, California. A native New Yorker, Laura Kaufman turned her passionate love of rock and roll into a 40-year career that resulted in her work having a profound effect upon the careers of such bands as Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, New York Dolls, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Styx, Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and many others. Through her creative vision, Laura became a most important person in rock and roll, a “Star Maker.” In 1956, at age 11, Laura experienced her life’s first two defining moments: first, she heard a song on the radio called “Speedo” by a group called The Cadillacs and second, her sixth grade teacher at Friends, Mrs. Casey, told Laura that she had a “real talent” for writing. Laura attended Friends Seminary and college before her unwavering infatuation with rock and roll became her career of choice. Evenings were spent at the storied Night Owl Club in her Greenwich Village neighborhood listening to the likes of a young James Taylor, The Lovin’ Spoonful and The Blues Magoos. With music on her mind, Laura traveled to London and forged lifelong trust and friendships with Ray and Dave Davies of The Kinks. Always finding doors to open, Laura knocked on the one marked Leber-Krebs and quickly earned a seat next to two of the most powerful band managers of the 1970s, David Krebs and Steve Leber. Laura soon became the top publicist at the firm, becoming instrumental in creating the legends of the most stellar acts in the business: Aerosmith and Ted Nugent. Her reputation as a tough and devoted publicist was renowned and her clients became her loyal and dearest friends. In the eighties, Laura moved to Los Angeles and became Vice President of Media at CMC (now Sanctuary Records). She later branched out on her own and started her own management, publicity and media-consulting firm, Laura Kaufman Company. Laura was as passionate about her clients and many loyal friends as she was about her beloved New York Yankees, New York Knicks and tennis. She most recently completed two novels, Rock in a Hard Place and Birds of a Feather, about what she knew best. The novels combine her years of experience being around and working in the rock and roll world with her ability as a fantastic storyteller. She was also planning to start a magazine. A devoted friend and animal advocate, Laura is survived by her sister, Emily Gallo ’64, her nephew, Chris Saur, and her niece, Eva Saur. She will be eternally missed by all she touched.
Ben Mordecai '62
Laura Helen Kaufman '63
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BACK IN THE DAY
The Big Kids and Me: Theatre at Friends in the Early ’80s SUZANNE COHEN ’89
’ll never forget the audition for my first show at Friends, The Sound of Music, in 1981. So many kids were trying out that they had to hold the auditions in the cafeteria, and those hoping to be Von Trapp children were relegated to the dark hallway outside, near the woodshop. That’s where Gene Davis was sitting with his clipboard at a card table, temporarily set up for auditioning purposes, and the line leading to his table was long. As a fifth grader, it was my first chance to be in the “all-school musical” and after getting a huge laugh for hamming it up as “the cute little red-headed girl” (with brown hair) in a Charlie Brown song for a lower school assembly, I was ready for more. All the girls were asked to read the same five words: “They’re asleep. They’re not scared,” which I believe was one of Gretel’s lines, referring to the reason the boys weren’t in Maria’s bed during the storm. Five words. I practiced those words 15 different ways in that long line, as I listened to dozens of other middle schoolers doing their own unique renditions. I tried not to listen, but everybody was just so good. When it was finally my turn, I delivered those lines so carefully, so earnestly, and with lots of feeling, even though I didn’t really know what the feelings were. All I knew was that my heart was beating out of my chest and that my life was at stake. And I guess my reading came across as very Von Trapp, because later that week when the cast list was posted, my name was listed next to the word “Louisa.” Elation doesn’t do it justice. I was one of the youngest kids selected in a show with seniors! This was the big time. Rehearsals began right away, and right away my life changed. I was now busy every day after school until six p.m., and I let my
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classmates know it. As I walked into the Meetinghouse that first afternoon, the cast was sitting around, flipping through their yellow scripts. The kids seemed really big. I was tall, but I was 10. There were 17 and 18-year-olds hanging around, laughing. Someone handed me my own script. I, like everyone else, proceeded to scour the book for my lines. Highlighters were passed around and the read-through began. Then I figured out who Maria was. Maria would be played by a senior named Sarah Halley ’82. Sarah had a halo of blond, curly hair, an ephemeral, carefree way about her, and was the most amazing big kid I had ever seen– definitely Maria material. She immediately introduced herself to all of us Von Trapp children, smiled the biggest smile you’ve ever seen, and took her place in all of our hearts as our new mother. I felt like I belonged in this world of show biz, of the big time. As the weeks passed I got to know a few more big kids. One of them, Chris Noble ’83, pulled me aside one day after a scene and said in a gentle voice, “It’s really important that when you’re on stage and not saying anything, that you’re listening to what’s going on. A lot of acting takes place when you actually don’t have any lines.” Well, I was simultaneously humiliated and flattered. He must have singled me out for a reason! Sure, I was being called out for not doing such great acting during the scene, but he noticed me! After that I was careful to listen, to react, and to realize that acting was about more than delivering your big line. One day after rehearsal, some of the seniors, including Sarah, were hanging around and singing in the common room. They did that sometimes. Someone had a guitar, and they were all singing a protest song they had written about the nuclear
arms race. I walked through the room casually, careful not to act like I cared too much, when someone stopped me and asked me to join the singing. They taught me their song, and I remember it word for word: “Oh I heard a swallow sing silver and purple and blue / said, ‘Come and sing with us, we’re growing, we know what to do’ / in the cool of the evening, in the warmth of the sun of the day / we’re building and growing a garden where children can play.” When they finished singing, they talked about plans to sing their song at a nuclear arms protest in Central Park. On that very day, the big kids actually invited me along. I was ecstatic. This was going to be the beginning of my life as a social activist. More important, this would mean I was included and accepted in the big kid crowd. When I ran home to tell my mom (kids walked home alone in those days), she of course said no. As a fifth grader I had no place at a nuclear arms protest in Central Park, she insisted. I guess she was right. But the point was, I was invited. Rehearsals continued, and we had many rigorous vocal sessions with Mr. Davis in the fourth floor music room. He was strict, serious, and held us to the highest standards. He taught us the harmony for “The Sound of Music” for that poignant scene where we Von Trapps reluctantly sing to Elsa on the insistence of our father, Captain Von Trapp. I still sing that alto part when I watch the movie, which, by the way, is inferior to the play. What happened to the song “An Ordinary Couple”? Anyway, that is the moment in the show that Maria decides to return to the family after a soul-searching moment at the abbey. I’ll never forget that scene, during the performance. We were all huddled together downstage right, on one of the sparse platforms hammered together for the show, when Maria burst in to return to us. “Maria! Maria’s back!” we all shouted as we ran to embrace her, and though I was acting, I felt as though I had just been reunited with the most wonderful, magical family. My heart burst with joy on that Meetinghouse stage, feeling something real and true. The adrenaline rush of being up there, of acting and reacting in the moment made me feel I was alive like never before. I was part of something important, I belonged. I was a little kid who felt big for the first time. Suzanne Cohen, ’89, lives with her wife and young son in the Village. She is a teacher and administrator at a NYC independent school. She acts when she can, and takes scene work and improv classes in the evenings. She plans to devote more time to acting when she is a senior citizen, if not before.
Published on May 24, 2012