On November 6, 1957, a group of people met to form a dramatic theater. Betsy Rogers presided as plans for membership and a name was voted on. She became the first president of the Falmouth Theatre Guild. Ms. Rogers was a drama major at Emerson College and a member of the Newport Players Guild. Betsy acted in a number of college plays, “Winterset”, “Family Reunion”, “The Man Who Came to Dinner”, “Candida”, are just a few. Betsy also designed sets and costumes. She worked with the Newport Department at NBC-TV and did some fashion styling for television.
She worked with the Newport Casino Theater for two summers. Ms. Rogers played the part of Ellen in the Falmouth Theatre Guild’s first production, “Goodbye My Fancy”, directed by Richard Ladenberg. She followed in the production of “There’s Always a Murder” and played the part of Katherine Horton, directed by Kitty Baker. “Wake Up Darling” featured Ms. Rogers in the part of Martha. She then did lighting for “Light Up the Sky” and “Dial M for Murder”. When “The Women” was presented she played the part of Mrs. Wagstaff. Then again did lighting for “Mr. Roberts”, “Jane Eyre”, and “The Philadelphia Story”. She played Vera Charles and Mrs. Gilbreth in “Cheaper By the Dozen”, then back to lighting for “The King and I” and “My Fair Lady”. Betsy Rogers will always be remembered as the “mother of the Guild”. Without her efforts and determination, the Guild would not be what it is today. Thank you Betsy Rogers.
Kitty was there at the beginning, making the Falmouth Theatre Guild a reality. She was a board-director in 1967 (3 years) and 1958 (3 years), served as President in 1960-61, 74, 75 and 76. Vice President in 1968, treasurer in 1972, 1973, 1975, Ways and Means Committee in 1967, 1974 and Scholarship Committee in 1965. When the Guild moved into Highfield Theater, Kitty was presented with the key to the door in 1960. In addition, she directed “The Pajama Game” (67), “Dial M for Murder” (61), “There’s Always a Mystery” (68), “Fumed Oak (60), “Cheaper by the Dozen” (63), she was assistant director for “Staglag 17” (60), “The Kind and I” (63). She was on stage for many performances including “Wake up Darling” (59), Fumed Oak (60), “Light Up the Sky” (60), “The Women” (61), Mr. Roberts (61), “The Philadelphia Story (62), “Auntie Mame” (62) and several others. Her latest show was “Sugar Babies (93).
Her many talents took her from Box Office, sets, costumes, make up, publicity, etc. If it needed to be done she was there. As a writer for the Cape Cod Times, she has given us much praise and support. Thanks for everything Kitty, we love you.
William B. Steele
William D. Steele directed many of the earlier shows for the Falmouth Theatre Guild. He was the Managing Editor of the Cape Cod Standard Times in Falmouth. Earlier in his career, Mr. Steele had been with the Associated Press in San Francisco and on the Editorial Staff of the Ashville N.C. Citizen-Times. During WWII he served with the Third Infantry Division. He was born and raised in Fairhaven and attended Fairhaven Schools and North Hampton Boys School in New Hampshire. Following graduation he enrolled in Brown University in Providence, and then joined the service. Following service, he continued his studies at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. He received his Master’s Degree at Stanford. Bill passed away at the young age of 39. The Falmouth Theatre Guild named its first scholarship fund to honor him in 1964. Bill directed the following shows for the Falmouth Theatre Guild: Stalag 17″ (Dec. 1960); “Dial M for Murder” (Mar. 1961); “The Women” (May 1961); “Mr. Roberts” (Nov. 1961); “The Philadelphia Story” (May 1962); “Auntie Mame” (Nov 1962), and “Advise and Consent” (Nov. 1963).
Gil Rapoza started in the guild in 1960 playing a prisoner in Staglag17 and has continued to be active in the guild productions ever since that day. He has shared his talents on stage as well as behind the scenes and directing. According to records he has had a hand in over 70 shows. His talents were of course not only on stage but as a director in shows such as La Cage Aux Folles in 1995, Damn Yankees in 2001 and Victor/Victoria in 2004.When Gil took on the challenge of directing a show he immersed himself in it wholeheartedly doing set design, choreography and costume design.
Many of the shows he was in he could be seen singing and dancing. He has also designed a half dozen program covers and would decorate the house inside and out. Gil is a retired school teacher and still spends so much of his time doing things for Falmouth Theatre Guild. At the present he is on the board of directors and our historian. He isn’t done yet as he is scheduled to direct Nunsense A-men in December of 2006.
We all loved Lucy. Her talent, dedication and loyalty to our theater cannot be measured. Easy going, fun loving, she made you feel important and special whether you were a lead or chorus. She was a teacher and administrator for 24 years in Falmouth Schools. Loved by her fellow teachers and students, her contribution to education was enormous. She was Musical Director for many musicals produced. Over (69), Sweet Charity (70), Hello Dolly (72), The Wizard of Oz (92), Sugar Babies (89), Gypsy (95), and pianist for many other shows. Her last performance was Babes in Arms in 1996. Her passing was a great loss to all of us. “We miss you Lucy.”
Ray D. Vick
Ray has been a long time loyal member of Falmouth Theatre Guild for many years. He has contributed so much both on stage and off that it would be impossible to list. Ray joined the Guild in 1974in the production of “The Music Man.” This was the beginning of his love for the Guild. He was on stage for many shows including “South Pacific,” “Showboat,” and “Chicago” just to name a few. His favorite place was as Director and Producer for many shows which led to his receiving a number of A.C.T.E. (Association for Community Theater Excellence) awards, including their Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to theater Cape wide. His first directing experience was “Girl Crazy.” followed by “Because Their Hearts Were Pure”, “Sugar Babies” twice and “The Boyfriend.” Ray was always involved in all aspects of the production including sets, costumes, producing and special effects. His many years on the board were very valued by everyone in the Guild. He built and designed the costume house and spent many hours making it functional. When not on stage, he was always in the audience, front row. He was a Theater Angel for many years and we all love and appreciate all he has done for us. There are still times people ask him for advice because if you need a unique costume or prop, Ray will let you know just how to go about making it…or, better yet…he will make it for you!
Eugenia O’Connor joined Falmouth Theatre Guild in 1981. She came from Melrose where she was a junior high school teacher. She was with the Melrose Community Players, and the Quanapoiwit Players before coming to Falmouth. During her Falmouth days she starred in “Applause”, “Arsenic and Old Lace”, “The Gin Game”, “Follies”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “La Cage aux follies”. She won and ACTE award for her direction of “Jesus Christ Superstar” (90-91). In addition she directed “Lend Me a Tenor”, “A Wonderful Life”, “No Sex Please We’re British” and Nunsense I. She was a board member for many years. We all miss her great talent, professionalism and loyalty.
Tom has been with the Guild for many years. Singer, dancer, and actor, he has shined in numerous shows. From “Sugar Babies”, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”, “Pirates of Penzance” and many more, he has been a very dependable member. He has served on the Board of Directors as Scholarship Chairman for a number of years. He in fun and keeps us all in stitches to boot! Our thanks and keep up the good work.
Reaching back to earlier days, one has to mention Burke. For years he had served the Guild and was always a loyal supporter. The many shows he took part in were always a success. He was well known and well liked in town by his many friends. Burkie provided the FTG with much experience and skill as he had performed on Broadway for many years prior to moving to Cape Cod. He is missed.
Janice Battee (Reis)
Jan was one of the early leaders of the Guild. She spent many hours building the organization when it was just in its infancy. As a president, board member, costumer, leader, her role was one of dedication and success. The years she spent with the FTG were quite valuable. Always in great spirits and enthusiasm, we thank her for her vision of a successful theater company.
Anyone who was lucky enough to know Elfreda enjoyed her and was amazed by her. She was a poet and performer who commanded the stage. She was an elegant, proud and talented lady, and was considered the Grande-Dame of the Falmouth Theatre Guild. She appeared in numerous shows and did many walk-on cameos. The audiences loved seeing her and enjoyed her wonderful sense of humor. She wrote a musical entitled “Moon Motel” which the Guild performed in May of 1976. We all miss her and her wonderful spirit.
Jim had given many years as a performer in the Guild. Always fun to be with and ready for the spotlight. He had taken part in many productions and his imitations provided us with many laughs. We will remember him a President Roosevelt in “Annie” and as an astronaut in “Moon Motel”. His many appearances were a joy to watch. He is sadly missed.
Jeannie is such a gem! So much talent! She has devoted so much time and energy to every aspect of the Falmouth Theatre Guild. Her performances are always outstanding and noteworthy. As a board member and PR person for many years her contributions are too many to mention.
There is no one as dependable and loyal as Matt. His technical knowledge with both lighting and sound has been invaluable to the Guild. An excellent actor and a joy to perform with. Matt has been a pillar of strength during his many years on the Board of Directors. Working long hard hours both in front of and behind the curtain there is not enough room here to list his many contributions, nor our appreciation for each one.
Ginger, along with Betsy Rogers, was one of the founders of the Falmouth Theatre Guild. Together they gave birth to the Guild back in 1957. When officers were picked, Betsy became president and Ginger vice-president. They worked along with the other founding members to create the fantastic organization we all enjoy today. Ginger did whatever she could, on stage, behind the scenes, and on the Board to bring the Guild to life. Without her and Betsy there would be no FTG. The going was rough, but the goal was accomplished. We thank her for her dedication and drive to give us our home away from home.
Every organization needs strong, dedicated workers. One of the most constant and dependable is Barbara. She has been with the FTG for many years and made it her personal responsibility. As a board member, programs, ads, and other tasks to be done, were sure to be done well. Hopefully we will always have members that can follow in your footsteps. Your time with us is precious and greatly appreciated.
One of the Guild’s most valued and dedicated members is Laura Garner. Her first appearance was FTG’s “Gypsy” in1973. Since then she has appeared on stage in many wonderful productions; acting, singing and dancing. In addition to being onstage, she has directed a number of FTG’s shows. She was the founder and very successful leader of the ‘Theater on the Bay’ in Bourne for many years. While there her accomplishments were many. She has been a board member and hardworking individual and continues to give of her time and talent to a grateful Guild. Thanks Laura!
The talented and dedicated Sally has been a familiar member of FTG going back to the early 1990’s. She has appeared in numerous productions and has participated as a director with her fun filled version of ‘You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown’, in 2005. Her most challenging roles have been a living plant in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and as a dog in ‘Peter Pan’. She has also been seen in other productions in local theater groups. Her talent and great smile have always been something to look forward to. Keep up the good work, we need you.
Lori has been active in FTG since ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ in1986. Her many performances on our stage are too numerous to mention. She has been there ready and willing to do whatever needed to be done. She is a valued actor, singer and dancer, and even stage manager. Her work with most Cape Cod radio stations has served her well for the stage. Thanks Lori, for the many years of service and hopefully we will see you again and again at FTG.
If time in any organization is a sign of loyalty, Irene fits the bill. A member since 1976 appearing in her first production of ‘Moon Motel’ Irene has appeared onstage in all but a very few of our productions. Irene served on our board of directors as a director for many years. When not onstage, you can find Irene ushering or enjoying many other tasks. She is now in charge of our concessions stand of which she takes great pride in doing her usual fantastic job. Thank you Irene.
Jim is an extremely talented man. How fortunate we were to have him with us. He was our first musical director and continued in that capacity for at least ten years. The popularity of the musicals put the FTG on top, making it a leader in its field. Jim was the director of the Music Department at Falmouth High School. His many interests included a cappella singing, teaching piano, organ and music theory on the faculty of the Cape Cod Conservatory. He was also the Organist Choir Master at First Congregational Church and the United Methodist Church in Falmouth. Jim worked as a police officer in Bourne. Musical theater at FTG began with Jim and has grown stronger and healthier to this day. Thanks Jim.
Davien has been with the guild for many years. The many roles she has played have been memorable. Her performances from ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Cabaret’ and many others were perfection. Davien, along with her husband Matt, have helped make this organization an outstanding one. She is a master director as of late directing the very successful ‘Peter Pan’, 2009, as well as many others in the past. Thanks for all your time and talent Davien.
It’s been years since Debbie made her first appearance on our stage. She continues to give of her time and talent in many areas onstage, back stage, board member, director and actor. Her successful FTG dinner theater ran for a number of years and was a very popular draw for actors and audiences alike. As a loyal and dedicated member, Debbie continues to share her energy and expertise in all areas of the FTG productions. Thanks Deb.
When it comes to dedication, Vicki comes to mind. She put in hundreds of hours for many, many years. As house manager, she was one of our best. FTG was home to Vicki and she always excelled in all she did. During her many years with us Vicki produced shows, made the most gorgeous costumes and was a member of the board of directors. Not everyone wants to be onstage, but without the backstage crew there would be no guild. Thanks to those like Vicki our FTG is alive and well. Our gratitude and love go out to you.
Costumes help dress a stage in any production. FTG has had many costume directors and Charlotte is certainly one of the best. Costumes and our costume house were constant tasks for Charlotte and she managed them well. Keeping track of all our costumes and maintaining their condition is never an easy task. Charlotte made it all seem easy. As a board member, she put in many long and hard hours for the FTG. Thank you Charlotte for being there for us.
Not all members get the applause for their work. Peggy is one of those the audience doesn’t see onstage. Peggy can be found in our box office working to satisfy the public with good seats. Those who have worked our box office know just what a task it is. Peg is a wizard at handling it all. In addition, Peg has been a stage manager in a number of productions. The FTG would not be able to function without people like her. We owe you much Peg. Thank you.
The job of lights, sound and sets takes special talent and knowledge. People who can perform these tasks well are few. Bob is one of those outstanding men who do it all. FTG has been very lucky to have Bob as a member for so many years. He has always been on our board contributing valuable skill and input that makes a production run smoothly. Hard work and time make Bob a treasured member of the guild. Thank you Bob.
One of the favorite crowd pleasers was Betty Pacheco. Right from the British Isles came a blue-eyed, redhead with enormous talent. She could sing and dance up a storm. Her acting was tops, especially with that English accent. Her smile could light up a room. One of the Guild’s well known leading ladies should have been on Broadway. However, her heart was here with the Falmouth Theatre Guild. How lucky we were to be on the same stage with her. Thanks Betty for sharing a big part of your life with us.
The stage waits for a talented actor, and on comes Tom. He makes the stage his own. With his many performances with FTG, you are never disappointed. Talent is his middle name, for he has so much of it. His family is also involved and we can add his talent to it all. How lucky is the Guild with a full house. Every member needs to reflect on the time and contribution they have given. We thank them for being a part of our lives.
The lady has class and talent. An actress, fine singer, dancer and director. Barbara was a strong force in the Guild and kept it going during hard times. Her time onstage and on the Board of Directors was both valuable and constant. She took over as president and led us to a successful group. She and her children were all members and were talented individuals. Her son, Jeff, also directed a few shows at a very young age. Brian was a fine and powerful dancer, and the twin girls, Jennifer and Janine, added the final touch of an FTG family. We miss them all. Thanks gang!
If comedy is your pleasure, Jonni is the answer. She was the gal who could light up the stage. Her many performances were a joy to watch. She also directed a number of successful shows, and to top it off, she was president of the Guild. The time and responsibility of running the Guild are enormous. It’s the tough times that take skill and patience. All our presidents were fantastic people and Jonni was certainly one of them.
There have been many musical directors, and all of them outstanding. Wally was one of the best. In the early days, when the Guild started doing musicals, a vital part of the production was an orchestra. Wally’s piano expertise and conducting gave the show its pizazz. In addition to the music, he also directed shows. The Guild has been very fortunate to add these fine musicians to its family. Our gratitude to Wally will be long enduring.
There’s a lot of energy and spark in this dancer, actress and singer. Gloria was with the Guild for many years. In addition to being on stage, she served on the Board in a number of positions. She eventually became president during a rough and trying time. When the Guild was at a low point, she put it on track with her talent and time. She spent many hours commuting from Brewster to Falmouth. Regardless of the weather, any time of the year, she was always there. Such devotion to the FTG is remarkable. Thanks for being there and for saving our Guild.
The theatre guild has been very fortunate to have such outstanding, loyal people. Hard working, dependable, individuals who have served in many capacities. Lynn Bergh is such a person. She has been a working member for many years. A producer of many shows and seven on stage as an actor. From vice-president to president she was very successful in guiding the Guild forward. Her skills in management helped the group to achieve higher standards. We are so lucky to have her in our lives. Thanks for all your hard work. You are loved.
The stage is home for Tom as he gives his all to the Guild. His characters onstage are outstanding. He shines as an actor as well as director. Tom has given many years to FTG and continues to be a loyal and vital member. He is dependable and ready to jump in when needed. If you have been onstage with him, you are truly lucky. There is so much you can learn from him. Thanks for sharing your talent and friendship with us.
Mary (Colella) Murphy
FTG brought “Oklahoma” to the stage along with a new leading lady named Mary Collins. From then on there was no stopping her. One of the hardest working members of the Guild, she was interesting to watch. As an actor, singer, dancer, she lit up the stage. An outstanding director, board member and on to the president of the Guild. She was the longest running president (6 years) and achieved much in that time. Multi-talented, and reaching higher, she brought so much to the Guild. We miss her, but will always be grateful for the time she gave us.
The leading man carries a lot of responsibility in a play. A lot depends on his skill as an actor. Joe was certainly one of the best. His many roles made him a favorite of our patrons. In addition to his stage time. He also took time to serve as president of the Guild. That’s probably the hardest role to play. Many other jobs took his time. Without the love of theater, we would not exist. So many thanks to Joe, who kept us going.
The early days of the Guild were exciting and promising. Some of the first members did it all; onstage, offstage, backstage. Neil was one of those driving forces we needed to establish a great theater. As a leading man, his talents were greatly appreciated. As an early director he set the tone for future productions. He had a growing fan base that could sell tickets. Those who followed in his footsteps had a tough time keeping up. He was a man to emulate and set goals to. Neil, we salute you.
Everyone dance! Jacquie has choreographed many shows for the FTG. Her tap routines were outstanding and had a lot of power. She was not only a dancer, but actor as well. Appearing in many shows that she also choreographed. Her husband, Tom, and son, Drew, were also Guild members and the stage was their home. They all spent many hours at the theater. We are all richer for their contributions to the FTG. Thanks Jacquie, we’re still tapping.
Jay was an active member of FTG, acting in lead roles in our productions throughout the 1960’s. He also directed a few shows during his time with us. Jay continued on with his great love for theater after leaving the Guild, and is still working on stage as a professional to this day. His time with FTG was a great gift to all of us.