An asset to Marietta

For many reasons, Marietta has always been a special place to live and raise a family. Last weekend many of us were privileged to enjoy 30 young actors and actresses take to the stage to present “The Music Man,” and an excellent job they did.

Having been associated with the Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Players from their beginning when my oldest daughter appeared in their first performance more than 30 years ago, I know what an asset it has been to children and youth in our area. My younger daughter soon joined her sister on the stage for what began a love of the theater for both of them. So I could not help but be filled with pride when my 7-year-old granddaughter took to the same stage in her debut in “The Music Man.”

These plays performed every summer don’t happen without a lot of effort. The young performers learn a lot more than acting. They also learn the importance of keeping a commitment, responsibility, discipline and team work.

From the beginning, their director, mentor and teacher has been Marlene Somerville. For most of those years, Kay Doak has been her assistant director. The time that these ladies have donated to work with our young people over the years has touched each child in special ways. Marlene and Kay want no accolades, but certainly deserve our thanks and appreciation.

The plays also become family affairs, as parents commit their time to make certain children attend rehearsals. They work behind the scenes to build and strike the set, find or make costumes and props, apply make-up, usher and, of course, cheer on their children.

The final performance is always bittersweet for the young actors, but this year they were able to celebrate together into the evening at the Lafayette Hotel at an after-party arranged by mom Christina Thrasher and the wonderful staff at the hotel.

I know I can never thank Marlene, Kay and MOVP enough for all the wonderful memories they have given our family, but please know what an asset they are to Marietta.

Willa M. O’Neill