Editor’s note: This week’s column was written by Dietrich Theater Program Coordinator Margie Young. Contributing columnist Erica Rogler will return next week.
The year 2015 has been phenomenal for the Dietrich Theater. To ring in the New Year, our historic marquee has new lighting that lights the way to the Wyoming County Cultural Center at the theater. And we are ending the year with a bang, too — “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” offers a blast of excitement for young and old alike.
Why has it been such a good year? We are proud of so many programs, including our Music Series of concerts that included “Unforgettable, The Music of Nat ‘King’ Cole” at WVIA that has since been broadcast to an audience of at least 4,000. The three concerts in the Music Series were free, enabling so many to attend.
We are thrilled that our community has responded to National Theatre Live, screenings of plays that we would otherwise have to go to London or New York City to see. “Of Mice and Men” and “Hamlet” wowed a crowd and “Treasure Island” and “The Audience” are still to come in January and February. At the Dietrich, we have found that if we provide quality events, people really will come. Thanks to all of you who came or plan to come in the future.
Chair Yoga? Whoever would have predicted that so many are eager to reap its benefits? This was the year so many discovered that yoga can be practiced from a chair. As many as 17 participants attended each class and all are so hoping to continue.
This was the first year for an additional film festival we called “Summer Fest.” In the middle of summer blockbuster movies, foreign and independent movie buffs could see the best of the recent offerings. A gala, on a smaller scale, ushered in seven notable movies. All those who attended can say they went to the first Summer Fest gala or the first Summer Fest movies, as a new tradition has begun.
You probably have heard of PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) or other problems that afflict the military when they return from duty. One program that can be life changing is Warrior Writers, a program to encourage expression through writing to deal with some of the experiences that veterans find difficult to come to terms with. Because of funding from the Tunkhannock Rotary Club and the expert facilitation of instructor Jenny Pacanowski and veteran Gary Morgan, Warrior Writers is now in full swing at the Dietrich and accepting new participants the second Monday of every month.
These are just some of the highlights of 2015 at the Dietrich. None of them would have been possible without the support of the community in so many ways. We thank all who volunteer their time and talents, all who sponsor our programs, and all who faithfully attend our movies, classes, and events. It is you who make all the difference, you who make the Dietrich into the arts and educational organization that it is.