How do you describe a dream come true? How do you explain a vision realized? At the Dietrich Theater, the only way to do so is to tell you about Erica Rogler, our executive director and inheritor and embracer of the Dietrich dream and vision. This year, Erica is recognized by Tunkhannock’s Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) organization as Woman of the Year. No former recipient has deserved it more. Let me tell you why.
Back in 199, a small group of dreamers, led by Hildy Morgan, gathered to explore the possibility of bringing back Tunkhannock’s movie theater, which was up for sale. Going door-to-door and soliciting donations, this small band of dreamers collected enough money for the down payment and bought the aging and deteriorating 1937 building. Even though they could see the sky coming through the roof of the theater, they were undaunted, forming a board of directors, and continuing the dream.
The board decided that, not only would it open a movie theater, it would also create the Wyoming County Cultural Center for the under-served community. It dreamed of offering classes in art, have art exhibition galleries, in addition to hosting cultural events in music and history and so much more.
Fast forward to 2018. Many of the original dreamers are still on the board or helping out in multiple ways, but the torchbearer of their dream is Erica Rogler. Since graduating from college 16 years ago, she has held almost every job at the Dietrich, starting as supervisor, continuing as assistant program director, program director, and executive director. She has totally embraced our vision, extended and expanded it, and made Tunkhannock’s Wyoming County Cultural Center at the Dietrich Theater a true arts and culture destination in the area and beyond, making us the envy of many small towns.
It is fitting that on Saturday, June 2, Erica will be honored at the BPW brunch at the Moose Lodge in Tunkhannock. To secure tickets, contact Julianne at 570-406-3312. We will be there and you are invited, too. It will be an opportunity to celebrate all Erica has accomplished and to express our gratitude.
If you cannot attend this celebratory brunch, perhaps you can take in one of the other events Erica has planned for you in the coming weeks. The very next day – June 3 at 3 p.m., you are invited to Classical Guitar Plays Broadway, a free concert featuring Jay Steveskey, classical guitarist. Sponsored by John P. Keker in memory of Jessie Reppy Keker, this concert will include classic arrangements from George Gershwin and Cole Porter, as well as Spanish and Latin American music. A light reception will follow the concert.
Another reminder of our very first Touch a Truck event at Tunkhannock’s Lazybrook Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 19. Bring the young ones and anyone young at heart. The first 100 children will receive a free fireman’s or builder’s hat. More than 20 vehicles, including food trucks, will be there so make sure to stay for lunch or a snack.
And honor our military veterans Memorial Day weekend by attending Open Mic at the Dietrich Theater at 7 p.m. Friday, May 25. Our Warrior Writers are the featured performers. They will share some of their writings, following those who come to hone their acts before a live audience.
So much good news to share this week. At the Dietrich we do it all for you. Will we see you soon? And often? We hope so.