Archive for 2016 Season

Old Library Theatre Wins NJACT’s Community Theater of the Year Award for 2017!

Old Library Theatre was announced the recipient of NJACT’s Perry Award for Community Theater of the Year at tonight’s 2017 Perry Awards ceremony, held at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, NJ.

Craig Tiede, current OLT President, accepted the award on the company’s behalf, and his remarks are below.

Congratulations to all who give of themselves to make OLT such a special place where art and memories are made!

Thank you. Receiving this recognition means a lot to all of us and we’re so grateful to those who wrote a letter of support or nomination on our behalf, to the executive board of NJACT for selecting us to receive the award, and everyone who donates their time and talents to Old Library Theatre, helping us engage, entertain, educate, and do what we love in the context of our greater lives, sharing that love to make others’ lives greater.

My name is Craig Tiede and I’ve been the president of Old Library Theatre since 2012. For those who’ve not heard of us, or for those who picture us performing finger puppet productions of The Brothers Grimm from behind book-filled stacks, here’s a primer: We are the resident theater company of the Fair Lawn Recreation Department in Fair Lawn, NJ. We perform in a beautiful 170-seat theater space that we share with a handful of other community and professional theater companies. We are in the midst of our 50th anniversary season and we produce eight shows per year – including original works and Broadway favorites. We are committed to showcasing talented performers of all ages, shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and stages of development, teaching them the art of creating live theater and bringing the joy of its creation to their community.

For many, community theater is a punch line. It’s some second-class version of a great art form, better left to the professionals, than to the part-timers who believe they could have been stars had they only not been “born too soon and started too late.” We’re seen as this collective of the ones who never made it, or never tried.

For others, community theater is a hobby. It’s just a fun place to go after school or work, where temporary, but intense, relationships are formed, memories are made, and we get to share our talents with our friends, family and coworkers.

And for others, community theater is a lifestyle, a hashtag, a second home, a first home – the partner, best friend, boss, and staff that never leaves us, even if it occasionally lets us down. It’s the blood that runs through our veins, the air we breathe, the proof of a life lived out loud.

To us, community theater is a privilege, and a calling. We choose to spend a portion of our lives engaged in this form of social intercourse and personal recreation because we know community theater matters. It makes a difference. It shapes, and transforms, lives. It brings stories and poses questions to communities they might not otherwise encounter. What we do, what we love, what we are so lucky to be celebrating here tonight, matters.

Our company, like most of yours, has its share of challenges. And in the years I’ve been involved, more than a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles. You know what I mean – the kinds of people, and situations, and tech weeks, and ticket sales – that make the joy and magic we’re trying to capture and share something only chemically possible with a great deal of alcohol, or distance, or passive aggressive social media posts.

But as artists, our creativity and persistence musn’t waver. And we, Old Library Theatre, have persisted. We have pushed ourselves to do better, be better, expect better, and attract better. And when we get it wrong, we recalibrate. And when we get it right, we don’t brag. We dig in. And we keep going, keep trying to do right, to spread joy, and allow ourselves to feel lucky that we get to do something that we love and that we know matters.

None of us think receiving this award means we’re the best community theater in New Jersey. We don’t think it means this was our best year, or the one where we finally got it right. We don’t think it means we’re any more or less deserving than any other community theater in New Jersey.

What we hope it means is that we’re on the right track and you’re proud to have us as members of this community. We are the dreamers, the creators, the storytellers, the educators, the risk-takers, the sharers of joy our communities need and are better for.

This group behind me – only a select few of those who make OLT the special place it is – work everyday to honor this community and our shared craft. We are not your competition – we are your collaborators. And we promise to keep working to ensure that the drama stays on the stage, that the work and the people who do it have value and are valued, and that our product and its impact make it easier for you to do the same within your own communities.

When daytime television superstar Susan Lucci finally won an Emmy Award, on her 19th nomination, she ended her acceptance speech this way: “I was only supposed to be on every other Tuesday. But thanks to you, I’m here. And I promise I will try my best never to let you down. I’m going back to that studio on Monday and I’m going to play ‘Erica Kane’ for all she’s worth.”

To you, our fellow creators, storytellers, educators, risk-takers, and sharers of joy, we leave you with this: We were only supposed to be a small theater of dreamers performing in an old library. Thanks to you, we’re here. And we promise we will try our best never to let you down. We’re going back to that theater tomorrow and we’re going to play ‘Community Theater of the Year’ for all it’s worth.

Thank you!

OLT Receives 5 NJACT Perry Award Nominations!

Old Library Theatre is proud to announce that we have received 5 nominations for the NJACT Perry Awards! Congratulations to all the nominees!

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play – Cynthia Smith Barry, The Best Man
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical – Matthew Haines, Assassins
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical – Lauren Grof-Tisza, Oliver!
Best Production of an Original Play – Sheryl Heffernan & Linda Wielkotz, Producers; Matt Cavallo, Bill Kaufman, Megan Milko, and Rachel Lichter, Directors; David MacGregor, Donna Hoke, Phillip Way, Brianna Keller, and Dwayne Yancey (Writers), The 6th Annual One Act Play Festival
Best Production of an Original Musical – Craig M. Tiede (Producer/Director/Writer), Our Time: OLT Celebrates 50 Years of Musical Theater


Congratulations to Patt Tanner, OLT’s November 2016 Friend of the Month! Patt

See all our Friends of the Month and visit our Become a Friend page for more information.


Old Library Theatre is proud to announce that we have received 5 nominations for the NJACT Perry Awards! Congratulations to all the nominees!

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play – Cynthia Smith Barry, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical – Brendan Joel Bartlett, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical – Staci Morin, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical – Ashley Seldon, Aida
Best Production of an Original Musical – Brendan Joel Bartlett (Producer), Mollie Gash (Director), Sing Me a Story


Congratulations to Patt Tanner, OLT’s April 2016 Friend of the Month! Patt

See all our Friends of the Month and visit our Become a Friend page for more information.

The World is Our Stage… And We’d Love for You to Join Us!

Congratulations to the cast of Aida!

Thanks to all who auditioned for our upcoming Main stage production of Aida, and special congratulations to the cast:Aida

Aida– Sierra Hunter

Radames – Rob Ryan

Amneris – Ali Rose Harton

Zoser – Gary Lizardo

Mereb – Hamadi Price

Nehebka – Ashley Seldon

Amonasro – Jesse Simpson

Pharoah – Tomo Lovric


Ensemble Men:

Devin Hall

Fred Carlton

Jesse Simpson (also Amonasro)

Bobby Snyder

Chris Gatterdam

Pedro Jiminez

David Yurch

Burl Bishop Rogers

Mark Anthony Lucky

Elmer Cruz

Joe Love Seong


Ensemble Women:

MJ Son

Heather Hussey

A’ja Desormeau

Dana Patrice

So Young Jeon

Tiffany Stewart

Alice Allen

Brittany Bethea

Evianna Hawkins

Allison Miller


Old Library Theatre is pleased to announce its Executive Board for 2016. Congratulations to all!

President – Craig Tiede
Vice President – Angela Vida
Secretary – Matthew Haines
Treasurer – Linda Wielkotz
Publicity Chair – Evan T. Charpentier
House Manager – Charlene Trimble
Webmaster – Rachel Lichter


Thanks to all who auditioned for our upcoming production of The 5th Annual One Act Play Festival, and special congratulations to the cast:

And Twice on Sunday
Agent 1 – Chris Gatterdam
Agent 2 – Nick Pascarella
Trenchcoats – Brian Hackett, Thomas Winkler

Femme Noir
Ruby Russell – Debra Carozza-Lynch
Arthur Tenniel – Geoffrey Waumans
Lola St. Germaine – Judy Wilson
Margaret Tenniel – Elizabeth Marsh
Caroline Kay – Brittany Bur

Off Grid
Barbara – Ann Alfano
Robert – Craig Scribner
Kendel – Brittany Bur
Jeremy – Bobby Snyder

How it Will Be
Neal – James Russo
Ally – Mary Kate Portera

Me and My Shadow
Andi – Thomas Winkler
Andrea – Eliana Athziry
Jacquie – Judy Wilson
Jacqueline – Deborah Zika
Susanne – Elizabeth Marsh
Susie – Charleen Trimble

Leading Lady
Lindy Merrit – Fran Leonardis
Sheldon Platz Jr. – Howell Mayer


Here are the OLT 2016 Executive Board nominees:


Craig TiedeCraigT-218I’m honored to once again be nominated to shepherd Old Library Theatre through an upcoming season as its President. Over the past three years, OLT has grown substantially – now offering four major productions, original musicals, an award-winning play festival, an annual concert and box-office-busting youth productions. So much work has gone on behind the scenes to get the group to where it is today and yet I still see so much opportunity for us to continue to grow, develop and distinguish ourselves as a premier community theater organization. As we look ahead to our 49th season, I’m excited to dig into our recently launched patron segmentation analysis, taking what we learn about our audiences and building out a strong, effective marketing plan. I’m also excited about the many new faces that have joined OLT throughout the past year – each seeking out ways to become actively involved on-stage and off, and ensuring the company will continue to thrive and evolve for many seasons to come. It is my philosophy that community theater is both of, and for, the community and I strongly support OLT’s mission to provide quality theater at an affordable cost, welcoming people in to the collaborative art of theater from all walks of life and levels of experience. OLT is now a bastion of friendly, dedicated, supportive and creative lovers of live theater. I’m proud of my contributions to that and look forward to contributing even more during our 49th season!

Vice President

Angela VidaangelaI, Angela Vida, accept my nomination for Vice President of Old Library Theatre’s 2016 Executive Board. I never made a conscious decision to enter the theatre world. Singing, dancing, and all contained therein has been part of my life since my earliest memories. Although I was raised in a close-knit family, I loved becoming a part of a new family with every show. Theatre companies possess an opportunity to not only create families within cast and crew, but within communities of supporters and vendors. I was welcomed into the Old Library Theatre family more recently than many, but I have strived to make an impact both onstage and off. As vice president of OLT, my goal is to strengthen the family so we can continue to create the quality productions for which we are known. I believe building our subscription base, as well as relationships with local businesses and schools, will create stronger viewership, a greater supply of performers and crew, and growth opportunities we can not yet imagine. I would welcome and honor the opportunity to aid in making Old Library Theatre a more successful, organized, and impactful company in 2016.


Matthew HainesMatthewH-218I am honored to be nominated for the position of Secretary at OLT. In my first year with the company, I have connected with a number of wonderful people and I have experienced the wonderful and inviting atmosphere that this company provides for performers of all kinds. This warm reception has given me the incentive to become more involved and do whatever I can to help OLT grow and thrive. I am truly excited for the 2016 season and hope to bring insight and ideas collaboratively with the rest of the board in order to help Old Library Theatre succeed and continue to provide amazing opportunities for local performers.


Linda WielkotzLindaW-218I am proud to accept the nomination for Treasurer for 2016. OLT has been a group I have been proud to be a part of since 1976. The group is one of the theatres in the area that has not only produced classic and well known pieces, but also newer , edgier and original ones too. The group is well structured ,organized and welcomes everyone. In my years with the group, I have served as past president, vice president, secretary, publicity and treasurer. The last few years while I was not on the board, I have seen the group continue to grow and survive from its former home on River Road to its new location at the Community Center. It continues to provide quality entertainment for everyone. While I have been involved in many groups in NJ and NY, OLT has always been special in my heart and one that I will always call home. I would hope to once again serve on the Board of Directors.

Cynthia Smith BarrycynthiaMy name is Cynthia Smith Barry, and the intent of this letter is to inform you of my interest in becoming Treasurer for Old Library Theatre, the resident theatre company of Fair Lawn, NJ. Currently, I am a teacher who has taught either elementary or middle school for the past 16 years, and I direct our yearly middle school production. Most recently, I am in rehearsal for OLT’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

I understand this commitment involves serving a one year term on the board, attending and participating in a monthly board meeting, as well as various OLT functions throughout the year. I feel I would be a valuable Board Member, not only because I was a professional actress for nine years prior to settling down in Fair Lawn, but I have been a resident of Fair Lawn for over 32 years, raising three children here. I am able to attend board meetings, theatre functions, and attend to any local banking easily. I would accept this post to the Executive Board of OLT with all the seriousness and accuracy that the position requires.

Publicity Chair

Evan T. CharpentierEvanC-218I am really flattered to be nominated for a second consecutive year for a position on the Executive Board of Old Library Theatre. OLT has come to feel like ‘home’ to me, and I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and giving back to a theater company which has given so much to me. As Publicity Chair, it would be my goal to create new links between OLT and the surrounding community that will keep us in people’s minds, and cement our reputation as a vital, thriving, and necessary artistic institution.

House Manager

Charleen TrimblecharleenI am pleased to accept my nomination as House Manager. For the past two years I have been involved in numerous productions with OLT. During this time I have come to love this organization for its professionalism and the strong sense of community and family it has given me. As House Manager, I want not only our members but each of our patrons to feel included and respected in this family. It is my goal to build a warm and welcoming environment with everyone that enters our theater. I also want to maintain and build upon our current reputation of professionalism. I would like to include more lobby decorations for performances that showcase both past and upcoming productions as well as ways for community to be involved. I will maintain the same atmosphere at auditions as well so new faces will experience our quality of work from their first interaction. I will continue organizational habits of the past such as online ticket registry, maintaining a Google Voice account for ticket registrations/concerns and using Google documents to maintain accurate records of purchases and attendance at every performance. I am also extremely open to collaboration and suggestions from other members on how to make the front of house experience as best as it can be for every patron. I thank all members for your nomination and inclusion in a theater company that I hold in very high regard. It will be an honor to serve both with and for you all.


Rachel LichterRachelL-218-2My name is Rachel Lichter, and I am running for the Old Library Theatre Executive Board position of Webmaster. For the past 3 years I have been OLT’s House manager, and I have over 10 years of Stage Management experience. As house manager, I was able to keep organized through the use of Google Sheets, and Google Voice for tickets. I also shared information for casts and crew through the use of Google Drive and Dropbox. I am computer savvy and pick things up very quickly. As webmaster, I would keep the OLT page updated with pictures and videos of our past and upcoming shows. I would also make sure that our shows, events, fundraisers and ticket information is all up to date and easily accessible. I thank you for your consideration.