Elmwood Playhouse’s 5th Annual Gala at Garner Historic District: A Resounding Success

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Elmwood Playhouse celebrated its 5th Annual Gala on Saturday, June 10th, 2023 at the Garner Historic District. The eagerly anticipated event, which serves as our largest fundraiser of the year, garnered tremendous support with well over 100 attendees. Guests were treated to an evening filled with enchanting performances, captivating artwork, and an exhilarating live auction.

The Gala committee embarked on a quest to find the perfect venue earlier this year, leading them to the captivating Garner Historic District. This brick complex boasts a rich history, having served as a textile factory since 1838, producing uniforms for both the Union Army during the Civil War and American soldiers in World War Two. Today, the premises host various artists’ galleries, including the unique Dye Works Gallery, which caught the committee’s eye. Recognizing the opportunity to showcase not only the performing arts but also the visual arts, the committee extended invitations to local visual artists, offering them the chance to exhibit their exceptional work at the Gala.

The Gala showcased an impressive lineup of local visual artists, whose generosity allowed their remarkable work to be displayed with utmost pride. Among the distinguished artists were Leland Bobbé, Chantale Bourdages, Jane Cowles, Irene Czys, Nancy Diamond, Deborah Grosmark, Mackenzie (Mac) Heslin-Scott, David Julin, Mike Malandra, Marcy Mechanic, Jack Milazzo, Randolph Sanmillan, Elaine Schloss, Scott Sladoff, and Z The Great. The evening commenced with a soul-stirring performance by the acclaimed acoustic duo, The Corduroy Suit, featuring newcomers Lindsay Burstedt and John Schmergel. Throughout the night, the audience was enthralled by the captivating flamenco styling of Anna de la Paz and Aubrey Lefkowitz. Elmwood Playhouse performers, including Candace Lynn Matthews, Damon Quatrocchi, Miran Robarts, Derek Tarson, and Steve Taylor, contributed their extraordinary talents to the evening’s entertainment.

The live auction, a cherished tradition at the annual gala, presented a range of thrilling items that sparked excitement among attendees. Among the coveted offerings was a mask from the iconic Broadway production of “Phantom of the Opera” and an exquisite weekend experience featuring premium seats at the acclaimed Philadelphia Orchestra, accompanied by music, art, and luxurious hotel stays in Philadelphia. In addition, generous artists graciously donated their works to enrich the auction. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the enthusiastic bidders who raised their paddles and contributed to the resounding success of the gala.

In a special highlight, Elmwood Playhouse announced the winners of the Larry D. Gabbard Performing Arts Scholarship, an educational grant awarded annually to a high school senior residing in Rockland County aspiring to pursue a career in the performing arts. This year, Elmwood recognized two deserving recipients: Giles Underwood and Christian Brewster.

The 2023 Gala Benefit Committee, comprising Steven Bermack, Tiffany M. Card, Gina DeFelice, Gail Fleur, and Carolynn Whitford, deserves special commendation for their unwavering dedication to organizing this remarkable event. Additionally, Elmwood Playhouse extends deep appreciation to the committed volunteers who played an integral role in making the Gala possible: Jenn Bornstein, Polly Corman, Elaine D’Addezio, Dana Duff, Janet Fenton, Ken Hatlee, David Julin, Kerri Donlon, Carol Napier, Nick Nappo, Evelyn Russo, Paul Russo, Vince Shea, Steve Taylor, and Margaret Young.

Elmwood Playhouse expresses heartfelt gratitude to the sponsors and underwriters whose investment in the local community and live theater made the Gala an overwhelming success. The organization applauds their philanthropic spirit and recognizes their invaluable support in furthering the arts

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