No, it’s not his age. This past spring Bruce Dowdell of South Marysburgh was the Technical Director for the Marysburgh Mummers show, “Nunsense.” That means building sets, hanging and operating stage lights and ensuring the safety and security of actors as they made use of some “interesting” props. This was a special show for Bruce, marking his 50th engagement with the Marysburgh Mummers.
Bruce and his partner, Lenie, were weekending and working on their soon to be full time home in Milford back in 1998 when they heard the strains of “The Sound of Music” emanating from the Mount Tabor Community Playhouse just up the hill and over the bridge. A few months later, community chat having served its purpose, Monica Alyea, then and coincidentally current Chair of the Mummers, invited Bruce to help out at Mount Tabor having learned a bit about his little theatre and professional lighting background. “They needed some help in that area she said.” recalls Bruce.
The rest is 18 years of history and a little community theatre that is as rich in spirit behind the scenes as it is on stage. According to Monica, “Bruce is very creative. Directors like me have these sometimes crazy ideas for what they want on stage. I’m quoting him! He is a good listener and then he goes away and thinks about it while he smokes his pipe. Then we do a little back and forth dance of cooperation, challenge and brainstorming and we get to these great outcomes that work well for our performers. Our audiences may not be aware of the extent and talent of Bruce’s contributions, but we are. We are so fortunate that he moved to Milford. This is a milestone to celebrate. One hundred shows just might be possible!”
From all Mummers, past & present, thanks Bruce for all that you do for the Marysburgh Mummers, community theatre, and the village of Milford!