History of OCP
1979 The Oldwick Community Players is formed by Alexandra Teploff to raise money for the Tewksbury Library and produces its first work Little Mary Sunshine.
1980 The second season again chooses a musical and moves into the Old Turnpike School for the production Viva Mexico.
1981 This year sees more people added to the club and several marriages result from the play Somethin's Afoot.
1982 Brigadoon introduces the challenge of the big musicals with the necessity of period costumes.
1983 The fifth season is still bringing together singers from the Oldwick area in the show Carousel.
1984 The Old Turnpike School is the recipient of new equipment for the stage thanks to the proceeds of Kiss Me Kate.
1986 The Drunkard is presented and introduces a new director in the person of Isobel Clowes.
1987 Open casting and the addition of a professional choreographer add to the success of Anything Goes.
1988 The spring of this year sees the addition of a Musical Revue of American Song and Dance under the direction of Anne Clowes, moving out of Tewkesbury to the VFW Hall in Glen Gardner. South Pacific is also staged with the founder, Alexandra Teploff, in the cast.
1989 This year OCP is noticing actors coming from all parts of Hunterdon County as well as neighboring counties. A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum gets good coverage in the local papers and the costumes of Karen Tietjen are complimented.
1990 The production of Damn Yankees is improved by the set design of artist Egils Mattis and a small orchestra is added to the traditional piano accompaniment.
1991 The second review Broadway Magic is written and directed by David St. John, carrying out the desire of OCP to expand its offerings. Oklahoma! is successfully staged with the choreographic help of Ann Marie Niemsyk.
1992 The musical Pippin creates a controversy between Rogers and Hammerstein fans and the young actors in the group. OCP discovers that there is room for many points of view. Vida Allworthy joins the choreographic staff. OCP offers part of its proceeds to DARE and IHN.
1993 The Planning Committee proposes adding straight drama to the season and is in rehearsal for The Real Inspector Hound with plans to stage The Dining Room and Godspell. The musical Cabaret is cast and goes into rehearsal in August.
1994 Oldwick Community Players transforms the Lower Valley Presbyterian Church Community House to the set for “Man of La Mancha”. Attendance averages close to 150 people per performance, an OCP record season.
1995 Oldwick Community Players presents the musical, Gypsy including a memorable performance by Billie Thatcher as Momma Rose. The run also included a last minute substitution for one performance when Herbie was taken ill. A student from Centenary College in Hackettstown who was rehearsing the role was recruited to fill in
1996 Art Winstanley (RIP) did much of the graphic design for our flyers and programs over the years, as well designing/donating the copyright for our logo (not sure of the year!).
1997 OCP enters quiet period and is reborn by presenting a one hour version of “A Christmas Carol” as part of the living room concert series of the Cold Brook Theater Arts Council.
1998 Oldwick Community Players brings the international touring troupe Up With People to Northern Hunterdon Country. OCP also presents the musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol written by two members Robert Nesius (Califon) and Thomas Mazur (Cedar Grove),
1999 Oldwick Community Players expand their season and present Thornton Wilders “Our Town” directed by Merry LaRue, a melodrama “Dirty Work at the Crossroads”. “Christmas Carol is presented again during December. A lease is signed with Tewksbury Township to rent the barn at Christie Hoffmann Park for storage. Art Winstanley (RIP) was in the first two shows.
2000 “Nicholas Nickleby” is performed by Oldwick Community Players during the spring of 2001. Cast was Andrew Charig, Tina Sorge, Art Winstanley, Sarah Turkus, Michael Horan, N. Kent Loudon, Paul DeMott, Philip Vanderemeer, Rene DeMott, Amelia Fetherolf, Jeff Korba, Amanda Reichold, Walter J. Wygera, Steve Nitka (LEAD), Christopher W. Hall, Joan Chavez, Trevor Kacedon, Suanne Fetherolf, and Sara Fetherolf. Directed by Jim Kudless. Performances were May 4-6, May 11-13, 2001. This is followed by the Agatha Christie play “ Ten Little Indians” directed by Elaine Powers and “A Christmas Carol” in December.
2001 Three productions from Oldwick Community Players include “As Bees in Honey Drown”, “Spoon River Anthology” adapted and directed by Elaine Powers and “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”. “Spoon River” is Elaine Powers’ favorite OCP show (or top two!). Cast of “Bees” was Art Winstanley, Bob Sackstein, Erin MacGillivray, Marilyn Burnette, Eric Schell, Scott Avery, Terrie Copeland, Laurel Collins, and Christopher W. Hall. Jan Julia directed. Performances were April 12-14, April 19-21, 2002.
2002 Jim Kudless held auditions and my kids sang Happy Birthday! “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” was again a big hit with many of the child actors continuing with the group for years. The voice of the tiniest angel (Christian Krommenhoek) in the church choir was realistic! Three shows at Pottersville Reformed Church and three at Stanton Grange.
2004 Oldwick Community Players deliverd a powerful production of Arthur Miller’s play, “All My Sons” Directed by Elaine Powers and starring Arnie Chinich, Nancy Zrake and Patrick Collins. OCP presents 9 performances of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at Holland Township School, Valley View School and the Christian Uinity Spiritual Center. OCP also joins RECT (aka NJACT) to be judged for annual Perry Awards.
2005 Patrick Collins from the cast of All My Sons receives a Perry Award nomination for a Best Support Actor in a play from NJACT. Oldwick Community Players performs the musical adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” written by Robert Nesius and Thomas Mazur as part of the Tewksbury 250th Anniversay celebration in the new Tewksbury Elementary School.
2006 That summer Oldwick Community Players presented the classic “Moby Dick: The Musical” on stage at Christie Hoffman Park in Tewksbury Township for three shows and also three at Holland Township School. The show included a whale, storms and white umbrellas. Jim Kudless directed as well as starred in a striking red dress. The holidays brought a production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” with Elaine Powers directing. Location was the basement of the High Bridge United Methodist Church, which soon became a base camp for the theater group. Barry DeVesterre was in charge of building the moveable stage. Janice DeVesterre (RIP) did a phenomenal job on set; Elaine Powers retains her boat costume!
2007 This year included another production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” Sickness in the cast (of children) required recruiting another child actor (Karl Ole Jacobsen) the night of the performance who pretended to be reading a book while onstage (but it was the script!). Very clever.
2008 Summer was the inaugural Children’s Workshop led by Nancy Zrake Daniels. “Really Rosie” demonstrated the skills practiced during the week. Meanwhile adults were under direction of Nick Thomas at Christie Hoffman Park for “Shakespeare Show.” For the holidays, the first production of “The Christmas Truce,” directed by Maggie Baumann, was well received with teens (male and female) casted as soldiers. “All My Sons” was directed by Jim Kudless and included Arnie Chinich, Nancy Zrake Daniels and Noel Krommenhoek in the cast that performed at Stanton Grange. Also that fall “Bad Seed,” directed by Elaine Powers at High Bridge United Methodist Church, starred Christian Krommenhoek as the evil little girl, Arnie Chinich as her dad, Nancy Zrake Daniels as her mother and Ian DeVersterre as the lurking handyman. Cast of “Seed” also included Marie Comerford, Zita Geoffroy-Heinz, Christopher W. Hall, N. Kent Loudon, Felecia Martin-Borrero, Henry Widmaier IV, Art Winstanley, and Kate Winstanley. Performances were in October 2008. “Bad Seed” is Elaine Powers’ favorite OCP show (or top two!).
2009 William E. Spear (father) and the Hunterdon Radio Theatre worked out of High Bridge United Methodist Church also and the Spear family participated in OCP productions.. Dillon was in Hansel and Gretel. Fiona was in a couple of shows. Sean and Connor were stage crew. Theresa (mother) was in Amahl with Dillon and Fiona. OCP also did a joint War of the Worlds presentation at Solitude House with Union Forge Heritage Association. Not sure any of these occurred in 2009! Also about this year, Christopher W. Hall participate in one Hunterdon Radio Theater performance at Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital (patients and orderlies in attendance....).
2010 The summer in Christie Hoffman Park saw two productions directed by Nick Thomas with assistance from Hannah Rinald: Euripides’ “Trojan Woman” (with Cher DaCosta) and Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” (with Camille Snow). [Children’s Acting Workshop?]
2011 Oldwick Community Players held its second Holiday bazaar as well as two one-act plays: “The Christmas Truce” and “The Gift of the Magi” as well as mucical entertainment by Maggie Baumann with a Christmas Carol “Sing a-long.” Venues included High Bridge United Methodist Church and St John Neumann in Califon. [who directed?] [Was there also a play called Dominos this year?] [Children’s Acting Workshop?]
2012 The Second Children’s Summer Acting Workshop directed by Nancy Zrake Daniels performed “The Quest for Quasi: How Little Red Got Her Hunch Back” at High Bridge United Methodist Church. Cast included Samantha Brynildesen, Audrey Maxwell, Evalyn Maxwell, Vivian Maxwell, Tommy Menzi, Andrew Ranallo, Mia Ranallo, Lauren Tabor, Owen Tabor, Josie Whitmore and Paige Whitmore. Assisting the director was Christian Krommenhoek, Noel Krommenhoek, Jocelyn Songer and Renee Falzarano. Kent Louden produced head shots for each child. Maggie Baumann supplied music.
2013 The Children’s Summer Acting Workshop, directed by Nancy Zrake Daniels with assistant director Christian Krommenhoek, performed “Rutherford Wolf” and “Candid Shots.” at High Bridge United Methodist Church on Jul 26-27, 2013. Cast of “Wolf” included Juliana Gonzalez-Rivas, Cambria Grossman, Tommy Menzi, Andrew Ranallo, Mia Ranallo, Abigail Shivers, Nicole Rosales, Ryanne Rosales, Carmela Streicher, Fran Streicher, Lauren Tabor, and Owen Tabor. Cast of “Shots” included: Peter Hannon, Christian Krommenhoek, Matt Lytle, Emily Niemeyer, Carly Soden, Tasha Tomanek, Sammie Wood, and David Thompson. Kent Louden produced head shots for each child. Magie Baumann supplied music and song. The youth of Oldwick Community Players performed for the holidays in “Rolling in Dough in Mistletoe” and “The Gift” directed by Nancy Zrake Daniels and Christian Krommenhoek and musical direction by Maggie Baumann. Cast of “Rolling” included Ashlyn Faber, Christian Krommenhoek, Emily Niemeyer, Desta Pulley and Carly Soden. Cast of “Rolling” included Ashley Gallagher, Tommy Menzie, Andrew Ranallo, Mia Ranallo, Nicole Rosales, Abby Shivers, Sam Szych, and Katherine Toms. Shows were held at High Bridge United Methodist Church. We also held a Pampered Chef fundraiser at the church which was well received. Oldwick Community Players combined with Open Door Productions (ten years later to combine with!) to present “An American Theater Montage - Love, Sex, and Deceptions: an Evening of Intimacy and Intrigue” with six scenes from 20th century award winning playwrights. Directed by Christopher Rollings, the night of scenes showcased the talents of Arnie Chinich, Nancy Zrake Daniels, Christopher W. Hall, James Houston, Jennifer Lubach and Eric Radell. Barry DeVersterre and Ian DeVesterre worked lights and sound. Noel Krommenhoek entertained with her musical talents. Venue on 1 June 2013 was the High Bridge United Methodist Church.
2014 The 5th Annual Children’s Acting Workshop performed “Cinderella” and “Three Doors to Death” at Church of the Holy Spirit (Lebanon) on Jul 26-27, 2014. Carol Nemetz located this new venue for the summer workshops. Nancy Zrake Daniels directed with Assistant Directors Christian Krommenhoek and Emily Niemeyer. Cast of “Cinderella” was Masen Chen, Garrett Gonzalez-Rivas, Juliana Gonzalez-Rivas, Ryanne Lindemann, Andrew Ranallo, Nicole Rosales, Abigail Shivers, Hannah Shivers, Lauren Stavac, Carmela Streicher, Fran Streicher, Jayne Teal and Emma Wish. Casting for “Death” was Juliana Gonzalez-Rivas, Colin Jacobson, Christian Krommenhoek, Emily Niemeyer, Andrea Pederson, Brandon Smith, David Thompson, Tatiana Tomanek, and Samantha Wood. Holidays brought “Christmas Chaos” performed by youth at Holland Township School (Milford) and St John Neumann Church (Califon) on Dec 12-13, 2014. Codirectors were Nancy Zrake Daniels and Christopher W. Hall. Brry DeVersterre set up and ran sound. Alan Craig provided beautiful Victorian costumes. Cast was Peter Hannon, Ryanne Lindemman, Tommy Menzie, Emily Niemeyer, Andrew Ranallo, Mia Ranallo, Nicole Rosales, Abigail Shivers, Hannah Shivers, Brandon Smith, Fran Streicher, Lauren Tabor, Owen Tabor, Jayne Teal, Tatiana Tomanek, and Emma Wish. This year brought a Zumba fundraiser led by Maggie Baumann to support Hurricane Sandy Relief programs as well as our group. But losing our base in the basement of the High Bridge United Methodist Church meant distributing our props and files to members for storage. The stage we had built had to be dismantled (thank you Steven Krommenhoek and young Annandale firefighters for the assistance). We rented a storage unit but that was not convenient for shows. And the search for venues continued.
2015 The 6th Annual Children’s Summer Acting Workshop performed “The UnPrincess” and “The Struggles” with older and younger cast members. Directed by Nancy Zrake Daniels with assistant directors Christian Krommenhoek, Christopher W. Hall, Elizabeth Gao and Carmela Streicher and sound by Megan Povlich. Kent Loudon provided head shots for the cast. Barry deVersterre transported and set up lighting. Carol Nemetz again monitored the rehearsals and provided much needed organizational help. Casting for “UnPrincess” was was Nick Burinsky, Masen Chen, Preston Clawson, Ryanne Lindemann, Liam McGreevy, Tom Menzie, Nicole Rosales, Jason Shea, Abigail Shivers, Hannah Shivers, Skylar Solewater, Fran Streicher, Jayne Teal, Matthew Walls, Emma Wish and Luke Wish. Cast for “Struggles” was Preston Clawson, Emily Niemeyer, Andrea Pederson, Brandon Smith, Carly Soden, Abby Thompson, David Thompson, Tatiana Tomanek, Christian Krommenhoek and Carmela Streicher. Oldwick Community Players again collaborated with Open Door Productions on “The Boys Next Door” directed by Christopher Rollings and performed at Holland Township School (Milford) on Nov 12, 13 and 14, 2015. Cast included Gary Boyer, PJ Campacci, Ian Gilkeson, Christopher W.Hall, Kent Loudon, Eric Radell, Steven Schmid, Syd Stauffer, and Nancy Zrake Daniels. Nancy Zrake Daniels was production coordianator and Barry DeVersterre provided set design as well as light and sound.
2016 Nancy Zrake Daniels, in the 7th Annual Children’s Acting Workshop of 2016, directed older and younger cast in “Ha Ha House” and “Waterspout Hero” at Church of the Holy Spirit (Lebanon). Assisting the director were Gwynn, Ethan & Maddi Anidjar, Christopher W. Hall, Mariel Hulsman, Christian Krommehoke and Abigail Shivers. Cast for “Waterspout” were Scarlett Borchin, Nickolas Burinsky,Masen Chen, Samantha Chen, Jaime Lynn Meyers, Sabrina Mickley, Sophie Pariah, Christopher Saam, Matthew Saam, Hannah Shivers, Kaylee Timpson, Matty Walls, Smon Wismer, and Luke Wish. Cast for “Ha Ha” were Ethan Anidjar, Tammer Bertoldo, Preston Clawson, Nicole Rosales, Abigail Shivers, Carly Soden, Abby Thompson, David Thompson, Logan White, and Emma Wish. Kent Louden provided head shot for the actors. Barry deVersterre lent us flats and set up light and sound. At the end of the Workshop, we presented Barry DeVesterre an plaque for his many years of help back stage with construction, lighting and soundfor many shows.
2018 OCP’s 8th Children’s Summer Acting Workshop performed “Red vs. The Wolf” on Jul 19, 2018 at Church of the Holy Spirit (Lebanon). It was directed by Nancy Zrake Daniels and assisted by Christian Krommehoek and Emily Niemeyer. Program Coordinator and OCP President was Carol Nemetz. Cast included Rowen Borchin, Scarlett Borchin, Allie Butler, Masen Chen, Samantha Chen, Emilia Kuhn, Jaime Meyers, Abigail Moore, and Matty Walls. Kent Loudon took head shots of all the actors. Barry DeVesterre provide set pieces and flats, as well as sound and lighting.
2019 The 9th Annual Children’s Summer Acting Workshop performed the musical “Through the Looking Glass” at Church of the Holy Spirit (Lebanon). This was directed by Nancy Zrake Daniels with Vocal Direction by Mr. Lerch. Assistants to the director were Samantha Brynildsen, Christian Krommenhoek and Meredith Whitlock. Cast included Avery Boarts, Rowen Borchin, Scarlett Borchin, Allie Butler, Masen Chen, Samantha Chen, Tayten Kieffer, Katelyn Tainow, and Riley Tainow. Kent Loudon provided head shot for the cast. Barry DeVesterre provided lights and sound. Spring saw our actors, dressed in Victorian costumes supplied by Alan Craig, at the opening of Turner House (Hampton). Merry LaRue directed a staged reading of “A Human Being Died That Night,” an anti-apartheid play starring Christopher Rollings and Leonie Infantry at Hunterdon County Library (Flemington) and Quail Brook Senior Center (Somerset) Jul 12, performed at Warren Twp Library on Nov 9, 2019. Also Jun 22, 2019 at Franklin Twp Library (Somerset). Staged readings of “Belles” directed by Merry LaRue were held at North County Branch Library (Clinton) and Warren Township Branch (Somerset County Library). Holidays brought a staged reading of “Christmas Truce” directed by Maggie Bauman (or Nancy?) at St John Neumann Church (Califon). Nancy Zrake Daniels was given a plaque in appreciation of her years of service to Oldwick Community Players. We also had a Sing A-long with music by Maggie Baumann.
2020 The group’s fifth staged reading was held at Hunterdon County Library (Flemington). “Collected Stories” by Donald Marguiles was directed by Merry LaRue. “Clue the Musical” directed by Elaine Powers ended our season. Each night a different murderer and solution was performed. Noah Stanzione starred along with the “usual suspects.” COVID HIT!
Board of Directors
Over the years Board members have included Gwynn Press Anidjar, Dave Baumann, Maggie Baumann, Nancy Zrake Daniels, Barry deVersterre, Ian deVersterre, Christopher W. Hall, Christian Krommenhoek, Jim Kudless, Merry LaRue, Kent Loudon, Carol Nemetz, and Elaine Powers.
Maggie Baumann, Barry DeVesterre, Janice DeVesterre (RIP), Dawn Impalli (RIP) and Carol Nemetz worked behind the scenes for many years though never appeared onstage. As board members, taking tickets, planning, setting up audience, clean up, discipline, organizing venues (and refreshments and parents and thank yous), advertising, press releases, searching for venues and merger partners, and more! Additionally they encouraged their children’s participation, instilling lifelong public speaking skills, comraderie for the troupe, and the joy of performing.