Category Archives: In memoriam

Lights dimmed on Broadway to honor Randall Wreghitt

Lights dimmed for Randall Wreghitt Thursday night at the Helen HayesJohn deHaas, a friend of Broadway producer Randall Wreghitt, sent me this photo of the lights dimmed last night at Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre in Randall’s memory.

A former Disney marketing guy and an actor in Central Florida’s theater community, Randall died Wednesday from complications of carbon-monoxide poisoning (apparently the result of a faulty heater in his apartment).

Randall has many other friends in Orlando theater, and we will miss him.

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In memoriam: Randall Wreghitt

Randall Wreghitt

I’m sorry to report that former Orlandoan Randall Wreghitt, for many years a Broadway and off-Broadway producer, has died of carbon-monoxide poisoning.

Some of you probably knew Randall when he lived in Orlando in the 1980s and was Randy Wreghitt. He worked in marketing at Disney, was on the board of the Civic Theatre and acted in community theater around town. I remember seeing him in Godspell at the IceHouse Theatre in Mount Dora and as Melvin P. Thorpe in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at the Civic, among other shows.

Randall moved to New York to work with the Big Apple Circus and then became a producer, eventually producing such shows as The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Metamorphoses and Grey Gardens. In 2001 he won a Tony Award as a producer of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which won for best revival of a play.

Here’s a short piece about his death. All my best to his family and friends here and elsewhere.

In memoriam: Jan Peterson, 1919-2011

I am very sorry to have to report the death of actress Jan Peterson, who died March 24 in Newburyport, Mass.

Jan was active in several Orlando-area community theaters in the 1990s — the old Civic Theatre of Central Florida, the Osceola Center for the Arts — but it was at Theatre Downtown that she seemed to thrive.

In 1994 she played Annie Nations in the Hume Cronyn-Susan Cooper play Foxfire. Here’s what I wrote:

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Memorial service for Alice Byrd is Monday

Alice Byrd

Just a reminder for all those of you — and there are many — who knew and loved Alice Byrd, the longtime backbone at the Mark Two Dinner Theater:

Her memorial service will be at 6 p.m. Monday May 16 at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church , 2815 N. Galloway Road, Lakeland.

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Memorial service planned for Kip Watson

A memorial service for Orlando dance pioneer Kip Watson, who died yesterday morning of cancer, will be at 4 p.m. Friday April 15 at the First Congregational Church in Winter Park.The church is at 225 S. Interlachen Ave., Winter Park.

Kip’s family and friends are in the process of establishing a memorial fund in his name. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear more details.

In memoriam: Kip Watson

Kip Watson

I’m sorry to have to say that Kip Watson, one of the forefathers of dance in Central Florida, died this morning of cancer.

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In memoriam: Playwright Lanford Wilson dies at 73

Lanford Wilson

Very sad news from yesterday — that playwright Lanford Wilson died of pneumonia at the age of 73.

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Memorial service for Alice Byrd

Alice Byrd

Just a quick note here to say that a memorial service for Alice Byrd, the longtime box-office manager at the Mark Two Dinner Theater, will be Monday May 16.

And here’s more: The service will be 6-9 p.m. at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 2815 N. Galloway Road, Lakeland.

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In memoriam: Alice Byrd

Alice Byrd

I’m very sorry to have to report that Alice Byrd, the beloved longtime box-office manager and hostess at Orlando’s Mark Two Dinner Theater (and before that the Mark One in Lakeland), died last night.

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Theaters are asked to set up a chair for Julia Vatter

Julia's Chair

Some of you remember that Julia Vatter, an 18-year-old volunteer for the Bay Street Players in Eustis, was killed in a car accident in the summer of 2009. Since then, her friends and loved ones have created a beautiful program called Julia’s Chairs, which honors the young theater-lover by setting up an empty chair for her backstage in theaters from Eustis to Broadway.

Julia’s 20th birthday would have been this Sunday, Feb. 27, and the goal is for as many theaters as possible to set up a chair backstage for her.

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Seminole State student receives award honoring Paul Wegman

Amy Blaker

Amy Blaker, a student at Seminole State College, has been given the first Paul M. Wegman Scholarship from Seminole State. The award honors the beloved actor Paul Wegman and also the beloved director Sara Daspin, who was Paul’s mentor and helped set up this scholarship.

Wegman died of AIDS in 2004. Daspin, the longtime head of the theater program at what was then Seminole Community College, died of cancer in 2008.

Here’s the full information on the new award:

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Sentinel features Rob Morrisroe

Here’s a lovely obituary of Rob Morrisroe by the Orlando Sentinel’s Jeff Kunerth. It ran in this morning’s paper.

A reminder that the memorial service for Rob, who died last week of pneumonia, is 7 p.m. Tuesday. Here’s more information from the Moonlight Players in Clermont:

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In memoriam: Rob Morrisroe

I’m sorry to say that Rob Morrisroe, an actor who worked with the Moonlight Players in Clermont, died Monday of pneumonia. He was 42.

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Paul M. Wegman scholarship to be awarded

Here’s an announcement from Paul Luby, at Seminole State College, that has touched me for two reasons. Seminole State’s theater department plans to award the first Paul M. Wegman Scholarship before the curtain rises on Seven Guitars Saturday night, Feb. 5.

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A few more things about Kate (from Peg)

Sunday night I was lucky enough to take part in a celebration of Kate Singleton’s life at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden. This really was a celebration, and it was marked by some real eloquence from a bunch of Orlando-area theater people.

Peg O’Keef couldn’t be there (she’s opening Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Mad Cow on Friday), but she sent along these lovely remarks:

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Kate Singleton’s memorial service this weekend

To all those of you who were friends of Kate Singleton, or who admired her work on the stage:

Please remember that Kate’s memorial service is this Sunday night at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden. Here are the details:

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Details set for Kate Singleton’s memorial

Here are the details for the memorial for actor Kate Singleton, who died of an aneurysm Dec. 17:

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Donations needed for Kate Singleton’s funeral

To those of you in the Central Florida theater community who knew Kate Singleton (and that’s most of you):

Avis-Marie Barnes is asking for donations to help pay for Kate’s memorial service and funeral expenses. Here’s Avis’s post on Facebook:

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In memoriam: Kate Singleton

Most of you know already of the death last Friday of Orlando actor Kate Singleton, who was only 51. Here’s the Sentinel’s obituary from today (thanks, Dan Tracy).

I remember Kate as a strong actor and as an equally strong woman — feisty, funny and committed to progressive politics and to her love for animals. I’m very sorry to lose her, and I send my best wishes to all those of you who loved her.

In memoriam: Anne Walker

I’m sorry to have to report that Anne Walker, who acted for the Tropical Theatre back in the late 1980s, died Saturday. Here’s a note from Jim Gerace:

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