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MC Weekly

March 26, 2014

RAY MOSCOWITZ: Ole Olsen has been a Peru gem for 50 seasons

Cadre of volunteers, supporters contribute to its success.

(Continued)

Another veteran is Bob Bryan, now retired after a stellar career as a reporter for Nixon Newspapers Inc. He, too, is a member of the Ole Hall of Fame and has been involved as long as Voss.

Voss’ induction into the Ole Hall of Fame is understandable. She estimates she has acted in more than 60 plays. She says she has lost count of how many she has directed.

“I directed Children’s Theater for several years,” she recalled. “I have directed three ‘Nunsense’ productions, co-wrote and directed our first Cole Porter show with Kurt Schindler, [and] have created and directed two Showstopper Shows. I have assistant-directed about ten shows and built sets for more than 25 productions.”

Voss created and directed the 50th season’s third production, “Showstoppers — Part Deux.” That show was preceded by the season’s kickoff last August at Peru High School auditorium — a one-night extravaganza featuring nearly three hours of Ole history on stage.

The season’s first play was “Of Mice and Men,” directed by Debby Myers. It played in late September and early October at the Depot. Debbie’s husband, Alan, directed the season’s second play at the Depot, “Everybody Loves Opal.” The show was one of the first plays presented by Ole Olsen in the 1960s after its inception. Stu Sullivan will be directing “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

Each season has an encore production — an “add-on” show that corresponds with the Cole Porter Festival in June, Voss said. “These are generally originally written plays using Cole Porter music. This year’s production will be called Country Fried Cole and is written by Sunny Holtzlander.”

Children’s Theater is another summer activity. Piper and Hileman will direct this year’s production of “Macbeth.”

Voss might not have been involved with any of this if not for her father, Fred, a retired Air Force colonel who spent time at various bases before settling in Peru. (Kelly’s mother, Vicki, retired from Peru Community Schools as the eighth- and ninth-grade transitional guidance counselor.)

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