Dodie Brown - Founder, Advisor and Board Member
The following interview is compliments of St. Peter's Episcopal Church
“It’s Dodie Brown, who was director of the St. Peter’s choir for 35 years. Dodie is among a small handful of local actors who have achieved national recognition and who never fails to elicit spontaneous applause when they first come on stage in a production. Dodie has worked with luminaries in the theatre for many, many years and is loved by audiences and critics alike. She and (husband) Bud have been members of St. Peters since the church was built – or close to that time. Dodie and Bud are devout Christians and Dodie is a natural-born caregiver and mentor to anyone who needs her cheerful, upbeat and very intelligent intervention.”
Not much to add here. Other than to sit down in the Browns’ meticulously prepared poolside patio with coffee and treats and to ask an actress those questions that everyone has always wanted to ask an accomplished actor …but have been afraid to seem like a shlemiel.
Like: How do you memorize lines?
“I have tricks,” Dodie smiles, just a little slyly. “I use the ending and beginning of consonants. Rhythm and timing. The words are in my heart, not my mouth. Daddy used to read Shakespeare plays to us and I can still remember the lines. I remember when I did “On Golden Pond” where the monologs are huge. For three months Bud and I would get up very early in the morning. We’d close the blinds and read lines over and over.”
Seth McClintock President (2011)
Retired Shawnee Mission West theatre teacher, he was a member of the first New Theatre Guild board. Graduate of Pittsburg State University and a Fulbright Exchange teacher , he has always supported Fine Arts programs in public school. He served as president of the NEA of Shawnee Mission and on the Kansas NEA board. He has a directed 136 theatre productions. Some of these were produced outside the USA in several counties including the U. K, Holland and Zambia.
Active in supporting theatre in the Kansas City area, he served as president of the Friends of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, as vice-president for Education of the Festival. He is a member of the Friends of the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Kansas City Ballet Guild and Paul Mesner Puppets Board.
Ed See - Past President (2010)
The following is presented with permission from "Today" magazine, Summer 2008, vol. 8 no.1, University of Central Missouri
COMING FULL CIRCLE
Throughout the 50 years of Then Honors College, Professor Emeritus of Theatre Ed See witnessed it's progress first hand and helped it along its way.
One of the 12 students who comprised its first class, See says, "It was a tremendous experience. We were sort of guinea pigs I guess." He remembers his English honors communication class. They met at 8 a.m. with Catherine Titus, then head of the program. "She was quite a demanding taskmaster." he says with a laugh.
See says that the program was especially effective because Titus and then chief academic officer Dean D.W. Tieszen worked to establish high standards and pushed participants to compete against other students who were all exceptionally bright.
Longtime UCM theatre department chair, See says that he always valued his experience with the honors program. "There was so much expected of us, so we rose to the challenge."
John Cessna Past President (2009)
John has a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas, a Master's of Business Administration from UMKC and a Mater's in Computer Science from UMKC. He holds several patents.
John and his beautiful wife, Joyce, have been members of People to People for the past 36 years with John serving as its president for several of those years. As a result, John and Joyce have friends around the world, and even a godson in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has also served on the board of People to People International and was a member of Sister Cities.
John worked for The Vendo Company for 5 years, then joined Electro-Dynamics Corporation for 10 1/2 years, and finally worked for Honeywell for 18 1/2 years before retiring. His last task was to serve on a team of engineers building a satellite communication system capable of communicating anywhere in the world.
Finally, John has spent the last twenty years hand-digging ponds and waterfalls in his backyard. He has moved over 220 tons of Colorado Moss Rock from the front to back. As a result he created three ponds and waterfalls. The largest pond is 30,000 gallons, and the largest waterfall is twenty feet tall. He has created a website project, and you can visit it at www.zenpond.com Zenpond has recently been featured in both the Kansas City Star newspaper and in "Water Gardens" magazine.
John Pearce - NTG Extraordinaire
John Pearce, who is serving his third year on the New Theatre Guild board, is a Jayhawk. KU Journalism degrees are a B.S. in Advertising & Business and M.S. in Radio and Television. His business background includes that of public relations manager, magazine editor, corporate business trainer, director of the department of community development for Johnson County, and Johnson Count Community College dean and foundation director. John's first assignment at JCCC was to design and conduct the public drive for the support of a $12,900,000 bond issue in 1969 to build the new campus.
His current responsibility on the New Theatre Guild board, as chairman of the fundraising committee, is to build financial support to fulfill the mission of the Guild: providing scholarships for theatre arts students at UMKC, KU and UCM.
John and his wife, Sharon, have a long association with Guild founder Dodie Brown. Dodie sang at their wedding. By Dodie's invitation, they were extras in three New Theatre Restaurant productions: Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof and Arsenic and Old Lace. Dodie founded the Guild in 1994 and John and Sharon became charter members.
When you talk with John you soon discover his hobby. He's an avid traveler. He has vacationed in all 50 states. As a corporate business trainer for 13 years he also worked in all 50 states as well. as other locations in North America and in Europe. And he has travelled to every continent except Antarctica.
George began in radio in 1976 at KCUR-FM in Kansas City, first as a late night host and then as News Producer. He majored in Theatre and completed studies at the University of Kansas. George joined the announcing staff of Classical 96.6 KXTR, in 1980 and created "A Night on the Town", a program celebrating the music of Broadway and films.
In 1977, George founded Musical Theatre Heritage, as a non-profit production company to develop the program for national syndication on the WFMT Fine Arts Network.
Today, Musical Theatre Heritage distributes "A Night on the Town" nationally (sponsored by the Algonquin Hotel in New York), organizes fundraising theatre trips to New York and London for a variety of art groups and produces performances of classic American musical comedies at the new Off Center Theatre at Crown Center.
Betty Bushman, a KC Sweetheart
Betty Congour Caywood Bushman graduated from Westport HIgh School in Kansas City. She was an airline attendant with Mid-Continent Airlines and then later, became a PGA Field Secretary. She completed her education degree at Marymount College, taught school for a matter of years, and had two children: Jeff and Michelle. She received her Master's degree in Speech from Northwestern University in Chicago.
She began modeling and doing television commercials, which led to a career in broadcasting. She met her long-time dear friend Maggie Jacobs when they performed in television together. Later, she was hired by ABC as a "Weather-Girl." She had several other shows, such as "Great Ideas from Great Books,' with Hans Conreid and Mortimer Adler, and a 90-minute daily show called "Women on the Go."
When Charles Finley decided to hire a female Baseball Broadcaster, Betty was offered the job. It was during this period that she met the love of her life, Jordan Bushman. They had two sons together: Stephen and Craig. After living in St. Joseph for 10 years, they moved to Kansas City. In 1975 Betty embarked on a live of volunteerism in Kansas City's cultural community, which quite recently resulted in her chairing The New Theatre Guild's spectacular fundraiser, "Celebration of the Arts."