Weaving the Web: The Thespians’ Final Bow

We start a lot of new groups at UUCPA, which, ideally, means a flurry of publicity and how-to-get-involved information. And sometimes groups end, and we should mark that as well.

Decades ago, several (as it was then called) Palo Alto Unitarian Church members who loved music and drama organized an arts-in- worship group. They created dramas and music to enrich Sunday services, and also overlapped with many enthusiastic participants in in-house, non-worship productions such as The Mikado.

That faded, but perhaps the love of theater just lay dormant, because when Philip Hodge joined the church years later, he found enthusiasm for a group called the Thespians, which welcomed both congregation members and drama lovers from outside UUCPA. Sometimes they provided entertainment at such events as the auction and canvass dinner. By the early 2000s, the main purpose of the Thespians was to welcome anyone who loved plays to come together to read plays as they were meant to be read: together, aloud. Under Philip’s devoted leadership and with many participants, the meetings expanded to as many as three per month.

When he passed age 90, Philip handed the information and many carefully annotated scripts along to the next generation, and upon Philip’s death in 2008, Samuel Thomas Morgan (known to all as Tom) took up the reins. The Thespians continued to meet regularly for several years.

The group and the congregation as a whole grieved when Tom died suddenly in January, 2019. The rest of the group decided no one had the energy to lead it for the time being and so it was time to retire from the stage.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the Thespians and its predecessors. And if you are reading this and would like to do some playreading now and then (perhaps as an Auction event?), the scripts are still being kept safe and ready for you.— Blessings, Amy