Bradford Woods Couples Club Members Shine on Stage at Firehouse Theater
Mar 30, 2020 12:31PM
By Kathleen Ganster
The Bradford Woods Couples Club started in 1961 as a potluck where residents could meet their neighbors and share a sense of community. Over the years the organization grew, and today there are more than 200 members…including some budding thespians.
“More than 50 years ago, the club decided to put on a play, and now we do it every other year,” explained organizer Adam Mowrey of what is unofficially known as the Firehouse Theater. “About 75 people participate, coming up with ideas, writing scripts, performing, setting up the stage, getting props and creating backdrops, selling tickets and more.”
The Bradford Woods Couples Club Players start working on the play during the winter months, and it is performed every other spring. “The creative team gets together to have a couple beers and talk about themes, looking at what’s going on in the neighborhood and society,” said Mowrey. “In years past, we’ve done plays about movies, historical events, Saturday Night Live-type skits and more. We’ve pretty much done everything over the past 30 plays.”
According to Mowrey, one of the benefits of putting the play together is learning more about the people who live in Bradford Woods.
“You think you know your neighbors, but you may not know their hidden talents,” he said. “It’s sometimes surprising to find out that the guy up the street is a musician, or the lady next door is fantastic at set design.
“We’re a close community, but everyone is really busy, so we don’t get to spend a lot of time together,” he added. “There’s also been a big turnover in Bradford Woods, with more younger families moving in. It’s nice to meet more people and get fresh faces involved.”
Every aspect of the play is put together by the people in the neighborhood, though they make a point of creating an original comedy that everyone can enjoy. “We try hard as a creative team to make sure that were not doing inside jokes, because we want people outside the neighborhood to have a good time,” said Mowrey of the play, which is open to the public and takes place at the Bradford Woods Fire Hall. A portion of money raised from the play also goes to supporting local nonprofits.
This year’s theme is based on the fact that Netflix recently filmed parts of the show, I Am Not Okay with This in Bradford Woods. The Dale Ritchey house, located off of Lincoln Road, was used in a scene.
“Our play, called Notflix, is about how network execs saw how successful it was to film in the borough, so they come back to pitch film ideas here,” explained Mowrey. “Each skit is one of those shows, ranging from The Walking Dead to America’s Got Talent to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and a few other more original ideas.”
The variety show also features a chorus and band, as well as a few dance numbers.
While more than 75 people participate in the play, not everyone is ready to be a star, said Mowrey.
“We scrape and guilt people into doing it,” he laughed. “There’s a sign-up board each month at our club get-together, and for the most part, it stays blank. About 30 people are really into it, and we guilt everyone else. There are a lot of good sports in the neighborhood, including those who say they’ll never get on stage, and the next thing you know, they’re up there.
“For a group of folks not in the business, we put on a pretty good production,” he added. “It’s a lot of fun, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re not going on national tour anytime soon.”
Ed. Note: While the Firehouse Theater performance was originally scheduled for May 7-9, it has been postponed until at least June as a response to the COVID-19 quarantine. For more information, follow the group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BWCC2020PLAY/.