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Dowdell honoured for 50th work with Marysburgh Mummers

Monica Alyea, chairperson for the Marysburgh Mummers presents long-time volunteer and technical director for the Mummers, Bruce Dowdell, with a poster plaque from his 50th production, Nunsense. Kathy Peeling photo

Bruce Dowdell, of South Marysburgh, was honoured for his 50th engagement with the community’s local theatre group.

Dowdell was the technical director for the Marysburgh Mummers’ recent show, “Nunsense” meaning he building sets, hung and operated stage lights and ensured safety and security of actors as they made use of some “interesting” props.

Bruce and his partner, Lenie, were weekending and working on their soon to be full-time home in Milford back in 1998 when they heard the strains of “The Sound of Music” emanating from the Mount Tabor Community Playhouse just up the hill and over the bridge.

A few months later, community chat having served its purpose, Monica Alyea, then and coincidentally current chair of the Mummers, invited Bruce to help out at Mount Tabor having learned a bit about his little theatre and professional lighting background.

“They needed some help in that area she said,” recalls Bruce.
“The rest is 18 years of history and a little community theatre that is as rich in spirit behind the scenes as it is on stage.”

“Bruce is very creative,” said Alyea. “Directors like me have these sometimes crazy ideas for what they want on stage. I’m quoting him! He is a good listener and then he goes away and thinks about it while he smokes his pipe. Then we do a little back-and-forth dance of cooperation, challenge and brainstorming and we get to these great outcomes that work well for our performers.”

Aylea says the Mummers’ audiences may not be aware of the extent and talent of Dowdell’s contributions, but the Mummers feel fortunate that he moved to Milford.

“This is a milestone to celebrate. One hundred shows just might be possible,” she said.

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