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Potomac Theatre Celebrates New Home

Homeless for 13 years, the Potomac Theatre Company has finally found a place to roost.

“This is my last act here and I could not be happier,” Dr. Dick Jung, Bullis headmaster, told a pre-show audience of more than 200 attending an opening night reception in the school’s new theatre lobby.

Jung, who came to Bullis 11 years ago promised then, “Before I leave here you will have a home for your Potomac theater. We have done it,” he exclaimed.

BECOMING THE RESIDENT theater on the Bullis campus was no small feat. It would never have happened without the persistence of such stalwarts as theatre president Elie Pisarra Cain and board members, past and present, Nan Muntzing, Alan Beck, Marilyn Shockey, Cathie Titus, Maureen McMurphy, Ruby Wingate, Paul Mattix, Mac Grant, Carole Dell, Sylvia Biggar, D.J. Garrett and numerous others.

Potomac turned out en masse to celebrate the occasion and enjoy “Charley’s Aunt,” in which one board member, Martin Flaum, played “Mr. Spettigue.” It was Martin’s 12th appearance in a PTC production.

Maureen and Mike McMurphy, who spent untold hours preparing for the June 14 opening night, were unable to stay.

“Our son, Patrick, is the scare crow in Adventure Theatre’s, “The Magical World of Oz,” Mike said. Produced by PTC board member, Marilyn Shockey, Oz’s opening night conflicted with the PTC production. However, Shockey, and her husband, John, spent many hours working on the PTC set.

OTHERS IN THE CROWD included Betty Mae Kramer, founder of the Montgomery County Executive Ball for the Arts.

“Now, I’m busy supporting my daughter, Rona Kramer. She is running for state senate in the new (14th) district,” Betty Mae exclaimed.

“And, I’m busy supporting Betty Mae,” added Sid Kramer, former Montgomery County executive.

U.S. Rep. Connie Morella (R-8), who recently gave the commencement address at Bullis, and her husband, Tony, were there, as were County Councilman Howie Denis (R-1), PTC board member Del. Jean Cryor (R-15), and Sen. Jean Roesser (R-15).

Former PTC president Maury Cain soloed from Williamsburg for the occasion. Her husband, Harry, was in Arizona playing golf. Steve Blakeslee, another former board member, drove up from his country home in Boyce, Va, where he has become active in local theater productions.

Drs. Carol and Tom Garvey were saying that her sister, Dickie Wilson Wilkes, an original PTC board member now residing in Brooklyn, and her husband, Peter, have just finished a screen play and have an agent marketing it.

WILKES WAS IN the first Potomac Community Theatre production in April, 1989. Then, PTC founders Nan Muntzing and Patti Warner (who now resides in San Francisco) had a dream. It was fulfilled when Patti produced “Pirates of Penzance” on the Potomac Community Center stage, with an all volunteer cast and orchestra. Nan was music director.

Among the cast of that first production were soprano Cathy Johnston, fresh out of Princeton, and tenor Dr. Vince Kelly, a local psychiatrist. This duo re-enacted their rendition of “Oh, Here is Love,” from “Pirates” at the Friday evening reception, creating a nostalgic moment for many in that cast including Amy Sher, Pat Young, Judy Pauley and Ann Martinez.

Members of the Bullis family, Faith Bullis Mace, her husband, Dick; Larry and Judy Bullis, and Faith’s daughter Heather Bullis Kanne, and her husband, Matt, were there. It was Faith and Larry’s father, Cdr. Bill Bullis, who founded the school in 1930, as a prep school for Naval Academy appointees. It was located in Silver Spring.