Thank you to all who made our Spotlight Gala, honoring Jean Reed Bahle, such a wonderful event! If you missed it, click on the photo below to check out some photos of the big night!
Tag Archives: Gala
The Grand Rapids Press just had a wonderful article about our Spotlight Award winner, Jean Reed Bahle. The Spotlight Award will be presented at the annual Gala, held this Saturday, April 16. Tickets are still available, go to www.actorstheatregrandrapids.org for more information and to order your tickets online.
Longtime local actress Jean Reed Bahle to be honored at Actors’ Theatre Spotlight Gala
Published: Sunday, April 10, 2011, 12:00 PM
By Sue Merrell | The Grand Rapids Press
Jean Reed Bahle, a Grand Award-winning actress and director who has appeared in more than 60 roles on area stages, will be honored Saturday at the second annual Spotlight Gala of Actors’ Theatre. Bahle, 62, is a founding member of Actors’ Theatre, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
“I came into theater through the musical back door,” Bahle said at her favorite Eastown coffee shop.
Her choir teacher at Kenowa Hills High School took students to an audition at Grand Rapids Civic Theater, and Bahle got her first community theater role in the ensemble of “Carousel.”
“It was so exciting for me,” she recalled. “I got to meet all the icons of local theater: Marney Houseman MacAdam, Bill Beidler, Ken Tepper.”
She attended Grand Rapids Junior College in 1967-69, but didn’t really get to know English teacher Fred Sebulske, who later would found Actors’ Theatre. But he must have noticed her. Sebulske was one of judges of the Miss Grand Rapids Junior College competition, a title Bahle won in 1968 before going on to be Miss Michigan Junior College at the Miss Michigan competition.
“It was all about scholarship money,” Bahle explained with a laugh. “One of the clubs talked me into doing it.”
Immersed in the community
Bahle didn’t plan to become an actress. She earned a degree in secondary education from the University of Michigan and taught English for four years at Lakewood High School in Lake Odessa, where she met her husband, David Bahle, who also was a teacher.
She did some theater in Grand Ledge and Lansing, but didn’t really become active on the stage until they moved back to Grand Rapids in the ’70s.
Bahle worked for the Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids, did freelance arts coverage for The Grand Rapids Press and worked in the business office for Civic Theatre while honing her skills in local theater.
She spent four years working for an advertising agency, casting commercials and writing radio spots before becoming a freelance talent for 10 years, acting in commercials in Michigan and Chicago, and recording a library full of audio books.
“We have a wealth of talent in West Michigan,” Bahle said. “I’ve gone to auditions in Chicago and competed with Chicago talent, and they are no better than here. I’ve taken classes in New York, and they’re not any different than what is available here.
“We have this feeling that there’s something bigger and better going on in New York or Chicago, but it isn’t true. When you work in these major venues, it makes you appreciate what we have here, but you can’t appreciate it until you go away.”
Actors’ Theatre grew out of Saturday morning actors’ workshops Sebulske taught in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
“Fred said the workshop was a place to fail in front of people you knew, where it was safe to stretch yourself in a part that you would never be cast,” Bahle said.
Come celebrate the extraordinary journey, spanning 30 seasons, of Actors’ Theatre. We invite you to join us for an evening celebrating the past, present, and future voyages of the premier contemporary theatre company in West Michigan.
We are proud to present this year’s Spotlight award for enduring dedication and stewardship of Actors’ Theatre to Jean Reed Bahle. Jean is one of the founding actors of Actors’ Theatre, having been heavily involved with the theatre throughout its 30 seasons. From her first performance in Actors’ first production, Side by Side by Sondheim to her most recent performance in the 2010 world premiere of Lines: The Lived Experience of Race, Jean has entertained and excited audiences with her talents on the stage.
Beyond the stage, she has been involved as a director, administrator, playwright, and has donated many hours of her time and talent as a teacher through the years. She and her husband, David, have been active as donors and subscribers since Actors’ inception.
Locally, Jean has performed in well over 50 productions throughout West Michigan and has been a professor in the Theatre Program for the past 16 years. On behalf of patrons, friends, and performers alike, Actors’ is proud to recognize Jean Reed Bahle as the 2011 Spotlight Award recipient for her many contributions to the success of the organization and its art! Join us for an evening of entertainment, fabulous costumes and reminiscence as we look to the past, present and future..
For more details including ticketing information, please go to www.atgr.com
The Actors’ Theatre sixth annual gala was a huge success! Guests gathered at the St. George Banquet and Conference Center on April 17th to enjoy great food, good music and a wonderful array of auction items. Everyone contributed to our goal of helping to raise funds so Actors’ Theatre of Grand Rapids can continue to bring the community the best in entertaining, innovative, challenging and thought-provoking theatre. This wonderful evening also gave us the opportunity to pay tribute to our first recipient of the Actors’ Theatre Spotlight stewardship award being presented to Dr. Chet and Elaine Maternowski.
“Dr. and Mrs. C.J. Maternowski (known to one and all as Chet and Elaine) have been backers of Actors’ Theatre since the very ﬁrst year of the theatre’s existence. They have been loyal attendees, 28 year season ticket holders, major donors and vocal advocates. They are frequently there with a note or a call to express how they liked (or sometimes didn’t like) what they had seen on stage. They would seek me out in the lobby before a show to suggest a way to increase audiences or to recommend a play they had seen in their travels that would be just right for Actors’.” – Fred Sebulske. (read more of Fred’s quote here.)
Actors’ would like to applaud all of the businesses and individuals who donated auction items and send a special thank you to all the people that helped make the big event happen!
Robert Goodrich – Goodrich Quality Theaters, Inc
Rhett & Jeralyn Pinsky
Dr Darrel Rosen
Chet & Elaine Maternowski
Food & Beverage Sponsor: West Michigan Caterer
Floral arrangements donated by: Design Collective Floral
Emcee: Jane DeYoung
Performers: Kelly Carey & Stephen Grey
Entertainment: Rick Reuther’s Music Host Productions
Special thank you to Rob Reminga
Join us for an elegant evening of entertainment, fabulous food, dancing to the music of Rick Reuther’s Music Host Productions and the honoring of our Spotlight Stewardship Award recipients Dr. Chet & Elaine Maternowski with a special live performance.
Event Begins at 7:00 PM
Live & Silent Auctions
Tickets: $40/person – $70/couple
Bar, hors d’oeuvres, carving station, pasta bar, and desert included in ticket price and provided by West Michigan Caterer.com
Call (616) 234-3817 to inquire more information or to reserve your tickets today!
$200 – includes…
- 2 tickets to Tavern on the Grand
- 2 season tickets for Actors’ Theatre’s 2010 – 2011 Season
$500 – includes…
- 8 tickets with reserved table
- Recognition in the event program
- Recognition in our playbill for the next ﬁve performances (the last show of our 2009 -2010 season – Drawer Boy by Michael Healey and the ﬁrst four productions of our 2010 – 2011 season)
- Recognition on our web site – with the option to have an active link to your business
- Recognition in our electronic newsletter
$1000 – includes…
- Table sponsorship beneﬁts
- 2 Season tickets to Actors’ Theatre’s 2010 – 2011 Season
Call (616) 234-3817 for more information on these opportunities.