Drama at Phillips’ Mill

Plays have been produced at the Mill for nearly 100 years. According to our records, the earliest play was “The Proposal,” by Chekoff, on January 8, 1921. Mr. Rosen, Miss Honiss and Mr. Holmquist starred in that performane. Two years later, on December 1, 1923, “The Wasp” was presented, starring Mr. Holmquist, Mr. Strang and Mrs. Hoppin. The play was set in a deserted inn on the road to Finsk, a village in northeast Siberia, just after the assassination of the Czar.

Miss Margaret Turnbull was probably the first chairman of the Dramatics Committee, as it was known then, after the Phillips’ Mill Community Association was formed. “Dulce” and “Enchanted April” were two plays produced in the early days.

The latter is notable because during its last act, the leading man, offstage in the wing which served as the dressing room, could not find his costume trousers. Actors on stage ad libbed until he found the apparel and donned it. But this episode forced the Board of Directors to provide dressing rooms downstairs. And that’s where they are set up to this day.

By the 1950’s, the Drama Committee was producing musicals. “This Is It,” “The Passionate Pasha,” “And So Tibet” were very big hits. Dorothy “Dottie” Slesinger and Emily Leith-Ross were key ring leaders of the Drama Committee during those years.

Eleanor “Mouse” Miller moved to the Phillips’ Mill neighborhood in the l960’s and soon became Dottie’s right hand person. Mouse has been performing on the stage at Phillips’ Mill ever since.

These days, the Drama Committee produces original musical comedies that are written in house, notably by Valerie Eastburn.  The public has enjoyed “360 Degrees of Separation” and “Knot Again,” two recent productions.

The Committee also produces a cabaret event in the late fall featuring the music of a well known song-writer.

If you are interesting in joining the Drama Committee,  contact drama@phillipsmill.org.