It Takes a Village to Put on a Play

OSWEGO – The term “It Takes a Village” has come into our everyday vocabulary as a symbol of cooperation among many for a common goal.

Sonia Berlin adjusting Noah Water’s monkey costume,

It has no greater meaning than when we talk about community theater.

This year’s OP/TAYA production of “Fairytale Courtroom” is a funny family show, involves a lot of young actors, and has a wonderful director, Norm Berlin.

And working behind the spotlights are a whole bunch of Oswego Players volunteers who make up the production crew for this show.

Three people stand out among the many supporters who stepped forward to help make this Christmas special all happen.

Bob Collins has become the Players’ resident set construction manager.

He and his wife, Diane (Skeeter), often work together on the sets and form an unbeatable team for the Oswego Players.


Bob Collins working on the set for “Fairytale Courtroom.”

hey found their way to the group as a result of their granddaughter, Beatta, becoming a member of the Theater Arts Youth Academy earlier this spring.

And since then, have become regular members of the OP family.

In addition to set design and construction, Bob oversees all the small construction projects that pop up now and then around the building.

Sonia Berlin, in addition to being director Norm’s mom, has taken on the role of costuming 20 young actors for this big time costume production.

But, she is not new to all of the hustle and bustle of community theater as she has been an active member of the Players since the early 2000s.

Her love of this group is unequaled as evidenced by her willingness to take on any task at any time to help make the organization shine.

JoBeth Lehrer is a retired art teacher from Liverpool and a regular patron of the Oswego Players.

JoBeth Lehere painting one of the flats for the set,

And because of her friendships within the organization, she has lent her talents on numerous occasions to work on set designs, create lobby displays, and last year applied her artistry to designing the new lobby wall art.

For this production, Lehrer created and hand-painted all of the colorful artwork for the set.

In addition to this mighty threesome, we give a big shout out to our tech guys, Tom Fazzio and Peter Mahan; house and box office managers Liz McIntosh and Tammy Thompson; our producer Tammy Wilkinson, Emily Saternow and Grace Tolley; hair and makeup; Paul McKinney, publicity; photographer Jessie Dobrzynski; assistant to the director, Audrey Hinman; graphic designer, William Mitchell; and the many folks who will be ushering throughout the run of the production.

So, when you come see the show, please know that what you see, is the result of many, many volunteers who give of their talent and time, because of an endearing love of community theater and in our case, the Oswego Players and the Theater Arts Youth Academy.

Fairytale Courtroom opens December 6 and runs for two weekends.

Tickets are available at or call the box office at 315-343-5138.