It was during our 2014 production of Willy Wonka, Junior that Dean Hussey arrived on the scene to work in our sound booth. He was in 8th grade at the time, and according to Dean his mom signed him up. He wasn't very excited about it...but by the time the show was over he claims he was "in his element." We were fortunate that theater hooked him because he has worked on nearly every show since then. He has logged well over 1000 volunteer hours in five years of productions.
Though he has typically remained behind the scenes in the tech booth, Dean recently went in front of the audience in our Reader's Theater production of A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Adding another whole level of risk, and stepping even further out of his normal comfort zone, he became a strong advocate for those living with autism while teaching his fellow cast members about his own experiences with it. His participation on stage, for the first time ever, greatly enhanced the production. The guy can act, too!
Our founders, Carolanne and Egon Steinebach took huge risks to begin The Merc Playhouse Society. They committed to building a theater that has grown into a community gem over the past 20 years. Without their countless hours of work, their dedication to live performing arts, and their inspired vision, we wouldn't be the organization we are today. We are happy to honor people in our theater community who show the same type of dedication to live performing arts, and Dean could not be more deserving of the award this year.
Dean is graduating from Liberty Bell High School in May. He will be greatly missed at The Merc while he bravely ventures out into his future, but we are certain he has many successes ahead of him. We just hope he comes back to see us once in a while, and maybe work on some more shows...