Merced Is A True Treasure For City Of Merced
By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Founding Publisher
August 30, 2018
The crowd of people who packed Bob Hart
Square on a hot August night two weeks ago were an outstanding
tribute to one of the True Treasures of the City of Merced.
Playhouse Merced, a non profit theatre
group, which has survived on its own effort for 25 years,
was honored by the attendance of a “Who’s Who”
of the city, including the mayor and notables from every
part of town.
This organization showed what can be done
with shear hard work and the will to bring out the best
of our community in music and drama. Each season seems to
be better than the last.
In our past, growing up in New York, included
traveling outside of town to attend Off Boardway shows just
like those which Playhouse Merced stages season after season.
If Merced were near New York, it would certainly be designed
as “Off Broadway”.
Playhouse Merced is the Best of the Best
that our town has to offer and it is a tribute to one of
its great mentors David Zacharias who passed away this year,
but not before he helped put the theater group on the map.
David certainly smiled down at the turnout of support who
showed up at Bob Hart Square for the annual Gala. His wefe
Holly continues her active support and involvement in Playhouse
The list of active supporters is far too
long to be printed on this page, but people like Darrel
Lingenfelter, who received the Patron Award for the 2017-2018
year, should not be missed, and R.C. Essig, the interim
director, is doing an outstanding job.
Now in its 25th season, Playhouse Merced,
not only serves the community as a centerpiece, its involvement
with our young people is part of the gift it gives each
year. Hearing the voices of these young people sing from
the balony of the 5-10 Bistro building was inspiring.
The support of the community is also outstanding.
Jennie Samuelson, the head of the Playhouse board, said
to us that this year for the first time, the Playhouse is
out of debt. Out of debt without any government handouts,
that is a true accomplishment.
When we got a call from her asking for
our support, all we could say is “absolutely!”
She was driving her car and selling tickets to the Gala
at the same time. With that kind of spirit, how can the
Once again the Playhouse Merced has a great
season of theatre lined up. Once again, the Gala was an
outstanding success, but the success does not stop there.
Success is an all year project and goes on year after year.
We rarely get the opportunity to say how
much we, the community, appreciate our little “Off
Broadway” theatre. Keep up the excellent tradition
for another 25 years. You are a True Treasure of Merced.