Star in her crown

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Al Key/DRC
LLona Wolfe, middle, looks at the the granite star that bears the name of Mrs. Wolfe and her late husband, Dr. Henry Wolfe, on the sidewalk in front of the Campus Theatre on Wednesday in Denton. She and her late husband have been longtime supporters of the Denton Community Theatre and were being honored for their time and financial donations to the company.

Denton Community Theatre honored a volunteer Wednesday morning, dedicating a new granite star in the walkway just outside the Campus Theatre lobby.

The star bears the volunteer’s name, Lona Wolfe, and the name of her late husband, Dr. Henry Wolfe.

Wolfe couldn’t be reached for comment after the dedication ceremony, but the company and its volunteers said Wolfe has been generous with her time and money.

Her financial donations have allowed the company to add lighting around makeup mirrors and in the famously dark spots in the backstage prop storage area. Wolfe also helped the Campus Theatre keep its doors open when the building’s air conditioning malfunctioned, making the building stuffy for staff and volunteers who often keep it occupied during business hours and through three- and four-hour rehearsals.

Wolfe, a retired flight attendant, began volunteering for the theater 15 years ago. She has earned a lot of praise over the last 15 seasons during shows that called for careful styling.

“She is quite an asset to the theater community,” said Production Board member Betsy Deiterman, herself a longtime volunteer for the company. “She does incredible transformations with wigs and hair.”

Sharon Veselic, a freelance director based in Arlington who has directed a number of musicals for Denton Community Theatre, said Wolfe offers help in a pinch.

“During Carousel, she invited all the actors who had long drives to stay at her house on the weekends,” Veselic said. “I’m told they were treated like kings and queens. She’s always there to lend a hand with makeup and hair. She’s a lovely and fun lady.”

During rehearsals for the recent production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Wolfe hurried around the costume room at the Point Bank Black Box Performing Arts Center, the community theater’s educational and second-site performance space. The one and only actress smoothed down the gossamer costume gown while Wolfe pinned flowers in her hair.

“Hold still,” Wolfe told her, adding two hairpins to the soft, white flowers. “You won’t have to worry about this at all once I’m done.”

Wolfe spent the rest of the rehearsal on the edge of a folding chair, sometimes anticipating director Bradley Speck’s needs or setting off after an item he wondered about.

Pat Sherman, who served as an officer on the theater governing board last season, echoed other volunteers and attended the dedication.

“What a joy and privilege to honor such a humble and generous volunteer and friend,” Sherman said. “Lona is such an example of selfless giving with no expectations in return.”

Wolfe was honored with a small star, which patrons can purchase for $10,000.

The sidewalk stars, reminiscent of the stars given in honor of entertainers on Hollywood Boulevard, are a tribute to people, families and companies with a significant relationship to the performing arts in Denton, as well as a fundraising effort for Denton Community Theatre.

Apart from the small stars are three “supernovas” — larger granite stars available for $20,000 apiece.

LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached at 940-566-6877. Her e-mail address is cbreeding@dentonrc.com .

 


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