From Patient to Performer

Many MCT members know Deb Ormston for she has been involved with our theater for over 30 years. Most recently, she was in The Last Comedienne and Inherit the Wind during MCT’s summer season, and you can see her right now in It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (tickets here). How did such a versatile thespian become involved in theater? In our discussion this week, Deb let me know it was simply a willingness to be a patient.

Are you originally from Meadville?

No. I grew up in New Jersey and came here from Pittsburgh in 1980. I worked as a school psychologist in nearby Ohio. I got involved in MCT in 1989.

How did you get involved in theater?

I had a graduate class which required that someone play the role as a patient. I had never done any acting before but gave it a try. I decided I liked it and eventually got connected to MCT.

How many shows have you done for our theater?

I have acted in too many to remember. I have also directed about a dozen. All but one of the plays I directed was co-directed with Sue Fuller. I need to also say that Bill Fuller built most of the sets and they were extraordinary!

Any favorites?

The most profitable was Over A Tavern. However, one with special meaning to me was Fuddy Meers. It was written by David Lindsay Abaire and is about a woman with amnesia, with her mother being a stroke victim.

Any memorable moments?

My first show, Blazing Guns at Roaring Gulch, was also the inaugural for the renovated Academy. In the first show I directed, A Tomb with A View, we lost a gun in a scene, and it was eventually cleverly brought back. Also, in What the Bellhop Saw, we simulated a person flying away on balloons. It was quite a logistical accomplishment. The collaborators on the balloons with me were Sue and Bill Fuller, Barbara Wagner and Jason McMann.

What do you think is special about MCT?

It’s just a fun place. I have always greatly enjoyed the cooperative and congenial atmosphere.

Author: Guy McUmber

Guy is Vice-President of the MCT board of directors and honored to be part of such a great organization. The only thing he does not like about the theater is when his wife occasionally falls asleep at shows, especially those on Broadway.

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