Center Stage, bow and exit stage left

‘Ramona Quimby’ is final performance for homeschool theater group


Ramona Quimby, left, played by Amy Preston, pouts as her third grade teacher, Chantel Smithers, reprimands her during a Thursday evening dress rehearsal for Center Stage Productions’ Ramona Quimby, which will be the local homeschool acting troupe’s final performance after 11 years. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

An emotional journey that has lasted 11 years, touched the lives of 240 local youths and will have generated more than $100,000 for the Holland Theatre is coming to an end in May as Center Stage Productions presents its final performance.

“It’s been a great ride, but our lives have changed and the community has changed,” said Thelma Matthews. She and Paula Strebig have been at the heart of the non-profit theater troupe for homeschooled youths since its inception.

“When we started this we were strictly homeschool moms,” Ms. Matthews said.

“Now both of us work full time and it takes a tremendous amount of time and work to put this together,” Mrs. Strebig added. “Our lives have changed dramatically.”

“When we started this 11 years ago, if you were a homeschool high school student and you were interested in performing arts, there was no place for you,” Mrs. Matthews said.

So, the two mothers started offering a speech and drama class through Logan County’s homeschool cooperative group. And out of that partnership, Center Stage Productions was born.



Read complete story in Wednesday's Examiner.
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