Set aside an hour and enjoy
an All Star Play Prod cast in...
"An Evening with Miss Pete"

Special thanks to:
Katherine "
Kitty Ruth" Moffat
and Kyle Aletter (Oldham)


Send any Web Site Ideas to:
Pat Walkey - Webmaster

* If there are any other
Play Prod Class links, e-mail:


Kennedy High School today

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Posted August 1, 2007 by Lisa Figueroa, Class of '76 - LFIGUEROA@whiteo.com

Hello All,
Sorry for the group e-mail but there's a bit of a hunt going on. Below is an e-mail I've sent in an attempt to find any number of Kennedy High Play Production members. I hope you are all well, yet growing weary of late with regard to this kind of e-mail.

Dear Shirin (Kathy Graber's sister-in-law) and Barrie (Nedler),
I got a sad, but curiously not surprising, call last night about
Kathy, Matthew, Jeanie, Scott Williams, Claudia Decea, and my Play
Production teacher, Joan Peterson. She passed away from, what
sounds like, a massive heart attack or some kind of quick cardiac
involvement, on February 12. I told the person who called me
(Katherine "Kitty" Ruth) that I don't keep in touch with anyone
directly, but I could find Kathy, Jeanie, and probably Scott and
Claudia to let them know. Katherine and another Play Production
person, Pat Walkey, told Don (Mr. Peterson) that they would like to
plan a memorial and he was all for it. She didn't have a funeral.

If you would please forward this e-mail to Kathy and Jeanie I would appreciate it.
It's going to be a game of six degrees of separation, but anyone
you all might be able to track down would be appreciated. Not only
to let them know about "Miss Pete," but also to give them tentative
information about the Memorial.

Thanks a lot.
Live from Memory Lane,
Lisa Figueroa

Posted August 3, 2007 by Paul Roman, Class of '75 - paulyboy@earthlink.net - Web site: The Dance Store

I feel like I am back in Africa getting my mail 6 months after the news.?
At least there it was because the camel's were slow.
So sorry I didn't get to say goodbye to Joan.
She was such a big influence in my life.
Jen, Riley and I just got back from Alaska. Riley wanted to sleep in the porthole every night to watch the ocean.
Hope you are well.

Posted August 03, 2007 by Claudia DeCea, Class of '75 - Claudita@aol.com

I will call Kitty and let her know that if a memorial is going to be planned then I would be happy to contact anyone I am still in touch with.


Posted August 04, 2007 by Debi Berzon, Class of '75 - DebiDoDa@aol.com

Thank you Claudia for forwarding me this message. Lisa, thank you as well.
If a memorial is planned, please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist.
I have passed it along, with the hope that more of us are contacted.

Fondest Regards,

Posted August 04, 2007 by Debi Berzon, Class of '75 - DebiDoDa@aol.com

Thank you Pat for inviting us to be a part of the "Kennedy Play Production" web page.
I can't wait to hear more about how everyone is doing. Please let me know if there is anything I can do in planning for the reunion/memorial.

"Paulyboy", you world traveler..... OH YOU!!!

Fondest regards to all,


Posted August 11, 2007 by Pat Walkey, Class of '76 - PlayProdPat@cox.net - Web site: MagicInVegas.com

It looks like I've finally got this web site up and running so we can all keep in touch in one place. So far I think I can keep up with it. We'll see how popular it gets!
The thought so far is a reunion/memorial in October - Kitty's place - BBQ get together.
We discussed Sat, October 6th - No final plans yet.
If anyone thinks that's a good or bad time, let us know.
I still have not been in touch with Don Peterson. I believe Kitty is doing that.

- Pat Walkey

Posted August 12, 2007 by Claudia DeCea, Class of '75 - Claudita@aol.com

If Don does not want to have a memorial I think it would be great if we could together and have dinner and remember the wonderful times we had in JFK and the way Joan Peterson influenced us all in such a positive manner... I also want to thank you for getting this website together. thanks,


Posted August 13, 2007 by Pat Walkey, Class of '76 - PlayProdPat@cox.net - Web site: MagicInVegas.com

From my last conversation with Kitty, it sounded like Don would appreciate this.
I got the feeling that JOAN was the one that didn't want a memorial, but then, it's not up to her at this point, is it? Memorials are usually for those that have suffered the loss, not those that have passed on! Personally, I would love to visit and talk with those I haven't seen for a while. Joan and Don were adopted parents for many of us. We all were like a fun family most of the time. It'll be nice. Like I said in an earlier email, the thought so far is a reunion/memorial in October - Kitty's place - BBQ get together. We discussed Sat, October 6th. I think Kitty was checking with Joan's other family members also - No final plans yet on the date. Let us know what you think.

- Pat Walkey

Posted August 14, 2007 by Scott Williams, Class of '74 - Rscott18@aol.com
- Web site: http://armchairactorvist.blogspot.com

Greetings to all you ghosts from the past.

I write from DC, where I am neither a governmental type nor a lobbyist peddling influence. I am instead leading the rather Spartan life of an actor, a choice for which, at least in part, I am thankful to our sweet Pete. Please feel free to visit my webpage (just a self-serving blog, really) to read some of my memories of those long ago days at Kennedy:
- Web site: Armchair Actorvist
Of course, you are welcome to browse around the blog to see a bit of what I've been up to lately (I only began the site in March, so it does not cover the past 30 years, thankfully.)

I have a dozen or so pics from the one year I was at Kennedy, almost all of them from The Miser. I've attached a few, if you think they are appropriate to post.

I hope the gathering in honor of Pete comes off, though I won't be able to join in the revelry if the date firms up to be early October. I will be appearing at Olney Theatre in Maryland through 10/28. I will keep a sharp eye on this terrific site (Thanks, Pat! and Thanks, John DeeKay!) to see if the date slides into November, in which case I would make every effort to join the fun.

In any case, Pete will be well remembered, I'm sure.

R. Scott Williams

Posted August 18, 2007 by Pat Walkey, Class of '76 - PlayProdPat@cox.net - Web site: MagicInVegas.com

Scott -

Thanks for all the great pics!
[Miser, Ten Little Indians, Penny Arcade]
I finally got them all up on the Picture page. Lots of fun to see.

- Pat

Posted August 19, 2007 by Kitty Ruth Moffat, Class of '76 - katherinemoffat@gmail.com
- Web site: IMDB Movie Database

The web site is wonderful!!!
The photos are a laugh, were we ever really that young? Impossible.
Anyway, I'm playing around with my new toy [First computer!] figuring this e-mail thing out.

Still looking for Don's info, will send it as soon as I locate it. (providing I actually manage to send this message to you and not NASA or some other forbidden site that will get me locked up, never to be heard from again, ya never know!)

Katherine ....oops.. er..Kitty!

[You're doing a great job! Glad to have you on board! -Pat]

Posted August 20, 2007 by Pat Walkey, Class of '76 - PlayProdPat@cox.net - Web site: MagicInVegas.com

Per Scott Williams suggestion, I've revised Miser pictures with all the names listed on the pictures. Good idea Scott.

I also heard rumor that Don Peterson and family might prefer a gathering the weekend after the one originally suggested. That would put the Play Prod Get-to-gether and Bar-B-Que on Sat, October 13th. It's still a work in progress, but that's the latest suggestion. I still do not have a phone or e-mail for Don. If anyone has it, please email it to me at PlayProdPat@cox.net

- Pat Walkey

Posted August 24, 2007 by Kitty Ruth Moffat, Class of '76 - katherinemoffat@gmail.com
- Web site: IMDB Movie Database

I'm starting to get the hang of this e-mail thing. I just keep pushing buttons til something happens. ( I'm sure some poor guy in china is wondering 'who is this Katherine chick and why is she sending these goofy e-mails to me?'). Alas, I am not all that old of a dog so maybe there is hope I can actually learn this new computer trick. I digress......

I have not yet heard back from Don about an email address but according to Kyle Aletter, who stays in touch with him, he does not have one. I'll find out.

Also, it turns out Kyle and Mark Arthur (formerly known as Mark Smith) have been working on a memorial service for Joan and were wondering about where people could go afterwards to chat or whatever. So our 'reunion party' may be morphed into the memorial after the memorial.(M.A.M.)

I'm not completely sure yet on the day or time of day. I'll find out.

- Katherine...er..Kitty.

[I think that could work well. Let's see what happens there. M.A.M. it is! - Pat Walkey]

Posted August 27, 2007 by Jason Hill, Class of '73 - sajhill@yahoo.com

It seems the ORIGINAL Play Prod Class of '73 is woefully under represented here. Let me be the first to begin to right that injustice! Jason Lives! In Agoura. Married (#2.)
(Marriage #1 was to Nita Johnson) kids and all that.
And I am so sad to hear of Joanie's passing. Sigh. She changed my life. Took in a stuttering introvert and allowed me to become a stuttering extrovert with a drama family.
I will remember fondly forever.
Best to all of you and please keep me posted re The Memorial.

Jason Hill

Posted September 12, 2007 by Scott Williams, Class of '74 - Rscott18@aol.com
- Web site: http://armchairactorvist.blogspot.com


What a terrific group of pics you are putting together! I know we all appreciate your hard work, and the creativity with which you are posting the photos.
I hope that last group helps bridge the gap which Jason Hill mentioned, regarding the class of '73. With John-Rick, Arshag, Mark Dunlap, Mike Marcus, and Janie Cordray, his class is no longer being ignored!

- Scott Williams

Posted September 26, 2007 by Debbi Robinson, Class of '77 - debrobnaq@hotmail.com

I have been monitoring the website for a while now hoping that you would post some details about the memorial service for Ms. Pete, like a firm date, time, place, but I am not finding them. Is it still planned for October 13? I assume the service will be open to all alums?

Pat - you've done a nice job with the website. I feel a bit like a voyeur snooping around on the website being that I was Class of '77. For that reason I have been reluctant to post to the site myself. However, with the time for the memorial drawing close and no additional information posted, I decided it was time to come out from the shadows and make contact with you upper classmen! It has been interesting and fun reviewing everyone's postings. It is great so see that so many of the alums found performance-related careers. I suppose I did also - I practice law. Ms. Pete and Play Production gave us all skills we have drawn on for many years now.

I live out of state (Nevada), so I will need to make travel arrangements to attend the memorial service. Any information you can provide pinning down the time and place will be appreciated.

Best regards,

Debbi Robinson Class of '77

Posted September 27, 2007 by Pat Walkey, Class of '76 - PlayProdPat@cox.net - Web site: MagicInVegas.com

Thanks for the letter. I live in Las Vegas myself. So if I need a good lawyer, I can look you up, huh?

There seemes to be two things talked about lately - A memorial service (not sure if that's a closed personal service or open to the public), and the Play Prod get-together. I need to talk with Kitty and see what's going on. You're right, we need to solidify something soon. As of now, nothing is a definate. That seems to be how things go... Everyone is too busy with life to plan "fun" stuff, like a get-together! I even thought it would be fun to aquire the Kennedy Theatre for a night to do this, but then a cozy backyard party might be more intimate. We'll see if we can get our act together soon and let everyone know.

- Pat Walkey

Posted September 28, 2007 by Kyle Aletter (Oldham), Class of '77 - onelasassygal@yahoo.com

Oh My Gosh!!! I can’t believe I finally figured out where you all are!!! I’ve had the wrong web site for weeks & just got off the phone with Pat (thank you for this!!!), and then spoke at length with Don Peterson.

There IS a “memorial” Sat, October 13th and EVERYONE is invited.

Ms. Pete’s wishes were for a short “ceremony” of memories & readings followed by a party/reunion. There is no official invitation other than e-mailing or word of mouth. If I can get some sort of final count soon (e-mail: onelasassygal@yahoo.com), it would help with catering numbers. Everything has been taken care of, so everyone can just show up, share, cry, laugh…no limits to the smiles that will be seen that day. It’s what she wanted and I’m following her wishes as well as Dons.

As of this moment the memorial will be at 11:00 am at:
Bel Air Presbyterian Church (16221 Mulholland Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90049).
It’s on Mulholland just west of the 405 (Click on the name above for map).

Get-together after the Memorial...
After that we had thought of gathering at Kitty’s, but my father and step-mother have given us their blessings to have it at their house in Tarzana. Directions will be at the church or you can e-mail me at onelasassygal@yahoo.com (I know…what a name…too much Patron that night! J) As I said, just got off the phone with Don and we realize some people won’t be able to be there, but Don wants this done. We want closure and we believe Ms. Pete is screaming “Get it done, already!!” Bring anything you want to share…pics, yearbooks (eeek!) whatever you think Don would love to see.

Thanks again to Nigel Gibbs who was asked by Don & myself (and it turns out, Ms. Pete…we’ll explain later) Also, Kitty…I don’t know where you get your energy, girl! You are amazing and thank you for your continued help. I am SO sorry that you have all been in the dark! Can’t wait to see all of you! It has been WAY too long!!!

Loving you!!

Kyle Aletter (Oldham), class of 1977

P.S. PLEASE do not try to call Don! He is very much willing to respond with e-mails, but for now talking on the phone is wearing on him. Don Peterson's e-mail is don-p@juno.com

Posted September 29, 2007 by Debi Berzon, Class of '75 - DebiDoDa@aol.com

Geez.......... I didn't even think to read messages! A little late...
But better late than never... Thank you Pat for the web site and for posting my other emails. Okay, so as I was reading, you got yourself a new lawyer... So, any chance of bartering for therapy if you help with my web site??

So, I am hoping to see everyone at the memorial. Alas, I feel a bit estranged ("outta da loop"), so I look forward to seeing everyone and grateful to participate in honoring "Mrs. Pete." Thank you Kitty, Kyle for being so amazingly wonderful and bringing it all together.

Let me know if I can assist in any way.


Posted October 2, 2007 by Michael Rodgers, Class of '81 - mjrsongs@aol.com

Hi everyone,

It is wonderful to see how many of us are looking into this site. Joan touched all of our lives in such a special way. She always seemed to be able to reach out and pull the best from us even when we doubted ourselves. I spoke to her a few months before she passed and we had a wonderful talk. I will treasure that conversation always as she continued to speak of a project that she wanted to produce and get off the ground. She was awesome. I look forward to seeing all of you at the memorial / reunion. It will be a wonderful time for us all to share and remember.

Take Care,
Michael Rodgers
Class of 1981

[At this point we appreciate all of your comments. As this site grows out of hand (and I'm guessing it will), we will group the comments in a categorized posting site. (by graduating classes, etc) -Pat walkey]

Posted Oct 2, 2007 by Marc Garneau, second cousin of Joan's - marc@marcgarneau.com


My name is Marc Garneau and I'm a second cousin of Joan's. I just wanted to say that what you are all doing is wonderful, and thank you. I live in the Chicago area and wouldn't be able to attend a memorial like this for Joan, but I'm very glad to know that Don will have all of you with him to share happy memories of your years with Joan.

You are all very thoughtful. Thanks again.

Marc Garneau

Posted Oct 2, 2007 by Michael Bevan, Class of '73 - mbevan@yahoo.com

Arshag was kind enough to point me toward the site, and it's brought back a boatload of memories. I'm sorry to hear about Joanie's passing. Just goes to show... it happens to the best of us.

I hope to make the memorial. If not, my heart goes out to Don, and my best to all of you whose life was changed because of Joan. For me, she inspired a passion for "show business"... and silliness (oh wait... maybe that was John Rick).

Michael Bevan
Vice President, Original Programming
GSN, The Network for Games

Posted October 2, 2007 by Robin (Oliver) Schoenfeld, Class of '76 - schoenfam@sbcglobal.net

[Robin Oliver]....pictured in an unbelievably adolescent-looking phase on the (newly discovered) Play Prod website. Upon some reflection (omigod, what was I thinking with the double-threat bangs, AND the low slung kerchief?!?!) I do believe I can remember your taking that photo at our graduation rehearsal. Wish I'd had a retaliatory camera on me at the time.... Nevermind. I'm pretty sure I can still see you that day in my mind's eye. (Though why you did not feel immediately moved to slap some fashion sense into me, I can't imagine.)

Sweetie, THANK YOU for your efforts in summoning all us lost sheep back to the fold, especially for Joanie's memorial. It has been many years too long. And your website with the photos was just the loveliest surprise! The fact that you actually DID go on to become a working magician and performer, on the other hand, was not really a surprise at all. That part just makes me really happy. Me, I've held several fairly diverse occupations, none of them having much to do with performing, per se. On the other hand, I have been an uncommonly animated RN/Parent/Writer/Children's Librarian/Artist/ and- most lately- Pilates Instructor, and I know where that came from! You have all had your good influences on me, thank God.

Looking forward very much to seeing you on the 13th,

(Once an Oliver, but now a Schoenfeld, and that for the last 25 years. Luck and stamina, we figure.)

Posted October 2, 2007 by Mark (Smith) Arthur, Class of '75 - actbizboy@aol.com

Well, I don't really know exactly where to start. I've been procrastinating offering my thoughts because I'm so full of emotions. As you all know, Joan was quite a visionary. Whether it be short term or long term. This was a lady who was pretty firm in a lot of her decisions whether it be personal or public. That being said, she maintain many friendships with alumni well after the years. Some had a clear perspective on what was important to Joan. So that being said, let me extend my personal thanks to Kyle, Katherine (Kitty), & Nigel for working so diligently to make the celebration of Joan's life on us happen by way of this Memorial. Also Pat your work on this community web site is great!!

There are so many things I can remember from my time in High School. But, one of the most important was the Family-esq community of Play Production. A lot of this was due to the governing hand of Joan. She ran a tight ship, with a loving heart. She was Mom, Teacher, and Marriage Counselor to a lot of us. No matter how busy she was, she always managed to make time for us. In my opinion, way beyond the call of duty for a Teacher. She proved to be a positive mentor for a lot us. Letting us come to terms with what we really wanted to do in life. Some of us chose Acting or some form of it for a career. And some of us dabbled in it to sustain our creative juices. Kudos to those of you who make money at it! She was a positive driving force in a lot of our lives. I learned a very valuable work ethic and the spirit of teamwork from Joan. Remember those horrendous rehearsal schedules. It sure did pay off at performance times. Another thing I greatly appreciated in Joan, like I stated before was her aptitude of vision. Whether it be a Musical, Contemporary, Formal, Traditional, Mime, Improvisational, or Theater of the Absurd, she seem to stretch the envelope to capacity, raising awareness of Theater to all who participated or observed.

We all realize that people come and go in our lives. But, honestly how often does it happen, that one touches your life so personally and significantly as Joan did in a lot of ours and most specifically mine. When I stopped by the Peterson's home through out the years after I graduated, I was fortunate enough to let Joan know my feelings. Our lil' kitchen conversations were extraordinary. To let her know quite simply how instrumental she was in molding and shaping my life to pursue the Arts. When she heard of my accomplishments, you could see the warm smile of pride and acceptance on her face.

I might recommend to any all who will be in a attendance at the get together at Kyle's Dad's home, bring whatever Joan-isms you can remember and perhaps we can share them in an open forum. So much more to share but, I'll leave some space for the rest of you.

My best to you all & God Bless Joanie!

Respectfully and Creatively, Mark Arthur

Posted Oct 3, 2007 by Nancy Washburn, first cousin of Joan's - nwashburn@azdes.gov


My name is Nancy Washburn, first cousin of Joan. I live in Prescott, AZ. I will be coming to Joan’s memorial service and thank you all for the comments and for the web site with information about where and when it will be.

I have forwarded on your web site to two other of Joan’s other first cousins, Donna Carlson and Judy Sinclair one of her three boys, Marc Garneau, and Donna’s five kids about the service. Donna and her husband Ralph will probably be at the service, but they are in Europe somewhere on a tour and will be back on the 12th, we hope. Judy is in Chicago. Donna’s children all live in Orange County, and some may come. Joan and Don watched them all grow up ( the kids primarily and the kids’ kids), went to their weddings, showers, etc., as well as going to Donna’s for the holidays and more.

Joan was the eldest girl of our 12 cousins. We grew up almost like brothers and sisters in the Chicago area. Right now, there are only 7 of us first cousins: Barbara Bechman, Joan’s sister, me, Judy Sinclair, Jim Sinclair, Donna Carlson, Dick Drevs, and Jane Jeziorski. Three of the other cousins who passed on, were younger than Joan.

Most of us younger ones were in awe of Joan, as you can imagine. I’ve written a piece of my memory of her and have that and pictures to send to someone. Just as a teaser, I’ll tell you Joan began her directing of kids at a very, very early age in basements.

Judy gave me a couple of pictures of Joan as a girl with her Mom, cousins, sister and aunts. I have those plus I’m trying to dig for more in my garage.

Thanks so much again for helping us celebrate Joan.

- Nancy Washburn, first cousin of Joan's

Posted Oct 5, 2007 by Nancy Washburn, first cousin of Joan's - nwashburn@azdes.gov

by Nancy Washburn

Joan was the Queen. She was the May Queen at Lawrence College, Appleton, WI, where her sister, my sister and I all went. But most of all, she was the Queen to all us twelve cousins who almost grew up together. I never remembered this, but I was told that the older cousins used to play in the basements usually, waiting for the holiday dinner, birthday dinner, etc., and amuse themselves by putting on plays, specifically the Princess Marybelle play. Now I believe there was always a “small” argument between Joan’s sister Barb and my sister Andrea/Anne to be the lead, Princess Marybelle. Guess what role Joan took? Of course. At age 10 or 11, she was the DIRECTOR!! Now you know how she began her career.

Joan was always elegant, assertive, confident, intelligent and beautiful. She was a teacher, drama coach and director of high school plays at Kennedy High School. She also was active in the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority alumni group. She was the female head of the cousins. She was proud of her Italian Arado heritage and kept the family tree, coat of Arms and memorabilia, even in California.

Joan was gutsy also. She and Don traveled all over, she orchestrated and almost packed the whole Encino house by herself because Don was laid up with his leg, and I personally was shocked one time watching her drive in Tiajuana. No, she was a very safe driver, but on our way back from a 5 day shopping cousin-fest in two cars, we could not find the border going from Mexico to the US in Tiajuana. This was on a Friday night at 6:00, no one we found spoke English, and none of us could remember the name in Spanish for border. Finally we found a woman who understood us while we were parked on the right side of a 5 lane one way street in the downtown area. She pointed left and said Avenida Revolution. Donna took off with some of us crossing from the right lane to the left over 4 lanes of Mexican traffic in five seconds. Oh my, we’ll lose Joan, my aunts and a kid, in Mexico. OH NO> OH YES. Joan was right behind Donna crossing the 4 lanes of Friday night Mexican traffic also. Thus I found out Joan had what it took to look danger and life in the face. We made it to the “Frontera” and I’ve kidded Donna ever since.

Joan and Don watched their nephews grow up, her students grow up and Donna’s kids and their kids grow up. She and Don were like bread and butter, eggs and bacon, milk and cookies. They were a pair. They joined me several times while I was vacationing in San Diego and yes, I was introduced to Shakespeare live at the Old Globe theatre there. We had a wonderful time always. They were some of the few who got to know my significant other, Michael.

Do you remember how interested Joan always was in the lives of those she cared about and would ask them or their parents questions and encourage us? Some of you remember her as a great teacher, director and mentor. Some of us also remember her as an aficianoado of good food and restaurants, a gourmet cook, travel agent, and an elegant dresser. Yes, how very elegant the Queen was. That is how I will always remember her, still in awe.

We miss you Joan, but we know you are with us all in spirit, urging us on to the best we can be.

- Nancy

Posted October 6, 2007 by Scott Williams, Class of '74 - Rscott18@aol.com
- Web site: http://armchairactorvist.blogspot.com

It is so meaningful to find some of Pete's relatives joining in the celebration of her life and career. I know the memorial (and the bash following it) will remain in everyone's memories forever. I am very disappointed that I cannot make it out to LA on the day, but Pete would understand and even applaud the fact that my conflict is a two-show day, "Of Mice and Men" at Olney Theatre in Maryland.

I wish I had one more picture to contribute, but I'm afraid it does not exist. A year after graduating Kennedy, Pete allowed me to use the theatre at KHS to rehearse my final project for my directing class at CSUN. And why wouldn't she? The cast included Lia Burkey (class of '74), Russ Huston (class of '73), Robin Oliver (class of '75) and Chriscilla Guyer (class of '74). Yes, I shamelessly raided the talent from Kennedy to insure a successful production of "The Bald Soprano." I received the highest grade in the class. I wish I had a photo from that hilarious production, but I failed to secure one. But thank you Lia, Russ, Robin, Chrissy, and most importantly, Pete, for encouraging me to "reach for the Absurd."

Everyone reading the website is invited to visit the page of my blog which contains more of my memories of the very special Joan "Pete" Peterson: Armchair Actorvist
I'll be thinking of you all as you celebrate Pete's life at her memorial. And afterwards, I wish you the best cast party ever!

R. Scott Williams

Posted October 11, 2007 by Terri Asher, Class of '74 (73.5 she says) - folky@creativewireless.net

Greetings Everyone,

Just got emailed by Jim Hier ('73, recent author of the Granada Hills History Book) and he suggested I take a peek at the JFK Play Prod pages. First and foremost my condolences to the family and friends of Joan. Regardless what level player you were, be it actor, set designer, lighting person, makeup, costuming, or in my case being that "constant clown," we still carry some of Joan's influences and guidance with us as we walk through time. No matter which direction the wind happened to scatter us along life's highway there is definitely something good to say about "drama," or at least the dynamics of it! A verbal or bodily gesture certainly still can help one to get what they want, right? Couldn't hoort?

As a youngin I remember Joan as being on of the very first women that I ever noticed who actually walked with their head up, and it wasn't just a proper posture exercise. I remember she had a visible confidence, something that I was not used to or brought up with, but sometimes I felt like "I can do that too!" And, I still do summons "it" on occasion. Great tool!

Great to have had you Joan as an influence in my life! Thank you, thank you! Bravo! (I still think of some of youse 1973-75ers too! It was a slice!)

Terri Asher

Posted October 12, 2007 by Terri Asher, Class of '74 (73.5 she says) - folky@creativewireless.net

I was with Play Production in 1972-1974. I was more of a behind the scenes kind of gal. Being that I was a traditional graphic artist and illustrator even back then I worked on a lot of play's printed promotional material and programs, and I helped a bit with the sets. My acting abilities were only so-so, so I got to sell a lot of tickets and dress as a clown on several occasions. (So, if you have photos from the early 70's of a chubby girl with curly hair dressed up as a hippy clown, that is probably me!)

I was a 5'7" munchkin in Wizard of Oz, but I got booted because my pants ripped big time when I hit the floor during an "oh nooo it's the witch" scene. It wasn't the rip so much that it was the fact that they ripped right next to a microphone, and it echoed throughout the theatre, and then I heard Craig Royce's unmistakable laugh, and then I started laughing uncontrollably, and proceeded to wet my pants... then I didn't know how to graciously get off the stage... Let's just say it was the end of my acting career as I knew it. I also got to be a musician (guitar and mandolin) in a musical adaptation of Alice in Wonderland that the late great Matt Gottlieb had written. (Hmmm, the last time I saw Joan was also the last time I saw Matt, and that is over 20 years ago, at a Play Prod reunion in the early/mid 80's!)

I probably can dig up some other stories, but for now that's quite enough, don't ya think?

Please, if I can not show up to the memorial could you please, please pass along my regards to Don and my old HS pals.

Thanks Again...

Terri Asher

Posted October 12, 2007 by Russ Houston, Class of '73 - houstons04@verizon.net

So sorry for Don and all of us...I just got the word this week. It is testimony of the positive influence "Mrs. Peterson" (or "Mom" as we of the 1973 class often called her) that my old friend Steve Plog would take the time to find me after 34 years with the news. Thank You.

Pat, the site is the greatest, so many remembered people logging in, you and Kitty [and Kyle and MANY others] have really done a job. I'll try to send some pics & hope you still have time to post them before Saturday. I will be driving down on Saturday, is it possible to post directions to the reunion in case the drive makes me late for the memorial?

A word out to Scott Williams...when I heard I spent a day remembering Joan and all my times with her. Naturally I was trying to list every show and I could not remember how I ended up doing The Bald Soprano at CSUN. Then I got time to review the comments here and it was YOU!

Honored to be counted in that happy fraternity one last time.

[Probably not a good idea to post the residential address of the reunion to the world.
Best to email Kyle Aletter]

Posted October 12, 2007 by Pat Walkey, Class of '76 - PlayProdPat@cox.net - Web site: MagicInVegas.com


After all this work, I feel that I know everyone all over again and my work here will keep me from attending this weekend. I will regret it later, I'm sure.

Thank you all SO much for everyone's help and contributions in words and pictures. It's been good for many of us to reflect on a very happy time in our lives. Miss Pete was like a second mother to most of us. She was for me. I think my own mother was even a bit jealous! What a wonderful person Miss Pete was. Not many days go by that I don't think of the great moments I had in High School - and they all took place in the Little Theatre at Kennedy High School... even into the night as we rehearsed late and then spent HOURS in the parking lot, still talking about who knows what! I think we just couldn't get enough of Miss Pete's wisdom and caring personality. Or maybe SHE was just having too much fun with US! ...Thanks, Don, for all your patience over the years!

I remember rehursing Dracula (Featuring the blood-sucking Tim Grey). I think it was Randy Price that I had a scene with, where we just COULD NOT stop laughing. Miss Pete got SO mad at us! She yelled up on stage, "Pat Walkey... You WILL NOT LAUGH during this scene again!" ...Of course we were all on the floor laughing then!

Thanks for the memories. They were ALL good!

- Pat Walkey

Posted October 15, 2007 by Jason Hill, Class of '73 - sajhill@yahoo.com

The memorial was so powerful to me. Hard to hold it together. Sad of her passing. Happy to see old dear friends. Sad not too see many other old dear friends. Sad to realize we are running, or have run out, of excuses to see each other, unless we start dropping. Scary thought. Happy to catch up - to see the graceful aging, the gentleness and wisdom we have all acquired. Sad to once more be touched by a part of my life I try to suppress. Not bury or deny, but relegate to the part of my brain that I don't access very often.

I have had to distance my self from all that because I always knew that it was only going to last for "one brief shining moment" . With my stuttering, lack of singing voice and family situation I was only acting at acting and I knew it. But, I loved the camaraderie, the excitement, the tension, the creativity (perhaps that most of all) the late hours, the suspension of reality once I crossed the threshold of the Little Theater.

I have been blessed to have been there. Only those who have been there, been a part of that special environment, can really relate. my life has had many other high points, thrills, chills, victories and glories but none of these has sustained like Play Prod did. No, it was not the "high point" of my life, I guess, and I know we look back with Rose Colored glasses and all but again, for longevity of emotional highs nothing has topped that. So I must put it all away on a shelf or in a locked box or whatever analogy suits you best and live my life now, for the present, for the future.

Oh my God, all the things Saturday stirred up in me!


Posted October 15, 2007 by Robin (Oliver) Schoenfeld, Class of '76 - schoenfam@sbcglobal.net

[e-mail to Pat Walkey from Robin (Oliver) Schoenfeld
- Robin's writing is too fun not to share with everyone!]

You Booger! (Never quite sure of the spelling on that one; buggar? bouger? bougere? Ah! Ze French bougere!)

After all the lead up, were you not somehow thoroughly on board with the idea that you were ACTUALLY SUPPOSED TO SHOW UP on Saturday?!?!?!? Yeah, yeah, you and Scott with the performing thing, right. Harumph! (And similar noises of pique and outrage) We all missed the HELL out of you! Claudia was similarly AWOL, apparently on a cruise - now THERE'S an excuse! Somewhere in the middle of the ocean! As if she couldn't have rented a flippin' dinghy...

Well, naturally you all were there in spirit, but it's a hell of a thing trying to throw your arms joyfully around spirit - something which a memorial tends to make all too clear, really.

It was a lovely service with lots of Joanie's family and also some of her co-workers attending. I will now name everyone I can remember/knew who came from our group. John Rick, Jason Hill, Arshag, Paul Roman, Russ Houston, Mark Smith/now Arthur, Debi Berzon, Loretta Zarlenga, Kitty, Kyle, Debbi Robinson, Colin Johnston (Whose name is now 'Dean', apparently) Kirk Hunter, and Kathy Harkey. These are the folks I actually knew, though I did met some folks from the first class. Also in attendance a strong contingent from PlayProd, the 80's story. (These folks were notable by their better degree of preservation, but we tried hard not to hold that too much against them.)

Don was sweet, and dear, and lovely, surrounded by loving family, and all of us were alternately quietly weeping, and less quietly laughing, and it was all good. There were a just a bucket-load of cameras going, so the chances are that some kind of record will soon be available. [See Picture page]

It was one of those really, really clear pictures of what a difference a single person of good will and pure intent makes in the lives of others. There is a saying customary at Jewish funerals - "May her/his memory be for a blessing" This would be demonstrably better delivered as a strong affirmative, in Joanie's case. Her influence was, and is, and will always be a blessing in a great many of our lives.

Okay, there's the quick rundown. If you wanted all the good gossip, you should have shown up at the after-gathering with the rest of the cool people. (My God! For once, I actually hung out with the cool people! Was...that a...flying pig... going over just now?!?!) Hah! And you missed out on seeing me with a whole lot shorter hairstyle, and several more pounds of presence generously distributed over my still lengthy frame. (I wore heels, of course, and so continued to tower over most of the males in attendance. Yes, I still do get a kick out of that!)

Be well. .....(she trails off, implying displeasure of no little significance [to those who were not there].)


Posted October 18, 2007 by Russ Houston, Class of '73 - houstons04@verizon.net

I can not believe that for about 12 hours I actually thought I wouldn't attend that memorial. I wasn't sure after 30+ years if it would change anything or have any real impact if one more ghost failed to attend. I am so glad I reconsidered and followed a deeper more heartfelt homing instinct. It came clear to me that Joan and Play Prod. were too important to me not to show, that contribution she made to all our lives left unacknowleged by me.

Any doubts about the long drive or whether my attendance made any difference to anyone else dissappeared in a second when I recieved the emotional, warm welcome Don gave me before the memorial. It obviously was so touching to him that we all were there, and I was so very glad I came.

Like Jason said, maybe we may never get together as one group again. Just in case, I just wanted to say how lucky I feel to have been found for this event and to have shared it with all of you. We could never forget her, Don and to see so many of us able to make it made me proud to be one of them. Never knew Nigel Gibbs (1980?) but his statements in the memorial so echoed all of our experience...I guess we all shared that happy accident of falling into Mrs. Peterson's program, and came away with so much.

You said it Jason, so many feelings stashed away, so many to revisit.

Good Luck to you all...

Russ Houston

Posted January 31, 2008 by Cheryl "Carter" Johnson-Torres, Class of '75 - cljtorres@hotmail.com

Just wanted to say hello. Don't know if you will remember me but I used to live on the same street as (then) Debi Berzon. She actually got me my first job at Jack-N-The-Box.

I was so sad to learn of Ms. Pete's passing and my own mom passed away January 17, 2007. I graduated in 1975 and made morning announcements thanks to Mrs. Peterson!!

Take Care....

Cheryl Carter-Johnson-Torres
(Photos submitted on Picture page)

Posted March 25, 2008 by Scott Williams, Class of '74 - Rscott18@aol.com
- Web site: http://armchairactorvist.blogspot.com

Greetings all!

If any of the old Kennedy High crowd happens to be in the DC area this spring, may I invite you to my current project? I am happy to be joining the long-running smash Shear Madness, which has been running at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for over 20 years. The show is a light-weight laugh-riot, a whodunit with flamboyant characters and shameless shtick. It's a ball to do, and to see.

To take advantage of the huge influx of tourists during the spring, the producers add a second full company of actors to perform the show weekday afternoons at 5, and Monday nights at 8. I am a member of that company, and my run will continue through June 12. If any of the old KHS crowd plans to be around these parts, don't hesitate to let me know, as I can usually arrange complimentary tickets to the show. I'd love to see you!

- Scott Williams
(Picture posted on Picture Page)

Posted June 26, 2008 by Dave Weiland, Class of '78 - dweiland@socal.rr.com

We have our class of 1978 reunion in a few weeks.
They are collecting photos and such for the event.

It gives me a chance to also find some of the old drama photos [for your Play Prod site].
(See Dracula pictures and more on the Photo page).

- Dave Weiland

Posted April 14, 2009 by Dave Weiland, Class of '78 - dweiland@socal.rr.com

An update for the JFK Play Production Theatre family… Sorry to pass along the news that BILL DIXON, Stage Crew instructor passed away March 30.

Chris Mahony spoke to his Son, BILL went peacefully and his ashes have been spread at sea.

This ends an era of our teachers: Joan Peterson, Bob Williams, and Bill Dixon.

- Dave Weiland

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