Going to the theatre means different things to different people. For many people it is sheer entertainment and spectacle. For others it is a place to try on different personas and ideas – to understand another’s perspective on the world. For others it is a special night. For most people, it is probably a mix of all three.
For Sarah and Ruth Greenblatt, coming to Long Wharf Theatre is about family.
On a quiet weekday afternoon, the sisters sat on either side of Section D, Row G, Seat 7 and placed a small plaque on the arm of the seat between them and looked around the theatre. The plaque said “In loving memory of Evy and Mort Greenblatt.” “I am so glad we did this,” Ruth said. “This would mean so much to them.”
Evelyn and Morton Greenblatt, their parents, had been coming to Long Wharf Theatre since its inception in 1965. Now that they both had passed away, their daughters were looking for a suitable way to honor them. In many ways, Long Wharf Theatre’s Mainstage was a kind of home away from home, a place where many memories were made, so the sisters decided to dedicate a seat in their honor. Thanks to a combination of their own contributions, donations made by friends in honor of Evelyn, and a matching gift through Sarah’s employer, they were able to give their parents permanent acknowledgement in the Mainstage. “It’s been in the family,” Sarah said. “This was their thing.”
Morton passed away in 2006 but Evelyn kept coming to the theatre, often bringing Ruth along with her. They would have dinner at Brazi’s before hand, and then head on over to the matinee. Satchmo at the Waldorf was the final show she saw before she died in September 2013.
Evy was a former journalist and social worker who had passionate feelings about what she saw on stage, her daughters said. She freely critiqued the work of directors and loved the regional theatre model – the diversity of plays, the caliber of actors she’d see, the quality of the productions themselves. “They just loved it,” Ruth said.
Sarah and Ruth decided to spend another year subscribing to the theatre, just the way her mom and dad did for over four decades. “We should be able to get these seats,” Sarah said, wanting to continue to share the experience with her parents.
— Steven Scarpa