Tess Van Horn

Dear Playhouse Friends,

Mary Weaver has been a pivotal force in shaping my career in the theater.

I first met Mary at the age of four while in a production of The Dining Room – an epic, multi-aged cast of young actors – which she produced in the Belfast Opera House. It was an exciting production to be part of (we got to eat cake during every performance!) and it was from then on that I was hooked.

Mary was able to see potential in all of us little people who had imagination and a desire to act, and through her leadership and compassion, we were able to create our own plays and spectacles. She made us feel powerful and important. Our voices were just as valid as the adults, and it brought out a confidence that we were able to bring to the rest of our lives.

Through the creations of The Playhouse, I was able to develop my skills as an actor, and had the opportunity to work with Mary on a variety of productions. Over the span of fourteen years, Mary became my teacher, director, mentor and close friend.

I am now a professional actor, director and producer based in Portland, Maine. My theater company, Lorem Ipsum Theater, is active in the Portland theater community and I have directed productions for The Theater at Monmouth. Many of the leadership skills I learned from Mary I use in my productions, and she continues to be a guide for me as I move forward in my career.

The Playhouse has been a staple in the Belfast theater community and I would not be where I am today without it. Please consider donating to CLAP! to support The Playhouse Children’s Theater. As one of the many, small, curious and starry-eyed students at The Playhouse, I was able to blossom into the creative being that I am today. Let’s make sure the next generation has the same chance. --- Tess Van Horn