Cathy Bentzley saw her first Summer Stage show in 1976 when she was ten years old.
That was the year our country celebrated the Bicentennial, Love Will Keep Us Together, by Captain and Tennille was the record of the year, Saturday Night Live debuted on NBC, Jimmy Carter took over the office of president after Gerald Ford, and a group of enthusiastic young performers, lead by Temple student Harry Dietzler, put together a summer of theater magic called Upper Darby Summer Stage.
Later when Cathy was 14, she began the first of eight summers at Summer Stage, from 1980 – 1988.
“I just loved it,” Cathy said. She was in numerous productions and enjoyed each and every one. During that time Harry Dietzler was her piano teacher.
Fast forward to 2011, the year Upper Darby Summer Stage celebrates its 36th season, and Cathy is a mom of three boys, Nattie age five, Zack age three, and Zander age two. She has settled in Pottstown, but she drives her boys each week to Drexel Hill to enjoy the Children’s Theater musicals at Summer Stage.
“We wouldn’t miss it.” Cathy says with a calm smile despite having three boys, five and under, in tow. Her oldest, Nattie, proudly wears his yellow “Future Summer Stager” T-shirt. Zack, the next in line, wears a yellow shirt to be like his big brother.
“Nattie is already asking me when he can be up on the stage,” adds Cathy looking down on her son. Although he has many years to go, we all know the time will fly by quickly, and Cathy will be sitting in the audience – not as a 10 year-old, not as a mother of young children, but quite possibly, as a proud mother of a young man, watching her son’s face as he steps onto the stage to sing the Summer Stage song.