About five years ago I was thinking about moving to a small town somewhere in Virginia, a state I had traveled through many times and always liked, especially the Shenandoah Valley. A friend suggested Staunton as being an attractive place. Since I’m a person who uses the internet to look for information, I looked up Staunton. One of the first items I found was the American Shakespeare Center, and it was a “wow” moment! A small town with live theater, and perhaps I could be a volunteer in the Usher Guild!
So, I found a place to live, and one of the first things I did in Staunton was enter Blackfriars Playhouse and ask about being an usher. The friendly folks made me welcome, and that was that….five years later I’m just as thrilled to be here as I was then! Every play I see is another opportunity to be refreshed mentally, to be amused, enchanted, to become rapt in a story marvelously played, and to enjoy the company of so many people who are doing something they believe in and love to share with the world.
It is a great pleasure to help welcome audiences to Blackfriars, to chat with them before the shows, to assist them any way I can, and to watch them fall in love with the place, the shows, the actors, and hopefully, to welcome them back again and again.
– Jean Quinlan, 2011 Volunteer of the Year