Page 12 - Volume 2, Issue 4

Still producing magic at the tent
by Paul Gordon
the end of a com-
memorative book
printed by Corn Stock
Theatre in 1978, when it reached
its 25th birthday, was written:
Yes, the very essence of Corn
Stock Theatre is people — people
of all ages, from all segments of
the community, eager newcomers
and seasoned veterans…”
As the theatre that each sum-
mer converts Upper Bradley Park
into a place of enchantment turns
this year, those words still
hold true, say some of those vet-
erans whose memories quickly
give way to enthusiasm for the
We’re family here. We really
are. I think that will always be
one of the best things about Corn
Stock because so many of our
kids who were brought up at the
theatre are now bringing their
families here,” said Gloria Costa,
a Corn Stock veteran for 54 years
and as much an iconic figure
there as anybody before her.
Corn Stock was always a
wonderful, friendly place to be
for the performers, the crew and
for the patrons. It still is,” said
Costa, who with her late husband
Leonard Costa was a principle
figure in starting and advancing
Corn Stock’s current lab theatre,
mostly known today as its Winter
Rebekah Bourland, whose
mother Jane was one of the 70
charter members of Corn Stock
Theatre when it started in 1954,
remembers fondly the family
atmosphere at the tent and the
magical feeling it brought her
while growing up. “I was only a
babe when it started. Make sure
you put that in the story,” she
said, laughing. “But seriously,
before the lab got started in the
late 70s there wasn’t much to do
theatre-wise in the winters. When
spring came a lot of us looked
forward to summer and to com-
ing to the tent and spending my
days and nights with our friends
doing theatre.
There was always such antici-
pation for the summer. People
could hardly wait for the tent to
go up,” said Bourland, who was
years old the first time she took
the Corn Stock stage.
Jane Bourland, who died in De-
cember 2005, performed, directed
and did tech work at the theatre
for decades. Rebekah followed
in her footsteps and like Gloria
Costa is a past winner of the Iben
Award, the top award the theatre
presents each year to honor long-
time work and achievements.
The Past
Audience members talk with each other before taking their seats at a Corn Stock Theatre performance
under the tent last summer. The organization is celebrating its 60th birthday this year.