A Family That Plays Together

A Family That Plays Together. Rachel Goss, mother of Playmakers Campers Steven and Zack, tells us how her children’s love for performing at the GCA turned into a family affair.

GCA: Tell us a little bit about the Goss family and how you got involved with Playmakers and the Garfield Center.

Rachel: My husband, Steve, and I met and married in Chestertown. I was raised in Centreville and he was raised in Severna Park and we both attended Washington College.We moved to Easton in 1999, just before Steven was born, but we missed the intimacy of Chestertown and returned in 2006.

Our boys have attended Kent School since we moved back. We noticed how comfortable they both were performing there – whether in the Annual Talent Show or in Chorus. We heard about Playmakers from a few friends and the boys were quick to want to join. They were excited about it from the first time we mentioned the opportunity.

This is their 4th summer. Our experience, as a family, has been wonderful. We have loved so much about the program it is hard to put into words. The boys have made wonderful friendships and the camaraderie and teamwork of Playmakers has strengthened the friendships they already had. They appreciate the diversity of all theatre-lovers. As parents, seeing their confidence soar has been a beautiful gift. We, also, have forged lovely friendships as the boys’ involvement with the Garfield has continued. We love seeing them on stage together…every time.

GCA: How did this lead to your first foray into acting?

R: I was inspired – they were never nervous and always had such fun…I had toyed with the idea of being in local theatre. Honestly, my fear kept me in my seat.

Jim Lanskroener is one of the boys’ teachers at Kent School…same with Melissa McGlynn and Kate Bennett. I would ask them every so often if they thought I should audition. They encouraged and I kept letting the opportunities pass. They suggested that Short Attention Span Theatre was a wonderful starting place. I kept letting them pass, too.

Finally, an audition notice arrived via email (those sneaky theatre folks put me on the list, I think). The play was an Amy and David Sedaris piece. I figured it was quirky, so it just may be a good place to start.

The boys enthusiastically cheered for me and encouraged me to Go For It! I bought the play and read it and read it – and I did it. I didn’t get a part, but I faced my fear.

That was it. The boys kept encouraging and I made it into a First Friday performance for Revolutionary Theatre (thanks to my friend, Keith Thompson) and, finally, on to the stage (thanks to Keith, again) for this year’s Short Attention Span Theatre. The boys and I were in a Play together in SAST– what could be better?

GCA: How would you say your involvement with the GCA has benefited your family?

R: The friendships are at the top of the list – and the teamwork. We are all about teamwork in our family. We are considering writing a short play for next year’s SAST – The Dinner Table. Now that will take teamwork!

GCA: Now that the three of you are seasoned performers what are your future plans, theatre-wise?

R: More Playmakers and Playmakers workshops, I hope. I plan to continue to audition and my husband is interested in making his debut soon. We enjoy volunteering for different events, when possible. GCA is a part of our family and we feel so lucky to be a part of the GCA family.

GCA: Both Steven and Zack will be performing in the Playmakers production of Charlotte’s Web August 8th and 9th. Any thoughts on the upcoming show?

R: I helped Steven with his lines last night (he’s playing Wilbur). I hope to have cried away all of my Charlotte’s Web tears before the Big Weekend. I always forget tissues. And I am so excited for Zack to get to put his Goose-Calling talent to new use as The Gander.

GCA: What would you say to other families who might get involved with the theater?

R: Do it! Do not hesitate! It will change your children and it will enhance all of your lives!

All are invited to see the Goss players in action. Playmakers will be performing Charlotte’s Web Friday, August 8th at 7pm, and Saturday, August 9th at 3pm. Admission is free (donations welcome!) and the show promises to be a great treat for the whole family.