Our Opinions

Monday, February 17, 2014
By Transcript Staff

PLAYMAKERS MAY CLOSE:

Theatrical group has been a local institution for generations

The future of the Winthrop Playmakers is in jeopardy. The long-time community theater group that has been housed on Hermon Street for the past six decades is considering closing its doors.

The Playmakers began in 1938. Winthrop residents have performed in presentations on stage or enjoyed the plays themselves as fans of our local community theater. It would be a shame to see this venerable institution close after years of being a successful and vibrant organization.

Pat McGee, whose name became synonymous with the Winthrop Playmakers and who was part of the group that helped purchase the Hermon Street building (the former Baptist Church) in 1973, said she would be heartbroken if the organization ceased. Pat was involved in every aspect of the theater group’s operation, including directing several musical revues. Her  son, John, was the director of seven shows. Another son, Dr. Paul McGee, president of the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce, helped produce the play, “Chorus Line,” one of the group’s most successful shows. And her grandson, Maxwell McGee, continued the great family tradition by performing a one-man show at the Playmakers last year. Maxwell is the son of Kevin McGee, who was a member of the 1976 WHS state championship hockey team.

According to the Page 1 story in this week’s Sun-Transcript, the Playmakers have some financial obstacles that they must overcome in order to keep the group moving forward. Pam Racicot, who has been a key contributor to the Winthrop Playmakers for 43 years, feels that the organization could continue by using some local venues to stage their shows. The new $80 million Winthrop Middle/High School will have a state-of-the-art auditorium, and that could serve as a future home for the Playmakers.

We hope that the Winthrop Playmakers can weather the current challenges they’re facing and keep this organization in existence.

CONGRATULATIONS, BUDDY PAGE:

WHS hockey player reaches 100 point milestone

We offer our congratulations to Winthrop High School hockey captain Christopher “Buddy” Page on entering the prestigious 100-point club. Page has been a four-year varsity player for the Vikings and is having an excellent season for the Vikings, who are 12-5 and headed to the State Tournament. Page joins an illustrious list of Viking hockey standouts — including Olympic hockey captain Mike Eruzione, state championship team stars Bobby McDonald and Jackie Burke, the dynamic duo of John Tiano and Chucky Sullivan (who also starred on a Super Bowl and state championship baseball team), and Ottawa Senators draft pick Chris LeBlanc, who is now playing Division 1 college hockey at Merrimack.

Buddy Page is not only an excellent athlete, but he’s setting a great example for his younger teammates, including his brother, Charlie, an up-and-coming freshman playing for the varsity, with his academic achievements.

Credit for Page’s success must also be given to WHS head hockey coach Dale Dunbar, who has developed Page into one of the best players in the area.

Congratulations, Buddy, on a terrific career and we hope to see you perform your outstanding skills deep into the State Tournament.

SUE GOLDSTEIN AND MEMORIES OF WHS TRACK

It was great to see former Winthrop High School track star Sue Goldstein Freedland at the Winthrop High-Marblehead girls basketball games this week. Emily Freedland, daughter of Sue Goldstein Freedland and Dr. Eric Freedland, is a Northeastern Conference All-Star guard for the Marblehead girls basketball team and she will be continuing her career at Bates College, where her brother, Josh, is a member of the football team.

Sue is one of the all-time greats in WHS sports history and she was recognized for her achievements with her induction into the WHS Hall of Fame. An excellent student, Sue continued her brilliant track career at UMass/Amherst. Sue was a pioneer in a sense, beginning her high school sports career less than a decade after the passage of Title IX, and no doubt inspiring Winthrop middle and elementary school students at the time with her success and sparkling personality. Sue also was the high school news writer for the Sun-Transcript for a few years.

Sue Goldstein will always hold a special place in WHS sports annals and we’re pleased to see her children, Emily and Josh, continuing the family’s tradition of athletic and academic excellence at Marblehead High and Bates College. (And how proud Winthrop residents Sumner and Janice Goldstein must be of their grandchildren.)

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