On Friday night, Hollywood stuntwoman and Kingston native Heidi Germaine Schnappauf stood on the podium and inadvertently insulted the small theatre in Wilkes-Barre in what may be the most dramatic Wilkes-Barre downtown witness in 100 years physical confrontation.
Little Theatre Artistic Director Scott Woolnough emerged from a crowd of 160 people, many in gowns or tuxedos, to a $100-per-person gala at the Westmoreland Club to celebrate the theatre’s 100th anniversary. Anniversary, and confronted her angrily.
Moments later—remember, Schnappoff was a stunt girl—Woolnow’s face went flat as Schnappoff grabbed his arm and threw him to the floor.
But don’t worry. Schnappauf and Woolnough pre-arranged their “confrontation” and it was all full of dramatic fun, and Schnappauf certainly loved the little theatre in Wilkes Barry.
On Friday night, she was one of several LTWB friends who were involved in announcing the 2023 season, which begins in January with “Dracula.”
Next up is “Grease” in March, “Picasso at Lapin Agile” in May, “The Wizard of Oz” in June, One Act Gala in August, “Carousel” in September, Rocky Horror Show in October and “Christmas” Carols” paired with December’s New York-style holiday cabaret.
Sharing the announced duties on Friday night were Woolnough, LTWB general manager David Parmelee, life member Walter Mitchell, veteran actor and set designer Michael Gallagher, friends of theatre Lauren and Lorenzo Medico, and former general manager Jim Harris and his Wife Andrea flew in from Hawaii.
Announcing more this season remotely via recorded video are Tony Award-winning set designer and King’s College graduate Santo Loquasto, Saturday Night Live writer Rob Klein and Broadway actor Celia Hottenstein, a Kingston native who appeared on “Wicked”.
For many, the gala was an opportunity to reconnect with old friends, such as Bill Ulichney, a self-described “show tech guy” who came from Lexington, Kentucky, to attend. . “I always like to hear people ask, ‘How did you do that,'” Ulichney said of the special effects.
Some attendees, like Walter Mitchell of Bear Creek Village, said theater was in their blood. His grandfather was a founding member of the LTWB, his parents were active, and now his son David is a fourth generation involved.
Others, like Karen Krakosky of Swoyersville and Susan Hritzak of Fort Forty, agreed that they were “professional viewers” looking forward to watching some of the upcoming shows.
For Exeter’s Breana Schall and her mother Rhonda, who were looking to audition for the upcoming gig, the gala was a great opportunity to wear a gown they sold for an incredibly low price a few years ago.
“I’m just waiting for a chance to put it on,” Shal said with a smile.