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The Monomoy Theatre has hosted special events for alumni and friends for 55 years

Photographer: Dawn Werry


More than 65 alumni and friends attended the annual lobster dinner hosted by the Massachusetts Chapter Serving New England prior to the Monomoy Theatre production of '1776' on June 23

Photographer: Dawn Werry

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Alumni celebrate 55 years of theater in Cape Cod

Since 1958, the Ohio University Players have made an annual pilgrimage to the Monomoy Theatre in Chatham, Mass., to put on a challenging play a week, from musicals to Shakespeare. The Theatre, purchased by former Ohio University First Lady Elizabeth Baker, trains the University's graduate and undergraduate students in all aspects of theater. The theatre also has drawn many alumni and friends to Cape Cod for a special summer weekend.

June 22-23 the Ohio University Alumni Association (OUAA) and the Massachusetts Chapter Serving New England hosted the annual Monomoy Weekend. The weekend was founded by and sustained by numerous volunteers and hosted by the late Robert Axline, BSCO '57, and his family for decades.

"For the 55th consecutive year, alumni have made a tradition of witnessing the Ohio University Players performing at Monomoy Theatre in Chatham, and after spending the weekend conducting the Chapter's events for the first time, the importance really set in of continuing the tradition," said Chapter President Dave Abram, BSC '89. "To pay homage to the vision of Elizabeth and John C. Baker, and former Chapter leaders and to provide an anchor event for the alumni of New England and for the Alumni Association as a whole is an honor."

This year's activities opened with a reception attended by 34 alumni and friends including Massachusetts-area alumnae Dawn Jones, BSHE '83, Kathy Cerminara, BSJ '83, Linda Simonitsch, BFA '61, and Joanne Utley, BSJ '79; and university officials President Roderick J. McDavis, Vice President for University Advancement Bryan Benchoff, and College of Fine Arts Interim Dean Madeline Scott.

Abram, also a member of the OUAA Board of Directors, and his wife Amber hosted Saturday's lobster dinner and the theatre's performance of 1776, during which more than 65 alumni and friends enjoyed the musical based on events surrounding the signing of the Declaration of Independence. On Sunday morning, Jean Axline and her family hosted the President's reception at her home in Chatham.

"We salute the Massachusetts Chapter serving New England, the residents of Chatham and Cape Cod, and the friends of the Monomoy Theatre. Throughout the years, their spirit, generosity, and love of the arts have continued to nurture the excellence of this unique learning environment," said McDavis. "We acknowledge Bob Axline for his years of personal leadership that sustained and enhanced the connection between Ohio University and the Monomoy Theatre. He and his wife Jean hosted countless alumni and students in their home, and we owe them both a great debt of gratitude."