About Bright Star

To Our Audience,

However tall, wide, or winding the mountainous path of expression is, continuously artists stride and strive for impact, no matter how great or small. Bright Star is no exception. Steve Martin, Edie Brickell, and their team passionately drew out an enrapturing terrain of emotional truth and authenticity with elodic rhythm in their beloved production. The urgent sense of community in Bright Star was the framework for our particular developmental process. Every inch of this production was riddled with collaboration, conversation, and cumulative consciousness that what we were attempting to do was bigger than us all. One of the most striking lyrics in the show and the one I return to again and again is “Love, let me lift this veil of darkness. Love, let me see my way back to you.” I don’t know if it’s the gorgeous orchestration or poetic cadence of the phrases themselves but for me, this is this musical’s thesis statement. How do our personal narratives intertwine allowing Love, in any form, as a symbolic emotion or physical being, the ability to connect us, affect us, and lead us back, up, and out again? Love - a bright star, if you will.

Extending the themes of the show, our mission was not only to tell a truthfully tragic but honest and hopeful story but to put the community back into community theatre. The significance of this being a Long Island premiere made it incredibly important for our performers to come from all across the island itself, expressing community at all its levels. This is why I chose to refer to the traditional theatrical ‘ensemble’ as Community. We all act as a community member in the township of each other’s lives. In addition, theatre is a vehicle in which writers, musicians, and performers unitedly reveal to us our collective humanity in a single personal, joint experience. Now, that is a lot of pressure for one production! I cannot thank my actors and production team enough for their willingness, patience, heart, and passion braving this show with me. Theatre is like sanctuary and allows for audiences to laugh, cry, rage, and heal with the characters they watch. Bright Star allows us to be flawed, to love with extremes, to discover ourselves, to forgive and be forgiven, and to share our stories with the hope and faith that the sun is gonna shine again – in life, in love, and into us all. I hope you enjoy being witness to the art of this show reflecting the art of our own lives. Shine on! Thank You.

“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” – Maya Angelou

Justin D. Harris

Riverhead Faculty & Community Theatre


First, welcome to our annual fall production. We are so proud to present the Long Island premiere of Bright Star. It is an honor to be the first community theater group on Long Island to perform this beautiful show.

Riverhead Faculty & Community Theatre recently elected new board members, and I would like to take a moment to say thank you to Gretchen Chapman, Jennifer Eager and Laura Nitti, outgoing board treasurer, corresponding secretary and president, for all of their hard work and dedication to RFCT. As the new president, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new board members, Keira Grattan-Heck, treasurer, Edna Rios, corresponding secretary and Haley Unger, recording secretary. Manning Dandridge is now RFCT’s vice president, and we look forward to continuing our work together.

We are excited to have many new faces in our group as well. Many of the actors on stage with us tonight are new to RFCT, and we certainly hope to see them again. RFCT has been performing for over 30 years, and in that time, we have been able to support RHS students by donating over $100,000 in scholarships, as well as purchasing equipment for the Riverhead school district. None of this would have been possible without the support of the community, including the many volunteers involved with each production. In 2012, under Laura Nitti’s expert guidance, we expanded our program with summer youth productions, which have grown and become a true jewel of Long Island’s theater offerings.

This has been a very exciting year for RFCT. We expanded our production schedule earlier this year and performed our first winter/spring season with two plays, Love/Sick and The Glass Menagerie, performed at the Jamesport Meeting House. With their success, we look forward to staging more plays in the upcoming year. In September, our youth show rocked the house with Sister Act, and I want to thank the cast and crew for their outstanding effort.

If you would like to know more, please visit our website www.RFCT.org and become a member today. Now, please, sit back, relax and enjoy Bright Star!

Michael Horn

President, RFCT