Dorothy Kaliszewski: Proof That You Can Realize Your Dreams
By Heather Dalrymple
There’s no doubt that Dorothy Kaliszewski was put into my life by God. She has taught me so much. Trust yourself and never give up on your dreams, for one thing. It’s hard to believe that she’s only 33, with everything she’s done, thus far. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from Seton Hill University, and it is already paying off.
Whom do you know that can say their loans are paid off and are living out their life’s dreams at 33? Dorothy from Cambridge Springs is. She started “Theatre on the Move”, a non for profit agency; “an interactive theatre troupe whose mission is to bring great stories to life for everybody in Northwestern Pennsylvania.”
She is a woman of many talents. She can do anything, be anyone, and say anything. Dorothy Kaliszewski is a woman who doesn’t know how to say “I can’t.” She is teaching me that, among many other things. She has put so much work into this show, having taught us French, the tango, she picked out the costumes, the scenery, she even wrote the script. Even the music for the play was made specifically for Dorothy’s version of “The Scarlet Pimpernel” by Kevin Macleod.
I really enjoy the fact that this is all put on by Erie people, for Erie People. This makes my heart do the wave, as if we just hit a homer. The play is based on a book “The Scarlet Pimpernel” by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, set in one of the French Revolutions, where there is a lot of serious stuff going on, including people losing their heads. The difference is that in the play, the characters lose their heads on the guillotine and we lost our heads metaphorically at times. But somehow, she made this into a brilliant comedy/mystery/love story. Dorothy learned about the play from her father because he used to go around the house reciting a poem that was in the play, which you will hear if you come to see us. She dedicates the play to her father, Edward Pawlowski.
It reminds me almost of something Monty Python would do, but a lot less cheesy. This play is hard for me to do, because I am caught up in the sheer enjoyment of watching everyone, and just enjoying each and every person for who they are and what they bring to the table. They all just amaze me so much. I am humbled by them every day and I find something different about each one that I am able to marvel at. To me, it feels like being on the set of a real movie. It’s just fun to be behind the scenes and enjoy everybody doing their thing.
I wish I could accurately convey to you all that Dorothy does and the way she acts. You really would never know unless you spent a great deal of time working with her just how awesome she is. She is also, in a way, the proverbial glue that holds all of us actors together. From the very beginning, I felt that we all had camaraderie even from day one. I felt like we were just meant to be, these people are so great. I could not have asked for a greater group of people to work with, I have truly been blessed.
I can see, sort of the outline of the grand scheme of things, and one thing I know is that God put us together; maybe for the show, maybe to teach each other; maybe to show me something. In the beginning, we had six actors playing about four parts each, but after the first week, we lost one of our actors. That’s when Dorothy stepped in and started playing those roles as well.
If life handed us lemons, Dorothy truly surprised life, because she threw those lemons back in life’s face and made life cry like a little girl. The thing that truly surprises me out of it all is that she’s able to be so calm and collected no matter what. It’s actually quite eerie how calm she is all the time. Pun intended.
The other actors are: Jesse Brace, Kristy Tucci, Wayne Gardner, and Morgan Brace. Kristy is playing Lady Blakney, which is the only one playing one role, because she has so many lines. You surely will not want to miss her either, as at the young age of 21, she’s more impressive as an actor than some of the people I’ve seen in movies. She’s a very powerful, and compelling actor. Kristy studied theatre at Kent State. This is someone you are constantly looking at, saying “Wow. Unbelievable, I can’t wait to see what roles she’ll get in the future. What movies will she be in?” She works very hard, that’s easy to see.
Jesse Brace, what a character! I could talk about him all day, but there are probably a lot of you who already know him. I would never have met him if it wasn’t for this play, I’m pretty sure. He’s another amazing person. He’s so intelligent, and witty, and versatile. He is always making us laugh. When I asked Jesse, “How do you make all the voices? Where does all that talent come from?” He just said, “It’s in our blood.” Brace’s father was in a previous show with Dorothy. Even when I’m not feeling good, he somehow makes me laugh until it hurts. He’s what my grandma would call “a good time Charley.” There’s so much more to him, but that’s his story to tell. Suffice it to say, this is one guy you don’t want miss out on.
Then there’s Wayne, he’s got a lot of bite to him. I like this one, because he reminds me of a father figure, but not the traditional father you might think of. He’s the feisty father that walks out of the room gesturing. Of course he’s not being mean to us, he’s gesturing to the situation; a true artist in all he does. He’s taught me a few things as well. We have found that even though there’s a bit of an age gap, we have a lot in common. He’s given me a sneak peak at what life could be like in a few years, if I continue on the right road. He’s playing my mom, and he does it a little too well. When I say “too well” I mean, it’s scary how great an actor he is. Wayne has previously worked with All An Act Theatre on “Of Mice and Men” and a host of other shows. It is his passion, that and helping people.
Morgan, here we have yet another person to intimidate me. He is talented and funny, and he plays a variety of roles as well. He has a great imagination, and I believe he makes the most costume changes. He always teases me, like a brother would. He plays in a band called the Jargonauts. You can find them on Facebook. I hear Morgan and Jesse come from a long line of thespians.
Everyone has worked so hard in this show and we have talked and laughed and learned so much, especially me. I asked God to help me with some things, and through this experience, and because of these people, I have been able to start coming out of that cocoon I have been procrastinating on for so long. Thank you Jesus! When we are together, I feel like we are sort of like a family, and I feel a lot of love. The one thing that all of us have in common is that we are all brave and we tell the world “I don’t care what you say! I’m following my dream!” So, I say to you, by all means, follow your dream!!
More information on Theatre on the Move, please visit their Facebook page.
The Scarlet Pimpernel
Theatre on the Move performs: The Scarlet Pimpernel on Thursday February 14th at 1PM in the H.O. Hirt Auditorium
Retro, Fabulous, Red-hot!
2-3PM: Free blood pressure screenings with a nurse from Pleasant Ridge Manor
Funded by the Friends of the Erie County Public Library
Additional Branch Performances:
Edinboro Branch Library 413 Plum Street, Edinboro: February 26th (Tuesday) 6:30-7:30PM
Lincoln Community Center Branch Library, 1255 Manchester Road: March 5th (Tuesday) 6:30-7:30PM
Millcreek Branch Library, 2088 Interchange Road: March 9th (Saturday) 11am-Noon
Iroquois Branch Library, 4212 Iroquois Ave: March 12th (Tuesday) 6:30-7:30PM
Free and open to the public