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Volunteer of 14 years leaves Oldsmar stage

(ran EO edition)

Theresa Bailey watched from the audience as her son Joshua Bailey, then 8, took to the stage. But before long, she was working backstage. And later, she was directing.

Now her son is 23, and Bailey has volunteered for 14 years with Oldsmar's theater groups for children and teens. For the past 10 years, she has been the director.

City arts coordinator Donna Solomon said Bailey, 55, has always worked with her husband Alex Bailey, 57. He runs the sound system and the lighting. Joshua helps his father during performances.

Now the Baileys are moving to Bartow, south of Lakeland. She's relocating for a new geotechnical engineer position. He will pack up his computer and other equipment and move his computer technician business there, too.

"It's really a loss to the city to see them go," Solomon said. "What they've contributed is irreplaceable.'

Jeanne Stoker, an East Lake parent with three children in the theater programs, laments the loss of the theater director.

"I'm going to miss her terribly," she said. "All these kids will."

Rachel Stoker, 12, has been in the program for four years. She starred as the Pied Piper of Hamlin and performed in many other roles.

"I've learned about acting and stage performance," Rachel said. "It's also been fun because she's nice to work with."

Rachel said mistakes just meant trying it again, and she is no longer afraid to get up on stage and perform. When she heard the news, she felt sad and worried.

"She does it all voluntarily, so I don't know who would take her place," Rachel said.

On Jan. 16, the Oldsmar Performing Arts League teens presented Fairy Tale Courtroom by Dana Pouix at the Oldsmar Arts Centre. It was the first of two performances, with the second one on Jan. 18. It was the second-to-last performance for Bailey in Oldsmar.

"It's been a thrill for 14 years," Bailey said afterward from the stage, as she held flowers.

Then Alex Bailey was packing up and parents were saying goodbye.

"Good luck in your new position and in all your endeavors," said Barbara Holman of Safety Harbor. "It's been really wonderful having you working with the girls."

_ If you have news or photos about Oldsmar schools, churches, businesses, neighborhood groups, community organizations or people, call Theresa Blackwell at (727) 771-4305, fax it to her at (727) 771-4301, e-mail or mail material to her at the North Pinellas Times, 34342 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor, FL 34684.

Theresa Bailey gets a hug from 14-year-old Brittany Waring of Oldsmar after the Oldsmar Performing Arts League teens' production of Fairy Tale Courtroom at the Oldsmar Arts Centre recently. Bailey told the audience that she is moving after 14 years of volunteering with children's theater groups.