Curtain Up! Light the Lights!
Great Theater at (and Beyond) the Heights
If you’ve been to Siena recently, you know the arts are alive and well. At this year’s Homecoming, you heard lots of music (marching band at halftime, Acapelicans at Alumni Awards, choir at Mass) and saw lots of art (John Wittersheim and Lois DeMots retrospectives in Studio Angelico, alumni art in McLaughlin, six alumni sculptures in the new Wittersheim Memorial Sculpture Park). And there’s a good chance you were humming “Day by Day” from the Theater Siena production of Godspell directed by theater program chair Doug Miller ’74. All of the arts are vital to the life and legacy of Siena Heights—enough so that Joni Warner ’83 now works officially connecting our campus with the Lenawee community through the arts.
Today, I’d like to spotlight Siena’s theater program.
For the past decade, one of our most popular alumni events (outside of Homecoming) has been the annual spring Dinner & Theater gathering. About 100 people come to campus—from as far as Detroit, Lansing, Battle Creek and many parts of Ohio—for dinner and the final production of the Theater Siena season. Some people come every year and it’s not uncommon to hear things like “Wow, I saw this once in Boston/New York/Toledo—but this was better!”
That sentiment was definitely buzzing around the Croswell Opera House in Adrian this past summer, when Siena’s Mark DiPietro ’83 directed a full-scale production of Les Miserables with a cast and crew almost half made up of Siena Heights alumni, students and faculty. “We had 300+ people audition,” said DiPietro, chair of SHU’s Fine and Performing Arts division. “They came out of the woodwork for the chance to be in the full, adult version of the show.”
Glenn Crane Remembered for Work at Croswell, Siena
Editor’s Note: This edited article is reprinted with permission by the Adrian Daily Telegram.
By Arlene Bachanov—Daily Telegram Special Writer.
A man devoted to the history of theater, a dynamic teacher who made sure his students and those he directed onstage paid attention to the details, and a person who was constantly teaching, both in and out of the classroom.
Those are only some of the ways Glenn Crane’s former students and theatrical colleagues have described him in the days since his Sept. 1 death in Florida, where he and his wife, Alice, were living in retirement.
Crane was part and parcel of Lenawee County’s theatrical community for years as a professor of theater at what is now Siena Heights University and at the Croswell Opera House.
One of the countless theater people whose lives Crane touched over his years in Adrian was Mark DiPietro, who today is the chairman of SHU’s Division of Visual and Performing Arts as well as a longtime Croswell actor and director.
“In 1975, I’d never heard of Adrian,” said DiPietro, who grew up in Livonia. But then he came to the Croswell’s production of “The Music Man,” in which Crane played Professor Harold Hill.