Kitty Getlik Recognized for Contributions to Community Theater
year, the MCCC staff honors an outstanding colleague for his or
her positive contributions to the greater community. This year’s
recipient of the “Community Service Award” is M. Kitty
Getlik, the general manager of Kelsey Theatre. She was presented
with a crystal bowl at a Staff Recognition Celebration on May
Getlik has worked at Kelsey Theatre on Mercer’s West Windsor
campus for 27 years. First employed as stage manager, she became
Kelsey’s general manager and artistic director 13 years
ago. “It’s not a job, it’s your life,”
Getlik said of her love for Kelsey and involvement in community
theater as a whole.
According to Getlik the variety in her job has kept her motivated,
fascinated and invigorated by her work. “There is always
something different – new people, new shows, new challenges.”
No two performances are exactly the same, she notes. “There
is an energy between the audience and the actors and it’s
different every time."
Kelsey plays host to numerous theater companies, including The
Pennington Players, Pierrot Productions, The Yardley Players,
Playful Theatre, Like 40 Productions, and Maurer Productions OnStage.
Performances range from dramas, musicals, comedies, and dance
to the signature “Kelsey Kids Series.” Kelsey Theatre’s
own company, The Kelsey Players, puts on two shows each year and
the student company, MC Cubed, does one performance in Kelsey
Theatre and one in the Studio Theatre, which Getlik co-produces.
Over 1,000 community members each year participate in the productions
at Kelsey; attendance numbers more than 40,000.
theater is a central focus of Getlik’s efforts. “By
exposing young children to the joys of theater, you help them
develop an appreciation for the living arts and create the next
generation of theater-goers,” she said.
Getlik, center, receives the Employee Community Service Award
from MCCC Board Chairman Anthony (Skip) Cimino, left, and MCCC
President Robert Rose.
Getlik notes that
she herself never needed coaxing to get up on stage. “I knew from
the time I was five years old that I wanted to act,” she said,
recalling numerous theater activities from her own youth. With the goal
of giving other children that same experience, she decided several years
ago to establish “Kelsey Kids Playshops” in conjunction
with Youth Stages. Offered for youngsters from kindergarten through
fifth grade, these workshops are held on Saturday mornings in the fall
and winter. “They give children a creative outlet and enable them
to gain confidence in front of an audience,” Getlik said. She
also oversees Tomato Patch, Mercer’s visual and performing arts
summer camp for students from fifth grade through high school, and last
year began offering a summer theater series for pre-school and elementary
Acting and directing
are just the start for Getlik. She embraces practically every facet
of theater, including lighting design and production, and has spread
her talents well beyond Kelsey. She is a member of NJACT (New Jersey
Association of Community Theaters), reviewing several shows a year for
the association’s Perry Awards competition. During the summer,
she has appeared in Open Air Theatre’s productions of “Oklahoma”
as Aunt Eller and in “The Wizard of Oz” as the Wicked Witch
of the West. She directed “Jekyll and Hyde” for Magnet Theater
Company at Mill Hill Playhouse and worked for Passage Theatre as a technical
director. She also serves on the advisory board for the Mercer County
High School for the Performing Arts.
“I’m very lucky that Mercer County Community College supports
the arts the way it does, and allows me to do a job that I love,”
Getlik said. “It is gratifying to help people bring their productions
to the stage and to fill the Kelsey schedule with worthwhile events.
I feel that we have given the community a place that is home to the
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