Arts & Entertainment

Kenneth Stiefel Theatre: Gov. Livingston Names Theater for Beloved Technical Director with Ceremony

d30aed742ccedea38dfc_2012-08-20_04.18.25.jpg
Gov. Livingston theater community celebrated the naming of the Kenneth Stiefel Theatre at Davis Hall in honor of the beloved Stage Director. Credits: Hilltop Players
386d4eb86815f2f47855_IMG_0660.jpg
Saturday evening was a dedication ceremony in honor of the newly named Kenneth Stiefel Theatre. Credits: Bobbie Peer
164c048caa2b13240ee0_IMG_0657.jpg
The Stiefel family and Board of Education Members at Saturday's dedication of the newly named Kenneth Stiefel Theatre. Credits: Bobbie Peer
b06f829389337af3ad22_IMG_0661.jpg
Peter Illis created the plaque placed inside the theater as an Eagle Scout project.  Credits: Bobbie Peer
253f99a40c3a8df15482_IMG_0642.jpg
Joe Voorhees, Christine Talarico, Joe Elefante and Joe Miceli  Credits: Bobbie Peer
ff837afc6010f60b0ed9_IMG_0645.jpg
Credits: Bobbie Peer
14b0cbe088780dbc49a8_IMG_0648.jpg
Credits: Bobbie Peer
851d07e0a92ba58bf418_IMG_0651.jpg
Credits: Bobbie Peer
5811cebccc29b8cf3186_IMG_0639.jpg
Credits: Bobbie Peer
ad27be96bbad1532917b_IMG_0647.jpg
Credits: Bobbie Peer
e3e4ef77064f34715418_IMG_0633.jpg
Credits: Bobbie Peer
1b54d6c4446f10204cb6_IMG_0677.jpg
Credits: Bobbie Peer
cb239a700dd9466ddf61_IMG_0672.jpg
Credits: Bobbie Peer
60a79d3212e322281d7a_IMG_0665.jpg
Credits: Bobbie Peer
78ba36135c18d444f251_12270449_10201185912285173_1605811402_n.jpg
Cast of 'Harvey'. Credits: C. Needham
d30aed742ccedea38dfc_2012-08-20_04.18.25.jpg

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - A dedication ceremony and reception was held on Saturday, Nov. 21 for the newly named Kenneth Stiefel Theatre at Gov. Livingston's Davis Hall prior to the Hilltop Players' evening production of Harvey.

A large crowd was in attendance including Ken's family; Gov. Livingston Principal Rob Nixon; Superintendent Judy Rattner; Board of Education members John Sincaglia, Helen Kirsch, Dr. Gerry Crisonino, Doug Reinstein; C.A.S.T. members; and current and past members of Daddy's Crew and Hilltop Players. 

 Ken Stiefel, the Technical Director at Gov. Livingston High School, passed away last October following a more than two-year battle with cancer. 

Sign Up for E-News

 

The legacy of Ken Stiefel was 24 years of passion for the kids and theater, said Joe Voorhees, Gov. Livingston Television Production teacher. The theater was Stiefel's home away from home. He had trained hundreds of students that he referred to as his adoptive children, said Voorhees. "This is figuratively and literally the house that 'Daddy' built." 

"My dad loved working here," said Allison Highton, Ken's daughter. "This was never a job, this was his passion. He did this because he loved being with the kids. The students kept him young. He had a way with teenagers. He found your niche, he found what you were gifted with and he empowered you."

Stiefel acted as a mentor to many students, especially to Tony Di Nizo, a freshman at Ithaca College. Stage crew changed his life. "Working with him [Stiefel] truly inspired me," said Di Nizo.

Di Nizo approached the Board of Education in June requesting consideration to rename the Gov. Livingston auditorium in honor of his mentor. "Seeing Mr. Stiefel's name above those theater doors is absolutely amazing," he said. "For all those that made this possible, I thank you. This theater here at GL is Mr. Stiefel's legacy. He built this program and he made it what it is today. It is amazing to finally see Daddy's legacy honored at his home away from home."

The evening was made possible from the "army of students [known as Daddy's Crew]", the Gov. Livingston Administration, Board of Education and Superintendent Judy Rattner,  C.A.S.T., Hilltop Players and Peter Illis.

"This night is about one man and one man only, Ken Stiefel. Daddy, as we called him, was that person for advise, for help, or anything," said Illis '17, who created the dedication plaque inside the theater as an Eagle Scout project. 

The story [of Daddy's Crew] started in 1990 when Jeff [Ken's son] was a freshman, said Allison. Ken volunteered, and Jeff and his friends called him Daddy.and the crew would call him Daddy and it caught on.

For today's crew to still be Daddy's Crew, after 24 years, "is a testament to the legacy that he left in these walls with these kids," said Allison. 

"Ken's legacy will go on forever. -- His real meaning and legacy is in the lives, in hearts of those students he has touched through all of these many years. We are very proud to dedicate this auditorium in the name of Ken Stiefel," said Dr. Gerry Crisonino, Board of Education member.

Gov. Livingston Principal Rob Nixon reminded the audience that Ken was a volunteer. "Ken was here for the kids. It was never for the money or for the job. He was the heart and soul of this community," said Nixon.

"He was a true inspiration to everyone who knew him, he was a constant reminder of  why we do what we do," Nixon said. 

Dedication of the Kenneth Stiefel Theatre by GLTV Production.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Have Your Voice Heard Tonight on Vote for $4 Million Extra for Municipal Complex

July 10, 2018

The Berkeley Heights Municipal Complex project is the largest and most expensive local public project we will likely witness as Berkeley Heights residents. It is a vast responsibility. Therefore, it was concerning to learn that the Township Council and Mayor placed an ordinance on the agenda June 26 for an additional $4 million for the municipal complex without much regard to time.

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Beneficiary Forms - As Important as Your Will

As you plan for the future, don’t leave out one of the most overlooked must-do’s: naming the beneficiaries of your retirement assets. Updating your beneficiary forms ensures that the legacy you worked so hard to build will be distributed correctly. Don’t delay -- the designations on your beneficiary forms supersede those stated in your Will. 

Try answering the ...

Complete the Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence (PACE) Program at Union County College in Five Weeks

July 17, 2018

CRANFORD – Union County College will be offering the American Society of Administrative Professionals PACE Certification (Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence) from Monday, July 23 through August 22. If you are an executive assistant, office manager, paralegal, program analyst, benefits administrator, supervisor or meetings and events planner, this program is for you.

17 Years Running and the Pizza is still Hot!! The Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza is July 25, 2018

The 17th Annual Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza, now more often referred to as the ‘Pizza Run’ will be here in no time! Don’t forget to sign up for a night of running, pizza, prizes, and entertainment! The event will be held on July 25, 2018 with a start time of 7 pm. Register online at PracticeHard.com before our Monday July 23, 2018, at 11:59 pm deadline will be ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Festival Continues July 18 at Echo Lake Park Featuring 5 Against 1

The Union County Summer Arts Festival concert series continues on Wednesday July 18, with the band 5 Against 1, a Pearl Jam  tribute band, taking the stage at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

The free series, presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders,is held at Echo Lake Park during July and moves to Oak Ridge Park in Clark during August.

5 Against 1, which ...

Award-Winning Senior Art Exhibited at Freeholders Gallery

A new exhibit of award winning artworks by local artists age 60 and up is now on display at the Freeholders Gallery through August 29. Each of the 13 works received first place honors in the countywide Senior Art Exhibit held earlier this summer in the Atrium at Liberty Hall in Union Township.

“Each in their own unique way, these artists have contributed to an enriching, creative ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Severe Thunderstorm, Flash Flood Warnings in Effect for Berkeley Heights Tuesday Afternoon

July 3, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Union County until 2:30 p.m. and a flash flood warning until 5 p.m.

“Torrential rainfall is occurring with this storm, and may lead to flash flooding,” the service warned. “Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.”

Sign up for our free enews and get ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, July 17, 10:00 AM

Healing the Children, new providence

Summit Old Guard

Giving Back

Wed, July 18, 10:30 AM

Berkeley Heights Public Library, Berkeley Heights

Story Time & Craft with DIVA DELORES AND THE ...

Other

Carousel_image_b91f21bd7ac6c164e408_wednesday_matinees_at_trailside

Wed, July 18, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_f315283ead6566b0f0d0_24b31797abd0cb2d199e_senior_bbq

Wed, July 18, 6:00 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Senior Summer BBQ at the Summit YMCA

Food & Drink

Wed, July 18, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sing Four to Feature Brahms

Arts & Entertainment

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Communications Committee (BHCC) today announced a special edition of Berkeley Heights Here & Now is available on the Township website, www.berkeleyheightstwpnj.gov.

 

The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...