Letter: What ‘Doc’ Laurie Godfrey means to us

To the editor:

When our younger son, Zach, was a freshman, Doc was excited because she was going to have one of our kids in theater. I had interviewed her for The Democrat when she first arrived at Brown County High School and mentioned that we had raised our kids around theater and how Zach had shown an interest.

His freshman year, Doc put on “The Crucible” as the fall play. Zach was excited about auditioning, but the evening of, told us he changed his mind. Eventually, however, one of the actors had to drop out, and Doc encouraged Zach to audition for his role as Judge Hathorne. He got the part.

His experience in that first play was enough to change his life. Later that year, he was cast as Mr. Bumble in “Oliver,” the spring musical. Zach, who had been incredibly shy growing up, was coming out of his shell and finding his place in the world. He developed incredible friendships and an amazing following within the community as he was cast as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof;” Nathan Detroit in “Guys and Dolls;” Belle’s father, Maurice, in “Beauty and the Beast;” Chris Keller in “All My Sons;” Freddie and Phillip in “Noises Off;” and Mr. Roberts in “Mr. Roberts,” for which he earned the Best Actor award at the Indiana State Thespian Conference and the school took first place for Best Performance.

In the meantime, Zach realized that performing wasn’t just for high school and he set his sights on New York. With Doc’s encouragement and assistance from her many years directing at the college and professional levels, he auditioned for and was accepted at New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts in New York City, the first of now four Brown County High School alums to attend that school. As a result, he had a part in a television show and a feature film, experiences he never would have gained without Doc’s assistance.

Zach graduated from NYCDA with an associate of arts degree, the first class at the school to earn an actual degree. And while he is no longer actively acting, the life lessons he learned from Dr. Godfrey have been invaluable, and continue to be put in place today.

We are proud to call Dr. Godfrey not just a lifesaver for helping our son find his way, but also a very dear friend, for whom we have spent hours into days helping in the theater department, even years after Zach graduated.

We are even more proud of Dr. Godfrey for being honored with the lifetime achievement award. Her devotion to her art and to the kids at Brown County High School and to the Brown County community as a whole is second to none. There is no one more deserving.

Rodney and Linda Margison, Bloomington

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