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Jane Avery, Community Theatre Founder

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information

Jane Avery, 1947-2016

The following excerpt is from an obituary which appeared in the Cumberland Times-News, September 15, 2016. It pertains to Jane Avery, Garrett County Educator and founder of the Our Town Theatre:

Jane Bement Avery, 68, Oakland, died of accidental drowning on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, near her home at Deep Creek Lake.

She was a graduate of the former Tarkio College in Missouri and received her masters degree in directing from the University of Pittsburgh. Jane came to Oakland in 1970 upon accepting a position teaching kindergarten at the former Oak Street School. After three years, she took a position at Southern High School, where she taught English and drama for 28 years. She retired in 2002. She was honored with numerous awards over the years, including Garrett County Teacher of the Year, Garrett County's Most Beautiful Person, and the Garrett County Arts Council's Friend of the Arts, and she was inducted into the Garrett County Women's Hall of Fame in 1998. Of her many accomplishments, Jane was most proud and dedicated to her creation of Our Town Theatre, which she founded in 1997.

Jane embraced Oakland as her home and community, and its people as her family, and this was the inspiration for her vision of a community theatre. There she worked with a board of directors to present plays, musicals, comedies, children's shows, original works, community project performances, concerts, coffee houses for teenagers, fundraisers for many nonprofit endeavors, and more. She spent as much of her summers as possible at her cabin at the lake, which was built by her father during the family's summertime vacations from Pittsburgh. Jane considered it her creative haven and place of solace. Never ceasing to do what she loved most, Jane continued, even after medical setbacks, to be actively involved in the creative side of the theatre, and was at the time of her death working on a manuscript for a play about Edith Cavell, a World War I nurse, who was executed by the Germans. This play is to be presented in 2017 as part of Our Town Theatre's 20th anniversary celebration events.


Cumberland Times-News


Collection Location:
Garrett County

Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.

Allegany County, (Md.)

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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