News Column

Cresson Lake to induct Tracey Ingold and late Alexander Prosser into hall of fame

August 25, 2013


Aug. 25--Cresson Lake Playhouse's third annual Hall of Fame ceremony will honor two inductees who worked unselfishly to foster the growth, availability and appreciation of theater arts.

A ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 4 at the playhouse to honor the late John Alexander Prosser, who was an artistic director and actor, and Tracey Ingold of Cresson, actress and house manager at Cresson Lake Playhouse.

After the induction ceremony, Cresson Lake performers will present a performance at 8 of Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap."

Elaine Mastalski, playhouse executive director, said the selection committee aims to choose hall of fame members using two categories as its criteria.

"We want one person who has helped establish the foundation for the theater and a second person who has continued to work on behalf of the theater over many years," she said.

She called the new inductees deserving and dedicated people who have played a big part in the success of the theater.

"The hall of fame recognizes outstanding individuals whose commitment, contribution and accomplishments continue to honor the historical development of the theater," Mastalski said.

Prosser, who went by the stage name John Alexander, began his involvement with the playhouse in 1982 when it was called the Allegheny Highlands Regional Theater.

Alexander served as the artistic director at Cresson Lake from 1986-1988 and 1996 and 1997.

He joined the board of trustees in 1984.

Alexander, a native of Hollidaysburg, brought a wealth of professional talent and experience to Cresson Lake Playhouse.

During his tenure as artistic director, Alexander formalized and launched the professional-amateur concept for the theater, bringing in the first Actors Equity Association guest performing artists and exposing the area to a wider variety of guest scenic, lighting, costume and sound designers.

He made his theatrical debut at Little Theater Garrick Yard, London, and performed in summer stock productions from Maine to Georgia and performed in many off-Broadway productions from 1972-1976.

Alexander's artistic vision provided a showcase for professional and nonprofessional talent to share the joy and excitement of live theater and quality entertainment for the Central Pennsylvania arts and theatre communities.

At Cresson Lake Playhouse, Alexander first appeared in 1982 as Henry II, King of England, in "The Lion in Winter." Throughout his storied career at Cresson Lake Playhouse, Alexander directed many memorable productions including "Shenandoah," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," Evita," "Carnival," "Private Lives," "Hello Dolly" and "Barefoot in the Park."

Alexander died in 1997 at the age of 49.

Ingold has been associated with Cresson Lake Playhouse since 2002, when she first began her love of the "barn" as a volunteer usher and continues to contribute her time, talent and effort to the continued success of the theater.

Since 2002, Ingold has volunteered and worked in many capacities at the playhouse, both on stage and behind the scenes.

Her positions include box office assistant, costumer, stage manager and production manager. She has served as house manager since 2005.

Ingold said her selection to the hall of fame is humbling, and she feels honored as well as fortunate to have been bestowed the honor.

"The past recipients have all been people I have admired as integral parts of the history-making here at Cresson Lake, so to be included in that group is a real honor," she said. "For over 10 years, I have enjoyed going to and being involved with the playhouse, and living in Cresson, I think it really is a treasure in our own backyard."

She views the playhouse as a collaborate effort of community that enriches people in many ways.

"I know what it is to enjoy the whole experience of an evening at 'the barn,' the quiet, quaint nostalgia of our beloved little theater and surroundings, and I try, through my work there, to make that experience the best it can be for everyone involved -- the cast, the crew and our patrons,"?Ingold said. "We speak of the magic of live theater and what that brings to both the artist and the audience, the collaborate effort of people working together. I am very proud and fortunate to be part of it."

Ingold's onstage credits at Cresson Lake include: "Miracle on 34th Street," a Boylen Sister in "Annie," Mrs. Parker in "A Christmas Story," Miss Darbus in "High School Musical 1," Sister Robert Ann in "Nuncrackers" and "Nunsensations," Truvy in "Steel Magnolias" and as Golde in CLP's recent production of "Fiddler on the Roof." She also appeared in several television commercials.

Ingold and her husband, Tony, are the parents of three daughters Devon, Kelsey and Carley.

Past inductees of the hall of fame are Eleanor Lantzy, founder; Jeanne Yahner, volunteer; Mid Whiteford, volunteer; Jonathan O'Harrow, director, music director and actor; Kenneth Resinski, artistic director, Bonnie Resinski, costumer; and Molly Riva, director.

For more information, call 472-4333.

Tom Lavis covers Features for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at


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