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Episodes

Welcome to the Muni Oral History Project, "The Muni Story".  We explore the stories and rich history of the Springfield Municipal Opera

over the past seventy years.  Stories from the people who have built, experienced or performed what the organization calls, "muni magic."

Marj is a lifelong member of the Muni family, literally. Her mother, Florence Berchtold, took her in the stroller and went house to house trying to get guarantors for the Muni in the early 1950s. Marj is a member of the Board of Trustees and has been a choreographer or performer for many shows.

Steve is currently the Chair of the Muni’s Board of Trustees. Steve made his Muni stage debut in Li’l Abner in 1970 and has been involved ever since. Steve has directed several productions and performed in many more, in addition to serving on the Board of Managers and later the Board of Trustees.

Nataylee is one of Muni’s success stories being a card carrying member of Actors’ Equity, the union for professional stage actors. Nataylee made her Muni debut in Annie in 1998 and has performed in a number of our shows. She now lives in New York City and has worked professionally in a number of productions.

Ada Lynn and her husband, Tom literally started the revitalization of the Muni in their living room after the original organization folded in the early 1960s. Ada Lynn was a performer in a number of productions, and she has been a longtime supporter of the organization. Tom is no longer with us, but we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the vision that he had to rebuild the organization.

Gary is a longtime director and choreographer for the Muni. Gary actually goes back to the early days and was involved during the first run of the Muni in the 1950s when he was a teenager. Gary is an accomplished teacher and choreographer, and many of his students have gone on to very successful careers on Broadway and in professional theatre.

Craig currently is serving as President of the Board of Managers for the 2020-2021 season. Craig made his Muni debut in My Fair Lady in 2003. Since then, in addition to performing, Craig has directed a number of shows, assistant directed, scenic designed and worn many other hats for the organization.