Curtain Call!

UUFE Board member Jane Terebey re-appears on stage to answer the Five Big Questions.  Again.  Bravo!

Where were you raised, and how?

I was raised as a Roman Catholic only child in Old Bridge, New Jersey – which is in the central part of the state – and more oriented to New York City than Philadelphia.  My parents and both sets of grandparents were mixed Catholic-Protestant marriages.  My father went along with the agreement that any children of the marriage would be raised Catholic, which was a condition for my parents being married by a priest. However, I attended public school and then attended Catechism classes after school all through my school years.

I waxed and waned over the years in my devotion. In high school, I began to question some of the theology and pronouncements of the church. One of my predominant objections was to the church’s prohibition against any form of birth control. When I was about 21 years old, I broke with the church and stopped attending weekly Mass when I was home. This was somewhat painful for me and my mother, but it was tolerated.

[Jane and John on their wedding day in 1974, East Brunswick, New Jersey]

How have you made your living?

Since 1990, I had been working in public libraries. I started part-time in Prince George’s County Memorial Library System and after I moved to the shore, I landed a part-time job in Caroline County Public Library in 1994. In 1996, I was promoted to full-time. I retired in 2017. After my retirement, I was asked to serve on the Board of Citizens for Maryland Libraries, a state-wide advocacy group for libraries. I’m in my final year on that Board, according to their by-laws, finishing up in December, 2023.

At the library, I felt my calling was linking people to resources. I listened to requests for information and either did some research, or sometimes I suggested an organization that addresses a particular need.  It was a plus to me when I could offer just a little bit more than the customer expected. Sometimes I was helping people in their search for truth and meaning.   And I was frequently challenged to respect the inherent worth and dignity of every person . It is not always easy to live up to that principle.

What’s the most remarkable thing you’ve done?

The one unexpected thing that I’ve done, that has made a longer lasting impact in my life, has been getting involved with community theatre.  Since high school, I had always wanted to be in a play- it was on my bucket list, but I had not attempted it in college or in adult life. In between the blizzards of  February, 2010, when I became 60 years old, I took a workshop offered by Tred Avon Players on how to audition for a play. The late David Foster, of our Fellowship, was the leader of the workshop and he encouraged me to pursue theatre. I didn’t audition for that next play that TAP was putting on, but later that year, I auditioned and got a part at Church Hill Theatre.  Now, thirteen years later, I’ve been in 26 shows, including some at Church Hill Theatre (one as a last minute substitute), shows with Shore Shakespeare, four Murder Mystery Dinner Theatres and several other theatrical endeavors.

A related remarkable thing is that my husband John has also gotten involved in theatre. He’s been in most of the touring productions of ShoreShakespeare, starting with their very first show. He also videotapes the productions and helps that way as well.  Since the preparation for a show takes months, it’s great that we can both do that together.[

Jane (l.) and John (r.) in The Comedy of Errors, Spring 2015]

What’s the most fulfilling theatrical role you’ve played?

My favorite role was Emma Cristano, an Italian grandmother from Hoboken, NJ in Over the River and Through the Woods at Church Hill Theatre in 2013. The role offered lots of comedy plus romantic aspects as well as poignant moments.

What roles and production are John and you rehearsing at the moment?

We have recently completed a ShoreShakespeare production of Much Ado About Nothing in September, 2023. ShoreShakespeare does one major production per year. We’re both on the Board of the group and we haven’t selected next year’s show as yet.

What role would you like to play?

I have no particular aspirations in that area. Since I’m not driving so much at night these days, my choices are more restricted. I’ll take what I can get!

What’s the Next Big Thing for you?

Tough question at this point! My son and his family now live in Maryland after moving from Beijing in 2021. My grandson is seven years old and I get to help out with childcare sometimes when school is out and both his parents are working. So watching him grow and develop is a big thing and a blessing.

As I’m aging along with my cohort, more and more of us are having health issues. I’ve been lucky so far. My new mantra is “Keep breathing”. Staying alive is a top priority.

What should be my next Big Thing is purging my excess belongings and keeping stuff in better order. That’s a job!! But there’s always another book, or concert or play or puttering in the yard that calls me away. I’m very distractible.

How do you serve UUFE, and why?

I’m on the Board of Trustees again this year and I’m the chair of Member Services Pod. For the two prior years, I was Clerk of the Board and since there was large number of new people on the Board, I agreed to serve a one year term, for more continuity.

I think it’s important to chip in and do my share of the work of the Fellowship if I want it to survive and thrive! It doesn’t happen magically. It takes consistent effort from a lot of people. I hope I’m a good member of our overall team.

Jane and John Terebey and family in 2019

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