2014 In Review

The family brunching at Figaro Cafe in Los Feliz

Dear Ones,

Welcome to my new website … and please bear with me as I transfer all my files from my old site to this one.  (The URL “elisedewsberry.com” will remain – but the site is built through WordPress, so I have to re-do everything I’ve done in the past in the old format!).

We had a busy and exciting year – and I can’t believe it went by so fast!  I will attempt to encapsulate some of what went on with us – and share some photos and videos.

2014 brought a whole new phase of life for Rebecca.  After a busy winter and spring, Rebecca graduated with her Masters in Education from Columbia Teacher’s College in May.  Stephen was able to be there with her, and to enjoy the fact that the graduation ceremony took place at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which was literally next door to Roosevelt-St. Luke’s Hospital where Rebecca was actually born back in 1987!

Rebecca then spent the summer teaching summer school, visiting family in Toronto and Los Angeles, and then finding a new place to live in New York for the beginning of her first year of teaching.  Three apartments later, Rebecca is (finally) happily ensconced sharing a 2-bedroom apartment in Harlem, a reasonably short subway trip away from the Bronx Lab School where she is now teaching 11th grade US History and 12th grade Economics.  Rebecca would be the first to tell you that all the adages of the first year of teaching being one of the hardest things in the world are TRUE – but she is surviving and getting the lay of the land and beginning to feel like she is making progress.


The Graduate (May 2014)

Rebecca with her fellow grads

A screenshot of G'ma, G'pa, and mom video-conferencing with Rebecca on graduation day

Another amazing Halloween pumpkin from Rebecca

Rebecca with cousin Jessica at Jordan & Taryn's wedding

Elise & Rebecca (and friend and colleague Melissa) see the Off-Broadway production of BEDBUGS THE MUSICAL!

Elise had her usually busy season with New Musicals Inc. (the new name for the Academy for New Musical Theatre) including:

– directing the workshop reading of the new musical BROKEN
– performing as “Mother” in the Santa Barbara reading of CITY OF LIGHT
– actually joining the cast for our final outing with HOME STREET HOME (the punk musical) for performances at the Hudson Theatre and a trip to perform in New York
– three trips to New York for NAMT (National Alliance for New Musical Theatre) as a member of the Selection Committee for the Festival of New Musicals
– attending “CiviCon” in San Francisco (a conference for a not-for-profit software package we are using)
– singing the song “Aunt Evelyn’s Inspirational Advice” at the June installment of the cabaret A LITTLE NEW MUSIC
– producing the BIZ OF THE BIZ Musical Theatre Conference and the world premiere of the new musical THE MAX FACTOR FACTOR at the NoHo Arts Center
– a return engagement performing as Aline Barnsdall in FROGS IN THE LIVING ROOM (with Scott Guy)
– spending two weeks in Toronto directing a workshop of Leslie Arden and Cathy Elliott’s MOLL

While in New York, Elise not only got to spend time with Rebecca (in several different apartments) and see a bunch of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, but also got to reconnect with her college beau Mark Stambaugh – who turns out to be the father of a young girl that Rebecca has been babysitting for the past couple of years (what a small world!)


Elise with the cast of HOME STREET HOME in New York

Elise directing BROKEN

To the left is a picture from Elise’s performance of “Aunt Evelyn’s Inspirational Advice” as part of the June presentation of A LITTLE NEW MUSIC at Rockwell Table & Stage.  Above is a video of the actual performance.

Elise with the writers of THE MAX FACTOR FACTOR

The cast of the world premiere of THE MAX FACTOR FACTOR

Elise with cast of MOLL (and Leslie and Cathy and Cleone) in Toronto

Elise (being subtle) as Aline Barnsdall

Elise (as Aline) with Scott (as Frank Lloyd Wright)

Elise as Aunt Jane in MARY MARIE

The view from the top of San Jacinto

For Stephen’s birthday, we made a fun trip to Palm Springs and rode the Aerial Tramway to the top of San Jacinto Peak.  What a glorious view – and also a great meal!  Well worth the trip.  Stephen also made a trip to Dallas in August for the Theatre Musician’s Association.


Stephen (above) and Elise (below) on the mountain

Stephen with the Candlelight Concerts Cello Section

Jordan and Taryn get married!

But Stephen’s BIG news is that after over a year of physical therapy, he finally felt his arm was working well enough that he could let the music world know he was ready to play professionally again.  He wound up having a very busy holiday season – playing the Candlelight Concerts at Disneyland, and the Nutcracker with Long Beach Ballet.  It isn’t easy getting back into the free-lance world, but gigs are beginning to come more frequently – and, of course, Stephen still has his private students, and his coaching with the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, the Verdugo Young Musician’s Association, and the Harmony Project after-school program – all of which keeps him pretty busy.

We also had the pleasure of a visit from Tanya (and lived through a small earthquake while we were out seeing a show!); we had a Passover Seder with the Sokoloff/Solomon clan; visited Toronto in June for the beautiful wedding of Jordan and Taryn; and celebrated New Year’s Eve with a quiet evening at home and some wonderful egg nog (while Rebecca was celebrating in Toronto with her now MARRIED friend Emma).

The new year is already going by quickly, and Elise and Rebecca are looking forward to a visit with Grandma and Grandpa Dewsberry in Kansas City, while Stephen heads up to Toronto to visit the clan there.

We wish all of you a happy and healthy 2015!

Elise, Stephen, and Rebecca

Future vs. Past!

Elise reuniting with old high-school chum Karen Taft

Stephen playing the Nutcracker

Rebecca's first day as a TEACHER

Elise with Karen around 1974 (Elise has glasses, and Karen is holding the cat)

Stephen in Siena in 1972

Rebecca's first day as a STUDENT (1991)

(above) Rebecca with Mom in Central Park in spring of 2014

Rebecca and Dad at the wedding

Rebecca and Dad at graduation

The family (at Jordan & Taryn's wedding)


see you next year!