This Saturday, tune in online for Apollinaire Theatre’s original operetta being written THIS WEEK about Chelsea couple Terry and Joe Englen.
Terry and Joe were nominated by The Neighborhood Developers to be subjects of Apollinaire’s online summer celebration: Chelsea People.
A creative team of more than 20, who had the pleasure of interviewing the couple on Sunday, are spending the week creating songs, scenes, and artwork to showcase moments from their lives which will comprise the operetta.
Terry and Joe met at a Valentine’s Day dance in Boston in 1969 while Joe was on shore leave. (He was supposed to go bowling that evening, but a friend convinced him to attend the dance.) As a married couple, they moved to Chelsea exactly one year and one week prior to the fire that devastated the city. They described that day to the Apollinaire artists: the wind, the sparks coming over City Hall, the downed phone lines, and packing their car as they debated whether or not to “beat feet.”
Now the couple is coming up on 49 years living in the same house in Chelsea. They have long been involved in community initiatives, such as promoting recycling. They even adopted a piece of land along the Silver Line that was full of trash, cleaned it up, and planted their own sunflower seeds there. They believe if you see something you don’t like, try and fix it; find others who want to see the same change you do, and then take action.
From their different backgrounds (he from a rural town in Illinois and she from Medford) to their shared values and love of classic rock (Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World” came up in their interview more than once), the Englen’s story, presented by Apollinaire, shouldn’t be missed.
•More on the Chelsea People project:
Moved by the heroic ways Chelsea has come together in the face of the pandemic to provide for its residents, Apollinaire Theatre has set out to create an exciting work of art that celebrates the heart of Chelsea: its people.
Apollinaire asked three Chelsea organizations, GreenRoots, The Neighborhood Developers, and the Chelsea Collaborative, to each nominate a Chelsea resident to be the subject of an original play with music, which will be created over the course of one week. Four Chelsea residents— Grace Muwina, Terry & Joe Englen, and Jessica Armijo— will each have their life stories developed into original operettas and presented live over Zoom by a large Apollinaire Theatre creative team.
Chelsea People will stream live on Saturdays, July 25, August 1 and August 8 for free.
Participants are welcome to begin gathering online at 7:30 pm for pre-show programming with the show itself beginning promptly at 8 p.m.
All performances will be presented with simultaneous Spanish/English interpretation.
Register for FREE tickets at www.apollinairetheatre.com
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Chelsea Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
This program is also supported by the Chelsea Cultural Council through the Chelsea Heritage Celebrations Grant. The Chelsea Heritage Celebrations Grant program was established by the City of Chelsea and the Chelsea Cultural Council funded by Encore Boston Harbor to support a broad range of cultural events, street fairs, art shows, festivals, and related activities such as: murals, sculptures, and film series that promote the community’s heritage, quality of life, recreation, and cultural activities.
Additional major support was provided by Eastern Salt, and the Bob Jolly Charitable Trust, which was established by the late Boston actor Bob Jolly to support local theater artists.