Her feet first touched the York Little Theatre stage when she danced there in college.
"I never thought in my wildest dreams I'd someday be the executive director," said Lyn Bergdoll, who will begin her leadership role there Sept. 4.
As the theater kicks off its 80th season next month, it will do so with a new leader, stable finances and renewed mission, she said.
A year and a half ago, the community theater was "in grave need of funding," Bergdoll said. Through a hearty fundraising campaign, it was able to make it through the difficult time, she said.
"One of the first things I will be doing is going out to the businesses and companies who donated and thank them for helping us pay off our debt," she said. "I'll let
In the last 18 months, the fiscal health of the theater has really turned around, according to Bob Jensenius, YLT board member and executive vice president of the York County Chamber of Commerce.
Bergdoll was the right person to keep the theater moving forward, he said.
"Lyn brings a tremendous business acumen, knowledge of theater, an incredible amount of energy and knowledge of the community," he said.
Her goals are in line with the board's goals, which include continuing on a positive economic path, enhancing productions and reaching out to young people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, he said.
"They are our future and our future audiences," Jensenius said. "It's wonderful to give them an introduction to live theater and see the excitement in their eyes."
Background: The latter is a reaction Bergdoll has spent her life cultivating.
She started dancing when she was 3 years old, has taught dance at York College for 26 years, and choreographed and produced several shows in the area.
Bergdoll is also president of the Distinguished Young Women of York County and serves on the board of the Strand.
Previously, she served for seven years as president of Junior Achievement of South Central Pennsylvania and led its worldwide level for three years.
She also held positions as associate executive director of the Jewish Community Center and taught third and fourth grades in the York Suburban School District.
Bergdoll earned her undergraduate degree in education at York College and graduate degree in education at the University of Pennsylvania.
More classes: She plans to leverage that training in her new post by offering more classes at York Little Theatre.
"This new position really combines all of my experience and passion," she said. "I love the mission of the theater. I believe in what they do, and I'm excited to help it make a very valuable contribution to the community."
That contribution is partially inspired by a Maya Angelou quote: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel," she said.
Bergdoll said she wants the good feelings to start when performers come in the doors to audition.
"Every rehearsal is as important as the end result. It's about the whole process. From performers to patrons, I want the overall experience of YLT to be the most special experience for everyone," she said.
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