Local receives Helen J. Kryszak Memorial Scholarship
BY: Community Papers of WNY Staff | January 14, 2014
LANCASTER- The Lancaster Regional Players (LRP) recently honored its third recipient of the Helen J. Kryszak Memorial Scholarship. The local theatre troupe recently presented its 2013 scholarship to St. Mary’s High School graduate Stephen Bochenski at the Lancaster Opera House.
“Stephen’s breadth of backstage experience is particularly impressive,” said Russ Wendel, president of Lancaster Regional Players, who presented the award. “His resume shows that he has mastered many varied aspects of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the theatre, including stage crew, spotlight, sound engineering, stage managing, and master electrician.”
The $500 scholarship was started as a way to honor a longtime member of Lancaster Regional Players, Helen Kryszak, who worked backstage for LRP productions for more than 38 years and passed away in 2011.
“Despite the dozens of directors who have helmed our shows and the hundreds of actors who have performed with us between 1972 and 2010, the one constant was Helen, who volunteered countless hours of work behind the scenes to ensure that our shows ran smoothly so that the performers looked good onstage,” said Eileen Stevic, who assisted Wendel with the award presentation. “While many students perform onstage in productions at school and in the community every year, this scholarship chooses to honor those who dedicate themselves to the backstage workings of the theater, those students who work behind the scenes and whose efforts very often go unacknowledged.”
“I am honored to receive this scholarship,” Bochenski said. “Participating in the backstage workings of the theatre has had a major impact on my life. It has sparked my interest in technology and as a result, I am now pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering Technology.”
Bochenski worked backstage on high school shows at St. Mary’s throughout his high school years, as well as shows at the Lancaster Opera House and events at his church. He received rave reviews from advisors and others who attest to his work ethic, attention to detail, dedication, and determination.
He currently attends Rochester Institute of Technology and participates in the Army ROTC program. Bochenski traveled from Rochester back to Lancaster to receive his scholarship award during the intermission of LRP’s recent production of the comedy “Love, Sex, & the IRS” at the Opera House.
“We are thrilled to present this award to Stephen, who exemplifies our friend Helen’s dedication to the backstage workings of the theatre,” said Wendel. “After reviewing all of his experience and the glowing reviews of those who have worked with him, we knew he was the perfect choice to help us continue to commemorate the memory of our dear friend Helen, who left an indelible legacy of dedication to the Lancaster Regional Players.”
For more information about Lancaster Regional Players or the Helen J. Kryszak Memorial Scholarship, visit the LRP website at www.lancasterregionalplayers.org .