Ogunquit Playhouse Mourns the Loss of Henry J. Weller, Jr., Board of Directors Emeritus
The Ogunquit Playhouse lost a dear friend when Henry J. Weller, Jr. passed away on June 25, 2014. Mr. Weller was the General Manager of the Ogunquit Playhouse from 1950 to 1997, and worked in partnership with John Lane from the beginning when John first purchased the theatre in 1950, during the heyday of the Summer Stock Circuit and the establishment of the Council of Summer Theatres (COST) that John Lane initiated. John Lane served as producer of The Royal Poinciana Playhouse in Palm Beach, Florida from 1972-1979 and Mr. Weller served as the theatre's accountant. In 1997 Mr. Weller was instrumental in creating the Ogunquit Playhouse Foundation to transfer John Lane's property to a not-for-profit 501(c)3 arts institution when John Lane retired due to illness. He went on to serve as Treasurer of the Ogunquit Playhouse Board of Directors from 1997 to 2003, Assistant Treasurer from 2003-2012 and then as a Board Member Emeritus until his passing.
Mr. Weller was always a welcome sight at the Playhouse. His wry sense of humor and his wealth of stories about the famous actors and actresses that appeared on the stage delighted anyone lucky enough to hear him speak. He was always thrilled to see the Playhouse's continued success and applauded and encouraged Bradford Kenney, Artistic Director and all the staff as the Ogunquit Playhouse continued to grow.
"Henry Weller has, for more than a half century, been a cornerstone of this great American Theatre," stated Bradford Kenney. "Joining the company alongside John Lane, Henry's tenure and legacy will have endured as one of the longest in the business, helping shape not only the Ogunquit Playhouse, but Summer Theatre in the United States. Personally, Henry has long been our guiding force, sage and connection to the storied past of the Playhouse as we have grown into its present and future. His loss is felt very keenly here and we are proud to carry his Ogunquit Playhouse forward in his honor."
Mr. Weller was born in New York City on June 19, 1926 and always maintained a home there. He was a graduate of New York University School of Commerce and Business. Prior to his years in Ogunquit he was a partner in his father's accounting business, the Henry J. Weller Company, in New York City and later was a self-employed accountant. He and his father also served as auxiliary police officers in the town of New Castle (Chappaqua- Millwood) from the late 1950s to early 1960s. In 1951 while in Ogunquit, Henry met Penny Power and they married three years later. Although they divorced after 32 years of marriage they remained friends and spoke often. He is survived by his two loving sons; Thomas H Weller and his wife Eileen Weller of Poughkeepsie, NY and John Frederick Weller of Saugerties NY along with his two grandchildren; Douglas Weller and Karen Weller.
A memorial in his honor will be held for family and friends. At the request of Mr. Weller's family memorial donations may be made to The Ogunquit Playhouse in memory of Henry Weller, PO Box 915, Ogunquit Maine 03907. For more information, contact membership coordinator Kelly Thayer - (207) 646-2402 X 218
About the Ogunquit Playhouse: The Ogunquit Playhouse is America's Foremost Summer Theatre, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, producing the finest Broadway musicals each season, with performances Tuesday through Sunday, from mid-May to mid-October. Follow the Ogunquit Playhouse on Twitter (@OgunquitPH) and become our fan on Facebook (facebook.com/OgunquitPlayhouse) for behind-the-scenes info, photos and fun throughout the season. For a complete list of show times, pricing and more information about the season visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org.