Barbara Keffer, Recently Named Monson Arts Council Director Emeritus, Passes On.
Barbara Keffer passed away on the morning of March 1st, 2014.
In December, the Monson Arts Council Board of Directors unanimously voted to name Barbara Keffer, a founding member of our organization as Director Emeritus.
The honor was bestowed on Barbara just prior to her move to Canton, MA to a nursing facility near her daughter.
Besides being a founding member of the Monson Arts Council, Barbara served for many years as our Treasurer and additional years as our President. During her years as treasurer she reported in clear detail the income and expenses of each committee in our organization each month. She held fast to her responsibility to hold us fiscally in good shape. As president, she provided steadfast leadership and prodigious organizing abilities as we began growing and expanding our artistic contributions to the Monson community.
Perhaps her most valuable contribution, however, came through the many years in which she acted in, produced or directed many theater productions which we staged at Memorial Hall.
Barbara held major roles in many productions of the Monson Arts Council, including No Sex Please We’re British (1996), Love, Sex & the IRS (2001), Scotland Road (2002) , Breath of Spring (2004) and Steel Magnolias (2006.
As a director, Barbara’s style was low key, blessed with humor and based on her ability to work comfortably with many actors and artists. She knew what individuals did not even know about themselves — their potential, their strengths and their capacity for acting. Among others she directed SNAFU (1983) and Blithe Spirit (1985.)
As producer for many MAC productions including Marriage Madness (1988), The Miss Firecracker Contest (1992), The Odd Couple (1995), Rumors (1996), Never Too Late (2003), Spitfire Grill (2004), Steel Magnolias (2006), On Golden Pond (2007) and I Hate Hamlet (2009). Barbara was unequaled in her persistence, energy and devotion to accomplishing the myriad tasks that putting on a good play requires. Barbara never hesitated to ask for what the play needed. Working with Barbara was a pleasure, her great sense of humor, her commonsense practicality gave so many people who worked with her over the years a wonderful sense of what theater truly is, and how much fun it can be to work together on a play. For this, we are truly grateful.
Before her move, Peter Barnett, president of the Monson Arts Council, sent Barbara flowers from the Board along with the following letter. We all share in the love and appreciation which he expressed in that letter:
We on the Board of the Monson Arts Council have learned with sorrow and concern of your illness, and of your plans to move closer to your daughter. It is truly the end of an era for the council, since you are one of its founding members and most constant sources of energy. We will miss your beautiful spirit, your sense of history, and your inspiration.
As a token of our love and appreciation, we have decided to name you “Director Emeritus”, in recognition of your past contributions, and in the knowledge that you will continue to be present in spirit at our meetings.
With deep regard for all you have done for us, and for theater in the Town of Monson.
Peter Barnett, President
The Monson Arts Council Board of Directors