Dorothy Slessinger Sommer

Oil painting by Jack Folinsbee

Oil painting by Jack Folinsbee


Name of interviewee:  Dorothy Slessinger Sommer (STHS)
Date of birth/age at interview:  1906/47
Interviewer:  Two gentleman, one a radio host, broadcasting the interview
Interview Date:  June 17, 1953
Interview Location:  Canal House Restaurant on Mechanic Street in New Hope, PA
Interview Length:  11 minutes
Time span discussed:  1953 present day

Summary:  Dottie was the driving creative and producing force behind the musical plays presented during the Phillips’ Mill Community Association’s heydays of original productions. In this short radio interview, she notes her partners in creation, Emily Leith-Ross and Frederica Childs. Dottie explains several of the community binding events in which she was a key creative role: the Mill productions, which brought in, over their short run, more than 1000 people in a community of less than 7000, and the New Hope Street Fair. Dottie’s long creative life ended in 1999 at 93 years of age, at which time she was busy writing a new play! Recording and details.


Time markers:
00:00 – introduction
01:40 – Dottie briefs listener on the Phillips’ Mill Community Association activities
02:30 – Mill plays; Emily Leith-Ross and Dottie write the book, Dottie writes the music and lyrics
04:00 – current (1953) show “And So Tibet”; local personality Ellis Barber sings a song that is in the show, “Why Should I Hide My Love for You?”
06:20 – the outdoor interview venue, the Canal House
06:50 – art show at the Phillips’ Mill
07:20 – Dottie relates the happenings and reasons for the New Hope Street Fair, the Little Theater at the Fair
08:50 – effort to publish her songs
09:10 – shows at the Mill are popular, this show was seen by over 1000 people; proceeds go to the New Hope Gymnasium, the Recreation Center
09:30 – skits at the Street Fair

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