‘Karin’s Follies’ performance to benefit Donovan Catholic scholarship

Drama teacher Karin Krenek during a rehearsal with a group of students. Courtesy photo

To celebrate the memory of their recently departed teacher and friend, Karin Krenek, the alumni and students in Donovan Catholic will present the musical program, “Karin’s Follies” 2 p.m. on Dec. 30 in the gymnasium at 711 Hooper Ave., Toms River. The performance will benefit a new scholarship in her honor at the Catholic igh school.

Krenek, who taught ESL and theater and served as Donovan Catholic’s drama director for more than two decades, died suddenly during a school retreat this May 18. She left a husband, four children and hundreds of mourners among the school’s students, staff and faculty.

“She left a big hole in our hearts,” said Donna DiCosta, Donovan Catholic’s performing arts coordinator. “She was always doing things for others.”

To keep that upbeat, giving spirit alive, the event will feature songs from a few of the musicals Krenek helped stage during her 20-year tenure at Donovan Catholic. Numbers will include excerpts from “Godspell,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “White Christmas,” “Les Miserables,” “Mary Poppins,” “The Lion King,” “Guys and Dolls” and the mega-mix from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” the last show Krenek directed.

“The concept of this event came together with the collaboration of her son, Michael Krenek, who is now the director of our campus productions for both St. Joseph Grade School and Donovan Catholic,” added JoAnn D’Anton, the high school’s marketing and media director.

Anecdotes and memories from those who worked with Krenek will be shared; “It will be uplifting, a celebration of her,” DiCosta said.

The event will also include the sale of t-shirts with logos of all the shows Krenek helmed. On the back of each shirt, in the late teacher’s handwriting, is emblazoned the phrase she often shared with students: “You are valued, you are cherished and you are loved. Always loved.”

Food and beverages will be available for purchase, and the N.J.-based Irish band “Ballyhaunis” will perform. All proceeds will go toward the Karin Krenek scholarship, now in formation, which is slated to benefit a student in the Class of 2020/2021.

General admission tickets are $10 and are available for purchase by calling the box office at 732-349-8801 ext. 2403.

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