Journalist had a Dramatic Start
In his travels around the globe as a correspondent for CBS News, Seth Doane has covered stories in South America, Africa, and beautiful Bali, Indonesia. What’s better? The 1996 Harwich High School graduate is currently on a two-year assignment in Beijing, China and when the weather is nice, he bikes to the company’s news office in the city’s diplomatic region.
Before all of this traveling, though, before serving as CBS’ principal correspondent in Asia, and before winning a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in broadcast journalism, Seth, 36, was a Cape Cod kid learning the ropes of drama, production, and performance from the legendary Betty Bobp.
“Before I was a teenager, I got involved in the Harwich Junior Theatre and just found a real home there,” Seth recalls. “I can’t say enough about what the junior theatre did for me. No matter who you were, they welcomed you and found the best part of you. It was a place that really helped me grow as a person.”
Bobp, of course, founded the Harwich Junior Theatre back in 1951. A drama teacher at Wheelock College in Boston, her goal was to provide theater education opportunities for young people on Cape Cod. Today, the Harwich Junior Theatre and the company’s resident adult performing group, Harwich Winter Theatre, puts on up to 12 productions in a given year. In addition, hundreds of students take part in the organization’s various drama classes.
While he was growing up, Seth enrolled in these classes and performed in a number of junior theatre shows, including playing the leading man in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. He also had roles in “The Hobbit”, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, and “Raggedy Ann and Andy”—he was Andy! “It was a range of plays,” Seth says, “but “Romeo and Juliet” stood out. [The instructors] went through every word in that play. You just learned so much. Though the language has changed, the storylines are timeless.”
Seth says he learned many important life lessons during his time at the junior theatre—“things you don’t realize you are learning”—and he made a lot of friends along the way. He adds that ‘strike night’—when cast and crew tear down the old set and begin to install the new one—was particularly fun.
The instructors and directors were both educational and inspirational, Seth says, and he learned under the tutelage of many great ones including James Byrne, Scott Dalton, Jay Harrington, and Michele and Robert Zapple. He also praised Janice Nikula, Lisa Canto, Julie Harris, and the late Lorraine Lewis for their passion and support. “It was all a labor of love ,” Doane says. “You couldn’t pay people to care as much as these people do.”
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