The story of two Pucks


BGSU alumna Anne (Potoky) Weaver ’56 and undergraduate Anna Parchem share similar first names, a petite stature, boundless energy and enthusiasm and, most importantly, a stint as William Shakespeare’s “Puck.”

On May 4, the two sprites came face-to-face after the Saturday matinee of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the Department of Theatre and Film’s final production for the 2018-19 season.

Weaver, who turns 90 on May 11, traveled from Columbus (Ohio) to campus with her son to see “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” It is a play she knows well–well enough that she was able to recite some of the lines which she remembered from when she played Puck in 1955.

As a student at BGSU, Weaver was active in the theatre department, Greek life (Alpha Xi Delta) and was named the Outstanding Greek Woman in 1956. After graduating, she had a successful career in marketing and public relations.

Before the play started, Heidi Nees, assistant professor of theatre and “Midsummer” director, stepped on stage, introduced the former Puck to the audience and wished her a happy birthday as Assistant Director Libby Zamiska presented a bouquet to a delighted Weaver.   

The 2019 BGSU version of the beloved Shakespeare play, just like the 1955 production, had plenty of whimsy, mischief, love from the court, lovers, mechanicals and fairies. While Shakespeare’s story doesn’t change, Weaver said she didn’t get to sing any of her lines as did Parchem, a musical theatre major from Westlake, Ohio. Weaver also raved about the Thomas M and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts and the amazing capabilities the facility offers for the theatre program, its actors, crew and faculty.   

Magic plays an important role in the play, but when the play was over and the two Pucks met is when the real magic began.  There was an immediate bond between them – one marveling about the talent of the young Puck, and the other admiring the energy and vivacity of her predecessor.

Before the cast left to relax before the evening performance, they surrounded Weaver and sang “Happy Birthday.”

“I hope I can come back when I’m 90 to watch the department perform ‘Midsummer,’” said Parchem.