In Loving Memory of Myles Gansfried

Reminiscing from his winter home on Sanibel Island, he gladly recounted how his natural curiosity helped an engineer became a set designer, technical prop master and playwright. Myles certainly left his mark on our little Barn.

“I remember when I was 8, and painting, off and on. Then when I was 10, I went to see my first show in NYC, Finian’s Rainbow. I thought the theater was magical. That was when a little seed was planted, and I wondered: can I combine my art and theater?”

So Myles had a career as an engineer, raised a family and then, retired. “I knew I had to do something to keep myself occupied and happy.” Fifteen years ago, he found the RTB, and someone gave Myles a chance. He started to learn to build sets and was quickly hooked.

“I fell in love with the process of talking with a director, taking their concept and physically building it out on the stage. I took any problems to solve and engaged my fellow engineers. One of my favorites was in Lucky Stiff- they needed an airplane. We engineered one to fly in over the audience and come to a stop and release two parachutes when it reached the stage. My fellow engineers and I loved designing all those kinds of things.”

Myles gained critical acclaim for his gorgeous sets, they often took your breath away. Patrons and professionals could tell a set designed by Myles with one look. Now, another creative process began to grow within. He put pen to paper and the plays came out. To date, Myles has written 5 full- length and 3 one-act plays. Two of the full-length plays have been done as Black Box productions at the RTB. His hilarious one-act, The Computer Lesson, was a part of our Evening of One Acts 2017 and a finalist at the Aery Theatre Company’s 2017 One-Act Festival.

Its been a few years now that Myles and his partner Judy spend part of their time down on Sanibel, and Myles doesn’t build sets anymore. He is on the RTB Artistic Committee where his curiosity continues to serve us in our artistic mission. He is taking a course in drama down on Sanibel and still writing plays. Life is good, and Myles has one more thing to say:

“I wound up in the bosom of the Theater Barn. I am deeply indebted to the RTB. I feel that I got a master’s degree in theater because I was allowed to do so many things- sets, light & sound design, write, direct and even a little acting! I got to observe everything, and I feel so enriched. I thank the Theater Barn deeply.”

Actually Myles, The Ridgefield Theater Barn thanks you.