By BRIAN BINGAMAN
You knew Tina Fey was from the Philadelphia region, but did you know she got her start at the Upper Darby Summer Stage?
“Before the Emmy Award-winning actress, comedian, producer and writer became a household name, Tina Fey acted, directed, ushered and worked in the box office at Upper Darby Summer Stage,” said Upper Darby Summer Stage executive director Harry Dietzler in a press release. “Several of our current staff members were in productions directed by Tina.”
Fey, who has also won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards, returns to her old stomping grounds at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16 for a fundraising event that kicks off Upper Darby Summer Stage’s 40th season. The event will feature a 10th anniversary screening of “Mean Girls” — which was loosely based on Fey’s experiences at Upper Darby High School — followed by a Q&A session, moderated by “TV Guide Magazine” senior writer and Summer Stage alum Damian Holbrook.
So where is this?
Calling itself “one of the longest running children’s theater programs in the country,” Upper Darby Summer Stage’s home base is the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Lansdowne Ave., Drexel Hill.
How do I get tickets?
They range from $40-$100 and will be tax deductible because proceeds are going toward the purchase of a new sound system for the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, an investment of approximately $300,000. Go to www.udpac.org or call (610) 622-1189.
So Tina Fey wrote “Mean Girls?”
She made her movie debut as a writer and co-star in the 2004 Lindsay Lohan flick. The movie will be projected onto three screens in the theater.
Tell me more about Upper Darby Summer Stage.
According to the release on the event, it was established in 1976; welcomes more than 700 participants each summer, and more than 30,000 ticket-holders to its series of “family-friendly musicals;” and was recently named one of the eight best-known summer theater programs for young performers by Backstage.com. They’re on www.facebook.com/UDSummerStage, and on Twitter and Instagram @udsummerstage.
Anything else that’s cool to know?
Fey paid tribute to Upper Darby Summer Stage in her book “Bossypants.” Besides “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live,” she was also part of “Second City.”
Follow Brian Bingaman on Twitter @brianbingaman.