West Hudson Arts & Theatre Company Making Classic Venue HomeJan 01, 2023
In a prior article on The West Hudson Arts and Theater Company (WHATCo), a WHATCo spokesman stated that “WHATCo’s Vision is that it will emerge as a significant arts facility in the West Hudson community known best for quality productions that seek to enhance the community as a whole and foster a caring approach to theater and theatrical education for its members.”
WHATCo announced recently that it will be moving its center of operation to the Holy Cross Banquet Hall located in the former Holy Cross Grammar School located at 15 So. Frank E. Rodgers Blvd in Harrison. The location, across from the Veteran’s Memorial Park and The Courts at Library Park, has been vacant for some time. Former Councilman Anselmo Millan lead a group of volunteers to refurbish the Holy Cross Banquet Hall by doing repairs to walls and ceilings and painting them. The non-profit Harrison Fest Inc. whose President Anselmo Millan, brought the venue back to life in 2016 with a very successful Queens Gala night as part of Harrison Fest 2016.
Holy Cross School Stage During Harrison Fest Queens Gala. President of Harrison Fest, Anselmo Millan, Judges and Hudson County Sheriff Frank X. Schillari (Center)
The President of WHATco Brandi-Leigh Miller was quoted by The Observer newspaper as saying, “It has become clear that the stability of a long-term home is necessary for us to continue to deliver on our mission of providing high-quality theater and arts education opportunities to the West Hudson community.” The Holy Cross Banquet Hall lends itself to both being an office space as well as a theater and venue for theatre-related workshops and practice sessions. As Anselmo Millan and his Harrison Fest Volunteers found out, the venue could use upgrades to its heating system and a central air conditioning system but its stage, its 30 to 40-foot ceiling height, balcony section, and ornate woodwork and plaster moldings harp back to a time where the venue was the center of many theater productions and musical band performances and dances. Anselmo Millan stated, “When the idea of a Queens Gala came to fruition, I wanted to hold the Gala in Harrison. But we needed a large venue. I approached the Holy Cross Parish and the Archdiocese of Newark which owns the building about using the Holy Cross Banquet Hall. It had not been used for years. It needed some repairs but it was a great venue for the Gala. The photographs of the hall show its grandeur. The venue is a great space for WHATco and theater is one of its original uses.”
WHATCo will be holding winter workshops. Registration will be in January 2023. You can check Your Harrison for updates and/or go to WHATCo’s website.
As part of the move to the Holy Cross Grammar School campus, a fundraising initiative is planned to reach out to sponsors and donors both locally and afar who are arts-minded and understand the importance of theater and the arts in communities. Vice President Gloria Spence will be heading up the fundraising initiatives. VP Spence has many years of non-profit fundraising experience.
Award-winning North Jersey community theater veteran Beatriz Esteban Messina has joined the WHATCo Board.
WHATCo Productions Planned for 2023
Holy Cross Banquet Hall Set up For Harrison Fest Queens Gala
The WHATCo season will open with a fundraiser in March of an original murder-mystery dinner theater production. “Trivia Night Murder,” penned by Allyssa Hynes, a local award-winning playwright. The season will continue with a Comedy by Billy Van Zant and Jane Milmore entitled “Drop Dead!” There will also be a musical based on the beloved Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schultz entitled “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown”. Music and lyrics for the Charlie Brown play are by Mark Gesner who got assistance with additional dialogue from Michael Mayer. Last but not least, “The Great Gatsby” is an old-time radio show based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel adapted by Joe Landry.
Photos courtesy of Harrison Fest Inc. Additional photos of Queens Gala on Harrison Fest Website Cover Photo Holy Cross Stage during Harrison Fest Queens Gala.
What are your thoughts on West Hudson Arts & Theater's use of the former Holy Cross School Banquet Hall? Let Us Know Your Thoughts on our Community Discussion Board. If you have not signed up yet to participate you can Sign Up now.
Submit An Article
Submit An Article for Publication and we will give you a byline. Click Submit Article on Menu.
CategoriesAll Categories 13th amendment 2022 world cup 29th legislative district 2nd lt. augustus r. feeley 32nd legislative district 466th bombardment group 4th of july 4th of july celebration 5k run 785th bomb squadron 9/11 memorial abraham lincoln accident acp club of kearny riders adults with disabilities affordable housing africa cup of nations agenda agent orange agriculture department albert kotin albio sires allyssa hynes alyssa sullivan american legion post 282 american revolution soldiers amtrak andranik eskandarian andre iwanzyck angel city fc anna m. nicosia anschultz corporation anselmo millan anthony mondaro antojos colombianos restaurant argentina national fc arlington section arthur blank artie barber asturias spain atlanta unied fc attlebridge airfield audi field augustus r. feeley autonation back to school backpack giveaway baldwin locomotive works banc of california stadium banda de gaitas from llacin bank of america stadium charlotte barbecues barcelona fc barcelona fc tickets barcelona soccer team baseball baseball field bayonne nj beautification commitee becky g. beehive of industry belleville nj bergen county vocational technical shool bill predmore billy van zant bishop manuel cruz black panter blood donation blue tide board of elections bobblehead bobby smith boca chica restaurant bock and harnick boonton line boston college boston ma bottled water branch brook park alliance brandi-leigh miller brando moreno brdige closure bridge street bridge harrison nj burger king c.s. osborne & co. cafe mil hojas cafe restaurant calling while driving camera cannabis captain america captain eric s. hausmann captain james k. patterson captain keven t. degaetano captain marvel captain michael j. granato carl h. lindner iii carli lloyd caroline bamberger fuld cash management cash management plan cellular towers centro romeu cascaes centro romeu cascaes portuguese american community center cf montreal soccer chairman harrison development agency charles f. guyon charles feltman charley restaurant charlotte fc chase barbieri check voting location check voting status cherry blossoms cherry blossoms festival chicago fire fc chicago fire soccer team chicago red stars chief david strumolo chief henry richard children issues children's mercy park chinese american club chris acuna cincinnati fc city of newark civil war clay street bridge east newark close keegan cmn sports coach cesar blacido coach mike rusek cobalt apartment building colorado rapids columbia national fc commissioners of njsea community policing coney island beach conflict of interest congressman albio sires construction corrective action plan councilman anselmo millan councilman delfim sarabando councilman lawrence bennett covid 19 cristina montague crucible drive crucible steel cultural event curt johnson d-day daniel choffo daredevil david d'errico david robertson david tepper david w. gates jr. davis avenue fire davis diving bell dc united deborah r. thiry declaration of indepedence delaware river delfim sarabando department public works deputy chief patrick minutillo devin tuvey dewey street diana gutierrez-scacetti dick's sporting goods park diego flores-sanchez dinner discussion board doctor doran dog poop donald b. scott dpw dr. pedro monteiro drew university drive pink cancer awareness drive safely back to school drop dead! drover's inn drv pnk stadium dump truck dwi earl h. gil sr. early harrison early in person voting early voting earth day east newark east newark fire department east newark firefighters east newark memorial day tribute east newark volunteer fire department ecuador national soccer team eddie austin edison lamp works edison light bulb editor kevin canessa el senor de los milagros de kearny election election 2022 election day elizabeth santacruz ellen mendoza emancipation procolmation environment environmental environmental club environmental protection agency epa erie lackawanna essex county essex county executive joseph n. divencenzo essex county parks eurokilt car meet eva longoria exodermic bridge deck system fabian soto fabrizio souza fado father's day fc barcelona fc cincinnati fc dallas fine arts firefigher vincent doffont firefighter job application fireworks flooding fmr. councilman anselmo millan food trucks for a better harrison fourth of july francisco nascimento frank rodgers frederick law olmsted fundraiser galicia spain gas line construction general election general n n halsted germany woman's natitional soccer team gillete stadium girl scouts girl scouts service unit 14 gloria spence gotham gotham fc governor jon corzine governor phil murphy grand parade great britain great depression great gatsby green green space green spaces grocery store grocery stores grupo de fados de medicina do porto guantemal national team guyon drive h2s happy new year harbor station 330 harirson high school graduation harison nj harold stahl harrison harrison board of adjustment harrison board of education harrison burger king harrison cleveland ave fire station harrison construction department harrison department of public works harrison dpw harrison election harrison emergency services harrison fest harrison fest grand parade harrison fest holiday party harrison fest queens gala harrison fest turkey meal drive harrison fife department harrison fire department harrison firefighters harrison football harrison gardens harrison grocery stores harrison health department harrison high school harrison high school boys soccer harrison high school drama club harrison high school soccer harrison history harrison holy cross church harrison library harrison little league harrison mayor harrison mayoral race harrison memorial day tribute harrison memorial monument harrison n harrison nj harrison nj mayoral race 2022 harrison nj portugal day harrison nj post office harrison nj weather harrison parking harrison parking garage harrison path station harrison planning board harrison plaza mini mall harrison police harrison police department harrison police national night out harrison portugal day harrison portuguese club harrison post no 282 american legion harrison post office harrison public library harrison redevelopment harrison redevelopment agency harrison redevelopment zone harrison restaurants harrison seal harrison soccer harrison soccer sculpture harrison tax collector harrison town clerk harrison town hall harrison town seal harrison veterans plaza harrison water department harrison weather station harrison world war ii monument harrison zoning board harrison-east newark elks harrisson fest citizen naturalization drives health hfd chief henry richard hhs hiram davis hoboken nj holy cross banquet hall holy cross cemetary holy cross church holy cross church harrison holy cross grammar school horizaon blue cross / blue shield hot dog hut houston dash howard p. milstein hubert birkenmier hudson county hudson county board of elections hudson county clerk hudson county community college hudson county prosecutor hudson county sheriff hudson county superintendent of elections hudson river derby hugh o'neill hulk hydrogen sulfide iew construction in memoriam incredible duck race independence day indian food indian knights motorcycle club industrial past ines maturana sendoya inter miami cf international soccer games ireland v usa rugby irish bagpiper iron man ironbound newark ismael kone issues jackson street bridge jackson street bridge harrison nj jamaica b24 liberator airplane jamaica national soccer james doran james fife james harrison jane milmore jay sugarman jeff berding jerome coopersmith jerry bock jersey city nj jersey journal jesus huaranga jia wen (karen) zheng jim harkes jr. jim harkes sr. job application joe landry joe silva joe supor joey mac's hot dog food truck john harkes john hopkins university john tolkin joia restaurant jose carlos adao jose montesinos joseph cundari joseph n. divincenzo joseph p. mobus joseph supor joseph supor iii joseph supor jr. judge jeffrey jablonski juneteenth junior firefighter day justin braz kansas city currents karen zheng karianne arias kearny kearny boy scouts kearny fire department kearny fire fighters kearny nj kearny portuguese club acp kearny rotary kearny town hall kearny vfw lodge kearny-belleville elks keegan landfill keisha salas kevein durant kevin canessa kevin corbett kevin f. gilmore kevin welch keystone sports & entertainment kimberly taylor designs knights of columbus korean war monument kroenke sports & entertainment labor day ladder truck larry kramer larry meistrich lawrence bennett lead in water legends field legislative district lexington steamship lgbtq library park librray hours lincoln school lions sports lond irish loop lt. dean mcgee lunch lupus lupus awareness lupus foundation of america lyndhurst memorial day parade lynnes motors made in harrison mahhattan college major league baseball major league rugby major league rugby championship final manfred schellscheidt manhattan transfer manhattan transfer station maria marieiro marijuana marinera dance mark gesner marshall football team marvel super heroes maryland soccerplex matthew banton matthew weber maureen kroog mayor mayor & council mayor alberto santos mayor frank e. rodgers mayor frederick j. gassert mayor james fife mayor raymond mcdonough mayor santos mayor thomas lynch reymond mayoral candidate anselmo millan mayoral election 2022 mayoral race 2022 mayors of harrison mccook community college memorial day memorial day parade memorial day wreath laying mercedes benz stadium met life stadium methane gas mia hamm michael mayer michael rusek mike mra millburn nj miracle on the hudson miramax studios miss new jersey mls mls cup champion mls playoff monsignor john gilchrist monsignor manuel cruz montclair montclair booton line montclair state montclair state university montclair university morris county central railroad motorcycle run mulligan funeral home municipal court chambers mural murals murray j. roper musket firing muutal aid natalie portman national holiday national night out national women's soccer league natural gas natural gas construction nc courage fc new deal new england revolution new jersey appellate court new jersey environmental protection agency new jersey schools development authority new jersey sports & exhibition authority new jersey state police new jersey supreme court new year resolution new york blood center new york city fc new york city fc soccer club new york derby new york giants new york jets new york red bulls newark baseball team newark branch brook park newark fire department newark nj newark peppers newspaper writer kevin canessa nfl nhtsa nigeria national soccer team nj american legion nj department of agriculture nj lottery nj ny gotham fc nj salsa nj transit train nj.com nj/ny gotham fc njdep njdot njit njsea njsiaa north jersey no parking no plastic bag law noise violation normandy france north arlington emergency services north arlington fire department north carolina courage north portal bridge november election nuclear psa nutley memorial day parade nwsl ny red bulls ny/nj gotham fc nyc nyc psa nuclear nyc st. patrick's parade obituary observer newspaper ol groupe ol reign oliber pereyra olmpique lyonnais olympique lyonnais feminin options through education ordinance ordinance public sessions ordinances orlando city sc orlando pride osborne company our lady of czestochowa harrison overnight construction pablo rubeinstein md pace university pahways to independence pancreatic cancer awareness paper mill playhouse parade parents teachers students organization park parking parking permit parks passaic river passaic valley water commission pat sajack path station path train path train alert pathways to independence patria y comida restaurant patricia mcginty-juhl paul tupaczewski paul zarbetski paving penn state university pennsylvania railroad peregrine sports peregrine sports llc peru's national dance peruvian civic association peruvian festival peruvian independence day peruvian parade peruvian west hudson parade pete buttigieg peter higgins iii peter j. goodman peter millar petition pets philadelphia union philadelphia union soccer team pierce arrow tiller ladder truck pierce enforcer pumper pipe band plaster relief mural plastic bags play to pay law playground pnc stadium houston port authority of new york/new jersey portal bridge portland oregon portland thorne fc portland thorns portland timbers portugal day portuguese club portuguese language school harrison portuguese rancho president abraham lincoln president barack obama president richard nixon president roosevelt's new deal president taft president william howard taft pride night primary election 2022 principal matthew weber project property taxes providence park provident bank pse&g pse&g gas line construction pseg ptso public corruption public safety public session public works administration pvwc q&a queens gala rab logan rachael safier radio corporation of america rahway fire department railpictures.net ramsey soccer ravo street cleaner ravo street sweeper raymond j. mcdonough raymond mcdonough rca rca development zone recycling red bull arena red bull soccer red bull traffic red bulls red bulls arena red bulls soccer red bulls soccer team red bulls stadium red bulls tickets red bulls traffic red cross redevelopment redevelopment zone redistricting register to vote remembrance day reorganization meeting resolutions restaurant page restaurants reusable bag road closed rob menendez robert deniro robert menendez robert van riper route 280 rugby new york rutgers university saint peter's university san diego wave fc san xon pipe band santiago formoso sara valentin saracens scholarship schools construction corporation scott mobus place seattle seawolves seattle sounders senator bob menendez senator robert menendez senator sacco senator stack serena williams sergeant william sawelson vfw post 340 seton hall preparatory school seton hall university sewer department sgt. ernie hernandez sheldon harnick shooting gallery shop local simon duplex aerial ladder truck soccer soccer town usa socios.com soha solid waste solution somerset street sound barriers south dakota highway patrol south dakotal superintendent's life saver award southern railway spanish pavillion spanish pavillion harrison sparwick contracting spider man spotted lanternfly spranish pavilion el patio st. anthony's church east newark st. anthonys church st. barnabas hospital st. cecilia's church kearny st. michael's medical center st. patrick st. patrick day parade st. stephens roman catholic church star wars steelwork apartment building stephanie silvera md steve malik steven de pinto steven juhl stickel bridge street cleaning street festival streetgeek stadium subaru park subaru stadium submit an article superintendent maureen kroog superintendent of elections superintendent of schools supermarkets supor hauling symptoms of lupus tab ramos tailgate barbecue tax lien sale tax sale tbt tennis courts teresa predmore terracycle texting while driving the apple tree play the courts the declaration of independence the gardens the home depot the observer newspaper the repair square the vanguard theatre thirteeth amendment to constitution thomas jefferson thomas lynch raymond throw back thursday title ix tom dolaghan tom szaky tony meola tony mondaro topps sports cards toronto fc town auditor town clerk town engineer town meeting town of glen ridge town of harrison town of wantage township of montclair township of nutley toxic chemical toy for tots traffic traffic bulletin tree of heaven tribeca productions tricky tray trivia night murder trivia night murder play udrive utext upay campaign under influence drugs union city nj union labor united irish united irish association urban tandoor restaurant urby harrison nj us airways us district court new jersey us treasury department usa woman's national soccer team v-e day vanna white vermella harrison veterans vfw post 340 victory in europe day video camera vietnam memorial vietnam war vincent doffont vincent doffont jr. voorhees boys soccer vote by mail voting voting machines wakemed soccer park walk a thon walk-a-thon wantage elementary school warner theatre washington school washington spirit washington spirit fc water water & sewer water department water filter water quality we are marshall welcome welcome sign west hudson arts & theatre company west hudson park what co wheel of fortune william a. stickel william j. sweeney winston churchill witt penn bridge wny flash soccer women rights world cup 2022 world trade center world trade center iron beam world war i monument world war ii world war ii monument yankee stadium yosufu jaite your'regood man charlie brown zoning board of adjustment zoning variance zoom