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How TDF Member Bea Moreno Became an Off Broadway Baby

Date: Dec 01, 2015

Welcome to Meet the Member, where TDF members let you know which shows they love.

Today's member: Bea Moreno, a TDF member since the 1970s. She's a native New Yorker who lives in Riverdale in the Bronx.

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Emily Travis, Marketing Manager at TDF: Hello, Bea! You are one of our longest and most active TDF members. How did you become interested in theatre?

Bea Moreno: When I was a freshman in high school, our class went to see La Bohème. I watched the whole show with my mouth open! I remember the fantastic voices on stage, the music and the audience. I hadn't realized that you could have [artistic] experiences all the time.

Emily: What inspired you to join TDF nearly 40 years ago?

Bea: At the time, I was a struggling single mother and didn't have a lot of money --- but I still had a love of theatre in my soul. One day I was looking at The New York Times and read about TDF vouchers [an early incarnation of TDF's membership program] in an article. So I called up The Times and they put me in touch with TDF. Suddenly I had this opportunity to go to the theatre! My daughter was a toddler then and we went to a lot of family shows.

Emily: But not so many family shows these days?

Bea: I now see theatre mostly solo --- or I should say sola because I am Latina! I go every weekend. I'm not talking about the big, splashy Broadway shows, although I love those, but Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway are even better. I see everything! I just celebrated my 64th birthday on November 3 and [as a present to myself] I went to the theatre every day for a week.

Emily: Over the past four decades I'm sure you've seen a bunch of fantastic shows, but can you name a few of your recent favorites?

Bea: During my birthday week I saw Kill Floor at Lincoln Center -- I loved that! Lost Girls at the Lucille Lortel was also great. The ending was a kick! I knew I had to see Lost Girls because I enjoyed the last show that [the playwright] John Pollono wrote, Small Engine Repair. I also love the Labyrinth Theater Company. I saw Daphne Rubin-Vega in Empanada Loca there on Halloween and it was so spooky.

Emily: How do you pick which shows you want to see?

Bea: Something about the description has to move me. I like to see how other people deal with adverse situations in their lives. I'm a health care provider for cancer patients, and my clients have shown me how wonderful and precious life is, that every day you wake up is a great day. That's why I enjoy my life, and why I am drawn to shows about helping people.

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Note: This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Photo of Bea Moreno and her husband courtesy of the couple.