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Read about three “miracles”

This is a letter about three “miracles.” By strict definition, they’re probably not “miracles.” But they are to me. Two of them happened because of you.

To those of you who know me even a little, this will come as no surprise:

I have always loved theater.

As an adolescent in New York City, I used to put on plays with my friends, where (again, no surprise) I was often the director, as well as an actor in our productions. Blanche Rothstein, my English teacher and avid theater lover, would (on her own time) produce and direct plays for us to perform for the rest of the school. She helped nurture the theater bug in me.

Miracle #1: Theater could be a profession. It was Mrs. Rothstein who insisted that my best friend Doris and I audition for admission when the New York High School of Performing Arts was created as a public school. We were both accepted and started high school in the heart of downtown Manhattan. That summer, my family moved from the Bronx to Queens. It was absolutely thrilling to ride the subway to school. What an amazing beginning of my theatrical journey.

With that start, I have remained in the theater for my entire adult life—studying, teaching, and working from coast to coast. I was able to do all of this and be a mom too. My two magnificent children—Rob and Kelly—never felt the pull of the theater, but lucky me, they supported me wholeheartedly.

It’s hard to even write the words, but in 1979, after three years of bravely fighting for his life, my son, Rob, died.

Miracle #2: The Pentacle Theatre. That very year when I was deep in mourning and in intense grief and pain—I literally found myself walking down the Pentacle path. As I approached our theater in the woods, I remember stopping in my tracks. The beauty of the trees. The smell of the outdoors. I entered the theater and I somehow knew I had found my new home. It felt like a miracle. And it was.

I could hear my son insisting that I make a promise to him to live a full life after he was gone. I promised. Together in Salem with my daughter, her husband and my two grandchildren, I started my new life with Pentacle.

I directed my first play in 1980 and I’ve been fortunate enough to direct nearly every year since then. I’ve performed in more than 20 shows. I’ve directed 40-some shows. I’ve served on the Board and chaired many committees as part of my loyal service. I’m blessed to be living my passion at Pentacle Theatre.

Miracle #3: An unexpected phone call. In 1981, Chemeketa Community College called and invited me to continue my teaching of acting. They wanted me to create a class that would be taught in the lobby of Pentacle Theatre. What a fabulous opportunity! Because of teaching this year-round class, I was able to be involved with and develop so many amazing performers who have shared their talent on the Pentacle stage. Can you imagine anything better than that?

There you have it. Two out of the three “miracles” in my life were possible because of you. It’s true. It’s because of your loyal giving that Pentacle exists. And the miracles that continue to happen at Pentacle Theatre are only made possible because of your commitment to its success.

My life—and I bet yours too—is a daily reminder of the positive impact that theater arts can have on one individual life. It’s a daily reminder of the amazing effect it can have on our community. Through all my years of involvement in theater—from coast to coast—I have never experienced a theater as unique and as wonderful as Pentacle. And it should come as no shock that it costs money to run a place like the Pentacle. Ticket sales don’t cover all the costs. You and I know, that community theater requires just that—community. It’s you, through your financial gifts, who make Pentacle Theatre happen.

The quality of the programming, the dedication of the volunteers, the enthusiasm of the patrons, and the sense of family that is instilled in every aspect—it is both inspiring and humbling. It’s your—it’s our—little miracle in the woods.

I have kept my promise to my son. Because of you, I am living a full and wonderful life through Pentacle Theatre.

Thank you, in advance, for your year-end gift.

With deep love and affection for all the “miracles” you make possible,

Jo Dodge

P.S. You can make your year-end donation securely by clicking on the button below. 


This is me, today.

This is me in Pentacle Theatre’s 1982 production of Night of the Iguana.

Much of what we do at Pentacle would not be possible without the support of our members and patrons.  We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your donation is 100 percent tax deductible.

Please consider making a donation to Pentacle Theatre to ensure that Pentacle can continue bring quality community theater to our surrounding area.

For more information please call us at (503) 485-4300.

Donate, match, and get the whole match back!

Match your generous gift to Pentacle Theatre with a donation to the Oregon Cultural Trust and earn a dollar-for-dollar credit on your Oregon income tax.

That tax credit is in addition to the allowed deduction for your charitable gift to Pentacle Theatre. It’s a simple and fun way to give more without it costing you more!

Here’s how: Click on the Donate Now button above and make your donation.

Then visit to make a matching contribution. Be sure to give both gifts before the end of the year to claim a tax credit on your Oregon 1040 for the matching contribution to the Cultural Trust.

The cultural tax credit is generous: up to $500 for individuals, $1,000 for couples filing jointly, and $2,500 for corporations.

Donate, match, and get the whole match back! It’s that easy to double your charitable giving to support Oregon’s rich cultural heritage.

Are you a Fred Meyer rewards program participant?

You can link your account to Pentacle Theatre and turn your shopping into donations.

Here’s how it works:

  • Enroll online at Fred Meyer’s Community Rewards Page and link your Rewards Card to Pentacle Theatre. Pentacle’s number is 80561, or you can search by our name.
  • You will continue to receive Rewards Points, Rebates and Fuel Points.
  • Fred Meyer will donate $625,000 each quarter via Community Rewards!

It’s a super easy way to support the community theater you know and love.

Fred Meyer Rewards