Of love found in Fairfield, lost, and found again

Heidi Schiller wrote and is directing the play “From Little Things.” CONTRIBUTED

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Heidi Schiller wrote and is directing the play “From Little Things.” CONTRIBUTED

‘From Little Things’ to debut at FCAC

Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com.

“From Little Things,” an original, one-act play about finding love in and around Fairfield, will debut at the Fairfield Community Arts Center on Nov. 4-5.

Written and directed by Heidi Schiller, the production is based on the true story of a Fairfield couple, Pete and Alberta Groh. The play explores how they met, what tore them apart and the little things that brought them back together for a lifetime of happiness.

“They (Pete and Alberta Groh) were born and grew up in the Fairfield area in the mid-1950s. Of course, it wasn’t Fairfield when they were born, because we weren’t incorporated until 1955,” said Schiller, a Fairfield resident, who also serves as the arts and programs manager at the Fairfield Parks and Recreation Department.

As the story comes to life on stage, area residents will enjoy the nostalgia of Saturday night football games in Hamilton, dances at the Stardust Gardens and dancing to Glenn Miller as well as rides and games at LeSourdsville Lake Amusement Park. Real-life photos and video will be incorporated into the show and serve as part of the set.

“Pete wrote a pretty extensive memoir, which I think he completed in 2013. And Alberta passed away in 2009. He wrote the book as a way of documenting their lives together for his children and grandchildren. It some ways, it was also a form of grief therapy,” Schiller said.

She said, the memoir came into the hands of our current mayor, Steve Miller. Last summer, he brought it to me and said, ‘You really should read this, it’s fascinating. Here is a couple, who grew up in the Fairfield area. They were teenagers about the same time that Fairfield was being incorporated as a city. It’s a beautiful story, maybe we could do something with it.’

“I met with Pete later that summer. We talked about his life with Alberta. And, we talked about what we could do with this to showcase a slice of life in Fairfield,” Schiller said.

Cast locally, the role of Pete Groh will be played by Christian Sansone, and the role of Alberta Groh will be played by her granddaughter, Mary Kathryn Groh, a Fairfield resident and a junior at Miami Hamilton. Rehearsals for the show started on Sept. 12.

“The reason why I chose the title, ‘From Little Things,’ is because Pete and Alberta’s life is really storybook. They had a wonderful life together and raised four children. Theatrically speaking, what makes good theater is conflict,” Schiller said.

The conflict that was apparent was the break-up. Another girl came between them, and they broke up. They were separated for nine months, and they dated other people. They got back together on a fluke. Then, Pete makes a point of saying, he basically took her hand, and he never let it go for 50-plus years.

“That was the sweet story to tell. It’s all the little things from when they started dating. And all those little things built upon each other to the point of having a beautiful marriage,” Schiller said.

How to go

What: “From Little Things”

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5

Where: Fairfield Community Arts Center, 411 Wessel Drive, Fairfield

Admission: Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for seniors, students. Call the FCAC Box Office at (513) 867-5348 or purchase online at www.fairfield-city.org/tickets.

More info: www.fairfield-city.org/events

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