Playhouse fund honors Scarvell

A new endowment fund will support Youngstown Playhouse’s Youth Theatre program and honor the legacy of director, performer and educator Joseph Scarvell.

The Joseph E. Scarvell Youth Theatre Endowment Fund was created with a $20,000 contribution from an anonymous donor.

“The donor gave an unrestricted gift,” Playhouse Executive Director Kayla Boye said. “They said Joe meant a lot to them and however the board would like to honor his legacy was fine with them.”

Scarvell, who died Jan. 5 at age 89, appeared in his first Playhouse production in 1958 and was active for 62 years as an actor, director, board member, patron and audience member.

As an educator, Scarvell taught at his alma mater, Farrell High School in Pennsylvania, for 13 years before starting the theater arts program at Pennsylvania’s New Castle Area School District, where he taught for 20 years. He also served as an adjunct professor at Youngstown State University, Westminster College, Penn State University Shenango Campus, Slippery Rock University at Cranberry and Kent State University at Trumbull.

The board decided using the fund to support the Youth Theatre would be the best way to honor his lifetime of work, Boye said.

The endowment fund will be managed by the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley. Contributions to the fund can be directed to CFMV via check or credit card at www.cfmv.org/donate. For donations such as stock transfers or real estate, donors can call CFMV at 330-743-5555 or email info@cfmv.org.

The board will withdraw 4.5 percent from the fund annually to support and expand its Youth Theatre efforts.

“We’re hoping to grow the fund to sustain a more broad youth theater programming, a more robust scope of services,” Boye said. “We’d like it to grow almost into a conservatory, a concerted effort to train and foster the next generation of theater performers and technicians.”



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