PATRIOT LEDGER – Performers who worked with and learned from Jordie Saucerman said she was one of a kind with a generous heart and a great sense of humor, and used her love for theater to create a space of acceptance that could change lives for the better.
Saucerman, co-founder of the non-profit Company Theatre in Norwell, died from cancer on July 2 at the age 66.
Barrie Smith has been involved with the company for more than 30 years after joining the company’s summer workshops, and said her 13-year-old son now participates. Smith, of Hingham, said it’s hard to find the right words to describe Saucerman, who was loved by children and adults alike.
“The best thing about Jordie is that she makes kids who don’t have a place, who are maybe on the outside sometimes, feel accepted. It takes a very special person to be able to do that for kids,” she said. “She just one of a kind and the magic and heart of that theater.”
The Company Theatre offers regular adult and children’s classes and performances and many children get their first experience on stage through the Academy of The Company Theatre.
Maria Mello said she started performing with The Company Theatre as a child, alongside her dad who also starred in the group’s shows. She said Saucerman could always tell when someone was struggling and knew what to say or do to make others feel better.
“Everyone felt really safe and happy with her. I always looked forward to seeing her,” Mello, 20, of Kingston, said. “She was just an amazing person.”
During her more than 40 years with The Company Theatre, Saucerman, of Weymouth, had more than 200 directing credits throughout her career, and coauthored more than a half-dozen theatrical works and adaptations.
“Jordie played a critical role in developing the Company’s mission and bringing our motto of ‘we are a family’ to life both on and off stage. For that, we will be forever grateful,” the theater said in a statement. “Jordie will always be with us in spirit. She’ll be present in the stage lights shining from above, the glitter falling from the catwalk, the curtain that drops at the end of a performance and, most importantly, in the hearts of the countless performers who enter The Company Theatre.”
Saucerman grew up in southern Indiana and attended Emory University in Atlanta, where she met Zoe Bradford in 1974. They relocated to Boston together and Saucerman leaned into her interest in dramatic coaching and playwriting.
She worked as an assistant director for Jamaica Plain-based youth organization The Freelance Players, who invited Saucerman to author her first adaptation of a children’s musical,“Great Expectations,” which was a sold-out hit.
Saucerman and Bradford together launched The Company Theatre in 1978, and Saucerman started her lifelong dream of educating and entertaining through the performing arts.
Saucerman also co-founded The Academy of the Company Theatre, which has offered summer workshops and theatrical productions for students ages 7 to 19 since 1987. What started as a program with about a dozen students, grew to a full capacity of 200 students quickly, due to Saucerman and her ability to nurture young talent.
Once The Company Theatre settled into its permanent home in Norwell in 1992, Saucerman took over managing the scene shop, encouraging volunteerism, offering technical theater mentoring and collaborating in the planning of each season.
Sam Groll said he didn’t discover The Company Theatre until 2018, when he decided to audition for the musical “American Idiot.” He said Saucerman was the kind of person who you felt like you had known for ages, even after just a short time.
“She really felt like a second mother to me, keeping me in line with everyone else, and (Company Theatre) became a second home for me very quickly,” Groll, 23, of Duxbury said. “That’s why I loved her, and we always bonded with a joke.”
By Jessica Trufant