Munnerlyn Theatre Dedicated in Honor of Sally Deming

More than 200 alumni, parents of alumni, and current and former faculty and staff honored longtime theatre teacher and former Director of Fine Arts Sally Maguire Deming by naming the Munnerlyn Center Theatre for her at a special dedication ceremony last Friday night. The Rev. Adam Greene, Head of School, blessed the newly named theatre and the theatre workshop, which is now named in memory of Sally’s husband, Jim Deming, who made all of the sets for Episcopal productions for many years.

The dedication also featured tributes by Sally Hogshead ’87, and Charley Zimmer, Head of School Emeritus, and the Demings’ son Casey Deming ’07. Members of the Class of 1997 performed a theatre skit and led the crowd of guests in singing “Rainbow Connection,” one of Sally’s favorite songs. Alumnus Clay Greenhaw ’06 produced a video of clips from alumni across the country wishing Sally their best. (Watch the video.)

Sally thanked those in attendance and spoke on the importance of never giving up, always believing, and on Matthew 17:20 — faith the size of a mustard seed — that nothing is impossible with God. Small gift bags of mustard seeds were distributed after the dedication to guests.

The Rev. Adam Greene, Head of School, referred to the verse as well in his remarks, saying, “One of our own mustard seeds was planted back in 1981 – the year Sally joined our Episcopal family. She and her team surely grew that seed into a great tree. So many of you have sheltered in the branches of this tree that Sally helped create. You flourished as you sang and danced, as you acted and played. You have grown and have given back. We are all better — our incredible school is better — for that mustard seed being sown almost 40 years ago.”

Sally Maguire Deming joined the Episcopal staff in 1981 as a theatre intern and continued to teach theatre and speech, direct the performing arts, and eventually the Fine Arts Department, for the next 37 years until her retirement last year. Sally was the recipient of the Davis Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1993. Jim “Jimbo” Deming passed away last year. After retiring from the City of Atlantic Beach, Jimbo worked as a theatre technician for theatres throughout Jacksonville.

The contributions to name Deming Theatre totaled more than $107,000, from 203 donors, and will provide needed upgrades to the 2003 facility’s sound and lighting. Episcopal is grateful for the Sunshine Project Committee members who came together in support of Sally and Jimbo to make the Deming Theatre and Jimbo’s Workshop a reality: Diane Bajalia, Liz Donahoo Bishop ’88, Jennie Trimble Busey ’97, Katie Graham Forde ’97, Frances Poitevent Hutto ’88, Jay Klaitz ’97, Kacey Lewis Roache ’00, Art Small ’93, Jonathan Stimler ’98, Dearing Setzer Thoburn ’88, Bart Vickers ’97, Kim Vincenty, Sharon Vinyard, and Robin Virtue.