University of Delaware
Office of Public Relations
The Messenger
Vol. 5, No. 2/1996
Art for artists' sakes

     For Greer Firestone, Delaware '69, all the world's a stage,
and the more ways he can find to incorporate theatre into life,
the better. Known at UD in the '60s as the first voice of the
first campus radio station, Firestone is now a well-respected
member of Delaware's theatre community.
     He is best known as the energizer behind Delaware's Best of
Broadway, an annual revue presented in the '80s. It featured the
creme de la creme of Delaware's singers and dancers, performing
the best-loved songs from the Great White Way. Funds generated
from The Best of Broadway were donated to local charities.
     When the production became too time-consuming, the revue
folded until a crisis that touched the hearts of many Delaware
performing artists brought reason for its resurrection in 1995.
     When the late Susan Webster, a much-loved actress in
community theatre for 25 years, became ill with terminal cancer,
Firestone and others were hit hard. They were faced with watching
a close friend die and the realization that many who devote their
lives to the arts do so without the benefit of medical coverage.
     To help raise both Webster's spirits and much-needed funds,
Firestone and his partners, Ted Meyermann and Charles Lee,
decided to reprise the Best of Broadway as a special tribute to
     Weakened but ambulatory, Webster attended every night. There
wasn't a dry eye in the house each evening when the show closed
with a moving rendition of Les Miserables' "One Day More,"
dedicated to her. The packed performances netted $13,000 for
Webster, who lived a little more than six months afterward.
     Buoyed by the success and prompted by the support of two
local entrepreneurs, Firestone and his partners agreed to once
again make the Best of Broadway an annual event. The idea this
time would be to carry on the tradition they started with
Webster-a production to generate funds to help any Delaware
artist (performing or visual) in the event of a medical
     Known as The Best of Broadway Artists' Fund, the
organization will give all monies raised from The Best of
Broadway to the Medical Center of Delaware, to be held in escrow
and disbursed as needed to artists who apply.
     The 1996 show is scheduled to open May 16 at the Delaware
Theatre Company in Wilmington and to run for four nights.
     Firestone's interest in theatre began at the age of 10 when
he appeared in a Wilmington Drama League production of Teahouse
of the August Moon. His mother was in the chorus, and his father
portrayed one of the townspeople.
     "Due to the show's length, my mother took me home at
intermission," Firestone recalls. "One night, we were in a car
accident. The cop's response to my mother dressed as a geisha
girl did it.
     "I've loved theatre ever since!"
     At UD, Firestone majored in political science and was the
first general manager of the campus radio station, then called
WHEN. He spoke the first words ever broadcast on the
station-"WHEN is now, and you ain't heard nothing yet!"
     Firestone now owns his own business-College Bound-a
counseling service that provides students and their families with
financial aid, admission and selection advice. But, his first
love remains the theatre.
     He and his wife cared for Webster up until her death this
past December.  By reviving The Best of Broadway, Firestone says
he hopes to make sure that his friend's legacy lives on-behind
the footlights where she felt most at home.
                                                 -Beth Thomas