Bridget and Jon Roberts, who met each other on the stage of Troy High School, attend the candlelight gathering in memory of Troy High School English and theater teacher Rick Bodick at Troy High School the evening of Aug. 14.

Bridget and Jon Roberts, who met each other on the stage of Troy High School, attend the candlelight gathering in memory of Troy High School English and theater teacher Rick Bodick at Troy High School the evening of Aug. 14.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Community says goodbye to Troy High theater director

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published August 21, 2019

 At Rick Bodick’s memorial held at Troy High School Aug. 14, former Troy Theatre Ensemble member Jim Daly, class of 1994, who lives in New York City, reflects on how it was a blessing to cross paths with Bodick.

At Rick Bodick’s memorial held at Troy High School Aug. 14, former Troy Theatre Ensemble member Jim Daly, class of 1994, who lives in New York City, reflects on how it was a blessing to cross paths with Bodick.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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TROY — Hundreds gathered outside Troy High School the evening of Aug. 14 — against the backdrop of a rainbow, followed by the full moon rising — lighting candles, singing songs and sharing memories of Rick Bodick, the longtime Troy Theatre Ensemble director, and theater and English teacher, who died unexpectedly Aug. 7.

Bodick, 60, started his career at the “old” Troy High School in 1986. Student members of the Troy Theatre Ensemble read each of the 65 plays he directed during his 33-year tenure. He was also active with Stagecrafters at the Baldwin Theatre in Royal Oak as a performer and director.

He received the 2018-19 Outstanding Director Award from the National Youth Arts Awards, Eastern Division, for his final show, “Beauty and the Beast,” which had sold-out performances each night it played. He was nominated for the award in 2015-16 for “Shrek the Musical,” in 2016-17 for “Guys and Dolls,” and in 2017-18 for “The Addams Family.”

“He was beloved,” said Stefanie Roden, parent coordinator for hair and makeup. “We are a proud family, a very sad people.”

TTE student member Chloe Teodoridis, 17, took a break from writing the titles of all the plays “Mr. Bodick” directed in chalk on the sidewalk in front of the school, before his tribute began.

“We’re all super optimistic,” she said of the plan for the TTE to go forward this year and produce “Hello Dolly,” which would have been Bodick’s final play, as he planned to retire after this coming year.

“The show’s in honor of him,” she said. “Theater will never be the same. The show must go on. We’re all kind of grieving. We’re hoping it will maybe bring us closer as a family. That’s what theater is — finding your people, creating a family.”

Bodick’s friend Dianne Sievers served as his assistant director for 18 years.

“Rick Bodick never wanted to be anything but a teacher,” she said during the reflection portion of the memorial.

Kirk Bodick, Rick’s brother, recalled during the reflection portion of the memorial how his older brother played the songs from “The Sound of Music” and “Bye Bye Birdie,” one after the other, when Rick was 12 years old.

“The great thing about Rick was his ability to recognize purity and essence of every student he worked with,” he said.

“Rick had a very long and successful career,” said Troy High School Principal Remo Roncone. “The theater program has never been in a better place. He ended his career at the top of his game. He should have been able to give a final bow — get the standing ovation he deserved.”

“We plan to do the show (“Hello Dolly”) as planned,” Roncone said. “I know we can pull it off. I know Rick’s going to be with us in spirit.”

A private funeral was held Aug. 15. Another celebration of Bodick’s life is planned in the coming weeks.

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