Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Make New Friends - Be An OHA Housing Host!

By Lily Felsenthal

In May of 2015, I moved to Deer Isle. I am a native of Washington, D.C., but I came by way of Chicago, where I’d been living for more than four years while I was in college. I was a life-long city dweller yearning for fresh air. This beautiful place seemed the perfect adventure. As OHA’s intern coordinator that summer, I was housed through the Opera House with Nancy Dontzin, a long-time friend and supporter of the organization who would shortly become a good friend of mine.

It was thrilling to be in a new place, learning the ropes of a new organization, but there were times when it was overwhelming, and having a home base was crucial. Even as the summer season kicked off and my schedule got busier and busier, Nancy and I tried to squeezed in lunch together when we could, and she was even able to meet my parents when they came up to visit.

“We housed a dancer for a month,” Bob Lasky told me. “He became a member of the family and, when he left, he was sorely missed (especially by our two dogs).”

This, to me, is the beauty of OHA’s housing program. It’s an absolutely vital part of what makes us able to bring in artists from all over the world, and it has the added bonus of creating opportunities for wonderful friendships between artists and community members.

The population of our little island doubles in the summers. The population of the Opera House seems to grow exponentially. In a few months, we’ll welcome actors, dancers, visual artists, musicians, composers, set designers, interns, and stage managers, and many of them will need places to stay.

That’s where you come in! If you enjoy meeting new people and have space to spare, consider becoming an OHA housing host. The time commitment is totally up to you - there are many wonderful artists here for many different stretches of time, some for weeks or months, some for just a few nights, and we will work around your schedule. If you are interested in becoming an OHA housing host in any capacity, email me, Associate Producer Lily Felsenthal, at or call us at the office and ask for me.