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PORT JERVIS, NY — After their children were born in 2014, Cooper Boone and his partner Mark Veeder decided to live full time in the Catskills, where they could raise their twin girls in harmony …
PORT JERVIS, NY — After their children were born in 2014, Cooper Boone and his partner Mark Veeder decided to live full time in the Catskills, where they could raise their twin girls in harmony with the natural world around them. Boone, whose resume reads like that of a true entrepreneur, is an award-winning singer/songwriter, a clinical psychologist and televised cook. His newest venture, Foundry 42, is a representation of Cooper’s “mind map,” in his words, “a space designed to house a creative workshop food, gathering, entertainment and education.”
Founded in 2016, Boone established Foundry 42 in Port Jervis because he felt there was a “huge untapped opportunity on Front Street: “The architecture, the location and price were all calling me to take the leap.” In addition to the retail space and coffee bar downstairs, the beautifully appointed building also houses a large airy loft upstairs where private parties, entertainment, classes and special events are held, including the brand new Foundry Theater Company, helmed by artistic director Mandy Bruno Bogue.
A highly successful actor in her own right, Mandy played the role of Marina Cooper on the television show “Guiding Light” from 2004 to 2009, garnering a Daytime Emmy award nomination in 2006 for Outstanding Younger Actress. In March of 2011, Mandy married her former co-star Robert Bogue, and, like Boone and Veeder, the couple now lives full time in the Catskills as well. As Bruno-Bogue became more familiar with life and their neighbors in the country, it seemed only natural that she and Boone should put their heads together. And so, the theater company began to take shape.
As a child, Mandy was “shy and introverted” and theater and make-believe provided an outlet to express herself and come out of her shell. Now, with a successful career and a family of her own, Mandy has an opportunity to pay it forward. “I’m lucky because through teaching I get to live my passion.” Mandy stated. “I love working with kids. I love their unbridled inspiration. And I love the results. There’s no better feeling than watching one of your students open up and play. To watch someone of any age, much like I was, blossom from shy and introverted, to confident and expressive, is the ultimate fulfillment.”
While still in its infancy, the company’s roster is already chock-a-block with classes for kids of all ages and levels. Acting 101, musical theater intensives, a film club and special effects (SFX) makeup classes are in full swing. As the kids do their thing upstairs, parents can lounge on the lower level over coffee, visit with others, have a nosh, or surf the web. While under the guise of playtime, it’s not simply fun and games upstairs; the kids are not only learning how to express their creativity, but they’re also learning important lessons about communicating, listening and learning how to navigate life.
As for “Miss Mandy” also teaching SFX makeup classes to kids and adults? “Rob has done a few horror films,” she said, “and I spent a lot of time on set while he was working, invariably finding myself hanging out with the folks who create the horrific effects. I learned that makeup artists are working in many fields,” she explained, “including training emergency medical teams and in creating public-service announcements. Yeah, it can be a fun skill to learn for Halloween,” she said, referring to the classes on the October schedule, “but it’s not just about fantasy and entertainment. There’s a whole world of useful applications that interest students on different levels.” That said, the class she held on the day that I stopped by was purely for entertainment purposes. Her students, ranging from six to 60, learned the fine art of making an object appear to protrude from their skin.
Eight-year-old Delanie was there with grandparents Carmine and Maureen from Wantage, NJ. All three were learning how to make a pencil appear to pierce their hands. “We’re gonna add lots of blood,” Miss Mandy informed, holding up a jar of something called “Fresh Scab.” “The more blood the better,” she said with a wink.
“Just goes to show,” I said to Grandma Maureen as all three showed me their handiwork. “The family that slays together, stays together!”
Terrarium-making workshops, knitting circles, cooking with Cooper, story time for the “littles” and Psychic Sundays are all part and parcel of what Foundry 42 has to offer throughout the year. To learn more, visit www.f42home.com, stop in at 42 Front St. in downtown Port Jervis or call 845/858-4942. If you spot someone bleeding from a bullet wound in the head, don’t panic… It’s just one more thing Miss Mandy can teach you how to do upstairs.