Bob Pettee and Susan Neal

North Country Citation 2007

Nearly three decades ago, in Manhattan, you discovered that you wanted to start your own theater, and fortunately for those of us in the North Country and Adirondacks, you chose our region as the place to fulfill that vision, moving to Saranac Lake in1980 as the founding directors of what soon became Pendragon Theatre. With that brave step, your dream to bring live year-round professional theater to the region became reality.  

You began in a cramped school auditorium, then moved to the stage of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts and later to a space in Saranac Lake where you lived, auditioned and performed in the same building.  In 1986 you came into possession of an ice cream warehouse, where Pendragon Theatre continues to flourish today.  With intense commitment and tenacity, and by attracting more and more volunteers, Pendragon Theatre has evolved into the powerful arts force it is today, thanks not only to your skills but more critically to your determination and personal sacrifice.

Under your leadership, Pendragon Theatre has become an entertainment destination for the North Country and a resource of live theater for the public schools and colleges of Northern New York, reaching at least 15,000 students each year.  You perform in public schools, and bus school children to the theater; you produce study guides for young audiences; you tour to college campuses, including, occasionally, St. Lawrence; and you welcome students as actors, crew members and interns.

Under your careful leadership, Pendragon Theatre offers over 100 performances at home, plus tours to regional locations, education programs, and a variety of arts programs, with an annual budget of just $250,000.  You have premiered several works, and in 2002 launched a series to provide an exploratory atmosphere for new directors.

In grateful recognition of your contributions toward perpetuating the vitality and quality of the dramatic arts in northern New York, St. Lawrence University is honored to present to you its 2007 North Country Citation.