I have learned of the passing of Joe Scarvell, a pillar of the local theater community. I got to know Joe, who lived in Hubbard, through my years as the entertainment writer for The Herald, chronicling shows he directed at the Youngstown Playhouse, and in his capacity as theater teacher at Kennedy Catholic High School in Hermitage. I also had the pleasure of working with him when he and Robert Russo created the Chrysalis Stage Advanced Performing Arts Conservatory. Joe could be gruff and off-color, but it always was somewhat of an act and a reflection of his days growing up in Farrell. He also was eternally positive, a teacher who found a little good in everyone and played it up. In theater, he found personal expression, exploration and truth, but also a connection to the cast and crew and the larger community. He and his wife, Joanne, supported the early days of NEWS On the Green. With Joe’s passing, a curtain closes, never to open again. It’s a sad day but a joyous example of what can happen when you find your passion and share it with the world.
The photos are from his acting role in Chrysalis Stage’s “West Side Story,” and from WPIC’s Hermitage studio when he, Joanne and Robert appeared on “The Eric Bombeck Show” to promote the production.
— Joe Pinchot/NEWS On the Green