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  • Jim Townsend

Family of Brian Goodman Makes Memorial Contributions to Support Two Local Theatre Programs

The Family of Brian Goodman recently made contributions to both the Portland High School theatre program and the Portland Civic Players. These contributions were in honor of Brian, who passed away on November 21, 2019 after a two-year battle with ALS.

Sister Dana Linebaugh told the Beacon that Brian was involved in the theatre at PHS for four years under the direction and mentor Phil Huber. His most notable performance was “The Cave Dwellers” his senior year. “I saw potential in Brian and I worked with him. He has the strongest sense of concentration. Acting is concentration,” Huber said.

Brian was also involved in the summer theatre from 7th grade until his senior year of high school. He was a member of the Portland Civic Players. Linebaugh said his most memorable performance while a member was “Butterflies are Free.”

Linebaugh went on to say that Brian’s love for the theatre lead him to Hope College to pursue his acting career. At Hope College, his theatre company performed many plays in that four years. During Brian’s junior year at Hope College, he was the lead in “Tea and Sympathy.” This play was one of six selected nationally to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. Brian was awarded the Amoco bronze medallion of excellence for his role.

After college, Brian moved to Chicago. That is where he helped to found the About Face Youth Theatre Program, helping LGBTQ youth find their voice. Chicago is also where he met Mike Maliszewski, his partner and husband of 31 years.

You can find Brian’s obituary HERE.

Chandra Polasek is a teacher at Portland High School. She also leads the school’s theatre program. Polasek said, “I’m overwhelmed and honored by this donation. It provides a legacy to carry on Brian’s name.” She added, “I think this donation provides an opportunity to help build our drama and theatre program. I think this donation may allow us to enhance teaching tools and maybe technical labs for the program.”

A post on the Portland Civic Players Facebook pages from January 24th said, “Thank you to the family of Brian Goodman for their donation after Brian’s passing. Brian is one of our summer theater alum and he took his talents to many places and people. His family’s donation also went to our marquee fund as well as our summer theater scholarship fund.”

Linebaugh said “Our family knew Brian’s love for the theatre, which is why we chose the Portland Civic Players and the Portland Drama department as optional donations to honor Brian. We want to thank everyone that contributed to either so his legacy can live on. Brian was one of the better human beings on this planet.”

Photo courtesy of Chandra Polasek.

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