Tree County Players remember life of Zins

Therese Alice Zins

GREENSBURG – Therese Alice Zins, 69, Greensburg, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 2. Zins was a member of the Tree County Players (TCP) for many years.

“Her humility was one of her most admirable traits,” TCP member David Fry said. “She was passionate about the mission of TCP and, while leading major projects, never sought the spotlight for her efforts. She was faith-filled, warm, generous, talented and had a great sense of humor and infectious laugh. She found great joy in the success of others and loved helping her family grow and thrive.”

Zins directed multiple TCP musicals in addition to performing with the group. She also served on the TCP Board of Directors.

According to Fry, Zins and TCP organized three performances as benefits for Gish Ray, a TCP member who has since passed away, and her family. The shows raised more than $12,000 to assist with medical expenses.

Fry said efforts such as this speak to the kind of person Zins was.

“Therese helped it all happen,” Fry said.

Zins was born on Dec. 23, 1950 in Cincinnati. She was the daughter of Howard Zins.

She was a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and worked at Batesville Casket Co. for 35 years before retiring in 2008.

Zins taught drama at Oldenburg Academy. She also volunteered in music ministry at numerous churches.

She held season tickets for The Broadway Series and Playhouse in the Park in Cincinnati.

Zins was a member of the Holy Family Catholic Church in Oldenburg and the Secular Franciscan Order.

TCP member Cathy Lincourt said she admired Zins and appreciated her casting her as Golde in Fiddler on the Roof in 2015. It was one of her dream roles.

“I have worked with Therese in many capacities with TCP and she was dedicated in her approach to everything she did. She expected a level of professionalism and behavior even though we were a community theater,” Lincourt said. “Therese and I worked on several projects together and we didn’t always see eye to eye. I apologized to her at one point for butting heads with her and she said, ‘That’s ok. We’re both strong women and strong women have their own opinions’. The world will miss her example of being a strong woman.”

TCP member Dennis Fogle has fond memories of singing with Zins at church. He said she played the guitar beautifully and he always enjoyed performing with her.

“Therese was a great person. We worked several shows together and her love for the arts was enormous,” Fogle said. “First and foremost, her biggest concern was always the success of TCP. She was one of the major reasons that TCP has become what it is today.”

Below is a list of shows Zins envisioned and created on the local stage (information courtesy of TCP website):

Bye, Bye Birdie 1993

Brigadoon 1995

The Foreigner 1996, 2006-07

Man of La Mancha 2000

The Secret Garden 2002

Godspell 2007

On Our Way (Sesquicentennial Production) 2009

Into the Woods 2010

Annie Jr. 2012

The Fantasticks 2013

The Wizard of Oz 2014

Fiddler on the Roof 2015

Doubt 2015

Mary Poppins 2017

West Side Story 2018

Zins meant a lot to actor Charles James Adams, who performed in TCP’s Godspell. He posted the following message about Zins on his Facebook page:

A true Gem has left us. Therese Zins. Words cannot begin to describe how special this lady was to every single person she crossed paths with. I’m at a loss, frankly.

I first met Therese many years ago now when I was a teenager and auditioned for a summer production of “Godspell”. I had seen the notice in the newspaper and knew I had to audition. That said, I didn’t know then how much of an impact that show would have on me. Or the lady director herself.

In the early rehearsals I was almost unsettled by the creative freedoms she gave us. She would let her actors explore, create and then meet them halfway. It was a true collaboration. Something I came to adore...

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