Break a Leg, Harvey!

By WISE Web News

March 17, 2012 Updated Mar 17, 2012 at 7:06 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - A Fort Wayne theatrical legend will give his final performance on stage.

Fort Wayne native Harvey Cocks, Executive Director of the Fort Wayne Youtheatre, takes the stage for his last performance Saturday night, acting in his final show, "You Can't Take it With You" at the First Presbyterian Theatre. Approaching his 87th birthday, Cocks took some time to reflect on his years on stage.

The South Side High School graduate left the Summit City to pursue his dreams on Broadway and said he was fortunate to get a show so early in his career.

"I was one of those fortunate guys. I read about a show being cast, at Music Corporation of America, which was the biggest talent agency in the business at the time. And in my first couple hours in New York, I got a Broadway show."

There was a time in his career when Cocks seemingly had to beg for roles. After gaining some experience however, he says he knew he made it once the roles started coming to him. All of that experience and the opportunity to live out a dream was great for Cocks until he realized another dream. For Cocks, it was the chance to come to work with Fort Wayne's youth. More than 30 years ago, Cocks came back to the local stage to lead the Fort Wayne Youtheatre.

"It's been a wonderful, colorful life, but I gave it all up to work with these young people. I had a nice career going there. I wasn't a star, but I was a featured player."

He says that while his time on Broadway was both exciting and thrilling as a young actor, it is the past 30 years that have been the best part of a career performed on the stage.

"The best part has been the youth theatre. All these years I got to work with these young people and see them develop."

The final show begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Break a leg, Harvey!

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