The Osticks: Theatre Extraordinaires

Andrew Stetser

A family that sings together, stays together.

For over thirty years, Malvern Prep has known Mr. John Ostick as the economics loving, intramural running, senior social studies teacher, yet there’s more to him and his family than meets the eye.

“I have absolutely no artistic background at all,” stated Mr. Ostick. “I can’t sing. I can’t dance. But I love the theatre.”

Starting with the Malvern B.A.S.H. shows in the eighties, and to the present with their own summer theatre camp, the Osticks have shown their passion and love for the performing arts.

Back at Cardinal O’Hara, Mr. Ostick always wanted to join the arts program, but never could because of his basketball schedule. “Can’t you just put me in as a tree in the background?” Mr. Ostick asked the director.

While teaching at Malvern in the eighties, Mr. Ostick finally got his chance to shine onstage in the B.A.S.H. Shows.

In the eighties and late nineties, Malvern put on an annual faculty, parent, and student run show to raise money for the Malvern Theatre Society. The show usually starred Malvern teachers like Mr. Legner, Mr. Chinici, and Mr. Valyo.

“Mrs. Ostick was always willing to do everything that was needed of her,” said Mr. Legner. “She would sing anything, dance; she was always very helpful. Mr. Ostick was a featured person who would do something absolutely ridiculous and would make a fool of himself, but he was always willing to do that. He was a great person to be on that stage with.”

“They were exceptional in the B.A.S.H. shows,” said Mr. Chinici. “Anytime they were in any of the scenes, they stole the shows.”

The parents were not the only stars in the family, because Jackie Ostick, their daughter, started her career in the B.A.S.H. shows.

Jackie, three years old at the time, starred in a scene called “The Beat Goes On” alongside Mr. Legner’s daughter.

“I was hooked from then on!” states Jackie.

With a degree from DeSales University in musical theatre, Jackie is now playing Mrs. Tubman in the national tour of Judy Blume’s “Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great”.

“I always play the mom, because my dad made me six feet tall with curly, dark hair!” said Jackie.

Even though the B.A.S.H. shows have ended, the Osticks continue to do theatre with their summer theatre camp, Camp Curtain Call.

“I started directing the shows at St. Denis ten years ago,” said Mrs. Ostick. “I work at Villanova [as a nurse practitioner] and I’m off in July and August. So, one of my friends went up to me and said, ‘You should put on a theatre camp during the summer.’ So I put brochures out in Havertown, and from the first year it was really successful.”

“Because of my free time,” said Mrs. Ostick, “and to supplement our income,” said Mr. Ostick, Camp Curtain Call has now been running for six years and is thriving.

Mrs. Ostick, Jackie, and a staff of actors and actresses (including Nick Anderson, MP ‘11) go through four stages of theatre with the kids: singing, acting, dance, and costume/prop design. Mr. Ostick manages the kitchen, coming up with fun food names. (“I’ll have the High School Musical pizza, please!”)

“Mrs. Ostick takes the leading by example thing to heart,” said Nick Anderson, MP ‘11. “Whether she’s working directly with the kids or describing tasks to the counsellors. she is a real firecracker.”

“Mr. Ostick was my boss at Camp,” said Kristen Harrison, MMA ‘16. “He made camp exciting for the kids everyday. During the hottest week of the summer, he was the one to greet the campers in the morning, and say goodbye to them at dismissal time, handing out treats, or just giving the kids high fives.”

Whether it be on Broadway for Jackie, at St. Dennis for Mrs. Ostick, or in Room 306 for Mr. Ostick, the Osticks will always be performing.