The following was submitted to Patch by the Joyce Kilmer Society of Mahwah.
You may remember him in Mahwah High School’s production of the musical Broadway Comes to Mahwah. Or seen him play Gibby in the Off-Broadway play, An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein.
Perhaps caught him playing the role of a musician for Paul Shaffer’s orchestra in Celebrity Ghost Stories on the Biography Channel.
It’s hard not to recall Tom Walker, a 2007 graduate of Mahwah High School and a 2011 graduate of Montclair State University and its highly-regarded drama programs.
Walker will be back on – and off – the stage in Mahwah to direct and play one of the roles of poet patriot Joyce Kilmer in this summer’s “Joyce Kilmer in the Park” poetry re-enactment event in Mahwah's Winter’s Park. The event, including awards for winners of the Joyce Kilmer Poetry Contest, will be held on Wednesday, July 30 at 6:30 pm. Mahwah Mayor Will Laforet is official host of the event.
“I’ve always believed it is importrant to contribute to one’s community,” says Tom, 25, who has three older siblings (Jacob, a singer; Danny who works in computer hardware; and Tammy who is employed in computer software).
Tom recalled that every Sunday, his late father would take him and Jacob to Winter’s Park or another Mahwah park for recreation.
“It’s beautiful here,” he said.”Mahwah has always been welcoming to actors. I’m looking forward to seeing the public come out and support our local talent.”
Tom Walker will direct the re-enactment skits revolving around five of Joyce Kilmer’s most-admired poems, many of which were written during his five years living in Mahwah at the southwest corner of Airmount and Armour Roads. It was there on February 2, 1913 that Kilmer wrote one of the most popular poems in the English language, Trees.
Walker will also portray Kilmer in the skit centered on the poem, The House With Nobody In it.
Also appearing in the skit as Kilmer’s mother, Annie Kilburn Kilmer, will be Barbara Shanley, chair of the Mahwah Historic Preservation Commission.
The skits are based on research into the actual inspirations and circumstances surrounding Joyce Kilmer’s writing of the five poems, and in most cases, contain the actual dialogue. In addition to The House poem, the others that will be reenacted include Trees, The Twelve-Forty-Five, Delicatessen, and Rouge Bouquet.
Among the other actors who will portray Kilmer and others in the skits are the Rev. William Grob of the Ramapo Reformed Church, Ray Leslie, a Kilmer fan who will soon be entering medical school; Julia Clinton, a student at Ramapo College who is also an intern for the Joyce Kilmer Society of Mahwah, and the Rev. Rob Parker of The Plant Church. The narrator of the program will be Alex Michelini, founder of the Joyce Kilmer Society of Mahwah.
Winter’s Park, one of Mahwah’s most picturesque parks, is situated next to a pond and walkway bridge, diagonally across East Ramapo Avenue from the Mahwah Train Station. Free parking is available. Admission to the event is free. There will be recorded music. Light refreshments will be served, courtesy of TD Bank and the Circle of Poetry of Tenafly.
Four winners of the Joyce Kilmer Poetry Contest conducted by the Mahwah Historic Preservation Commission will be presented $25 honorariums, courtesy of TD Bank. Entry forms for the contest may be obtained from Township Hall, the Mahwah Public Library or by emailing email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be free raffles for 10 prizes: four $25 gift certificates to Mahwah Sonoco and two dinners to Roxanne’s Restaurant, courtesy of Bill Laforet; and two Joyce Kilmer caps and two Joyce Kilmer mugs, courtesy of the Joyce Kilmer Society of Mahwah.
The Joyce Kilmer Society of Mahwah is a non-profit educational organization dededicated to public enlightenment of the life and works of poet/patriot Joyce Kilmer, who was killed in action in World War I in France.