An opportunity to make the world smile

March 12, 1998|By TERI JOHNSON

by Joe Crocetta / staff photographer

click on images to see enlargements

Content Allamong

Content Allamong believes her life is a movie, and the Hagerstown actress says it's a mystery how the plot will unfold.

"I'm a novice at this acting stuff, but I'm really seasoned at being human," says Allamong, 28.

Allamong is appearing as Laura Wingate in Chambersburg Community Theatre Inc.'s production of "The Glass Menagerie," which opens tonight at Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg, Pa.

It's her first dramatic role, but she's no stranger to strong emotion. In the past year and a half she has faced some difficult tests: She was injured in an accident, and her father is dying.


It took Allamong 26 years to pursue her dream of moving to California to study acting.

Allamong, who is divorced, packed her belongings and crossed the country in a tractor-trailer.

"I took a lot of emotional baggage with me. I was going to heal through my art," she says.

She started classes at American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, Calif., on Sept. 16, 1996. The next day, she hit a moving car while riding her bicycle.

She was taken to the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a fractured clavicle. She got stitches in her chin, and X-rays were taken. The next day she went to an orthopedic surgeon, who gave her a sling and told her the clavicle would heal on its own.

After two weeks of pain she returned to the doctor, who then ordered emergency surgery.

She faced a long recovery and didn't resume classes until January.

Her last day of school was Aug. 19, 1997. She flew home to Hagerstown that night and learned that her father, Richard Curwood Allamong, had undergone triple bypass surgery that day.

She says the surgery took a toll on him and his health worsened. He has been a patient at Western Maryland Hospital Center since November, and he is on a ventilator and respirator. She says it's only a matter of time.

Her father's zest for living is what she remembers. The outgoing man who loved to sing and dance inspired her to be all that she could be.

Glass Menagerie"This is what he wanted for me: the opportunity to make the world smile. He felt I'd been blessed with that ability," she says.

Allamong has stayed in the area so she can be close to her father. She has two sisters and one brother, and she says she waited as long as she did to go to California because she didn't want to be away from her family.

Her parents divorced when she was 7, and both have remarried.

Allamong says her mother, Carole Carter-Grove, also knows she is happiest when she is acting.

She gave her daughter the middle name Content after the character Susan Hayward played in the movie "The Marriage-Go-Round."

Allamong's first name is Aimee, but she always has used Content.

She believes her role in "The Glass Menagerie" was meant to be.

In the winter term after her surgery, some of her first course work was portraying Laura in the Tennessee Williams play.

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