Cary Gitter texted her friend Sylvia Khoury out of the blue in September 2017 asking her about her friend Meghan VanArsdalen.
âHey, whatever happened to your friend Meghan,â he asked one Saturday night while in a bar in West Village in Manhattan.
Ms Khoury, a well-known playwright, had actually casually attempted to set them up on a few theatrical outings the previous year, but either Ms VanArsdalen, 31, actress, or Mr Gitter, 34, playwright, had been in other relationships. But not anymore.
The timing couldn’t be better that night – Ms. VanArsdalen stood right next to her during an intermission at a play at BAM in Brooklyn.
“I’m actually with Meghan right now,” he recalls her saying, and once Ms VanArsdalen immediately nodded, she texted her number to him.
The next morning Mr Gitter, who lived in Astoria, Queens, texted Ms VanArsdalen and they met that evening at DTUP, a cafe by day and a bar by night in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
There he often worked on plays during breaks from his day job, then as senior editorial director in marketing at 92nd Street Y. He is now based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a playwright and freelance writer. for digital and marketing customers.
In February 2020, âThe Sabbath Girl,â her romantic comedy, appeared on Off Broadway at 59E59 Theaters and in December it will be performed at the Ariel Theater in Philadelphia. He graduated with honors from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and received an MA in English and American Literature from NYU.
âI was back in New York six weeks to perform a play,â said Ms. VanArdsdalen, who had moved to Ann Arbor from Manhattan in 2016, and was in rehearsal for âA Word of Love,â with the Poet Acts for the New York Theater Festival.
In 2019, she played Sydney in a comedy “Welcome to Paradise” with the Purple Rose Theater Company in Chelsea, Michigan, and grew up at a nearby equestrian center in Jackson, Michigan.
She is also a dog walker at Snaggle Foot in Ann Arbor and teaches an acting class through Theater Nova at two local public schools. She graduated summa cum laude from Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan, and received an MFA in Drama from The New School.
âI had known him to be very reserved,â she said, and was surprised when he gave her a hug to greet him.
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As they sat on a couch chatting for the next four hours, episodes of the “Twilight Zone” played silently on an opposite wall and he found out that she lived in Ann Arbor.
âI felt a connection,â he said.
Her too. âI was so smitten with him,â Ms. VanArsdalen said. âWe had our passion for the theater, for artistic creation.
They were the last to leave and kissed each other goodnight outside.
Two days later, when they met at Lincoln Center before heading to a restaurant in Astoria, he gave her a copy of “John,” a drama by Annie Baker, one of his favorite playwrights.
âWe basically had a two-week whirlwind together,â he said, in which he saw her perform twice, and described their state of mind as âa land of magical loveâ.
After returning to Ann Arbor, they took turns to see each other every two weeks. In the spring of 2018 he moved in with her and her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Roo, and earlier this year they had another Cavalier, Puck.
He proposed in November 2018 after lighting the Christmas tree in Ypsilanti, Mich and then they had cider nearby.
âWe have had a very busy 2019,â he said. âI had a show in New York, Meghan had a show in Michigan,â but when Covid hit they took a time out and planned their wedding.
On September 11, Ms. Khoury, who became Minister of Universal Life for the occasion, performed in front of 100 guests at the Gem Theater in Detroit, a location of the event.
âIt meant a lot to be on stage again,â he said. “I scripted the intro, the closing, and the transitions, with actual stage instructions.”
âCary and Meghan kiss. Applause, well done “, was a natural.