Denis passed away on July 11, 2010. A long-time member of the Arlington Friends of the Drama, Denis also worked with The Concord Players, directing The Spitfire Grill, Death of a Salesman, An Inspector Calls and Lion in Winter.
Tributes: Denis was the consummate community theatre director. He had his priorities straight, had a clear vision, clearly articulated that vision, and had his hand in just about every aspect of each production he worked on. He was great to work with and was always a gentleman and teacher. I treasure the experience I had doing lights for him for all of the productions he directed in Concord. He will be missed so much. --Susan Tucker
Denis was one of my all-time favorite stage directors. He was always intelligent about the script, paid attention to the smallest details, cared about every aspect of the production, and knew how to work with actors to get the very best work from them. I've known and worked together with Denis in the theater for over twenty years, and will miss him both as a superb professional and as a great friend. --Lis Adams
Denis was also one of my favorite stage directors. I had the privilege of working under his direction at Concord and Arlington. He provided his actors with amazing insight into what motivated their actions. He was creative, thorough, smart, and funny. This past November, on his 60th birthday, he was on the casting committee for The Man Who Came to Dinner-providing his wise judgment as we assembled a large and talented cast. --Paul Murphy
I was lucky enough to work with Denis on The Spitfire Grill. It was such a special show to the cast and production team! Denis really was able to bring out the heart in the show by focusing on the relationships of the characters. It is definitely one of my favorite theater experiences and memories. --Shonna McEachern
So lovely to hear these memories. I had only one chance to work with Denis, when we cast The Man Who Came to Dinner. As Paul Murphy says, Denis brought invaluable insight to the process. It amazed me that he already had back stories for the characters, and that he used those stories to inform our decisions about who should play what role. He was right about everything. --Linda C. McConchie.
CONCORD CELEBRATES 375 ANNIVERSARY!
Not many towns or cities in the United States can claim to be 375 years old! But Concord will be celebrating its 375th anniversary on September 11, and The Concord Players will be part of the parade, representing the 100th anniversary of the birth of Louisa May Alcott, the founder of our predecessor drama group.
The parade units will be grouped by era and will reflect the extraordinary history of this town from the 1600s to the present. Rick Frese, Board member, is in charge of publicity for the 375th Anniversary committee.
Costumed members will be carrying The Players banner. Keep an eye out
for Louisa May Alcott. The Players will be marching close to her and the
Orchard House staff.
The Players are looking for folks who are able to commit four hours from 8:30 in the morning until about noon when the parade finishes. Those who will participate will be garbed in the latest 19th century finery that money can buy (or which we can find in our costume collection)--and you will be on their feet most of the time, so keep this in mind.
If you are interested in joining the parade, please let Jay Newlon know by August 15 so we can make arrangements for a fitting. Email Jay at email@example.com
ARCHIVES COMMITTEE IN ACTION
Dorothy Schecter, Rik Pierce, Jill Henderson and Jean Devine are busy preserving the history of Concord Players. The Players had received ephemera from Heddie Kent and other long-time Concord Players. After each show closes, posters, flyers, brochures and the program are gathered and stored in appropriate archival boxes. Rik is planning to consolidate videos, and an indexing system is being developed.
PLAYERS ON THE RIALTO
James Forbes Sheehan is performing in Chicago, put on by ACTS (Alexander Children's Theatre School) at Turtle Lane Playhouse. Performances Friday, July 30, at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, July 31 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. For info and tickets, go to www.turtlelane.org
The Concord Orchestra, directed by Alan Yost, will be performing the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera Trial by Jury September 26 at 2:00 pm. at 51 Walden. Sarah Telford will be Angelina, Tom Frates returns as the Judge, and the chorus (filled with Concord Players) will be directed by Robin Farnsley, who starred in Die Fledermaus for FOPAC this past Spring. Don't miss it!
John will direct our winter play, Breaking Legs, of which he says, "I'm so thrilled to be directing for Concord next season. It's such a great group to work with and the show is such great fun. I know it's going to be great." John has been active in community theater for the past 28 years, directing two shows, Moon Over Buffalo and I Hate Hamlet, and appearing in 29 productions. Some of his favorite roles include John Adams in 1776, Harold Hill in The Music Man, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha and John Proctor in The Crucible.
PLAYERS EMACT DASH AWARD NOMINEES
The Concord Players scored DASH award nominations big time, with nine for The Scarlet Pimpernel and three for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof!
Best Production (Musical): The Scarlet Pimpernel
Best Lead Actor (Musical): Ethan Butler for The Scarlet Pimpernel
Best Lead Actor (Play): Tom Large for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Best Set Design (Play): Jennifer Shea for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Best Set Design (Musical): Brian Harris for The Scarlet Pimpernel
Best Costume Design (Musical): Tracy Wall for The Scarlet Pimpernel
Best Lighting Design (Musical): Rick Shamel for The Scarlet Pimpernel
Best Sound Design (Play): Bob Pascucci for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Best Stage Management (Musical): Paula Ruberti McNabb for The Scarlet Pimpernel
Best Set Dressing (Musical): Linda McConchie for The Scarlet Pimpernel
Best Hair and Make-Up Design (Musical): Charlie Atherton, Cheri Fletcher and Lisbeth Cahill for The Scarlet Pimpernel
Best Prop Coordination (Musical): Linda Mcconchie for The Scarlet Pimpernel.
For a complete list of DASH nominations, go to http://www.emact.org/index.asp
GETTING TO KNOW NEW BOARD MEMBERS
Paul Gill has joined the board The Players as of July 2010, for a three-year term. Paul's first involvement with the Players was in the 1970s, as a sound operator supporting the creative talents of director John Butman and effects guru Bill Smith. Soon he became a sound designer himself and over the decades has contributed his work to several productions (his all-time favorite: Isn't It Romantic). Paul has co-produced four regular-season shows and was president of The Players from 1986 to 1988.
Occasionally, for variety, he has tried his hand at visual effects. On the 1982 production I Never Sang for My Father, he put an early-model VCR in the control booth and on cue flashed the father's favorite shows onto a TV console. A decade later, for Evita, he rented a Spanish-language movie from a Hollywood vault, set up a projector and large screen, and created the ambiance of a Buenos Aires cinema.
For a while Paul went around shooting video clips of The Players in action, both on stage and in the green room. He arranged for some of those tapes to be cablecast in Concord as promotions for forthcoming shows. He recently claimed to be logging his Players tape archive, hoping to re-master the best of it for an entertaining and historical DVD.
Paul also served for several years on the FOPAC board. While there, he spearheaded the effort to acquire and install a Lexicon sound processor at 51 Walden. Now two decades old, that equipment is still enhancing house sound for both the Orchestra and The Players.
CONCORD ARTS COLLABORATIVE
If you are in downtown Concord during the first week of August, look in the bookstore window for a display by members of the Concord Arts Collaborative. The Concord Players have joined with Emerson Umbrella, Concord Museum, Concord Art Association, The Old Manse, Concord Band, Concord Youth Theatre, and Concord Orchestra to form a consortium of local non-profits whose main mission is to let Concord residents and visitors know that "The Arts are Alive in Concord." Stephanie Stillman, Director of the Concord Chamber of Commerce, has been instrumental in launching this collaboration of visual and performing arts organizations.
VOLUNTEERS ALWAYS WELCOME!
The Players are always looking for volunteers in all areas. If you would like to learn more about The Players and the theater at 51 Walden, call or send an email to Laura LeVan, volunteer coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org We would appreciate your help and enjoy your participation!