In the Wings

The Newsletter of The Concord Players
February 2015                           Robert Runck, Editor

Reference department women encounter male efficiency expert in The Desk Set. Who will prevail? (photos by Rik Pierce)


The Annual Meeting of The Concord Players is Sunday, March 22, 7 p.m. at 51 Walden. We will announce our 2015-16 season. 



In addition to this year's Play and Director Selection Committee having pored over a multitude of scripts, they have recently completed their interviewing of potential directors as part of the process of putting together a 2015-16 season to present to the Board of Directors. This exciting season will be announced at the March Annual Meeting. Chairperson Craig Howard would like to send many thanks to his committee members, John Alzapiedi, Nick Bennet-Zendzian, Linda Burtt, Russ Gannon and Laura Gouillart, for all the time, effort and thought that they've put into their recommendations for the coming stage season for The Concord Players!


The Concord Cultural Council (CCC) has awarded a grant of $400 to The Concord Traveling Players, matched by The Concord Players, giving the Traveling Players a budget for 2015 as they travel from nursing home to rehabilitation facilities to retirement homes to councils on aging and other venues, taking live theater to elders all over the region. Our hats are off to our Traveling Players, who give so much pleasure through their theatrical performances to patients and elders in so many towns touching Concord and beyond.


Auditions for three characters in the upcoming summer Shakespeare production of The Comedy of Errors are being held at 51 Walden on Saturday, February 21, 1:00-3:00. For details, see the Players website


Sandy Armstrong plays Felicity and former Player Larry Lickteig plays Brian in Michael Christofer's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play, The Shadow Box, now playing through February 8 at Theatre III in Acton MA. Tickets at 978-263-9070 or theatre III

  Concord Players Paige Winn, Amanda Casale Eldridge and Craig Howard will be competing at the end of February at the New England Regional Festival, to be held in Torrington, CT. As cast members of the Lexington Players' production of Spring Awakening, they won one of the two Outstanding Production awards at the EMACT competition this past June.  Come on down and cheer them on! See netonline


The Cast for Kiss Me, Kate has been announced. Concord Players members Tom Frates, Elaine Crane, Craig Howard, Kathy Lague, Connie Benn, Jenny Gratz and Chuck Holleman are included in a stellar group of actors. Directed by Nancy Curran Willis and produced by Anne Bantly and Paula McNabb, this show will be fabulous. Be sure to get your tickets early because you know this one will be sold out!

Get your tickets now to our winter show! Opening Night Gala is on February 13. Go to the Players website for details.


  DaVinci, Tesla, Edison, Gates: geniuses all, whose brilliance changed the course of human events. Their talents more than match Merriam Webster's description of "exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability." Imagine if they had worked in a theater, our theater. Imagine the special effects, the props, the set designs! But wait! We have a few geniuses of our own at 51 Walden and while they might not be planning to alter the course of human events, four of them have definitely applied their "exceptional creative power" to getting the Players production of the The Desk Set curtain-ready for its February 13th opening night.

  Allen Bantly, engineer, designer, inventor, and occasional curmudgeon has created a set that will transport audiences back to the late 1950s so convincingly they'll be expecting to see Jack Paar on their televisions when they get home. Allen has built an old-school computer with lights and gadgets. Its capacities are incalculable. Get it? His two story office suite boasts, among other things, beautifully crafted wooden desks that he designed and built with the help of Larry Blundell, and authentic looking glass office doors that close with the quiet whoosh we all remember. It's a set that becomes a charming character in this story about a team of researchers who worry for their jobs when modern technology threatens to outpace them. 

  Bantly's latest marvel will dazzle but not surprise us, given some of his previous triumphs: a working airplane, a ship that materialized through the stage floor; a guillotine that didn't kill anybody, and a replica of Tutankhamen's sarcophagus engineered better than the original.

  Concord Players' sets are always among the best appointed, and this one is no different. Allen's wife Anne and her partner Charlotte Kelley, two inveterate set dressers, have suited up the space with over 1,000 books appropriated from local libraries and private residents. Yes, you did see three zeroes, that's 1,000 books. The offices are furnished with real and fabricated period-perfect accoutrements--but you won't be able to tell the difference! These two are pros..

  And speaking of genius, pay close attention to the dictaphone provided by Brian Harris. His genius has been responsible for gilded spackle mouldings, realistic macaroni topiaries and reproductions of masterpieces that could fool the curators at the MFA. We won't reveal the secret about how he created this very special prop, but it's so convincing, you'll want to make your own recording. Just like in the old days, before smart phones could anticipate our thoughts and relay them across the globe in living color ... Oh wait, maybe those characters in The Desk Set do have cause for alarm! 

  The Desk Set opens Friday, February 13, 2015 and runs until through the 28th. Written by William Marchant, directed by Michael McGarty and Paula McNabb, produced by Pam Holleman and Tom Sikina.

--Linda McConchie