Greg Luzitano as Paul Sycamore, Kelsey Bevins as Alice Sycamore and Ruth Hollinger
as Essie Carmichael in You Can't Take It With You, opening February 9.
Lague has oft' been overheard saying something like "you can accomplish
anything with a spread sheet." Those with less ordered minds
might find this a dubious proposition, but time and time again, she's
proved herself right. Kathy is treasurer of the Concord Players and her
fastidious attention to the organization's checkbook has kept the
Players on budget, on time and to the penny. It's not surprising,
we expect those "numbers types" to use spread sheets and balance the
surprising is how successfully Kathy employs her approach in her
artistic endeavors. When casting her latest directorial project, the
Concord Players' production of You Can't Take it With You,
she relied on an organized system of spread sheets, delineating actors
and characters into neat rows and columns, making adjustments after each
reading. Guess what happened. She cast the show with actors who have
slipped into their roles as easily as a skater's blade glides across the
doesn't make her living at theatre, but it was her first love. "My
father was in a community theatre group," she explains. "I would
occasionally tag along to rehearsals and work days. My elementary
schools always put on pageants and I enjoyed doing those, so between the
two things, I was hooked. I sang in the church choir, did the
high school musicals and got my degree in vocal performance. I realized I
would probably not make it professionally, so I got a 'real' job, and
turned to community theatre for my artistic outlet."
could argue that she might well have had a go at a professional singing
career. Anyone who has heard her sing knows that her vocals are
transformative. As Abigail Adams in 1776, her lyrical missives to
husband John filled the house with choral strains that were as
enchanting as any elixir, and as Heidi in Follies--well, just look at what director Donnie Baillargeonhad to say: "she came out and sang with such a clear, clarion, enunciated sound. It brought me to tears." Wow.
ACCESS 51 CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
left: Joyce Kulhawik, Honorary Chair of Access 51 Capital Campaign; Dan
Schrager, Co-Chair of Access 51 Capital Campaign; Cory Atkins,
Massachusetts State Representative, and Chris Whelan, Concord Town
came with bells and whistles. And a drum. Happy revelers all who
gathered to launch the public phase of Access 51, a capital campaign to
raise funds for improvements to 51 Walden. Honorary Chair Joyce
Kulhawik, State Representative Cory Atkins and Concord Town Manager
Chris Whelan were among the luminaries who spoke in support of the
effort. Access 51 co-chairs Dan Schrager and Dorrie Bean were on hand to
mark the early success of the campaign that has already raised $175,000
toward its $500,000 goal. Kulhawik and Schrager made special
acknowledgement of Dorrie Bean whose devotion to the building and the
performing arts that take place within it dates back to the early 1970s
when she and a group of advocates saved it from the wrecking ball.
Kulhawik spoke passionately about the importance of the art in our
lives, saying that the arts connect us with "our deepest selves."
to Peter Siebert, who organized the event, the crowd was able to
express their enthusiasm for the project with those bells and whistles,
plus a drum and placards, all designed to "drum up" support for the
project and bring added festivity to the celebration. Mother Nature
cooperated with a warm, sunny day, an auspicious beginning to a campaign
that will make 51 Walden more accessible and comfortable for performers
and audiences alike.
You can donate to the effort by visiting www.51walden.org or sending a check to Access 51, 51 Walden Street, Concord, MA 01742.
SAVE THE DATE
The Annual Meeting of The Concord Players will be held on Sunday,
March 18, 7 p.m., at 51 Walden. We will announce our 2018-19
back to her role as director. Being an actor informs her approach to
pulling a show together. "Coming to directing from acting (and still
going back and forth between the two) really helped me because I
understood how actors think and what they need to help them give a good
performance," she says. "I also learned what not to do as a
director, because I knew what drove actors crazy! When giving direction,
I can (hopefully) express how I would do the scene. When taking
direction, I can try to see the whole picture as the director does and
understand how my character fits into the whole production."
Seeing the big picture is a talent she's made good use of in directing this show. You Can't Take it With You
is a show about relationships and the choices we make in life, and
whether or not we all need to conform to the same norm. These
weighty messages are all delivered--believe it or not --in a comedic
context with a story that takes place in the home of a quirky,
unconventional family. It would be easy to let the characters fall into
caricature, to let the laughs come from the comic extremes the script
presents, but Kathy has been thoughtful and deliberative in how to
present the story.
explains that "actors love doing quirky roles-the challenge is to focus
the energy and get them to go in the right direction. The quirky
can tend to get separated from the rest of the action..." Like all good
directors she focuses the actors' energy. "... you need to keep them in
the story; not as a comedic break. Quirky characters are real people,
too, and can't become caricatures and distract from the main."
Kathy performed the role of Penny Sycamore in a production of You Can't Take it With You,
and had fun with it. She says that she found more meaning to the story
than she remembered when reading it this time, from a director's
can expect that kind of insight from a woman who successfully combines
the precision of a CPA with the unrestrained creativity of a
has been indispensable to the Concord Players during her term on the
board," says President Tracy Wall. She brings good common sense to
problem solving, and creative insights to programming. It's a
fabulous mix and her contributions are invaluable." Hmm. How do
you think she does that? With a spreadsheet?
opens on February 9 and runs through February 24. Tickets are available at concordplayers.org
TOM RUGGLES IS ON ABC NEWS!
Players member Tom Ruggles has made the national news!
UPCOMING EVENT AT 51 WALDEN
February 2 at 7:30 p.m.Violinist Sarah Whitney, joined by guitarist David Leisner, present Beyond the Notes,
"an interactive concert experience that gives the audience a chance to
get to know and learn about the performers beyond what can be read in
their bios." Tickets are $25 advance/$15 students/$30 at the door,