CP Newsletter April 2018

logo In the Wings
The Newsletter of The Concord Players, April 2018
2018-19 Season Announced! 

               ARCADIA                THE COUNTRY HOUSE     THE SECRET GARDEN   
November 2018                     February 2019                         April 2019     

See newsletter body below for more details!
Ticket holders for The Hunchback of Notre Dame should arrive at 7pm on April 27th to be treated to a reception with a decidedly French twist! 
In case you missed the Annual Meeting on March 18th, the slate of officers was voted on by the membership and we welcome the incoming leadership of the Concord Players:
Jay Newlon returns as President; Brian Kelly and Andrea Roessler are Vice Presidents; Kathy Lague returns as Treasurer; and Amanda Casale as Secretary.  Members of the Board of Directors are:  Charlie Atherton (Finance Chair), Craig Howard (PDSC Chair), Corinne Kinsman (Membership), Paula McNabb (EMACT Rep), Linda McConchie (Member-at-Large), Paul Murphy (Centennial Celebration), Meg Spring (Special Events) and Susan Tucker (51 Walden Liaison).  We welcome and thank them all for volunteering!

Them.  Those people. Others.  Human beings have been marginalizing each other since the beginning of time.  Witches, Malefactors, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Irish, Cambodians, cripples, homosexuals - even the Red- Haired-Child.  "They" have been around for years, inviting scorn from those in power, scapegoated for all societal ills.

In 15th century Paris, where Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame takes place, "they" were the gypsies.   Nomadic tribes called Roma, or Romani, who migrated into Europe from the Punjab region of northern India between the eighth and tenth centuries.  Dark skinned, dark haired, they earned the name "gypsies" because most Europeans believed they came from Egypt.  Some came through Eastern Europe's Bohemia, thus the term Bohemians.  Wherever they came from, or why, they were shunned by western Europeans, even enslaved for a time.

By necessity they were constantly moving. Tribal nomads, they self-insulated as a means to survive. They were rarely literate (for who would school them?), and much of what is known of their history comes from their own songs, and oral history.  They were viewed as mysterious and cunning, agents of dark magic who would eat your babies, stain your soul and steal your property. 

In Hugo's story, it is from the gypsies that we learn the perils of bigotry.  Paris's gypsies are so reviled that the sanctimonious monk Frollo says "how it fills me with disgust to walk among them."  They were permitted inside the cathedral's walls only once a year on January 1, during the Feast of Fools, a celebration likely rooted in pagan traditions and worship. The Church condemned the Feast of Fools for its blasphemy with one Parisian cleric describing it this way: 'Priests and clerks... sing wanton songs... run and leap through the church... and rouse the laughter of their fellows... with indecent gestures and verses scurrilous and unchaste'.

Dancing and singing are permitted only on the day of the Feast of Fools.  Gypsy women dance for money.  Gypsy "sorcerers" cast their spells.  It is at this bacchanal  where we see that good and kindly churchgoers can be staggeringly cruel while  "vile, filthy" gypsies can open their hearts in kindness towards even the most grotesque among us.

When the wretched Quasimodo becomes the King of Fools at the festival, he is cruelly mocked and tortured by a murderous rabble.  It isn't a kindly Christian who repulses the mob, but the gypsy woman Esmeralda, whose beauty is itself a dangerous enchantment as we come to learn when the story unfolds.

Hugo's story is a morality tale with a caution for all of us all 178 years after he wrote it.  We can learn from the gargoyles atop the Cathedral of Notre Dame who see for themselves who is right, who is good and what is just.

--Linda McConchie
The Concord Players and the Play & Director Selection Committee (PDSC) are very pleased and excited to officially announce our 2018-2019 season!
In the fall of 2018, we will present Arcadia, Tom Stoppard's centuries-spanning comedy about time, truth, love, literature, science, the differences between Classical and Romantic temperaments... and the disruptive influence of sex on all other things we know about life.  To be directed by Doug Sanders.
Our 2019 Winter show will be Donald Maguiles' drama, The Country House, with Mark Baumhardt returning to direct on the Concord Players' stage.  Set in the Berkshires during the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the play provides a piercing look at a family of performers coming to terms with the roles they play in each other's lives.
And, fittingly, our Spring 2019 offering will be the musical version of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, with music by Lucy Simon, lyrics and book by Marsha Norman.  This timely classic about loss, discovery, and redemption will be directed by Julia Deter.
Watch our page for further developments, and please join us!  In addition to our actors and staff, we are always seeking volunteers to be involved in all facets of our productions.
The Players will be participating in Concord's annual Patriots Day parade on Monday, April 16, which marks the 243rd anniversary of the fight in Concord and the beginning of the American Revolution.  The parade begins at 9 a.m. and covers a distance of about 3 miles over the course of 2 hours, including a stroll over the Old North Bridge, where a brief ceremony commemorates the events of April 19, 1775.  We are looking for volunteers to march in costume and display our banner.  If you would like to participate, please contact Andrea Roessler at ajroessler@gmail.com .
Further details will be sent to those who sign up regarding costume fittings and a collation lunch following the parade.

It was a beautiful day for the 2017 parade!

Membership is really exploding this spring with many new members from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Our newest members are: Lucy Arrigo, Cal Atkinson, Rick Barnes, Mel Bisso, Anthony Ead, Robert Forgione, Chrisanto Guadiz, Elizabeth Holbrook, Mick Lonati, Catherine Merlo, Marian Morrison, Lonnie Powell, Jim Pugh, Elliot Raff, Cathie Regan, Paul Spanagel, Maria Sundquist, Pamela Sontag, Rand Sutton, and Ashley Vittum.  Welcome to all.

The Concord Players Board of Directors will be well represented in Theater III's production of The Spitfire Grill.  Brian Kelly is directing with Kathy Lague and Paula McNabb in the cast of this lovely musical.  Production dates are April 13 through April 28.  Visit the Theatre III website for tickets and information.

Also catch Concord Players members Katie Moore and Eric Linebarger in The 39 Steps at Quannapowitt Players, and Elaine Crane, Graham Daley, and Mike Lague in Iolanthe with the Sudbury Savoyards.


April 6 and 7, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. Concord Band Spring Pops. Friday, April 6 is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Concord - tickets at www.concordmarotary.com .  For the Saturday, April 7 concert, call the Band at 978-897-9969 or visit Ticketstage.

April 21, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. Opera51 Gala to benefit the June production of Faust.  Light fare, drinks, silent auction, music, and a talk by guest speaker Laura Prichard.  The event will be in the Parish Hall of Trinitarian Congregational Church across the street from 51 Walden.  Black tie optional.  Tickets are $50, available for purchase on-line.