logo In the Wings
The Newsletter of The Concord Players
September 2018
                               Amanda Casale, Editor 
The Hurly Burly Vaudeville Extravaganza, a fundraiser event for the Access 51 campaign, will be held on Saturday, January 12th 2019.  Join us for an evening spotlighting the many talented folks who perform on the stages here at 51 Walden.  Stay tuned for more information on how you can participate. 

Cheri Fletcher hadn't been within the Concord Players' walls for 20 years when she walked into 51 Walden one day in 2003.  The minute she entered it felt like home.  Old friends were there from her days in the late 1970s and 1980s when she graced the boards in Pajama Game, Old Town, and Wizard of Oz.  They greeted her with warm smiles, open arms - and a long to-do list!

Cheri was unperturbed.  She rolled up her sleeves and got to work because that's what she loves about the Concord Players: working with people who share her passion for art to create those ineffable moments of magic that happen when the lights go down and the curtain rises.

Her re-entry was launched not with a whimper but with a bang.  Before long she was directing her formidable competencies to producing shows, designing hair, making props, and helping with set dressing.  It's no surprise that the group snagged her to join the board of directors, or that her strong skills as a leader landed her in the top spot as president for two years.  During her tenure the group produced six mainstage plays, won multiple DASH awards, and stayed in the black; all due in large part to Cheri's artistic sensibilities and skilled leadership.  She's even pulled down a few DASH awards of her own!

Cheri is nothing if not resourceful.  Once a communication mix-up resulted in an undressed lobby just hours before opening night.  Undaunted, she marched her petite self right over to 51 and personally hauled props, set pieces, costumes, and all manner of regalia into the lobby and in just about an hour transformed an empty public corridor into a showplace to welcome audience members.

With a natural inclination toward economy, Cheri produced plays on a shoestring, but because of her creativity and flair, they always looked like she'd broken the bank.  Never content with the usual receipts garnered from a sold-out house, she was clever about creating new sources of earned revenue that nobody had ever imagined.

As producer of Crossing Delancy, she saw an opportunity to create novel souvenirs that audience members might like to buy.  The two prominent themes of the show are books: the main character worked in a bookstore, and pickles: her love interest, was a pickle seller.  No, Cheri didn't bring a pickle barrel into the lobby, but she recruited some help to create ingeniously designed purses - some out of old books, some with old pickle produce labels.  They all sold out in the first weekend, realizing a tidy extra profit for that show's bottom line.  Oh, yes, there were pickle Christmas ornaments. They sold out, too.

As we all know, "if you want something done, give it to the busiest person."  Cheri accomplished all that she did for the Concord Players after her return from the West Coast in '03 while holding down two full time jobs.  As Business Manager for Concord Park Assisted Living and an assistant in a doctor's office at Emerson Hospital, Cheri had more than her share of things to do, but, true to that adage, she attended to her responsibilities at the Players with energy and dispatch.

Now enjoying her well-earned retirement from gainful employment, Cheri is stepping into a new role at the Players.  Beginning this season, she will take over the Front-of-House responsibilities that have been managed for so many years by the late, and beloved, Sally Bull.  Sally was one of those cherished friends who was there to welcome Cheri back in 2003, and they've worked together for years, shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart.

"Working with Sally was very special," says Cheri.  "She was always steady and smiling, a force of calm and caring for what she was doing and who she was doing it for.  She made everyone around her feel good."

Can she fill those shoes?  "I can never fill Sally's shoes," Cheri says.  "I will try to bring to the table the same caring and steadiness that she gave to all who worked with her.  I learned from her that a smile goes a long way.  It's never too late in life to learn from people who are wiser than you are.  I hope that by taking this role I can keep Sally's spirit alive."

Sally's spirit will animate the hall at 51 forever, and Cheri's own warm smile will be ever brighter because of it.  Welcome back, Cheri, we're looking forward to your 3rd act. 
The Concord Players are about to turn 100, but we're still kicking up our heels!  The 2019-2020 season will mark our 100th and we'll be celebrating all year long.  Join us in planning special events, a cabaret, a fashion show, an exhibition of the Players' history and more!

Past President Tracy Wall and board member Paul Murphy are co-chairing a top notch committee to plan the festivities.  Whatever it is you like to do, you can do it with us!

So email Paul at Paulwmurphy@gmail.com or Tracy at tracy.wall65@gmail.com and let them know you'd like to join in the fun.  We'll get back to you right away to let you know about the sub-committees and how you can join.  

Concord Players participated in Stage Source's Sixth Annual Greater Boston Theater Expo that brought together over 50 local theater companies to introduce themselves to the Greater Boston community and share their 2018-2019 season information. 

CP President Jay Newlon and VP of Marketing Andrea Roessler met over 450 attendees, including members of the Press, directors, actors, technical experts, as well as community theater enthusiasts and representatives of the other participating organizations. 

It was a very warm night inside the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama so the "hit" of the show was the new Concord Players fan!

The Concord Players are very proud of our five 2017-2018 DASH awards at this year's EMACT Gala! Congratulations to Brian Harris & Allen Bantly (Best Set Design - The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Brian Harris & Charlotte Kelley (Best Set Dressing - The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Adam J. Leavitt (Best Supporting Actor - Noises Off), Rick Shamel (Best Lighting Design - The Hunchback of Notre Dame), and Paula McNabb (Best Stage Management - Noises Off). 

The Concord Players would also like to recognize CP members Charlotte Kelley and Nicole O'Keeffe for their awards for Props (9 to 5 at AFD) and Stage Management (Peter and the Starcatcher, The Footlight Club), respectively.  A heartfelt and proud congratulations to them, as well as to all of this year's DASH nominees and winners! 

Membership Renewal:  Do you want to continue to get the monthly newsletter or let the Players' membership at large know what you're up to?  Final call for membership renewal (and new memberships being accepted, too) to be placed in the yearly membership booklet, to be mailed out in October.  The deadline for submission is September 15th.  If you haven't renewed and the summer just went by too quickly, please email Corinne at corinne.kinsman@gmail.com so that you can be included.  $25 to renew or join.

Membership Renewal:
  Concord Players member Bob Pascucci will be performing in the ensemble of Violet at Arlington Friends of the Drama, running September 21st-October 7th.

Cheerio and Westward Ho!  As summer winds down here on Cape Cod, the date of our departure for our new home in California looms closer and closer.  And yes, we are excited that it will put us near our three darling "grands" and lots of sunny weather.  But it also means leaving dear friends and a very special community theatre we have loved, invested in, and been enriched by for four decades.  And that's just plain hard.  We will be fortunate to find another theatre organization with anything near the breadth of talent and the incredible dedication of the Concord Players - a truly singular and historic theatrical company.  We send our heartfelt thanks to all with whom we have had the privilege to work.  It has been such a joy.  We wish you all many broken legs on your upcoming season and beyond.  Our hope is to stay in touch and perhaps even see an occasional show when visiting our family in the east.  So until then, cheerio and westward ho!

--Warmly, Kirsten and David Gould


September 22, 2018 at 4 p.m.  Concord Orchestra Gala Benefit with chamber music to kick off Richard Pittman's Golden Jubilee Season as Music Director of the Concord Orchestra.  Followed by a lovely reception with food and drink.