SPOTLIGHT ON DOUG SANDERS
Like mother like son. It doesn't always happen, but for Doug
Sanders, director of the Concord Players upcoming production of Tom
Stoppard's genius opus Arcadia, it bears some truth. Sanders was
introduced to theater when he was barely out of toddlerhood by a mother
who was active in community theater. Those early years "hanging around
backstage" led him to a long career of his own in community theater, and
now he's bringing that experience to his role as director of one of the
most complex, intellectual and funny scripts ever to land on the
Tom Stoppard's much lauded Arcadia
travels back and forth between 200 years, exploring erudite questions
around chaos theory, the second law of thermodynamics, and the works of
poet Lord Byron and the much more elemental "carnal embrace." Described
as nothing less than "dazzling" and acclaimed by many critics as "the
finest play from one of the most significant contemporary playwrights in
the English language," Arcadia was named one of the best science
related works ever written by the Royal Institution of Great Britain in
2016. Heady plaudits indeed, but we've come to expect it from one of
the most brilliant playwrights of our time.
the master work of a genius might intimidate some, but Sanders is up to
the challenge. "The plays I am attracted to are first and foremost
wonderful to read," he says. "I am a huge fan of the literature of
theater, and any chance to work on a play by a master is time
well-spent. So, having Stoppard be the playwright is a big selling point
right off the bat for me." It isn't just the literature that pulls him
in, though: "...with this play, more than many of his [Stoppard's] other
great works, I feel he's done a wonderful job of melding the ideas with
vibrant characters, with a theatricality that is well-earned and
provides a visceral payoff. Plus, I'm a nerd, and this work appeals to
that side of me, too..."
those vibrant characters: Sanders' style will help his actors bring
them to vivid color and full dimension on the stage. He sees the process
as an ongoing collaboration, an opportunity for shared learning and the
chance to blend many perspectives into a cohesive whole. "I always see
new things about a character from what the actor is doing, sensing and
feeling... They have a unique relationship to the people in the play,
that I don't get to experience the way that they do," he explains. "From
the follow-up conversation, I get a perspective that helps deepen the
reality of the play. The other thing that I have learned from actors is
that often if a scene isn't working, it has to do with us not getting to
the truth of the moment."
truths are largely in the questions it asks, so in that regard we can
trust that Sanders' technique will serve this production well. He brings
impressive bona fides to the task, having performed all through high
school, college and into his adult life, inhabiting some challenging
roles: Sam in Lips Together, Teeth Apart at Vokes (he had to take a shower on-stage) and in She Stoops to Conquer (Marlowe, 18th century comedy). He strode the Players' boards more than 20 years ago in Broadway Bound.
Broadway Bound - 1991 (Top Left: Doug Sanders)
he moved from acting to directing, he jumped in with both feet. He has
co-directed with the much commended Donnie Baillergeon at Vokes theater,
managing to actually get a train onto the venue's tiny stage for On the Twentieth Century, and directed Ibsen's nuanced Hedda Gabler, also at Vokes. "It was a fabulous translation of the play, and we had an incredible group of people interpreting it," he recalls.
credentials as a "nerd" are also well suited to this play. As a lover
of both literature and theater, he has deep respect for the words of the
playwright and is taking special care to be sure the cast can
appropriately employ the "dense" language of the script to make the
scientific and mathematical ideas being conveyed are accessible to the
Rehearsals are underway for Arcadia,
and Sanders is already employing his systematic approach to bringing
the story to life. "I get the play 'on its feet' (get all the blocking
done) as soon as I can, so we can start doing scene work ASAP.
From there, I swap between stop/start work and scene runs to rework
moments in different ways. As the rehearsals progress, we learn
new things about the scene, the relationships, the characters, and if
we're doing a comedy, we learn more about making moments funnier."
"The Concord Players enjoy an embarrassment of riches on all fronts," says Players president and Arcadia cast
member Jay Newlon. "But our real wealth is in the talent we have been
lucky enough to harness over the years. Everyone who works here brings
the undiluted passion for theater we all share. Having Doug Sanders
direct this great play is an example of our very good luck and further
enriches us all."
|THE COUNTRY HOUSE AUDITIONS
UPCOMING EVENTS AT 51 WALDEN
Announcing auditions for The Concord Players' winter production of The Country House by
Donald Margulies, directed by Mark Baumhardt. The performance
dates are February 8, 9, 15, 16, 17 (matinee), 22, and 23. There
are six characters: Susie Keegan (21, a college student), Walter Keegan
(66, a successful film and stage director), Anna Patterson (the
matriarch, a great and famous actress, Susie's grandmother), Elliot
Cooper (44, a failed actor and aspiring playwright), Michael Astor (45,
a charismatic actor and longtime family friend), and Nell McNally
(early 40s, Walter's new actress girlfriend). It takes place in
the Berkshires in the summer, and the time is the present.
Further information and audition forms will be up shortly on the website,
along with signup information. The audition dates are Sunday,
November 4th and Wednesday, November 7th at 7:00pm. Callbacks
will be on Sunday, November 11th at 7:00. For further
information, contact Susan Tucker (producer) at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Website information will be up soon!
SAVE THE DATE!
princesses are throwing a holiday ball - and YOU'RE invited! As
inspired by Laura Osnes and Benjamin Rauhala, join 20 of your royal
favorites (and some special guests) for a Broadway Princess Holiday
Party at 51 Walden on Saturday, December 22nd at 2pm!
GET YOUR SUBSCRIPTION NOW
a cabaret of solos, duets, mash-ups, and medleys of some of your
favorite musical numbers, the party is sure to be fun for the whole
family. Several Concord Players members will be performing,
including Amanda Casale, Monica Wright, Daniel Monopoli, Benjamin
Oehlkers, David Rodrigues, and several others. The party will also
feature princess-inspired gifts, food, cocoa, egg nog, and a surplus of
magical holiday spirit.
your ballgown out of the closet, dust off that tiara, and make your
way to 51 Walden for a Broadway Princess Holiday Party you will never
forget! Tickets can be reserved on the Concord Players website,
and purchased at the door for $15 (cash or check only). A
wonderful time will be had by all the fairest guests in the land!
Have you ordered your subscription yet? Tickets for Arcadia
go on sale very soon! Order a subscription for all three
shows. The rate of $58 is 20% off the combination of individual
ticket prices, and you can request a seat assignment before they go on
sale to the general public. Don't miss out on this wonderful
season! Visit our website
to get your subscription today.
CP MEMBERS' NEWS
Concord Players member Bob Pascucci will be performing in the ensemble of Violet
at Arlington Friends of the Drama
, running September 21st-October 7th.
Concord Players member Andrew Harrington will be performing as Roland in Taking Steps
at The Quannapowitt Players
, running September 28th-October 13th.
My Fair Lady:
Several Concord Players members (John Alzapiedi, Kate Beattie, John Lynch, Connie Benn, and Erika Wilde) can be seen in Theatre III
's production of My Fair Lady
this October, running October 12th-27th.
Concord Players member Diana Doyle will be performing in the comedy Flemming
with the Walpole Footlighters
, running October 19th-November 4th.
Hansel and Gretel:
Concord Players President Jay Newlon has accepted the position of choreographer for Opera51
's December production of Hansel and Gretel
- details to come soon!
October 12 and 13, 2018 at 8 p.m.
The Concord Orchestra
Fall Concert. Randall Hodgkinson performs Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2.
Also on the program is Maskerade Overture
by Nielson and Schubert's Symphony No. 9.
$30 for center sections, $25 for side sections, $10 for kids and
students under 21. Call (978) 369-4967 or purchase on-line
October 20, 2018 at 8 p.m. The Concord Band Fall Concert: Celebrating Our Heritage. North Bridge Portrait by Stephen Bulla, Triumphant Entrance by Warren Baker, both commissioned by the Band, and Folk Dances by Shostakovich. Free admission, donations gratefully accepted.