Highlights from the Newsletter

October, 2000


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Greetings, Players!

In case you havenít heard the fabulous news, the Concord Players were the big winners at The New England Festival of the American Association of Community Theaters with our production of Jacques Brel...! In addition to winning "best show", we also won "best ensemble", Kirsten Gould won "best director", Shana Dirik won "best actress", and John Murtagh won "best stage manager". Congratulations to Team Brel for an outstanding job. Now itís on to Harrisburg, PA for the national competition on June 30!

Hereís a note from Kirsten Gould: "I want to pass along my sincere thanks to all who supported our efforts at the Regional Theatre competition. It was a glorious weekend (although not without its tense moments), and the win of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris was simply thrilling. I canít help but reflect upon how and why it all happened. Brelís music is magical, and so is Susan Minor. Her skill and sensitivity as a musician are mind-boggling. We were blessed to have her as our Musical Director and accompanist. And sheís fabulous on stage to boot. Merci also to Neil Tischler, our ace percussionist. It became obvious after auditions last fall that we had found an exceptional cast; five very talented individual performers who also became one as an ensemble. Special "thank yous" go to Carissa Burkhart, Lewis Blair, Tom Dinger, Shana Dirik, and Larry Peterson for their wonderful gifts. They have given us a show to remember always. Our producer, Gisele Ganz, was tireless, attending to every detail and anticipating problems no one else had thought of. Sheís a wonder of a woman who kept us informed, fed us, ran errands, and even drove the truck. Our three original producers, Claiborne Dawes, Sally Bull and Peggy Elliott, stayed in touch, helped out when they could, and cheered us on. The idea of going to the EMACT Festival at Brandeis, was that of John Murtagh, our stage manager extraordinaire. His professionalism and expertise in virtually every area of theatre proved to be an invaluable advantage at both competitions.

Susan Tucker deserves extra-special kudos as our Lighting Designer. She had
the task of translating our original light cues into the festival format with its many restrictions, all without ever seeing her design before our performance. Special thanks also go to D. Schweppe for stepping in to help with lighting at Regionals while Susan Tucker was away. Our costumers, Pat Kane and Kathy Booth kept tabs on our costumes, and scurried around at the last minute finding new shirts for the guys. Thanks, gals, it made a difference. Bob Peters, designer of our original set, provided us with set alterations not once but twice. His adaptation of our four scrims allowed the actors to move them, which gained us points with the adjudicators. Artty Kinsman redesigned our large Jacques portrait so we could get it through the smaller Bromfield School doors. And I canít tell you how proud I was as I watched our crews in action. At one or both festivals we had help on some
kind of crew from Mike Salerno, Rik Pierce, Kate Blair, Rick Shamel, Jackson Royal, Ronda Yeomans, Dianne Statkus, Mike Gowing, Sara Ballard, David Gould, Charlie Atherton, Joe DiCorpo, Peter Yensen, John Hutchins, Artty Kinsman, Frank Gill, Corinne Kinsman, Lynn Devitt, and none other than our devoted Concord Players president, Marlene Mandel. (My apologies if I missed anyone at all). It was truly a "Team Brel" effort. Lastly I want to thank all who came to support us. We did have the largest and most enthusiastic
audience of any of the contenders, definitely a boost for the cast. Thank you Concord Players for being such an outstanding organization. The opportunities for artistry and involvement provided by the Players set the standard for what community theatre should be. I am so proud to be a part of it all."

Congratulations to those who were cast in our fall production of Private Eyes. The cast includes Shana Dirik, Debra Butler, Larry Peterson, Rik Pierce, and Robert Hannon. The production team is: David Atwood and Bob Carter, Producers; Bob Stachel, Director; Cathie Regan, Stage Manager, with Peter Yensen assisting; Heddie Kent, Props; Chuck Eldridge, Lights; Mark Elliott and Paul Gill, Sound; Artty Kinsman, Set Design; Dolores Carabillo, Costumes; Charlie Atherton, Makeup; Stefanie Cloutier, Publicity; Judith Broggi, Photography, and Iain Bason, Program. Weíre sure theyíll do a great job!

Hereís a request from Shana Dirik: "Iím heading up the fundraising committee for the Nationals for Jacques Brel and am looking for a few good men and women to join my team for a fun filled year of events that will help us to fund some of our trip to the Nationals in June. The first event is a semiformal dinner theater evening at the theater tentatively set for January 13th and Iíll need lots of people to help coordinate the evening and to help on future fund raising projects as well. Please contact me via E-mail at shanadirik@yahoo.com so we can make this a memorable year leading us to the nationals!!"

Last month I reported that Katie Blair and Lida McGirr, will be performing with Walthamís Hovey Players in Blithe Spirit, but I didnít know that Pam Schweppe is also in the production, playing Madame Arcati. Performance dates are Sept. 22, 23, 29, 30; Oct. 1, 5, 6, and 7. Call 781-893-9171 for info or tickets.

Stephanie Cloutier will be performing in a one act play that she also collaborated on writing called The MOMologues. This is presented as part of the Underground Series of the Footlight Club in Jamaica Plain. Performance dates are October 13 and 14; call 617-524-6506 for more information.

Nancy Curran Willis is directing Kinder Transport for the Winchester Players; Carole Daniels is in the cast.

The Belmont Dramatic Clubís production of Company is being directed by Lewis Blair.

Joseph Zamparelli Jr. is appearing as Johnny Tarleton in Misalliance at the Lyric West Theater at Mass. Bay Community College, 50 Oakland St. in Wellesly. Performances are Oct. 6 - 22, with evening performances on Wed. - Sat., and matinees on Wed., Sat. and Sun. Call 617-288-7889 for times and ticket info.

Thatís all the news for now! Please send your news to me at: Sara Ballard,
34 Aurora Lane, Concord, MA 01742, or E-mail me at <sara@sb.org>. The next
newsletter deadline is October 20.