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December 1, 2004

And the winner is...

Twenty names were suggested for our Newsletter. In the first round of voting, the Board of The Concord Players winnowed them to four. The four were put to a second vote, unanimous but for one. The triumphant title was suggested by...well, by me actually, your friendly neighborhood Newsletter editor. Thanks to all who participated!

Tote those stairs! Lift that platform! Toss that mantle! Trash that chair!

Calling all hands! It’s time to clean, sweep, and dump the detritus of dozens of past productions from our scenery dock and basement. Join us on Saturday, December 4, at 9 am to help us heave and ho. We need every able body we can get - We need YOU! - and we’ll have fun in the process!


Kudos to the cast and crew of Sunday In The Park With George for kicking off our 85th season with an eye-popping production unparalleled in the annals of The Concord Players. But there’s no time to picnic and wiggle our toes in the grass of the Grand Jatte - the eerie and atmospheric Angel Street is preparing to take flight, beginning with auditions, Wednesday and Thursday, December 1 and 2, at 7 pm, at The Minuteman ARC Center, 1269 Main Street, West Concord. Check our web site for details and character descriptions, at Producers David Atwood and Peg Elliot have a few choice behind the scenes functions to feather as well. The cast of five needs a designer to deck them out in Victorian costumes, and we have PR, Front of House, and Program positions to fill, too. Know how to throw a party? Then how about producing the opening night gala? Get on the team that’s to going to turn 51 Walden Street into a fun house of thrills and chills, by emailing Peg today or by calling (781) 259-0433.

Our annual “Winter Welcome” arrives on Thursday, December 2, following the lighting of the Christmas tree in Monument Square. Join us at 51 Walden Street for our holiday performance of “St. George and the Dragon.” This year’s extravaganza will feature the return of The Madrigal Singers and The Orion Sword Dancers, plus an all-new audience participation presentation of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Directed by Judith Broggi, with musical direction by Sara Ballard, Concord’s very own winter Revels will be led by David Gould, Pamela Dritt, Michael Salerno, Myron Feld, Adam Winegarden, Chuck Schwager, Pilar Broggi, and Lisa Astbury.

Last chance to see Lis Adams in “Reckless” at the Quannapowitt Players, December 3 and 4. Call (781) 942-2212.

The Concord Youth Theatre presents “Seussical The Musical,” December 3 - 12, with three young thespians from “Sunday In The Park,” Emily Stark, Mark Nimar and Joe Rinaldo. Call (978) 371-1482 for ticket info.
Sarah Ford reprises the role of Sook in Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” on December 19 at the Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City.

Longtime Concord Player Waldo Fielding appeared in the delightful two-character play, “Visiting Mr. Green” with the Winchester Players.

“Little Women - The Musical Journey of Jo March” will be performed in costumes from The Concord Players, at the Collins Middle School in Salem, January 12 - 15. For additional details go to

Acting IS

Truthful behavior in imaginary circumstances. - Sanford Meisner.

Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly. - Bertrand Russell

You walk in, plant yourself, look the other fellow in the eye, and tell the truth.
- James Cagney

Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing.
- Ralph Richardson

Acting is a form of confusion. - Tallulah Bankhead

Theatre acting, creating, interpreting - means total involvement, the totality of heart, mind and spirit. - Stella Adler

To grasp the full significance of life is the actor’s duty, to interpret it is his problem, and to express it is his dedication. - Marlon Brando.

It’s Your Cue

In the November Newsletter, we asked, “In your view, is it the purpose of The Concord Players to serve our community by providing the highest level of entertainment possible, or is it more important to provide our residents with the opportunity to be in a play?” In the words of a veteran Concord Player, this is a “hot-button issue” at our theatre, and the prediction was made that the response might be “more than you bargained for.” In the event, however, the several replies we received were surprisingly similar. A representative sample:

“I am not sure that Louisa May Alcott had the idea of keeping the boundaries of Concord so closely watched that only persons with the correct zip code could participate. Indeed, she herself left the confines of the town to explore her creative chances in New York. It would seem we can make sure our productions are open to all who have the requisite talent to perform” - Charlie Streff

“It is our preference that the Players provide the highest level of performance possible without regard to the source of the talent. Let local residents compete for roles just like anyone else.” - Cliff and Dorrie Bean

“Why does it have to be an ‘either/or’ situation? We should be able to have the best of both -- local talent for our productions combined, when necessary, with those with special skills from outside our area.” - Rebecca Purcell

“The people who participate in the Concord Players shows may not come from Concord all the time, but neither do the people who work in any other community theater come from that particular town.” - Lis Adams

“No matter what decision is made regarding the direction the Players take, I shall attend as long as I am able. It does astonish me, however, that there are always so many empty seats at every performance. Have long time residents become blasé about their good fortune?” - Anna P. Foote

All theaters serve their community, but not all theaters are community theaters. A community theater is, almost by definition, an amateur theatre. The word “amateur” is derived from the Latin “amare” - “to love.” We put on plays for the love it. No doubt “professionals” - here defined as individuals who make, or aspire to make, performing their career - love the theater also. A theatre is only incidentally a building. A theatre, first and foremost, is its actors. Which leads us to this month’s question: Should The Concord Players foster and support a core company of actors, or do we benefit more by casting each show on an ad-hoc basis, with performers whose first allegiance is to their resumé? E-mail your opinions to, or post your replies to “In The Wings,” PO Box 99, Concord, MA, 01742.

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Thomas Caron, editor