Highlights from the Newsletter

January, 1999


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If you're not an actor, or even if you are, and you'd like to get more involved with the Players, here are some opportunities. Four new Board members will be needed come June, as well as a Treasurer; call Dorothy Schecter, head of the Nominating Committee and tell her you're interested. The Play/Director Selection Committee is looking for one new member to help in choosing plays for our 2000-2001 season; they are particularly looking for the male viewpoint! (Don't call the MCAD; there are 4 women on the committee!!) Do call Diane Statkus. Also, a creative person with perhaps some direct-marketing experience would be helpful in writing/designing a new, combined membership/subscription brochure; phone Lynn Devitt.

Lillian Anderson is directing Spoon River Anthology, to be presented at First Parish Church in Concord the first week-end in March; in cast are Sara Ballard, Tim Jacoby, and Bill Maxwell ... Lis Adams, Lida McGirr, and Joe Zamparelli, Jr recently appeared in Orpheus Descending at the Mass. College of Art. Joe understudied (for ??) in the Huntington's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. He is directing Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth for the Delvena Theatre, to open March 5th' he's also directing a Feydeau farce, Love by the Bolt, for the Winchester Players, auditions still to come. Says the Zamp, "I need a vacation!"

Kate Clarke, our Jo in the most recent Little Women, is in a production of Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind at the Black Box Theatre in the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street, Boston, from February 4-20: perfs are Thurs. through Sat at 7:30 p.m. & Sun. matinees at 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $18: phone 617-426-0320. The director is Kimberly Faris. Kate is alos helping with the Concord Youth Theatre's upcoming production of Beauty and the Beast, playing March 12-14 and 19-21. She worked on production for a film titled The Autumn Heart, currently at the Sundance Film Festival.

(See? fun, and encouraging, to read what your fellow Players are doing So let us know. If your light is hidden under a bushel, we're all in the dark...)

A task force combining the expertise of Kathy Chick, Leroy Newbold, Rick Shamel, Susan Tucker, Derek Till, and John Althouse (for FOPAC) has thoroughly investigated the need for structural improvements to the grid at 51 Walden. The number of pipes has been reduced, to lessen the weight, and the remaining pipes have been re-rigged with synthetic rope. In the works are the drawing up of a formal set of ground-rules with which all users of the stage must comply and the formulating of a long-range plan for a more detailed investigation of the structure.

For travelers on last spring's London theatre trip, Patricia Till points out that 12th-century Broughton Castle was featured in Shakespeare in Love ... A note on one of Waldo Fielding's old prescription pads (that's what retired M.D.'s do with them) tells us not to miss Moon Over Buffalo by the Walpole Footlighters, Feb 12th-27th, all perfs at 8 p.m., phone 508 668-8446. "A riotous farce," says the doctor, but not what role he plays.

Do you look good in black? Can you be invisible if required?? Maybe you're a prop person! Props, as Heddie Kent pointed out in a recent conversation, are anything handled by the actors on stage, and the finding, creating, and keeping track of same is the prop person's job. (The script for Wait Until Dark lists 11 pages of props!) Prop people form a close team, working with the director and the costumers. It helps to be a night person, at least during the run of the show. Closely related to props is set dressing: furniture, curtains, pictures - the background the play is set against. These must jibe with the play's historical period, requiring lots of creative improvisation, as well as careful attention to the script; if a 175 lb. actor is to throw himself in despair on a couch three times a week for several months in a row, that couch had better be sturdy. In the case of Wait Until Dark, a complete kitchen, with running water, must be set up. Most set dressing is done in the weeks before opening. It's fun to be involved, so find that black sweatshirt and come down -- A Funny Thing on the Way to the Forum will be needing workers before long.

Oh, yes. Please save your burned-out light bulbs - any size - and give to Sally Bull or Heddie. Five are used in Wait Until Dark: times 7 perfs - that's 35 bulbs.

Oh, yes ... another editorial slip. The award-winning production directed by Dave Sheppard, who's directing Wait Until Dark, was titled Stiff Cuffs, not Stone Cuffs as reported. I must have been thinking of the newest rock band ... or maybe it is indeed time for a new editor, which happens in June.

Claiborne D.