WELCOME TO A NEW YEAR AND TO THE FIRST NEWSLETTER FOR OUR 2004 SEASON!

 

SLATE OF PLAYS - 2004

Town and Country Players is pleased to announce the slate of plays for the 2004 Season. For further details on dates and times, as well as brief character descriptions for each of the plays, visit our website at www.townandcountryplayers.org.

 

Man of La Mancha*
April 16th through May 8th
Directed by Keith Soester
Auditions: January 17th and 24th

Come Back To The Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
May 28th through June 12th
Directed by Gina V. Stevens
Auditions: April 4th and 5th

Cinderella
July 2nd through July 18th
Directed by Shawn Wright
Auditions: April 25th and 26th

Beyond Therapy
August 6th through August 21st
Directed by John Rasiej
Auditions: June 13th and 14th

Summer and Smoke
September 19 through September 25th
Directed by Stephen Stahl
Auditions: July 1st and July 3rd

Night Must Fall
October 15th through October 30
Directed by Jim Kirkwood
Auditions: August 28th and 29th

*Volunteers needed. Please contact Keith Soester at (215) 598-9045 or via e-mail at: aplus4410@comcast.net

 

LOBBY WAITING IMPROVED

Tired of the usual "herd of cattle" feeling you get while waiting for the house to open? While this was friendly, and a great way to meet people, we know that it wasn't always ideal...so audiences this year will find a new system in place.

Joe Spadafora, executive vice-president of the theater and the person in charge of the box office this year, briefed the members on the new system at the membership meeting on January 11th. Joe said that though all the details have not yet been worked out, the plan will operate as follows: After purchasing a ticket, attendees will be issued a number and can wait in the clubroom knowing that their place in the queue will be held. When the house is open, people will be then be called in order of their arrival. As in past years, patrons will be seated prior to the general audience. Joe reminds all that reservations will only be held until ten minutes before the start of the show.

Joe also wants everyone to know that the pay telephone outside the clubroom is history, noting that most people have cell phones, and that the theater will be able to put the cost of maintaining the phone toward better uses.

 

TICKET PRICES

This year, Patrons will have the opportunity to be part of a new Gold Patrons program, which will include two season tickets for $200. Of that amount, $50 will be deductible for tax purposes as it is applied to T&C's building fund. Season tickets may be purchased in advance for $68, a 10% discount. General admission to each of the five adult shows this year will be $15. For the sixth show, our family theater production, adult tickets will be $15 with children's tickets set at $8. T&C Memberships remain at $25.

 

NEW QUALIFICATIONS FOR DIRECTORS

Last October, the T&C Executive Board proposed a change to the theater's By-Laws to allow experienced directors who had not previously directed at T&C to qualify to direct a show. The By-Law change was approved by a vote by the Members.

This change reads as follows:

1. All directors selected must have satisfied the following requirements.
   If the director candidate has no prior experience, they must satisfy items a, b, and c.

   a. Participation in (3) of the following either at T&C or other theaters:

      i.   Onstage Work - Acting
      ii.  Backstage Work - two of the following: lights, costumes, sets, stage or house manager
      iii. Producer
      iv.  Play-Reading Committee

   b. Direct a play in workshop and, working with the Vice-President of Workshops and/or a Producer mentor,
      be responsible for the entire production.

   c. Be approved by the Executive Board by a majority vote after completion of the other requirements.

   If a director has prior experience directing at T&C or other theaters, they must satisfy item d
   and be approved by the Board per item e.

   d. Submit their credentials (a resume of qualifications) to the Board.

   e. Qualifiers for acceptability will be evaluated by a committee. All committee members will be agreed
      to by the Executive Board. A report of findings will be submitted for final approval of candidates
      to the Executive Board. A simple majority of the Board is required for acceptance as a T&C director.

Keith Soester, current Vice President of Adult Productions, said: "we need a solid committee" to handle the qualification of new directors. He added that he is looking for non-director-type committee members, noting that if someone out there is interested, they can call him.

 

ANNUAL AWARD NOMINATIONS

T&C solicited nominations at our last Member's meeting for the annual awards. These awards go to members who pitch in above-and-beyond the call of duty each year. The first, "Special Award," is a once-in-a-lifetime award for years of achievement at T&C. The "Service Award" is for the member who has given his or her all to the theater in the past year. Finally, the "Rafters Award" acknowledges excellence for technical and/or backstage work.

Voting was also held for all members present at the meeting, and we have three clear winners for 2003 (no, you can't know who they are yet). The awards will be presented at our Annual Party on February 29th.

 

MARK THE DATE: FEBRUARY 29th

Members and Patrons are invited to T&C's Annual Party to be held February 29th from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Jessica Lee's Catering in Warrington. Lynne Anne Donchez, who is helping Jenny Hopkins with arrangements for the festivities, said flyers will be going out shortly. Lynne Anne added that the R.S.V.P. really means "R.S.V.P. and not just regrets only."

 

CHANGES IN MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

Town and Country's Executive Board has voted to change the way in which members receive compensation for their volunteer work as actors, stage hands, parkers and ushers throughout the season.

Scott Connard, membership chairperson, referred to the new policies as a "Good News/Bad News" situation.

In the category of good news, the Board decided to award two gift certificates to each cast and crew member who participates in a show. There will, however, no longer be free Friday night tickets for members who participate in parking and ushering.

Scott said the Friday freebies began as a means to encourage more people to fill seats on Fridays as attendance lagged behind Saturday audiences, but added that this is no longer necessary as the seats fill up pretty well these days. Instead, members who are up to date with their responsibilities as members will receive a gift certificate good for one performance only. President Scott Fishman noted that recipients of gift certificates will still have to make a reservation for a show in the usual way.

 

BUILDING AND GROUNDS NEWS

Dan Weidman, building and grounds chairperson said he is happy to have a solid committee this year to help in this area. Joe Spadafora, Dave Sharper, Stuart Wyss and Norm Berger will be assisting him this year.

On the committee's "To Do" list is: repainting the clubroom, painting the new ramp to prevent a slippery surface when wet, breaking up and re-piling the stone wall for a neater appearance, adding a clubroom dehumidifier and installing equipment to allow control of the emergency and aisle lights from the booth.

Also under consideration is the building of a deck off the back of the theater.

"We'll do what money and time allow," he said.

 

PUBLICITY FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON

Lynne Anne Donchez, publicity chair, said the theater will be taking out paid ads in both "The Daily Intelligencer" and "The Doylestown Patriot" as well as in the programs of the Central Bucks East and Central Bucks West student production programs. The theater's season will also be included as a part of Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce's W-4 publication.

Lynne Anne is looking for five volunteers to spend about three hours folding and preparing flyers announcing the 2004 Season. If you can help her out, please give her a call.

 

BENEFITS

Benefits chairperson Susan Burnham announced that the costs for hosting a benefit have risen from $675 to $750 for the musical and from $500 to $600 for all other performances. Benefits for family theater are now $500 for the musical and $300 for the regular show.

She added that a couple of organizations have already called in to stake their claim to a date, noting that detailed information on hosting a benefit is available on our website.

 

WORKSHOP COMMITTEE REPORT

Shawn Wright, chair of the Workshop Committee, said she has already been approached by two people interested in directing one a play for the One-Act Fall Play Festival, which is tentatively scheduled for the first weekend in November.

Since the theater was not able to put on the Fall Play Festival in 2003, Shawn said: "We want it to be a vibrant event this year."

 

FAMILY THEATER/THEATER CAMP

Sarah LeClair, Producer of Family Theater, said she is hoping to follow up last year's successful season with the July production of "Cinderella." Sarah reminds one and all that this production is "not just a children's show." She expects to cast both adults and children in the show, which is designed for audiences of all shapes and sizes.

The Theater Camp, which had its first successful run last year, will be offering two sessions again this year. They will run from July 5th through the 8th and from July 12th through the 15th. Sarah said she is looking for volunteers to help with the program in the areas of acting, lighting, and behind the scenes activities. A small stipend will be provided.

 

TREASURER'S REPORT

Treasurer Dave Keller said the theater currently has $5,200 in the operating account and a building fund of $13,430. Gifts to T&C include an anonymous gift of $1,300 as well as a gift of Johnson and Johnson stock to the theater by Jim Appino. Dave asked that members take the time to thank Jim for his generosity.

 

HEAD SHOTS AND CAST/CREW BIOS

Lynne Anne said Taylor Ridgeway will be taking head shots for each of the shows on the first night of rehearsal for each show and that cast/crew bios will need to be turned in at that time. She noted that the bios must be in on that date or they will not be included in the program. "We're not chasing after them this year," she said. Also new for 2004 will be the use of a digital camera, making it easier to keep an existing photo archive that can be reused as necessary. The job of mounting the Glory Board will be put in the hands of one of the cast or crew members in each show.

 

PLAYREADING COMMITTEE

Jean Lausten said that suggestions for the 2005 season can be made to the committee via T&C's website.

 

SCRIPTS

Pat Ellis, who has taken on the task of T&C's librarian, said she has made a list of all scripts that are available, noting that Pat Appino gifted the theater with a large collection of old scripts. She added that if anyone is still holding scripts lent out from this collection, they should be returned.