Issue No. 1 February 2005



Dear T&C'ers,

Yes, we are finally reestablishing our regular newsletter, The Limelight. Special thanks to Jenny Hopkins for taking on this important task. As with all of us who devote time to the theater, I've told Jenny this is a well-paying job at $0 per hour, and if she does a really good job that we might be able to double that.

So what's on tap for this year? A great season kicking off with our 2005 musical City of Angels. I'm told by Keith Soester and Susan Burnham (Director and Producer, respectively) that this is going to be a demanding but stunningly brilliant and exciting production. The cast showcases both T&C veterans and newcomers, and we're anticipating a lot of enthusiasm and strong audiences throughout the run.

We're planning to invest in some new sound and lighting equipment for 2005, and by the time our season opens we should have a new deck in the back of the theater-which will be a great thing for our actors (not to mention reducing muddy footprints on the stage).

Membership rolls are increasing, publicity efforts are paying off, and we're continuing to look at new initiatives to expand the theater's reach into the community. All in all, an exciting start to our 58th season.

I look forward to seeing you at the Barn!

Scott Fishman

Presenting Town and Country Players' 2005 Season

City of Angels

Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by David Zippel
Book by Larry Gelbart

Directed by Keith Soester

Set in the glamorous, seductive Hollywood of the 40's, the show chronicles the misadventures of Stine, a young novelist, attempting a screenplay for movie producer/director, Buddy Fidler. The film story begins when detective Stone's Girl Friday ushers a striking socialite into his office. The alluring Alaura is there to hire Stone to track down the mysterious disappearance of her step-daughter, Mallory. Mallory is a beautiful, "bad" young woman, who will later turn up in her birthday suit in Stone's own bed.

But it's not all fun and games for the private eye. In the course of the "movie," Stone receives a brutal beating and is also framed for a murder that could land him in the gas chamber. At the same time, in the "real" life scenes, all played out in glorious technicolor, Stine has his hands full as well. He must fight off the increasingly demanding Buddy Fidler, and is left to do this alone after his wife Gabby returns to New York because she disapproves of Stine's tactics. To make matters worse, Stine is then confronted by his alter ego, Stone, who is totally disgusted by Stine's willingness to sacrifice his principles. Finally stepping over the line that separates fantasy from reality, Stone challenges his creator, Stine.

April 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, May 1, 6 and 7


Painting Churches

By Tina Howe

Directed by Stephen Stahl

In this wonderful comic drama, daughter Margaret, a famous painter, arrives to help her flaky, hat-sporting mother and absentminded father move out of the family homestead. As the boxes are packed, old memories are re-awakened and this unlikely trio comes to grips with their past, present, and future. What emerges is a family portrait (literally and figuratively) that is zany, heartwarming, heartbreaking and true.

May 27, 28, 29, June 3, 4, 5, 10 and 11


The Curious Savage

By John Patrick

Directed by Andy McPhee

Mrs. Ethel P. Savage is being institutionalized because she's showing signs of foolishness with her fortune. Her greedy stepchildren are putting her into The Cloisters so that they can regain control of the money. In this wacky hospital, she befriends five inmates: motherly Florence; flighty Fairy May; shy and tortured Jeffrey; statistics victim Hannibal; and the nearly catatonic Mrs. Paddy. When it is discovered that Mrs. Savage has in fact liquidated her assets into bonds and hidden them, the battle is on between the "crazy" inmates and the "sane" spoiled children, while moderated by Dr. Emmett and her assistant Miss Willie.

August 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19 and 20


Dearly Departed

By David Bottrell

Directed by Jim Kirkwood

The episodic story concerns the death and funeral of Bud Turpin and the attitudes and behavior of his kith and kin. He dies, perversely, at the breakfast table as his wife reads a long, gossipy letter. How his drab wife, their grown children and in-laws come together for the funeral to be conducted by an unctuous, cliche-ridden preacher who's paid by the hour, reveals their character and nature.

September 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23 and 24


The Mousetrap

By Agatha Christie

Directed by Norman Berger

The story is set in 1940 and takes place at a bed and breakfast known as Monkswell Manor, which is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Davis. Many years previous, at a very young age, three children were sent to live at Longridge Farm. The Greggs, who owned the farm, were extremely cruel and mistreated the children. After one boy died, Mr. Gregg was killed escaping from the police and Mrs. Gregg went to prison. Just released from prison, Mrs. Gregg is murdered and the next target appears to be a young woman at Monkswell Manor - but the murderer could be either the brother of the murdered boy or his sister (now both adults). The Davises don't know the background of any of their paying guests - and neither does the audience! To make sure the murderer doesn't leave the premises prematurely, Dame Agatha closes access in and out of Monkswell Manor by creating a huge blizzard, which leaves it up to the guests (and the audience) to determine "whodunit" in this classic.

October 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28 and 29


Our first Membership Meeting of the 2005 year was a great time! There were hoagies, entertainment and thespian fellowship. Please mark your calendar for the following dates of the additional membership meetings for this year.

February 26th is the ANNUAL GALA!!! Be sure you send in your regrets or your RSVP's NOW, if you haven't already done so! Lynne Anne Donchez worked hard to put this one together, so you KNOW it will be done right! Don't miss it!!!

The workshop led by Shawn Wright was fabulous and funny. Folks like Sarah L., Stuart W., Gay M., Gina S., Allie D., Val S. and others shed all inhibitions as they improvised a human driven machine and concocted telling a story with each actor throwing out one word at a time in fast succession. The tales we told were quite creative and perfect for the "after seven" crowd.

T and C is seeking youth interested in this summer's Theatre Workshops. Contact Shawn Wright for info.

Publicity is well underway for the 2005 season. 2004 advertisers have been mailed their tear sheets and are being asked to consider running an ad in our 2005 Program. For further info please contact either Lynne Anne Donchez or Gina V. Stevens, and they will be happy to forward a rate sheet on request.

The 2005 Playreading Committee volunteers signed up at the meeting. This year Jim Wolfe has graciously volunteered to chair the committee. Any member or non-member interested in submitting plays for consideration for 2006 should send their suggestions to the attention of Jim. We are also seeking names of qualified directors for the 2006 season. Those interested, please contact Keith Soester, Town and Country Players Adult Producer.



Additional scheduled MEMBERSHIP meetings will be held on March 30th, June 22nd, August 24th, October 26th (where we will vote on our slate and Board).

The time and place will be published at a later date.



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.

The awards will be presented at our Annual Gala on February 26th -- another reason not to miss the Party!



Auditions are being held Saturday, April 2, Sunday April 3 and Monday, April 4 for the Family Summer Musical of "Once Upon A Mattress," directed by Gina V. Stevens. Auditions are by appointment only. Details may be found by visiting townandcountryplayers.org, and clicking on "Auditions." Also many principal roles are available for adult actors, singers and dancers. Youth actors are also encouraged to audition.

VISIT www.townandcountryplayers.org and click on Audition Notices to find out about the dates and times for our upcoming shows. Note: Some shows will conduct auditions by appointment, so it is crucial that you check our web site to coordinate your availability.



Auditions for "Are You Being Served?" -- a comedy by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft from the British television show -- will be held at the Village Players' theater in Hatboro, PA, on Sunday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m., and Monday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m.

The roles of Mr. Lucas, Mr. Humphries, and Mrs. Slocum will be reprised by cast members from the successful Town & Country Players' production of 2004. The remaining roles -- 13 in total -- are open. The director is looking to cast 8 males and 5 females, age range = 20 - 70.

Auditions will be cold readings from the script, so monologue preparation is not necessary. Performances of "Are You Being Served?" will run weekends in June 2005.

For directions, check their website: www.thevillageplayers.com. For more information about these auditions or the show, contact director (and T&C member) Marilyn Maxwell by phone (215-659-3262) or email (macnandy19@aol.com).



Members, PLEASE talk to your friends, the other organizations you belong to, or your employers about the idea of taking a T&C benefit! You can say:

Here's How It Works!

Reserve the performance date: The cost is $600 for each play and $750 for the musical; $500 for the Family Theater musical; $300 for the Family Theater fall production.

Sell tickets to members and supporters: Ticket prices on regular show nights are $15. If you sell at those prices, you will recoup the cost of the show by selling just 40-50 tickets. Town & Country Players seats 150 people. If you sell 120 seats, your organization will raise $1,050-1,200. You can set your own ticket prices, which will determine your profits.

Additional information can be found on our website under the "Benefits" link.



Two scripts were borrowed from the Pat Appino Library and have not been returned. They are: Painting Churches by Tina Howe and The Curious Savage by John Patrick. Will whoever has them please return them to Pat Ellis. THANK YOU!!


Our Next Issue in March

Will have the cast list of the Musical, City of Angels!

And More!!

Please let Jenny Hopkins know if you would like something entered into our newsletter. Don't be shy!