Town and Country PlayersThe Limelight

March-April 2001

In this issue . . .

  • Board accepts winery proposal

  • Sponsor found for wine and cheese parties

  • Hosts needed

  • Ten benefits booked

  • Play suggestions welcomed

  • Spring cleanup

  • General membership meetings

  • Glory board plans

  • Nominations for annual awards

  • Stage lighting

  • TheaterLinx

  • Back to the top

    T & C Accepts Proposal from Local Winery
    The Board recently accepted a proposal from Sand Castle Winery ( to exchange a pair of season tickets for a substantial discount on a season’s worth of wine. Kevin Korowicki, who brokered the agreement, worked out the details with winery owners and then met with the T & C Board to explain the winery’s proposal.

    In exchange for T & C giving the winery two free tickets to each show, T & C will purchase seven cases of 1.5 liter bottles of Chardonnay and blush wines for $300, a savings of more than $750. The Board unanimously accepted the proposal.

    The agreement also includes the placement of a sign advertising Sand Castle Winery in the club room. The sign will mention that the winery donated a portion of the wine served.

    Kevin says the donation will help foster good will all season long. "We help promote a local business," he says, "and in return, we serve a premium wine that our patrons will enjoy."

    Back to the top

    Sponsor Found for Wine & Cheese Parties
    Hospitality co-chairs Debra Miscio and Sherrill Rittenmeyer announced that Memorable Affairs, a local catering firm, has agreed to prepare food for each show’s wine-and-cheese party this season. "This will make hosting the opening night parties considerably easier," says Debra. "This is an exciting partnership with one of the area’s top caterers."

    Memorable Affairs agreed to donate food for each show in return for a full-page ad in the program, four free adult season tickets, and four children’s season tickets for each show. The caterer’s donation doesn’t include beverages.

    Back to the top

    Hosts Needed

    Debra and Sherrill say they now need hosts for the parties. The food will be prepared already, says Debra, so hosts need only "help serve and charm our guests and cast members."

    To volunteer as host for an opening night party, please contact Debra at 215-345-6040 or Sherrill at 215-348-8051.

    Back to the top

    Ten Benefits Booked

    Jean Laustsen announced that ten benefit performances have been booked so far but that many slots remain open. She encourages all members to contact business or local groups (for-profit or non-profit) to see whether they might want to "book the barn for a benefit."

    Any group or individual may book a benefit at a cost of $500 for a nonmusical or $650 for a musical. For instance, a group may decide to "buy" a performance of a comedy for $500. If they sell tickets to their members at T & C’s regular admission price, they would need to sell just 42 tickets to break even.

    Many groups have used benefits as a revenue-builder but they have other uses as well. For instance, Jean points out that some groups have booked benefits and given the seats to their employees or clients as a thank-you gift. "It’s a fun night out for your supporters," says Jean, "and makes money for the group too."

    For more information about benefits, please contact Jean at 215-925-2929 or

    Back to the top

    Play Suggestions for 2002 Slate Welcomed

    The Playreading Committee for the 2002 slate has met several times already, and members have been reading and discussing plays for next season. The committee, following guidelines in the "Mickey Manual," is trying to develop a slate composed of comedies, mysteries, dramas, and a musical.

    Patt Pettit asks that if you know a play you’d like to see the group perform, please contact her at 215-489-5156 or

    Patt is also seeking copies of scripts for the committee to consider. If you have a collection of scripts — even just a few — and if any are of shows that haven’t been performed at T & C in several years, please contact Patt. Thank you!

    Back to the top

    Spring Cleanup Coming Up

    Mark April 7 on your calendar. It’s Barn cleanup time!

    Starting at 10 AM, T & Cers will give the Barn it’s regularly scheduled spring cleanup, from the lighting booth to the club room. The building will be swept, the clutter straightened out, the makeup room all spiffed up—and you’re invited to help!

    You’re not only invited, says Building and Grounds chair Joe Spadafora, but urged to attend. When everyone lends a hand, says Joe, the work goes more quickly and easily all around. Won’t you lend your hand? Thank you!

    Back to the top

    Dates for General Membership Meetings Announced

    President Jim Kirkwood has announced the dates for general membership meetings this season. All meetings start at 7:30 PM and are held in the club room at the Barn. The meeting dates are:

    Back to the top

    New Plans for Glory Board

    Lynne Anne Donchez says the group will have a new glory board this season and that each stage manager will be responsible for the display for that show. Lynne Anne has agreed to take black-and-white photos of the players and will supply the photos to the stage manager for display.

    So, stage managers, get those creative juices flowing to come up with a great glory board display!

    Back to the top

    Nominations To Be Taken for Annual Awardstle

    Nominations for T & C’s annual awards will be taken at the general membership meeting on April 20. Each year, three awards are presented to members who have shown outstanding dedication to the group the previous season.

    The Service Award is given to the member who has gone "above and beyond the call." The Rafters Award is given for excellence in technical or backstage work. The Special Award is a once-in-a-lifetime award given for stellar achievement and dedication to the group and its mission. Past Special Award recipients include Pat Appino (1999), Frank McCrea (1987), Michael Moeller (1980), Mickey (1990) and Marion (1984) Kolman, and many others. (Click here for a complete list of past winners.)

    Donna Nicolazzo asks that members keep the awards in mind and nominate someone at the April 20 meeting.

    Back to the top

    Stage Lighting Design

    Reprinted from Stage Lighting Design, © 1997-1999 by Bill Williams, Stage Lighting and Design 101

    Stage lighting design is probably as old as formalized theatre. The early Greeks built their theatres as open air spaces and orientated them in relation to the sun, so as to use natural light for stage lighting. They would present their plays at different times of day, to take advantage of the different types of natural lighting. This type of planning was in essence, early lighting design. The Theatre of Dionysus (Athens, about 330 BC) and the theatre at Epidaurus (finished about 340 BC) are examples of these early public theatre facilities.

    Lighting for the theatre developed over the centuries, using both natural sources then artificial sources. The sun, candles, torches, oil, gas, electric arc and lime lighting, all have had a place in early stage lighting. During the Renaissance period in Italy, many of the principals of modern lighting design were firmly established.

    Modern stage lighting

    Modern stage lighting design began to flourish with the development of the incandescent lamp in the late 1800s. This invention allowed for the development of small, safe, portable lighting fixtures that could be easily placed anywhere around the stage, and then controlled by a remote electrical dimmer system. Previously during the gas-lighting era, complex stage lighting did indeed exist; however, it was limited by this awkward smelly technology, with its many inherent problems. During the gas-lighting era, a great number of theatres were destroyed by fire.

    During the early 1900s, as stage lighting continued to develop, certain parallel lighting industries began to evolve, borrowing many basic principals from the field of stage lighting design. The modern fields of display, photographic, film, and television lighting design all have evolved and developed from the fundamental roots of early stage lighting design. Today stage lighting design is recognized as a field that merges science with art.

    Future stage lighting

    The future of stage lighting is tremendously exciting. After the electric filament lamp, stage lighting was revolutionized in the 1930s by the development of the ellipsoidal reflector (Leko) fixture. The development of the SCR dimmer in the 1960s provided another radical change. Now, the automated lighting fixture (first introduced in the 1970s) is revolutionizing the lighting industry again. New technology has recently produced colors never before seen in lighting design. New light sources are developing, including xenon, metal halide, fluorescent, induction and sulfur lamps. The use of fiber optics as carriers of both light and data and the further development of liquid crystal projection technology are all part of the exciting future of entertainment lighting design.

    Design software for the computer will continue to evolve and eventually allow the designer complete artistic ‘interactive’ control over his ‘visual’ technology. Lighting software now provides assistance with design, drawings and paperwork. Design software in the future will use both touch screen and speech recognition technology. Can the mental control of lighting systems be far away?

    Back to the top


    Insight Music: Drama, Dance, Video offers video courses for lighting, sound design, and makeup; prices average $139 per course

    Stage Lighting Design 101, an overview of the art and science of stage and entertainment lighting design

    Taut cosmetics, commercial site for Taut Cosmetics that includes tips for applying makeup

    Theater Talk, a section of devoted to the Public Television series of the same name

    Back to the top

    Andy McPhee