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April 2015 President’s Letter
From the President
We produced two musicals this year both that I was fortunate to direct along with Art Finstein and Kelly Murphy. A…My Name Is Alice was produced by Diane Rothauser and Marlene Mandel. The show was held in the Black Box Theatre at the Arsenal Center for the Arts. Directing this production was a great experience for those of us involved in the production. Unfortunately, for the Players we came up a bit short of our financial goals for the production. It is difficult to hold a musical of any size in the Black Box and subsidize the production through ticket sales. We have asked our Artistic Director, Jean MacFarland to choose only non-musical productions for that space in the future.
My Fair Lady was presented in the Mosesian Theatre at the Arsenal Center for the Arts and was both an artistic as well a financial success. Producing a musical of this size is a huge endeavor and without the support and commitment of a very dedicated build and design team as well as a very talented cast, the two piano arrangement beautifully played by Art Finstein and Paul Katz would not have happened. Cathy Spear and Steven Casolaro with assistance from Marlene Mandel produced the show. We were not able to sell the house each night, but we had good houses throughout the run.
The Players were also fortunate to have a build space in Allston donated to the Players by Ciccolo Real Estate. The space was also large enough to accommodate rehearsals and while the winter presented its challenges with the weather, it was certainly nice to have a dry and warm place to gather to complete the set. The build team was an enormous help and the design elements conceived by Ruth Neeman and built by Doug Cooper and Dick Rubinstein along with countless others was the perfect backdrop for the production.
I also want to thank Cynthia Allen at Century 21 in Wellesley for her generosity. The Players have now occupied space at Century 21 for two years for storage and for building.
We were not able to produce Love Letters this season as changes with the venue did not support our needs. We appreciate the fact that Valerie VonRosenvinge and Steve Wrobleski both agreed to direct for us, so we will need to figure out at some point how to make this happen in a different venue.
I would be remiss if I didn’t pay special attention to the entire backstage team. They worked tirelessly crewing, setting up props and moving set pieces around. We were fortunate to have very competent stage managers in Alissa Palange, Jean MacFarland and Nicole O’Keefe and they did outstanding work helping to choreograph both our fall production of A…My Name Is Alice and My Fair Lady.
Unfortunately, The Players lost three life-time members this year, Bill Ford, Amy Hershenson and Nancy MacDonald. Each of these members have participated and supported the group as members of the board, directors, costumers and back stage crew. They will be missed, but their contribution to the Players continues to help shape who we are today.
We also want to thank outgoing Board members: Frank Furnari, Emily Hart and Kim Reichelt. Frank has been our box office manager for three years and I can say without a doubt that he is the most patient man I have ever met. He handled ticket holders, crazy producers and directors who constantly asked him about ticket sales while juggling all of the other aspects of house management, ushers and refreshments. Fortunately for us, Frank has agreed to continue playing a role with the Players as a member of the Marketing team. Personally, I will miss his sage advice as a Board member, his kindness and his calm demeanor.
Emily Hart has been our Technical Director for three seasons. This is a herculean job especially for a group that has to move from place to place, build in different places and then load our sets in and out of the Arsenal Center. Emily’s skills as a technical director has made a huge impact on our ability to organize teams to build sets, find technical support staff and maintain calm even during the most challenging times. The job of technical directly is a new position on the Board and Emily was able to take the job to another level. While we are sorry to see Emily leave the position, She now has an opportunity to work on behalf of Wheelock College as a stage manager and we are thrilled and proud of her. Emily we wish you well.
Kim Reichelt is also leaving the Board this year. Having the role of Marketing Director is not an easy task. It requires managing all of the publicity involved with each of our productions. In this role, you quickly learn that organizational, computer and writing skills are a must. Kim is a wonderful leader and team player and did a superb job with all of the publicity efforts we had this season. Luckily for us, Kim has also agreed to stay on the marketing team and assist with the maintenance of the website. This will be a huge help to our new board member.
Given that we have huge shoes to fill with the loss of these three Board members we also fortunate to announce our new slate of officers for the 2015-2016 season:
President: Celia Couture
As this season comes to a close we look forward to three great productions for next season: Picasso at the Lapin Agile will be directed by Laura Espy. Laura has a very impressive resume and has directed for many theatre companies in the area. Picasso will run in November 2015
Richard Repetta returns to the Players to director The Full Monty along with PJ Terranova in the choreographer’s Seat and Sean Gelzleichter as Music Director. The Full Monty will run in February.
The Pied Piper and original production will be our Family Theatre offering this season. At the reins of our Family Theatre will be: Music Direction by Wil Breden and Directing by Barbara Tarlin. The Players will be presenting this production at the Wellesley Middle School.
I also want to shout the praises of this year’s Star Award recipient, Bob Pascucci.
This STAR award winner is referred affectionately by many theatre groups by different names: Bob, Dr. Bob, Scuch, etc., but to the Wellesley Players, he is a constant reminder of quiet competence. Bob has been both on-stage and off-stage as a member of the Players and was also a major character in the Burlington Players AACT National Award Winning Play: The Radium Girls. This year, Bob returned to the Players stage as a member of the Cockney Chorus. He is very kind and giving. Other roles include high heel wearing as Bob was a Cagelle in the Wellesley Players production of La Cage aux Folles and the narrator for in Into The Woods.
Among his many talents, Bob is also a sound designer extraordinaire. He is able to help augment a production through music selections or just the appropriate sound cue. Bob often works late in to the evenings when everyone else has left the theatre or well before any of the members of the production staff come in to the theatre to get ready for a performance.
During MFL, he often ran up three flights of stairs to fix sound levels and help with trouble-shooting while performing on stage. He is by far the most in demand sound designer in the area. He plans to retire in the coming year and while this is a much deserved rest, there are many of us who will miss his talent and expertise. Some directors (like Celia for instance) appreciate his calm demeanor. Directors He is the consummate professional.
Bob is also an extremely compassionate man. We seem to turn to Bob for reassurance and for help when any family member is sick or ill. Without prompting, he visits hospitals rooms, flashing his smile, making us all feel a bit better that he are around. Perhaps the qualities that we admire most are his thoughtfulness as well as his commitment and support. He is also a great husband, a great dad and is now enjoying being a great grandpa!
We look forward to seeing you all next season!