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Letter from the President, July 2016
Dear Wellesley Players,I last wrote to you on June 13th, talking about: the high priority the 2016 – 2017 season’s Board will place on fiscal management and increasing the level of our member engagement. As part of my commitment to the latter, I plan to write monthly, sharing the good news of our organization as well as the risks and challenges. This letter will contain a bit of both.
I like to end most everything I do on a positive “note” so I’ll start by talking a bit about our risks and challenges…
As most of you are probably aware, we share space in Allston with the Longwood Players. We use the space for storage, constructing our sets, auditions, rehearsals, and meetings. We have an informal relationship with the owners of the building (e.g., no contractual relationship like a term-driven lease) and, as a result, we are charged a very low rate of rent, far less than the market value of that kind of space.
However, we are not guaranteed the space for any specific length of time. In fact, the owners of the building have let us know of their intent to renovate the space for other purposes. There is no definitive timeframe yet; however, they mentioned that they could be “demo-ing” the space as early as December or January.
While it is likely that the project timeframe could slip—as these types of things often do—it is safe to say that we must begin immediately preparing to find alternatives and to vacate the space no later than a deadline to be set in the future.
I have asked the entire Board to work aggressively to help identify an alternative. A few of us—including Longwood resources—are trying to schedule a meeting with the current building’s property manager, in hopes that they can help us identify a solution. We know that this is no easy task because we have been in this place before… with very few ideal options, and we haven’t had in quite a long time the kind of good fortune we have now in the Allston space. We must, however, find an alternative to our current arrangement.
So, it will take the work—and creative minds—of many. I ask you to help in any way you can. Ideas, time, financial resources are all welcome. Please contact me or another Board member if there is anything you can do to support this effort… and please do contact one of us. We need your help!
Now, on to good news! We are honored to have among the Players, several prestigious award winners and nominees!
First, our very own Celia Couture was awarded the Distinguished Merit award, presented to people in recognition of their contributions to promote and develop the highest standards for community theater. As you may know, Celia’s love affair with the theater spans 35 years, beginning as an audience member. Her affinity for the theater extends to her closest friendships, founded in the theater through her roles as a director, board member, and performer. She said that she is, “… humbled by their profound love and sharing of the scripted word [and] their ability[ies] to tell a story through music, set design, lighting, or sound effect.”
We are lucky to have her among our hardest working, most dedicated Wellesley Players. Please join me in congratulating her on this most auspicious award! You can see more about the award at:
Marian Morrison also received a tremendous honor. She was recently notified that, at the DASH awards on August 27 at Arsenal for the Arts in Watertown, MA (our performance space), she will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing her outstanding service to community theater. Recipients are nominated by members groups and recognized by EMACT’s Board of Directors. This award is not only recognition by the regional community theater body, but by her peer actors, directors, producers, and artistic and technical teams. Congratulations to Marian from us all!
Speaking of the DASH awards, among us are quite a number of Wellesley Players and productions which received nominations for the 2015 – 2016 season! Below is a list of the Wellesley Players production nominees which include some of our very own Players:
Additionally, Bob Pascucci, David Kimmelman, PJ Terranova, Shawn Gelzleichter, Frank Furnari, and Celia Couture were all nominated for other shows they designed, choreographed, and artistically directed for other theater organizations. We are so proud of all of these people and productions!
We hope you will join us at the gala to see all the nominees and award winners. You can find more information about the awards night and tickets at http://www.emact.org/emact-news.
I hope that the Summer has brought you leisurely time, creative inspiration, and robust health! Though the season ahead will be challenging, I’m confident the group’s strength will bring us to many additional successes. As I said last month in my first monthly letter, I’d love to hear from you at WPBoardofDirectors@gmail.com. Please drop a note and share your thoughts and ideas about the season ahead!
Ken Fisher and the Board of Directors