The Players have been trying out new ways to communicate better with our fans, volunteers, and “talent.” We launched our Facebook page last fall, and now we’ve entered the blogosphere. It’s a brave new world!
First, the standard disclaimer. The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author — Managing/Artistic Director Elizabeth Guffey – and do not necessarily reflect those of Freeport Players.
Now, let the blogging begin…
I started as Managing/Artistic Director on January 1. I’ve been with the Players for over 10 years, but this is a new role for me and a new way of doing business for the Players. The Board of Directors has entrusted me with the day-to-day business of our troupe (that’s the Managing Director part) and with making the choices that will define our artistic “statement” for the rest of the 2009-2010 season and the 2010-2011 season (that’s the Artistic Director part). While I hold down the fort, the Board – led by President Louisa Picard, Vice President Cole Tamminen and Treasurer Daric Ebert — will be planning for the Players’ future.
I’m excited to be part of writing this new act in our collective script. We are blessed with marvelously creative volunteers and never lack for great ideas. Perhaps the greatest challenge I will face is choosing which of those ideas we will pursue. Our other significant challenges are finding good places to perform, finding funding to support our shows, matching volunteers with the multitude of tasks required to stage even the most minimal production, and building our audience base. I’ll be reaching out to everyone we know to solicit their — your — help in conquering those challenges.
THE REST OF THE 2009-2010 SEASON
My first priority has been to fill in the blanks in what remains of our 2009-2010 season. Since October I have been working with key members of the Players Board and committees to review the work they had already done to prepare for the second half of the season and continue that process. I’m pleased to be able to announce some details…
COMEDY, COMEDY, COMEDY!
The rest of this season we’ll be playing it for laughs. Let’s face it, everybody’s stressed out and tired of bad news. You need a break. We’re going to give it to you.
In April, we’ll present a showcase of one-act and short comedies by contemporary playwrights, directed by Sara Stelk and Mike Clements. The showcase will be modeled on our co-production with Paint Fumes Productions last January. Our two directors will assemble a group of actors to perform the plays in a minimalist setting. Our very clever team will make sure the audience doesn’t miss elaborate sets and costumes. As of this writing, we are planning to stage these plays:
- “The Spot”, Steven Dietz
Inside the making of a political TV spot and the search for the perfect “soccer mom”.
- “Controlling Interest”, Wayne Rawley
Four 8-year-old boys (played by adults) negotiate with two girls (also played by adults) the terms under which they will like each other.
- “Check, Please”, Jonathan Rand
Seven couples meet at a restaurant and endure hilariously bad first dates.
- “The Blueberry Hill Accord”, Daryl Watson
Two high-school girls negotiate the breakup of their friendship.
- “The Tarantino Variation”, Seth Kramer
Three “wiseguys” face each other in a Mexican standoff.
- “Chocolate Cake”, Mary Gallagher
Two women — a “country mouse” and a “brassy city dweller” and both compulsive overeaters — meet during a women’s conference.
For the summer, we will break with our tradition of producing a musical and stage the full-length comedy I Hate Hamlet, by Paul Rudnick. In this hilarious comedy, young soap opera star Andrew Rally is cast as Hamlet with Shakespeare In The Park and rents an apartment haunted by legendary actor and larger-than-life personality John Barrymore. “The laughs are nonstop as Andrew wrestles with his conscience, Barrymore, his sword, and the fact that he fails as Hamlet in Central Park.” (Dramatists Play Service)
Of course we will end the year and begin the 2010-2011 season with the 7th edition of The WFCP Home Time Radio Hour. I can’t wait to meet with the creative team to get them started choosing the music and writing the script!
COMING BACK HOME
I’m pleased to say that we will be returning to the Freeport Performing Arts Center for all our major productions in 2010. We’ve been able to find performance dates that fit in among the many school and community uses of the Center and find plays that suit the space.
Keep checking our website, this blog, and our Facebook page in the coming months. We have a lot of things in the works! And mark our show dates on your calendar. You don’t want to miss any of the fun!
All the best to all of you in 2010,