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The Prompter

June, 1999

SHE LOVES ME” TO LIGHT VP SUMMER STAGE
From the same great Broadway musical team that brought “Fiddler on the Roof” to life comes a beautifully crafted show full of bittersweet romance and aglow with important truths about the human experience. “She Loves Me” will grace the Village Players stage for performances on July 23, 24, 25, 30, 31 and August 1. Friday and Saturday performances will be at 8 pm, with Sunday matinees at 2 pm.
Composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick aren’t the only great team involved. Rosemary and Scott Lounsbury, the team that brought 1993’s hugely successful production of “Nunsense” to life, are returning again to try their hands at this little jewel of a show. Diane Ducret and Delina Ingham are producing, and Russ Ellis will tackle the job of stage manager.
The musical “She Loves Me” is based on a classic 1940s film called “The Shop Around the Corner” starring Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. Set in a city in Hungary in the 1930s, the show revolves around the staff of Maraczek’s Parfumerie. The manager of the shop, George Nowak, finds himself constantly at odds with the latest member of the staff, Amalia Balash. What the two young people don’t realize is that they have been writing anonymously to each other as “Dear Friend” for weeks. Through the letter, each has begun to fall in love with their mystery pen pal. The course that leads them to love gets complicated along the way by the involvement of their co-workers and employer.
Darrell Keene, seen on the Village Players stage last fall as Barnaby Tucker in “Hello Dolly”, returns to play the romantic leading role of George Nowak. Erin Heppe Daupinais has been absent from our stage for several years, but makes her comeback in the role of Amalia. Fleshing out the diverse and interesting cast are: Wayne Gehman as Steven Kodaly, the sexy but sleazy villian of the play; Ed Dunkel as Mr. Maraczek, the parfumerie owner; Matt Johnson as Arpad Laszlo, an indefatigable shop clerk; Corky Mork as Ladislav Sipos, the older and more jaded shop clerk; Jill Pralle as the brassy and feisty Illona Ritter; Michael Wilfert  as the flambuoyant and haughty waiter; Delina Ingham as Detective Keller; Beth Knox as the nurse; and Andrew Grupp as the busboy. Also tackling a variety of chorus roles will be Emily Copplestone, Jenna Van Valen, Mary Borckhardt, Kim Debow, Beth Champagne, Susan Pohl, Anne Levergood, Willie Mork and Eileen Sloan.
Adrith Sisson has taken the challenging job of musical accompanist, and Erin Dauphinais and Jill Pralle will tackle dual jobs as the show’s choreographers.
“She Loves Me” was first brought to the Broadway stage in 1963, then revived 30 years later. New York Times critic Frank Rich called the play “an intimate work with nothing on its sophisticated mind other than romance....[an evening] of sheer enchantment and complete escape.” Other national critics have described “She Loves Me” as “a Vermeer in a room full of Rembrandts...command[ing] respect and affection for the fineness of its every detail, for its serene glow rather than any customary Broadway boisterousness.”
Rehearsals for the Village Players production have been in the works for a month. Further details about the show can be found in The Granite State News. Anyone interested in volunteering to help with any of the many production jobs may contact Diane Ducret or Delina Ingham, or speak to any board member.
CHANGE IN PLAY SELECTION PROCESS
After much debate, the Village Players Board has decided to make major changes in the way upcoming shows are selected.
In the past, a playreading committee was appointed by the board, and given directives as to what the board wanted for the following year, for example, a mystery thriller, a farce and a major musical. The playreading committee would then read a few examples from each category and return to the board with its recommendations, which the board has generally followed.
This process worked well in the old days, when we did not own our theater. But over the past several years, we have found the committee selection process to be less effective. Owning our own theater has stretched our manpower and womanpower to the max, and it’s been harder and harder to find the time to keep up with the playreading, attending the meetings, etc.
The board has therefore decided to take a different tack. The board will still decide the types of shows to be done in a given year and will also make the final selections. But we would like to leave the field open for proposals from those interested in a particular project.
We have yet to discuss what types of shows we would like for the year 2000. When we have made these important decisions, we will publish it here in our newsletter. If you wish to make a proposal to the board to direct a particular show, you should follow a few guidelines.
First, you must have a producer committed to the project before proposing it to the board. The responsibility for finding that person is yours, not the board’s. Secondly, when you make your proposal to the board, you should be prepared to answer detailed questions about the show: what’s the plot, how many characters, types of characters [adults, kids, what ages], maximum v. minimum number of actors needed, costume needs, set needs, requirements for musicians, special effects, etc. You should also come to the board with a rough draft of your proposed budget for the show, as well as a calendar that proposes rehearsal schedules, performance dates, etc. You should also be prepared to answer questions about your own theater/directing experience.
The board will make its decisions based on a number of factors. These would include the appropriateness and the quality of the show you propose, the timing of its production, the qualifications and experience of the director and producer, etc.
We hope through this process to not only increase our choices but also to attract some new talent. Watch upcoming issues for more information about this process!

So You Want to be a Director, Producer, Stage Manager, etc.
Many of you have probably thought you might like to direct or produce a show, but felt that you didn’t have the knowledge or training to take on that task. Have we got a deal for you!
You can contact Carol Bense (569-1396) or Wayne Gehman (569-4153) who will be organizing the trial run of a new mentoring program, designed to help train these future leaders using the First Night production as a vehicle.
The basic concept is to learn by doing using an experienced member of the group as a resource. For example, the neophyte director would have two or three sessions with the mentor before the production process begins, to discuss directing in general and the chosen production in particular. The learner would then be in charge of the process from auditions right through dress rehearsals. The mentor would attend auditions and rehearsals and then, later,discuss them with the learner to examine goals and methods of achieving them.
The First Night production is generally less than one hour in length, so it makes a managable opportunity for the fledgling director or producer. It does take place, however, at a very busy time of year, and we are eager to get a head start on it so we don’t have to do everything at the last minute.
If you are considering directing, producing, or stage managing and would like to know more about this new program, please call Carol or Wayne now.
The Village Players needs new directors, producers, and stage managers, and we hope this new mentoring program will encourage some of our members to take that next step.
NEW COMMITTEE FORMED
The Village Players Board decided at a recent meeting that a committee is needed to develop ideas for the esthetics of the interior and exterior design of the theater. The current House/Building Committee is charged with dealing with the larger projects, such as the installation of the sprinkler system etc., but people are needed to develop ideas about the smaller building projects. An initial meeting would be simply to brainstorm ideas about what needs to be done.

The committee would report to the full board, which will have final approval for any proposals. Of course, all proposals and projects will be limited by our current finances, and certain projects may already be on our wish list for the fundraising campaign. The committee will meet only occasionally; as yet, we are not even sure what to call the committee. There are no requirements for membership other than the desire to serve. If you would be interested, please contact Carol Light at 569-4814.
 

HMS PINAFORE videotapes
now available for $10.00 each.
Please call Carol Bense at 569-1396 or send  e-mail to     carol.bense@unh.edu
 
 

BOARD SEEKS THEATER
COORDINATOR

At a recent meeting, the board discussed the need for an individual who would be responsible for coordinating the use of the theater and of Village Players’ props, equipment and costumes. For example, this person would keep a calendar which would track when groups are using the theater, when major construction projects are going on, when the Players need to coordinate hall cleanup days before performances, etc. He or she would also make sure that any group using the theater signs a contract [which has been developed by the board]. The theater coordinator would also keep track of individuals who borrow costumes or equipment, making sure that they sign a borrowing agreement and that the items are returned in a timely fashion. He/she might also meet with representatives of various groups who want to use the theater to discuss their plans in greater detail.

In short, the coordinator would be the person who really has his/her finger on the pulse of activities at the theater. If you have been looking for a way that you might contribute to our fine group, and you have good organizational skills, this might be the job for you. The coordinator would report directly to the board of directors, which holds ultimate responsibility for approving and overseeing any use of the theater or our properties, and for enforcing compliance with any contractual agreements. The coordinator may be asked to attend board meetings to make a brief report. Since this is a new position, the board would meet with the coordinator initially to iron the parameters of his/her job and provide guidelines. Ideally, the coordinator would be someone who lives locally, is mobile, and is free during the day. If you would be interested in serving as the theater coordinator, please contact a board member. Our telephone numbers appear in this newsletter.
 

 
 Introducing the newest Village Player: Saré Elizabeth Campbell, born May  1, 1999, 7 lbs, 13 oz., 21 inches tall (tall?) appeared (?) onstage with her mom, Mary Nightingale-Campbell in HELLO DOLLY! last November.

HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN?
Some of our active and supporting members have not yet sent in their 1999 Village Players dues.  A red dot on your mailing label tells you you are one of ‘em.  If you wish to stay on our mailing list, please send your check BEFORE JULY 15 to: The Village Players, Box 770,  Wolfeboro, NH 03894.  An individual memberhip is $10 and a family membership is $18.

Take a Peek at the New Bylaws
If you haven’t read our new bylaws, amended at the last general meeting in 1998, you can read them on the web site at http://come.to@villageplayers.
If you don’t have access to the web site, ask any board member and we’ll get a copy of the bylaws to you.
 

THE PROMPTER
Your newsletter has a new editor, Dick Cary.  He’s looking for a reporter who would like to write a column of personal tidbits or profiles so we can better get to know our members. If you’re interested or if you would like to submit an article for THE PROMPTER, call Dick at 569-4694 or e-mail him at cary@worldpath.net.  Deadline for the next issue is July 12.  Beside Dick, the staff of THE PROMPTER includes Carol Bense, Diane Ducret, Matt Johnson, Carol Light, Corky Mork, Willie Mork and Susan Pohl.

YOUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President           Michael Wilkes     569-4814
Vice President      Corky Mork         569-5726
Secretary           Helen White        569-3870
Treasurer           Carol Bense        569-1396
Past President      Carol Light        569-4814
Members at Large    Delina Ingham      569-9303
                    Jane O’Meara       522-3384
 

BUILDING RENOVATIONS
With work being completed by VP members Richard Croteau and John Gillette at the last minute, the new raised seating was ready for the Friends of Music’s spring concert in May, and Encore’s presentation the following weekend. The new floor affords excellent views from every seat and the carpeting helps improve the acoustics. An new inner lobby gives patrons waiting to enter more room, and storage space under the floor will come in handy for our collection of scenery. And new wall sconces replace the old, broken lights.
Dean Richardson led the audience in a rousing cheer celebrating the new installation. The audience made many favorable comments, as did the performers, The New England Brass. The next project in the hall is to renovate and install upholstered seats.
In addition to the new seating, our fire sprinkler system was finally completed and brought into operation, and the basement was cleared of asbestos. Anyone interested in helping with continuing renovations is urged to contact Corky Mork at 569-5726.

CONTACT US:
You can contact us:
By mail at PO Box 770, Wolfeboro, NH 03894
By telephone at (603) 569-9656
By email at villageplayers@usa.net
Visit our web site at
 http://come.to/villageplayers/

Fund-raising Committee Looks to Grant Money

The fund-raising committee took a short break during the production of HMS Pinafore, but we are meeting regularly once again. We have decided to devote our attention to pursuing grants and are now collecting data and materials to apply for those which we think might be applicable to our fund-raising goals. Right now we have reached $296,729 in donations and pledges of the $362,000 which is our goal. We have run into some unexpected expenses for asbestos removal and in getting a pipe laid across Lehner St to connect our sprinkler system. But both jobs are now completed. If you are a member and you haven't made a contribution, please do so. Big or little, your contribution is particularly important because it helps to show all our potential supporters that the Village Players members are 100% committed to this project.

FALL PRODUCTION PLANS

At the moment, it looks as though we will be producing the straight version of Charles Dickens’  A Christmas Carol early in December. In order not to conflict with Clearlakes Chorale, and other Christmas activities, the show will be offered on one week-end only with two matinee performances and perhaps a Thursday night performance.
It is planned to hold auditions in early August and begin rehearsals in September. More about the details on that in the next newsletter.