Hello! And welcome to the 6th issue of the PTP Members News! As always, please be sure to let me know if you have anything you would like to include in this forum. If you want to share a special upcoming event involving our members or something theater related that might be of interest to folks, please send me a note at email@example.com,
During the last few months, we have lost 2 more of our beloved members. Bridget O’Neill (and her husband, Gordon) were the backbone of the theater starting in the 60’s. They were instrumental in getting us the lease for the building we currently own. Greg Rumpf has been with theater in recent years, acting, filming, photographing, and being a stalwart participant wherever needed. They will both be sorely missed.
On a happier note, the membership would like to congratulate all our 2021 graduates! Whatever promotion or graduation you are celebrating this year we wish you all the best in your future endeavors! May you continue your love of theater no matter what paths you follow!
The PTP Board met on May 19, 2021.
Financial reports were presented and Mike indicated that we have enough funds to keep us going for about 10.5 months. We have been receiving a lot of donations from our benefactors which are greatly appreciated. Our Scholarship fund is over $69,000. Our total current assets (not counting the building) are over $178,000. Thank you, Mike, for working so hard on grants and low interest loans in order to keep us solvent during this trying time.
A motion was made to require all Board members and production crew-heads to sign the Confidentiality Policy documents prior to working on any on-stage productions. This motion passed.
If you didn’t get to see the interview/conversation that we sponsored with Michael James Scott (Genie from “Aladdin”) you missed a treat! It was a give and take conversation with questions from what does Mr. Scott like in a Music director to how to keep you voice going through 8 shows a week to what’s it like being a person of color on Broadway. His enthusiasm and patience with all our questions was phenomenal! Keep an eye out for our next chat!
Renovations are moving along but extra hands are needed. All skill sets are welcome – construction tasks, painting, moving supplies in and out of storage areas, straightening up as they go along, etc. etc. etc.! Please check out the facilities calendar to see when they are working and ask what you can do to help by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camp Mockabee is scheduled to start up again this year on July 26, 2021. Please watch our website and Facebook for details on sessions and know that the number of participants will be limited. Don’t wait until the last minutes to enroll. The cost will remain the same as our last camp. Also, watch for information on COVID precautions being taken/required for attendees and counselors.
Our 2021 Scholarship winners have been announced - Cassie Murphy from McDonough High School and she will attend Nazareth College; Kristen Ging from La Plata High School and will attend Salisbury University; and Claire Voshell from Northern High School and will attend Liberty University. Congratulations to all!
It was agreed that the Theater will reopen for business with our Fall Show. Schedule will be:
12 Angry Men/Jurors – September 24 – October 10, 2021
A Christmas Carol – November 26 – December 19, 2021
Macbeth – January 21 – February 6, 2022
Little Shop of Horrors – March 11 – April 6, 2022
The Importance of Being Earnest – May 6 – May 22, 2022
Beauty and the Beast – July 9 – August 7, 2022
Next Board Meeting will be on June 9, 2021 at 7pm. If you wish to attend as an observer, please let Chris Magee know at email@example.com. If you have any questions that you would like brought up, let me know and I’ll see if we can fit them into the agenda.
Summer membership meeting will be IN PERSON!!!! We will be meeting at Gilbert Run Park on Sunday, August 22 2021. This is assuming, of course, that things don’t deteriorate COVID-wise between now and August, We have reserved the Hilltop Pavillion and are working on the party plans. Looking forward to seeing everyone in person again!
Please remember that all opening/camp/meetings are subject to change should COVID situations change.
Feature of the month – DID YOU KNOW?
That our first production was “Wurzel Flummery” by A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh writer)? It was performed at Brent Hall (Archbishop Neale School Hall) in 1948.
We performed “Inherit the Wind” at the Charles County Courthouse?
Before 1973, we were a travelling troupe and performed all over the County including Smallwood State Park, La Plata High School, Milton Somers School among others?
We used to have an Ice Cream Shop next to the theater? I wonder if it was as good as Landon’s!
Our first show in the theater at 508 Charles Street (which we started leasing in 1973) was “Mary, Mary” and that building was previously the Charles Movie House?
The sound booth used to be the location of our original “Props” room? And that prior to that, it was the location of the concession stand for the movie theater?
The beautiful “star” light that is currently over the seating area was originally directly over our raked stage? That shows you how far back we have expanded! And that that the 2 side exits in the seating area used to be at the back of the stage?
Just before the tornado hit La Plata in 2002, an inspector told us we needed to shore up the Kent Ave. outside wall, because a strong wind would probably take it out? Our theater only sustained minimal damage during the tornado and was used for triage immediately following the tornado.
The “Coming Soon” poster outside our theater when the tornado hit was for our upcoming production of “You Can’t Take It With You”? How ironic is that!
Look for more Did You Know in the next issue and let me know if you have trivia you would like me to include!
On April 23, 2021, the Port Tobacco Players community lost one of our brightest lights. Greg Rumpf was a longtime member of our family, performing onstage, pitching in backstage, and helping out anywhere and everywhere in between. Greg was a friend to everyone he met and was always willing to lend a hand however he could.
Greg first appeared on the PTP stage in Inherit the Wind in 2004, before playing Selsdon in Noises Off and the Duke of Norfolk in A Man for All Seasons. Following these productions, Greg memorably played Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, where he brought the house down with laughter at every performance.
Greg went on to stand out in The Producers and Assassins, playing multiple ensemble roles in both shows—most notably his hilarious Sabu and his jovial “Big Bill” William McKinley. But it was his turn as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof where he got to show his full range as an actor, creating dramatic and emotional moments that were a balanced contrast to his comedic side. Greg was then seen on stage in Death by Chocolate and The Tempest, followed by his last role with the Players as Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar in 2018.
Over the years Greg also performed in various one-acts with PTP and lent a hand to numerous shows backstage and in various technical roles. Greg designed props, helped build sets, worked running crew, and even designed masks and sculptures, but his true passion for photography and visual effects was in the spotlight when he served as headshot photographer and visual/special effects designer for countless shows. He even earned a WATCH nomination as part of the special effects team for The Who’s Tommy.
It was always exciting to see Greg's name on a cast list or audition form. He was the definition of a team player, always raising up those around him and supporting the production in any way possible. He may not have looked it but he was the greatest cheerleader you could know. He was the friendly face in the audience supporting his friends, no matter the endeavor. He was also an incredible talent. For instance, he was so excited to play Tevye, bringing so much love and humor to that role.
Greg’s contribution to PTP will live on in every story that is told, every memory recounted, and every photo we look back on fondly. Live theater is fleeting in that it is only here for a moment, but our love for Greg will hold strong forever.
Port Tobacco Players mourns the passing of Bridget Masin O'Neill, a wonderful actor who has graced our stage, on April 12, 2021 in Charlottesville, VA.
Bridget was born May 31, 1936, in Sayville, New York, the third daughter of Joseph Anthony Masin and Eileen Vunck Masin. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Gordon A. O’Neill, Jr., her sisters Joan Wauhop and Mary Ellen Gregory, and her daughter Mary Egan O’Neill. She is survived by her other children and their spouses, Eileen and Jeff Early of Madison, VA, Gordon and Nancy O’Neill of Lloyd Point, MD, Sally and Clay Bailey of Nashville, TN, Joseph and Ginger O’Neill of Charlotte Hall, MD, and Peter O’Neill of Annapolis, MD; and also by eleven grandchildren, Sarah Early Zeitler, Meg Early, Gordon, Alex, and Anna O’Neill, Bridget, Ferriss, and Charlie Bailey, Masin Drury, and Hannah and Haley O’Neill. She loved all of her grandchildren dearly and spoiled them as best she could.
Bridget earned her nursing degree from Alexandria Hospital School of Nursing in 1957, and after working for 2 years in Northern Virginia, she married Gordon and moved to Charles County. She returned to nursing around 1980, working at Physicians Memorial (Civista) Hospital in LaPlata, Maryland, for over 30 years and was beloved by her colleagues and patients alike. She also found a passion for theater through the Port Tobacco Players, also dragging Gordon onto the stage. Together they participated in and supported this community theater for many years and made many good friends along the way. Bridget also found great satisfaction from gardening, entertaining family and friends, and decorating for the Christmas holidays at their historic home, Mount Republican. She enjoyed life to the fullest and as she often said, “If we had to go now, we’ve had a good time.”
A Mass of Christian Burial will be said at Holy Ghost Catholic Church, 15848 Rock Point Road, Newburg, MD on Saturday, May 1 at 11:00 am.
Per COVID-19 guidelines, masks must be worn at the service, and social distancing practiced.
A private burial and gathering of family will follow the service.
Memorials may be made to the Port Tobacco Players, P. O. Box 2030, La Plata, MD 20646-2030 or online at www.ptplayers.com/donate.html or the Greater Maryland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, 1850 York Road, Suite D, Timonium, MD 21093 or online at www.alz.org/maryland .
The PTP Board of Directors has continued to review Maryland's reopening plan, as well as information from the Charles County Arts Alliance and other local theater groups. Based on the current information, Port Tobacco Players has decided to move forward based on the assumption we will not be able to get audiences back into our theater until Summer 2021. Therefore, the Board has voted to restructure the remainder our 2020-2021 season based upon a prospective Summer 2021 reopening date, on the following tentative schedule:
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.