Hello and welcome to issue 5 of the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
On January 7, 2021, the Board of Directors met for their monthly meeting. Here are some highlights from that meeting.
- Financial Reports were presented and Mike stated we have funds to support us for approximately 11 months. Donations have been steady and we received $6000 in a grant from the Charles County Arts Alliance. The new sound system is completely paid for! He is always on the look out for grant/donation opportunities, so if you hear of anything, please pass it on to email@example.com
- Productions – Tara has reached out to several groups to see if they would like to present a virtual performance of a play and has received positive responses. We will also put out a notice to the membership to see if anyone else might be interested. MTI has a Zoom production guide on how to put on a virtual performance. Members interested in directing a virtual show will need to present a script for approval and prepare a budget for the show. MTI has several shows that can be done virtually and use canned music (at a cost of $700). MTI will charge a percentage of the ticket price or a flat fee (nominal). See the website under Our Shows for further information.
Watch the website for upcoming performances – Encore Kids and Teens, In the Directors Chair.
- Properties – presented an SOP for the position. No further updates
- Costumes – re-organization continues. We are still getting donations in and working on a regular basis to sort and label our current inventory.
- Membership – database for members (Junior/Regular/Lifetime has been updated and ballots have been mailed to all regular members and lifetime members. We currently have a total of 109 Regular paid members, 9 Lifetime members and 7 Junior members. Be sure to contact membership@ptplayers in order to renew your membership for the 2020-2021 membership year.
- Education – we held an audition class taught by the incomparable Chad Mildenstein on January 8, 2021. Very informative and well presented! Thank you, Chad! Watch for upcoming classes.
- Facilities – the siding project is almost complete with just a few minor repairs to be done. It looks fabulous – if you’re in La Plata, drive by and take a look! Work on the bathroom in rehearsal hall will begin shortly. Other projects are proceeding as time and crew permit.
- Discussion was held with members from the production staffs of Charlie Brown and Legally Blonde regarding upcoming season and the best way to move forward. It was decided that any decisions should be tabled until the new board members are elected and can have input into the process.
Next Board Meeting will be held on February 4, 2021 at 7PM.
WINTER GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING – will be held on February 6 at 4pm. Vote will be taken on the by-law proposal and new board members will be announced. Hope to see you all there!
Feature of The Month
I want to take a few moments to talk about the upcoming membership meeting and the importance of the vote for the Board members. Maybe more important is the Board itself.
The Port Tobacco Players were founded by a group of people in 1947 who wanted to raise money for the restoration of the town of Port Tobacco. In order to raise funds for this endeavor, they decided to “put on a show” and provide live entertainment to the Community. And thus – the Port Tobacco Players was formed. And for over 70 years, we have continued to provide the Community with quality entertainment because of the dedication of a few people who take the time to serve on the Board of Directors of PTP. Over the years, this group has found locations for performances of a traveling troupe, leased a building for a “permanent” performance space, renovated the space, purchased the building, made further renovations and kept the group solvent and still “performing” during a pandemic.
We are the longest continually active community theater in the State of Maryland. This is because of those that continue to donate their talent and time to see that this legacy goes on.
These are not professional organizers or financial gurus or miracle workers. They are (and always have been) regular people who are dedicated to the theater arts and who want to see live theater continue to thrive in Southern Maryland.
They work many hours working on getting financing, making sure the building and equipment are in good working order, provide educational programming, arrange for virtual performances, keep the community informed of upcoming events, and problem solve to keep us going.
You can agree or disagree with decisions made. You can wish we had more bathroom space. You can wonder what they were thinking when they decided why to pick a particular color for the walls of the green room. But no matter what you do, you need to thank these people, past and present, who have made the Port Tobacco Players who they are today – a COMMUNITY of people who love theater, love OUR theater and work so hard for all of us to have a home where we can show our talents and be a family.
Please vote, attend the membership meeting on February 6, 2021 at 4PM and be a part of the family that is PTP
Merry Member News – Holiday Edition! I hope you are finding the information helpful and it is keeping you up to date with the goings on at PTP! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again sad news has hit the Players. Rolland Hower passed away on November 25, 2020. He will be deeply missed.
On December 3, 2020 the Board met for its monthly meeting. Here are some of the highlights of that meeting:
-Financial Reports were presented by Mike Gahan and he advised the board that we currently have enough finances to support ourselves for another 12 months. We should be open and running before we start having to “pinch pennies”! The Players have made donations to both La Plata United Methodist Church Food Pantry and Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in Mike Merritt’s honor. All expenses are currently up to date.
-Productions – Tara Waters stated that that we will be presenting a Holiday Cabaret on December 18, 2020 at 7PM. MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Should be a fantastic show! Bill Righter and the Encore Kids/Teens are putting together a 2021 Winter Cabaret which will feature so many of our talented young folks. Please watch for the announcement of the performance. We are still looking to open our doors around June – keep your fingers crossed! And will hopefully be able to provide the Camps. We have decided to cancel our performances of Dearly Beloved and Legally Blonde. Hopefully we can consider these in future seasons. The Producers/Directors meeting has been tabled until things get more finalized.
-Education - We hosted a Theater Make Up class on December 4, 2020 taught by Kaitelyn Dieguez. Hope you were able to attend! Our first presentation of “In the Director’s ChaIr” went live and if you missed it, you can see the interview with Ben Simpson on YouTube. It was interesting and informative. Thanks Ben and Stacey! We have scheduled our next virtual class on Friday January 8, 2021 -
-Costumes – the Guild is continuing to work on straightening up and relabeling items in the loft. We have set up teams to tackle specific areas and are slowly making progress.
-Public Affairs is working hard to keep information flowing. Not only with productions, but pictures of the renovations, ENews and Odeum. Please don’t forget to fill out the membership survey to help us clean up our database. The link to the survey/update page is https://bit.ly/ptpMembership
-Facilities – if you’ve driven by the theater lately, you can see the beautiful new canopies over the expanded lobby area and also over the door to the right of the ticket booth. Of course you can’t see IN the theater since our Facilities Chair has covered over all the windows so that the grand reopening is a surprise to everyone not involved in construction/planning. You’ll just have to enjoy the exterior views! Also, the siding on the rehearsal hall/loft part of the building has been removed and the new siding is being installed. This is one of the renovations we can’t keep a surprise – so go by and take a look! The canopies, patio and siding projects were all presented to the Design Review Board of the town of La Plata and were approved with a small hitch with the fencing around the patio. We will continue to address that issue.
-Nominating & ByLaws Committees – we have 12 members running to fill 5 slots. There is one ByLaw change that will be submitted to the membership for voting on at the Winter General Membership Meeting. Watch your mailbox for the information on the Winter General Membership Meeting, ByLaws and the Ballots. We hope to have them mailed out by December 20, 2020 and ballots must be returned (postmarked) by January 25, 2021.
WINTER GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING – will be held virtually on February 6, 2021 at 4PM. It will be held on Zoom, and the link will be made available closer to the date.
Next Board meeting will be held on January 6, 2021 at 7PM.
Feature of the Month
It’s been a hard year on the Players. So many people gone in such a short time. Each one a longtime member and supporter of the theater.
In July we lost Pat McConkey. Pat was a member of PTP since 1981. She was a performer (musicals and plays), a producer, a board member, props mistress, stage crew, one of the original performers of Adult Encore, and performed with them from 1986 until her passing – 34 years. She was dedicated to the theater and would do whatever was needed to keep the show going.
In the beginning of October, we lost Nancy Gasparovic. Nancy was also a veteran performer, enjoying musicals most of all! She sang, danced and on occasion played piano for the Players. She helped with our set decoration, sometimes loaning furniture to “spruce up” the place. Her home was opened for many summer membership meetings – with river swimming being a highlight! She was our Title expert when it came to purchasing the theater. When the tornado hit, her office was not only damaged but her records scattered from here to Delaware! But she was still able to get new paperwork done and get us to settlement in a timely manner. What a trouper!
At the end of the month, we said goodbye to Mike Merritt. Mike has been a “staple” at PTP (pun intended) since his son’s started designing and building sets for us. He could be found paint luan “bricks”, covering nail heads with tape, stapling up wall coverings, making rocks out of styrofoam, and anything else that John or Jeff told him to do. If he wasn’t building, he was mentoring many of our younger members in how to work in the theater or just how to deal with life and how to be the best they could be. Always there, always encouraging, always smiling.
November brought us the passing of Rolland Hower. Usually in the background and not on stage, his phenomenal artistic abilities were instrumental in providing the original artwork for our showcase out front (before the days of FedEX posters!), designing program covers and scenic painting. And if that wasn’t enough, he consulted on how to die from poisoning for “Ten Little Indians”, made sure the Annex for “Diary of Anne Frank” was accurate by providing photos from his visit to the actual site, he handled special effects and was weapons master/consultant for several shows.
Each of these wonderful people were the backbone of the theater for many, many years and friends and second family to many of us. To quote the Bard “Parting is such sweet sorrow”. Gone from here, but still in all our hearts.
Hello! And welcome to the latest edition of the Members News. I hope you are finding the information helpful and it is keeping you up to date with the goings on at PTP! 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.
First, let me say how heartbroken I am to say that a long time PTP Member, Harrieton “Mike” Merritt passed away on October 30, 2020. He was a staple of our community and is sorely missed.
On November 4, 2020 the Board met for its monthly meeting. Here are some of the highlights of that meeting:
New Business - By-laws Committee will be reviewing the submitted changes to ensure they are accurately worded and within the parameters of our existing structure. They will be sent out the membership to review before January 1, 2021.
Nominating/Election Committee is accepting nominations for the open positions. We will have 5 open slots on the board. There are 3 three-year posts and 2 one-year posts to be filled in this upcoming election. All interested members should email firstname.lastname@example.org with their name and a short bio that will be distributed to membership. Please copy two members that will act as signatures for your nomination. To be eligible as a candidate for the PTP Board of Directors a person must: 1) have been a regular member as of January 1 of the two consecutive calendar years prior to the upcoming Winter General Membership Meeting and 2) be a current Regular Member at the time of elections. During that time, the candidate must have participated in at least 2 productions, at least one of which must have been other than as a performer and/or actively served on a Standing Committee as attested by committee chair. Questions? Contact Mel Gilpin via email@example.com
Winter Membership meeting will be held virtually on Zoom on Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 4:00. We will be voting on by-laws changes and announcing the new board members. Be sure to put this on your calendar!
The Board voted to approve 3 documents:
Feature of the Month
This is for all the set builder/ repairers/general fix-it people at the theater! Have you ever been on stage working on a set and realized you had the wrong tool? You drop what you’re doing and go over to the workbench, grab what you think you need and go back to your task, only to find it’s the wrong size, wrong screwdriver, not working right. You go BACK to the work bench to try and find what you need, but the last person to use the tools piled them all in a heap on the bench and you have to take time to dig through the pile to find that one thing you need. Same thing with screws, nails, hinges, etc. – never nearby when you need them! Well, the answer is at hand! Our ever working Facilities Chair Person has built some fantastic cabinets that can store the most needed items and they can be rolled onto the stage (or where ever we need them) so you’re not wandering all over the place trying to find the perfect tool to complete your job. Now there is a catch – you need to put back the tools you use when you’re done. Just like putting your dirty dishes in the dishwasher and not dumping them in the sink for someone else to take care of (ok, maybe that’s wishful thinking, but it is the season to hope for miracles!). Here are the newly built cabinets – enjoy!!! And Thank You Chris for all your hard work!
Welcome to the second edition of the Members News!
I hope you enjoyed last month’s info. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
On October 8, 2020 the Board met for its monthly meeting. Here are some of the highlights from that meeting:
Board meetings are open to membership to observe. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 7PM. If you would like to observe, please contact email@example.com. Chris will send you a link to the meeting.
On a sad note, the Players lost long time member Nancy Gasparovic on October 3, 2020. She is greatly missed by her many friends in the PTP family. Here is a lovely write up of her life.
Ticket prices for Musicals have been raised to $20 for Adults and $18 for Seniors, Students and Military. This increase was made because of the rise in the cost of putting on musicals. The royalties, script/orchestral rentals and general overhead has been going up a lot in the last few years and we need to increase the prices to patrons to help cover the costs.
The 301 Derby Dames are sponsoring a “Trunk or Treat” party at the Charles County Fairgrounds on October 24, 2020 from 6-9pm. PTP will be sponsoring a “trunk”. Admission is free and it’s a drive through event. Please consider supporting the 301 Derby Dames and vote for the PTP trunk as the best!
If you are interested in running for the board, please send a brief note to firstname.lastname@example.org. The note should state who is being nominated and contain the signatures of 2 current regular members and the signature of the nominee. Please watch for more details on the nomination and election process.
Looking for ways to support Port Tobacco Players during our closure (we can sure use it!)? Here are some possibilities:
1) Regular donations can be made through our website. Any amount is certainly welcome. If you like, you can specify where your money goes. Maybe you can help pay a month’s electric bill? Telephone bill? Put the money towards the sound system? Your choice!
2) Purchase items from our Amazon Wish List (discussed last month). Go to ptplayers.com -> “Support” -> “Donate” -> and then scroll down to see the many ways you can support your theater!
3) With the Holiday Season coming up, your purchases through Smile.Amazon.com can result in a donation to PTP. Click here to set PTP as your charity on Amazon, or: set up a Smile.Amazon account (if you don’t already have one!), log in, select your charity (Port Tobacco Players) and Amazon will send us a percentage of your purchase price.
4) PayPal has identified PTP as one designated for the PayPal Giving Fund. That means that 100% of any donation given through PayPal will go to us. They will no longer deduct processing fees.
5) Brick Pavers – It’s never too late to get a brick with your name, memory, comment on it! Click here for information on how to purchase one!
6) Purchase PTP apparel! We have hats, scarves, shirts, sweatshirts – all embroidered with the PTP Logo! Great Christmas presents! Click here to shop.
Help me keep you informed. Let me know what’s happening and what you want to hear about. I will do my best to research your ideas and get you information.
– Carol Charnock, Membership Chair
Hello! Welcome to our new Members News series!
We (the Board of PTP) hope to use this space to keep the membership up to date on board actions, upcoming events, highlights of members doings, and anything you might want to hear about! You can let me (Carol Charnock) know what you want to hear about by contacting me at email@example.com.
On September 15, 2020 the board met for its monthly meeting. Here are some highlights from that meeting:
Did you know that PTP has an Amazon Wish List? You can help us out by purchasing (for the theater) items like hand wipes, plastic cups, trash bags, tools/accessories for the shop, batteries for our headsets, etc.!! In order to see our wish list and make a purchase, click here or navigate the website from ptplayers.com -> “Support” -> “Donate” -> and then scroll down to see the many ways you can support your theater!
We are going to do a Facebook Live tour of the theater to let you know about the renovations that have been done so far. Our Facilities Chair, Chris Magee, will give us an update of the changes and the comments will be open for questions. There will also be some FAQs for your information. If you have questions you would like addressed during the tour regarding the renovations, please send those questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward them to the team. We will keep you informed when the tour will be presented.
Please help me keep you informed by keeping me informed! Let me know what you want to hear about, whether the information provided is of interest to you, and/or how I can help you get involved with the theater. This is OUR community theater – let’s stay connected!
– Carol Charnock, Membership Chair