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 email@example.com.
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.
Port Tobacco Players