Spotlight Issue: April 2000

County Players Presents
The Secret Garden

The County Players production of the beautiful and moving musical play The Secret Garden will be presented May 5, 6, 12, 13, 18, 19, and 20, at 8:00 PM.

The Secret Garden is about the healing power of love and the miracle of rebirth. Through the lyrical shimmer of Lucy Simon’s music, the score creates a world where lost loves are found, lost lives are saved, spring comes again, and beauty reigns. The year is 1911 and Mary Lennox awakens one morning in India to discover that her parents, and in fact, everyone she knows in the English compound in Bombay, have died of cholera. Having nowhere else to go, she is sent to live with her brooding Uncle Archibald in his 100-room mansion in Yorkshire. Imagine too, the ghosts that haunt the mansion: Archibald’s dead wife, Lily; Mary’s parents, as well as soldiers and friends of Mary’s parents. Through this wonderful score and script you will witness the events which lead a lonely, but brave child to the safest place on earth, The Secret Garden.

A very strong cast has been assembled which features Kathleen Borgueta as Mary Lennox, John Kapusta as Colin, Christopher Whipple as Mary’s uncle and Colin’s father Archibald Craven, Stephen Tirch as his brother Dr. Neville Craven, and Amy Kicsak as Lily, Archibald’s deceased wife. Mrs. Medlock, the housekeeper, is played by Bernice Edman, Danielle Knabjian plays Martha the chambermaid, and Sean Donovan is Dickon, her brother. Other characters are portrayed by Douglas Woolley, Kyle Hewitt, Monique Cummings, Heather McNeil, Tom Lawrence, Christopher D. Yeckel, Mark Gamma, Rian Keating, Pamela Kraljevich, Jeff Wilson, Shannon McElroy, Amy Slader, and Rosette Anderson. Rounding out the cast is the ensemble which includes Laurie Brown, Grace Padworski, Lisa Danner, Amanda Tudesco, Arielle Breite, Kaiti Decker, Stephanie D’Aquino, Micaran Creighton, and Susan O’Dea.

Director Anna Marie Martino says “I feel very fortunate to be working with such a talented and hardworking cast and crew. I truly believe that this has been my biggest directorial challenge ever…for a variety of reasons. I find that when I’m faced with projects of this nature, my passion intensifies and enhances my creative side even more. Finally, my biggest challenge, but yet ultimately the best feeling ever…that is directing my daughter in her first CP show!”

Tickets $15 for adults and $12 for senior citizens and children under 12. To purchase tickets, please call the box office at 298-1491.

County Players Announces Our 43rd Season!

Each year the Board of Governors strives to select a season slate which is challenging, interesting, and, above all, entertaining. This year, we hope to hit all three marks with our play selection. We will open our 43rd season in September with the timeless musical The Fantasticks by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, directed by Jeff Wilson. In November, Bill Peckham will direct the comedy-drama The Last Night of Ballyhoo by Alfred Uhry. In February 2001, a newcomer – Rian Keating – will direct the hilarious comedy The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 by John Bishop – and no, it’s not a musical. Finally, in May 2001, Tom Lawrence will direct the charming musical Pippin by Steven Schwartz.


Auditions for the classic musical The Fantasticks will be held on Sunday and Monday, June 25th and 26th at 7:00 PM. Needed are 6 men ages 20 to 60 and one woman age late teens to early 20’s. There is an additional character, the Mute, who can be any age and gender. The director, Jeff Wilson, requests that all who plan to audition prepare a song from this or any Broadway musical. Also, be prepared for a movement audition which would include simple dance steps. Call Jeff at 462-6407 for more details.

Annual Meeting

County Players annual meeting will be held on Friday, June 2nd at 7:00 PM. As usual, election of new board members will be held as well as a review of our financial status. Nominated for reelection are current board members Kevin Barnes, Dilys Clark, and Anna Marie Martino. Also nominated is Doug Propfe to fill the vacancy left by Bill Peckham who is not seeking reelection this year. As always, we will accept nominations of other members from the floor during the meeting. All are welcome, no charge for admission. We plan to present a brief entertainment and refreshments after the business portion of the meeting. Please plan to attend.

County Players History

Twenty years ago: In May 1980, County Players was about to open a production of wonderful musical Kismet. Directed by Peter Edman, this play featured such CP veterans as Joe Cassidy and Bernice Edman, and Bill Peckham. There was also a young performer named Tricia Lewis who would return to the CP stage in the years to come.

Ten years ago: In May 1990, the play in production at CP was Sondheim’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood. That production was directed by Tom Lawrence with Musical Direction by none other than Tricia Lewis Agar. Drood was also your Spotlight editor’s County Players debut.

From the President

Sometimes substitutions are as good as the ‘first string’! We scored a hit with our substitute production of Moon Over Buffalo and we thank Lou Miressi and crew for their hard work. Next, we will conclude our season with The Secret Garden, a musical tone poem of the classic of the same name written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Tickets are sure to go fast and you are well advised to purchase them early.

In February, the Board of Governors voted on the productions for the 2000-2001 season. The shows selected (The Fantasticks, Last Night of Ballyhoo, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, and Pippin) we feel, will be met with enthusiastic audience response. Look for the season brochure in the Spring and plan on becoming a subscriber.

We thank all of you for your support and look forward to more in the upcoming season.

Tom Lawrence – President

All Volunteer

Occasionally, we hear from people who are professionals in the theater business offering their services to our company and seeking some starting salary. We respond, respectfully, that we are an all volunteer, not for profit organization. That usually surprises people. I’ve heard several patrons wondering how we could charge so little for tickets yet still pay the actors and technicians. The answer is that we rely on volunteers who love stagecraft and have found a home with us at County Players. We’d like to extend that offer to each of you. If you’ve ever thought, “gee, that looks like fun!” maybe you’d like to participate. You don’t have to go on stage – you can be a part of the company in many ways. And the best part is no experience is necessary. Many of the people who are fixtures at CP started out by ushering or working the concession stand. So come on down! We’d love to have you!