Spotlight Issue: May 2002

History Is Made in
1776

Long before the tragic events of 9-11-01, County Players chose to feature the epic musical 1776 as its 44th season finale. The attack on the U.S. Reawakened in all of us the patriotic pride of being an American. The musical is focused on the Declaration of Independence. That document was brought into being by the 2nd Continental Congress and is gloriously highlighted in the enthusiastic production appearing on the stage of County Players. Captured in song, acting, dance, and music the signing of the “writ that made this a nation of the free” is dramatically performed by a stellar group of 27 performers who hail from all over the Hudson Valley.

Represented in telling the story are the familiar historical figures who gathered in Philadelphia to proclaim a new country. There is stalwart John Hancock who presides at the assembly. The firebrand John Adams works in a most earnest way to bring about a united congress. Benjamin Franklin provides wise guidance laced with caustic wit. Thomas Jefferson, a fervent patriot, is chosen to pen the document that tells the world of the birth of a new nation. These men and a number of others came from the thirteen colonies. They fought with one another, argued incessantly, and gradually and gratefully hammered out an agreement known as the Declaration of Independence. While alone in their endeavors and far from their home, their wives are reflected with the appearance of John Adams’ wife Abigail and Thomas Jefferson’s wife Martha.

The musical play is full of rich melodies and stirring songs. John Adams’ call for a united front, while his colleagues chant the raucous song, Sit Down, John. Abigail Adams sings Yours, Yours, Yours to her beloved husband. And Martha Jefferson tells that past of her love for her husband is because He Plays the Violin. The enchanting musical contains humor, color, even a sprightly dance performed by a group of accomplished actors. 1776 is a musical to live in one’s heart.

Under the direction of Bill Peckham, who has spearheaded many productions in the past, a warm, blood surging production emerges. The orchestra is conducted by Roger D’Aquino. Tom Lawrence serves as the vocal director. The choreographer is Jennifer Turoff.

1776 is presented by County Players with performances on May 3, 4, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18, 2002 at 8:00PM. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 seniors and children under 12. Please call the box office at 298-1491 for reservations.

Upcoming Auditions

Auditions for ‘Night, Mother, the first production of the 2002/2003 season, will be held at the theater on Sunday and Monday evenings, July 14 and 15, beginning at 7:00 p.m. There are two characters, Thelma and Jessie, mother and adult daughter, who are locked in a battle for Jessie’s life. Thelma should appear to be mid to late 50’s, she is chatty and nosy, sturdy in mind, and enjoys talking. Jessie should appear to be in her 30’s, usually quiet, with a quirky sense of humor, and she has a peaceful energy. Clearly, there is love and familiarity between these women. Marsha Norman, the playwright, received the Pulitzer Prize for ‘night, Mother. Rachel Cassidy, who is directing, said, “While this is a difficult play, with difficult themes, it is a literary jewel that deserves to be experienced. I am looking forward to the process and urge participation in the project, both on and off stage.” ” ‘night, Mother” will be presented on Fridays and Saturday evenings, September 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28. For further information, please call Rachel or Joe Cassidy (Production Manager) at 454-1916 or e-mail rakkcass@aol.com

Our 45th Season

County Players is very happy to announce our 45th season. The Board of Governors has selected a slate of plays which we hope will bring you the kind of theater you will enjoy. We will open in September 2002 with ‘night Mother by Marsha Norman as described in the audition call above. In November 2002, we’re hoping to present the Thornton Wilder classic Our Town. However, at press time the rights to produce this play may be restricted. This happens when a professional theater company in the region contemplates producing a play. If they go through with their plans, the rights will be unavailable and would have to choose another play for this slot in our schedule. We’ll post our website as the situation develops. In February 2003, the raucous comedy Over the River and Through the Woods by Joe DiPietro will warm you out of the midwinter blues. It’s a very funny situation comedy where a pair of scheming grandparents try to convince their grandson not to take a job which will move him to the west coast. And there’s something for everyone in the comedic musical Grease! to be presented in May 2003. Season tickets are $45 ($15 off the individual show price) and will be available later this spring. A season subscription mailer will be delivered to your home or can be picked up at the theater during the run of 1776 .

From the President

We’re bringing our 44th season to a close with 1776 in May. This season has been an eventful one for us at CP. We’ll be reviewing our year at the annual meeting in June. The meeting is open to the general public and we’ll provide refreshments and some entertainment. I hope you will find time to join us.

Thanks to all who participated in the production of Terra Nova this past February. The play was an artistic triumph and we’re all very proud of the work that was done by the cast and crew of that show. A special thanks goes to director Zsuzsa Manna in her directorial debut. She has graced us with her talent on stage so we’re very happy to have her in director’s pool as well. Tim Durniak also deserves kudos for his imaginative set and lighting designs. I’d like to thank each staff member and actor by name but space forbids. Congratulations to the entire production.

Over the summer we’ll be looking at some capital improvements as usual. We have several ideas on the books including revamping the concession area, adding more technical capabilities, and more storage. Once we have a finalized list we’ll be working hard to get the work done for next season.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me at: president@countyplayers.org.

Jeff Wilson – President

Box Office Hours

The Box Office for 1776 will be open from 6:00 to 9:00 PM on select days leading up to opening night (May 3) and several times during the weeks of the run. The dates the box office is open are as follows: April 23, 25, 28, 29, 30, May 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, and 18. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and children under 12. Call 298-1491 for reservations. Visa and Mastercard are accepted. Tickets are exchangeable for another performance but are nonrefundable.

CP’s Annual Meeting

We are very happy to host our 2002 Annual Meeting on Friday June 7, 2002 at 7:00PM. The meeting is open to the public and there is no admission charge. We will review our financial posture and take care of any membership business items the board has identified. As always, we will be electing members of the Board of Governors. Nominated are Joe Cassidy, Kim Cattucci, Jeff Wilson, and Lou Miressi. Following the business portion of the meeting, Tom Lawrence and a group of talented vocalists will be presenting a selection of Broadway show tunes in a concert format. Following the show, we will have refreshments in the lobby where you can get to know the board members and other members of the County Players family. All are welcome. Please plan to attend.