Spotlight Issue: November 2003

County Players Presents
I Never Sang For My Father

County Players next production is to be the warmly touching family play,   I Never Sang For My Father. Performances will be on Friday and Saturday, November 7 and 8, Friday and Saturday, November 14 and 15 with a 2 PM matinee on Sunday, November 16, and continuing on Friday and Saturday, November 21 and 22. Evening performances have a curtain time of 8 PM. Admission is $15.00, reduced to $12.00 for seniors and children under the age of 12.

To some degree or another, in most American families there is occasional dissension. In the case of the Garrison family of Westchester, New York, we observe a truculent father, a mean spirited man. He has driven his daughter away because of her marriage to an “outsider,” and has alienated his only son through his selfishness. Suddenly the mother of the family dies and the son, Gene Garrison, feels a misguided obligation to tend to his father in spite of his sister’s urging that he go on with his own life. Still, the son continues his attempts to get to know his father, to be able to tolerate his mean characteristics, in short, to “sing for his father.” There are dramatic confrontations, even a whisper of fond, genuine affection between father and son. This is a play we can all identify with, given the human experiences on one’s own or extended family.

The director of the play is Lou Miressi of Poughkeepsie. He has assembled a top notch cast of the following actors: Paul Coleman of Wappingers Falls, Mary Dallari of Poughkeepsie, Patrick Early of Bronxville, Steven Ford of New Paltz, Prudence Garcia-Renart of Hyde Park, Ken Greenman of Highland, Ray Gordon of New Paltz, Jeffrey Sculley of Wappingers Falls, Elaine Haskell of Brewster, Katie Mitchetti of Newburgh, and Steve Stefanchik of Poughkeepsie.

Ticket reservations can be made by calling the theater at 298-1491.

Upcoming Auditions

Auditions for our February show Lettice and Lovage will be held November 9 & 10 at 7:00 PM at the theater. The Daily Telegraph calls it “an original, highly entertaining comedy”. Needed are two strong female leads, mid 40s to early 60s for the title roles, a middle aged character actor to play dottering solicitor, several minor character roles, all ages to play tourists. For more information, contact Rian Keating at 265-4420.

Auditions for our Spring musical, Once Upon A Mattress will be held Sunday and Monday, February 1 and 2, 2004 at 7:00 PM in the theater. Needed are a large cast of all ages. Auditioners should expect to perform a vocal selection of their choice (please bring sheet music for our accompanist). There will also be line readings and dance auditions so please wear appropriate footwear. Production dates are in May, 2004. For more information, please see our website at or contact the director, Jennifer Turoff at 227-2227.

County Players History

Ten Years Ago: In November 1993 County Players was producing a comedic Larry Shue play called The Nerd directed by Peter Edman. In the title role, Kevin McNaughton drove Don Creighton and his friend crazy in a thigh-slapper that had the audience laughing themselves silly.

Twenty Years Ago: In October 1983, the Spotlight ran a short obituary for one of our founding fathers and friend, John T. Sloper. We at CP have had our share of joys and sorrows. We hope that our life experiences help us to bring you theater which carries with it the ring of truth.

In Memoriam

Maria McCarthy Ringwood

An obituary may tell the facts but not the feelings. We, at County Players, wish to remember Maria McCarthy Ringwood with the affection and respect she earned in her time with us.

Since she was a high school student, Maria exercised her love for and talent in theater activities. For County Players, from 1988 through 1996, she performed in Hello, Dolly!, Company, Oliver!, The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Barefoot in the Park, West Side Story, Rumors, Lend Me a Tenor, and Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. She designed costumes for Camelot, Evita, and Brighton Beach Memoirs, and worked in many other capacities for us. Maria was a dedicated, competent, warm, caring asset to our community, embodying the spirit of cooperation and friendship. Her husband, David, shared the stage with her in several of these shows, and he directed her in Rumors. Together they founded Theatre Arts Group (TAG), which in its brief but brilliant existence brought stunning, innovative theater to the area, further testimony to their abilities and talents.

Theirs was a theater-engendered romance which gave those of us privileged to have known them as a couple the opportunity to witness the devotion and love they shared. We celebrated with them their marriage, the establishment of their home, the births of their son, Liam, just starting kindergarten, and daughter, Grace, barely out of toddlerhood. While their theatrical involvement waned with the arrival of the children, we delighted in the stories Maria and David would share with us from time to time about the little ones.

We grieve for David’s, Liam’s and Grace’s devastating loss, and we deeply mourn her shockingly swift and sudden passing from our midst.

For Maria’s parents, William and Valerie McCarthy, and for the others of her family and David’s, we know there are no adequate words of comfort, but we can tell them of our own sense of bereavement and hope that, in time, their good memories will ease some of the pain.

For our friend, David, we can only hope that our sharing grief with him will help him in the exceedingly difficult time ahead as he copes with Maria’s passing and takes up the full responsibility for Liam and Grace.

We wish him, the children and their families hope and healing.