Blog

Welcome to VP’s Blog–weekly musings on all things community theatre! Click the title to read the story and view the photos.

  • Okay, You’re in Charge!
    March 13, 2014
    Just this week we paid the fees to secure the rights for our 2014-15 season. The season’s directors and producers are on board, and the schedule for auditions/rehearsals/shows is in the books. At this point there is not much more to do than to let the plan run its course. Without having expressly said so, I am sure all 160 ...
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  • Amusement or Art, That is the Question.
    March 6, 2014
    Why do we do this? Why does a small group of people give their time, energy, and some money to “put on plays?”  There must be something to it. In our local area alone, you find a lot of people engaged in this activity.  But again, why?  I suppose individually there are those of us who long for those moments ...
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  • The 60/40 Rule
    February 27, 2014
    Regular readers of this blog (assuming there are such people) will note that I have been absent for a number of weeks. Many thanks to those that filled in while I was basking on the very sunny shores of our 50th State.   Vacation, however, like all things including this brutal winter, must end, and it is high time to get ...
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  • Happy Birthday VYT!
    February 11, 2014
    February 14 is a special day. For most, it’s a day to celebrate love. For VYT, it’s a day to celebrate a birthday. Seven years ago on Valentine’s Day, VYT was incorporated and officially became a partner of the Village Players. VYT was founded, as its mission states, to offer theatrical programs that inspire and challenge young actors to develop their ...
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  • That’s Why It’s Called a ‘Produc”-tion
    January 22, 2014
    Theatrical Producer: In the world of professional theater, the producer generally is in charge of raising or providing and managing the financial resource for a play, and has overall responsibility the financial success of the production. One of my favorite movies is the 1968 production of The Producers starring Zero Mostel as Max Bialystock, a once great Broadway Producer, and Leo Bloom, ...
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  • So It’s 2014!
    January 16, 2014
    So it’s 2014! Sounds like a very futuristic date from a Ray Bradbury Sci-Fi novel I am sure I read back in the 60’s! It is  hard for me to imagine that I have been a member of Village Players for 35 years! A lot of ‘past’ (for me) to review as well as a bunch of ‘future’ (of Village ...
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  • Village Players Gives Back
    January 9, 2014
    Village Players Gives Back: The local community theater is supporting The Pink Fund during its upcoming production of “Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.” The theatre world is no stranger to supporting charitable causes. In the professional theatre world, the organization Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids supports programs and organizations that offer treatment and service for individuals ...
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  • Scrooge Visits the Playhouse
    December 12, 2013
    It was inevitable. In spite of the festive season and holiday spirit, good old Ebeneezer Scrooge has stepped forward to warn us that we need to raise some money. In drafting a year-end request for donations, I could not help but note the unanticipated slate of expenses we have run into as of late. Without going into too much detail, ...
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  • All Things Annie
    December 6, 2013
    This is “Annie” week at the playhouse. The Youth Theatre is most pleased to report that the five performances are 100% sold out, and have been since October.  VYT is opening up the final dress rehearsal on Wednesday, December 11 to the public. That show will start at 6:30 and will be seated on a first come, first served basis. ...
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  • A Day of Thanks at VP
    November 29, 2013
    Village Players Thank You List Thanks to the Members–You keep the place alive with you talent, hard work, membership fees, sponsorships and overall support. Thanks to the Production Teams–Those who go the extra mile by directing or producing a show (a somewhat thankless role) or by taking responsibility for a Committee, building a set and more. Thanks to our Advertisers –Those in ...
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  • Knock, Knock…Who’s There?
    November 20, 2013
    So I was thinking recently, just “who” do we do this for?  To answer this, first we have to define the “we.”  In general I tend to blog about the larger “we,” the Village Players.  Feeling some sort of responsibility for the path and direction of the club as a whole comes with the job of President, I think.  So ...
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  • How to Eat an Elephant
    November 14, 2013
    Question: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time! Village Players is a special place filled with many special people.  The Boards of Directors and Trustees frequently hear of great ideas for the group– fundraisers, shows, organizational efforts, marketing programs and more. I have often said that we have no shortage of great ideas. We do however, have a ...
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  • The Buzz – Yet Another BUSY Week at VP
    November 6, 2013
    Broadway comes to the Playhouse: The big buzz around the playhouse this week centers on Broadway legend Elaine Stritch attendance at the “Company” benefit show on Sunday, November 3.  Her presence was pure magic for everyone involved.  Ms. Stritch visited with the actors backstage prior to the show and remarked at what a “quaint” playhouse we have.  She was ...
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  • Committed
    October 30, 2013
    What’s the difference between being “just involved” and “truly committed?”  Think about ham and eggs: The chicken is just involved, but the pig is truly committed! VP is a volunteer organization. One of the nice things about being a volunteer is that you can pretty much set your own hours and determine your own level of involvement.  After all, what’s the ...
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  • Direct This!
    October 24, 2013
    OK, what’s the big deal about directing a show?  It only requires 10 – 12 weeks of 24-hour-a-day commitment, followed by a brief glimpse of semi-satisfaction as others take the applause for what rightfully should be your success, all of which is proceeded by up to 18 months of planning and preparation. That adds up to roughly two years out ...
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  • A Week in the Life of VP-It’s All Good
    October 17, 2013
    Lot’s going on lately.  Too much? Nah, it’s all good! On Air Fundraiser: This week Friday, 1 p.m. be sure to tune into WRCJ (90.9 FM) to hear BOT President Cathie Badalamenti, and BOD President-Elect Susie Gardiner “on the air” with host Chris Felcyn as they talk about Village Players and help raise funds for WRCJ.  Tune in, call in, pledge ...
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  • Three Tips for Successful Event Hosting
    October 10, 2013
    Many of us at Village Players are also involved in other organizations at schools, clubs, or church.  As “actors” we may be called upon to take the podium and host an important event.  However, although improvisation is an important skill for a performer, being prepared and well-rehearsed in advance makes for a much smoother performance. Three tips to consider for better ...
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  • Help Wanted
    October 2, 2013
    Now that our 91st Season is up and running, it’s time to take a look around and see how things are going. Let’s see: Going great for the most part, but we could use some help. 1)      Publicist/Media Relations – Our long time, and I mean REALLY long time uber-dedicated volunteer/member team of Joan and John Reddy have concluded their term ...
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  • 1 & 4
    September 28, 2013
    Show #1 is in the books.  “Regrets Only” sold about 75% of capacity.  Not bad.  Four more to go. All of the cast of “Regrets” are now members of Village Players with full privileges, like trying out for more shows yet this year! And helping out with set building, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays 7 – 9 p.m. at the ol’ playhouse ...
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  • 3 – 2 – 1 Liftoff! We have lift off…
    September 19, 2013
    You have to be of a “certain age” to remember the NASA countdowns and those magic words: “We have lift-off…” Last Friday night, the curtain lifted on our 91st Consecutive Season. The eyes of all the past presidents stared down from their photos on the walls as the cast and crew gathered in the Green Room prior to curtain. Think about ...
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  • Future Planning $$$
    September 11, 2013
    Failing to plan is planning to fail!  Great concept, wish I had thought of it!  I didn’t, but I’ve found it to be true.  As an active participant in meetings of both the Boards of Trustee and Directors, I feel that it’s imperative VP have an eye on the future and set in motion several ideas to raise more operating ...
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  • The Quiet before the Storm
    September 5, 2013
    We have just over a week to go until the opening of our 91st Season. There are lots of thoughts swirling about in my head, how about yours? USHERS: We still need ushers for the run of the show.  Treasurer Kevin Branshaw is responsibile for managing this process. If you can help us out, please contact Kevin at: kevinbranshaw@yahoo.com and let ...
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  • Theater Tour or “What’s up in da ‘Hood?”
    August 30, 2013
    Regular readers know that one of my personal projects is to build bridges with our neighboring community theatres in the hopes of finding ways to collaborate and cooperate.  As a start, I spent a morning touring their websites.  Here is what’s up in the “hood.” Stagecrafters – www.stagecrafters.org We all know SC is taking on mega-show “Les Miserables”  September 6 through September 29.  ...
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  • Opening Night Checklist
    August 21, 2013
    In preparation for our gala 91st Season Opener (Friday, September 13), I’ve put together a checklist of things-to-do: Volunteer on Production Committee. Check with “Regrets” Producer, Michael Gravame (littletevye@yahoo.com) to see if any of the production committees still need help.  If so, volunteer. Help with Last Minute Set Construction. The last few sessions of set building will be held this upcoming Monday ...
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  • GEEKED!
    August 15, 2013
    OK, I’m geeked!  I’m not sure if that’s because I’m naturally a “geek,” or because I’m so pleased with the Board of Director’s response to my challenge to take a proactive role as a Board member.  A bit of background: At the first full meeting of this new group of VP leaders, I asked each member to review his/her area ...
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  • Change of Seasons, Seasons of Change
    August 7, 2013
    As periodic milestones go,  we have the calendar year which begins in January and is  always a good starting point for making resolutions, going on a diet, or beginning (or ending) a relationship.  At Village Players, we have the fiscal year ending July 31, at which point we close the books and start all over again. And then there is ...
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  • Did We Enter the Twilight Zone?
    July 31, 2013
    I had one of the strangest experiences of my performing career last Friday Night at the P@W One Act Festival.  Days later, I am still trying to process it.  Here’s the story: Background: Gertrude Fox and I performed the one-act “Twilight” written by Barbara Schmitt.  The well written piece tells the story of a 60-year-old man who wants to move his ...
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  • The End of Summer
    July 26, 2013
    Busy, busy, busy. Is it really almost the end of summer? August is officially “Back-to-School” (just look in any retail store), and then it’s football, leaves, Halloween, T-day, X-mas, snow and winter, ugh!! Before summer fades away to fall’s colors and activities, here’s what I need to accomplish: • Pick a name for the Royal Baby… I’m thinking “Walter.” (Oh, they already ...
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  • Feiga Pia Gemach and Artistic Board Thoughts
    July 17, 2013
    NEWS ITEM: A Closet Full of Gowns.   Feiga Pia Gemach is an orthodox Jewish organization named in honor of a Holocaust survivor who was a seamstress.  A “gemach” is a free loan which can include money or services, but in this case refers to the loaning of gowns for weddings–brides, bridesmaids, mothers-of-the-bride. An orthodox Jewish family may borrow as many ...
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  • When You Wish Upon a Star
    July 10, 2013
    At the Board of Trustees meetings, we sometimes discuss our “wish list.”  It’s not truly a “wish list” per se, but rather a compilation of capital improvements we would like to make to the Playhouse.  Having these ideas in a list format allows us to prioritize and set the budget for such expenditures each year.  Typically, the budget is roughly ...
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  • The Hive is Alive and Abuzz
    June 27, 2013
    Think summertime means quiet time around the ole’ playhouse? A casual drive by reveals the truth–the hive is alive with activity!  And that’s a good thing!  While we are temporarily basking in the glow of our 90th season, both a financial and artistic success (if we do say so ourselves), we are hard at work on our 91st.  The incoming ...
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  • We’re Off to See the Wizard and What Does Oz Hold for VP?
    June 19, 2013
    Village Players’ Youth Theatre opens “Wizard of Oz” this Friday.  It is sure to be a wonderful journey filled with very talented young performers.  If you have been to a Youth Theatre performance in the past, you know that there is something special about the exuberance and enthusiasm of kids on stage that makes it a wonderful and life-affirming event.  ...
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  • Over the Rainbow
    June 13, 2013
    On Monday, June 10, the first steps towards our next season took place with the election of the 2013-2014 Board of Directors at the General membership meeting held at the playhouse.  This is the group that will oversee the production of our next five main stage productions, as well as the other “artistic” activities of the coming year. New Board members ...
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  • The Red Carpet Affair
    June 6, 2013
    The buzz around the playhouse this week centers on last Saturday night’s 90th Anniversary Celebration, A Red Carpet Affair.  It was quite the festive occasion with about 140 people in attendance. Various members have been complimentary to the Committee for their efforts in throwing the party. A highlight of the evening included the renewal of old acquaintances as some folks not ...
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  • 1923 – On Our Way to 100 – 2023
    May 30, 2013
    Everyone who is anyone will be at our  90th Anniversary Celebration this Saturday, June 1, at the Community House in Birmingham. For those who cannot make it, we will be thinking of you! Ninety Years…What an Accomplishment!  VP has undergone many changes during the past nine decades: changes to the building, changes to the mission and more.  Each year alone brings changes to ...
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  • Road Trip
    May 23, 2013
    For the past six or eight Memorial Day weekends, my family (brother, sister, spouses) and I have made an annual pilgrimage to Stratford. I know of at least one other VP cohort who makes a similar trip over Labor Day. That got me to wondering about the impact of seeing shows at other places. Certainly Stratford is in a class by ...
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  • Community Theatre Connections
    May 15, 2013
    A couple of recent blogs have focused on the on the obvious “connections” among the various members of the Camelot cast–married couples, families, mothers/daughters/sons, boyfriends/girlfriends. More recently, I’ve  discovered that the Camelot connections are even deeper and more ethereal. The latest Camelot connections started to reveal themselves on Mother’s Day. My high school buddy Kevin, linked to Camelot as a set builder, ...
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  • Gearing Up for Summer
    May 9, 2013
    It looks like spring has finally arrived! Now the question becomes: “What to do over the summer?”  Since this is the VP blog, a more apt question might be: “How can Village Players be part of your summertime plans?” Here are several suggestions: 90th Birthday Celebration: Kick off your summer by attending VP’s spectacular 90th birthday party. The party is June 1 ...
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  • Happy 90th Birthday to …Carl!
    May 2, 2013
    The plans for VP’s 90th Birthday Gala are being closely followed from Westminster, California (near Huntington Beach), by longtime members Lou and Carl Stewart. Carl and Village Players are virtual “twins” sharing the birth year 1923. While VP’s 90th birthday festivities are set for June 1, Carl’s celebration is this Saturday*, and includes a special musical-theatre-themed event, complete with a ...
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  • The Joy of Woodworking
    April 25, 2013
    One of our continuing challenges at Village Players is finding volunteers to work on various production committees. One committee in particular seems to present greater challenges than others—set construction. There appears to be the perception that set construction is somehow more complex or requiring of more skills than some of our other production components. Actually, set construction is one of ...
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  • Camelot Couples, Part II
    April 18, 2013
    When we left you last week, the orchestra was playing Lancelot’s ballad “If Ever I Should Leave You” as we reviewed the Magic of Camelot, the Kingdom of truth, love, and fairness.   For Village Players, Camelot is also the land of the many couples who have joined us for this production. Last week’s couples were married, but our Camelot ...
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  • The Romance of Camelot
    April 11, 2013
    Camelot – the name alone evokes a special world of beauty, fairness, and love. The show, originally directed by Moss Hart, opened in 1960 at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway and ran for more than three years and 873 performances.   Imagine being Julie Andrews starring in the original production and having to choose between Richard Burton (Arthur) and Robert Goulet ...
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  • Dinosaurs Stalk the Stage!
    April 3, 2013
    When are periaktoi not pterodactyls?  Or more accurately, why won’t these damn dinosaurs move the way you want? Background:  Camelot Director and Designer, Holly Conroy has come up with just about the easiest set design that anyone at VP can remember.  Of course, every director tells the set crew “this is a simple set.”  Truly though, this is the first simple ...
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  • We’re Off to See the Wizard
    March 29, 2013
    The World of Oz seems to have suddenly descended on VP’s world. In mid-March, the Village Youth Theatre held tryouts for their upcoming production of “The Wizard of Oz.” Almost 100 young thespians between the ages of 8 and 18 turned out for auditions. Director and choreographer Shelly Fager-Bajorek and Music Director, Debbie Tedrick, whittled down the auditionees to a ...
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  • Strike!!
    March 22, 2013
        Having documented the activities of opening night, we now turn to the other end of the spectrum–set strike following the last performance of “Little Shop of Horrors.”     Set Strike Buzz: “Are you in Camelot?” “Yes, Sir Lionel.” “Oh, then you get to die and get resurrected!” “Mordred’s a great part.  You can steal the show.” Producer to Orchestra: “OK the contracts, please return ...
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  • Why Do We Go?
    March 13, 2013
    Why do we go to the theatre?  What is it that draws us in, makes us buy tickets, give up a couple hours, sit it in a darkened auditorium, watch what others have to say?  This past weekend my wife and I (about as different as two people can be) attended a show at a nearby community theatre, and came ...
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  • A Day in the Life of Opening Night
    March 6, 2013
    March 1, 2013 Location – The Village Players, Birmingham, Mich. Show – Little Shop of Horrors 10:00 a.m.: Box office opens.  Strangely quiet all day. 1:00 p.m.: The Director arrives.  Keeps busy all day fussing over final details. 4:00 p.m.: Office Manager rushes off to buy treats for the intermission concession sales. 6:00 p.m.: Actors start to arrive. Dressing rooms light up. 6:30 p.m.: The theatre is ...
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  • P@W – The Collective Creation
    March 1, 2013
    Within the Community of Theater that is Village Players, there is a hardworking, down to earth and most unique element: the Playwrights at Work (better known by their moniker P@W).  P@W is, as the name implies, a group of individuals dedicated to writing new works, and to exploring the art and science of bringing characters and situations to life on ...
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  • The Family That “Plays” Together – The Quinns
    February 22, 2013
    Village Players is a community theater, but it’s also a great deal more. We are a community first: a gathering of unique and varied people who collectively make up a theatre organization. Within our community are the young, the old, the single, the couple, and even the family. One such family is The Quinns: Laura, Ryan, and Kelly. Laura and Ryan, ...
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  • The Legend of the Ghost Light
    February 14, 2013
    For many visitors to the theatre, especially newcomers, there is some fascination with the “Ghost Light.” Almost every theater has one; it’s typically a solitary metal pole on a wheeled stand, with a single bare bulb at the top.  The light is plugged in on stage and glows when the rest of the theatre is dark.  As a solitary illuminating ...
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  • Little Shop – No Horrors
    February 8, 2013
    The playhouse was a buzzin’ on Wednesday night as work continues to mount our Village Players’ production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”   The set is finally taking shape, and we had a great turn out of carpenters, new and old, working all about the stage. Old timers (they know I love ‘em) Tony Kruzman and Bert Fager worked with Director/Designer/Master ...
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  • The Theatre, The Dress and Gertrude Fox
    February 1, 2013
    Village Players, Birmingham, MI.  The recent (and highly successful) production of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Nile” at Village Players, was highlighted in part by the delightful performance of our very own Gertrude Fox.   Gertrude played the improbably named “Miss ffoliot-ffoulkes ” (lower case, a hyphen,  and double ff”s,  if you please).  The show also featured a special appearance by ...
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  • Nile Cruise to Saline
    January 25, 2013
    SALINE, MI.  River Nile cruise ends in Saline…and in murder!  On January 24, 2013, a small band of thespians set out from Birmingham Village Players to travel the dangerous waters of Agatha Christies’ award-winning play “Murder on The Nile.”  Fresh off a highly successful run at the playhouse on Woodward, the Tim Wittlinger/Bill Dixon production was invited to take the ...
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  • The Copeland Clinic
    January 24, 2013
    VILLAGE PLAYERS, Birmingham, MI.   On one of the coldest nights of the year, an ardent group of Players gathered to conduct the first ever “COPELAND CLINIC.” Prepped by pizza and beer, the army of nine attacked the slow malaise of disorganization that has crept into the backstage areas since the passing of our mentor of organization, John Copeland.  Tony K., and ...
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