Players Party Closes Season 55

Posted: Thursday, July 5, 2018, 11:01am

Curtain Players celebrated the end of its 2017-18 season on Sunday evening June 24 with a party in the upper room of The Old Bag of Nails Pub in Uptown Westerville.

The year marked was the 55th season for the community theatre company during which Curtain Players staged the following shows: Wendy Darling; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Crimes of the Heart; Lettice and Lovage; The Trip to Bountiful; and Exit the King. The company also staged Albee Fest, a readers theatre weekend featuring Edward Albee plays; and Charlotte's Web, a free outdoor fully-staged production in the Westerville amphitheater. All productions were represented in a comprehensive slide show, prepared by Heather Schultz, party committee chair, that played throughout the evening.

Brian N. Henry and John Maassel were recognized as Volunteers of the Year. The award, presented annually, recognizes an individual who has gone "above and beyond the call of duty" for the community theatre company in a single season. The award is recognition by peers. Nominations are invited of and submitted by Curtain Players members each May. The theatre's governing board reviews the submissions and determines the recipient. Board Trustee Jeremy Sony made the announcement.

Six actors received Audience Choice Awards: Elizabeth Harelik (Wendy Darling in Wendy Darling), Erin Haught (Honey in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), Sylvia Gonzales (Babe Botrelle in Crimes of the Heart), Bronwynn Hopton (Lotte Schoen in Lettice and Lovage), Nita Dean (Carrie Watts in The Trip to Bountiful), and Elise Vargo (Queen Marie in Exit the King). At each Curtain Players performance, audience members are invited to make a donation in the name of a favorite cast member. One actor from each cast, in whose name the most money is donated, receives the Audience Choice Award. This year, the fundraiser generated approximately $1300. Board Trustee Sean Brinker handed out the certificates and introduced 60-second send-ups of the season's productions presented by a company of Players.

The evening also included recognition of four board members elected in May to two-year terms commencing July 1. They include President Heather Schultz, Secretary Sharifa Andrews, and trustees Wendy Brinker and Sean Brinker. Outgoing Secretary Cheryl Muller led them in a ceremonial oath of office.

There were games, raffle prizes, and opportunity for networking.

Outgoing President James F. Petsche delivered the keynote, challenging the approximate 90 members in attendance to continue building a sense of community and ensemble within the organization, and to challenge themselves with new opportunities in the 2018-19 season.

The volunteer message was reinforced in remarks by Board Trustee Debb Miller who leads that program.

Vice President Casey Merkey introduced Season 56's six Harlem Road playhouse productions: On Golden Pond; Arsenic and Old Lace; A Christmas Carol; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; Doubt, a parable; and Epic Proportions. The A Christmas Carol staging will mark the theatre's 250th production since its founding. The new season also includes a readers theatre weekend of new works by three local playwrights, a programming initiative led by Board Trustee Jeremy Sony.

Season subscriptions, flex passes, and individual tickets for all shows go on sale August 1. For details about the new season, including audition details, click around on this www.curtainplayers.org website.