Director’s Chair

2017 – Director’s Chair

Dear Ruth

By Norman Krasna, Directed by Bill Kane

As a director looking for a play to do this PWP season, I was lucky to have my Producer wife Jean recall a great movie done in 1947 called Dear Ruth.  It starred Joan Caulfield and William Holden in his first role on the screen.  We looked it up, and sure enough, it was based on a play written during the Second World War.

You can go online and watch a cut from the movie to see how much fun this play is.  Just Google it, or go to Pinewood Players website and click on the Dear Ruth poster to see it.  www.pinewoodplayers.com

The plot for this play involves a teenage Miriam, played by Makenna Jones, who is very public spirited and has been sending things to our troops in Europe–including love poems!   Because of her young age she has used her sister Ruth’s name and picture.  Ruth, played by Melanie Westmark, knows nothing of this until the first serviceman arrives to “see his girl”.  Since Ruth just got engaged to Albert at the bank where she works, this presents a lot of complications, especially since the handsome Lieutenant Bill, played by Scott Sustman, looks pretty good compared to man she “settled for”.  Since that part was played in the movie by Billy De Wolfe, you get the idea of what sort of character Tom Harris is.

Major roles as the parents are played by Linda Morrison as Edith and Bill Gibney as Harry.  As the judge, Harry is continuously making jokes that his wife and the rest of the family ignore, but maid Dora, played by Margy Simchak, always enjoys.  Dovie Templin plays Lieutenant Bill’s sister Martha, whose engagement to his Sergeant Chuck is on again and off again and presents further complications.  What part does Brian Cantrell play?  We can’t tell you and give away the surprise ending.  You’ll just have to come and see for yourself.

All these complications will give you a lot of laughs.  Our great cast has been laughing thru a lot of days of rehearsals and can hardy wait for you to come see us July 28, 29 30 or August 4, 5, 6.  Tickets are available online  at www.pinewoodplayers.com or ticket office open Saturdays from 10-12. You may also call 480-215-7500.

 

Kidz Kamp and Youth Drama Camp

By Susan Liberty

In my previous article, I talked about the many benefits of the Pinewood Players Youth Drama Camps consisting of Kidz Kamp and Teen Camp. Now I’d like to tell you about the people who make it the premier dramatic experience it is for both the children and  the many people who make it so.

Lynn Rouyer is our Kidz Kamp Director. She was a teacher for 25 years, had a children’s TV show, and has been involved with Pinewood Players as a director of adult plays, as well as of the children’s plays. Dale Nakagawa is the Teen Camp Director. He works for many of the theaters in the Valley directing, choreographing, designing sets and lighting the productions. He has also worked events for the NFL in Phoenix.

Kidz Kamp producers are Pam Ovegas, Cathy Wendling and Jill Brindle;   Music Director, Jared Bowyer;  Choreographer,Carnie Consolian, Technical Director for Sound and Lighting,Zachery Romero. Also,for Kidz Kamp, there are four Camp Counselors, Mattie Mitchell, MacKenzie Zoerb, Madison Edmonds and Elliott Hull.

The Teen Camp Producers are John Edmonds and Madison Edmonds; Music director is Leslie Fields; and Choreographer is Dale Nakagawa. The Producers work with the Director to plan and design the sets, obtain costumes and props, arrange for make-up and hair dressing, and recruit volunteers to help out. The Music Directors teach the children vocal skills, voice control and projection. The Choreographers teach dance routines for the musical numbers.

The Camp Counselors are recruited from Teen Camp, so they know what’s expected of the children and are there to help and encourage them. The adult staff and Camp Counselors are trained to ensure the children are well-supervised when they are on the theater premises.

The final piece of a successful production are the volunteers. These are the parents and grandparents of our campers. They help out backstage with painting the sets, costuming and make-up. They also run the cast parties, and usher and work concessions during the performances.

As you can see, it really does take a village to make our Drama Camp productions a positive and enjoyable experience.

Don’t miss their upcoming performances:  Kidz Kamp  presenting Forty-five Minutes from Broadway with music and lyrics by George M. Cohan July 7, 8 and 9.

Teen Camp is presenting Totally Awesome 80’s! Performances July 14, 15, and 16.

Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.pinewoodplayers.com  or at the theatre box office on Saturday mornings or at Happy Hour on Wednesdays at the Country Club.

 

Director’s Chair – The Education of Angels

By Lynn Rouyer, April, 2017

“The Education of Angels” by Matthew Carlin

Directed by Lynn Rouyer

“The Education of Angels” story is very unique, especially for Pinewood Players. First, there is a role for a very young girl in the play. Having directed the Kidz Kamp, which is the younger of the two Drama Camps, I had an opportunity to select three young girls for the role.  Given this unusual opportunity to the three girls means that they will each have two performances to showcase their talents.  What a blessing to have Bri Smith, Emily Hull and Ava Hull on our stage. Being in the cast will only further their understanding of theatre.

Another unique quality of this wonderful story is that we introduce two ‘Angels-in-Training’ from heaven that come to earth to earn their ‘wings’.  Both Lori Prescott and Darvin Bussey are seasoned actors on our stage, and they have the task of getting Bill Gibney, as Dave, prepare for his wedding day.  Of course, there is always drama in all good stories and we leave that to Dave’s ex-wife, Natalie, played by Cheryl Parker, both very familiar faces to our audiences. Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we try to deceive.

You can’t have a wedding without an exceptionally, friendly, Pastor  Chuck, played by Don Miller, and a positive, best friend-Best Man, played by Bill Spain. Both characters have been active in our Pinewood Players as actors and Don as a previous director.  How do the ‘Angels-in-Training’ get to the church on time?  Well, why not a New York ‘Cabbie’ played by Ron Petersen, another familiar face with the PWP as actor, sound booth techie, and entertainer.  The story, which not only addresses the ‘Groom to Be’, but also the distraught ‘Angel-in-Training’ needs a voice of years of experience-that would be ‘Clifton’ played by Clyde Morrison.  As you can see, and have already seen before on our stage, the actors are excited to tell the story of love, life and precious memories!  I couldn’t be more proud to be their director while helping create their ‘characters’.  Love of theatre, and a precious passion for working with talented, seasoned actors and young newbies have allowed me to also work with Candy Miller, as Stage Manager, and Jill Brindley, as her assistant.  There are many factors that enter into producing a play, which include the many, many hands and minds that work behind the scenes, from lighting, sound, props, costumes, and building sets; and Pinewood Players have the BEST!  No play is possible without an AUDIENCE! This is where YOU come into ‘play’.  I guarantee that you will walk away with special, warm feelings about the unique story told in “The Education of Angels”.

On Opening Night, June 9th, we will celebrate a special ‘wedding reception’ following the play with a  wedding cake, a special ‘bubbly’ and a toast to the bridal couple and friends.  Also special ‘wedding gifts’ as door prizes will be awarded that same evening.  A SPECIAL NIGHT FOR US ALL THAT YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS!!! Tickets are available on line or at the ticket office.

2017 Drama Camp Update

By Susan Liberty

Ahhhh, summer in Munds Park – a time when our little community comes alive with activities. I want to tell you about a children’s activity that is sponsored by the Pinewood Players, Munds Park’s community theater which is an association of the Pinewood Country Club.

Every summer we have a Youth Drama Camp – actually two camps that run concurrently, one for younger children (ages 7-11 years) and one for “tweens and teens” (ages 12-18 years). Drama Camp is a great opportunity for your children to explore their theatrical ambitions in a fun, learning environment. In addition to performance rehearsals, that include training in stage presence and projection, singing, and dancing, campers will participate in creative drama activities meant to develop acting skills and an appreciation for and understanding of the theater craft in a well-supervised environment.

Kidz Kamp is the camp for younger children, ages 7 to 11. Teen Camp is the camp for older children from ages 12 to 18. Registration for both camps begins in January when registration packets are sent out to former participants in Drama Camp. We also advertise the camp on the Pinewood Players website (pinewoodplayers.com), in the Pinewood News, and in partnership with the Pinewood Country Club. Each camp is limited to 25 participants, and the deadline for registration is May 15th. Tuition for Kidz Kamp, which lasts two weeks with three performances at the end of the second week, is $150.00. Tuition for Teen Camp, which lasts three weeks with four performances at the end of the third week, is $175.00. Drama Camp participants get a camp T-shirt, daily snacks, music CDs, performance DVDs, a cast party, and first class instruction in the theater arts, including acting, singing, and dancing. Drama Camp is scheduled each year to begin the last week in June. Music CDs are sent out and/or the musical scores are posted online the month before camp starts, so our campers can learn the music they will be performing. The Drama Camp staff also begins preparing the children for camp by encouraging them to learn about the era in which the play takes place and to find costumes and props and make-up in the month leading up to the start of camp. Auditions are held the first day of camp and campers receive their scripts at the end of the first day. You’ll be amazed at how quickly these plays come together and how well-prepared the casts are.

This year Kidz Kamp will be presenting the production Forty-Five Minutes From Broadway, a musical that features the show tunes of George M. Cohan, including “Give My Regards To Broadway” and “You’re A Grand Old Flag.” It’s a little bit A Chorus Line with a touch of The Producers.

The Teen Camp will be performing Totally Awesome 80s, a fun-filled tribute to the 1980s – its movies, celebrities and music. And, who can forget big hair and eyeliner, MTV and Betamax, leg warmers and parachute pants – like, for sure!

Tickets for both the Kidz Kamp and Teen Camp productions are $10 and can be purchased at the theater box office on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, in the Pinewood Country Club lobby on Wednesdays from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm and online at pinewoodplayers.com. Show your support for our campers and potential future main stage performers! Be sure to get your tickets early to insure best seats for what promises to be two very entertaining drama camp productions.

 

From 2016

Director’s Chair – Dearly Beloved

by Lynn Rouyer, Director

How does one select a play for the Pinewood Players? First, I think about our audience. If it is an audience pleaser; like a well known play, comedy or musical, or a drama that has a special message for the audience, that is my goal. If the play doesn’t have audience appeal, then why consider it? Second, I look at the set. Can we build it on our Pinewood Theatre stage? In the past, we have had a 2 story, a tri-level, many multiple scenes for musicals. Our set construction team headed up by David Westmark and Stewart Lanier are the BEST. They can tackle almost anything, and make it look spectacular. I also consider the period in which the play takes place. Will this require special costuming? Would this be cost effective to invest in special costuming. Then I consider the characters. Do we have the actors; age appropriate, enough males and females that will audition. So as you can see, there is much thought and consideration that goes into selecting just the right play for you, the audience.

“Dearly Beloved”, written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten; fantastic writers that we have enjoyed their plays before on our stage, have created this delicious story. The Futrelle Sisters, Frankie (Ele Parrott), Honey Raye (Cheryl Parker), and Twink (Pam Uveges), are throwing a wedding. Frankie has almost made herself sick with elaborate preparations for her twin daughter (both twins played by Lori Prescott) Tina Jo’s antebellum-inspired wedding, and the rumor mill in their small town of Fayro, Texas, is working overtime. No surprise there, the Futrelle Sisters have never been strangers to gossip. After all, they did survive the scandalous breakup of their almost-famous gospel singing trio, The Sermonettes. But Twink’s desperate attempts to get her boyfriend, Wiley Hicks (Larry Clow), of 15 ½ years down the aisle, Frankie’s ongoing conversations with their dead mother, and Honey Raye’s tendency to race to the altar at every opportunity, have kept tongues wagging for years. In spite of her own marital problems with Dub (Don Parrott), Frankie has held steadfastly to the hope that she can pull off one “final Futrelle occasion” with elegance and style with the help of the cantankerous wedding coordinator, Miss Geneva (Dolores Lanier), who runs the local floral shop/bus depot. But on the day of the nuptials, Twink has an alternate solution to an expensive catered wedding dinner and turns it into a potluck supper sponsored by Clovis Sanford’s House of Meat. When the prodigal, Honey Raye, arrives at the church in something other than an appropriate Fayro dress, consumed by hot flashes and a steely determination to right old family wrongs, Frankie’s hope is shaken. Well, I don’t want to spoil the fun that is told so well in this comedy of one laugh after another. Other actors are: Rich Dahl as the highway patrolman, John Curtis; Linda Morrison as the snobbish groom’s mother, Patsy Price; Darvin Bussey as the young, almost pastor, Justin; and Dovie Templin as the local psychic, Madam Nelda. There are seven seasoned actors and 4 talented newbies joining our cast. As a director of many plays and musicals at the Pinewood Theatre, my journey with this extremely talented cast and crew has been the BEST! Yes, it takes a village of behind the scenes volunteers to help create the fantasy of the play itself!

I know that you will marvel at the way the mini plots intertwine creating this hilarious play. So, put your reality aside, come and be entertained; laugh and enjoy!!! At the reception after opening night performance, there will be wedding cake served to all. See you at the THEATRE!!!

KIDZ KAMP 2016

We the People

A well known director for the Pinewood Players is stepping into some big shoes as she follows Debi Ryder, the previous Kidz Kamp Director for several years. Lynn Rouyer is Debi’s mom and is very excited about taking over for her daughter. Lynn has directed casts of 20 to 120, musicals, plays and even her own Cable TV show “Lynn Hope and Friends”.

The campers, all girls this year, are going to have a wonderful experience as they set the stage for a patriotic musical, “We The People”. A few will be taking over some male roles in Act I and then having female roles in Act II. The story is about 6 children that have been given the task of creating a musical for the 4th of July celebration. They decide to use the Declaration of Independence as their guide. Each scene depicts some very important words that our Founding Fathers felt necessary to help our country grow. We meet about 40 characters throughout the show that share who they are in song and dance. What an exciting way to enjoy our 4th of July tribute and witness our young, talented actresses. We promise to touch your heart and lift your spirits!

 

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