Director’s Chair

2017 – Director’s Chair

The Crazy Quilt Club

By Linda Sustman.

“The Crazy Quilt Club” is a laugh out loud murder mystery comedy! With six ladies living together with diverse and often funny relationships, these ladies keep the laughs and odd situations coming. The retirement home’s one employee, Dr. Lydecker, tries to keep these ladies in line when her Aunt Veronica stops in for a visit. The only problem, wherever Veronica goes, murders seem to follow.  The ladies become paranoid and, well, crazy! Make no mistake; these are not ladies who are your typical victims. They are armed and ready for action. This plays throws the cliché, “harmless old ladies”, on its head! The play moves quickly with a dialogue that races along at a breakneck speed while keeping the audience guessing.

Although this play has a wonderful story, it is the cast that makes it come alive! This cast has expanded their characters, adding their own personalities.  Dolores Lanier, who is a long time actress, took the starring role late into production. She has been able to memorize and become an astute, believable character. She is awesome!

Georgia Osborne plays the cankerous leader of this zany group. Georgia sells the part as only a veteran actress can. Gale Grove is new to the Pinewood Players but not new to the stage. Gale’s character soars with the touches that she has brought to this part! As the drama queen of this production, Bonnie Jarvis, a long-time Pinewood player, is perfect at portraying her part.  She is one of the reasons the audience will find themselves laughing out loud!

Barbara Maurseth has been involved with the Players but never as an actress. She has taken to her nutty character and made this part come alive.  Another returning Pinewood player is Phyllis Schurz. You might not recognize her! She makes you believe she is a resident of the Crazy Quilt Club. Her portrayal of Myrtle is truly wonderful. Making her acting debut is Jayne Heckman. She is very good at portraying Dr. Lydecker who tries to manage the zany  ladies!  Playing the role of a sneezing and cheeky Viola is Dovie Templin. She is a lady of many talents. Not only does she play a part in the play, she will also be doing everyone’s makeup and hair!

The one lone male is Scott Sustman. He plays the hapless detective trying to convince the ladies that he is in control of every situation. He plays the part superbly! This is Scott’s second season as a Pinewood Player.

The cast was originally picked by Penny Petersen, a veteran director. I am blessed with this cast!  As director of this play, let me introduce myself.  My name is Linda Sustman. Many of you have not met me since I am new to Pinewood Players.  At my primary home in Texas, I have directed several times while acting and writing scripts.  So it is a great pleasure to direct at the Pinewood Players.

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.

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 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  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 (, 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 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.


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