From 2012-2013 President, Jim Kelsh
August 3, 2012 Special Edition of Sparks!
“What a summer it’s been on First Avenue!”
We brought our 50th Anniversary season to a close with the winning HIGH SPIRITS, casting is complete for both our season opener, FARRAGUT NORTH and our November musical, LI’L ABNER . We held a terrific banquet right in the theater and a wonderful time was had by all.
That brings me to the really big news of the summer.
An opportunity presented itself to consider the purchase of a new theater. A building committee was formed to investigated all of the aspects of such a major move. Marnie Herzfeld, John Magolan, Steve Schulz, JT Grosch, and I form this committee. The new property in in Port Providence very near the Fitzwater Station. The building and large grounds have many positive aspects and we entered into conversations with the Realtor, while at the same time, investigating financing, zoning, and much more. We also had formed a preliminary fund raising committee consisting of Lew Osterhoudt, Eric Jarrell, and Deb Braak to explore various fund raising options.
One of the aspects under scrutiny is what our First Avenue property is worth. We can’t grasp that number until we list the house as for sale. To that end, The Board of Directors has authorized the listing of First Avenue for sale. As of Thursday August 2, that has happened…and I’m pleased to note that we already have several nibbles!
Consequently, until we’re sure of the value of our space, we’ve had to slow down the conversations in Port Providence and ask for more time.
At this point several things could happen: we could get a fast positive offer for First Avenue and if that’s the case and the Port Providence property is still available, the Board has authorized us to continue the process; we could find that the monetary yield from First Avenue would not allow to continue the pursuit of Port Providence; we could get ready to speak about Port Providence, and it could be gone.
In the event that we can’t proceed with Port Providence; we have agreed to continue an active search.
There you have it; a lot to absorb, but very exciting. You all need to know; however we proceed, we will communicate with you, our members. If the time comes to make a change we will need help on a variety of committees to make sure you all are as involved as you wish.
That’s it for August…make your reservations for “Farragut North” and don’t forget your membership.
If any of you have any thoughts or questions please feel free to reach out to me or any other member of our Board.
“The Play’s The Thing”
The following post is the opinion of our guest blogger, Jeff Cronin, director of our upcoming production of FARRAGUT NORTH. As he and his cast prepare for Opening Night, they have been reflecting on the playwright’s ideas about contemporary American politics.
July 29, 2012
We’re in the midst of a real presidential campaign and, within the walls of Forge, we’ve been in the heart of a fake one. But over the past few months, the cast and I have had many a discussion about the gears that run the political machine. As American voters, we’re about to be inundated with political ads and the images of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will be constantly flashing on our televisions. But in FARRAGUT NORTH, the candidates leading the campaigns are almost an afterthought. We never get to meet Morris or Thompson (two of the Democrats running in this fictional primary), only the masterminds behind their candidacy.
I think their noticeable absence helps playwright Beau Willimon get one of his stronger points across: Are the people whose names are on the ballots truly important? Is there a truly a difference between a Mitt Romney or a Rick Santorum? Or is the machine behind them what counts? I believe Willimon is saying that the publicists and campaign managers would create the same candidate no matter whose name they are promoting. And, the fact that we, as voters, never get to know who the people behind Obama and Romney are – the ones who will actually form the president’s policies for the next four years – is frightening.
From the Outgoing President…June 2012
And thus ends the 50th season. It’s been a great one with large, appreciative audiences. The word on the street is that next season is getting good reviews. Would you believe that we already have season ticket subscriptions??
Our last show, High Spirits, was something of a forgotten gem. It was a reasonably successful show that faded into oblivion after its year run. However, the most well-known song, “You’d Better Love Me” received a gold record in the ’60s. True, it was the flip side of Petula Clark’s “Downtown”, but some people must have played the other side of the record. At any rate, the cast and staff really think it’s special, much like She Loves Me. (which was running on Broadway at the same time, also faded, but was resurrected in the revival.) I hope you didn’t miss this special little show with Michelle English, Janine Herd, and Anthony Marsala. Returning supporting cast members include Danielle Greenberg, JT Grosch, and Melanie Magolan. We also introduce Pat Rhoads and Will Nassau.
Forge Theatre was well-represented at the 2012 Dogwood parade. Liesl from The Sound of Music, Carrie Hytha, was the Dogwood Queen and our own Jan Swarr was the Grand Marshall. John Magolan drove a convertible (courtesy John Kennedy Ford) with Danielle and Melanie throwing candy. When everyone reached the reviewing stand the Jaycees presented Jan with a $250 check for Forge Theatre. It was a good day for Forge!
And now I’ll be handing over the reins to incoming president, Jim Kelsh, as we move into our second half-century with a season of award-winning plays! Have a great summer, everyone, and we’ll see you in September at FARRAGUT NORTH.
From the President….April 2012
Welcome to our new SPARKS blog. I’m pleased to be first up!
This season has been wonderful. The first four shows have had sold-out performances. Let’s go for five. In truth we’ve had five great performances already, as the Broadway for Life show was more than sold out. Yes, we can seat over 100 if we have to and if the audience doesn’t mind being VERY close to the cast.
Get your friends and relatives out to see The Heiress. I’ve gotten a sneak peak at Gina’s period costumes and the set is amazing. I know this show will also be well-acted, and who wants to miss a chance to see Jarrell vs. Jarrell?
The general membership meeting is Friday, May 11 at 7:00. We elect our officers at that meeting, so be there. As a special treat the Comedy on Demand group will be performing directly after the meeting. How’s that for a night of free entertainment?
Finally our last show of the season is now High Spirits. ”Have we done it?’, you ask. Way back in our seventh season we did Blithe Spirit, the show upon which it is based. It sticks close to the script, which is not surprising considering Noël Coward was both the Blithe Spirit playwright and the original director of the musical. It has great music and ran for an impressive 11 months, garnering 7 Tony nominations. Unfortunately it was up against Funny Girl and Hello, Dolly! so it won none. Make sure to come see a forgotten gem.