"Artistic Director Letter 05 2009"
Hello, This year the Windham Theatre Guild begins its 25th season and its 7th year in the Burton Leavitt Theatre. It has been an amazing journey involving thousands of performers and volunteers. We continue operating with unpaid staff and volunteer performers. Yet we succeed because so many in our community give and support us. Thank you in words that go beyond expression. The past year has seen us become a year round operation to accommodate the increasing number of participants and the costs of maintaining the building. It is truly a community theatre as people come and go constantly to work on various projects simultaneously: making costumes, building sets, rehearsing dialogue, singing, running fundraisers, maintaining the theatre, or staffing our office. We had a terrible emergency when a sewer line clogged under the hall, a performance was cancelled, and a show threatened. The cost was overwhelming and the Board of the Savings Institute Bank and Trust came to our aid with $5,800 to share the repair expense. There is often more drama behind the scenes than on the stage. We are grateful for the support we receive. We produced seven Main Stage Shows; continued the Youth Chorus and Adult Broadway Chorus; ate chocolate at the auction; filled the theatre with people and items for our tag sale; acted and danced through seven wonderful productions including And the World Goes Round, a little-known musical revue, made memorable by the talented directors, Rachel Roccoberton and Linda Tracy. Among many memories, I see the kind and gentle John Hinckley preparing small children for the thrill of center stage; watched Annette and Earl Bradstreet dedicate countless hours to the operation of the theatre; was delighted by the introduction of the dynamic new director of Wait Until Dark, Barry Schreier, joining us from a group in Indiana; enjoyed again the comic artistry of Jim Hetrick’s direction; was dazzled by the energy of Larry Goodwin and Dan Pavone directing the Broadway Chorus; welcomed our ace, John Grover back from California; welcomed a new baby to Joshua and Karyn Eves, who were once in my High School group; thrilled to meet so many young and old talented performers; laughed all year with our dedicated veterans, the four Butlers and three Pellegrines; was able to share experiences with and get help from professionals like Jack Nardi, Ken Clark, Henry Millman and Mark Dressler; watched Martha’s tireless efforts; wandered about the hall having so many wonderful conversations with so many beautiful people which make Windham the fascinating community it is; and even had an exciting wedding proposal on stage for our thespians, Laura DeBrincat and Chris LaCour. I enjoyed working with generous organizations in our community who support our efforts such as Miller Brothers, D&W Development, The Computer Tamers, Windham Public Schools, ECSU, Windham Arts, the First Congregational Church, Culinary Expressions and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism who all work for a prosperous and growing Windham community. This is what the WTG is from my view as President/Artistic Director. Many have expressed concern about our continued success in these economic times. Thank you. It is true that our attendance has slumped since January. But I know that the Windham Theatre Guild is the best entertainment value in Eastern Connecticut and with your support we will continue our joyful theatre-making, filling Main Street with music, laughter, and economic activity. Please be generous as we make our annual appeal and help us maintain what we have created. And please find time to come and enjoy a show. Thanks again. Victor Funderburk Artistic Director/President WTG