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Winter 2009

The Mission of the Flat River Community Players is to produce quality theatre.

2009 Board Members
Tim Addis Jim Anderson Larry Moss Doug McFadden Carol Pettengill Hilda Sorvari Ellen Thompson Karin Wahlfeldt one vacancy; appointment to be announced



Member of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce

APPLAUSE is published quarterly by the Flat River Community Players. Debra Dieckman Newsletter Editor FRCP Box Office & Information: (616) 754-8207

A strange and fantastic red and white striped top hat appears on an empty stage, full of possibilities. A Boy (Abner Snyder) enters and is drawn toward the magical hat. He begins imagining what type of wonderful person would wear such a hat, when The Cat in the Hat (Ric Davenport) suddenly materializes! March is Reading Month, and what better way to celebrate it than with everyone’s favorite author. Seussical is a musical based on the playfully silly stories of Dr. Seuss and adapted for the stage by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. The central plot of the show mirrors that of Horton Hears A Who, focusing on Horton the elephant’s (Tim Addis) endeavors to protect the people of Whoville, who live on a tiny speck\ of dust. The Cat in the Hat, an outside observer, acts as narrator and devil’s advocate throughout the show, briefly leaping into the action on several occasions to create conflict and keep the story moving. He also pushes the Boy into the story; he becomes JoJo, the son of the Mayor of Whoville (Steve King) and his wife (Hannah Fales). The show also features characters and scenarios from many other Seuss books, including Gertrude McFuzz (Anna Johnson), Sour Kangaroo & her Young Kangaroo (Jamee & Dannah Gunn), Thing 1 & Thing 2 (Joshua Johnson & Vincent Frank), Mayzie la Bird (Laura Johnson), Vlad Vladikoff (Steven Barkley), Yertle the Turtle (Roger Simmons), the Wickersham Brothers (Ryan Garlick, Brandon Rieckhoff and Steve King), and the Grinch (Mary Brimmer). The chorus is made up of an array of Whos (Sandy Cote, Chris Stander, Valerie DeBarCoon, Drew Gatchel, Kylee Krogman and Thomas Johnson), Jungle Citizens (Anne Wakenhut, Emily Smith, Brittany Jager, Taylor Bretzke, Maysie Lemont, and Steven Barkley) and Bird Girls (Patty Rockafellow, Michelle Jorgensen, Phebe Snyder, Carmon Branchi and Alisha Gatchel). Seussical is directed by Debra Dieckman, with Val VanderMark as Music Director. Working with Deb and Val on the production are Lila King as Stage Manager and Kelly Lucas as Costumer. Hilda Sorvari will serve as House Manager. Steve King will build the sets, and Raven Hahler will illustrate them. Seussical will run for six performances at the Greenville Area Community Center, March 6 & 7 at 7:30 PM, March 8 at 2:00 PM, and March 12, 13 & 14 at 7:30 PM. (NOTE: The evening curtain time is earlier because of the production’s focus on children and families.) Tickets go on sale February 9th, and can be purchased over the phone with a credit card by calling 616754-8207, or at the Community Center, Monday through Friday, during normal business hours. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 and over, and $10 for youth 18 and under. Mastercard and VISA accepted. For more information, visit our website at Continued on page 3

Annual Meeting 2009!
The 2009 Annual Meeting is now history, and what a fun evening it was! What a shame if you missed it: yummy snacks, fun conversation, terrific entertainment (the very best we’ve had for Annual Meeting in a long time, I’d say), a reasonably painless business segment, and, most importantly, some well-deserved awards. Highlights: • Many thanks to Hilda Sorvari for organizing the food. I thought the meatballs and the decadent chocolate brownies were especially tasty. • Bravo to Pat Cradit and Katy McDonough for planning the “Washed-Up Stars of Yester-Year Idol” skit. Oh, my gosh, but it was hilarious! Leonard Cradit, Jane LaLonde & Ric Davenport played American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell. They turned thumbs down on Karen Carpenter (Jamee Gunn), Julie Andrews (Val VanderMark), John Denver (John Denver), Petula Clark (Katy McDonough), Bobby Darrin (Matt Gilbertson), Dolly Parton (Pat Cradit), and Elton John (Tim Addis). They served double-duty, too, as Leonard played Elvis Presley and Ric & Jane were Sonny & Cher. Matt also emceed the whole thing as Ryan Seacrest. It was funny, smart, and snappy. Well done, all who participated! • Much FRCP gratitude goes to Cheryl Willard, Jim Thrall, and Norice Rasmussen, all of whom stepped down after serving three years on the Board. Elected in their places were Jim Anderson, Doug McFadden, and Ellen Thompson. Congrats and best wishes to the new Board members! • Hooray! to those who earned membership pins this year. Five years: Connor & Trevor Davenport, Jill Warren. Ten Years: Brian & Anna Ward, Arianna Davenport, Doug McFadden. Fifteen Years: Pat Cradit. Twenty Years: Vi Christensen, Lisa Stek. • The Friend of the Players award went to Linda Weger this year, and Jessica Gilbertson was named Volunteer of the Year. Bravo to both ladies, and thanks for everything! • The 2009 Doris Whitten Memorial Applause Award was presented to Greg VanderMark for his many years of service, support and participation in our group. His example is one we should all try to emulate. Congratulations, Greg! This was well-deserved indeed. • I have many fun photos from Annual Meeting. You can see them on our website (in the Album) at
Pat Barnhart, 2008 Doris Award recipient, presents the 2009 award to Greg VanderMark at Annual Meeting, Jan. 24th.

How much would you pay for a white painting? Would it matter who the painter was? Would it even be art? The comedy offered by the FRCP for spring is “Art,” a contemporary look at friendship and its bonds. One of Marc's best friends, Serge, has just bought a very expensive paint-ing. It's about five feet by four, all white with white diagonal lines. To Marc, the painting is a joke, but Serge insists Marc doesn't have the proper standard to judge the work. Another friend, Ivan, though burdened by his own problems, allows himself to be pulled into this disagree-ment. Eager to please, Ivan tells Serge he likes the painting. Lines are drawn and these old friends square off over the canvas, using it as an excuse to relent-lessly batter one another over various failures. As their arguments become less theoretical and more personal, they border on destroying their friendships. At the breaking point, Serge hands Marc a felt tip pen and dares him: "Go on." Yasmina Reza’s play, translated by Christopher Hampton, won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1998. Director Karin Wahlfeldt will cast three men of varying ages for “Art.” Auditions are coming up soon. Watch for details in the Daily News and through your email sometime in the next few weeks. If you are not on the FRCP actors’ email list and would like to be, contact Deb D. at <>. Performances are scheduled for May 22-24 and 29-30. Contact the Players at 616-754-8207 with questions about auditions or to volunteer for a behind-the-scenes role with the show. It was good to see Brian & Anna.

Hilda hands Linda and Jessie their awards.

Page 2

In the Spotlight
Via our Players’ website, I recently heard rom an “old” FRCP member, Aryc Mosher… "Since leaving Greenville in 1985, I received a BA in Communications from MSU, served in the US Peace Corps in Mali, West Africa for three years, and later received my Master's in Public Health from the U of M. Currently, I work in Atlanta for former President Jimmy Carter doing malaria control in several African countries. I am also a photographer and my work can be seen at" [Aryc (Eric) played Anthony Marston in "Ten Little Indians," Pete in "Little Mary Sunshine," and Wally Webb in "Our Town."] NEW BABY! News from Amy DeBoer (Mother Duck in “Honk!”)...”I am proud to announce the birth of my baby, Noah Henry DeBoer!! He was born on 12/12 at 2:35pm. He weighed 6lbs 7ozs. He is home and he, mom, and dad are all doing so well!” The entire FRCP organization offers big congrats and hugs to the DeBoers and their new addition! CORRECTION - from Larry Moss: “In my President's Message in the fall newsletter, I inadvertently ascribed the directorship of "The Laramie Project" to Carolyn Johnson. Of course, it should have been Jake Day - and boy! Was he surprised, as was Carolyn, I'm sure.” (I’m certainly glad I’m not the only one who occasionally messes up these articles!) WEDDING NEWS! Kristy Loughin, who played Sandy in our production of “Grease,” has recently tied the knot! Her husband, Michael Vance, is a kinetic wellness instructor for East Maine School District 63 in Niles, Illinois, where Kristy is a drama and speech teacher. All our best FRCP wishes to the new Mr. and Mrs. Vance! ANOTHER WEDDING - If you were at Annual Meeting 2009, you may have seen and chatted with Beth Scheid and her new husband. Uh-oh, I can’t remember his name. Yikes! FRCP has hired a fund raiser! Here’s a bit about her: “I am originally from Hawks, Michigan (way up north), where I worked for Citizen's Bank. I moved here in 2001 to take the position of Banking Office Manager for Huntington Bank, and retired from there in 2006. The mother of five grown children, I have been married to the most wonderful man since February 14, 2004. His name is Daniel, and he works for Stafford Communications in Greenville. Dan and I love camping and fishing. I have a passion for identifying opportunities especially in reference to helping the elderly. I came to know about the FRCP through Norice Rasmussen when we both were part of Leadership Montcalm. I am fairly new to the theatre scene, and look forward to helping the FRCP accomplish the goals outlined in their mission statement.” • Sally Breidinger

The 2009 season for Bottom’s Dream Theatre begins with a contemporary romantic drama by Lanford Wilson. Burn This is about the pain of loss, the pain of love, and the cost in pain to be a great artist. The setting is a Manhattan loft shared by dancer-choreographer Anna (Amanda Wagner) and her two gay roommates - Robby, who has just been killed in a freak boating accident, and Larry (Tim Addis), a world-weary, caustically funny ad exec. As the play begins, Anna is recovering from attending Robby’s funeral, comforted by her wealthy, well-meaning boyfriend, Burton (Matt Gilbertson), a sci-fi screenwriter whose persistent proposals of marriage Anna finds herself unable to accept. Then, Robby’s older brother, Pale (Matt Lofts), explodes on the scene. Come to collect his brother’s belongings, he stays on, transforming the action of the play and the lives of those in it. Dangerous and yet oddly sensitive, Pale is both terrifying and fascinating and, in the end, the one who brings to Anna the unsettling but compelling love that, despite her fears and doubts, she cannot turn away. New director Heather Eastman (Mishkin in last fall’s Fools) was encouraged to read this script by BDT co-Executive Producer Ric Davenport. “When he asked me what I thought of it,” she explains, “I told him that I envisioned the play as I was reading it, and thought it would be a lot of fun. I look forward to directing this play and am interested to see if I can create the vision that I had when I first read the script. It will be a creative challenge. I look forward to seeing the end results, and hope that everyone else does, also.” Working with Heather on Burn This are Ric Davenport (assistant director) and Jane LaLonde, who will run lights and sound as well as produce the show. Three performances are set for MCC’s Barn Theater on May 15 & 16 at 8:00 PM and May 17 at 2:00 PM. General seating admission is $5 at the door or free with your FRCP season ticket. - Cont. from page 1 As an added bonus, because March is Reading Month, long-time FRCP members Sue Ellen Pabst and Hilda Sorvari put in a lot of extra hours working on a grant from the Greenville Area Community Foundation. Because of their hard work, area second graders will get a chance to see special school day performances of the show at no cost. We want to say a special thank you to Sue Ellen and Hilda, as well as to the GACF, for this wonderful opportunity. “Oh, the Thinks you can Think” with just a little imagination! As each piece of the story unfolds, you will marvel at how relevant and profound Dr. Seuss’s subtle themes are, making Seussical a musical that appeals to “children” of all ages. • by Whitney Stek


Katy as Petula Clark

Play Selection: 2010-2011
“Hey! The new Play Selection Committee just got started, and I am very happy with the group I have assembled. The committee is Jessica King, Tim Addis , Carolyn Johnson, Jill Warren, Whitney Stek, Doug McFadden, and Val VanderMark. We will be picking two seasons; I'm hoping we can come up with themes for each season like we used to do, but we will see if it’s possible.” • Steve King, Chairperson Anyone with ideas and input for the PSC, please contact Steve at <>. Page 3

Tim as Elton John Val as Julie Andrews

Our Past

Winter 1984 - “Night of January 16” was directed by Tommy Sanders. The large cast included Jim Anderson, Gerry Malling, Ruth Hansen, Tom Lafferty, Julie & Lacie Chapman, Duane Ostenson, Maria Tower, Tom Durham, Arnie Staffen, Howard Wells, Karen Nichols, Bob Knott, David Desportes, Sandy Jaikowski, Laura Christensen, Dennise Nielsen, Sarah Todd, Gary Nielsen, Roberta Martz, Amy Updike, and Tommy Sanders. Costumes were by Doris Whitten!

30 years ago . . . 25 years ago . . .

Winter 1979 - No production that year in the winter.

20 years ago . . . Winter 1989 - “The Diary of Anne Frank” was directed by Lee Phenix.

It featured Jen Wakenhut as Anne, Tim West as Peter, Lucy Gort and Thomas Tytar as Mr. & Mrs. Van Daan, Anne Wakenhut as Mrs. Frank, Karen Gort as Margot, Richard Christophersen as Mr. Kraler, Kyle Rush as Mr. Dussel, and Jessie Lake as Miep. Kevin Brooks and Doug Stek assisted the director, and Pat Barnhart produced the show. Costumes were by Mary Stek, and the set was by Scott Olsen, and Earl & Vi Christensen. NOTE: Oddly, the program (and, therefore, the FRCP Yearbook, which I use for this column) doesn’t list anyone in the role of Mr. Otto Frank. I’m guessing that maybe Lee Phenix, the director, played that part himself uncredited, but I don’t remember for sure.

15 years ago . . .

Winter 1994 - “The Foreigner” was directed by Carolyn Johnson and produced by Deb Ellingen. The cast was made up of John Morais as “Froggy” LeSueur, Chuck Chervenka as Charlie Baker, Betty Braman as Betty Meeks, Terrell McClung as Rev. Lee, Christina Harris as Catherine Simms, Ric Devon Davenport as Owen Musser, and Matt Burris as Ellard Simms. Wayne Curtis served as stage manager and tech director. Costumes were by Judy Beaudoin. Julie Chapman handled publicity, and Doris Whitten served as house manager.

10 years ago . . .

Winter 1999 - “The Lion in Winter” was directed by George Nichols. William Hipkiss and Sue Ellen Pabst led the cast as King Henry II of England and his feisty queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. The warring sons were played by Scott Wahlfeldt (Richard), Andrew Hipkiss (Geoffrey), and Steve King (John). Josh Nielsen appeared as the King of France. Another star in that show were the magnificent costumes created by Kelly Lucas.

5 years ago . . .

Winter 2004 - No production that year in the winter. Our last winter show was “Agnes of God” in 2001, directed by Kelly Lucas and starring Hilda Sorvari, Sue Ellen Pabst, and Heather Hipkiss. It included an amazing set by Doug Stek. Eight years have gone by, and now we’re reviving the winter time slot with “Seussical.”

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.” • Dr. Seuss

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Our 2009 season opener . . .


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