New newsletter format!
Yes, the days of attaching PDFs to emails are over! We hope you enjoy our brand-new online newsletter format, bringing you all the Penfield Players news in a new interactive way.
An update on our 2020 season
We hope you have all been well in these difficult times. It’s been quite a while since we published an update about the goings-on at Penfield Players, so we have lots of information to share, from roster changes to details of our 2020/2021 season, and more.
Starting off with our 2020 season, our spring show, Art of Murder by Joe DiPietro, has been rescheduled to spring 2021. It is still slated to be directed by Mary Ellen Blanchard and the cast—Devon Harris, Daniel Mejak, Kelly Hobbins, and Andrea Daszkiewicz—are still on board to be a part of the murderously funny production.
We have, however, opted out of doing a show for the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival this year. We did have a show selected, but it simply would not work as a virtual presentation, so we look forward to next year’s Festival to share the fun we have in mind.
Our fall 2020 show, The Haunting of Hill House, adapted by F. Andrew Leslie from the novel by Shirley Jackson, will also not be produced this year. Slated to be directed by Jerry Argetsinger, we will keep you posted when production work will resume on this, including new show dates, auditions, and more.
We say farewell to our outgoing president
The end of June sadly sees the end of term for our current Penfield Players president, Karen Craft. Since joining the board in 2016, she has invigorated our organization with her incredible creativity, thoughtfulness, and vision.
From leading the charge in creating a new, fresh logo for us and completely revamping our website to seeing through the installation of a new sound system in the Penfield Recreation Center gymnasium, Karen has helped expand the presence of Penfield Players throughout our community. With outstanding show attendance throughout her tenure, including our very first Rochester Fringe Festival performance, we wish her all the best in all her many endeavors from Polite Ink. Sketch & Improv to all her work at MuCCC.
We leave you now with a few words from Karen herself: "So long and thanks for all the fish!"
Karen as Mother Magee in our spring Reader's Theatre, Cinderella Waltz
Andy Cowen steps down
After many years of service as our Play Selection Director, Andrew Cowen has decided to step down from the Penfield Players’ Board.
Recognized as the Penfield Players’ Player of the Year last fall at our Friendship Brunch, Andy has helped with many of our productions over the years, particularly as an actor, in addition to his many duties as a Board member. His latest acting role with us was, in fact, last fall’s hilarious and successful Rex’s Exes.
We thank him for his many years of service and wish Andy the best as he continues to support the Players as a “regular citizen”!
Andrew Cowen and Karen Craft at the 10th annual Friendship Brunch at Locus Hill
Introducing our Social Director!
We’ve added the new position of Social Director to the Penfield Players’ Board and we are very excited to announce that the first person to fill this is Wendy Webster!
Wendy has been active in the Rochester theatre scene for many years, having performed with Classics Theatre of Rochester, Screen Plays, The Dayton Theatre Guild, and the MMB Theatre 1 Project—and, of course, Penfield Players. In fact, she was honored for her time and dedication to the Players by being named Player of the Year in 2017.
As Social Director, Wendy will be leading the charge in coordinating Penfield Players’ social activities (when they resume) as well as helping coordinate volunteers for our shows—whether concessions workers, backstage hands, or set-build help.
Welcome aboard Wendy!
Wendy close up
Welcome Jerry Argetsinger as Play Selection Director
We are thrilled to announce that Jerry Argetsinger, veteran director of an incredible range and array of shows, has joined the Penfield Players Board as our Play Selection Director.
Jerry brings an impressive resume to the Players. He has published 111 reviews, articles, books, plays, and short stories to date, with two more articles coming out later this year. For Penfield Players, he had directed numerous shows, including Loot, Murder Weapon, The Red Velvet Cake Wars, Peril on the High Seas, and the upcoming The Haunting of Hill House.
His passion for playreading, however, is exceptional, and we’ll let Jerry describe his start in his own words: “I was a graduate student at Bowling Green State University and I went to see my Academic Advisor, Dr. Roger Gross, the retired founding director of the California Shakespeare Festival. I walked into his office and he was filling out a card. He explained that every time he read a play, article, or book, he would write down the title, author, and just enough notes to remember what it was about and his impression of the work in general. I got to thinking about that. I decided that, so long as I am a Theatre major and working in the profession, I need to be on top of my profession. So I decided that I would read at least one play a week and make notes to remind me of what it was.
“That was early 1974. 46 years later—or 2,392 weeks—I’m still doing it and making a record of each one. Computers have made that a lot easier to manage than note cards. And while I didn’t go back and count them, it is well over 3,000 plays that I have read to date.
“Reading plays is very different than reading narrative fiction. A playscript is like a blueprint to a house. You can see the basic outline and features but it is only a vision of the completed house. Similarly, a script is not a complete story/aesthetic creation until it is mounted on the stage. Therefore, a script reader must be able to visualize the produced play in their mind in order to develop meaningful assessments of the story and the production values merely suggested by the script.”
And that is in addition to judging for the prestigious North Carolina State Paul Greene Playwriting Award, which grants thousands of dollars to deserving playwrights, and serving as a reader for a major 10-minute playwriting competition where he was required to read over 300 short plays in about six weeks.