March 2021

A Message from the Board President

The Board of the Penfield Players has continued to meet throughout the pandemic, although online. We continue to monitor the situation concerning Covid-19 and whether or not we are able to resume live performances. It is encouraging that the governor has decided to allow the performing arts to reopen at reduced capacity. Nevertheless, we continue to be concerned about the safety of our performers and production team as well as the audience. Consequently, we made the difficult decision to postpone our spring 2021 show, Art of Murder, until spring 2022. We are still planning on presenting, The Haunting of Hill House, this fall, beginning with the last weekend in October at the Penfield Community Center. It’s a fitting piece for the Halloween season. Jerry Argetsinger will be directing. He directed the very popular 2019 spring show, Peril on the High Seas, among many other Penfield Players offerings. We are hoping that we will continue to see a decline in the county's Covid-19 cases and a drop in the positivity rate as more and more of us are vaccinated.  

In the meantime, we will be offering our first online performance, a reading of a play, The Circle: A Book Club Sisterhood, by local author, Laura Thomas. You will find details about the performance below in this newsletter. 

We also presented two awards - our annual Penfield Players' Player of the Year Award to Karen Craft, and a special award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, to Bill Buttle. You can read about the recipients of these awards below. 

Finally, we added two new board members, Andrea and Nick Daszkiewicz, in the area of logistics. Andrea has performed with the players, and Nick assisted with the set build for Peril on the High Seas. They each bring much needed sets of skills to the Penfield Players board and we look forward to working with them. Their profile is in the newsletter below.

Richard Kendrick

President, Penfield Players Board

The Penfield Players are venturing into the world of online performance with our presentation of The Circle: A Book Club Sisterhood by local author, Laura Thomas. and directed by Reuben J. Tapp. The performance is Saturday, April 10, at 7:00 p.m. A pre-show discussion with the author will be held on Friday, April 9, at 7:00 p.m.  Details about how to access the show, which is free and open to the public, will be posted on our Web site, www.penfieldplayers.org, closer to the production dates and times. 

The Circle was first staged at the Multi Use Community Cultural Center for the Sankofa Festival in 2018. We are privileged to have Mr. Tapp, who directed the 2018 production, as our director for this production, along with the entire cast of the original staging!

The Circle takes place in the home of book club member, Leah Charles, over the course of an evening as six women gather for their book club meeting. Although the scheduled book discussion never gets underway, the women engage in tough and transformative conversations, friendships are tested, and long-held assumptions are challenged. Funny, poignant, and memorable, The Circle is a show you do not want to miss.

We are presenting this performance in collaboration with The Bronze Collective and {theatre}+{náfsi}, who are doing free monthly virtual shows every third week of the month via Facebook Live and Youtube Live. April's show is called Emancipation Denied and directed by David Shakes.

Penfield Players' Online Show, The Circle, to Debut in April 

Cast of the 2018 production of The Circle with the author, Laura Thomas (center).  Photo: Annette Dragon. 

Karen Craft is the 2020 Player of the Year

Karen Craft was awarded Player of the Year for 2020. Karen has performed for the Penfield Players on many occasions, most notably in the main stage productions of Born Yesterday in 2013 and Red Herring in 2017, and in several staged readings, including Loot and Cinderella Waltz. She joined the Penfield Players board in 2016 as Vice President and President-Elect, and she was president of the board from 2018 until 2020. Under her leadership, we revised our logo, created a new Web site, updated our by-laws, and got the Players involved in the Rochester Fringe Festival for the first time. We also presented four main stage productions and numerous Readers’ Theatres, including the first two done outdoors at Penfield’s amphitheater. We are very grateful for her many years of participation in and leadership of the Players, and we hope to see her back on our stage soon.

From L to R: Wendy Webster, Karen Craft, and Larry Ploscowe in the 2017 production of Red Herring. Photo: Liz Gill. 

Bill Buttle Receives a Lifetime Achievement Award

Bill Buttle was awarded our Lifetime Achievement Award for his approximately 18 years of service to the Penfield Players. He described himself as our only “roadie,” but he’s much more than that. An employee of the Penfield Parks and Recreation Department, he has been assisting with our productions by handling the necessary and important, but less glamorous, aspects of production from auditions through performances. He makes sure the building is open when we need it, sets up and takes down our audition and rehearsal space, helps us set our lights during our week of technical rehearsals, sets up for all of our performances, including audience seating, the “green room” space for the actors, our concession stand and box office, and anything else necessary to the logistics of our productions. We are very fortunate to have Bill’s assistance and we look forward to his continued support of our shows.

Andrea and Nick Daszkiewicz Join the Logistics Team

Nick and Andrea Daszkiewicz

Andrea and Nick Daszkiewicz are excited to be joining the Penfield Players board as Logistics Directors. Nick and Andrea are total opposites when it comes to theatre, as Nick will try to build anything to get the show ready, but he hates the thought of being onstage or put on the spot, while Andrea loves being on stage in a production or backstage helping to run a show. 

They became a part of the Penfield Players family in 2019's Peril on the High Seas. Andrea played Merry Ann Sweet, and Nick helped with construction (he built Snively's crate!). In addition to Merry Ann, some of Andrea's favorite roles include Susan/Tappy in Limelight's production of Crazy Eights at Black Sheep Theatre, Sarah Mt. Read in Radio Writer's Hybrid Theatre's production of Dangerous Liaisons for the 2019 Fringe Festival, and in Karen Culley's No Bad News for the 2019 Bronze Collective festival. Nick helped with set construction for Crazy Eights, and not only has experience with construction and electrical work, but he works in networking and IT, so he brings a unique set of technical skills to the Players board, including a love of 3D printing. Nick and Andrea can't wait to get started on the Players' productions and we welcome their participation and involvement with the Penfield Players in bringing our shows to life. 

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