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Backstage November 2008


Chatham Community Players Newsletter - November, 2008

Coming December 5 – 21

ImageOur beloved original musical adapted from the writings and letters of Charles Dickens by Philip Wm. McKinley with original music and lyrics by Suzanne Buhrer and Philip Wm. McKinley will be presented for twelve performances at our Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, Chatham. All tickets are $20. Visit TicketLeap to reserve your ticket now—or call our Box Office at 973-635-7363. The Box Office opens Tuesday, November 25, and is staffed Tuesday-Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Opening night is Friday, December 5.

Amid the turmoil of current events, we invite you to renew the true Christmas spirit by seeing this endearing tale. The ageless story of Scrooge’s adventures and growth is an inspiring story of love and redemption.

ImageOur cast features Alan Semok repeating his moving interpretation of Scrooge, accompanied by Will Lampe as Charles Dickens. Matt Burns returns as Bob Cratchit, with his son Finnian Burns portraying Peter Cratchit. Daphne Ciccarelle will be Tiny Tim; Barbi McGuire returns as the hilarious Charwoman. Scrooge’s former sweetheart, Belle, will be Mandy Feiler, who just starred in our “Wait Until Dark.”

David Simon, seen as Charlemagne in our “Pippin,” will be Jacob Marley, and Joelle Bochner, who previously portrayed the Laundress, will be Beatrice. Howard Fischer, seen on our stage as a gangster in “City of Angels,” will be Topper. Brian Vetter will be Mr. Fezziwig; Janet Swaim will be his “missus”; Mrs. Cratchit will be performed by Suzanne Houston.

Others in the large cast are Abigail Hoops, Adrienne Reuss, Aedyn Grey, Bailey Grey, Andrew Michaelson, Chris Cantalupo, Drew Olden, Jessica Kundla, Jack Broderick, Kylie Francis, Sean McManus, Tracy Espiritu as Christmas Past, and Todd Shumpert as Christmas Present.

Director Bob Cline has delighted our audiences with his work on “Into the Woods,” “Pippin,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” For Richard and Debby Hennessy, “…Carol” has been a labor of love for every production of “…Carol;” this year Richard serves as Producer, and Debby as Stage Manager. Judy Stanton is our new musical director; Eileen Johnston and Allie Warshaw are Production Coordinators; and Steffi Denmark and Chris Colabraro are Assistant Stage Managers.

Annual Holiday Party on December 14

Put on your party duds, bring a hors d’oeuvre to share, your own favorite beverage (mixers provided), and celebrate with us at the Playhouse starting at 6 p.m. We are proud of our 87 years of presenting live theater. We’re one of the oldest community theaters in the country, and that’s well worth celebrating!

In Memoriam

Dani McCulloch

Former CCP President, Business Manager, founder of our Outreach Program, Painting chair, Furniture Maven, Fundraising, jack of all trades, and always the voice of reason & resolution. As a community volunteer, Dani had multitudes of other interests, from the homeless to her church and beyond. We all miss her. Our 2008-2009 Season has been dedicated to her memory

Audtions to be Held - December 9th - 10th

Inherit the Wind,” will be cast from open auditions held at The Chatham Playhouse, at 7 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, December 9 and 10. Production dates are March 6-21, 2009.

ImageIn the blistering hot summer of 1925, a tiny courtroom in a small town named Hillsboro captured the attention of the world. The issue? A state law that forbids the teaching of evolution and a local teacher’s violation of that law. His trial was a Roman circus, the chief gladiators being the two legal giants of the century. At stake was the freedom of every American. Based on the famous Scopes “Monkey” trial, Inherit the Wind stands as one of the most moving and meaningful plays in American theatrical history. Entertaining and challenging audiences for over fifty years, it is a narrative of a nation and its people, as they struggle to come to grips with the forces of change. Jonathan Wierzbicki directs.

Any questions?

Call Kristin Furlong, 732-208-4184, or email her at

Principal Roles

Henry Drummond male, age 40-60, famous lawyer, known for his skilled legal defenses, hired by the Baltimore Herald to defend Cates, hunched over, adversary of Brady but respects his convictions and ideals Matthew Brady male, age 55-75, three-time presidential candidate, famous politician worshipped by the town, giant of a man, booming voice, charismatic, very religious, opposing lawyer E.K. Hornbeck male, age 25-40, reporter from the Baltimore Herald, cynical attitude, very critical of town and residents, sees Brady as a close-minded coward, acts as the Greek chorus Mrs. Brady female, age 50-65, wife of Matthew Brady, supportive, lives in his shadow, refined, strong Rachel Brown female, age 18-27, pretty but not beautiful, second grade teacher, daughter of Reverend Brown, loves Bert Cates Bertram Cates male, age 22-30, pale thin young man, quiet, shy, well-mannered, arrested and on trial for teach evolution in school Rev. Jeremiah Brown male, age 40-60, religious leader of Hillsboro, father of Rachel, controlling, fear-inducing Howard male, age 10-16, witness for the prosecution, plays outdoors Tom Davenport male, age 25-40, Hillsboro’s prosecutor, overshadowed by Brady, crisp, business like Judge male, age 45-65, humorless man, leans toward prosecution Mayor male, age 45-65, awkward in Brady’s presence, pragmatic Meeker male, age 35-55, bailiff, common man, friendly, respectful

Additional Cast Members

There are several smaller parts that will be combined to allow significant lines and stage time per actor. Ages can vary, and ability to change physicality/voice to produce distinct characters is a plus

Mrs. Krebs female Mrs. Blair female Mrs. McClain female Mr. Bannister/Corkin male Dunlap/Storekeeper male, singing ability Elijah/Radioman/Sillers male, versatile

Here And There…

two Players arriving—both Erika (and Frank) Briamonte and Nicole (and Joseph) Micelli are expecting babies in 2009!

Players Receive 14 2007-2008 Perry Award Nominations

Chatham Community Players received 14 Perry Award nominations from NJACT. A group of over 25 represented our theater at the awards ceremony. We are proud to announce that Debby Hennessy won a Perry Award for "Outstanding Stage Management" for her work on "Little Women."

Outstanding Lighting Design – Play: Richard Hennessy - Crimes of the Heart Outstanding Lighting Design – Musical:Richard Hennessy - Little Women Outstanding Sound Design:Matt Burns - Little Women Outstanding Costuming – Play:Kathy Ruskin/Beverly Wand - Crimes of the Heart Outstanding Costuming – Musical:Fran Harrison - Little Women Outstanding Stage Management:Debby Hennessy - Little Women Outstanding Scenic Design - Play:Deryk Harrison/Roy Pancirov/Patty McWhorter/Susan Halford - Ah Wilderness Outstanding Direction – Play:Bob Cline - Crimes of the Heart Outstanding Direction – Musical: John Menter - Little Women Outstanding Production – Play: Chris Furlong - Crimes of the Heart Outstanding Production – Musical: Mara Lundstrom - Little Women Outstanding Youth In A Play – Male: Keith Needham - Ah Wilderness Outstanding Youth In A Musical – Female: Michelle Wilson - Little Women Outstanding Lead Actress In A Musical: Julie Waldman-Stiel - Little Women

Funding for Chatham Community Players has been made possible in part by funds from the Arts Council of the Morris Area through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts