Dear Friends of the Rep,
I've never really thought of January 1 as the start of a new year. For me, September has always been a month of beginnings. School has started for me, as it has for the last forty-seven years; new television programs will premiere; my football teams, the Buckeyes and the Steelers will play their first regular season games. From the time I was fourteen years old, I always anticipated the first production of a new theatre season. Now that I'm a "little older," that excitement has not diminished.
Our new season brings some traditions and changes to the Rep. Our first production, Pirates of Penzance, literally leaps onto our stage September 12-21. This swash-buckling, operatic adventure is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. We have quite a few new faces and old favorites in this production. We are happy to welcome vocal coach, Patrick Barrett, making his Rep debut. We are looking forward to many future collaborations with this very talented young man. Directors Jennifer Rockwood and Wes Skinner have cast their productions of Detroit and Laura, respectively. Look for more information on these stellar productions in the upcoming editions of the Reporter.
Speaking of school, the Rep Ed classes will be starting Saturday, September 6. Eileen Eddy and her excellent teachers will carry on the tradition of educating our youngest performers. To help further our educational mission, classroom and rehearsal space is being renovated in the brown building that is in the southeast corner of our parking lot. Bill Priest and his loyal volunteers have been dry-walling, painting, and putting down a new floor. The renovated space, made possible by the Toledo Rotary, will ensure the future of Rep Ed classes and Young Rep productions for years to come.
The future of the Rep will also be well-represented by some new faces. Rick Bush has been hired as our new Production Manager. He will oversee the technical work on all productions this season. Rick comes to us from the Children's Theatre Workshop; he has a strong technical theatre background. Three new board members and two new committee members have been added to the Rep's ranks. David Nelms, Patrick Flanagan, and Kris Parker are joining the board. David Nelms is the technical director at Lourdes Unversity. He is very familiar with the Rep having designed sets and lighting on previous productions. He was the also the Rep's technical director during the 1980's. Patrick Flanagan has recently returned to Toledo after working professionally in Los Angeles as an actor and stage manager. He recently played Dr. Victor Frankenstein in the Rep's production of Young Frankenstein. Kris Parker is our final addition to the board. She is an accountant at Key Bank. Her children have been active in theatre for most of their lives. Kris's business acumen and theatre knowledge will serve us well. Ben Byard and Jamie Naragon have been named to the marketing and building/maintenance committees, respectively. Ben and Jamie have been tireless volunteers and are thrilled to focus their efforts in these areas.
If you want a preview of our season, visit our friends at the Valentine on Saturday, September 6 for Season of the Arts. Many of our local art-ners will be represented: Toledo School for the Arts, Toledo Ballet, Masterworks Chorale, just to name a few. Food will be supplied by two of our advertisers, Georgio's and Manhattan's. The cast of Pirates of Penzance will be performing on the Key Bank Stage from 7:50-8:10 p.m. We will also have a booth in the Valentine lobby. What a great way to start our season!
Before we welcome our new season, we need to bid a couple of farewells. Our last show of the 2013-2014 season, Bugsy Malone Jr., was a silly-string success! Congratulations to Jill Reinstein, her talented cast, and dedicated production team on a delightful end to our season. Finally, we say a fond farewell to our technical director, Bill Priest. He has worked so very hard to make sure our theatre campus is safe and the brown building is ready for our young performers. We wish Bill all the best.
Since it's September 1, I really can't wish all of you a Happy New Year...but I can wish you Happy New Theatre Season. See you at the Rep!
President, Toledo Repertoire Theatre