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Congratulations and many thanks to the entire cast and crew of A Comedy of Tenors, who brought a spectacular, laugh-filled conclusion to the 23-24 regular show season.
From positive reviews to spectacular performances night after night, this show demonstrated what good community theater is all about.  What a wonderful way to end the season!  Bravo for a job well done!




            More than 90 area youth turned out to audition for the PW Young Actor Production of Alice in Wonderland, adapted from the Lewis Carroll classic by Joni Brainerd, Christine Claeys, Libba Flores, and Carol Hinkle.   Hard decisions had to be made, but the following were chosen for the June performance:

Alice: Avery Irish

Mary: Koertlynne Korver

White Rabbit: Ella Joyce

Caterpillar: Audrey Howe

Tweedle Dee: Zach Joyce

Tweedle Dum: Sean Hansen

Cheshire Cat: William Baker and George Baker

Hatter: Derrik Martin

March Hare: Brady Lenahen

Dormouse: Regina Critser

Humpty Dumpty: Mason Schaley

Queen of Hearts: Evelyn Yenchko

King of Hearts: Thaddius Boak

Jack of Hearts: Grayson Kershner

Cook: Madigan Kennedy

Flowers: Lily Newberry, Austyn Deuitch, Macy Tate, Georgia Riffel, Aurora Critser, Justine Schaley, Annemarie Baxter, Kaya Plein, Claire Yenchko

Cards: Allyson Hamilton, Aila Plein, Sarah Hansen, Islia Rodeffer, Hayden Covert, Gretta Hoth, Hudson Covert, Seth Hansen

All these beloved Lewis Carroll characters  are scheduled to come to life on the PW stage on June 21 and 22 at 7:00 p.m. and on June 23 at 2:00 p.m. (Please note the special show times for the evening performances!)

            The show will be directed by Christine Claeys, assisted by Carol Hinkle and Libba Flores.  Mary Fox will produce the show.

            General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5.00 for students and are now available for purchase online; otherwise, they may be purchased at the door.  There is NO reserved seating.

            For more information, call the Workshop at 319-753-6623, check out the Workshop’s Facebook page, or go to

Players Workshop’s annual general membership’s business meeting was held at the Workshop on May 8, 2024, with Pres. Kent Lewis presiding.  Thirty-six dues-paying members were present to vote.  There was no electronic voting.
Pres. Lewis presented the annual “State of the Theater” report. Below are some of the highlights.
•    2024 saw a total audience attendance of 4044.
•    Season ticket sales totaled 670 and over 1600 tickets were sold online.
•    Supporting cast donations totaled almost $14,000 for 2023-2024.
•    Exterior signage was upgraded, the exterior of the theater was painted, and the garage door on the storage building was replaced and a cattle gate installed in front of it, to discourage future vandalism.  
•    Ludus became the new online ticket vendor system and has worked much better than the former one.
•    PW has joined with other art organizations in Southeast Iowa, to participate in the Southeast Iowa Arts Collective, which is designed to promote all of the arts in this area.
•    Because Dan Meade, who has faithfully distributed the Workshop’s promotional posters for years will no longer be able to continue this, volunteers are needed to replace him.
Pres. Lewis concluded by saying “I am grateful for all of the work that you as members do to contribute to our theater in whatever capacity you have been able to contribute. It takes a village to run a theater and you are our village.”
   The following individuals had accepted nominations to run for the PW Board of Directors: Gene Anderson, Christine Claeys, Jody Ellison, Amy Ford, Michelle Huppenbauer, Chris Jackson, and Christa Ruther.  Karla Mundt later asked that her nomination be withdrawn. Member Jeffrey Rodriguez was nominated  from the floor.  Each of the candidates briefly presented their reasons for running.
Congratulations to the five who were elected to serve 3-year terms on the Board:  Gene Anderson (incumbent), Christine Claeys, Jody Ellison, Amy Ford, and Jeffrey Rodriguez.
Players Workshop thanks outgoing board members Hadley Flener, Chris Jackson, Karla Mundt, and Randy Wischmeier for their service to Players Workshop and the Board of Directors.
Incumbent President Kent Lewis and former PW President Mary Fox both ran for the office of President.  Both gave oral presentations about what they felt they had accomplished in the past and what their projected goals were for the future of Players Workshop.  When the votes were counted, Mary Fox was the new President of Players Workshop.
The Board of Directors of Players Workshop extends its gratitude and many thanks to Kent Lewis for his service as President; he will now assume the office of Vice-President.
   The Board of Directors extends thanks to the nominating committee of Bill Ell (chair), Libba Flores, Mary Fox, and Merry Wiseman, for their hard work.
Jayne Gobble was presented with the Cuthbert Award, for her hilarious turn in The Wild Women of Winedale, when she kept accidentally throwing objects into the audience instead of to her castmates.
The Board of Directors thanks all the members who gave of their time to attend the meeting.










 The awards luncheon for the 2024 Mayors' Volunteer Awards was held at the Cornerstone Event Center, Burlington, on Saturday, April 13, 2024 , and two of Players Workshop’s finest, Bobbie Hillard and Carol Hinkle, were honored.
The Mayors’ Volunteer Awards, begun in 2009, were started to “shine a spotlight on the exceptional volunteers who make a difference every day,” according to their Facebook page.  Organized annually by the Community Volunteer Alliance, a coalition of area volunteer coordinators and the Burlington United Way, their shared mission is to “cultivate a strong community volunteer base and recognize those who exemplify the spirit of giving back.”  Awards are available in seven categories. Bobbie and Carol were both nominated by Players Workshop.
Bobbie Hillard, PW stalwart, was named the winner in the Cultural/Performing Arts category, which “honors individuals whose passion and commitment to cultural enrichment and performing arts have significantly enhanced the artistic landscape, fostering creativity and community engagement.”  Bobbie has spent a lifetime contributing to the Workshop, whether through acting, singing, directing, producing, attending—wherever and whenever she was needed, Bobbie was there. Her vibrant laugh and sparkling personality lit up a room and made the shyest person feel welcome.  This is certainly an honor well-deserved.
Carol Hinkle was named the recipient in the  Education category, which “recognizes the outstanding dedication and impactful contributions of individuals who have generously volunteered their time and expertise in schools and other education-focused organizations, enriching the learning experiences and fostering academic success for students.”  Carol was honored for her work in children’s theater; she not only was the guiding force behind the development of PW’s Young Actor Productions, but also works with area schoolchildren, to foster their interest in acting, creating future generations of theater lovers and participants.  Carol is a worthy recipient and deserving of having her work recognized by the community.
Players Workshop is so proud of these two ladies for shining a spotlight on the value of theater in the community.


Director Lee Franklin will hold open auditions for Little Shop of Horrors, which will kick off the 2024-2025 season of Players Workshop, on July 21, 23, and 24, at 7:00 p.m. at the Workshop, 1431 Grove St.
Little Shop of Horrors is a horror-comedy rock musical, featuring music by Alan Menken with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman.  It tells the story of the nerdish Seymour and an unusual plant with a personality all its own.
Parts are available for 3 males, 4 females, and, of course, the Plant.  Further breakdown from the director is as follows: 3 African-American females, 18-40ish; 2 males, 18-40ish; 1 male, 40-70; 1 female, 18-40ish; 1 Unique voice for the Plant.
All those auditioning must be ready to sing; however, music will be provided.
For more information, contact the director at (319) 931-0820 or
Little Shop of Horrors is slated to run at the Workshop Sept. 20-22, 27-29, and Oct. 3-6, 2024.
It will be presented through special arrangements with Music Theatre International (MTI).  All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.


2024-2025 SEASON!

                        The Board of Directors is pleased to present the following slate of shows for Players Workshop’s 2024-2025 season:   


a horror-comedy rock musical

Music by Alan Menken

Book & Lyrics by Howard Ashman

A nerdy flower shop assistant acquires a seemingly harmless plant that changes his world—but for the better????

Sept. 20-22, 27-29, Oct. 3-6, 2024

Lee Franklin, Director

Cody Fleitner, Assistant Director

Scott Teater, Music Director

Presented through special arrangements with Music Theatre International (MTI).  All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.



a comedy

by Ken Levine

A woman pays her ex-husband to pose as her spouse during the holidays to keep her religious mother from knowing they are divorced—hilarity ensues.

Catherine Hansen, Director

Gene Anderson, Assistant Director

Dec. 6-8, 12-15, 2024

Presented through arrangements with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by TRW Plays 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640 New York, NY 10036.



a comedy

by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten

Hilarity abounds when the feisty females of Eden, Georgia, decide to shake up their lives at an abandoned church turned day spa.

Feb. 21-23, 27-28, Mar. 1-2, 2025

Libba Flores, Director

 presented through arrangements with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Broadway Licensing Group 440 Park Avenue South, 11th Floor  New York, NY 10016.



a mystery drama

by Ken Ludwig, Agatha Christie

Master detective Hercule Poirot works to solve a murder on a snowbound train, in this adaptation of

Agatha Christie’s classic novel.

Steve Poling, Director

Marlene Holsteen, Assistant Director

May 2-4, 8-11, 2025

Presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.


            The ticket sales committee announced some changes at the May Board of Directors’ meeting.

            First, because it felt that the timeline for ordering season tickets needed to be extended, the season ticket order forms for 2024-2025 will be mailed out July 26th, with a return deadline of August 23rd.

            Also, in a new twist, during the second play of the season ONLY, PW will sell one-half a season ticket; this would be a ticket for each of the last 2 shows.  Cost would be $25 for adult and $15 for student for the ½ season ticket.  This would also be a great gift idea.

            Beginning with the 24-25 season, season ticket holders will no longer be allowed to use any unused tickets from a previous show on a current show.

            Season ticket holders who purchase their season tickets online will also be able to reserve their own seats through the Ludus program; in addition, any person mailing in for or buying season tickets in person will be allowed to also make their own reservations as long as PW has an email address and cell phone number.  They would be added to the program and then they can reserve.

Of course, those wishing to still call in and get their reserved seating may still do so.

            It is hoped these measures will help to streamline the reservation process for all our valued season ticket holders.

   Winter is done, and it is time for Players Workshop’s annual fundraising garage sale!  The garage sale will be held at the Workshop, 1431 Grove St., on July 20, 2024, and donations are desperately needed.
   What you consider junk may be just what another person is searching for, so clean out your closets, drawers, attics, and garages and contribute to the cause.
   However, due to other events taking place at the Workshop, nothing can be brought in until after July 11!  Also, both Libba Flores and Mary Fox will be present on July 15-19 from 7-9 p.m., to take your items.
   Also needed are people to help set up and assist at the sale, so, if you have a few hours to contribute, your help is very welcome.

A final thank you to the Honorary Supporting Cast of Players Workshop whose one-time donations to Players Workshop’s during 2023-2024 contributed significantly to PW’s financial well-being. Donations could be made in one of the following categories:
Usher $25-$99               Stage Crew $100-$249
Supporting Actor $250-$499      Star $500-$999
Director $1000-$2499              Producer $2500+
Names of all those who have joined since the last issue of The Backstage Pass, are listed in bold-faced type.   
Carole Theesfeld (for technology)
John Holtkamp,
Briann & Lynese Isom (hearing assistance sys.),
Lillian Rubin
Supporting Actor
Joy Anderson,Beckman Law Office – David Beckman, Tim & Tonja Binder,          Dr. Michael Bush, Carolyn Dorting, Bonnie Downes, Eva Ann Elmer,                            Robert Hains, John Hart – Edward Jones,

Wayne & Colleen Heibner, Judith Johnson, Donald Kellar, Russ Leuck,

Lisa & Edward Ortciger, Lunning Chapel – Chip & Dana Readinger,
River Ridge Dental Care—Dr. Nathan Heubner,
Carolyn Schenk, Fred & Martha Wetzel
Stage Crew
Jeff Abell – The Burlington Beacon, Sandra Allgood,
BNSF Railway Foundation (match K. Liles don.), Cindy & Darrell Bachtell,   Dan & Kathy Cahill, Barbara Drozdz (in memory of Jim Drodz),
Damon Gray, Dr. Amy Groeltz/Smile Shoppe, Carole Halicki, Bettina Jones,
Diewold Klingner and Associates, Tricia Klingner and Associates,
Russell & Annette Kuhlemeier, Gerhardt & Carmen Lachmitt,     
Cynthia M. Leonard, Kevin Liles, Donna & Jan Logan,
LPL Financial Services – Greg Miller, Marie May,
Barbara McRoberts (in memory of Susan Diehl), Linda Messer,

Milton & Laurine Paule, Lisa Pomberg,

Prugh Funeral Service – Lindsay Freuhling, Tim & Criss Roberts,

John & Kathy Schneider, Mark & Teresa Shaffer,  Matthew & Mary Shivers,
Standard of Beaverdale, Earl & Peggy Stott, Olive Sullivan, Keith Turill,                              Henry Villreal, Rita Vineyard, Anita Wagner, Kathy Wolfskill,          
Mike & Renee Zaiser, Dorothy Zeazer
Chad & Sally Bird, Dan & Lynne Carter,

Lois Close (in memory of Elsie McLaughlin), Carol Copeland, Jeffrey Davis,                 Sharon Eisenmayer, Mary Fickel, Russ Fry, Jon & Sharon Graham,
Barbara Hahn, Harry & Linda Hoenig,

Marlene & Keith Holsteen (David Miller Mem.), Wayne & Dee Johnson,            Kathy Leicester-Wolfskill, Pat Mayle, Judy Pendleton, Nancy Purchase,
Betty Raines, Kendra Robertson, Mary Saye, Nancy St. Clair, Judy Stevens,
Harold & Garnet Swanson, Two Rivers Bank and Trust/Eric Benne,     
Mary Weinand, Kay Wilson, Eunice Winters
   PW invites them and everyone else to please donate to the Supporting Cast for 2024-2025, so that we may continue to bring quality community theater to Burlington.  All those who join will have their names listed in each play program and newsletter, as well as on the PW website, for 2024-25.  Thank you again for your support.
You may join the Honorary Supporting Cast by filling out the form at the end of this newsletter or the form in your play program.

For past newsletters click here


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