News Letter

"The Backstage Pass"


As Players Workshop strives to keep PW before the public at a time of no on-stage performances, they will present a variety of videos throughout the spring—videos that should appeal to all.

Several, but not all, in March will celebrate  “Reading Across America” and feature familiar faces reading well-known pieces of literature. It began on March 2, with Libba Flores reading Green Eggs and Ham; on March 8 The Old Prospector treated viewers to “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” and more literary readings will appear throughout the month.

On March 15, “Beware the Ides,” as PW “villains” from the past and present bring back memories of their dastardly onstage dealings.

Celebrate Earth Day on April 22, and listen as  Jordyn Engel reads Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax.

Pat Curtis is directing “Memorable Mom-ism,” PW’s May video salute to mothers.  States Curtis, “your mom was your first teacher.  You went to her for advice on everything. . .” Now PW wants you to share that wisdom! Send the advice your mother gave you—or, if you are a Mom, what advice you gave your kids.  If you want to send a picture of your mom with the advice, it would be welcome, but isn’t necessary.

Send items to or and be sure to put MOM in the subject line. Deadline is Mar. 31. Then check Facebook & YouTube in May to see what “Mom” has to say!


           As the pandemic still rages and the workshop remains close, PW extends gratitude for those donations received since the last issue of The Backstage Pass. A big thanks to Kay Hanna & Tim Hutchins, Betty Harter, Judy Johnson, Mike & Karen Johnstone, Cheryl Newman Liles, Donna & Jan Logan, Dean & Pam Marshall, David McCoid, Helen Moeller, Kevin & Diane Mueller, Connie Nealey, Milton & Laurine Paule, Bettie Raines, Chip & Dana Readinger, Tessa & Mark Shaffer, Summit Services of Bettendorf, Scott Teater, Christine M. Waller, and Rosemary Witte.

           In addition, thanks to the following who donated via Mary Fox’s birthday fundraiser on Facebook: Cathy Fountain, John Holtkamp, Rose Holtkamp, and Wade O’Neal. Also, to the 8 anonymous Facebook donations that came in during November via Network for Good, a big thanks.

           A big thank you to Kyle Ahrold, Judy Golliher, and Kerry Noethe who donated via PayPal. Welcome to the newest member of Players Workshop Supporting Cast at the following level: Usher--Amy Cox of Burlington (in memory of Hilman Cox).

           All of these financial gifts serve as a reminder of the importance of local, live theater to this community, and PW SINCERELY THANKS YOU!


PW board member Chris Jackson sent a letter to the PW board, informing them Players Workshop has been the recipient of a $1000 grant from the Professional Hair Dresser’s Affiliate # 2 (covering all of Southeast Iowa). Jackson was notified by Sandy Newberry, longtime PW season ticket holder and member of the Professional Hair Dresser’s Affiliate, who had first nominated PW for the grant.

According to Jackson’s letter, “It was apparent they are very happy to be able to give this, and even prouder to be able to give back to the Players Workshop, which Sandy said has been providing her with heartfelt memories for over 25 years now.  It’s definitely touching to hear a story like this and how much of an impact [PW] has made in not just one’s person’s life but to their entire organization, as well as within the community we entertain.”

Players Workshop extends deep gratitude to Newberry and Professional Hair Dresser’s affiliate # 2 for their generosity.


As the workshop remains closed for live performances, PW extends gratitude for those donations received since the last issue of The Backstage Pass.

Thanks to Mrs. Donald Allgood, Darrell & Cindy Bachtell, Jackie Edwards, Karen Elkin, Valerie Holman, Bettie J. Raines, and Anne Wischmeier. Also received were 5 anonymous donations through Network for Good.

Memorial gifts were made by Chery Kosmann, Bryan Close, & Lois Close, in memory of Kenneth Barker; Daniel & Joyce Brehm in memory of Dorothy Nelson (in memory of Peggy Ell); Robert & Sherry Brill, in memory of Dorothy Nelson (in memory of Peggy Ell); and Barbara Bonnett, in memory of George Bonnett.

If you would like to make a donation to Players Workshop, you can click this PayPal link or mail to PO Box 793, Burlington, IA. 



Clean out your closets and drawers!  Make room to get the car in your garage again!  PW wants your “stuff.” Players Workshop will hold its annual garage sale for ONE DAY ONLY-- Sat., April 24, from 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., with the Dollar Bag sale starting at 2:00.  Donate usable items by dropping them off at the theater M-F, from 5:00-7:00 p.m., the week BEFORE the sale. (If you need another time to drop off items, call Libba Flores, 319-750-3533.)  Remember—one man’s trash is another person’s treasure!  SEE YOU AT THE SALE!


If you go to a PW production and see a lady in black wearing a headset, that is Linda Garwood, current PW Vice-Pres., in her recurring role as stage manager for a show.
Linda has served on the board since 2000 and is PW’s immediate past-president.  She currently serves on the fundraising committee, but she is also responsible for making sure the concession stand is stocked before each production, so when you are enjoying your intermission cookies and coffee, thank Linda.
She says of the workshop, “The friendships that are developed during each production are lifelong.  I’ve seen romances develop, strangers become close friends, and individuals who have never been on stage before develop a new personal confidence.  We’ve raised many children here, giving them a whole new perspective on life.”
Linda has always believed that a person should give back to her community--“as a volunteer I know you gain so much more personally than you could ever give, hoping in some small way you’ve made your world a little better”--so she served 23 years on the BCSD school board and has been involved with the Miss Burlington Scholarship Pageant for years.
In her down time, she LOVES to read, but always continues to have “a lifelong desire to help the youth of our community have a better opportunity to become successful in whatever they choose to do in life.”


Current members of the Play Selection Committee (formerly called the Production Committee) are Mary Krohlow (chair), Bonnie Downes, Jayne Gobble, Colleen Heibner, & Chris Jackson, and they read a LOT of plays! Their primary purpose is recommending a season (the plays and the directors) to the Board. Also, they may assist directors in finding producers for their shows, and they serve as the liaison between PW and the publishing houses, to obtain rights and materials.
Unlike on other committees, members may serve no more than 3 consecutive terms; the current group is actually being held over from the prior season, since the 20-21 season was postponed to 21-22, so any changes made to that upcoming season will still be their prevue.  Then a new group will work on the 2022-2023 season.

Past Backstage Pass Newsletters


Funds are being raised for flat roof and gutter replacement at the Players Workshop. Cost of the project will be $20,000 with the low bid having come from Armour Roofing. Garage sale and artwork raffles have provided a foundation for the Roofing Fund but much more is needed. Contributions will be accepted by Chris Parry, Mary Krohlow and Mary Fox.

More Tidbits from the Archives: Lest We Forget

Sponsors have played a key role in the successful operation of Players Workshop since 1974. Although their names may have changed since then, five of these original sponsors remain loyal today, 46 years later. They are The Ahrolds, Prugh Funeral Service, Two Rivers Bank and Trust, Two Rivers Insurance, and Winegard.
Two sponsors who began in 1974, continued for more than 40 years. Another dozen have been sponsors for more than 20 years but were not quite in on the beginning: American Visions Travel, Beames Welding & Repair, David Beckman, Philip & Dr. Debbie Mosley Nelson, Dr. Jeff Pence, Dr. Michael Bush, Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust, Greg Miller /LPL, Klingner & Associates, Rheinschmidt’s Flooring America, Standard of Beaverdale, and Larry & Linda Turley.
The remaining sponsors range from 18 years of sponsorship to a couple who are in their first year.
BRAVO & THANKS to all of our sponsors!!!

Membership is a term that could use a bit of definition. The Players Workshop By-Laws define members, in part, as being those who pay membership dues, which in turn requires active participation in the operation. The annual meeting quorum requirement is 25% of these active members – a relatively low bar.
Season tickets, on the other hand, reference ‘Season Membership.’
While it is uncertain as to when this two-pronged membership concept began, an article in the August 27, 1956 Hawk Eye, with Marianne Ahrold providing information about the coming season, explains:
“Memberships in the Players Workshop are of two types: General, for those who wish only to see the plays, and active, for those who wish to become a working part of the producing group, either as actors, directors, scenic artists, property and costume help, or house management people.”
Active members, season members, and sponsors are all crucial to the operation of Players Workshop.

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