News Letter

"The Backstage Pass"



   The Players Workshop July garage sale was a big success, but there were so many items donated for the sale that many of the boxes of donations were simply never opened because there was just no room to display it all!

   With that in mind, Players Workshop will hold a SECOND garage sale on Saturday, September 19, 2020, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the workshop.  If you didn’t find your treasure at the first sale, second time could be the charm! Again, nothing is pre-priced. Items are sold for what the buyer wishes to donate for them.Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, masks will be required of ALL buyers and workers, and only a limited number of people will be allowed in the building at a time.  So Come on Down!


   PW’s talent is alive and well, in spite of Covid-19! PW’s CPR committee is announcing new PW productions will be available in the coming weeks on YouTube and Facebook.Opening on Sept. 24 on Facebook is the Young Actors Production of Mother Goose Interrupted: This Little Piggy, presented with special permission of author T.P. Jagger. Directed by Carol Hinkle and Kara Ewinger, the playlet shows what happens when members of one of Mother Goose’s stories go toe-to-toe with each other; it stars Daniele Ebert, Zach Hite, Aaliyah Horn, Annika Franklin, Jason Stivers, and Claire King.On Oct. 9, director Kent Lewis presents Cabaret, a showcase featuring musical offerings by local singers. This will be followed on Oct 23 by The Suffragettes, honoring the 100th anniversary of women’s winning the right to vote; performers are  Libba Flores as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Fox as Carrie Chapman Catt, and Carol Hinkle as Amelia Bloomer.  Jayne Gobble is directing. 
   November will see Mary Fox directing classic sketches from The Carol Burnett Show, and in December Kara Ewinger will direct Christmas Countdown, with Carol Hinkle assisting.
   Specific dates for these last two will be announced soon, and more efforts are in the works for 2021, so keep logging on and support PW during this unusual time!

   Towering over everyone and with a distinctive New York accent is 3-year PW board member ALAN (AL) FABEL!
   Serving on 4 committees—ticketing (continuing to find ways to better streamline the box office prior to shows and making reservations), youth theater (“Working withd people see in the red apron selling raffle tickets during shows), and house & grounds (“if you see something needing done, just do it!”)-- Al says “keeps me pretty busy!”.
   But he is also a fixture on and offstage. His most recent onstage turn was as the hilarious Lurch in The Addams Family—The Musical, and he enjoys taking part “in the countless ‘jobs’ that the theater offers.”  About the only things he hasn’t done yet are director, assistant, hair/make-up, & costumes, “and it’s okay for me to say no to those.”  He likes “just melding with so many talented people in putting together a quality community theater.”
   Although “technically” retired from his profession as a Masters level mental health clinician, he maintains his license and works part-time. An Eagle Scout himself, he has mentored nine Eagle Scout projects at PW.
   Not many people know that he was in the Peace Corps for almost 3 years in Ethiopia, which influenced his decision to be a social worker and made him a “recycle nut.” And, of this unprecedented time in U.S. life, Al says, “foremost during this time is our country’s creed--‘with Liberty and Justice for All’--and that means ALL people.”

   According to Libba Flores, chair of PW’s MEMBERSHIP & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE, “Being a totally volunteer organization, our members are the heartbeat of Players Workshop.” The goal of this committee is to (1) provide interested people and lovers of the theater with information about how to become more involved in PW and (2) to coordinate all social functions of PW members.
   Carol Hinkle is in charge of the actual membership dues and collecting information about members’ areas of interests. Jayne & Kevin Gobble are in charge of extra-curricular presentations, such as requests from outside groups for PW to present a mystery theater or a workshop.  Pat Curtis makes the calls to secure ushers and concession workers for plays. Pres. Mary Fox is an ex-officio committee member, and coordinating all of it is Flores.
   Flores says, “Our goal is to involve those who love theater and give them an avenue to express their creativity, in whatever form that might take.”


   When season ticket holders were sent letters informing them of the postponement of the 2020-2021 season, due to Covid-19, as a result of which PW would have no guaranteed income for the year, many patrons opened their wallets in response. 
   PW acknowledges, with gratitude, the following donors:  Joy & Gene Anderson, William & Susan Bauer, Jim Beres, Barbara Bonnett, Janet Bowen, Cindy Boyle, Joyce & Dan Brehm, Patricia McGraw Byrne, Robert & Barbara Cameron, John Carter, Sharon Chaplin, Marge Classen, Lois Close, Amy Cox, Joe Deal, Paul & Joyce Dennison, Carolyn Dorting, Tanya Dunlap, Bill Ell, Jim & Eva Ann Elmer, Deb Ertzinger, James Franklin, Chuck & Ellen Fuller, Alice Hillyer, Char James, Patty Kipp, LeDonna Kitsch, Deb & Bill Knupp, Al & Sue Christensen, Richard & Jean Link, Donna & Jan Logan, Pat Mayle, Grant & Ruth McDowell, Kenneth McNeil, Barbara McRoberts, Helen Moeller, Mary Niehaus, Amy O’Brien, Nancy Park, Beverly Patrick, Linda Peitz, Mark & Karen Peter- sen, Jolene Pfeiff, Bettie Raines, Roxanne Ray, Lilian Rubin, Jane Sanford, Dorothy Schulte, Larry & Barbara Shacklett, Cheryl Stewart, Peggy Stott, Garnett Swanson, Bob & Judy Thie, David & Kris Vanerstrom, Anita Wagner, Eleanor Walden, Gloria Warner, Catherine Wilson, and Margaret Zeran.
   Their financial gifts serve as a reminder of the importance of local, live theater to this community—THANK YOU!



Editor:  Bonnie Downes (
Circulation: Rebecca Teater, Gretchen Lewis, & Bonnie Downes
President:  Mary Fox
Players Workshop
1431 Grove St., P.O. Box 793, Burlington, IA 52601
(319) 753-6623


                The Players Workshop Supporting Cast for 2020-21 is seeking members--PW donors who give at one of- the following levels:  Usher ($25-99.99), Stage Crew ($100-249.99), Supporting Actor ($250-499.99), Star ($500-999.99), and Director ($1000+).

                So far, 20-21 donors are Mary Fox; Marlene Holsteen; Kevin & Jayne Gobble; Kadie & Evan Johansson; Alan & Cyndy Fabel; and Bonnie Downs (Supporting Actor), and Gene & Ann Marie Anderson (Star), in memory of Moore Anderson.  Since there will be no play programs this season, donors will be recognized on the website and in The Backstage Pass.



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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