News Letter

"The Backstage Pass"


               Live productions will return to Players Workshop, 1431 Grove St., on Oct. 1, 2021, as the 2021-2022 season opens with Ken Ludwig’s hilarious farce A Fox on the Fairway.

            Ludwig’ tribute to the great British farces of the 1930’s-1940’s, “takes audiences on a hilarious romp” as Quail Valley Country Club prepares to take on archrival Crouching Squirrel in the annual golf tournament.  With a sizable bet at stake between the two rival club directors, anything goes in order to win, and the contest plays out amid 3 love affairs, a disappearing diamond, an exploding vase, and some really ugly sweaters.

            The cast for the show is as follows:  Micah Stewart plays Justin, a socially awkward, reluctant golfer, and Kelsey Bush is his ditzy, waitress-girlfriend Louise. Paul Elledge portrays Bingham, Quail Valley’s director, and Eric Folkers is Dickie Bell, club director of Crouching Squirrel. JoJo Johnson is the frequently inebriated Pamela, board member at Quail Valley, and Karen Cahill rounds out the cast as Muriel, Bingham’s jealous, domineering wife.

            Director is Carol Hinkle, assistant director is Christine Claeys, stage manager is Linda Garwood, and producer is Robbin Poling.

            A Fox on the Fairway runs Oct. 1-3 and 7-10.  All shows are at 7:30 p.m., except for 2:00 Sun. matinees on Oct. 3 and 10.

               Ken Ludwig’s A Fox on the Fairway is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

            For more information call 753-6623, or go to the Players Workshop Facebook page or the PW website at



            As Players Workshop resumes live on-stage productions, beginning Oct. 1, 2021, the Board of Directors has instituted the following policies, which will be followed to offset the spread of Covid-19.

            Masks will be required for audience members entering the theatre, during the show, and when not 6 ft. away from non-household members.  Disposable masks will be available at the entrance.  In addition, all in the theatre will be socially distanced.  PW highly recommends audience members remain masked for the entirety of the performance.

            The performers and crew will wear masks at all times when backstage and in the box office/concessions areas.  Actors onstage may remain unmasked while performing.

            PW has been working to be in compliance with CDC recommendations, to ensure a safe workplace, and the policies have been crafted to ensure a safe theatrical experience for cast, crew, and audience. Players Workshop thanks you for your cooperation.


               Players Workshop is looking for individuals who would be willing to place signs in their yards whenever there is a workshop play. Needed are people who live on busy streets with lots of traffic, so as many people as possible will see the signs.  Someone from PW will deliver the signs to the volunteers, and PW will notify those people (either e-mail or text) when they need to set out the signs and take them in.

              The sign (shown below in black/white) is actually an eye-catching combination of white, red, and black, highly visible from the street.






           Several other organizations already use this type of marketing tool with great effectiveness, and this is another way of making the public aware of Players Workshop and its purpose.

            Anyone who would be willing to display a sign should contact Pat Curtis at 309-371-9490 or



               PW’s late summer videos centered around youth. Libba Flores read Bumblebee Bike, and Pat Curtis read Eli’s Lie-O-Meter, children’s stories written by Burlington’s Sandra Levins.

            July 27 saw the first of several short plays by PW’s youth theater. Ruth Landowne Giordano’s radio play treatment of Jack and Beanstalk,, directed by Carol Hinkle, assisted by Amy Unglaub, featured Simi Khinda and Abigail Ritter as the narrators, and Kayleigh Hartman, Shannon Skeens, Addison Blein, and Bella Plath, who not only played multiple parts but also provided the clever sound effects during the performance.  Filming was done by Mary Fox and Carol Hinkle; Chris Hinkle provided the filming sound. Jayne Gobble and Chris Hinkle were the video editors.

            On Aug. 5, Aunt Lottie’s Leftover Café,  written by Donald A. Reasoner, Jr.,  dropped, featuring Simi Khindi as the commercial pitchman, and  Katy Schnicker, Ony Johnson, Mason Schaley, and Mikah Washington in multiple roles, in a story that might make a person re-think dining out.  Carol Hinkle directed, assisted by Christine Claeys; camera operator was Kent Lewis, and Jayne Gobble edited.  Both of the youth plays were presented royalty-free as part as of a collection of plays for kids and teens on Drama Notebook (

            In late August the PW Young Actors presented The Phobias.  Performers Rilee, Quentin, Kiera, Patrick, and Sidney explored the world of weird phobias in this funny skit from “The Sketch Show.” Then on Sept. 5, Quentin, Sidney, Zach, Brooklyn, Korina, and Kiera appeared in the very “punny” The Spanish Melodrama by Camilla Colemo. Both videos were directed/filmed by Scott and Amanda Teater; Scott Teater also served as video editor.

            Players Workshop began its online videos as a way to keep the Workshop’s activities in the public arena during the pandemic, and the CPR committee wishes to thank all those who participated in this endeavor.



            The PW garage sale on Aug. 14 brought $1782 into the PW coffers, as the general public was, once again, very supportive and generous.  Every possible kind of item was for sale, up to and including the kitchen sink!

            Players Workshop would like to commend Libba Flores, Mary Fox, and Eric Smith for all their hard work. Also helping out on the sale were PW members Pat Curtis, Bill Ell, Kevin Gobble, Duane Hartman, Gene Anderson, and Al Fabel.

            The committee also would like to thank all those who donated items—says PW Pres. Mary Fox, “We couldn’t do it without you.”



            Players Workshop has received donations from the following since the last issue of The Backstage Pass: Marcia Lohmann, The Kings Daughters Home Agency, Karen Elkin, Patty Thompson, Jeanine Jennings, Barbara Bonnett, Eva Ann Elmer, and Fred & Martha Wetzel.

            The following donated to the Susan Diehl memorial:  the Diehl Family (John & Karyn Diehl, James C. Diehl & Rob Kuhr, Julie & Ken Heiner, Marilyn Olson, Barbara & Ollie Skurdahl), Kaye Hanna & Tim Hutchins, Jim Beres, M/M Charles Siekman, M/M Donal Hingst, Florence Paterno, M/M Kent Lewis, Mary Krohlow, Joyce Pohlmeyer, Eva Ann Elmer, Rajene (Jene) Miller, Carolyn Hingst, Bobbie Hillard, Barbara McRoberts, Kay Weiss, Mary Kelly, Beatrice Trujillo, & Mary Renelda.         



            “Community is the most important part of Community Theatre.”

            To that end, Players Workshop invites you to support your local community theater by joining its Honorary Supporting Cast and making a one-time financial donation for the 2021-2022 season.

            Six donor levels are available:

            Usher                           $25--$99

            Stage Crew                $100--$249

            Supporting Cast         $250--$499

            Star                             $500--$999

            Director                   $1,000--$2,499

            Producer                  $2,500 +.

            Your gift will be recognized in The Backstage Pass, in each play program, and on the PW website (unless you request anonymity).

            A brochure containing information about the Honorary Supporting Cast and a special application form for joining (not the same donation form as in the newsletter) will be available in your next play program, is available now on the PW website, or you may contact PW Pres. Mary Fox ( or at 319-750-6046).    


            Director Libba Flores will hold open auditions for Paul Slade Smith’s hilarious political satire The Outsider on Oct. 10-11, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. at the Workshop.

Needed are 4 males and 3 females of varying ages, to tell the story of Ned Newley, possibly, the worse candidate to ever run for governor. . . unless, of course, the public is looking for the worst candidate ever to run for office!

            The Outsider will be presented at the Workshop on Dec. 3-5 and 9-12, 2021; for more information contact Libba Flores at 319-750-3533.

            The Outsider is produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. (


            Meet Christopher Parry, Players Workshop’s “money man.”  Many regular attendees at Workshop productions have seen Chris in numerous stage productions, such as What is Susan’s Secret?; Christmas Belles; In-Laws, Outlaws, and Other People Who Should be Shot; and The Prisoner of Second Avenue.  But what a lot of them may not know is that Chris, who works as a letter carrier for the USPS and is also an accountant, is also the Workshop’s hardworking treasurer.

            Chris became a board member and accepted the position of treasurer because he “wanted to help update the accounting systems for the Players Workshop to be more aligned with Standard Accounting Practices . . . [and] wanted to broaden my accounting skills to include business as well as tax preparation.”  He enjoys “tying all the numbers together and keeping them in balance.”

            In addition to being the PW treasurer, where he records financial activities, pays bills, makes deposits, reports to the Board, and prepares quarterly/annual tax filings, Chris is also active on the fundraising committee, where he initiated and worked to implement PW’s Honorary Supporting Cast donor program.

            In the future he would like to see Players Workshop diversify and provide more than just the 4 stage shows and a children’s show each year.  “We have a beautiful, but underutilized, facility that could host improv comedy, workshops, and music events.”

            Chris lives in Mediapolis with his wife Christa, to whom he has been married for 36 years (in fact, when he is in a PW play, he is usually performing on stage with her). They have 2 married sons, Clint and Colin, and Chris is a proud grandpa to 3-year old Raelynn, with whom he loves spending time.  He enjoys working on projects around the house, and he and Christa love to travel.  He says he is looking forward “to being able to return to our favorite way of vacationing, cruising the oceans.”


            Locating, digitizing, and identifying of PW photos, programs, posters, newsletters, minutes, etc., has been a focus of the archive committee for a number of years.  In addition to making these accessible electronically, hard copies have also been retained.  Currently, they are trying to find missing play programs and promotional posters from past PW performances.

            They are asking for help locating copies (sometimes multiple) of the following play programs:

6 RMS RIV VU (1980)

Death and Taxes (2012)

Tabloid, the Musical (2004)

She Was Only a Farmer’s Daughter (1996)

Girls Only (2011)

The Homecoming (1970)

Sandbox/No Exit (1966)

It’s a Trick (1934)

Medea (1968)

Black Comedy (1973)

Greater Tuna (1994)

Oliver (1993)

The Music Man (2008)

The Cardigans (2006)

Plaid Tidings (2010)

I Hate Hamlet (2005)

A Nice Family Gathering (2009)

84 Charing Cross Road (1990)

Brighton Beach Memoirs (1987)

Catch Me If You Can (1984)

Same Time, Next Year (1984)

Sex Please, We’re Sixty (2013)

The Farndale Christmas Carol (1998)

Sorry! Wrong Chimney (2000)

            Second, the committee  needs the following play posters, to fill in the archival gaps:

Flaminog Court (2012)

Over the River and Through the Woods (2003)

The Farndale Christmas Carol, A Traveling Travesty (1998)

Annie (1995)

A Christmas Carol (1992)

1940’s Radio Hour (1988)

Sherlock Holmes (1987)

Squabbles (1986(

Something’s Afoot (1985)

Same Time, Next Year (1984)

Harvey (1984)

Arsenic and Old Lace (1981)

            Please contact Mary Krohlow (319-752-8501 or if you have any of these items or know where they can be found.


            If you haven’t yet purchased your season tickets, you may do so when you come to see A Fox on the Fairway.  A table will be set up in the lobby.   You may also contact Mary Krohlow at 319-752-8501 or (There will also be a table set up if you would like to become a member of Players Workshop—dues are only $20 a year.)



Past Backstage Pass Newsletters