News Letter

"The Backstage Pass"



            PW is going online with a Countdown to Christmas that director Kara Ewinger, calls “an Advent calendar of entertainment!”  Each day, from Dec. 1-24, PW will “drop” a new bit of holiday entertainment by a workshop individual(s). Meant to bring holiday cheer, these short presentations are in a variety of formats and feature entertainers of all ages. Don’t miss any of these holiday offerings; go to PW’s Facebook page, which also provides a link to YouTube. (Tip: Subscribe to PW’s YouTube Channel, click on the bell icon, and be notified anytime PW uploads a video.)  Carol Hinkle is assistant director on the project. Merry Christmas from your friends at Players Workshop!


An outgoing, charismatic, silver-haired lady with a big laugh, Pat Curtis is the newest member of PW’s Board of Directors, appointed to fill an unexpired term.  Although she lives in Monmouth, IL, she has worked at Titan Broadcasting and Digital Group (101.7 the Bull and New Mix 107.3) for 10 years, but she says “I am not a celebrity." Instead, she works in marketing/advertising and is “the nameless voice on some commercials.”
At PW she is chair of the marketing committee, saying “I have an actual committee and that’s wonderful!”—each person on her committee has a specific area of expertise. She is also on the member and community engagement committee.
            She enjoyed being in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and you can see her playing Mrs. Santa in a skit based on an original story she wrote, as part of PW’s Countdown to Christmas.
            A big interest is photography—most of her shots are of flowers, sunsets, and places she’s been, and she has developed an Instagram obsession; she is patcurtis2990 if you are curious about her work.  She loves to read, enjoys planning gardens (although she hates to weed), dreams of writing the great American novel, and looks forward to spending time with her “cute grandson George.”



            Documenting the 87 years of Players Workshop history and making that information accessible to all interested parties is the job of the Archives Committee, chaired by Mary Krohlow. This includes thousands of photos, programs, flyers, board minutes, newsletters, newspaper articles, etc., as well as information about PW’s roots.
Each committee member has a specific responsibility: David Beckman is official photographer for each production; Colleen Heibner acquires old and new board minutes and makes them online searchable; Herb Price is “scanner-in-chief; Merry Wiseman is the “catchall” person and is currently working on tracking down active members from the past; and Mary Krohlow oversees the entire project.
Archived information can usually be supplied and questions about PW’s history answered by contacting Mary Krohlow (319-752-8501 or


               PW extends thanks for those donations received since the last issue of The Backstage Pass: A big thanks to Karen Alvine, Dr. Michael Bush-Burlington Family Eyecare, Elizabeth Coeburn, Christina Cowles, John & Mary Des Jardins, Dick & Vicki Dillon, Dawn Durgin, Kathy Gerling, Lou Harter, Judy Hinesley, Nancy Park, John & Lisa Pomberg, Olive Sullivan, and Eunice Winters.

In addition, both David Beckman and Kent Lewis donated monies earned via their Facebook birthday fundraisers, providing more needed funds for the workshop.

Also, thank you to the following who have made financial donations via PayPal: Nancy Lekin, Theresa Reckling, and Debbie Thompson.

Welcome to the newest donors to Players Workshop Supporting Cast at the following levels: Bonnie Downes (Supporting Cast) and Libba Flores, in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Friday (Stage Crew). 

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

If you would like to donate to the Pandemic Response Fund, mail to PO Box 793, Burlington, Iowa or click on the Donate button at the top of our website, or use the link on our Facebook page. Thank you! Players Workshop is a 501(c)3 organization.


“After visiting the art show at the Art Center featuring artwork by John Weyl, I was reminded that, in 2012, founding members Bob and Marianne Ahrold had donated a framed original by John Weyl, entitled “Landscape.”  I have made inquiries and searched the theatre, to no avail.  I am wondering if someone might possibly have taken the Weyl art home for safekeeping, as had been done with some of the other works we (PW) have owned. Or maybe it’s tucked away safely in a corner somewhere.  I am asking that, if anyone knows of the whereabouts of this piece, please contact me or any board member.  Thank you.”  Mary Fox, Pres.


Players Workshop is currently conducting a membership drive for 2020-21.  While this normally occurs during the run of PW’s fall show, this “season” is not “normal!”

Many who would have joined by this time have yet to do so, and new members are also needed, as, even if plays are not currently being produced, volunteers are still needed to help with PW’s many activities.  Dues are only $20 a year, and, in addition, only dues-paying members will be notified of PW’s annual general membership business meeting.

Dues may be sent to Players Workshop, POB 793, Burlington, IA 52601; please mark it to the attention of Carol Hinkle; for more information contact Carol Hinkle at 319-850-1394 or


IN JANUARY--look online for familiar PW faces-- Jayne & Kevin Gobble, Carol & Chris Hinkle, Libba Flores & Gene Anderson-- reprising the comedic “Old Folks” sketches (made famous by Carol Burnett & Harvey Korman), on the old The Carol Burnett Show!

 GARAGE SALE # 3 is being planned for early spring, so please start searching out those hidden treasures you might be willing to contribute! The summer garage sales brought in around 4,000 badly needed dollars!



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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