President's Note: December, 2018

Happy Holidays from Riverbend Players

First of all, thank you to those who have made this a memorable year. We had three successful productions this year with Born Yesterday, Love Letters and It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. Our casts and crews were wonderful to work with, their creations memorable, and audiences from far and wide were well entertained by their efforts. Also notable, is the fact that 30 percent (or greater) of actors involved in our productions were new to Riverbend; some had never acted before while others had many years of experience.

Earlier this month our board members (Jeff Slamal, VP; Linda Makohon, Secretary; Tom Mock, Treasurer; Mary Marken, Marketing; Linda Petersen, Artistic Director) had a retreat to work on our mission, by-laws, contracts with our partners, and play selections and to review the state of Riverbend Players. The board’s hard worked produced the following results:

There was total agreement that we are a community theater and not a professional organization (paid staff and directors). We mean that we want to remain an all-volunteer, non-profit for the time being. We also agreed that we need to be more inclusive by being more involved with past Riverbend Players and recruiting new members. While Riverbend Players is a non-member, non-profit (meaning we don’t require membership fees), you can still get involved at any level, including the board. If you are interested in a board position or any volunteering, contact any of us…we are always looking for new members who can help us grow the business.

We have a new play selection committee headed by Linda Petersen. Committee members include Dave Bell, Betsy McMahon, Mike Arseneault, Linda Makohon, Patty Reksten, and Stephen Clark. Their charter is to find three more plays for our summer, fall, and spring 2020 productions. Also we plan to place It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play into the rotation for one weekend in early December. More about our season soon.

We clarified the role of Director and Producer and now require line-item production budgets for every production. We’re also working with new volunteers on making the producer’s job easier and more consistent across productions.

We will be renegotiating our partner contract with NCRD next month. We are encouraged by conversations with David Wiegan, the Executive Director of NCRD around simplifying the language and terms that create a strong and lasting partnership. I’ll send the results of those negotiations next month.

We are also creating an annual operating budget for the next calendar year. Mary Marken and Jeff Slamal are working on this with Tom Mock. We haven’t had one since the non-profit was formed and we were due. The operating budget will coincide with a new NCRD contract.

One major emphasis for 2019 is finding sponsors and volunteers. I’ll have more on those programs next time I write. We’re offering training on lighting at NCRD’s Performing Arts Center in January, and I have plans to hold another session on set design and construction using our flats system.

Lastly, we are losing a great resource in CARTM. I went before the CARTM board this month and thanked them for their partnership with us on the record. They have silently helped us with props and furniture for years and will be sorely missed. We are looking for another avenues for furniture and decor going into 2019. If you see the folks at CARTM, thank them again for their participation. They’ve been wonderful.

We look forward to a vibrant, entertaining 2019 and wish you and your families the very best new year. See you at the theater!

Tom Cocklin

President - Riverbend Players