“On The Boards”
The Newsletter of The Villages Musical Theater
Hello everyone! Here’s an update on what’s going on with VMT! Lots of good information and fun stuff to know about.
“We’re Singing Our Songs!”
With such a great response from our membership and The Villages community at large, how could we not present a follow-up production to our show last October? This year’s show is called “We’re Singing Our Songs” Celebrating 10 years of Musical Theater in The Villages. The show will include songs from shows like ‘Chicago’, ‘Hello Dolly’, ‘Carousel’, ‘You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, ‘Brigadoon’, ‘The Music Man’, ‘Crazy for You’, ‘Sweet Charity’, ‘South Pacific’ and six other great Broadway Hits. This 90 minute review is a must see musical event. We bring a cast of your favorite Villages performers, including Billie Thatcher, John Rogerson, Carolyn Hoffman, Bob Stehman, Bob Brandoni, Sue Schuler, Sally Spieth, Tim Casey, Dave and Dellie Saxe, and others. Only one show will be presented at 6:30pm on October 12th at La Hacienda Rec. Center. Tickets are $15 and available at all Villages Box Office locations and on line. Important note about tickets: this show is reserved seating, not general admission, so the sooner you get your tickets, the better your seats! Don’t miss this wonderful trip down ‘memory lane’. Part of the proceeds will be donated to Sozo Kids.
Annual Membership Meeting
Our Annual Membership meeting will be held on Monday November 4 at 6:30 PM. We will once again have a few changes to the By-laws
for your approval. I’ll send another email out later this month on those suggested changes.
Of course, one of the main pieces of business at the annual meeting is the election of board members. As you may know, wehave seven members on the Board, each of whom serves a 2-year term, four elected in one year and the other three elected the next year. This year there are four Board seats up for election. We already know that one person will not stand for re-election, and one other person will be leaving the board a year early, so we will be filling that seat with an election for a one-year term. This is your chance to serve VMT by serving on the Board. If you are interested, please contact me via email at email@example.com. Thanks!
“The Producers” Spring 2020
We are all excited to be producing this great multiple TONY winning musical. At the 2001 Tony Awards, The Producers won 12 out of its 15 nominations, setting the record for most wins in history and becoming one of the few musicals to win in every category for which it was nominated (there were multiple nominations in the same category). Our cast has been announced and what a cast it is! Led by Tim Casey and Bob Stehman, this is sure to be another outstanding production! The full cast listing can be found under"The Producers" tab on this website.
We are in need of people to work with costumes and backstage duties. If you are interested, please contact director Carol Greenfield at firstname.lastname@example.org and offer to help. Thanks!!
That’s it for this edition!
See you soon On the Boards!
Bill Davis, Board Chair, email@example.com
"South Pacific" Donation Made to
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
"South Pacific" was not only a great artistic success but a financial one as well. As a result, The Villages Musical Theater was able to present a very generous donation of
$10,000 to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The donation will be used to fund research into cures and treatments for this disease.
Pictured above making the presentation to Mary Healey, the Developmental Director of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, are Sandie Hawthorne, director of "South Pacific", and Ed Slivken, Assistant Director and Treasurer of the Villages Musical Theater.
ANNUAL MEETING NOVEMBER 2018
The Annual Meeting for the
Villages Musical Theater was held at Canal Street Recreation Center on November 2.
Elected to two year terms on the Board were : Mary Lou Merkner, Dave Newell, and Ed Slivken.
Sandie Hawthorne was presented with the Member of the Year award for her long time outstanding service to the organization, both as a long time Board Chairperson and multiple artistic achievements as a director.
Sandie is pictured below with her award and VMT Chairman Bill Davis.
“On The Boards”
The Newsletter of The Villages Musical Theater
Hello everyone! Some very important information in this letter about the annual meeting, suggested by-law changes, and a casting need for “South Pacific”, among other things. Please be sure to read everything as there are some important announcements. Thanks!
“There’s No Business Like Show Business”
Our fall 2018 show, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” was performed on October 10, 6:30 at La Hacienda Rec Center to a large and very appreciative audience. (SEE THE NEWS ARTICLE AND PICTURES BELOW THIS NEWESLETTER)
Based on the enthusiastic audience response at the show and on responses many of us have heard, the audience loved the show! The show was also a financial success, and we’ll be sharing some specifics about that at the Annual Meeting. Many thanks to everyone who was involved with this production both on stage and off. The Board will be considering another show next fall highlighting the rest of our productions from “Chicago” to the new “South Pacific”. Stay tuned for more info!
Director Sandie Hawthorne and her team will be starting rehearsals on November 5. Before then however they need to recast one important role. Please help us get the word out about this audition.
Here is the information:
An audition is scheduled for anyone living in The Villages who would like to compete for the role of Lt. Joe Cable (A TENOR) in the VMT's spring, 2019, classic musical, "South Pacific." All competing will be asked to sing one song from the show, and also be prepared to do readings from the script. "Younger Than Springtime" or "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught" are the music choices. We're looking for a gentleman with tenor voice range, and someone who has had acting experience. The auditions will be open only for those auditioning for this role.
Interested Villagers should come to Coconut Cove Recreation Center, 6:30 PM on Monday, October 22nd. An accompanist will be provided and sheet music will be available.
Rehearsals will begin on November 5th and the show dates are March 22-24, 2019, 6:30 PM at Savannah, and a matinee on March 24th at 2 PM.
Please contact director, Sandie Hawthorne, with any questions, at 352 205-9600 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring 2020 Production
The Board will hear presentations at our October 18 Board meeting, starting at 6 PM, at La Hacienda Rec Center. At this time we have 3 potential directors presenting shows.
Annual Meeting and Special By-Laws Meeting
Our Annual Meeting and a special meeting of the membership will be held on Friday, November 2 at Canal Street Rec center. We will have the special meeting of the membership starting at 9:30 to consider two changes to our By-Laws that the Board has endorsed. The proposed changes will be detailed in a following section of this newsletter. A membership vote and approval is required for any by-laws changes.
The regular Annual Meeting will begin immediately following the By-Law the meeting. This year there are three Board positions available, and we know at least one of the members will not stand for re-election. If you are interested in having your name placed on the ballot for one of these positions, please send an email to Bill Davis at the email listed below no later than October 30! The only requirement for Board membership is that you must be a member in good standing. Please consider serving on the board! New ideas and outlooks are always needed to keep the organization running well. New board members should be available for monthly meetings (dates and time vary by the month) and be willing and able to assist with any aspect of our work, including assisting with show productions and other work done by the board. Please note that you must be a member in good standing as of January 1, 2018, to vote at either meeting, although that might be shortened to 90 days before the meeting if our By-Law changes are approved.
Annual Member of the Year
As previously announced, we will also be celebrating Sandie Hawthorne as our Member of the Year and the Annual Meeting! Another great reason to be there!
Proposed By-Law Changes
The Board has been considering a number of changes/clarifications to By-Laws and have approved two changes for your consideration. Here is the information:
Membership Article III A Eligibility, subsection 1:
Current wording: “New memberships may be accepted as any time during the year; however, the new member must wait until the beginning of the next fiscal year before obtaining the right to vote. This provision also pertains to reinstated members who have let their memberships lapse.”
Suggested wording: “New members may be accepted at any time during the Calendar year. The new member must be an active dues paid member for at least 90 days before obtaining the right to vote. This provision also pertains to reinstated members who have let their memberships lapse.”
Membership Article III B. Dues:
Current Wording: “The annual dues shall be determined by the Board of Directors and are payable at the General Membership Meetings or upon joining. The fiscal year starts in January. It is an existing Board policy to extend any new membership paid from July to December for the entire next fiscal year”.
Suggested wording: “The annual dues shall be determined by the Board of Directors and are payable at the annual General Membership Meeting in the fall for the following calendar year. Any member who does not pay dues at the meeting may do so at any time to maintain membership. New members may join at any time during the year and dues paid at that time are for the current calendar year only. Upon being selected as a cast member for any VMT show, anyone who is not a current member must join no later than the first week of rehearsal for a fall show, or the date of the General Membership Meeting for a spring show the following year.
That’s it for this edition! Please feel free to email me with any thoughts or suggestions and to let me know if you would like to be on the ballot for a position on the board. Thanks!
Bill Davis, Board Chair
In the beginning, there was Carol Greenfield, Diane Boorum and “South Pacific.”
That is the genesis of The Villages Musical Theater. It started 16 years ago in Greenfield’s living room. She and Boorum had appeared in a production in Leesburg and the two Villagers thought it was time to form a musical theater group here.
“We wanted to start a company and see if anyone else was interested – we had 60 people at our first meeting,” Greenfield said Wednesday during an anniversary celebration of The Villages Musical Theater at La Hacienda Recreation Center.
It was called “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” And it featured an all-star cast doing musical numbers and dances from the first decade of musical comedy for the Villages Musical Theater.
During the first meeting in 2002, everyone voted on what musical to present. “South Pacific” was the winner. There was only one problem.
“We didn’t have any money to pay for the licensing rights,” Greenfield said. “I thought we’d have to mortgage the house. But they let us pay the fees after the performances and that’s how we came up with the money.”
“We knew theater would work here,” said Boorum, who now lives in Leesburg. “I’m so glad it has become a success. It’s always changing but there are so many talented people in The Villages it keeps going, and that’s why tonight is so special.”
Billie Thatcher played Nellie in the 2002 production of “South Pacific” and returned in that role to open the show.
“This is a very emotional night for me,” Thatcher said before going on. “I cried after rehearsal, there are so many memories and so many people I’ve worked with. It means a lot to me. I just hope I can get through it.”
Thatcher was dressed in a white sailor uniform and sang “I’m In Love With a Wonderful Guy” with the same shimmering spirit she did back in 2002.
Speaking of energetic performances, Bill Davis, Bob Stehman, Marty Butler and Woody Wood teamed up for “You’ve Got to Have Heart” from “Damn Yankees.”
Then Sally Spieth slinked her way around the stage while tempting Marty Butler with “Whatever Lola Wants” from “Damn Yankees.”
Janet Maloney and Bob Stehman slowed the pace with a tender, romantic ballad, “My Cup Runneth Over,” from “I Do I Do.”
Becky MacIntyre, like the character in the musical, was stuffy and sneezy singing “Adelaide’s Lament” from “Guys and Dolls.” Sue Schuler shined with exuberance on “I Could Have Danced All Night” from “My Fair Lady.” And Ray Leggiero took the spotlight from the same show with a bittersweet take on “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.”
The always-elegant Jan Lavin had some fun with a lively “I Get a Kick Out of You.” Jim Flynn wore a toga while Bruce Greenberger showed up in a dress and earned laughs on “Lovely Reprise” from “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”
John Rogerson played the leading man in many of the early shows. He was romantic on “You’d Be So Easy to Love” and “Hey There.” Rogerson then hammed it up with Bonnie Williams on “Anything You Can Do” from “Annie Get Your Gun.”
Kathy Chesley-Williams and Jill Brewer scorched the stage with the dance number to “Steam Heat” from “The Pajama Game.”
Other performers included Bob Brandoni, Vanessa Russell and Richard Barth. An all joined forces for a rousing finale on “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”
Ironically, “South Pacific” will be the next big Villages Musical Theater production in March at Savannah Center. In some ways, the VMT has come full circle.
“It’s the first show we did and we may all be older, but ‘South Pacific’ never gets old,” said Sandie Hawthorne, who is directing the musical. “That musical and its themes of racism, love and war are still relevant today. People still love the story and they love the music.”
“Tonight is a culmination of the past 16 years,” said Bill Davis, chairman of The Villages Musical Theater. “It’s a night to recognize Carol (Greenfield) and Diane (Boorum) and thank them for starting all this.”
And part of that honor is bringing back “South Pacific” next year.
“It’s part of our history,” Davis said, “and also our future.”
Tony Violanti is a veteran journalist and writes for Villages-News.com.
VMT Presents First Spirit Award
to Karen Martin
The Villages Musical Theater presented our first ever "Spirit Award" to Karen Martin on June 10 during a special presentation at the Bridgeport
“This is historic,” said Sandie Hawthorne, vice chair of the VMT. This is the first time we’re giving out this award and it might be the last. We may not do it again, but this one is for Karen.....We honor Karen because she is so special and we recognize her courage in battling pancreatic cancer,” Hawthorne said. “We’re here to recognize Karen’s spirit. She has shown us how to hold on to life and how to live life. No matter what, Karen is determined to stay active and alive in theater.”
“Karen’s talent is what makes her special,” said Bill Davis, Chairman of The Villages Musical Theater who also leads the Villages Pop Chorus. “You combine her talent with her spirit and drive, and you truly have a special person. She inspires people.”
Sadly, Karen lost her battle with cancer just two weeks after the award presentation.
Her memory remains an inspiration for us all.
Members' Awards Dinner
April 20, 2017
Hacienda Recreation Center
Ron Spieth receives the Member of the Year award
from VMT Chairman Bill Davis
VMT Chairman Bill Davis and Sandie Hawthorne, director of "Thoroughly Modern Millie", present a check with donation of $1500 from proceeds of that show to David Houck, CEO of SOZO Youth, which provides essential services to the children and families of the Ocala National forest
MEMBERS’ AWARDS DINNER
FRIDAY, JANUARY 29TH, 2016 LAKE MIONA REC CENTER
Approximately 125 people attended the dinner, themed for Mardi Gras.
Our annual award recipient was Jean Butler, recognized for her outstanding contributions as orchestra conductor and musical director for many Villages Musical Theater productions.
Previous award recipients were:
Barbara Martin- Costume Mistress
Jan Wagner- Costume Mistress
Don Hausmann - Actor, Set Designer, Backstage crew, Board member
Joanie Young - Actress, Hospitality Chair
Awards Dinner January 2016
Annual meeting November 2015
The Board of the Villages Musical Theater
presents our new logo for the organization
Pictured with the Board is Nancy Knight who made this logo as the winning entry in our recent logo contest. The logo is also displayed on the main page of this website.
Pictured (L to R):
Front : Luma Green, Sandie Hawthorne
Rear: Ron Spieth, Nancy Knight, Bill Krone,
Bobbi Marotta, Bill Davis, Brenda Jacobsen