Member WEBLetter, September 2018

Photos by Chip Gertzog Providence PlayersCalling All Members – A Newsletter Just for You

For years, we’ve been saying, We need to update our members on the exciting happenings and news at PPF.”  Well, that day has come.  This is the first of (hopefully) many useful newsletters to provide you the information you need to stay engaged and up-to-date on happenings at PPF!  Auditions, opening and holiday events, member-only volunteer opportunities, workshops, set builds, strikes and happenings on what other members are doing.  All in one place.

Please let us know what you think!  This is your newsletter, so we welcome any ideas on how to make it better or suggestions on useful information to include by sending an email to  Look forward to hearing from you.

Auditions – A Christmas Carol

Come audition!  It’s a great experience and great fun.  Open auditions are Sept 4-6 and the director, Beth Gilles-Whitehead is looking for all ages, all races, and all are welcome!  For more information, check out our audition announcement posted here or go to the Audition Announcement page.

Meet the Directors for the 2018-2019 Season

The key to getting to work on stage is knowing your directors – and we have a great line up.  Award nominees and winners – all!  Find out more about who will be leading the creative vision of our productions this year.  Who knows – a little insight may even help you get a role or an opportunity to work on the production.  Check it out!

Beth Hughes-Brown
Beth Hughes-Brown

Lovers & Executioners, By John Strand
Meet Director, Beth Hughes-Brown

Beth Hughes-Brown has directed extensively for PPF, including award-winning productions of Is He Dead?, Sleuth, and Moon over Buffalo.  She has also directed A Christmas Carol, Witness for the Prosecution, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Lend Me a Tenor, among others.  Also, an accomplished actress, Beth has been nominated for several WATCH (acting and tech) awards, and has masters and baccalaureate degrees in vocal performance from Catholic University.


A Christmas Carol, By Charles Dickens and Adapted by Rob Zapple
Meet Director, Beth Gilles-Whitehead

Beth Whitehead is a current PPF board member, and has directed many productions for PPF, including All My Sons which won Ruby Griffith Award’s top honor – All Round Production Excellence.  In 2017, she directed To Kill a Mockingbird, which won eleven (11) WATCH nominations as stands as PPF’s top producing and highest attended production of all time.  Beth has an MFA in Theatre Arts from Cornell University.

“I wanted to direct A Christmas Carol because I’m moved by its redemptive spirit and its hope for humanity.  We must learn to love and forgive – to give.  We must recognize the Scrooge in ourselves, so we can be moved to a more loving, giving and forgiving place in our heart.  This is a special version of the tale, as it places the story in another time of human struggle – the Depression.  Bluegrass music and the beauty of this story uplifts the spirits of all who hear it, even those in the midst economic crisis in American history.”

Michael Donahue
Michael Donahue

August: Osage County, By Tracy Letts
Meet Director, Michael Donahue

Michael is a current PPF board member and been actively directing and acting with PPF since 2009.  Also, an award-winning director, Michael directed Front Page in last year’s season as well as productions of Calendar Girls and House of Blue Leaves.  Michael has an MFA in Theater Directing and was Artistic Director for Playhouse on the Square’s Professional Theatre for Youth in Memphis, TN and Associate Artistic Director for HITT Productions.

“I wanted to direct August: Osage County because [it’s] about a family and all of the complex relationships and secrets that lurk beneath told with a sense of dark humor.  I love to direct theatrically challenging and complex plays.  Especially, the challenge of bringing to life these characters with all of their flaws so that the audience will have empathy for these people while laughing at the dark humor.”

Julie Janson and (husband) Chris Crockett
Julie Janson and (husband) Chris Crockett

Leaving Iowa, By Tim Clue and Spike Manton
Meet Director, Julie Janson

Julie is an award-winning director, having directed Amadeus in 2016 – winner of the Ruby Griffith Award of Outstanding Achievement in a Play as well as six (6) WATCH nominations, including Outstanding Play.  As her first directing gig with PPF, Amadeus was one of the top three highest producing and most watched shows in PPF history.

“I wanted to direct Leaving Iowa because it’s a show about family relationships that almost anyone can relate to. It is not only hilarious, but touching and thought-provoking as well, especially when it comes to showing gratitude for those we may take for granted. Particularly appealing to me and my husband, Christopher Crockett (technical director, and pictured left) is that this show presents wonderful staging challenges we know will make us both better at our craft. We look forward to working with our team to put on a family friendly show which will showcase the extremely sophisticated talent in our local community.”

Membership is Getting an Overhaul

(About time!)  If you joined us for the Annual meeting in June, then you know that Membership is getting a bit of an overhaul.  Why?  Frankly, because we just want to do a better job of providing the benefits members should receive, increase our offerings, and make it easier to renew, update your information and provide preferences for what you like to do and what you don’t like to do.  Here’s a quick summary of the changes that will take effect on January 1, 2019:

  • Members will receive a discount on all PPF events that require an entrance fee (e.g., opening night events).
  • Members will be offered opportunities to participate in workshops – we look forward to your ideas and suggestions.
  • Members will be offered the chance to provide input on plays for season consideration.
  • Opportunities to provide input on PPF productions.

In addition, there will be some changes to the membership join or renewal process

  • To accommodate added benefits, Membership dues for individuals will increase from $10.00 to $25.00 per year – still a deal (as of September 1, 2018).
  • PPF will add a family membership for families of three or more – flat rate of $60.00 (so all members of the family are considered members).
  • Membership renewal will take place during the month in which you joined (no longer based on the season schedule or annual meeting).

We are excited about the new benefits and additional attention on those who help make the PPF engine run – YOU!  Thank you for your support of our efforts – your time and talent – as it is why PPF has been so successful.

Save the Date:  Holiday Party, December 1, 2018

It’s going to be a great event.  Not to be missed.

Join Us for our Next Season


Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

  • Lovers and Executions Set Build, Saturday and Sunday, September 8 & 9.  RSVP
  • Lovers and Executions Ushers Needed, October 5-20.  Sign Up
  • Lovers and Executions Set Strike, Sunday, October 21.  RSVP
  • Director, Beth Gilles-Whitehead, is looking for production volunteers for A Christmas Carol.  Interested in being part of this wonderful production, send an email to with the subject line: A Christmas Carol.
Blast from the past!  Beth Whitehead and Patrick David in the 2011 production of "Auntie Mame."
Blast from the past!  Beth Whitehead and Patrick David in the 2011 production of “Auntie Mame.”

Member Updates

  • Members, Lindsey Doane and David Morris are engaged.  Congrats, Lindsey and David!
  • Members (and Board members) , Jayne Victor and Michael Donahue were married!  Congratulations you two!
  • Member, Danine Welsh joined the board for a two-year appointment.
  • Welcome new members:  Margo Bendery, Emily-Grace Rowson, Joshua McCreary, and Kirstin K. Apker.
(Have an update you would like to share with your fellow members?  Please send an email to with the subject line “Member Update” and we will include it!)
(In a show with another company?  Join our Facebook Group page.  Share the news!)
Click here to see a list of previous WEBLetters.