WEBLetter, October 2023

Message from the Providence Players Board President, Kevin Harnisch

Kevin Harnisch

Greetings Everyone,

Here we go on to our 26th year! This is a significant accomplishment in Community Theater and it’s all because of you, our dedicated members, our patrons, and fantastic audiences!  So, we look forward to your joining us as we launch an exciting new season with the well-known mystery thriller, Deathtrap.

As for me, I begin my term as President with the good fortune to have had exemplary previous Board leadership. In fact, many of these leaders remain active on the Board today. As a founding member of PPF, I bring a history of commitment to supporting and encouraging member participation, ensuring financial health and organization continuity, while creating high quality theater.

I’m pleased to announce that our company is fiscally sound, and our audiences are trending toward pre-pandemic numbers. However, we still have a way to go.  To that end, each Board member is actively supporting our mission and involved in one or more of the following standing committees: Play Selection; Budget; Community Relations; Membership; Box Office / House Management and Marketing.

Providence Players of Fairfax is committed to maintaining a “big tent” – big enough to include first timers to theatrical endeavors and those with significant theater experience. This includes you! For those of you who have been with us during these past 26 years, we thank you. To those of you who want to participate on-stage, backstage, behind the scenes, or as an ongoing member of our audience – we welcome you. Come join in the fun!

Best regards,

Kevin Harnisch
President, Board of Directors\

Coming Attraction: Deathtrap, by Ira Levin
Directed by Tina Hodge Thronson

In this well-known mystery thriller, Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway hits, is struggling to overcome a “dry” spell which has resulted in a series of box office flops.  A possible break in his fortunes occurs when he receives a remarkable script from a student which Sidney recognizes immediately as a potential Broadway juggernaut.  Sidney’s plan, which he devises with his wife’s help, is to offer assistance to the student in exchange for co-credit.  But is that really his plan?  Suspense mounts steadily as the plot begins to twist and turn with devilish cleverness, and with such an abundance of thrills and laughter, that audiences will be held enthralled until the final, startling moments of the play.  Warning: This play contains moments of violence and gunshots. Tickets on sale now!  Opens Friday, October 13! See the official announcement posting of the cast and director here.

Director in the Spotlight – Tina Hodge Thronson

Tina Thronson

Sadly, when I mention that I am directing Deathtrap I am often asked “…wait, is that by Agatha Christie?” or “Didn’t that play run for decades? Is it still running?”

No. No. No!

(L-R) Matthew Randall as Sidney, Roxanne Waite as Mrya and Chuck O’Toole as Clifford with Director Tina Thronson (seated). Not pictured: Angela Cannon as Helga and David Ranowsky as Porter. Photo by Chip Gertzog.

I am directing Deathtrap by Ira Levin – not Mousetrap by Agatha Christie! And, although I love Agatha Christie, Deathtrap is a much better play. (I know, sacrilege).

Ira Levin’s two-hour play is a masterclass in the creation of a diabolically clever plot. Egotistical playwright Sidney Bruhl is suffering from writer’s block when he receives a student’s manuscript in the mail that he is convinced will be a surefire hit. What should he do with the manuscript? What should he do with the student? And why does his wife not understand his predicament?

Angela Cannon as Helga and David Ranowsky as Porter. Photos by Chip Gertzog.

Lucky for me, I am not only blessed with a terrific script but also with wonderful actors. Matthew Randall as Sidney and Roxanne Waite as his wife Myra are the loving and mutually supportive couple who welcome graduate student Clifford Anderson (Chuck O’Toole) into their homes to discuss his play. As we add a psychic neighbor (Angela Cannon) and the family attorney (David Ranowsky) into the mix, this delicious comedy-thriller will keep audiences guessing– and just in time for Halloween!

Please come to see the play – and bring a friend to hold your hand.


Behind the Scenes

Enjoy these photos from the first read thru of Dash: The Musical and the set build for Deathtrap.

Authors Deborah Davidson and Barbara Schelstrate lead the cast through its first read-through of Dash: The Musical.

PPF Throwback Theater: Mysteries from the Past

Enjoy these photos from previous mysteries:   Witness for the Prosecution (2005), Rehearsal for Murder (2009) and And Then There Were None (2020).  All photos by Chip Gertzog.

Member Updates

  • Welcome New members:  Margaret Buddeke, Byron Cook, John Dwyer, Robin Gold, Roberta Medrano, Keely Sullivan, and Chris Townsend.  Welcome to Providence Players!
  • Renewing members include:  Sara Bennett, John Barclay Burns, Angela Cannon, Christian Faulkner, Allen Flanigan, Craig Geoffrion, Jason Hamrick, Beth Harrison, Mona Kay Helper, Brenda Hornbeck, Daniel Lavanga, Sarah Mournighan, Brian O’Connor, Chuck O’Toole, Katherine Phillips (& Family), Matthew Randall, John Smith, Robbie Snow, Allison Turkel, Roxanne Waite, Andra Whitt, and David Wright.
  • If your membership is lapsed and you wish to renew, you can click here.

Want to join in the fun? Here are two ways to let us know!

  • Send an email directly to members@providenceplayers.org  and we will pass along your interest to the Directors.
  • Complete the Member Interest survey. To get started just click the link below, take 5 minutes, fill out the form and hit send!  We will review your interests and reach out to you when opportunities present themselves.

Click here to fill out the volunteer form. 

We look forward to working and playing with you!

Final Curtain?

(Have an update you would like to share with your fellow members?  Please send an email to members@providenceplayers.org 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.
WEBLetter Editor:  Tina Hodge Thronson