The Walpole Footlighters held their annual meeting on June 10, 2020 over Zoom. At the meeting, the following members were elected to the Board of Directors:
President Kathy Hardigan
Vice President Meg Culkeen
Treasurer Marianne Phinney
Secretary Linda Berman
Publicity Steve Small
Publications Lisa Cyr
Member at Large Martin Lombardi
House Manager Dan Sheehan
Play Reading Committee:
Congratulations to the new Board members and thank you to those who have ended their terms!
Dear members of the Walpole Footlighters community,
It is with a great sadness that we write to you today to let you know that the Board of Directors has decided we must cancel productions at our theater for the remainder of this calendar year.
We take this action with reluctance, but we believe it is the best way available to protect the health of our patrons and the many volunteers who make our productions possible. The continuing uncertainty over the dangers of COVID-19 left us few options. We explored how we could open the theater in a way that would be safe and comfortable for everyone involved. We determined that our space would not allow the necessary social distancing and other precautions that would provide each of you a worry-free experience at the theater.
This is particularly difficult because of the uplift and comfort and transportive qualities that theater offers. Live theater provides a communal experience, a special kind of story telling that is enriched by the palpable chemistry between audience and actors. We will deeply miss you while we put our productions on hold.
We are hopeful that we will be able to open the theater and welcome you all back early in 2021. The Board will keep close track of medical and governmental guidance and will decide in the fall if we can proceed safely. We would love to welcome you all back for an abbreviated season, perhaps one or two productions early next year. We had a delightful season lined up: Calendar Girls (postponed from its originally scheduled production in May), the musical Once Upon a Mattress, the drama Dinner with Friends, and the delightful comedy Sylvia. We will consider some mix of those for Winter and Spring productions.
We will be issuing refunds by check to ticket holders for Calendar Girls. This may take several weeks, so we ask for your patience. We would humbly ask you to consider turning the cost of your ticket into a donation to the Walpole Footlighters to help offset the financial burden this postponement will impose on the theater. If you would like to do so, please email email@example.com or call 508-668-8446 by June 30.
We will not be selling season tickets for the 2020-2021 season, but season ticket holders can be assured that they will have their preferred seats available for the 2021-2022 season.
If there is one source of comfort in all this, it is knowing that we will see you again in our home in East Walpole, welcome you back, and share once more our love of theater.
Please take care of yourselves and your families and stay safe.
With warmest regards,
Peter Bradley, President, 2019-2020
Kathleen Hardigan, President, 2020-2021
May production of Calendar Girls Postponed to September
Once Upon a Mattress Now Opens on November 6
Dear Footlighters Patrons and Friends,
After careful consideration, the Footlighters Board of Directors decided to postpone our May production of Calendar Girls until September due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We are disappointed to pause our 96th season, but the health and well-being of our theater community is our top priority. We believe postponing the show will allow us to share this wonderful show with our loyal patrons at a safer, healthier and more enjoyable time.
Calendar Girls will now open on Friday, September 11, 2020 and run for two weekends, concluding Sunday, September 20, 2020 and including matinees on both Saturdays and Sundays. We will rebook all May Calendar Girls tickets for the corresponding show in September.
Most tickets to Calendar Girls have automatically carried over to the new run dates. The day of the week, performance start time, and your seating location remains the same - only the performance date has been affected.
Tickets for Will be carried over to
Friday, May 1 Friday, Sept. 11
Saturday, May 2 Saturday, Sept. 12
Sunday, May 3 Sunday, Sept. 13
Friday, May 8 Friday, Sept. 18
Saturday, May 9 Saturday, Sept. 19
Sunday, May 17 Sunday, Sept. 20
For patrons with tickets for the third weekend of performances, we will work with you to rebook your tickets for the two weekends of performances. If the rescheduled show poses a conflict, we will work with you to select another Calendar Girls performance, issue a refund for your ticket or you may consider donating the value of your ticket purchase to the Walpole Footlighters. Details about how to exchange and rebook your ticket(s) are available here: https://bit.ly/2UpIoBc. If you cannot access to this link, please call us at 508.668.8446.
We plan to move forward with our 97th season and anticipate Once Upon a Mattress will open on November 6, 2020 and run for three weekends concluding November 22, 2020. Sylvia remains unchanged and will run from February 5 – 21, 2021 and Dinner with Friends will run from May 7 – 23, 2021 as originally planned. You will receive our annual brochure detailing the 97th season and instructions for how to purchase subscriptions in May.
Thank you for your patronage and understanding as we navigate this public health crisis. If you have any questions or wish to discuss further, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish you good health and look forward to seeing you in September to conclude our 96th season, and again in November as we kick off the 97th season.
President, Walpole Footlighters
Dear Footlighters Patrons and Members,
At the Walpole Footlighters, the health and well-being of our theater community is our top priority. We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) developments and following the guidance of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the state of Massachusetts and the Walpole Board of Health.
We continue to work with a professional cleaning service to ensure a clean and safe environment for our theater community of loyal patrons, performers, technical crew and the many volunteers who make our productions possible. We encourage everyone at the theater and at home to take the necessary precautions, including frequent and thorough handwashing to prevent the spread of illness.
We expect our production of Calendar Girls, opening on May 1, will take place as scheduled, but we will continue to monitor the situation and act accordingly. In the event we need to modify the schedule, we will update you and work with patrons individually. We will remain vigilant and are prepared to make decisions based on changing conditions. We will provide you with timely updates on our website, social media and via email.
Please stay healthy, take care and we look forward to seeing you later this spring.
President, Walpole Footlighters
The Walpole Footlighters is pleased to announce the cast for our May production of Calendar Girls!
Cora: Nicole DAttilio
Chris: Liz Eacmen
Annie: Cindy Bell
Jessie: Barbara Schapiro
Celia: Anita Harkess
Ruth: Leanne Law
Marie: Evie Rayburg
Brenda Hulse/Lady Cravenshire: Cynthia Small
John: Woody Farrick
Rod: Kevin Lowney
Lawrence: Gary Mlinac
Elaine: Kristen Annese
Liam: Daniel Corwin
Thank you to all who auditioned!
The Walpole Footlighters are pleased to announce open auditions for Calendar Girls by Tim Firth, based on the Miramax motion picture by Juliette Towhidi and Tim Firth, on Tuesday, January 21 at 7:00 pm at the Footlighters Playhouse, 2 Scout Rd, East Walpole, MA. If you can’t make the auditions on January 21, please contact the director at email@example.com to make other arrangements. Callbacks, if needed, will be held Sunday, February 9 at 7:00 pm. The script calls for 10 women, apparent ages 20 to 70, and 4 men, apparent ages 20 to 50. The production will be directed by Marianne Phinney.
Performance dates are May 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17. Rehearsals will begin on February 11 and will be on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings. This is a non-union production and there is no pay for actors.
Actors cast in the six leading roles must be willing to pose nude but will be concealed by a variety of props – cinnamon buns, flowers, balls of wool on knitting needles, and fruit. The audience will never see any “naughty bits.”
Auditions are by appointment and will consist of readings from the script. Sign up for a time slot at https://www.theaterforms.com/walpolefootlighters/calendargirls/auditionform/. Upload your resume and headshot when you sign up or bring copies to your audition.
When Annie’s husband John dies of leukemia, she and best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. They manage to persuade four fellow Women’s Institute members to pose nude with them for an “alternative” calendar, with a little help from hospital porter and amateur photographer Lawrence. The news of the women’s charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on their small village. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie’s friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame. Calendar Girls is based on a true story.
CHRIS - 50s. You want Chris at your party. She will talk to people she doesn’t know, find things to say to all silences and generate laughter. Part of this is because Chris is at home in crowds, holding court, being the centre of attention. Without Chris in her life, Annie would be better behaved, her life less fun. The two of them are like naughty schoolgirls. Poses for the nude calendar.
ANNIE - 50s. Annie will join in mischief but is at heart more conformist and less confrontational than Chris. After Chris has put a waiter’s back up in the restaurant, Annie will go in and pour calm. The mischievousness Chris elicits saves Annie from being a saint. She has enough edge to be interesting, and enough salt not to be too sweet. Poses for the nude calendar.
CORA - around 40. Cora’s past is the most eclectic, her horizons broadened by having gone to college. This caused a tectonic shift with her more parochial parents. She came back to them pregnant and tail-between-legs, but Cora has too much native resilience to be downtrodden. She is the joker in the pack, but never plays the fool. Her wit is deadpan. It raises laughter in others, but rarely in herself. Cora must be able to sing well enough to start the show with “Jerusalem” and sing the snatches of other songs required. If the actor can play basic chords on the piano, so much the better. Poses for the nude calendar.
JESSIE - late 60s/70s. Get on the right side of Jessie as a teacher and she’ll be the teacher you remember for life. Get on the wrong side and you will regret every waking hour. A lover of life, Jessie doesn’t bother with cosmetics — her elixir of life is bravery. Jessie goes on rollercoasters. Jessie bothers about grammar and will correct stallholders regarding their abuse of the apostrophe “s”. Poses for the nude calendar.
CELIA - age anything 35-50. The fact that Celia is in the WI is the greatest justification of its existence. A woman more at home in a department store than a church hall, she may be slightly younger than Chris or the same age, but she always feels like she’s drifted in from another world. Which she has. She is particularly enamoured of Jessie, and despite the fact Jessie has very little time for most Celias of this world, there is a rebelliousness in Celia to which Jessie responds. It’s what sets Celia apart from the vapid materialism of her peer group and made her defect. Poses for the nude calendar.
RUTH - 40s. Ruth’s journey is from the false self-confidence of the emotionally abused to the genuine self confidence of the woman happy in her own skin. Ruth is eager to please but not a rag doll, and despite being Marie’s right-hand woman she is desperate to be the cartilage in the spine of the WI and keep everyone happy. She has spine herself — if she was too wet, no-one would want her around. But they do, and they feel protective of her because they sense there is something better in Ruth than her life is letting out. They are proved right. Poses for the nude calendar.
MARIE - 50s. Marie has gradually built the current ‘Marie’ around herself over the years as a defence mechanism. She went to her Oz, Cheshire, and found Oz didn’t want her. She came back scorched. The WI is a trophy to her, which justifies her entire existence. There is a lingering part of Marie that would love to be on that calendar.
BRENDA HULSE – 40s - 60s. Brenda is a dull speaker who goes to various Women’s Institutes to give lectures, accompanied by slides, on topics like “The History of the Tea Towel.” Her topic this time is “Broccoli.” Brenda may be played by the same actor as Lady Cravenshire.
LADY CRAVENSHIRE - 60s. Lady Cravenshire really doesn’t mean to be so patronizing. But the WI girls seem from another world. The world of her estate workers. When she makes an entrance, she must make an entrance. She must glide in like a galleon.
ELAINE - 20s. Elaine really doesn’t mean to be so patronizing. But Jessie seems from another world. The world of her gran. Her clinical whites slice through like a knife. You feel you could cut yourself on that dress.
JOHN - 50s. John is a human sunflower. Not a saint. Not a hero. Just the kind of man you’d want in your car when crossing America. When he dies it feels like someone somewhere turned a light off.
ROD - Chris's husband, 50s. You have to be a certain kind of guy to stick with Chris and Rod loves it. He can give back what he gets, and has a deadpan humour which has always made Chris laugh. He drinks a lot but never so much as to have a problem. He would work every hour to make his shop a success. And John was his mate, even though the relationship was originally channelled through their wives.
LAWRENCE - late 20s. Hesitant without being nerdy, Lawrence is a shy young man with enough wit to make a joke and enough spirit to turn up at the WI hall in the first place. When he arranges the shots he is close to female nudity but sees only the photo. May be played by the same actor as Liam.
LIAM - late 20s. Liam would like to be directing other things than photoshoots for washing powders. He’s not so unprofessional as to let it show, but we can sense a slight weariness at having to deal with these women. There’s a resigned patience to his actions and each smile he makes we feel is professional. For Liam, this photoshoot is a job. And not the job he wanted.
We are pleased to announce the cast of Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz, directed by Jennifer Rich.
Brooke Wyeth: Brooke Casanova
Polly Wyeth: Cynthia Bell
Lyman Wyeth: Jim Cannizaro
Silda Grauman: Barbara Schapiro
Trip Wyeth: Mark Prokes
Show dates are February 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8:00 PM. Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 PM.
We are pleased to announce auditions for our winter play, Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz, directed by Jennifer Rich. Auditions will take place on Sunday, November 17 at 6:00 p.m., Monday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m., with call backs if needed on Wednesday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the Footlighters Playhouse at 2 Scout Road, East Walpole, MA.
Auditions will consist of readings from the script.
Rehearsals will start the first week of December and will be Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday evenings. Show dates are February 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8:00 PM. Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 PM.
The cast consists of three women and two men. The plot summary and character details are included below.
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or the director at email@example.com.
Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas with her parents, her brother, and her aunt. Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history — a wound they don’t want reopened. Refusing to back down in the face of the family's reaction, Brooke draws her line in the sand and dares them all to cross it.
Female, mid 30’s – Middle child, but the oldest surviving child. Brooke has been haunted by her brother's passing for years and is trying to overcome those demons. Anxious about the reception of her latest project, but past the point of letting her parents hold her back from her life.
Female, 50’s to 60’s - The matriarch of the Wyeth family. The family's perceived image may just be more important to her than her children, despite her protestations to the contrary.
Male, 50’s to 60’s – The patriarch of the family. Old school actor turned politician, he frequently finds himself playing peacemaker in the home and is tiring of it.
Female, 50’s to 60’s - Polly's sister. She and Polly used to be a writing team, but she’s now a tolerated live-in house guest. Rather a hot mess, with little filter, and no more time for games or secrets.
Male, mid 20’s - The youngest son, now a reality TV producer. Loyal to his family, he also tries to stay above all the in-fighting despite the best efforts of the women on both sides to pull him in for support.
The Walpole Footlighters is pleased to announce the cast of the opening production of the 2019-2020 season, 9 to 5 The Musical, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and Book by Patricia Resnick.
Violet Newstead – Kathleen Hardigan
Doralee Rhodes – Sarah Hines
Judy Bernly – Rachael Rabinovitz
Franklin Hart Jr. – Dan Kirichok
Roz Keith – Sally McAllister
Joe - Will Oliver
Dwayne Rhodes - Eric Lightbody
Josh Newstead - Joe Burke
Missy Hart/Ensemble - Meaghan Culkeen
Maria Delgado - Leah D’Sa
Dick Bernly / Doctor - Mike Long
Kathy - Amy Keegan
Margaret – Beth Morrell
Bob Enright/Orderly - Matthew Divoll
Tinsworthy/Ensemble – Michael Dornisch
Detective/Ensemble – Joe Bere
Candy Striper/Ensemble – Lindsay Hemingway
Intern/Ensemble – Denise Feeney
Office Worker/Ensemble – Heather Vieira
Thank you to all who auditioned!
9 to 5 The Musical is directed by Colleen Lavery McElhinney with Music Direction by Danielle Clougher and Chorography by Nicole Carey. The Production Manager is Peter McElhinney; Stage Manager is Linda Berman.
The Walpole Footlighters are pleased to announce auditions for “9 to 5 The Musical” will take place Sunday, June 2 at 5:00 p.m. and Monday, June 3 at 7:00 p.m. Call-backs will take place as needed on Wednesday, June 5 at 7:00 p.m. Auditions will consist of singing, participating in a group dance number and readings from the script. Please prepare to perform 16-32 measures of a song in the style of the show.
Performance Dates: October 25, 26 and November 1, 2, 3, and 8, 9, 10. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8:00 p.m. Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 p.m.
Colleen Lavery McElhinney is the director, Danielle Clougher is the music director and Nicole Carey is the choreographer. All performances take place at the Footlighters Playhouse at 2 Scout Road, East Walpole, MA. All roles are open. The cast will include approximately 15 actors, who will be asked to join as members. Rehearsals are typically Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday and will begin in late August, based on availability.
Please contact Production Manager Peter McElhinney at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a specific audition time to expedite the audition process. Walk-ins are welcome, but will audition after scheduled auditions are competed.
Please contact Colleen Lavery McElhinney with any questions at email@example.com.
9 to 5 The Musical with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnick, is based on the 1980 hit movie and takes place in the late 1970s. Pushed to the boiling point, three female coworkers concoct a plan to get even with their boss, Mr. Hart, a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot. In a hilarious turn of Mr. Hart remains “otherwise engaged,” the women give their workplace a dream makeover, taking control of the company that had always kept them down. Hey, a girl can scheme, can’t she?
Cast breakdown is listed on the Footlighters website on our Auditions page.