A Message From Actors Circle’s President

As incoming President, I am honored and delighted to welcome you to our 35th season at Actors Circle at the Providence Playhouse, and again thank you for your loyal patronage.   Looking back on the past year, I can first express on behalf of our entire board heartfelt gratitude to John McInerney for his dedication, guidance, and gentle manner as President the last 3 years, ending in June.  I must also note that this same year we accepted the resignation of longstanding Board member, Janet Loewe, who for 25 years has delighted and impressed our audiences with her talent and professionalism on stage.    In Janet’s honor, we are establishing a special award  bearing her name, to be bestowed annually upon a worthy actor at season’s end.   We have also rejoined NEPTA (Northeastern Pennsylvania Theatrical Alliance), after a hiatus, and this past April, a number of our 2014 - 2015 season productions, directors, casts, and crews were nominated for NEPTA AWARDS, and came away with 4 of them. We also introduced two productions of original material, called Summer Shorts, and Seasoned Stew.  We inaugurated our new “white screen” this summer by showing vintage movies on Saturdays at 2:00.  Our goal was to utilize the theater as much as possible, even when we don’t have a mainstage production running.  To that end, we will continue to present movies, videos of past productions, and special programs, including, we hope, a “Salute to Vaudeville.” Our theater will also be available for rental by groups who want to present programs of various kinds, during the off season and in between our shows.

 As usual, however, we will focus most intensely on our 35th season’s productions, which you will find described briefly on the back cover of the program. You can also find more detailed information about these shows and their themes on our website at, and on Facebook.   These productions not only promise to entertain you but also to challenge and provoke you.  Theater is an interactive art form that creates a kind of conversation between the audience and the actors on stage, so as audience members we become a part of the production ourselves. It often forces us to explore thoughts and ideas that differ from our own. We leave the theater talking about what we just experienced — laughing over funny moments, questioning the playwright’s intention, disagreeing with the play’s conclusions — all of which fosters a sense of community.

One of our key objectives for Actors Circle is to encourage the development of skills in theatre arts.  We do this by inviting amateur and professional up-and-coming actors, writers, directors, designers and technical staff to create these performances.  Often, when people think of a theater production, the director, the actors, and the audience quickly come to mind. In reality, it takes a small army of dedicated volunteers  --- our community  --- often working behind the scenes, to create an evening of magic. Countless hours are spent, not only by actors, directors, costumers, set, light and sound designers to craft the mood and environment, but also by volunteers stuffing programs before the show; greeting patrons; serving coffee; and by a dedicated crew who clean the theater late into the evening one-day prior to opening night. We are honored that our volunteers share their time with us, and that you, our audience members, do the same. For in today’s world of competing forms of entertainment, live theater plays a special role. So it goes: here at Actors Circle, a presence in the community for 35 years, we continue to provide not only the classics, but also new and original productions fostering uplifting, moving, gut chuckling theatre for all ages.  So, whether you are new to Actors Circle, or an old friend, we’re glad you are with us for this season.


Patricia Purcell