The Production Team

Staging a community theater production, like raising a child, takes a village. The on-stage cast is the visible part of the show, but there are many, many other people — the people off-stage — whose contributions are just as necessary to the success of the show.

Months before the curtain goes up, the director and assistant director in collaboration with the music director and choreographer create the vision for the production, make casting decisions, guide the performers in the interpretation of their characters, assemble musicians, and train and rehearse vocalists and dancers. Sets must be designed, built, and painted. Costumes have to be created, sewn, repaired, and cleaned. Unusual props must be found or borrowed (“we need a small outboard motor in Act 1 and a set of bag-pipes in Act 2”). Stage lighting has to be designed and arranged. Sound effects must be assembled, body-mics readied, publicity and advertising must be written and distributed, audition and rehearsal space and schedules have to be organized. Playbills and websites must be created.

That work takes place before an audience ever arrives, but during every performance, another cadre of the off-stage team perform a carefully-choreographed “dance” in support of the on-stage performers — the stage manager is in charge of the actual performance, setting its pace and tone, the backstage crew helps performers with costume and prop changes, while the musicians and conductor, the lighting and sound operators all carefully set the mood of each scene.

These are the people off-stage. There would be no show without them. This list will grow appreciably as the production develops.

The People Off-Stage:

DavidLauria DAVID LAURIA (Director): David has been in theater since he was 8 years old when he played Davy Crockett at the Chambersburg Community Center in Trenton, NJ. He received his BA in Theatre Arts from California State University, Fullerton and an MBA from the University of Colorado. Since coming to Florence, he has acted in many productions including Proof, Fiddler on the Roof, Li’l Abner, Dead in the Sled, You Dirty Rat, and others. David is a company member of local murder mystery troupe Poison Pen Players. He has also directed many productions here in town including Last Resort Players’ Cabaret, The Sound of Music, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Chicago.
RosemaryLauria ROSEMARY LAURIA (Assistant Director): This is the fifth time Rosemary has been David’s assistant director, previously working with him on the LRP productions of Cabaret, The Sound of Music, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Chicago. And still their marriage remains happy. She has also been directed by him in Li’l Abner, Sugar and Angry Housewives (he also gives helpful direction when she attempts to cook, but with less success). She has performed at the Florence Playhouse, FEC, and as a member of the Poison Pen Players. Aside from stage work she enjoys gardening, wine and avoiding cooking.
PaulaBurnette PAULA BURNETTE (Producer): Paula has been active in the theatre community for several years, helping backstage, with make-up and production, and playing Frau Schmidt in The Sound of Music. She participated in two productions of A Christmas Memory and accompanying Radio Show, was an extra in Our Town, played Twink Futrelle in Dearly Beloved and Kate in Sylvia. She and her husband Dave produced The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Chicago for LRP.
DaveHansen DAVE HANSEN (Producer): Dave has enjoyed theatre from the vantage of the audience for years, but only recently got involved with the production side (otherwise he’d never see his wife Paula Burnette). Besides co-producing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Chicago, he’s helped with lights, sound, playbills, and web pages on many productions at Class Act Theatre. He wishes to applaud the cast for all the work, energy, and love they’ve put into their preparations.
MaryConley MARY CONLEY (Stage Manager): Mary has theatre roots that date back to her high school days in Phoenix, Arizona. She completed a BA degree in technical theatre at San Diego State University and has well over 50 productions on her resume. Her experience spans educational theatre (both as a student and a teacher), professional theatre at the Old Globe and San Diego Repertory Theatres in San Diego, California, and community theatre as a member of Prescott Fine Arts Association in Prescott, Arizona. Here in Florence, Mary has been active in theatre with LRP and Class Act Theatre. She has worked with the production teams and backstage crews on several shows over the past five years, most recently as stage manager for Pirates of Penzance, Master Class and Grey Gardens. On rare occasions, she has also been known to step onto stage in cameo roles “just for the fun of it”.
KathleenWenzel KATHLEEN WENZEL (Assistant Stage Manager): Kathleen has worked backstage in many productions, most recently as the assistant director of Grey Gardens. She recently acted in the dinner theatre production of Murder at the Tony Lou Awards. She volunteers with C.R.O.W. working on sound, and as a photographer for other events in Florence. Prior to moving to Florence she worked in the Los Angeles area as among other things, a food stylist. She loves photography and beading and is a member of Backstreet Gallery.
MargaretMcDiarmid MARGARET McDIARMID (Lighting): Margaret got her adult start in stage craft here at the Florence Playhouse eleven years ago! Stage crew, props, set construction or general gofer ... but when the opportunity to learn lighting came along, she found her niche. She now spends her time doing lighting and anything else fun that comes along. We know she’s well into triple-digits when it comes to lighting stage performances but you may not be aware she’s traveled-to and lived-in nearly that many foreign countries as well.
JenniferChaney JENNIFER CHANEY (Dramaturg, Costume Design): Since 5 years old, Jennifer has appeared in over 50 productions as an Actor, Producer, Director, Dancer, Costumer, Choreographer, and as Stage Manager. Her most memorable performances were sharing the stage with family members and dear friends. At age 11 she played in Annie and 25 years later she directed it – a particularly rewarding experience. She played Elsa in The Sound of Music, and last December directed A Christmas Story. She currently attends the University of Oregon, studying Dramaturgy in the Theatre Arts Department. She is also Vice President of LRP.