In a moment of appreciation, a good friend once said to me, “Everything you went through in your life brought you to where you are now.” I find myself thinking of that so often, especially of late. In a way it is luck, or a simple twist of fate (as Mr. Dylan would put it), that takes us to every new breath, daily.
Life, overall, can be a bit ludicrous. I have great appreciation for happy accidents.
Over 12 years ago now, (which I find hard to believe, as I’m sure I’m only 17…) I was in midtown Manhattan, temping at the offices of the NFL (yes, that NFL), praying my agent would call. My phone did ring, but instead of my agent, it was my wonderful friend Pamela Bob (a longtime Peterborough Player) asking if I was booked for the summer. A production she was involved in here had lost some actors, and she wanted to know if she might pass my name along as a potential replacement.
Of course, I’d heard of the Players - who in the business hadn’t? Beyond its theatrical reputation, more than a few friends got positively awestricken any time they recounted their experiences: the amazing productions they’d been involved with, the unbelievable group of humans they got to work alongside, the inevitable crack-up story about a line missed or costume change altered. (Get “show folk” together long enough, those inevitably come up.)
Long story short, thanks to whatever happy accidents lead one actor to step out of a job and another to have a window to take one, a few months later I showed up at the Players to start rehearsals for I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. And the rest, as they say, is history. I’ve been a member of the professional Acting Company ever since.
When I look back at how much my life has changed since then, and the series of happy accidents that brought me to the Players, I’m humbled and grateful for the twist of fate that found me here. An opportunity that could have easily been missed, for so many reasons, took me to this astounding place - where truly exceptional theatre has been created by incredibly gifted people for the most supportive of audiences since 1933.
As an actor, you can kind of be blown hither and yon. I’ve worked in New York and across the country, at big city theatres and small suburban stages. I’ve seen a lot (a LOT), and I’ve learned even more. All of that has made it easy for me to recognize the singular wonder of the work at the Players, the high quality of the productions, the caliber of the people involved, the impressive and unique history. I can also see how easily one could take for granted that theatre so extraordinary was happening in one’s own backyard. And make no mistake, it is extraordinary professional theatre.
There’s a new guy at the helm of the Players – what’s his name, Tim? Tom?
All joking aside, I’m thrilled to share my partner, Tom Frey, with the Players. I may
be biased, but I think that like the Players, he’s one of a kind. I’ve been lucky enough to see his brilliance as a multi-talented, nuanced, creative, surprising, patient, and unique artist from the moment we met. I have the greatest respect for him as a theatrician. But more than that, in a time when the world can be a rough place, he’s a deeply good person, ready to make change for the better. I know he’s got some wonderful surprises in store for all of us.
We almost got through a letter without mentioning the pandemic, didn’t we? I bring it up now to say that all our theatre has been through for past year and a half (not to mention the 88 before that) has brought us to this place. The Players is poised for change, turning wheels of good work, ready to meet the moments that we need to, all with a bit of the magic that has always existed at the end of Hadley Road.
We’ve made it to this moment, but we need more than just magic to make it to the next. The Players Family is an incredibly generous one. So, it is with great humility that I write this today because Peterborough Players still needs your help.
We are a nonprofit professional theatre. The money you give will create more art, develop the next generation of theatre artists, and ensure the Players is here for years to come. Won’t you consider making a year-end gift to the Players now?
May 2022 be filled with wonderful surprises that bring you to exactly where you need to be! I wish the same for our Peterborough Players.
With great affection,
Member of the Acting Company