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Giving Thanks

Our bi-weekly blog just so happened to fall on Thanksgiving this year, so we decided to keep it light and focus on the spirit of the holiday. We, as the Bobcat Players, are extremely grateful for you! Whether you are an audience member or a volunteer, please know that your contributions and support make our group successful. We truly couldn't do it without you!

We also took the time to ask board members what they were thankful for this year with the Bobcat Players. Their answers vary, but the sentiment is the same. Enjoy their responses and stay tuned for our next entry in December. You won't want to miss our detailed 2018 season announcement!

We'll start with our treasurer, Patty Hamilton: "The one thing I'm most thankful for is all [of] the talented actors I have met over the last 16 years. Also, being a stage manager has given me the knowledge of how much hard work goes into a production, set design, staging and props!" Hamilton has stage managed and designed for MANY Bobcat productions over the years, most recently Patti Ross's A Very Oblonski Valentine.

Joshua Antoon echoed Hamilton's backstage appreciation. Antoon starred in Tom Griffin's The Boys Next Door and was the technical director for Meredith Dayna Levy's Decision Height. "I'm incredibly thankful for our tech people. Our volunteers and their patience are vital to every production," he said.

Brandon Fowler, the head of all construction endeavors, said he is most thankful "for the chance to flex his creative muscles with set design and power tools." He was last seen onstage in our outreach production, What I Did For Love, and worked on each set this year.

Shelly Cary agreed with appreciating the creative outlet the Bobcat Players provides for local artists. Cary directed this summer's smash hit, Barbara Pease Weber's Foolish Fishgirls and the Pearl, and is on the publicity committee. "But a close second would have to be renewing old friendships--and making new friends--through our work," she added.

"I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to participate in the theatre arts as an adult," said Heather Bixler. Bixler was last seen onstage in Decision Height, which she also produced. Vice President Jere Antonetti simply said, "The Bobcat Players have opened a whole new world for me; for that, I am most grateful."

Andrew Mayle said: "I'm thankful the Bobcats gave me a shot with some of my first shows--specifically Frank Meyers and Dave Neuhart." (Meyers is the founder of the Bobcat Players and Neuhart directed Mayle in John Cariani's Almost, Maine and The Boys Next Door.) Mayle performed in The Boys Next Door and stage managed Decision Height.

Pat Depenhart said she is very thankful for the Bobcat Players, where she finds her work to be very rewarding. Depenhart assistant directed Decision Height and was last seen onstage in What I Did for Love. "What I appreciate most is how much the Bobcat Players have taught me. I have learned a great deal about the theatre and acting throughout my years with the group," Depenhart said.

Dolores Dowlin is a founding member of the group and said, "I am most thankful for the privilege of being on this board."

Similarly, Beth Spence said she most appreciates her ability to contribute by taking pictures of our talented actors. Spence is in charge of all of the Bobcat Players official photographs for each and every show, which is an incredible commitment.

Recording secretary Erin Bechdel writes each program for the Bobcat Players and is the head of our publicity committee. Her answer was only two words: "Patti Ross"--which, as you know, is an answer that encompasses so much hard work and dedication. As artistic director, Patti Ross is at the heart of all Bobcat activities.

And so, of course, it seems only proper to end with the beautiful words of our esteemed artistic director, Patti Ross:

"One evening in 2002, Franklin Myers called me and asked me if I would be willing to take a role in Neil Simon’s Rumors, a show he was directing for a newly organized community theater dubbed The Bobcat Players. I hadn’t been anywhere near a stage since my college days, but I sensed a new adventure and I agreed to play the character of Claire, Frank’s wife. What a beginning that turned out to be!

"Since that initial appearance, I have acted in and/or directed more than twenty plays with the Bobcat Players. And I have so much to be thankful for: promoting and sustaining the arts in Beaver County...helping to bring to life all kinds of shows from classics like Picnic and Born Yesterday and Harvey to my own original works like Unexpected Gifts and A Very Oblonski Valentine...having the opportunity to connect again with so many students I taught and mentored and introduced to this fine community theater...and, most importantly, making and nurturing so many new and precious friendships that have sustained me through the past two decades of my life. With the Bobcat Players, we 'fall in love with the theater' over and over again. And how thankful I am for this love affair."

Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for making a place for the Bobcat Players in your heart; you certainly have a place in ours!

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