by LVP Artistic Director Val Durling, Guest Writer
Once Upon a Time in the “Village in the Woods by the Bay” there were two little theaters: Ludlow Little Theater thrived in the 1990s performing at the Bay Club, and the Port Ludlow Players (PLP) formed in the early 2000s performing at the Beach Club. By 2003 both groups had lost their directors and shut down. When PLP was formed, they also started a Reader’s Theater group, where you sit around a table with a cup of coffee and a cookie while reading a play once a month. This group met in a private home and is still active, now meeting at the Beach Club the third Tuesday of each month. In early 2007, one of attendees said, “I sure do miss putting on plays. Do you suppose we can ever do that again?” The overwhelming consensus was “yes, let’s do it!” We even named it that night—a sort of combo of the other two—Ludlow Village Theater (now Ludlow Village Players or LVP). I and several others were named to an advisory committee.
We met with the management of both the Bay and Beach clubs and decided to produce one full-length production each year. Our debut in March 2008 was a “mellerdrama” produced at the Beach Club, called “The Last Chance at Calamity Gulch.” There were 17 actors and 50 others who worked on the play. It was a sellout for three performances. It was followed in 2009 by Bus Stop. Other LVP productions have been Love, Sex and the IRS, I Bet Your Life, Murdered To Death, Rumors, The Gazebo, The Night of January 16 th , An American Daughter, Nude with Violin, Suite Surrender (a musical), and No Crime Like the Present. Which brings us up to The Outsider by Paul Slade Smith, originally scheduled for April 2020 and cancelled when community clubs were shut down by the Covid-19 virus, rescheduled for March 2022. More information on The Outsider is below.
Every organization changes with time. It is called “growth.” One of the first changes LVP made was adding an Improv group after sponsoring a seminar given by acting coach Chris Soldevilla in the autumn of 2013. It began very informally, but we realized that it needed more structure to improve. Now it is a performing group led by Nancy Peterson.
In May 2014 a Board of Directors (BOD) was installed and LVP registered for a 501(c)(3) status. The current BOD consists of Jim Gormly, president; Carol Durbin, vice-president; Susan Abrahamson, secretary; Jane Navone, treasurer; Vallery Durling, artistic director; and Paul Moreau and Cathy Thomas, members- at-large. We want to add a marketing and a technical director. This leadership team works very hard behind the scenes heading various committees as well as promoting LVP events.
Another big change was when the annual full-length spring play was permanently moved to the Bay Club in 2015. Reader’s Theater and Improv continued monthly at the Beach Club. LVP is very grateful for the support that they receive from both clubs.
A scholarship program began in 2018 with $1,000 annually paid directly to the recipient student’s post-secondary school of choice for the study of theater/performing arts as part of LVP’s mission to further the performing arts. The 2008/9 scholarship was awarded to a Chimacum High School student. The outreach was expanded to include Port Townsend and Quilcene students. The 2019/20 scholarship was awarded to a Quilcene High School student. Due to the cancellation of last year’s play, LVP was unable to offer the 2020/21 scholarship. Any student interested in a career in performing arts is invited to submit an application through their school coun- selor or by contacting Susan Abrahamson at a2203|||plvoice|||org|||LVP Info.
We were still looking for growth as an organization. In June 2019, we met with Randy Powell, who has an extensive resume as a director and actor, as well as a theater consultant to groups in three states. He began rehearsing The Outsider cast in January 2020. The production was one month away from opening night. Tickets were already on sale when Covid-19 shut down the community club- houses resulting in the cancellation of the play. Also canceled was a night of music and comedy planned for October 2020 as well as all other LVP activities
- Full-length plays: These are comedies, dramas, and musicals performed at the Bay Club. A Selection Committee works for three months to search for and submit plays for production each year. The plays are discussed and critiqued for audience and facilities suitability. The Director has a big vote! Suggestions are welcome from our audience.
- Reader’s Theater: has been going strong for 20 years. It is at the Beach Club on the third Tuesday of every month from 6 – 8:45 p.m. We sit around a table and read a play taking parts or just listening. An email reminder is sent about two weeks prior, and participants are asked for a RSVP so that enough scripts are available.
- Dissorderly Conduct: is a performing Improv group directed by Nancy Peterson. This group has performed at Sirens and the American Legion Hall in Port Townsend as well as at the Beach Club excepting the last two years.
Other types of entertainment that LVP could offer might include Reader’s Theater performances, comedy and/or musical nights, radio plays, one-acts, private parties, or special events. If you are interested in any of these activities or working behind the scenes, please contact Val at a2112a|||plvoice|||org|||LVP Info.
LVP works on the full-length spring play from January to March, rehearsing lines and action on stage, while also designing sets, lighting and sound effects, costuming, planning publicity and hospitality, securing props and many other jobs. When the Bay Club had to shut down, our marvelous, talented cast got together from time to time, running their lines and keeping bonded and committed to this play. All of us love this play. Last December we made the commitment with the agreement of the Bay Club to bring it to you, our audience. The details follow:
- The Outsider, a comedy by Paul Slade Smith, will be performed March 11, 12, 13, and 18, 19, and 20, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm
- Shows will be at the Bay Club, 120 Spinnaker Place, Port Ludlow, WA.
- Tickets are $17 and are on sale now at the Bay Club and brownpapertickets.com.
- Seating is limited.
- Covid restrictions apply.
The photos (except “The Outsider”) are from the very first play, Last Chance Inn at Calamity Gulch, a “mellerdrama” performed in March 2008. It was complete with a hero (Michael Haberpointner), heroine and villain among others, and signs for the audience to hold up saying “boo, hiss, cheers or groan.” You might recognize Don Clark, Doug Hubbard, Janet Stark, Eve MacDougall, Theresa Goode.