Tuesday, December 12, 2017


The last 2017 meeting of the Board of Directors of Putnam County Playhouse was held on December 10th. The five o'clock event took place at the home of Michael and Brenda McClaine in Greencastle.

Hot dishes and desserts were brought by fellow board members and enjoyed by all.

Dustin Bond (in blue) and Ric McFadden

Dustin Bond, chairperson of the Tech/Shop Committee and Ric McFadden director of last season's musicals Curtains and The Addams Family were among those present. Ric also serves on the Maintenance and House Committees. Dustin also serves on the Maintenance and Promotions/Web Page Committees. He is also 2nd Vice President of the Board.

L-R: Sandi Rossok, Kathryn Dory

Sandi Rossok, chairperson of the Props Loft Committee, and Kahtryn Dory, chairperson of the House Committee and Board Secretary, made themselves comfortable before the meeting began.
Sandi is also a member of the Promotions/Web Page and House Committees.  Kathryn also serves on the Tickets Committee.

Jim Green

Jim Green, director of last season's comedy hit The Foreigner, decided to take a chair close to the warmth of the fireplace. Jim serves on the Finance/Fund Raising, Maintenance, and House Committees.

L-R - Linda Gjesvold, Jim Rambo

Early arrivals included Linda Gjesvold, Chairperson of the Ticket Committee, and Jim Rambo who serves on the House Committee and is in charge of the PCPH Recycling Program. Linda is 1st Vice President of the Board and also serves on the Tech/Shop and Props Loft Committees.

L-R: Meghan Armitage, Shelly McFadden, Abigail Armitage
Checking out the decorated tree were Meghan Armitage (and daughter Abigail) and Shelly McFadden.  Meghan is a member of the Program, Tech, Tickets, and House committees.  Shelly is the Chairperson of the Program Committee and the Costume Loft, and she also serves on the House and Fund Raising Committees.

L-R: Bethany Bax, Jack Randall Earles
Also sitting by the fire were Bethany Bax and Jack Randall Earles. Bethany serves on the Program, Youth Workshop, and House Committees. Jack is the Chairperson of the Promotions/Web Page Committee and also serves on the Program and House Committees. He also serves as the Recording Secretary of the Board.

L-R: Michael McClaine, Caroline Good, Mark Hammer, Brad Sandy
The final quartet in attendance included Michael McClaine, President of the PCPH board and the host of the evening; Caroline Good, Chairperson of the Youth Workshop Committee, who also serves on the Costume Loft, Program, and House committees; Mark Hammer, PCPH treasurer who also serves on the Finance/Fundraising and Capital Projects Committees; and Brad Sandy, who serves on the Maintenance, Program, and House Committees. 

Business discussed included the report on the progress of the 2018 Fund Drive, Projects for the coming year, and approval of the 2018 Budget. Directors for the 2018 Season of Hits were discussed and will be announced in January!

Drew Brattain, Chairperson of the Finance/Fund Raising Committee and member of the House and Program Committees was unable to attend.

Thanks to all for their support - and Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Just a Reminder......

Just a reminder for our donors: Putnam County Playhouse, Inc., is an Indiana 501 (c) (3) corporation.  Donations to our annual Fund Drive are tax deductible.

If you haven't received your 2018 Fund Drive Letter yet, you can download a Form HERE.

Details about our 2018 shows will be posted soon!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017



The 2018 Putnam County Playhouse Fall Fund Drive is now underway.  The Fund Drive Letters are in the mail, and you should be receiving yours in the next few days.

You are an important part of Putnam County Playhouse. Ticket sales fund only a portion of our expenses each season. Your donations help us pay for maintaining our facilities, updating and technical equipment, and paying the royalties for our productions.

No person is paid for his participation in our productions. Our board members serve in a volunteer capacity.  

There are several categories of membership to choose from.  For donating during our Fall Fund Drive, your name (or the name you choose) or your business name will appear in each and every program for all of our mainstage shows. 

If you don't receive your Fund Drive Letter, or if you are not on our mailing list, you can click HERE to find a Donation Form in PDF form that can be downloaded and printed out.

Thank you so much for your continued support of PCPH. You make it possible for us to do what we do. Without you, we couldn't continue to operate.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Decks & Doors Project


During the off season, much work is done to maintain our facility. This year the board has begun the "Decks & Doors Project."

First up was enclosing the deck directly behind the stage.  By putting on the roof and walls, it can more efficiently be used for prop storage during a production, freeing space behind the proscenium.  The new stairs will also make it possible for actors and crew members to utilize it as "waiting" space.

The small deck outside the back door of the Rehearsal Center also underwent some renovation.  It now has safety rails.  This small deck is used by the actors and others for "fresh air" breaks during productions and rehearsals.

Most recognizable to audience members is the porch and staircase outside the southeast exit from the Hazel Day Longden Theatre. A new roof over the porch area and new steps were added during the project.  Actors often make entrances from this door, and the roof will keep them dry during rainstorms. Audiences will also be able to enjoy a few minutes of fresh air before the performance or during intermission even during rainstorms.

As we wish the barn a happy 100th birthday in 2018, we look forward to seeing you during our Season of Hits!

Monday, November 6, 2017


James H. Poor

July 2, 1932 - November 4, 2017

Jim Poor at the Heritage Wall in 2011 when the PCPH Plaque was installed.
It has often been said that an organization is not a building or a book of rules, but that it is made of up of the people who make it a going concern.  In the case of Putnam County Playhouse, one of those people was James H. Poor.  

Jim in "Sabrina Fair."

Jim first came to PCPH when it was known as Greencastle Summer Theatre. One of his first roles was in the comedy Sabrina Fair.  He also appeared in Come Blow Your Horn, The Silver Whistle, and the musical Little Mary Sunshine.

His enthusiasm reached far beyond just appearing in a variety of roles.  He became active as a member of the board of directors when we were incorporated as Putnam County Playhouse.  Jim served on several committees and served several terms as President of the Board. He was tireless in his efforts to make PCPH a going concern!

Jim and some cast members in "The Sound of Music"

One of his first directing assignments was the musical The Sound of Music.  When Jim recognized that there were many more children wanting to be in the show than he had parts for, he began his series of Children's Productions.  These would include Pinocchio, The Wizard of Oz, and Peter Pan and many others.

Jim (left) as Luther Billis in "South Pacific."

One of Jim's most famous portrayals onstage was as Luther Billis in South Pacific, a role he played twice.  He also played The King in The King and I three times and Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady twice.

PCPH veteran and friend Vickie Parker said about Jim:

"I have Jim Poor to thank for making me the theater lover I am today. He started it all in 1967 when he cast me as Snow White. Our special friendship continued to grow over these last fifty years. Jim was the epitome of Putnam County Playhouse and set the foundation of my theater career."

Jim and Adeline Knoy recreating a "Hello, Dolly!" moment in a 1990 fundraiser.

As the 1970's came to a close, PCPH was struggling financially. Jim was the person who spearheaded the move to find us a permanent home. He was instrumental in speaking to Hazel Day Longden and encouraging her and her family to give PCPH the barn and property where our theatre now stands.  Without his steadfast and strong guidance, PCPH might not have survived those turbulent years.

Jim standing on the south side of what is now the Hazel Day Longden Theatre.

For the first two seasons on the property, shows were produced on an outdoor stage.  The audience sat on bleachers.  Only one show in all of 32 performances during those two years (1981, 1982) was rained out.  Jim directed several of those productions including You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Pinocchio and Mary, Mary

Jim in the small ready to assemble the bleachers.

Jim made many of the curtain speeches during those productions. His enthusiasm for PCPH and the new theatre was infectious!  Within two years, enough money was raised to make the dream come true.

Jim giving the curtain speech during "Mary, Mary" in September, 1982.

It all came to fruition on June 4, 1983 when Hazel Day Longden cut the ribbon to open the theatre that was named after her. 

A grand opening dinner and entertainment celebration was held later that same day.

Longtime friend and PCPH Board Member Linda Gjesvold said:

"Jim Poor is the reason Putnam County Playhouse exists. He wrote the by-laws for the organization.  He 'discovered' the barn, initiated and completed the conversion to a theatre. He promoted excellence and creativity. He enjoyed bringing a production to life and presenting it to the community. He encouraged talented people to participate. His vision guides the Playhouse to this day. 

  "As a mentor and friend he has influenced my life in ways too numerous to list.  I did especially enjoy collaborating with him on sets.  He was the builder with big ideas and I painted for him.  He will be fondly remembered."

Linda Gjesvold & Jim Poor at the Mayor's Proclamation Event in 2011

PCPH Board Officer Jack Randall Earles said:

"Working with Jim was always an adventure and an education. He directed me in some of my favorite roles including Prisoner of Second Avenue and The Sunshine Boys.  Working with him was a master class in theatre. He taught me so much about the technical side of directing and also about the personal side of dealing with all of the different personalities involved in putting on a show. The audience always came first with Jim - he wanted them to have a good show. He was always completely honest in his appraisals of my shows.  I knew if he said it was 'good', it WAS good!"

Jim at the 50th Anniversary Board Appreciation Luncheon

Jim enthusiastically took part in all of the festivities surrounding the 50th Anniversary of PCPH in 2011.  He and PCPH President Michael McClaine both spoke when the PCPH plaque was affixed to the Heritage Wall.

In the decades since we moved to "the property",  Jim continued to work with the board and onstage and offstage.  He directed many fondly remembered productions including The Crucible, The Glass Menagerie (featuring wife Emily as Amanda), Carousel, The Sunshine Boys, HMS Pinafore, and A Streetcar Named Desire among many others.

Among his more recent onstage roles were Sancho Panza in Man of La Mancha and Arvide Abernathy in Guys & Dolls (his final PCPH role).

Jim, we will miss you.  We appreciate you and all the hard work you did to make it possible for PCPH to continue to be the organization it is today.  

Thank you, Jim....etcetera....etcetera....etcetera....

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****

Memorial details can be read HERE.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


The 2017 Annual Meeting of Putnam County Playhouse was held on Sunday, October 22.  Members of the Board of Directors and guests gathered at 2 p.m. in the Rehearsal Center at the Hazel Day Longden Theatre in Greencastle.

President Michael McClaine and Secretary Pro Tem Shelly McFadden headed the event.

Board member Drew Brattain gave his report as Chairperson of the Finance and Fund Raising Committee.

Among the guests present were Past PCPH President Peggy McClaine (talking with PCPH VP Linda Gjesvold), Susan Glaser, Linda Ford, actress Dianna Baysinger, and Lester Need.

Members and guests were told about our successful season as all Chairpersons  of Committees presented their annual reports.

Also present were Upstage Award nominee Cameron Wunderlich and his brother Brandon and parents Mark and Jennifer.

President McClaine welcomed his granddaughter Abigail Armitage to her first annual meeting.  Abigail was accompanied by her mother, board member, Meghan Armitage.

Treasurer Mark Hammer read the nominees for the prestigious Upstage Award.  They included Andrew Ranck in Curtains the Musical, Cameron Wunderlich in The Foreigner, Caroline Good in The Addams Family, and Brian Cox for Laughing Stock.

And the winner was:

Cameron Wunderlich for his portrayal of Ellard Sims in The Foreigner, directed by Jim Green.

Congratulations to Cameron!  And thanks to all who attended!  Our 56th Season is now in the books, and we look forward to our 57th season!

Photos courtesy of Shelly McFadden & Dustin Bond.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


You are invited to attend the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Putnam County Playhouse. It will be held on Sunday, October 22, at 2 p.m. The event will take place in the Rehearsal Center at the Hazel Day Longden Theatre in Greencastle.

According to our By-Laws, the Board of Directors holds this Annual Meeting to discuss the business of the just finished season. Anyone who participated in the summer season whether working onstage or backstage, or who gave us financial support, or attended a performance is welcome to attend and vote on the business at hand. Candidates for open board positions will be voted on at the meeting.

The 56th season will be recapped.  Chairpersons of each PCPH Committee will present a report. Attendees are welcome to participate and offer suggestions about the upcoming season. All suggestions for keeping the Playhouse growing as we enter our 57th season will be welcome.

The prestigious Upstage Award - also known as the "Hammy" - will also be presented. This year the Nominees are:

Andrew Ranck for his role as the flamboyant director in Curtains - The Musical.

Cameron Wunderlich as Ellard Simms in The Foreigner.

Caroline Good for her role as Grand Mama in The Addams Family.

Brian Cox for his portrayal of Braun Oakes in Laughing Stock.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.  Take this opportunity to visit with your Playhouse friends one last time before the theatre is "put to bed" and the season ends. 

See you there!