Monday, December 31, 2018


L-R: Anna Harris, Peggy McClaine, Kim Brattain

After being elected at our Annual Meeting in October, three newly minted board members enjoyed their first official meeting on December 9.  Our newest member is Anna Harris. The other two ladies have previously served on our board of directors. Peggy McClaine also served as President of the Board. Kim Brattain is happy to return to her duties.

They join President Michael McClaine; vice-presidents Dustin Bond and Linda Gjesvold; secretary Kathryn Dory; recording secretary Jack Randall Earles; and treasurer Mark Hammer on the Board of Directors for the non-profit.

Other members are Brad Sandy, Jim Rambo, Drew Brattain, Ric McFadden, Shelly McFadden, Caroline Good, Sandi Rossok, Bethany Bax, and Meghan Armitage.

We sat down recently with Anna, Kim, and Peggy to talk with them about their PCPH histories and plans for the coming season.

PCPH: Thanks for talking with us today.  Let's start out with how you each first became involved with PCPH.

Peggy: I started as a cast member of a musical revue [research has not revealed its title]. My first full show was Guys & Dolls in 1964! I was Mimi, one of the Hot Box Girls and one of the Cuban Dancers. The show was directed by Jim Elrod and it was presented at Speech Hall. It was great fun.

Kim: I first became involved in 1985 as one of the orphans in Annie, directed by Vickie Parker. 

Anna: I have been attending shows since I was old enough to sit through a performance! I also participated in the Children's Workshop when I was nine or ten years old. The first show I was in was The Game's Afoot in 2015, directed by Dustin Bond.

PCPH: Do you have a favorite show you've done at the barn?

Anna: It's so hard to pick a favorite. I have to say though that The Game's Afoot will always be special to me. Besides being my first show, it was such a fun play, and the cast and crew were a wonderful group of people to work with.

Anna Harris & Tim Good in The Game's Afoot

Kim: My favorite show was Seven Bride For Seven Brothers [1994] because it was an ensemble piece. It was directed by Jack Randall Earles. The music and dancing was fun and audiences loved the show.

Kim third bride from right in the front row 7 Brides for 7 Brothers.

Peggy: It's so hard to choose, every show has a favorite moment or two, but high on my list is Don't Drink the Water [1989] directed by Sandi Robles. The strait-jacket scene will be forever burned into my memory. [It's burned in our memory as well, Peggy!]

Don't Drink the Water screen capture. L-R: Scott Armitage, Jack Randall Earles, Peggy McClaine

PCPH: Would you encourage others to become involved in PCPH?

Kim: Definitely. There is something for everyone to do, whether it be onstage or behind the scenes. It's a great way to spend your summer!

Peggy: Whenever I talked with anyone about the Playhouse, I always ask them to come to a show, audition, or volunteer. It's almost always a hoot and amazingly rewarding.

Anna: Absolutely! The Playhouse is a special place, and there are always fun things to do in each show - be it onstage or backstage!

PCPH: What prompted you to be interested in becoming a board member - or rejoining the board?

Anna: My friend and acting board member at the time, Jim Green asked if I would be potentially interested in being on the board. I was delighted with the idea. Working 'behind the scenes' to make a show succeed is something I enjoy very much, and I am excited to have this opportunity.

Peggy: As with any volunteer organization, more hands help the most people. If it weren't for board members, Putnam County might be without community theatre at all. And it's a great group of people! 

Kim: I think live theatre is an important community resource. PCPH is pretty unique in that it brings the opportunity to participate in and see performances right here in our small community. I think serving on the board is a way to be involved in this endeavor, and a way to "give back."

PCPH: Peggy and Kim, you have both served previous terms on the board, what do you think you bring as you rejoin us?

Peggy: I would guess my contributions include my experience in acting [her shows onstage include leading roles in The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1990), My Fair Lady (1996), and most recently See How They Run (2012)], directing [her directing credits include Into The Woods (1997) and The Nerd (1992)], scene painting/construction, and popping (not burning) popcorn. Some might also say I have a terrific sense of humor! [We would agree!]

Kim: My kids are all grown up now so I have been given the gift of time [daughter Hannah appeared most recently in Guys & Dolls and Little Shop of Horrors (2014) and son Elijah was also in that production of Guys & Dolls]. This is the important thing I have to share with PCPH - my time and energy.

PCPH: What is your favorite PCPC memory - onstage or off?

Anna: One of favorites took place this summer during a rehearsal of the murder mystery The Mousetrap. We were running the show, and our light operator Oheneba Quarshie was part of our 'audience', seeing the play for the first time. Her excitement and disbelief at the reveal of the murderer was fantastic; one of those electric moments when the audience really connects with the actors and gets lost in what's happening onstage. For me, that's one of the things that makes live theatre such an amazing experience.

Cameron Wunderlich & Anna in the closing moments of The Mousetrap.

Peggy: My favorite memory: winning the Hammy Award presented annually to the performer who makes the most of his time onstage. I got the award for playing Yenta in Fiddler on the Roof (1991, directed by Vickie Parker). And of course, hearing applause, and being proud of all of the actors who give their best in every show. There are really dozens of great memories too numerous to mention.

Peggy as Ida in See How They Run (2012)

Kim: My favorite memories are my Hammy Awards. I received one for playing Mama in Bye Bye Birdie [2010], and my first one was for my performance as Little Red in Into the Woods [1997]. I love character roles, and it's great to have your hard work acknowledged by others.

Kim as Mae Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie!

PCPH: What do you look forward to most in the coming season?

Peggy: I'm just looking forward to being part of PCPH and helping to bring outstanding theatre to the people of Putnam County - helping wherever I can - or am able to at my age HA! So you see, you're never too old to join the fun!

Kim: I look forward to working behind the scenes to produce the best experience for our participants and our audience members. I can't wait for summer!

Anna: I am looking forward to my first season as a board member and helping to make the shows a success. All of the upcoming shows are unique, and I think it will be a wonderful season!

Our three new board members!  Welcome!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Kathryn Dory

Members of the Board of Directors of Putnam County Playhouse joined together for the last time in 2018 at their meeting on December 9, at Almost Home.  

L-R: Santa Claus, Mark Hammer, Michael McClaine

A fine dinner was enjoyed by board members and guests.

L-R: Ann & Jim Rambo

Among those present were Jim & Ann Rambo, Kathryn & Bill Dory [Greencastle's own Mayor], and Ric and Shelly McFadden.

L-R: Santa [Dustin Bond] & Shelly McFadden

The McFaddens took the opportunity to cozy up to the man of the hour.

L-R: Santa Claus & Ric McFadden

Also in attendance were Sandi and Dean Rossok, Drew and Kim Brattain, Jim and Melissa Green, and Brad and Lita Sandy.

L-R: Lita & Brad Sandy

Soon to be retired Sandi Rossok enjoyed socializing with Mayor Dory.

L-R: Sandi Rossok, Bill Dory

...and sharing a table with husband, Dean.

L-R: Dean & Sandi Rossok

Two newly elected board members shared a table with Linda Gjesvold.  Anna Harris, Peggy McClaine, and Linda shared their theatre experiences with each other. [Third newbie, Kim Brattain, was seated nearby. Watch this space for an interview with these three ladies!]

L-R: Peggy McClaine, Linda Gjesvold, Anna Harris

Also joining the fun were Dustin Bond, Meghan and Craig Armitage, Caroline and Tim Good, Mark and Jeanette Hammer, Michael and Brenda McClaine, Bethany Bax, and Jack Randall Earles.

L-R: Abigail, Meghan, Craig Armitage

The official board meeting was convened in the Swizzle Stick after dinner.
L-R: Drew & Kim Brattain, Brenda McClaine
L-R: Jack Randall Earles, Lita Sandy

Cousins Jack Randall Earles and Lita Sandy have always enjoyed spending the holidays together.

L-R: Brenda McClaine & Jeannette Hammer

Caroline & Tim Good
L-R: Ric McFadden, Bethany Bax

Thursday, November 29, 2018


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The annual Fall Fund Drive for Putnam County Playhouse is now underway! 

If you are on our mailing list, you will be receiving your Fund Drive letter this week or next week.

Please take a moment to fill it out and return it to us with your NAME CARD and check.

If you are not on our mailing list OR you do not receive your letter, you can download a donation form HERE.

Putnam County Playhouse is 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Donations are deductible.

Thanks for your continued support!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Love Conquers All at PCPH in 2019!

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The 58th season of Putnam County Playhouse includes productions that prove that "love conquers all." We have a full slate of two musicals, two plays, our popular YTW SHAKESPEARED!, and our Children's Theatre Workshop.

Our season opens with the sparkling Tony Award Winning musical She Loves Me. It has a book by Joe Masteroff (Cabaret) and music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick (the musical team of Fiddler on the Roof).

Two clerks in a perfume shop have an adversarial relationship - while they unknowingly are carrying on a romantic pen pal relationship!  The original play has been the basis for the films The Shop Around the Corner, In the Good Old Summertime, and You've Got Mail.

What happens when they discover their true identities?  Will love prevail?  Songs in the score include "Ice Cream", "Perspective", and the lively "Days Gone By."

It will be presented June 6-8 and June 12-15.

Our SHAKESPEARED workshop this season will be June 10-21 with a performance on June 22.

Our second mainstage production will be the comedy Send Me No Flowers by Norman Barasch and Carroll Moore. The Broadway play was the basis of the hit film starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day in 1964.

George is a hypochondriac and Judy is his understanding wife. When he overhears his doctor discussing another case, George assumes that he has just a short time to live. His first thought is to make sure Judy has the right second husband.

Can the marriage survive his machinations and the antics of their neighbor?  Find out when the comedy is produced July 11, 12, 13 and July 17, 18, 19, 20.

The Children's Theatre Workshop will follow this production on July 22-26.

Shrek The Musical Playbill - Opening Night

August will bring us Shrek The Musical.  The Tony-Award winning show has a book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by  Jeanine Tesori.

Can a green ogre win the hand of the lovely princess?  With all of your favorite characters from the movie including Shrek, Princess Fiona, Donkey, and Lord Farquaard.

Songs include "Big, Bright Beautiful World", "Travel Song", and Who I'd Be."

The musical will be presented August 15, 16, 17, and August 21, 22, 23, 24.

Our 58th season will close with a production of the William Inge play Picnic. Inge has written many award-winning plays including Bus Stop and Come Back, Little Sheba.

When a drifter, Hal Carter, returns to his small Kansas hometown just in time for the Labor Day picnic, he falls in love with local girl Madge.  Can they overcome the obstacles put in their way to find true love?  With many lively characters and situations, Picnic has the bittersweet and comic elements that create a memorable evening of theatre.

It will be our season finale produced on September 12, 13, 14, and September 18, 19, 20, 21.

Directors for the productions, audition dates, and other production information will be available on the website in January.

Plan to be a part of our 58th season.  You will be receiving your Fall Fund Drive letter in the mail at the end of November!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018


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Two members of the Board of Directors of Putnam County Playhouse are working on shows to be produced at a couple of our local high schools.

First up, PCPH Officer Dustin Bond will direct the John Patrick comedy The Curious Savage. It will be presented November 9th and 10th at North Putnam High School. Curtain time is 7 p.m. each night. Tickets are available at the door. They are priced at $7 for adults and $5 for students.

At Greencastle High School, board member Bethany Bax is directing the musical School of Rock. The production which is based on the 2003 film comedy opened on Broadway in December, 2015, and will close in January, 2019. It has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and a book by Julian Fellowes.  It received 4 Tony nominations.

The musical will presented at the Parker Auditorium on November 15, 16, 17 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door and will also be available at the GHS Bookstore the week before the show.


Hammy Award winner for 2018, Brian Cox, received his award from Sandi Rossok earlier this week. Brian won for his performance as The Telephone Man in Barefoot in the Park.

L-R: Sandi Rossok, The Hammy Award, the ham, Brian Cox

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


PCPH Board President Michael McClaine

At 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 14, PCPH President Michael McClaine welcomed current board members and guests to the annual meeting of the minds. Guests present including longtime ticket holders Marie Neese and Phyllis Smith.

L-R: Mark Hammer, Drew Brattain, Caroline Good, Anna Harris, Kathy Helms Arnold

Committee Chairpersons presented their reports on their activities for the year 2018.  Treasurer Mark Hammer presented the financial report and Drew Brattain presented the report on finance and fundraising.

L-R: Linda Gjesvold, McClaine, Peggy McClaine, Marie Neese, Phyllis Smith, Meghan Armitage

Linda Gjesvold gave the ticket report which included near record attendance and ticket sales for the Season Of Hits.  

L-R: P :McClaine, M. McClaine, Ric McFadden, M. Neese, P. Smith & Shelly McFadden

Shelly McFadden gave the program committee report on the Season of Hits. She also spoke briefly about the 2019 season - Love Conquers All.  Shelly mentioned that anyone wishing to direct a show in 2019, should contact her for details about submitting their proposal. Directing proposals are due by November 14.

Sandi Rossok (who really WAS awake) and Drew Brattain

Other reports included Maintenance and Capital and House, Michael; Costume/Prop Loft, Shelly and Sandi Rossok; Promotion/Web Page, Jack Randall Earles; Technical, Dustin Bond; and Youth Workshops, Caroline Good.

After all reports were given and approved, it was time for the highlight of the meeting - the presentation of the Upstage [Hammy] Award.  Three of the four nominees were present. They were Kathy Helms Arnold (nominated for her role as Mrs. Boyle in The Mousetrap), Devin Huff (nominated for his role as The Enchanted Whisk/Townsperson in Beauty and the Beast), and Shelly McFadden (nominated for her role as Miss Hannigan in Annie).
The fourth nominee Brian Cox (nominated as The Telephone Man in Barefoot in the Park) was unable to attend.

And the winner was:


The reaction was as to be expected:

L-R: Arnold, McFadden, Huff

Three additional board members were added to the roster.  They are Kim Hinkle Brattain, Anna B. Harris, and Peggy McClaine.

Bethany Bax and Kim Hinkle Brattain

We also bid a fond farewell to longtime board member Jim Green who is moving from the area. We appreciate all of his hard work over the years that he has been with us, and we will miss him.

L-R: Sandi Rossok, (awake) and Jim Green

Refreshments were served.

Since Brian was not there to accept his Upstage Award, Sandi Rossok made arrangements to deliver it to him.....if it can be found.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Come to the Annual Meeting on October 14!


From our season opener Annie directed by Caroline Good: Shelly McFadden as Miss Hannigan.

Shelly McFadden as Miss Hannigan

From our July production Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap directed by TJ Tincher: Kathy Helms Arnold as Mrs. Boyle.

Kathy Helms Arnold as Mrs. Boyle

From our August production Disney's Beauty and the Beast directed by Lee Reberger: Devin Huff as Townsperson/Enchanted Whisk:

Devin Huff, the Enchanted Whisk

And from our season closer Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park directed by Jack Randall Earles: Brian Cox as Harry Pepper, The Telephone Man.

Brian Cox as The Telephone Man

Congratulations to all of the nominees.

And thanks to YOU our audiences and supporters for making our Season of Hits such a success!

See you October 14 at 2 p.m. in the Rehearsal Center.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


A new local theatre group is presenting Love Letters by A.R. Gurney at the Putnam County Museum. The event is a fundraiser for the benefit of the Museum. It will be presented Saturday evening, October 6, at 8 p.m.  A Sunday performance with a brunch catered by Almost Home will be on October 7, with a 1 p.m. start for the meal and 2 p.m. curtain for the play.

The show is a Reader's Theatre Production by the local group Silver Linings Players, a group for seniors interested in theatre and acting.  It will star husband and wife acting team, Karen K. Temple and Ben Dulaski.

The deadline for reservations for the Sunday brunch and show is Wednesday, October 3.

Seating is limited but are still available.  Reservations can be made by calling the Museum at 765-653-8419 or by visiting the Putnam County Museum at 1105 N. Jackson Street for tickets. Tickets are $10 for the Friday performance and $20 for the Sunday brunch and performance.

Love Letters was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama when it was first produced in 1989.  

Karen K. Temple - who is appearing in the show with husband Ben Dulaski - recently spoke to us about the experience.

PCPH: Hi, Karen! Before we talk about Love Letters, can you tell us a bit about your history with the Putnam County Playhouse?

Karen: My first show at PCPH was 42nd Street [directed by Vickie Parker in 1996]. I picked up my Halloween costume tap shows and showed up at auditions with my second grade tap class moves.  I was completely over my head, but I was cast. I used to go our on the front porch at 2 a.m. to practice.....I couldn't sleep for being terrified....  After that, I just kept auditioning and was lucky enough to get cast in about 20 shows since then.

PCPH: Do you have any particular roles you have especially enjoyed?

Yente in Fiddler on the Roof [2002].
Karen: Many, but I especially liked playing Miss Hannigan in Annie [directed by Lita Sandy in 1998], Yente in Fiddler on the Roof [directed by Ernie Ford in 2002], and Bloody Mary in South Pacific [directed by Jack Randall Earles in 2003], and so many more... 

As Bloody Mary in South Pacific in 2003.

PCPH: I know you and your husband have both been involved in PCPH, have you done any shows together here?

Karen:  Ben and I started dating in 2003, and we got to do little parts together for State Fair [directed by Vickie Parker in 2004] where we got to waltz together. And there was Singin'in the Rain [directed by Ric McFadden in 2008], and Don't Drink the Water [directed by Jim Rambo in 2011]. We also did My Three Angels [directed by Ernie Ford in 2005] together. Ben also did several small parts in The Sound of Music [directed by Ernie Ford in 2006]. The plays we got to do together have been the most fun!

With Ben Dulaski in State Fair in 2004

PCPH: Have you always been interested in theatre - did you do theatre in school?

Karen: I did all the theatre in junior high and high school that they would let me do. I was on the speech and debate team, too. I majored in Speech Education at Purdue, but I only did one theatre production there. I moved to Putnam County in 1992 and discovered this great venue.  Ben also did theatre in high school and played the lead in Father of the Bride at Bedford Community Theatre in the 1990's.

In I Remember Mama in 1998.

PCPH: Where did the idea for your group Silver Linings Players come from, and are you still actively seeking participants?

Karen: Linda Ford contacted me about Silver Linings Players, a Readers' Theatre.  Kathy Stephan had the idea to harness all of the "grey power" in the couty, some of who couldn't do high kicks or memorize scripts any more. Linda thought of Ben and me, and when I mentioned it to Ben, he was all for it.

My Three Angels cast. Karen front row left, Ben second row right.

We've had a lot of fun. No costumes, no scenery, no memorization. We let the plays speak for themselves. Most of what we do is comedy. Usually short readings of 10-25 minutes at most. We have mostly performed for senior centers. and we have a good group of participants, but we would always encourage more folks. 

A few of our members are trying their hand at writing short pieces for future performances, and one is working on a full length script. Our meetings are at the Putnam County Museum on the first and third Mondays of each month. They run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. We usually go out for lunch afterwards. Ben and I have met a lot of new people with a wide variety of backgrounds and are enjoying it a lot.

We welcome anyone who is interested to join us.

PCPH: Tell us about Love Letters and how you came to choose it for this event?

Karen: In 2004 or so, Ernie Ford approached me about doing Love Letters with him as a fund raiser for the Heart Association at the Walden Inn on Valentine's Day. I had never heard of it before, but it was an easy sell. Love Letters is always done by reading the letters which comprise the play; the author expressly prohibits memorization. Ben helped me rehearse and said to me at one point: "You and I should do this sometime."  I agreed.  When Silver Linings was asking for ideas for a fund raiser for the Putnam County Museum, I volunteered Ben and me.

Image result for love letters the play

This is play that continues to grow on you. It's a very powerful piece. There are only two characters - all of the lines are from the letters they wrote to each other over a 50+ years period of time.  The play begins in 1937, with letters that they wrote to each other at seven years old.  He is a very strait-laced young man who grows up to meet his father's expectations - including a seat in the U.S. Senate. She is an artist, a free spirit, and a wounded bird. Every time I read it, I find another nuance in their relationship that I had overlooked. Every time I read it, I read it, my feeling that "...there but for the Grace of God go I..." intensifies.

PCPH: How do you think theatre makes a difference in the lives of those who do it and those who watch it?

Karen: Theatre transports us to other worlds - like reading does, but with more social interaction! Plays like Looking Over The President's Shoulder for instance, teach us history in a painless way, one individual at a time, by involving us emotionally.  I have formed some of my closest friendships by participating in plays, both by discussing life and general, and the microcosm that you are portraying. This play is about writing letters, for Heaven's sake! Who does that any more?  How did the lack of the instant communication we have today benefit or hold back a relationship?

PCPH: Anything else you'd like to add?

Karen: This is a full length production, approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. We will be selling beer, wine, and soft drinks at the 8 p.m. performance on Saturday, October 6. Almost Home is catering the Sunday at 1 p.m. brunch, and the performance will begin at 2 p.m. We've sold enough seats to have a respectable showing, but we still have seats left. [Reservations for the Sunday brunch/performance must be made by Wednesday October 3]. This might be the best thing I ever get to do, so I hope we have a full house!

It's for a great cause - the Putnam County Museum is a treasure for our county!

PCPH: Thanks, Karen.  We wish you a great success with this show, and with the Silver Linings Players!