When theatergoers attend the opening show in the Panhandle Players’ season (which is Friday and Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20-22 so get your tickets now by going to www.panhandleplayers.com), they’ll see and hear changes, some striking, some less detectable.
Behind the stage, to cushion and reverberate the sound, and envelop the action going on in front of it, will no longer be the torn, dingy beige curtains that have hung there probably since the Eisenhower administration.
In their place, will be new black professional ones, sleek and fresh, bought from and installed by MainStage Theatrical Supply, Inc. out of Pensacola.
On either side of the Art Deco walls of the august auditorium will hang black window curtains, whose drapery will give the evening performances their proper shadow, and the matinees shield from the fulsome illumination that falls on the audience.
“This is an exciting time for all of us, we are celebrating our first anniversary in the Chapman and it's still hard to believe after decades in the community we have a home of our own and she is coming back to life with the hard work of many volunteers and everyone's love of this great theatre venue,” wrote Ed Aguiar, the newly elected president of the community theatre group.
“Thanks again to the county commissioners for sharing our joint vision to breath new life into this very important historical building and allowing her once again to enrich our wonderful community,” said Aguiar, 51, a retired developer and contractor who lives on St. George Island.
The nearly $28,000 spent on the curtains is part of a nearly $60,000 investment the Panhandle Players have made to the Chapman since assuming management in 2016 on the county’s behalf.
“We now have new light, and sound systems supported by a recently updated electrical system,” said Aguiar. “Many thanks to our patrons, donors, and volunteers who have in-turn donated countless hours bringing her back to life.”
Also elected to the Panhandle Players’ board was vice president Mark Parsley, secretary Natalie Parsley (who also elected several years ago to become Mark’s wife), and treasurer Donna Ray, from Port St. Joe.