Ann Nyberg, Trustee
Posts Tagged “Chuck Still”
May 17 2010
So many have donated to The Kate to make the theater a reality.
On Sunday, May 16th a ceremony was held to unveil the plaques which have been placed on the chairs around the theater.
About 150 people were in attendance for the afternoon event. There was, lemonade, cookies, and brief remarks by Executive Director, Chuck Still and President of the board of Trustees, Edie Gengras.
Big thanks went out to the residents of Old Saybrook for their generous donations and others outside the town which have helped to secure The Kate’s success.
See you at The Kate!
Ann Nyberg, Trustee
May 12 2010
The photo used on the stamp is from a publicity shot taken for her 1942 film, “Woman of The Year.”
The late 4-time Academy Award winning actress would have been 103 years old today.
The red-haired beauty became the 16th star to be honored in the U.S. Postal Service’s Legends of Hollywood stamp series.
The ceremony took place in her theater, the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
By my estimate, there were about 300 people in attendance.
Waterston told me he loved working with her and that she took the responsibility of feeding the cast and crew while they were on location.
He also told me that while shooting the movie Hepburn said to him “you’re clock isn’t ticking.” She told him when your clock isn’t ticking you’re not full out in the acting mode, but when it is, you give the audience all you’ve got. Hepburn was always one to try to make people better, to push them to their limits, that wasn’t lost on Waterston.
Also on stage, British film director, Anthony Harvey. Harvey made four pictures with Hepburn including “The Glass Menagerie” and “Lion In Winter.” Harvey told me what a character Hepburn was, but that he had the time of his life with her over a 20-year friendship.
The Kate’s Executive Director, Chuck Still started out the ceremony welcoming the residents of Old Saybrook and thanking them for all of their ongoing support of the theater and how Hepburn loved the town of which she thought of as her paradise.
Hepburn’s long time cook, Nora Considine was also in attendance with her daughters and grand daughter. We talked about all the fun she had cooking for Kate in New York City and in Fenwick.
Hepburn’s brother-in-law, former West Hartford Mayor, Ellsworth Grant watched from the front row as his late famous sister-in-law got her due. Grant told me it was a wonderful event and that “Katy” would have loved it.
Members of the Old Saybrook Police Department got into the act as well, standing guard at the venue and also having their picture taken with Waterston, one of the stars of the TV show “Law and Order.”
This was a great day for The Kate, really put the theater on the map today, and the first of her stamps were sold and hand canceled right at the theater.
See you at The Kate!
Apr 15 2010
Emmy Award winning actor Ed Asner was all smiles after his one man show, “FDR,” at The Kate.
It was just Asner on the stage alone channeling the former President of the United States.
Members of the board of trustees, Executive Director, Chuck Still and members of the upcoming gala committee joked around with Asner and it seems as though, he took a liking to board President, Edie Gengras.
Born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1929, Asner was 15 years old when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died.
Asner says it was his adoration of the 32nd president that led him at the age of 80 to tackle the role. It’s adapted from Dore Schary’s 1958 Broadway hit “Sunrise at Campobello.”
Asner is on tour across the country with his solo show. The audience at The Kate, loved it.
Mar 09 2010
Pianist, George Winston sold out The Kate at his March 6th, concert. Winston is pictured here with the Executive Director of The Kate, Chuck Still.
You could hear a pin drop in the place as he played masterfully for the crowd. Winston introduced each piece and then to work on the ivories. Not only did he wow the crowd with his piano playing, but also the acoustic guitar and a selection on the harmonica.
Winston met after the concert with a few board members to say how fond he was of the sound and the lighting in the theater and that he would like to return to the venue to play.
He’s rather a shy kind of chap, but personable and a perfectionist at what he does.
Thanks, George for sharing your wonderful talent and do come back.
See you at “The Kate”
Jan 13 2010
This was written in response to an article that ran in the Shoreline Times after Christmas.
Success, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder and one’s own viewpoint can determine everything. Recently several of us were interviewed by Jerome Wilson for a story in the Shoreline Times. Mr. Wilson began my interview with the assertion that the Kate was failing, and despite an hour of discussion to the contrary, that was the story he wrote. But, as the poet points out, there are other viewpoints and other ways to look at things.
First and foremost, it was way too early judge the Kate by its ticket sales, either good or bad. Open less than four months, the Center is finding its audience just as they are finding us. Every performance brings new people into the building and this is a process that will need to continue for some time before anyone can pass judgment. As I told Mr. Wilson, the Kate is like a new born colt scrambling to its feet. The Center isn’t struggling; it’s learning to run.
But even then, we don’t have much to apologize for. By focusing on the 92nd St Y simulcasts, an inexpensive, weeknight filler, Mr. Wilson gives the impression that ticket sales at the Kate are anemic. In reality, of the 53 total events, almost half had attendance of over 75% and there have been 18 sell-outs. Remove the 92nd St Y events and the 75% ratio rockets well past half.
But it is also true, as Mr. Wilson points out, that even if these numbers go to 100%, ticket sales will never fully cover the costs of the Center. What he fails to mention is that this is true of any theatre or performing arts center. Even the Met runs a commercial during their simulcasts saying ticket sales cover less than half the costs of mounting an opera. Such is the way of the non-profit, particularly the non-profit theatre. We will always have to depend upon our donors. But to imply, as Mr. Wilson does, that that makes us a failure is to imply the same about every performing arts facility from the Met to Hartford Stage.
Truthfully, this lack of balance, more than the blatant errors and the stuff he just made up, is what is so disappointing about the article. Mr. Wilson told one of the people he interviewed that negative sells papers, and again that was the story he wrote. Instead of the 92nd St Y, his article could just as easily focused on sell-outs for Pure Prairie League, Cappella Cantorum, Connecticut Ballet, SteveSongs, Salt Marsh Opera, Missoula Children’s Theatre, Poco, and Margreta Stage, as well as the very successful Met in HD Or he could have focused on all the local children who’ve appeared on stage from the Goodwin School to Old Saybrook High and Middle Schools to the Community Music School to the performers during Old Saybrook’s Family Day to the children cast in Missoula’s King Arthur’s Quest. Or the local talent on stage at the Shoreline Soup Kitchen benefit. Or the outrageous success of the Center’s first gala and the Taste of Old Saybrook.
In the end, I guess an article like this says almost as much about its author as it does the Kate. Over the past three months, I’ve met a lot of people streaming through our doors, and the vast majority have been impressed by the facility and what they’ve seen here. It’s a shame Mr. Wilson, who had never attended a performance here, wrote an article that reflects his own agenda instead of the facts, or the feelings of the population as a whole. That makes it something less than news and much more damaging.