The show goes on: Brush Creek Players ready for new season

March 2014 Posted in Arts, Culture & History
Sarah Allenach , back left, Emily Wood with twins Emma and Claire Curtis are part of the cast  for the children’s show, “The True Tale of Sleeping Beauty” running through March 2.

Sarah Allenach , back left, Emily Wood with twins Emma and Claire Curtis are part of the cast for the children’s show, “The True Tale of Sleeping Beauty” running through March 2.

By Don Murtha

To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the demise of the Brush Creek Playhouse are greatly exaggerated.

Even despite the stories of the theft of $45,000 from the playhouse, board member Michael Wood said.

“We survived without missing a beat,” he said.

Wood said discrepancies in the Playhouse finances were discovered when the report of the treasurer did not match the bank’s accounting.

“We were assuming bills were being paid, but after the discrepancies were found we also discovered bills that we assumed had been paid were not paid,” Wood said.

The tangle of creative accounting that put the group’s money in the pocket of then-treasurer Andrew Getts was pieced together.

Getts pled guilty to several charges and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Since then, the Playhouse board has plugged the hole in its accounting system.

“We changed the by-laws to put measures in place to require that the treasurer’s report will not be accepted unless accompanied by the bank statement,” Wood said.

Throughout its turmoil, friends of the theater stood by Brush Creek Playhouse and its Brush Creek Players.

“We received an anonymous donation of $10,000 and we have received several other helpful donations,”Wood said.

In addition, the board borrowed $12,000, which has been largely retired, Wood said.

A grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust has made it possible to make much needed repairs and improvements to the former one-room schoolhouse, including fixing the foundation, re-installing the bell tower and repainting.

The structure was built in 1895.

In 1954 the school was consolidated with Central Howell School and the building was occupied by the Howell Prairie Farmers Association. The Farmers Association donated the building to the players group.

“The Oregon Cultural Trust has stood by us,” Wood said. “I have nothing but good to say about Christine Darci, the director, for her support.”

The playhouse ran a full season in 2013.

Brush Creek 2014 Season
Brush Creek Playhouse
11535 Silverton Road

Poetry at the Playhouse
April 4-6

The Odd Couple (Female Version)
April 11-27

Daddy’s Dyin’, Who’s Got the Will?
June 6-27

Brush Creek’s Pilgrimage to Canterbury
Performing at the 2014 Canterbury
Renaissance Faire in Silverton
July 19-27

Prunella in the Springs
Audition dates: June 15-16
Show dates: Aug. 8-24

Merchant of Venice
Audition Dates: July 26-27
Show Dates: Sept. 26-Oct. 12

The Mystery of the Kitchen Table
Audition Dates: Aug. 20 – 22
Show Dates: Nov. 7 – 23

Auditions are open to anyone
interested in participating.

“We had to scramble to do it, but we had a cadre of volunteers who stepped up to see it through,” Wood said.

Now the Brush Creek Playhouse is into its 2014 season, with a schedule of performances slated to run through November.

The little red theater’s season began with The True Tale of Sleeping Beauty, an offering that is part of the annual program for children and youth.

Its last performances are 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday, March 1 and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 2 at the playhouse, 11535 Silverton Road.

Admission is $10 general, with a $2 discount for seniors (60 and older), students (with ID) and children (under 12)

The children’s performance is directed by Linda Zellner, in her 18th year in that capacity.

“We have a cast of 29 children and while most other theater groups charge for the children’s program we don’t,” Wood said.

The magic of Brush Creek Playhouse is its actors’ willingness to tackle Shakespeare to Neil Simon.

It also gives local playwrights an opportunity to showcase their work.

This season that will include an original work, The Mystery of the Kitchen Table, was written by Michael and Emily Wood.

“We put on good quality shows. I think we stand up very well against any theater group around,” Wood said. “We welcome anyone to join us.”

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