Island Players

Preparations ....tis the Season!



...a warm up has been noted this past week here on the Island. This green I am seeing is so's a happy color. The earthy smells aren't bad either. Listen to the telephone ring...It's been fun... things are becoming more active...weeks at the Cottage are starting to fill...nature is starting to wake up too.

Trillium seem to populate the Island even more this year. Other flowers are starting to make themselves known.The Cottage Spring Cleaning took up most of this past week....tis the Season!A few new things are in place as well...have listened to suggestions and added a blender - okay, it's not a juicer but smoothies are a definite possibility. A couple of new outlets have been added to the Cottage guest room as well. In this age of personal electronic devices, the outlet to the left of the mirror is our way of providing a "charging station" albeit Island style! Nice to have a new lamp too!

Anticipation is starting to build... my long term memory is kicking in. This quote goes out to all Teachers (yes, with a capital "T"!) as they buckle down...for the final days of the school year.Summer is coming!

Coming Up...Auditions for the Summer Island Players presentation are Monday & Tuesday of this week - 7:00 pm at the School Commons - Questions? Call Howard Scott at 2453.

Looking like Memorial Day Weekend means Rummage Sales ... Great places to drop off your unwanted things...then see what treasures you can find!

From the Art & Nature Center!It’s time to sort media collections.  Bring cast offs to The Art and Nature Center on Friday afternoon, May 24, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Then stay and shop, or come back on Saturday morning, May 25, from 9:00 until noon and shop our total collection of donated items... a great fund-raiser for the ANC! Questions? Need help to get items to the ANC? call Barb O’Connell, 847-2436 or Laura Waldron, 847-2657.

The "Washington DC Kids" have a rummage sale set from 9 to 2, Saturday the 25th at the Community Center Gym AND their second car wash. (They made over $500 at the first one! Not bad but the goal, given the numbers of students is $10,000 for the 2014 trip.) ...the high schoolers may be running a Brat Sale there as well. It sounds like one-stop shopping!


The Island Memorial Tribute to honor those who have died while in military service will be held Monday morning the 27th. It is a wonderful tradition.


Have a great week!

What do we do in Winter? Pygmalion! was so good!

Well ...  Anna did it...  Eliza was great!*

I admit it....I am an Anna Groupie.* Everyone in the cast put on a great show...if I try to name them all, I will surely miss one.*Oh my... what a wonderful cast!* However, There were a few that were so special to see!

Joyce carried off her part so well... then there was Ham Rutledge...right there in the middle...**

who seemed to be enjoying his role...quite a bit. **His sister, Joan Blair, turned in a commendable performance as well.  Not sure I could remember all their lines let along all that Howard/Henry had to learn.**


I did get one picture at the end of the show...Fun to have the two Gibson actresses memorialized by a third Gibson sister. But another reason I include this photo is the set itself. The production team deserves just as much credit for making Pygmalion such a success!

Let's not forget what goes on backstage.** There were so many people who put forth much collecting and managing props...creating, collecting and assisting with costumes, etc. (There are no words to cover "etc.")***

... much study occurred to achieve the correct period. For example, the panels in Mrs. Higgin's drawing room were created by using William Morris stencils. Morris was well known for his work in that time period. In fact, his work continues to be available today. Click here for more information.

This was a production by Island Players...that's Players with an "s"...I think that says it all. It would be safe to say over 60 people participated in making Pygmalion a wonderful addition to our Island winter. Many members covered more than one job/part/task...teamwork is what made it happen. Kudos!*

Have a great week!

Photos: Many Thanks to *Steve Waldron & Island Players, ** Joanne Jack, ***Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, England

Winter Doings

A few years ago, the late Jay Hagen presented a talk on behalf of the Island Archives Committee. The topic centered on "What do we do in the Winter"...lots of laughs that night...that was Jay...what he said was so true. (That performance was taped and is available for purchase on DVD through the Archives at the Community Center. I do recommend it.) I get many questions from our Cottage guests on what happens in the Winter so I thought I would do a series on Winter Doings .... last week the dredging and winter travel prep was up.

There are a few activities coming that may make that travel to plan ahead...

Pygmalion - Fishing Derby Weekend -

7 PM ----- Friday, February 15th
2 PM -- Saturday, February 16th
7 PM -- Saturday, February 16th

The members of Island Players are busy as the preparation for the winter show, Pygmalion, moves forward. I think the best part is the preparation given the smiles, titters, and giggles I see/hear around the Island at this point...  

Rich Shereikis wrote a telling interview for a Fall Observer issue:

"The real rewards of putting on a play don’t lie in the performances, according to Dave Ranney, who has directed a number of popular Island Players productions. “I really believe most of the fun of putting on a production are the rehearsals,” he says. “It’s a creative, collaborative process, where we work together to create a work of art.”To enhance his actors’ involvement in that process, Ranney listens to them, communicates with them and encourages them to put their personal stamps on characters and scenes.(Observer 11/15/12)Howard Scott has been cast as Henry Higgens and Anna Gibson has the role of Eliza Dolittle. I can't think of a better duo! Pygmalion is the classic tale of wily Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle and her transformation into a “proper lady” at the hands of the arrogant dialect expert Henry Higgins.In doing research for this post, I found it is the 100th anniversary of this timeless story and companies as near as Chicago and  as far off as England have productions this Winter. Shaw's Pygmalion was also the basis for the popular musical My Fair Lady.The photo above shows Eliza and Professor Higgins from the My Fair Lady company now on stage in Sheffield, England....hmmmm.... Yes, I can see Anna and Howard in these roles.

What do we do in the winter? Well, these folks are having fun ....and working hard.

Have a great week!

Upcoming - January 23 at the TPAC:

Washington Island Schools teacher, Lisa Cornell is scheduled to present seven high school students  who will be performing “Persuasive Speeches” in a public forum January 23, from 6-8 P.M.



Winter - A team effort

It is an interesting time of year on the Island... in some ways slower, quieter...

but in other ways, things are humming along. One thing on my mind is the ferry dredging progress. Up front, this is my version of the events and I am not a professional concerning water issues. Hence, I have hesitated to step into this area but since this sort of transportation is essential for the Island, here goes. It has been at a steady/urgent pace over the past several weeks with what seems - to me - just two days off at Christmas.The crew from Roen Salvage are here working with their barge. An excavator and dump trucks from Mike Kahr's Death's Door Marine arrived the day after Christmas. Mike arrived last week fresh off another job on the water at Fish Creek. Okay...I just had to include this photo...I hope Mike doesn't was a Kodak moment for me.Dump trucks carry the clay,stone, sand, muck, etc. from the barge at the Potato Dock to Julian Hagens's gravel pit. A hearty, conscientious group of Islanders drive those trucks. As I recall, since New Year's, two shifts from Roen have been in place.Hauling starts around 6:30 am carrying the softer material from the night digging and continues through the day into the evening with matter from the "hardpan" portion. As an example weather-wise, this afternoon it was sunny with the winds at 24 mph with gusts of 33mph - and the crew was out there at work. I am impressed to see how many different people, groups, entities have come together to make this project possible. This spirit of teamwork is evident in other places on this Island as well. It is one reason why I have chosen to be here.I could see skim ice in Detroit Harbor as we arrived on the afternoon ferry last Thursday so time is of the essence. We were on the Washington. The weather will dictate how long the Washington and the Eyrabakki can operate. They have a shallower draft, the portion of each vessel that is submerged,  so the lower water levels are not as much of a challenge for these two ferries. The "regular dock" can be used - for now. I have heard the Roen crews are hoping to work til/ finish on the 8th.A couple of other interesting facts......The rates will not change in 2013. The Board of Directors for the WIFL voted to maintain the current rates at the November meeting. Given the impending use of the Arni J. Richter as the ice sets in, I thought I would have to come to grips with the return of side loading.I remember when this was the custom on the former ice breaking ferry, C. G. Richter. But today I found the excavation will allow the Arni J. Richter to load as it does at the "regular dock". It looks like the amount of digging completed will allow truck traffic as well.Ticketing? Ticketing will be on a portable tablet-like system. According to what I see on the NOAA website, the weather could be above freezing for most of this week and once the temperature drops it will take some time for the harbor to ice over. I hasten to add there is a learning curve here. It will be a new process or challenge for all of us. Glad to see there is some time to continue to work on everything. Last year, the harbor was frozen over /ice breaker was needed about six weeks  Speaking for myself, I am thankful for the efforts I have observed. My thanks to Hoyt Purinton for allowing me to take some photos. This is going to be an interesting Winter, but then the Winter is always interesting on the Island...Over the holiday, I found I couldn't get away from low water levels. I come from a town in Southern Illinois located on the Mississippi River. St. Louis was a stop for us this Christmas and the water was in the news there, too.

It is day to day as to when commercial traffic on the Mississippi could cease given the troubled section south of St. Louis to Cairo. The photo above (from Reuters) shows crews clearing river-bottom rocks as well as what they call rock pinnacles as the water recedes near Thebes, Il, 150 miles south of St.Louis. Water from at least two lakes nearby has been released into the river but it may not be enough. The other negative is the forming of ice in the same area. It's known as "ice bite" - ice taking a bite out of the flow of the river toward the Gulf.

*At Alton, I have watched the flow of the Mississippi...the highs...the lows...sometimes harsh...but it has always been steady so this is interesting, too. Maybe living alongside water has helped me to understand, accept, respect life on the water here as well. Not sure how I would cope in a land-locked area!

 Up coming --

Center Stage

**Here's another team effort on the Island ...actually this is just a portion of this team...The Island Players team that is. The group hosted their first "Center Stage," an afternoon of humor through staged readings on Sunday. Held at the Rec. Center at 2:00, monthly performances will be held on the first Sunday of the month through May.  Complimentary refreshments are available at intermission and members of the audience are invited to try their hand in a reading during the second half of the program.



Lastly, this is a team that needs no introduction yet is an integral part of Island Life. Next Saturday - the 12th - The Packers meet the 49ers in San Fransisco @ 7pm. Go Pack!

Have a great week!


Photo Credits: *The Telegraph **2012 Island Players Center Stage