When the board of directors of Four County Players met on a recent Sunday for an all-day retreat, we went around the circle of fourteen people and shared our favorite 4CP moments. Memorable moments on stage, spectacular set designs, feeling supported in a creative community … all those make the memories that draw us together.

For me, the memories that stand out the most are made on opening nights. You see, I do most of my theatrical work backstage as a stage manager. In that role, I am present from the very first rehearsal, through the blocking of the show, to the fine-tuning of run-throughs and tech week. Standing in the wings on opening night, hearing the reaction of an audience for the first time as they laugh, cry, and connect with the actors, I feel honored to share in the magic that happens when an audience experiences the show.

Now that I have been president of 4CP for four months, I am learning how to come out from the wings and use my managing skills for the whole theater operation.  One does not take over leadership of a forty-four-year-old organization without being very aware of the people who laid the groundwork for where the theater is now. I’ve enjoyed learning more about the history of 4CP and am committed to making sure we continue carrying out the vision of our bold founders.


Because the current board is committed to maintaining continuity with our past, I had the honor of presenting our previous president, David Heyl, with a framed resolution passed by the entire board at our July board meeting. The board wanted to recognize the many years of work and visionary leadership David offered the theater.

Our board retreat was part of making the transition to new leadership as productive as possible.  We experienced an invigorating day that helped us identify both the things we believe we are doing well and the areas where we want to do better. I intend to use this blog space for regular updates about the business side of the theater: progress reports on the Build a Backstage Campaign, news from board meetings, and opportunities for people to get involved.

The opening night magic continues this week with the next production of our 44th season: Bullet for Unaccompanied Heart opens in the Cellar on Friday. Come share in the excitement of this production of a locally written play!

Debbie Owen, President

Four County Players Board of Directors