A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 113

Back to abnormal

Recovering the Farmington Corner typewriter from the clutches of rebels was a relatively simple task, considering the distracting frenzy of excitement that gripped the town last week. Farmington Tigers beat Mascoma in the State tournament final, remember?

Laying the foundation for the next triumph, even as your read, is that other dedicated super-group, Farmington Town Players, who, in their current rehearsals are strutting the boards as impressively as the Tigers pound them.

And while the actors bring "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" to the pitch of perfection for your delight in April, perhaps it is time to recap on the theater company's short but colorful history.

1986: Nov. 1 - The installation of new stage curtains and cyclorma setting on the Town Hall stage reaches completion at a cost of $4,308, raised mostly by public subscription.

Nov. 8 - In response to a notice in this very column, 18 people assembled in Dock Square Restaurant to discuss formation of a theater group. An astonishing amount of time is given over to selecting a possible name. Two favorites emerge from the pack: "Puddletown Dreamers" and "Farmington Theater Guild."

Nov. 23 - Meeting of same parties in Mrs. Mosher's delightful home. Titles of suitable plays are suggested and debated. Someone is mortified to discover that they have tracked a mess over a thick pile carpet. The dogs of Farmington become the focus of recrimination, before the company settles once more to the task of picking a name. "Farmington Community Theater" and "Puddledock Players" become front-runners with "Farmington Players Guild" coming up fast on the outside.

Nov. 30 - Several plays are ordered at a cost of $19.35.

1987: Feb. 8 - More plays are ordered for the nameless company.

March 2 - Play-reading committee deadlocked. Still more plays ordered at a cost of $17 plus $5.89 postage. The Name That Company sub-committee is undecided between "Farmington Theater Group" and "Farmington Players."

"Farmington Town Players" is then offered out of the blue and at once adopted amid backslapping and cheers.

March 16 - Yet more plays are ordered at a cost of $42.43. Nearly all are rejected on the grounds of being too risque, too technical, too frivolous or too foreign. Only one, "The Folks Next Door" seems right for Farmington Town Players, and is about a writer and his family in northern California.

April/May - Rehearsals for "The Folks Next Door" spring to life, blossom, wilt and decay, like fruit rots on the vine. Farmington Town Players are despondent and wander in the wilderness for 40 days.

July 17 - Under the direction of Dan McFadden, Farmington Town Players are unexpectedly back with a performance in the Town Hall, of "Schubert's Last Serenade." This attracts an audience of 29 people, nets $47 at the box office and incurs expenses of $50. Despite this small loss, which puts them in the hole to the depth of $94.67, counting the mountain of thumbed play copies, morale is fully restored. A new work, "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers" is ordered.

Oct. 24-26 - Neil Simon's play is a hit for Farmington Town Players, and stars Larry Parent, Mary Barron, Jeannie Blinkinsop-Blinkinsop and Beth McKay, with Dan McFadden again directing. Two hundred and forty people attend the three shows, and the company, wiping out all previous debt, produces a surplus of $268 towards their next production.

November - The company reopens its ranks to the community, and in a spirit of true democracy, the enlarged Farmington Town Players selects a musical, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." Bob Tait, a Rochester radio station manager, is elected to be director.

1988: January to date - Auditions for the six parts are held, a $1,600 budget is worked out, the rehearsals run ahead of schedule and magnificent new piano contributes to the high quality of the musical numbers.

April 8-10 - "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" is a box office smash, and firmly establishes Farmington Town Players as an exciting and talented Seacoast community Theater company. The reputation of Farmington as a town of culture and sport spreads statewide.

Multi-Talented Maestros

Mr. Tyrone Vance of Dover has recently been prominently featured in the Boston Globe and Foster's Daily Democrat, following his gaining of the New England light-heavyweight boxing crown, but what these newspapers failed to tell was the remarkable scope of Tyrone's talents.

Last year he was one of the stars of Farmington Variety Show, and brought the house down with a tremendous rendition of "Lean On Me." But singing is by no means all. In October, Tyrone was back in Farmington to finish a very credible 20th in the Nute Ridge Half Marathon.

Since then, in between boxing commitments, Tyrone Vance has been one of the lynchpins of Liberty Insurance basketball squad, in the town league. His many friends in Farmington wish him every success when he goes to Omaha for the National boxing championships.

Conservation Commission News

Mr. Prisco DiPrizio of Farmington Conservation Commission has been conserving soot in his chimney, which 19 firemen extinguished in only 1.5 hours when it caught on fire recently.

Name That Computer

The winner of the school library contest was John Hodgdon who suggested the name "Mr. Smart." The elementary student has been awarded the first prize of a teddy bear, which he has also called "Mr. Smart." Asked how it felt to have both a cuddly toy and a piece of electronic wizardy named after him in one day, elementary school janitor, Mr. Smart, paused to lean on his broom and smile, but offered no comment.

Library News

The multi-talented Mr. Bernie Nason, who has had short careers as both a Long John Silver and a Gabby Hayes, reveals yet another interest with his exhibition of baseball cards currently showing in the Goodwin Library. Only a minute fraction of Bernie's 300,000 collection, is on view, but is attracting an enthusiastic audience.

An unusual hobby has been unearthed by Farmington Corner, in its unceasing search for news - that of gerbil spinning. Small respectable boys from good homes lurk in the children's section of the library and patiently wait for the gerbils to climb into their metal treadmill and slowly rotate the wheel. Then these fiends rush from cover and spin the treadmill so fast that gerbils fly out in all directions. Hmm.

Musical Latest

Tickets for "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," will be going on sale at downtown locations this week, and are also available at the Community Center. Adults are $3, with senior citizens and students a mere $2. For groups of 20 people or more, for example a church youth organization, special prices are available. Call 755-2405 for full details.

March 20, 1988

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