We have a lot to share. Here's what you will find in this newsletter:
  • Cast announced for Twelfth Night
  • Changes in board, committee and staff membership
  • Covid policy update
  • Financial outlook
  • Directors' Forum
  • New Office and rehearsal space
  • DEI update
  • Changes in the script review and season selection process
Twelfth Night cast announced
The Twelfth Night production team and our Technical Director Chris Benham are cooking up a spectacular show for you. We're thrilled to share the cast here:
  • Robert Barnett as Malvolio
  • David Cusick as Sebastian
  • Sanaya Forbes as Viola/Cesario
  • Julianna Gibbons as Sir Andrew
  • Shay Haase as Olivia
  • Andrew Hays as Orsino
  • Lucas Hill as Sir Toby
  • Noah Miller as Valentine
  • Elizabeth Ming as Maria
  • Valerie Mozena as Fabian
  • Erich Schmidt as Sea Captain / Officer
  • James Schmidt as Curio
  • Dusty Wall as Antonio
  • Sam Welborn as Feste
This is Shakespeare’s classic story of love, lust, mistaken identity, gender exploration and la dolce vita. When Viola is shipwrecked on the coast of a city called Illyria, and believes their brother Sebastian is lost at sea, Viola sets out to make a life for themself in this new land. Presenting as a young man, Viola takes the name Cesario. Viola/Cesario takes a job at the court of Duke Orsino, and quickly finds themself in the middle of a love triangle between the Duke and the Lady Olivia. Viola/Cesario meets an array of exciting and exuberant characters as the plot twists and turns.

Sponsored by The Family of Alice Mary Norton.

All seats $25. Frontline healthcare workers and people who hold an Oregon Trail Card are eligible for a 50 percent discount.

Audience suitability: Teens and older.
Audience members must provide proof of up-to-date vaccination, including a booster, if eligible. Masks are recommended and welcomed.
Town Hall and Season Selection Kick Off recap
Nearly 40 people joined the board and staff for an update on what is happening at the theater.

Changes in board membership
Debbie Neel resigned her elected position on the board in order to more freely pursue her interests in directing and in reinvigorating the Director's Forum.

In her place, Board President Erik Davis has appointed Juliet Valdez. Juliet is a theater lover and Affirmative Action Manager for the Oregon Department of Administrative Services. Welcome, Juliet!

Clyde Berry, Bruce Thompson and Liz Santillan also briefly introduced themselves as newly elected board members.
Changes in committees and staff
The pandemic provided some time for people to think about where to put their energies at the committee level, too.

  • Rachel Duncan has stepped down from her roles free dress rehearsal night coordinator to focus on her job as a teacher. Loriann Schmidt has graciously volunteered to step into this role. Read about Rachel's amazing contributions to the theater in this profile by Jenni Bertels.
  • Karen and Chris McCarty have resigned their positions as Hospitality Committee chairs to pursue other ventures. They leave a big hole to fill after 20 years of service. Learn more about the McCartys' legacy of service in our next newsletter.

We cannot thank Rachel, Karen and Chris enough for their amazing dedication to the Pentacle. We are indebted to them.

At the staff level:
  • Julia Sargent is resigning her position as bookkeeper to take a position near where she lives in Texas. Please spread the word about this part-time opening at the theater.
  • Quinn Connolly has joined the theater staff as Facilities Maintenance Coordinator.
Covid policy update
As of March 12, 2022: Masks are recommended and welcomed at Pentacle Theatre and patrons must provide proof of up-to-date vaccinations (including a booster for those who are eligible).

Town Hall attendees and board members had a robust discussion about the thinking behind the requirement for the booster. Board members shared their belief that theater requires a higher level of caution and safeguards. As a community, we must look out for each other. They reassured our attendees that we will vigilantly monitor the state of the pandemic and recommendations from the CDC with the health and safety of patrons and volunteers top of mind.
Financial Outlook
Bruce Thompson, Treasurer shared a few highlights about the theater's financial status:
  • The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant awards and other grants have allowed us to keep us in the black
  • Audiences are small, indicating a resistance to return to close quarters, our aging demographics, a deviation from our normal season announcements and some resistance to our vaccine and mask requirements for entry
  • Season subscriptions have fallen off dramatically
  • Pentacle is projecting a significant shortfall, which is offset by the grants, but we need to focus on identifying other sources of revenue for the long term
Directors' Forum
Debbie Neel shared her plan for reestablishing the Directors' Forum. She envisions a venue for Pentacle directors to collaborate, network and support each other as they manage all the things that come with directing.

There will soon be an invitation to attend a kick off meeting. One need not be a "qualified director" to participate. It will be a place where directors can be mentored. We will be offering educational opportunities to those who have not directed at Pentacle Theatre.

Clyde Berry also shared that Education Committee will be expanding its offerings to sharpen the skill set of our membership.
New office and rehearsal space to open soon
Rendering of the Liberty St. side of our new office in downtown Salem.
By Liz Rogers, Governing Board Member

In March of 2021, our lease on the old office/rehearsal space expired and we moved all of our downtown operations into the lobby of the theater. As we worked on our plan for reopening the theater, finding new office space became a priority, so the search began.

We are thrilled to announce that we have secured a new location at the corner of Liberty and Ferry (197 Liberty St. SE), on the ground floor of the Liberty Parkade. After four months of wading through mountains of bureaucratic red tape, plans and engineering, further complicated by Covid, as of Monday, Jan. 24, we had a building permit and we’re close to putting the final touches on a brand new office and rehearsal space.

Changes in script reading and season selection
Scott Ramp reviewed the changes to our process for choosing a 2023 season. New charter focuses on transparency in the process (see “Resources for Directors” page on the website). Here are some of the changes:
  • Timeline is compressed: Musical proposals in June and play proposals in July and season announced in August
  • DEADLINE to suggest plays for reading: April 30, 2022.
  • Submit titles to Scott Ramp
  • Any play with a director attached will move forward in the process
  • Play scripts are scored
  • Scoring results will be kept by the theater and will be accessible to members (still working out how this will work)
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work
I also gave a brief update on the status of our diversity, equity and inclusion work, and introduced the Pentacle Theatre members of the Equity Team (E-Team): Clyde Berry, Isaac Joyce-Shaw, Sean Needles, Scott Ramp, Lizabeth Rogers, Liz Santillan and Juliet Valdez.

The E-Team will co-develop plans for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in our theaters (an Equity Tool Kit). The committee will identify ways to engage audiences and volunteers to better reflect the diversity of people who live and work in Salem and the surrounding area. Pentacle Theatre is committed to providing a welcoming theater experience to all people in our community.

You can watch the full town hall here. We hope to see you at the next one in about three months.

Changes keep coming at our way, some exciting and some daunting. Thank you for pivoting with us. Be safe and well.

I hope to see you at the theater!
Executive Director
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PO Box 8271, Salem OR 97303
Office Phone: 503-485-4300