Theater Prep Gives New Meaning to ‘Teamwork’


June 29, 2006

According to Webster’s dictionary, teamwork is defined as “joint action by a group of people or a coordinated effort.”

Recently, I have decided this definition should be revised to read: “The action witnessed at Peninsula Players in June 2006.”

All right, so maybe this definition wouldn’t be helpful to everyone reading the dictionary, but after watching the hustle and bustle around campus while preparing to open the new theater, I think anyone would be hard pressed to deny that it was the epitome of teamwork.

In just about any profession, people take on tasks outside of their job descriptions and everyone is asked to be a “team player.”  But, most of the time, it seems this means taking on extra projects in your division, attending an extra meeting here or there, or preparing coffee or lunch for co-workers or clients.  Usually, in some way, these extra tasks at least somewhat fall into a person’s area of expertise or knowledge.

At Peninsula Players, however, the clause in the contract which reads “and other tasks as assigned” truly takes on a whole new meaning.

Everyone knows this, of course, when they sign up for the job, and laughs about it regularly in good humor.  But, I fully realized just how much teamwork occurs here as I watched everyone take on the odd jobs needed to open the new theater.

Working side by side with construction workers from the Boldt Group nearly 24 hours a day, everyone on campus rolled up their sleeves, put on their work jeans and hard hats, and dug right in.

Late Monday night (or should I say early Tuesday morning), I found myself in the new pavilion securing donor name plaques to the newly installed chairs.  This was nothing out of the ordinary, and perhaps if I had had an intern or two helping, it would have seemed perfectly normal.

But, with the interns on stage busily trimming and painting the set, in the catwalks focusing lights, or in the booth adjusting sound levels, I had to turn elsewhere for help on my project.

Where did this help come from?  Our assistant box office manager, Holly, and our costume assistant, Samantha, of course.  Only at Peninsula Players, I thought to myself, as I watched these people, who are normally at home behind a computer screen or sewing machine, volunteer to stay up into the wee hours of the night crawling around the audience pavilion just to help get the job done.

All over campus, similar actions were occurring…the construction team was working around a grand piano and singing actors on stage; Erin, our production assistant was dumpster diving to retrieve goods misplaced amidst the flurry of caterers on opening night; box office assistants were hanging path lights, and carpenters were directing traffic as catering trucks, florist vans, and forklifts all shared the narrow path to and from the new scene shop.  The list goes on and on.

Needless to say, when the theater opened last week and the curtain rose for the very first time to reveal the set for “Master Class” on our stunning new stage, everyone on staff knew that together, we had done something incredible.

Now, the flurry has died down a bit, but the teamwork continues as usual while finishing touches are put on the theater by day and performances occur by night.

Please join us in our new home for a glimpse into the dramatic life of Opera’s great diva, Maria Callas, in “Master Class” which runs through July 9.  For tickets, visit our website at www.peninsulaplayers.com or phone the box office at 920-868-3287.  See you by the bay!

Megan Felsburg is Director of Development at Peninsula Players Theatre.