Community Theater comes to PCEC

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Theatrical productions that entertain, inspire, and inform.  This was the vision of Chris Parsons and Debbie Cavanaugh when they founded the Pattaya Players in 2008.  Chris was the guest speaker at the Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) meeting on Sunday, May 22, at the Amari’s Tavern by the Sea Restaurant.  After being introduced by Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg, Chris started by stating their intent in forming Pattaya Players was to create an artistically adventurous environment that would attract and excite the diverse members of the Pattaya community through theatrical productions.

Chris said that Pattaya Players is a nonprofit charitable organization and uses most of the funds they receive for their community theatre productions. The primary benefit of these productions to the community is that they allow for social networking by bringing a diverse group of people from all walks of life together.  He emphasized that Pattaya Players is open to all and one does not need to have acting experience to join them.

Chris Parsons, president, and Ray Lightbown, secretary of the Pattaya Players, promote their new production ‘Rumors’ by Neil Simon.

Chris then gave a brief history of the Pattaya Players. He said when he met Debbie, he discovered that they both had the same goal in wanting to create a community theatre for Pattaya. He then mentioned the many productions they have done since their first, which was titled “An Evening of One Acts” consisting of three one act plays: Monkey’s Paw, The Last Leaf, and Final Dress Rehearsal. Two of the one act plays were comedies and the other was a more serious work. Based on the audience’s reception, Chris said they felt that there was strong interest in comedy productions, but not for more serious works.

Since they started, they have put on both comedies and murder mysteries; the latter usually involve audience participation. Chris said that although they have done several murder mysteries, they plan to put them on hiatus for a while and concentrate on other types of productions. Chris also commented on their annual participation in Horseshoe Point’s Halloween event that involves providing “ghost tours.” Not only are they enjoyable, but it is this activity that generates most of their funding, which is needed to support their productions during the year.

He then asked, why community theatre?  To answer that question, Chris highlighted the benefits of community theatre noting it: builds communication skills for the participants; helps conquer the fear of getting up in front of a large group of people; improves critical thinking skills as the participants not only take direction, but also offer their own thoughts and ideas about the characters they play; allows people from different walks of life and background to meet and get to know each other; and builds self confidence.

Chris then talked about their upcoming production of Neal Simon’s “Rumors.” He showed a video clip that they are using for television promotion of the production.  This was followed by two cast members Bob and Foo Smith giving a short scene from the play to the delight of everyone.  During his presentation, Chris asked the audience to answer some trivia questions with the winner getting a T-shirt and a ticket to the production. Chris concluded by inviting everyone to join them in their productions and referred everyone to their website for more information: www. pattayaplayers.org.

Richard Silverberg finished up the meeting by announcing upcoming events and calling on David Meador to conduct the Open Forum. The Forum is where everyone has an opportunity to ask questions and get answers, or sharing information about good restaurants or critiquing the latest movies playing at the Pattaya theaters.