The email below the photo was sent to the Boquete Community Players (BCP) membership by Jim Hatch. Boquete has lost a very talented director and a theater professional with the exit of Jim Hatch. I want to be sure any residents who were not on that mailing list see the email and understand a little of what is going on with the BCP since it affects more than just the membership.
From Jim Hatch:
The members of BCP, and current BCP President, Mr. Mark Heyer.
After Mr. Bob Schmucker became the newly elected Board president, I agreed to become the Artistic director for BCP. My job was to come up with a season and a vision for BCP and Bob and the board agreed to implement that vision. Bob has always been there to guide me with the wisdom that I sometimes lack, blinded by my own burning passion for great theater. It was a lovely balance that worked extremely well.
President Bob Schmucker has provided time, energy, and his own money to help BCP prosper, and prosper we have, as we have always been in the black and provided a great service to our community Also, Mr. Mark Heyer’s help has been invaluable in the planning and execution our construction projects through out the season.
The first thing that we wanted to do was aid and elevate a floundering organization by providing consistently great product for our patrons. We would in turn increase our membership. We accomplished those goals.
This 2013 season we produced:
• Cosi, an Australian comedy
• Rabbit Hole, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play
• Bench Warmers, a series of new original one-act plays submitted from around the world, with over 70 submissions
• Proof, another Pulitzer Prize winning play
• El Grande de Coca-Cola, a comedy. In Spanish, that made BCP theater more accessible to all of Boquete. We had a Wednesday night final dress performance for over 70 University students. With most of our posters, and flyers in Spanish, we increased our Latino participation by 35%
Recent past Vice President, Lee Zeltzer, among others, pronounced this season “the best season of theater ever seen in Boquete or Panama.”
Further accomplishments, after selecting plays for the season, are the following:
• We updated the BCP logo.
• We updated the venue by raising the seating and carpeting the risers. This was to improve the viewing quality of each seat, and help with the acoustics.
• We enlarged the light and sound booth, built additional storage to protect scenery from the elements, and also made improvements for costume storage.
• We moved the bar from the front to the rear to clear the traffic jams, and added storage for the bar.
• We turned the dull green lobby into an art gallery that has had several successful shows of painting and photo displays.
• We added an additional and much needed larger air conditioner to the theatre.
• We recruited and hired Tammy Gulick to run and improve the Tuesday Market, which is overflowing with vendors today.
• We interned a very talented Graduate Student, Kelsey Kinzer, from Seattle, WA.
• We added WiFi capabilities.
• We set up a possible exchange program and an informal alliance between the three English speaking theatres in Panama: BCP, Pact, and Ancon.
• We increased our reputation throughout Panama and traveled our fourth production, Proof, to Coronado, where it sold out before we arrived.
Subsequently, at Coronado and Pact’s request, we brought to them our second show, El Grande de Coca-Cola. Not only did we get our brand out there, but it was an opportunity for the cast and crew to perform and be rewarded by all their hard work. Hotel and meals were provided by the Coronado theatre community and patrons.
Throughout the season, we have managed to assemble casts that have “left it all on stage”, and have given us beautiful gifted performances.
Even though we are constantly looking for additional help to lessen the burden of those who have been shouldering the weight of responsibility, we have had a marvelous small core of production assistants this season. They appear consistently in our programs as the unheralded heroes of our efforts. They are truly indispensable. I wish to convey my heartfelt thanks to all of them and say that none of this would have been possible without their support.
This is the last season report I will make.
I wish to thank BCP Past President, Mr. Bob Schmucker, and our one legitimate board member and present President, Mr. Mark Heyer, our membership, and our patrons for an absolutely wonderful and magical season.
I wish you all continued good health, joy, and prosperity for the 2014 Season and beyond.
Artistic Director of BCP
My role as Vice President of the BCP lasted two months. As a long term member of the BCP I accepted the position only because no one else stepped up to the job. It could have been a relief to resign in favor of people who wanted the position and had more time to dedicate to the needs of the organization. In my opinion the request for resignations was not handled well, but that is history.
I agree that Mark Heyer, the new president, has and I am sure will do a great deal to make the BCP a better organization. I wish the BCP luck in the future, the BCP is important to Boquete. The BCP is more than theater.
I would like to remind the new board the lease on the facility terminates before the end of the next season. There is a five year option, for the sake of the community I urge you to start renegotiating or locating a new location, sooner rather than later. As I wrote in inter organizational emails, the planning for the future was a major faucet of what Bob was doing before this transition, I hope the change does not lose that focus. Many on the board might not remember how different things were before the BCP had its own facility. Please do not lose site of how much more than theater the BCP is to the Boquete community.