March 2016 News


Winter in Review

SPARE Productions has had yet another fantastic winter! From transitioning leadership to a successful fundraiser to another great show, we are pleased to say we loved this winter—even if we can’t wait for the summer sun.

Let’s start with our production of John Cariani’s heartwarming play, Almost, Maine. The production, directed by SPARE member Stephanie Leader and featuring some of our favorite talented actors, was an undoubted success. We were grateful to be welcomed back to the Cider Mill Playhouse after our August 2015 stint there, and the venue proved perfect for the show’s intimate, vignette-style feel and the chilly Maine nights it depicts. Producer Brian Ives, who worked from his new home in Washington, D.C. to coordinate the show, said he was very pleased.

“I couldn’t have been happier when I came back to Binghamton for show weekend,” he said. “ It was everything I hoped it would be, and that was a testament to our amazing production team and our wonderful and dedicated cast and crew.”

Speaking of Brian, SPARE underwent a leadership change this winter. Many people probably know Brian as SPARE’s founding President, but he decided the time was right to step aside this winter and pass the company’s leadership into fresh hands. Marisa Valent, the company’s former Vice President, took over as SPARE’s new President in January. She says she is looking forward to the future.

“I'm really excited to be starting this new chapter in my own professional life and for SPARE,” she said. “After two years on the board, I'm confident that I'll be able to lead this company in the way that it really deserves.”

“It's been a learning process so far, she continued, alluding to the transition process during which she and Brian have worked together to ensure things keep running smoothly, “but with each new thing I learn, I know I'm one step closer to being the best president I can be. I can't wait to see what the end of the 2015-2016 season has in store!”

Also stepping down in January was SPARE’s longtime Treasurer, Stephanie Leader. Stephanie now works for Broome County, and since SPARE sometimes applies for county-funded grants, she decided to step down in the interest of fairness. SPARE’s new Treasurer is Sarah Wiltshire.

After the holidays end, winter is usually not as busy as summer for SPARE, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t still active and planning for the heat that summer brings. We are finishing up our leadership transition, we’re planning an awesome slate of masterclasses—and we even had a late-winter fundraiser this year! Our Gertrude Hawk Chocolate Sale took in over $800.00 in sales, which means SPARE made over $400.00. Coordinator Tony DeLousia was very pleased:

“It was great having such a nice participation, and we more than met our goal!” he said, before adding, “Who doesn't love chocolate?”

We echo that sentiment: thank you to everyone who helped us out, and enjoy your chocolate!

Winter 2015-2016 was a time of change for SPARE: new leadership, new shows, new ways of doing business. We are confident that we’re ready to keep moving forward to bring the best community theater experiences and opportunities to the Binghamton area.