CPT's Board of Governors - 2020 Election Candidates
The following positions are being voted on this year for the Community Players Board of Governors: Treasurer, Set Shop & Props, Playreading, House & Grounds, Membership, Ad Sales & PR, and Technology & Social Media. Below are the write ups from each candidate under the Board position they are running for. Please read their requests for consideration prior to voting. For additional details regarding eligibility to vote in this election please see our News page on the website or our election event on Facebook.
I'm seeking one more term as Treasurer. My focus for my last term in this role will be:
1) First to find and train my replacement.
2) Finish the renewal and paperwork surrounding our Not-for-profit status and our Property Tax Exemption (*Property Tax exemption will be complete by the Annual Meeting).
3) Finish automating the last few things remaining (that can be - this is about 90% complete) and getting the remaining items on a yearly cycle (started this with Marketing last year).
4) Update the CPT Treasurer Activity Calendar so that whoever takes over the position has a step-by-step guide.
In my prior years as Treasurer, I've worked with the different departments on all major purchases, keeping expenses at their lowest possible levels while not impacting our production values or our ability to maintain our facility, ensured that we remained in the black and in good financial standing - through payments, investments, and all money management activities.
Set, Shop, & Props
I am running for re-election for Set, Shop, and Props. In the past two years, I have worked on updating our shop inventory. For this term, I should like to reorganize the layout of the shop. That may take some time as it will require the pitching of items that are no longer usable or are in bad shape. I should also like to reorganize how we store our tools.
Hello! I'm Brett Cottone and I've worked on over 30 productions at Community Players since 2006. I've performed, stage managed, ran lights, ran sound, designed and built sets as well as produced and directed. I've always considered what we do a great gift to the community as well as an amazing artistic outlet for all involved. I'm extremely excited to have the opportunity to run for Play Reading Chair on the Board of Governors. We are gearing up to work on our 99th and 100th seasons and I want them to be incredibly special. I want to look at the two seasons as a whole and have as many blockbusters as possible while choosing shows that our patrons, performers and staff will all be excited about. I'd like to take more feedback from our staff, performers about what kind of shows get them excited to volunteer and continue to get feedback from our patrons about what shows they want to see. I'd be excited to work with the Board on some special events throughout the years to celebrate our history. I feel I can bring a new perspective to the selection process as well as some new ideas for extra special shows leading up to and into our 100th.
I have served as the head of this committee for the past two years and feel I have learned a lot about not only helping to choose shows for our seasons, but also about the process of applying for licenses, securing scripts, and finding shows that meet the mission statement and goals for our theatre. I feel my years of experience, training and education in theatre has helped me be successful in this role. If selected for the next term, I hope to bring in new and classic shows to our stage, choose skillful directors and producers to produce the shows, and create a diverse and knowledgeable team to choose the best season for our theatre.
I strongly desire to return to the Board of Directors of Community Players in the position of Play Reading Chair. I have previously served on the board as Historian (1979-1980), Set Shop and Props (2016-2017), and Fundraising (2017-2018). I am also presently serving as a member of the Play Reading Committee. I have worked both on and off the stage at Community Players in various capacities since my first show in 1976. These have included acting, directing, producing, and helping with set work and publicity. I feel that having the experience and perspective of an actor, producer and director at Players is important to the dialogue of choosing shows for our particular theatre. I regularly attend productions, both locally and in Chicago and New York and continue to keep up on both the traditional classic shows, as well as the latest ones coming off of Broadway. I work well with people and have extensive experience with committee work having been in education for 42 years. In the past, I have been on the board of directors for The Children's Discovery Museum, and presently on the Board of Directors for the David Davis Mansion. It is an exciting time to be involved at Community Players and as we move closer to our 100th season and beyond, it is crucial that we provide a wide variety of plays and musicals that will bring in audiences of all ages and backgrounds. If elected in this position, I would hope to work on the following with my committee:
1) To look for opportunities to premiere shows that have not been done in the Bloomington-Normal area before.
2) To make sure that the shows we choose will draw in the abundant talent found (and yet to be discovered) in this community.
3) To have the right balance of both small ensemble productions and large cast shows.
4) To continue the strong reputation that Players has in providing quality entertainment.
I have gotten to know most of the past and present board members and would hope I could make a positive addition to an already impressive group of talented and creative individuals. Thank you for your consideration.
Hello. My name is John Poling and I would like to submit my name for consideration in filling the position of Play Reading Committee Chair on Community Players’ Board of Governors. I have been involved in community theater for the last 15 years – 13 of those being at Players. As any of my Facebook friends can attest to (by my check-ins), not only do I do theater but I also see a lot of shows. I think this is one of the things that makes me well-qualified to chair this particular committee. I have a familiarity with a lot of work and I also have a good understanding of local audiences and what they want to see. As I chair, I want to help select works that are exciting for audiences to watch and exciting for CP volunteers to be involved with – whether that be as an actor, production-team member, staff…you name it. Actors who have worked with me in productions that I have directed can tell you that I am a good leader. I am a good consensus builder. I am also organized and dependable. These are all qualities that I see as being important aspects of a successful board chairperson. Having participated in over a dozen productions at Players as both an actor and director, I think I also have a good understanding of the space and what kind of productions work well in it. It would be my honor to helm the committee that will put forth the recommendations for the next two seasons. As a history instructor, I am particularly “geeked out” by the fact that Players’ 100th season would be part of this two-year term. There are very few local organizations that can boast of a centennial status. We have to make the 100th anniversary of CP a year like no other! I hope to be a part of that effort. Thank you.
House & Grounds
Jay has served on the Board of Governors as the House and Grounds chair for over the past ten years. Through that time, he has worked to replace the aging systems in the building including furnaces, shop heaters, and air conditioners. He has also worked on water-proofing the basement with the replacement of the sump line, water abatement of the outer walls, and installation of additional external sump pumps and an emergency internal secondary sump pump. Currently, he is working on getting a new roof installed for all three buildings (theater, shop, and lobby)
I feel that my experience of owning my own home for the past 14 years has given insight and strengths that would translate into this position. It has given me the unique experience of deciding when to spend money and bring in professionals and when to roll up the sleeves and get dirty by fixing it yourself. I have also learned how to take bids, what kind of questions to ask contractors, and how to negotiate the best prices. I will be the first to admit I have no professional training in maintenance or carpentry, however, I have laid every inch of plumbing and drains in my house, replaced a stand-up shower with a tub, renovated my bathroom which consisted of relocating a toilet, sink, and washer/dryer unit. None of this is from any special training or skills, but simply having the know-how to research any problem and get it taken care of. My goals for the position are to take a more proactive approach to maintenance and repairs, to ensure that our renovations are housed in a sturdy and dependable building. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
“Membership” is defined as, “belonging to a particular group.” Synonyms include, “part, piece, community.” What has kept me coming back to CPT for the past 6 years is the overwhelming feeling of acceptance. From day one, I was welcomed with open arms. I felt loved, and supported, and challenged, and safe. Then I thought, if I feel this way, everyone else must feel this way too! Everyone currently involved and previously involved. How many lives has Community Players touched in the last 100 years? Not just the members, but the patrons, as well. What a tremendous accomplishment. Over the last 6 years I have acted in 10 musicals, 1 straight play, and choreographed 1 musical. I think it is time for me to take a step away from the stage and support the foundation that keeps CPT up and running. Part of what keeps me coming back to Community Players is that everyone is a volunteer. We are all there because we love theatre and because we want to be there. That type of self-lessness and commitment is truly inspiring. My vision for Membership will continue to emphasize the ‘Community’ in Community Players. To stress the fact that we operate as a team, and that each individual is essential in the success of the group. As the celebration of the 100th season approaches, I want to exemplify the steadfast resilience of the performing arts, the strength, commitment, and dedication of so many people over the years, and the importance of theatre and the messages it spreads. My first show with CPT was the 2014 production of Rent. Talk about a life changer. Two prominent quotes, of course, are, “No day but today,” and “Measure your life in love.” What an honor to look back at the last 100 years and imagine all the love that Community Players has brought to so many people’s lives. I am confident I will be successful as the Membership chair. I am organized, resourceful, detail oriented, and open to feedback. Plus, I’m Italian, so I know how to throw a party! For me, theatre has always been about connection, trust, vulnerability, imagination, and fearless creativity. Oscar Wilde said it best, “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all arts forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” Thank you for your consideration.
Ad Sales & PR
I would like to be considered for the Ad Sales and PR Board position. Although I do not have direct experience in Ad Sales, I feel that my organizational, management, and communication skills in my job as a professor, as well as my technical and information management skills in information systems fit directly with what this position entails. I am proficient and diligent at utilizing various information technologies needed to keep track of our sponsor data and various sponsor interactions. My goal in utilizing technologies is to streamline the process from sponsor contact to getting ad files to our marketing chair to following up post-production and making our sponsors feel valued. Although I have worked on individual productions at CPT, I am excited to be able to work across all the productions to coordinate various activities, such as street team, programs, and even targeted special events to promote specific shows. Eventually, I would like to expand our partners in the community to help promote CPT and our productions, reaching out to potentially untapped audiences. Finally, since my Business Information Systems capstone class worked with CPT last Spring and I got a chance to see some of the inner-workings of the Board, I would like to eventually look at ways to help facilitate document and knowledge-sharing between the board, hopefully making it easier to coordinate efforts and knowledge within the organization. Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you very much for your consideration.
Technology & Social Media
I wish to apply for the Social Media/Technology Chair position. I was blessed enough to be welcomed into the theatre world by Community Players in 2016. At CPT I have been in multiple musicals (West Side Story, Sister Act, Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), a play (Our Town), and worked the sound cues during a musical (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum). I have extended my acting resume to other productions, such as with the Historical Acting Troupe and my first lead role in a newly written musical, The Vermillion Epic with the Vermillion Players. The reason why I believe that I will be a natural fit for this position would be my extensive experiments with multiple social media platforms. The ideas I have to increase the visibility of Community Players Theatre's social media profile should be simple in execution and produce tangible results. I believe the takeovers are already great on IG, and the interaction is good on FB or contest and such, but the best new innovation I could suggest is the use of YouTube. Staff interviews of what the current show they are doing means to them, cast talking about the character they play, interviews with all of the cast themselves, etc. Videos of the set being built, and then a time elapsed video of it being taken down, etc. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.