State of the Pelican Address 2016

The State of the Pelican

Fiscal Year Report: October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016

Our 16th season opened with a reminder of where we live. A near miss hurricane moved our fall production (which we had hoped would be a Christmas show) into January 2016.  In December, the Pelicans hosted Barbara Fox of “Mystery on the Menu” with a Christmas fundraiser, “A Very Merry Murder.” Mu Alpha Theta catered the dinner as guests played detective for an evening of fun and problem-solving.

As a Christmas present to the Miami Springs Senior Adults, the Pelican Playhouse puppeteers performed in the Senior Adult Center for Christmas. “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and “The 12 Days of Christmas in Florida” were featured.   A good time was had by all!

With Christmas past, we shifted gears and presented my original adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” and the musical, “Seven with One Blow.” Both productions brought firsts to our “Pelican” stage. “Alice in Wonderland” had our first ever movable boat and “Seven with One Blow” had our tallest player ever: an 8’2” ogre! You had to see them to believe it! A mixed, intergenerational cast of 33 on stage, supported by another 23 crew members brought both shows to life. Our set designer, Birgit Scaglioni, enlisted 33 cast and crew (and even her parents) to handcraft the stunning “Wonderland.”  It truly takes a village to put on a play.

With the hurricane already compressing our season, we began our next production the week after our first production closed. This time we had a record 40 players (between the ages of 10 and 70) register for production class and another 14 children for Puppet Class.  With such a large group of participants, we once again went to two plays instead of one to accommodate: the fractured fairytale, “The (Almost) Totally True Story of Hansel and Gretel” and our contribution to education, “The Distracted Scholar’s Guide to Literature and Drama.” These hilarious comedies were more than plays; they were also a costumer’s tour de force! Ninety-one characters in all, with more than 100 costumes, including Mermaids, Bears, Pigs, Shakespeare, Renaissance, Greeks, Romans, German Opera, Ghosts, Frankenstein, and Star Wars. Our amazing Dee Piquette was equal to the task and the costumes were dazzling!  Another first! Our physically challenged actor, Susan Kern, appeared as Darth Vader in a power wheelchair disguised as her space ship! Again, you had to see it to believe it!

Not to be out done, the Pelican Puppeteers staged a fundraiser for the Miami Springs C.A.T.S. Performing lunch time theater in the Rebeca Sosa for the Miami Springs Adult Seniors, family and friends.  The young actors mesmerized them, performing the difficult poetry of T. S. Elliot’s “Old Possum’s Practical Book of Cats” and raised almost $200 for Caring About the Strays.

Summer registration has 41 participants. The summer is “actor’s workshop” which gives the individual actors an opportunity to work on something of their own choosing. Monologues, scene work, poetry, song or dance. It’s up to them to decide what they want to perform. For the first time ever, it will also be a “director’s workshop” with the opportunity for some of the experienced actors to direct some of their peers.  This year’s Summer Recital was Labor Day weekend, September 3rd and 4th. It was a sellout…as usual!

We continue to partner with the Miami Springs Math Club Mu Alpha Theta. They provide our refreshments and earn money for their trips to gather in more math trophies.

And in keeping with tradition, the Pelicans paraded proudly in this year’s Fourth of July parade in Miami Springs.

Facebook “likes” are up to 427….and climbing!

Events in the Rebeca Sosa kept the place hopping! The McCormack Music Christmas Concert, the Golden Girls Foundation Fashion Show, the Junior Orange Bowl Pageant Preliminaries, the Ms. Heart Pageant, the Miss Art Deco Pageant, the Miss Florida Teen Pageant, the Miss Florida Teen America Pageant, Little League baseball pictures, Community Center staff meetings, River Cities talent auditions, the Miami Springs Candidates Forum, the Miss Miami U. S. A. Pageant, the Miss Coral Gables Pageant, the McCormack Music Summer Concert, and Summer Camp! And that’s only through June of 2016!

The Rebeca Sosa Theater saw five visiting companies renting out eight days for total revenue to the City of $2,954. We appear to be “Pageant Central” with six different beauty pageants, seven counting the Jr. Orange Bowl!

On the horizon for the Fall of 2016 is an all adult production of Claire Booth Luce’s 1938 classic, “The Women.” The Pelican Playhouse has a preponderance of adult females, and this show gives them a chance to stretch their acting talents.

We would also like to give particular thanks to the following:  Mary Reed, Sam Chesser, Gretchen Gordon, and Daniel Febres for their help with our social media efforts.

Special thanks to Omar Luna, Patty Bradley, and Albert Vargas for their wonderful support of all that we do. They are extremely helpful and we truly appreciate them and the rest of the staff at the community center. And major thanks to Tom Nash and the “heavy lifters” from Public Works who set up the staging and risers for the audience.