Dale Spencer- President
Dale moved to Pocatello 10 years ago to work at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) site on a temporary engineering support contract and could not see any point in returning to big city crowds, traffic and congestion. His education was in engineering and he made a living back east working as a test engineer” at a very big shipyard on very big ships”. At the INL, he teaches technical skills to nuclear workers.
Dale became involved at Westside when the group was looking for a puppeteer for the summer production of “Oh Dad, Poor Dad”. In North Carolina, for six years, Dale had headed up a small group of puppeteers performing at local schools, senior centers and churches, and director Phil Shepherd jumped at the chance to get Dale involved. ” I also worked with Dan Varas to build the set and that got me hooked. I’m now mainly a backstage person. Building has been my hobby for a long time. In what my daughter refers to as ‘extreme DIY’, I designed and built our house back east. I have also helped backstage at both Old Town Actors’ Studio and Theatre ISU.” When he is not making things, he likes to visit his twins. “The close one requires 6 hours of flying time; the other requires about 13 hours in a confined space, with strangers, sharing bad food. “ Fortunately, Dale took a crash course in sound and lighting for Westside productions, and has been King of Booth Operations for Bell, Book and Candle(Fall 2012), and The 39 Steps (Winter 2013) He gave in to the temptation to act, and played technophobic Wally in Eric Coble’s For Better (Summer 2012). It’s a good thing he calls himself a “theatre junkie”: he was elected President of the Board of Directors in December, 2012, and chairs the Building and Facilities Committee which tends to our needy100 year-old warehouse home.
Brian Grant – Secretary
Brian Grant grew up in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and moved to Idaho Falls in 1990 after being on both coasts during his Navy career and spending five years in Pennsylvania cleaning up the damaged Three Mile Island reactor. His wife Johannah (Rhoads) grew up in Pocatello and was active at Westside when they met. Brian started out doing odd jobs at the theater like cleaning toilets, painting, and taking coats. Brian was voted onto the board of directors in 1994 and has been secretary since 1996. He is often the “face” of Westside, managing the house and check-in desk several nights during the run of each show. When not at Westside, Brian enjoys singing tenor in his church choir and watching his two daughters dance. He is currently employed as a radiological engineer at the Idaho National Laboratory. We thank Brian for making the 120 mile round trip to/ from Idaho Falls to continue his invaluable work with the Board.
Mollie Curran- Treasurer
Mollie Curran was born in Pocatello, and has lived in Hawaii, Connecticut, and Maine. After returning to Idaho, she worked at Mountain Bell for 24 years until they closed the local office. For the last 17 years she has worked with Jordan & Company, an accounting firm. Her daughter Kendra and grandchildren Phoebe and Shawn live with her. She loves gardening, oil painting, and expert with power tools. Mollie’s power tool skills are extremely sexy, at least to everyone at Westside Players, plus she wields a mean paint brush.
Although she says she “knows nothing about theatre”, that’s not how the Westside Board sees it. Mollie was elected to serve because she has faithfully volunteered for years, and has attended every Westside production since the “old days” when the Players performed as “Theatre on the Road” at locations around town, like the Holiday Inn, Elks Club and in the middle of Main Street. That’s 27 years of perspective which she brings to her role as an advocate for Westside patrons and volunteers. Also, her many years of business and office experience serves her well as Westside Treasurer.
Jackie Norby Czerepinski is a native of Pocatello, a Senior Lecturer in Idaho State University’s Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies and holds a PhD in Theatre from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She loves being part of Westside Players because of the opportunity to do a bit of everything: directing, acting, costuming, set decorating, scene painting, prop constructing, newsletter and program writing, and creating lobby displays. This October, she costumed and dressed the set for Bell, Book and Candle. Her most recent directing credits for Westside include Moonlight & Magnolias (Winter, 2011), A Shot in the Dark (Winter, 2012), and the 2013 Season kickoff show, 39 Steps (Winter, 2013), which broke all Westside attendance records. Always active, Jackie will design costumes and play the widow Tess in Bermuda Avenue Triangle (April 5-27, 2013). She chairs key Baord committees: Properties & Costumes, Play Selection, and Production. Jackie was proud to have received a Pocatello Arts Council Community Partnership Award in 2009.
Timmia Costin hails from Corvallis, Oregon, and came to Pocatello to attend Idaho State University where she is majoring in Psychology and Community Health. (We suspect she is using us for research purposes.) She has been active as a dancer with ISU’s Danson Group. We met her when she volunteered to help backstage, then worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make our 24 Hour Theatre Project a success. Although she had never acted before, Timmia came forward to portray “Lizzie” (photo, left) in our summer 2012 production of For Better. She was responsible for a mind-boggling 40 light cues forThe 39 Steps (Winter 2013).
Timmia works in the ISU Computer Labs, undaunted by technology, which is what we need to help us become techno- savvy. Naturally, because she is a creative problem solver who loves theatre, we spotted her, saw how inventive and hardworking she was, realized she was a catch, and invited her to join the Board. She is finding her niche, and has accepted a “seat” on the all-important Production Committee, chaired by Jackie Czerepinski.
Dana Harris was born and raised in Marsh Valley, Idaho, and enjoyed being involved in high school dramas. After a year at Boise State University, she spent the next 15 years raising a family and working in the Loss Prevention and Hospital Security fields. A back injury in 2004 resulted in a career change that sent her back to college, and Idaho State University. Pocatello Magazine recently published her article on the history of McCammon, Idaho, in Marsh Valley, where she grew up..
In the Fall of 2010, Dana took an Ethno-drama Workshop and studied The Laramie Project for a group presentation. When she heard that Phil Shepherd would be directing the play for Pocatello’s Old Town Actor’s Studio, she knew she had to be involved. She went on to play roles in Cannibal the Musical (OTAS), Mrs Prentice in Westside’s What the Butler Saw (Summer, 2011), and served as Assistant Stage Manager for Westside’s Wait Until Dark (Fall, 2011). She was invited to join the Westside Board in March, 2012. Dana’s latest endeavor was working with Board member Dan Varas as co-coordinator for the successful 24 Hour Theatre Event on May 18th and 19th, 2012 that brought 50 volunteers together to create a full evening of plays in a 24 hour period. She and Dan Varas will again collaborate on 24 Hour Theatre 2013, to be held May 17-18, 2013. She was Stage Manager for For Better (Summer 2012), and Asst Director/Stage Manager for Bell, Book & Candle (Fall, 2012). Dana is also the mother of Preston Johnson and Travis Lish who help backstage at The Warehouse as cat wranglers and running crew members.
Gabrielle Joan Kane
Gabrielle loves all aspects of the entertainment business, writing and modeling, and is excited to be on the Westside Board. She was cast in various roles in high school and worked with technical aspects at the Colonial Theatre and ARTI in Idaho Falls. Later, Gabby pursued acting at the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln), graduating with high distinction for her BA in Fine and Performing Arts. She worked backstage in various venues as a builder, stage hand, costumer and lighting technician, received Best Supporting Actress for the role of BeeBee in subUrbia from the Johnny Carson School, and has acted for NET Television, BBC Productions, and in independent and student films.
Gabrielle has been involved in Pocatello productions at Idaho State University and Old Town Actor’s Studio. At The Warehouse, she received accolades as Meg in Leading Ladies, Ginny in Relatively Speaking, Ms. Wilkinson in Move Over Mrs. Markham, and the Magistrate’s Wife in A Shot in the Dark. She is happily married to Sean, blessed with dachshund Chloe, and works as a personal injury consultant and paralegal at Echo Hawk Law Offices. To add to her busy life, Gabby has returned to higher education as a Graduate Student in Theatre at Idaho State University. Her MA thesis will be a history of the Westside Players. For Westside, Gabby is a member of the Play Selection Committee and Production Committee, and has recently taken on the role of Historian.
Lynn Leonard studied English and Theatre at Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), earned a Masters in West African Theatre History from University of Ibadan School of Drama (Nigeria), and chaired the Speech and Theatre Department at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina. She returned to SIU (Carbondale) for doctoral work in Oral Interpretation of Cross Cultural Literature. Gradually, she evolved into “the world’s biggest fan of other people’s talent”. Everywhere she has studied and taught–Norway, Nigeria, England, Spain, China, Costa Rica, Italy, Ireland–she has explored performance traditions. She came to Pocatello in 1986 from Denver to start a noncredit continuing education/Communiversity/conference division at Idaho State University. Later she obtained certifications in ESL from Seattle University and directed the ISU English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program, specializing in American Culture, academic writing, speaking and accent reduction until she retired in 2009.
Lynn got involved with Westside in 1998 as an usher and, later, as an assistant on shows for Women’s History Month.She joined the Board in 2004, coordinates publicity, administers and develops the website (westsideplayers.org) and Westside Players Pocatello Facebook Page, helps where needed and serves on the Production Committee.
Diana (McAtee) Potter
Diana was born in Wakeeney, Ks and raised mostly in Idaho. She has an MA in Theatre from Idaho State University, and, currently, is a part-time lecturer for the ISU Theatre & Dance Dept, where she teaches appreciation of drama, beginning acting and makeup. Diana always knew she needed to act. “My sister (Peggy) is the one who really got me started when we would lip sync and act out all the musicals for which we had records (yes- records).” Diana has been on the Board for more than 22 years and was there when Westside first moved into its permanent home at The Warehouse. Since then she has served on the board as secretary and worked on many committees (currently, the Production and Selection Committees), built sets, directed, stage managed, done technical work, but “my passion will always be acting. My fave roles at Westside are Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Ruella in Communicating Doors, and Madame Rosepetal in Oh Dad Poor Dad. I have been involved in many fantastic productions ( 63+).” This spring, she directed Neil Simon’s classic comedy, I Ought to Be in Pictures for Westside Players (April 6-28, 2012). A wonderful character actress and comedienne, Diana takes on the role of Queenie, the potion brewing aunt, in Bell, Book and Candle. She enjoys giving back to the community and is pleased how far Westside has come from its humble beginnings. She also acts from time to time with Old Town Actors Studio, most recently as the scholar dying of cancer in Wit. For Westside, she will play the konstantly-kvetching widow Fanny in Bermuda Avenue Triangle (April 5-27, 2013).
Jonesy, proud father of twins, has worked on Westside projects, such as the 24 Hour Theatre Fundraiser, and directed past productions. Mark is employed by Idaho State University as an Instructional Technology programmer and analyst.
Westside’s Changing of the Guard,
Nov. 15, 2011
(November 15, 2011) To the Westside Players Board of Directors:
I Thomas E. Potter do hereby resign my position as President of the Board as of Nov. 30, 2011. I do so with mixed emotions, happy and sad. Happy to be starting a new phase of my life and dad to say goodbye to the hundreds of cherished memories of the Westside Board.
I offer the following words of advice: Remember to nurture each other. It’s the many diverse talents and abilities of this group of friends that has made Westside one of the longest running nonprofit theatre companies in the Northwest. Remember to nurture each others strengths and be tolerant of each others weaknesses. Some are good at acting, directing, organizing accounting, building and set design, others at publicity, sales, management and public relations. It is the unique blend of all these talents that makes us succeed. None of us can do it all.
As a Board Member, remember you are a volunteer and giving back to the community we all love. We are a hospitality organization and are given the task of presenting the best, most pleasant evening for all those who come to our productions. We are blessed and fortunate to have a large and great facility. Protect it and maintain it, and use it wisely. Be frugal and control costs wherever possible.
Being a Board Member will enrich and improve your attitude about life. Thank you all for all you are able to give,
Thomas E. Potter
(November 15, 2011) Board of Directors, Westside Players, Inc.
It is with a heavy heart that I submit my resignation as a member of the Board of Directors. It has been an honor to service with all of you and to have been your Treasurer for over the past decade. Professional and personal challenges have made it necessary for me to discontinue my service as a member of the Board.
I cherish all of the relations that I have made over the years, and will miss you all. I may not be ableto actively participate as a volunteer to this fabulous group, but I don’t plan on disappearing, either.
Thanks for allowing me to serve with you; it has truly been an honor.
Stephen A. Maheras