Sandy Spring Theatre Group


Sandy Spring Theatre Group Electronic Newsletter

The Green Room

September 21, 2002  

Benjamin Franklin is coming to SSTG

Reminder: The World Premiere of Franklin of Philadelphia opens October 18.
Seating is limited, so make reservations early!

See Broadway veteran Merwin Goldsmith as
Franklin of Philadelphia
  -An American for All Times-


Written and directed by Emmy-Award winning writer Alexander “Sandy” Marshall  

Dates:  October 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27
Times: Fridays and Saturdays
8:00, Sundays 3:00  
Location: The Sandy Spring Museum

Sandy Spring  

Tickets: $15.  $12 for students, seniors, and SSTG members.  

For information and reservations

Franklin of Philadelphia is an evening (or matinee) with one of America’s true heroes.  Benjamin Franklin reminisces about his life and loves, and the forces that forged the greatest democracy the world has ever known.  


Хайде и научи всичко!


Merwin Goldsmith and Sandy Marshall will chat with the audience after each performance of “Franklin of Philadelphia.”  The following is an interview with the team that is bringing Benjamin Franklin to Sandy Spring.

SSTG:  Sandy, you've mostly written comedies in your career. Why did you take on Benjamin Franklin as a topic?

SANDY MARSHALL:  Merwin asked me to write a show for him about the life of Benjamin Franklin.  There are a handful of friends that I would've fulfilled such a request for, and Merwin is among them. 

SSTG:  The subtitle of the play, An American for All Times, is intriguing. What does that mean to you?

SANDY MARSHALL:  That Franklin is America 's Leonardo; a true genius who's brilliance would shine through in any century. 

SSTG:  How does writing about an historical character differ from inventing one of your own?

SANDY MARSHALL:  There is source material available when writing about an historical character that is harder to come by when you invent someone.  The really difficult part of this with a character like Franklin is what to edit out because we're doing a 90-minute show and could easily do a 52-hour mini-series and would still just be scratching the surface.

SSTG:  What does premiering the play in Sandy Spring, Maryland provide for you?

SANDY MARSHALL: Stan Levin made me do it.  Okay, the truth is – we get to see our show before a real audience in an area that has a genuine appreciation for American history.  We’ve had readings in New York but there’s nothing like an audience to bring a play to life.  And we are looking forward to talking to the Sandy Spring audiences and getting feedback after each performance.

SSTG:  Merwin, in your career you've played judges, bumblers, good natured joes and an occasional villain.  What of you do you see in Ben Franklin?

MERWIN GOLDSMITH:  Initially, it was the likeness; we resemble each other in figure (we're both portly gentlemen with similar hairlines).  I was intrigued with the format of a one-person show and wanted the challenge, and Franklin was a man who was always thinking, always searching for something new to help mankind.

SSTG:  What is there about Ben Franklin that you believe will inspire the audience?

MERWIN GOLDSMITH:  He was such a towering figure and extraordinary human being to America that can never be underestimated.  His example of virtue and the just cause is something that resonates for our time - especially in the present world climate.

SSTG:  When the play is over and the audience is driving home, what do you think will be their take-away from Franklin of Philadelphia?

SANDY MARSHALL:  Every prop that isn't nailed down.  Uh, sorry, I couldn't resist.

Lose weight with us!


MERWIN GOLDSMITH:  The example of Ben Franklin as an inspiration; he set up the model for the ideal American, and I hope members of the audience will be challenged to examine his or her own life and become a better person as a result.
SSTG:  What would you like to see happen with the show after the SSTG performances in Sandy Spring, MD?

MERWIN GOLDSMITH:  The Shubert's fall in love with us and take us to New York by way of Ford's Theatre, Washington.  After New York, four years in Philadelphia and six national companies would be nice.

[Editor’s note: to see Merwin and Sandy’s photographs, check out our web page,   To see Merwin and Sandy in living color, come to the show]

CREW INFO: Joe Musumeci and Sandy Doherty have joined the team of Joe Connor, Dave Eikens, Karen Petersen, Veronica Mariani, Margaret G, Karen Dugard, Susan Palmer Marshall, and Kevin Dugard  There is always room for more crew! &npsb; You will get to work on a great show, and the cast parties should be pretty astounding. Just ask Merwin about the time he worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger  Please contact the newsletter editor.


The Olney Gazette on September 11, 2002 , on page A-7, ran a full-page story on SSTG and our return to Sandy Spring, MD.   The article features interviews with Margaret Grzeszkiewicz and Karen Dugard.  There is also a photograph of Rebecca Herron and Bob Schwartz from our Spring 2002 production of the musical, They’re Playing Our Song. 

If you missed the article, it is available on-line through the following URL:  [Editor’s note:  Margaret, thanks for making the arrangements with journalist Terri Hogan at the Gazette – it’s a wonderful feature on the group!]

One-Act Play Festival
December 6 & 7
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: To Be Announced

Karen Dugard, Kirk Andersen, and Karen Petersen have already expressed an interest in providing some wonderful and provocative new productions for the festival.  As soon as audition dates are available, we will publish them.  There is room for more directors and plays.  Original or published scripts are acceptable.  The winner of the SSTG festival will represent the organization at the Maryland Theatre Festival, traditional held over the Martin Luther King Holiday Weekend.

If you are interested, send an e-mail.  For first time directors, this is the best way to develop your craft


Director Ellen Hamilton
Date and place to be determined  

As we go to press, SSTG is still negotiating for a space and dates.  As soon as that information is available, we will let you know.  


The membership year in SSTG is July 1 through June 30.  Therefore, it is time for everyone to renew his or her membership!  For a mere $20 for single membership or $30 for family, you get the Green Room newsletter, advance notice of auditions and productions, admission to some incredible parties, and you help support one of the long-time community theatres in the area.   


Former SSTG member Thorn Lauriat passed away recently. A Memorial service will be held October 26, 2002 , at 4:00 pm at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Wheaton, MD.


You still have a chance to see Jean Aviles, Andrea Spitz, and Christopher Crockett (the hypocritical preacher in SSTG’s The Foreigner) in  Montgomery Playhouse’s Barefoot in the Park.  The night your humble editor attended, there were many SSTG glitterati in the audience, including Roger and Roxanne Fournier Stone, stage mom Pat Stone, and Bill Spitz & Charity Goodman.  [Editor’s note:  it’s a delightful production, so get there early for good seats]. 

Eowyn Rehwinkel will be with the Village Dance Ensemble performing 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Maryland Renaissance Festival  through October 20.

Speaking of Bill Spitz, he will play Admiral von Shrieber in The Sound of Music for the Damascus Theatre Group.  It opens on Saturday,  September 21 and has five performances over the following two weekends,  September 21, 22, 27, 28, & 29.  Matinees on 22, and 29.

Rebecca Herron will make her Kennedy Center debut on September 30 in a new play, Mind Invasions.   She gets to play some of the internal voices of a schizophrenic woman.  According to Rebecca, it’s a joy, the traffic isn’t all that bad, yes it is, what is she talking about, protect the Dauphin of France, I am hungry, the floor is hard, I’m naked, keep playing Mike.

Trish Weiler is in All Because of Agatha by Jonathan Troy at the Rockville Little  Theatre. It runs on September 27, and 28. October 4, 5, 6, and 11, 12, 13.  Friday and Saturday performances are at 8:00 p.m and Sunday afternoons are at   2:00 p.m. Call 301-314-8690 for reservations, Tuesday Saturday from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. 

Former newsletter editor, and current actor, Kirk Andersen will be in Cedar Lane’s production of Museum, October 4-5, 11-13, and 17-20. The director is Stuart Fischer (who was Charlie the Foreigner for SSTG).

Ted Ying will be in MAD Productions Fiorello! at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.  In addition to singing, this time, he'll actually have lines.  Fiorello! will play five weekends from 0ctober 25-November 23, 16 performances.  This show is double-cast and for performance information, please check out the web-site at  Tickets can be purchased by calling the MAD ticket.   The show is dinner theater and tickets range from $21-25 depending on night.  There is a $1 per person discount for 8+ tickets. [Editor’s note: MAD shows sell out early, and this is a rare opportunity to see the Pulitzer prize-winning musical that made a star out of Tom Bosley].

Craig Petinatti is directing the area premiere of the Broadway musical Side Show at the Kensington Armory for KAT, opening in November.  The musical is about the Hilton sisters, conjoined twins who were vaudeville stars.

Nick Sampson will play the banker Nelson Kinkaid in Quotidian Theatre Company's A Doll's House November 8 through December 8 at the Writer's Center in Bethesda. Tickets for all Sunday matinees (and the one Saturday are priced two-for-one. For more info, visit

Lori Sampson recently directed and acted in 2 one-acts: Haiku was Chevy Chase Players' entry in the NVTA one-act tournament in June. Some of you might remember that Lori directed (but didn't act in) Haiku at the 1992 MD One-Acts where it won 3 awards & competed at ESTA Fest. Time Flies performed at the one-act festival sponsored by Montgomery Playhouse & KAT in July & August. David Dieudonne (from SSTG's The Foreigner) was also in the cast, as they played - honest! - mating mayflies.

The following items were sent

SIX MINUTE CINEMA. My name is John Thompson and I’m with Six Minute Cinema. I wanted to tell you about our free seminar on digital filmmaking called In Search of Killer Shorts The seminar is sort of 60 minutes of Digital Filmmaking 101. It’s subtitled How to Write, Shoot, Direct, Edit and Distribute Your Own Digital Film in Six Minutes or Less. We believe that today’s video technology means that anyone can be a successful filmmaker – especially if they focus on the kind of short productions we’re looking for at Six Minute Cinema.

The seminar is a lot of fun, there’s a trivia contest prizes and a lot of great information. So you know what to expect, I have provide you with a hyperlink to See a 2:40 Quicktime Video Synopsis of the Seminar. We think you guys would really like it.

Thanks for your time. I look forward to seeing what you think about our seminar.

Gemini Pictures Entertainment.  CASTING.  Jim McLean sent out a casting notice for the film Soulmates.  He requested head shots and resumes.  For further information, contact :

Jim McLean and Taisha Cameron at Gemini Pictures Entertainment , Silver Spring


To contribute news articles, guest articles or items of interest to The Greenroom Newsletter, send your information via regular mail to:

SSTG Newsletter Editor
Sandy Spring
Or Contact via E-Mail

Deadline for Submissions for the next Greenroom Issue is October 5, 2002

Visit the NEW SSTG Webpage at: Any questions or comments should be emailed. For an email subscription of The Greenroom, you may also preview the email group.

For more information on other theatre groups and their productions visit Scott Bloom’s Theatre pages at


Karen Dugard - President.   Ellen Hamilton - Vice President.  Rita Dugard - Secretary.  Veronica Mariani - Treasurer.  
Karen Petersen - Membership. Margaret G - Publicity.   Stan Levin - Newsletter.   Joe Connor- Technical Adviser.