SARANAC LAKE - The new leadership at Pendragon Theatre met with the people who support the nonprofit organization Sunday night to introduce themselves and to help move the theater forward.
The evening began with drinks and hors d'oeuvres as company members gave tours throughout the backstage areas of the facility. New Executive/Artistic Director Karen Lordi-Kirkham and Managing Director David Zwierankin introduced themselves informally to the sponsors and advertisers who arrived, and caught up with company members and board members.
The pair is taking over the theater this year from co-founders Bob Pettee and Susan Neal, who are stepping back from the organization after more than three decades.
New Pendragon Theatre Executive/Artistic Director Karen Lordi-Kirkham introduces herself to Bob Bayruns at the theater Sunday night.
(Enterprise photo— Jessica Collier)
After most everyone had a tour of the theater Sunday, Lordi-Kirkham and Zwierankin gathered the crowd in the theater to introduce themselves.
"This whole night was really about getting our faces out there, getting to know you, you getting to know us," Zwierankin told the audience.
Lordi-Kirkham said their general plan is to follow the same path Neal and Pettee had pushed the theater down all along - a theater built out of a collaborative team that wants to bring a variety of quality productions to the area, with a strong educational component.
"It is with their spirit that we definitely move forward," Lordi-Kirkham said.
Lordi-Kirkham recalled when she was a girl spending summers in Long Lake and got the chance to hang out around the theater that Pettee and Neal were starting there.
"I got to go backstage, and I got to meet the actors, and that was just thrilling," Lordi-Kirkham said.
Years later, she wrote to Pettee and asked to direct some shows with Pendragon. One of the first plays she put on with the theater was "Terra Nova," which Pendragon is reprising this fall and winter, opening Nov. 8.
Lordi-Kirkham said she will take an early sabbatical from her teaching job so she can be in Saranac Lake all next year.
"I'm really excited to be here to usher this ahead," Lordi-Kirkham said.
Zwierankin, who was a student of Neal at SUNY Potsdam, said he decided to stop by to see her when he was driving through Saranac Lake one day, and it just happened to be two hours after their technical director put in his two weeks' notice.
"Everything happens for a reason, as far as I'm concerned," Zwierankin said.
They also noted that the theater will hold a Halloween costume sale and rental, along with a garage sale, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. They are taking donations of items other than books and clothing to sell in the garage sale.
After the talk, Zwierankin said he was pleased with the turnout. Out of about 115 to 120 invitations they sent out, about 75 to 80 people turned up on Sunday evening. He said it was nice to get advertisers and sponsors in to let them tour the whole theater.
It also gave them an excuse to clean out the innards of the theater, something Zwierankin said he hopes to maintain in the future.
For more information about Pendragon, go to www.pendragontheatre.org.
Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 26 or email@example.com.