by Lorie Lewis Ham
This Valley has an abundance of great theatre, and this year a new theatre company was added to the group, the Blossom Trail Players in Sanger.
Even though their summer production of Fiddler on the Roof was their first production, the idea to start the company began two years ago. “Two years ago, Annette Husak, Lynette Simon (both teachers in Sanger Unified), and I had the idea to create an opportunity for the community of Sanger to experience theatre,” said Erica Mardirosian, Blossom Trail Players board president and a theatre teacher at Sanger High School.
“We wanted to have students, parents, community members, and theatre enthusiasts get involved,” continued Erica. “So we approached the Sanger Unified Superintendent, Mr. Matt Navo, with the idea. He was immediately on board. Over the course of the last two years, we have sought out advice from other community theatre groups and through discussions with SUSD have laid a foundation for the Blossom Trail Players.”
Erica feels that this new theatre company is important to the community because theatre is one expression of art that appeals to many, and because it speaks to who we are as humans, evokes emotion, is thought provoking, and entertains.
All board members, directorial staff, performers, and tech crew, are volunteer. However, they did have a live orchestra for Fiddler, which was a combination of volunteer high school students and paid professional musicians.
Annette Husak and her husband Dan are also on the board of BTP, and helped form the company. Dan is the Artistic Director of BTP. In this summer’s production of Fiddler, Annette designed the costumes, and Dan helped design the lights and sound for the show, and repurposed the set for Sanger High School’s MPR stage where they performed.
Annette has been involved in theatre for many years. She also majored in theatre arts while attending Fresno State. “I performed with Northfork Players at Storyland in the late 60s that was organized by Dan Pessano. While at Fresno State, I performed and designed costumes for several CSUF productions. When Good Company Players was organized, I built costumes for their first two or three years until they moved from the Hilton Hotel in downtown Fresno, to their current home at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theatre.”
At this point, BTP is only producing one show a year during the summer, but they hope to expand beyond that. Their shows are chosen by the board, keeping in mind what resources they have available. “We plan to continue with musicals, which appeals to the community and allows for many participants,” stated Erica.
The group’s hope is that the company will continue to grow and be sustained for many years. They also hope that as they continue to grow more people from all over the area will become involved.
Their mission statement says that they desire to present a creative outlet for performers and creatives of all ages and background. They also want to provide training and educational opportunities to those interested in learning more about the theatrical arts, and connect the community of Sanger and outlying towns to and through the theatrical arts, and offer exposure to the culture of theatre, thereby offering cultural growth and enrichment for the town at large.
You can find more theatre articles, and other entertainment articles, in our Arts & Entertainment section.