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Bay City Players at 100 Topic of Rotary Program

June 20, 2017       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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Leeds Bird
The Bay City Players are 100 years old this year! That was the message from Leeds Bird who told the story of the longest continuously operating community theater in Michigan.

The date goes back to March 19, 1917, when Mrs. J.D. (Emily) Grinnell gave the first performance and founded the Bay City Art Club. In those early days, the group gave performances in member's homes. By 1920 the group merged with another to form the Musicalle-Art Club, then in 1928 renamed itself as the Bay City Theater Guild. It was 1931 when the group took the current name, The Bay City Players.

The Players has a long history and over half of that revolves around the current location. In 1955 the group purchased the small, neighborhood, Pines Theater. That venue worked, but the small size and less than ideal arrangement made shows a challenge.

Kathy Pawloski
From that 1955 purchase through 1994 the group made what improvements they could. The stage was expanded, make-shift makeup and dressing rooms were installed, the floor at the rear was raked to provide better viewing, the lobby was remodeled, an orchestra pit installed, and in 1975 new seats were added.

From owning just the original theater, the group purchased the two houses behind, then Stan's Auto Shop next door. This was better, but still left challenges, like very limited bathroom spaces, and the requirement to run across a parking lot from the houses that became dressing rooms to the theater.

A major phases expansion plan started in 1994. The houses were leveled and an addition added to the theater. Over the years more property on the block was added. A large new addition was put on the front of the building. Parking was added one step at a time. Best of all, up-to-date bathrooms were installed!

Kathy Pawloski spoke about exciting changed being made in the 100th season. Curtain times will be moved back half an hour. The holiday show will always be a family show while the summer show will present edgier material.

After 100 years, the Players are better than ever. Numerous alumni have gone on to greater things including many who have ended up on Broadway and national touring companies. Rotary has been a long time supporter or the Players and everyone looks forward to the next steps.


The Club welcomed Past President Rob Clark who was visiting from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And thanks Rob for leading the singing as you did so often!

With two weeks left in the year, Andrea Hales noted that we've raised over $7,000 toward the Polio campaign. The "change jar" is a major part of that effort. Connie Schweitzer, Foundation Chair, reminded members to make their RI contributions to get in the current physical year.

With the Golf Outing behind us, Chris Girard said the push to the Zombie Run will be ramping up. He showed one of the prizes, a live size chocolate ZOMBIE MASK.

Tim Holsworth reported on the successful Golf Scramble held the day before. He noted that Johnathan Teich flew in just for the outing (and maybe to visit his folks). Additional reports on the funds raised will be forthcoming.

Dee Dee Wacksman gave a brief report on the RI Convention just completed in Atlanta. Some of the big news was the millions committed by Bill Gates and his foundation to the Polio causes. RI is starting a new People of Action program among other things. Dee Dee says to look for more information soon.

A reminder that DUES INVOICES for the July to December 2017 term have been mailed. Please pay as soon as possible.

Current and past DISTRICT DISPATCH newsletters are available on the District site shown in the LINKS section below.

Welcome Past-President Rob Clark who was visiting Bay City
Andreas Teich, Chris Girard, Rob Clark, Jim Griffiths

Annual Golf Scramble was held at Maple Hills Golf Course on June 19, 2017


July 4 - NO MEETING. Enjoy the 4th

July 11 - Off Site Meeting at the Marriott Uptown.

July 25 - July 26, 2017 District 6310 to Tour One Rotary Center. Group to take Amtrak train to Chicago.

October 14, 2017 - ZOMBIE RUN Bigelow Park.

November 7, 2017 - Vocational Day

Upcoming Programs

(See the official schedule at )

June 27, 2017 - Team Paws Rocks Kind with Karrie Marciniak.

July 4, 2017 - No meeting - HAPPY FOURTH!

July 11, 2017 - Passing of the Gavel

July 18, 2017 - RYLA Scholarship Recipients Students from four area high schools will give a summary of their Leadership Camp Experience.

Current and past DISTRICT DISPATCH newsletters are available on the District site shown in the LINKS section below.

Get connected with ROTARY on Facebook.
Over 450 people like us. Let's go for 500 people liking our page!

Rotary Bay City on Facebook
Rotary Bay City on Facebook!
Click on the Blue Facebook to visit us there.

Remember! Check attendance sheets at the front desk.

District 6310 Web Site District Dispatch Archive
Rotary International Make-up On-Line at
The Rotary Global History Fellowship
Rotary Global History.

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April 15, 2019
by: Dave Rogers
HOPE FOR ROAD FIXES; Local Decision-Making Proposed
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April 9, 2019
by: Stephen Kent
Bay County Health Department Topic of Rotary Program
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Stephen Kent

Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

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