Big changes are happening at Off Broadway Players! All is well with some key roles changing that will offer more stability and continuity for the troupe. The Board of Directors has decided that there will be a roll of Immediate Past President, President, and President-Elect moving forward. Each of these positions shall serve a two-year term. Let us introduce you to the new team that our board has put together.
Neil Marrin was our previous President; but, he had to step down during his tenure. Fortunately, Terri Hoover was able to step up and guide the organization through the remainder of Neil’s term as Interim President. But, with the new year, a new way of doing things has come to fruition.
Ron Smith has loved the stage ever since he got on one. One could also say he loved education ever since he was in a classroom. He graduated from Broadway High School. He went to James Madison University for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. He taught English and got into school administration in the Shenandoah Valley, Northern Virginia, and Warrenton. And, though busy teaching, he always found a way to keep theatre in his life. He directed school plays. He acted, directed, and wrote plays. So, it is not surprising to know that Ron was there at the birth of this organization, which was originally in New Market. He has worked hard in many capacities, including bringing this group to Broadway and developing a wonderful relationship with the town. With all that experience, it is an honor to have him serve as Immediate Past President to counsel the President and President elect, offering continuity and effective transitions.
Terri Hoover is a proud Texas native. Married for eight years, she and her husband decided to move to her husband’s native grounds in Broadway in 2018. Terri had been very involved in community theatre for twenty years in Texas and was happy to find Off Broadway Players upon arrival here. She first performed in Flowers of Algernon that November. And, very soon after, she joined the board as Artistic Director. Since then, she has directed Over the River and Through the Woods, A Curious Savage, Christmas Bells, and Dearly Departed. Also, she acted in Be My Baby.
Certainly, this would be enough for someone, but no. She works full-time with a global travel agency arranging all the details of travel for corporate clients. It takes a person with tremendous energy, focus, and organization to handle all that she does. But, she does it all with humor and grace. The board of Off Broadway Players feels that this organization is in great hands under the leadership of Terri Hoover as President.
Jeff Obenschain knew Ron Smith from church. When Ron asked Jeff if he had any props that could help him with a production he was directing of Road to Appomattox, Jeff obliged with a few things he had. Then, he went to see the play and became very interested. In 2018, Jeff became the stage manager for the show See How They Run. Later, he was the set designer and stage manager for Snow White. He found that he was getting more and more interest.
By: John McMurrayed in helping this organization. In 2020, Jeff found out that there was a strong desire for a permanent facility for the Off Broadway Players and wrote a proposal for a capital campaign. The board of directors received this with great enthusiasm and asked him to join the board so that they may also use his knowledge of marketing and business and he agreed.
Jeff has directed a few shows for Off Broadway Players including Waiting for John, Be My Baby, and The Play That Goes Wrong. Jeff is married with two daughters and works full time while dedicating so much of his ‘free time’ to this group. We are privileged to have Jeff Obenschain as the President Elect for the next two years.
When I asked Jeff about the new system, he told me that he is happy to serve in any capacity asked of him. And, that when the time comes that he is President, he is happy to have the wisdom of experience on one side of the table, and the future on the other. Well put, Jeff; and, thank you for your leadership.
The Off Broadway Players are proud to continue to serve the needs of theatre in Broadway and surrounding communities with ever renewing resolve. Now, with the framework for continuity, we look forward to a prosperous new year.