newtowne players logo
The Newtowne Players
bring the performing arts and theatre into our culture in Southern Maryland. Through their outstanding productions including musicals and plays, they provide quality entertainment, cultural activities and educational programs for all to enjoy. They strive to get the community involved in theatre and look for volunteers not just in acting but all aspects of performing arts, from design to publicity. In this week’s Friday Focus, Dawn Weber, Artistic Director, Newtowne Players shared with us their upcoming productions. If you’re interested in performing, volunteering or enjoying a show, check out the Newtowne Players upcoming performances!

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

The Newtowne Players (NTP) is a non-profit community theatre group serving the Southern Maryland community that makes its home at Three Notch Theatre, the former Lexington Park Library. Each year the group performs five “Main Stage” productions, both plays and musicals. NTP’s “Second Stage” productions comprise shorter runs, revues, one-acts and the very popular Shakespeare in the City, a collaboration with Historic St. Mary’s City, which has run for five seasons.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

It’s difficult to narrow down a single moment. Part of the mission of NTP is to foster, promote and increase the public knowledge and appreciation of the arts. Over the years we have helped a number of organizations in our surrounding community and beyond. Recently, Bill Scarafia, a long-time beloved member of our organization and former board president, passed away; and, as part of his legacy, NTP has created the William E. Scarafia Memorial Scholarship to support students as they continue their education beyond high school. The requirements and selection criteria can be found on our website.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

We often mention our volunteers and how grateful we are for their assistance. When people think of volunteering for a community theater they often think of the obvious acting and directing roles. However, putting together five to seven productions a year requires the efforts of many individuals with varying talents. The board of directors and committees that are responsible for the day-to-day operation are constantly in need of volunteers, and this will always be our biggest challenge. Our volunteers do everything from ushering to construction to play reading to publicity. If you have an interest in supporting the arts in our community, we can find a home for you at The Newtowne Players.

Q: Are there any upcoming events?

Our next second stage production, “A Night on Broadway: Sight, Sound and Song,” runs May 27 – June 4, 2017. This musical revue features favorite songs from many popular Broadway musicals such as 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, Beautiful, Grease, Hairspray, Jersey Boys, Man of La Mancha, The Phantom of the Opera, The Wiz, Wicked and more.

Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

It takes a community to keep a community theatre running and NTP has volunteers from many skillsets lending their talents to the day-to-day operation of the theatre. A volunteer form can be found on our website along with information on the many ways you can get involved.

crime solvers
Wouldn’t you like to be a crime solver? Help our Sheriff’s Office solve crimes and hold criminals accountable for their offenses? The Charles County Crime Solvers work with the Sheriff’s Department to do just that. The organization provides a way for citizens to report crimes anonymously and receive monetary compensation upon arresting or apprehending the persons involved in the report. In this week’s Friday Focus, we spoke to Steve Lowe, Director of the Board, to find out the many ways in which Charles County Crime Solvers help our community.

Q:Tell us about your organization. ( who you serve, what you do, ect.)

The Charles County Crime Solvers Inc. was formed by the Waldorf Jaycees in 1981 for the purpose of providing an outlet for citizens of Charles County to report crimes committed to law enforcement and remain anonymous and be rewarded monetarily. TIPS which stood for “turn in a pusher” was originally more directed to drug related crimes, but today is used for all types of crimes. The organization receives TIPS through a direct phone number which is published in many areas for citizens to access. The phone calls are monitored by the Charles County Sheriff’s Department and forwarded to the appropriate department depending on type and nature of crime being reported. Upon arrest or apprehension of person or persons involved a report is made to the Crime Solvers Board of Directors and appropriate awards are approved for the payout to informers providing the TIP, all done anonymously.

The organization is also very active in the middle schools of Charles County, where Sheriff’s department officers (SRO) are stationed at various schools and are equipped to pay out rewards for TIPS turned in while school is in session. This has proved to be very effective.

As a Director for the Board, I am responsible for assisting the organization in securing funds through fund raisers to continue our ability to pay the rewards for the valuable information we receive on a regular basis, since we are not funded by any county or state funds. The Board of Directors is responsible for promotion of the Crime Solvers program to groups such as Home Owners Associations at their regular meetings, National Night Out events and other Crime stopper opportunities that arise during the year. We are very active within the county.

Q:What is your favorite moment?

The Crime solvers has been involved in many people’s lives in many different ways. No one particular event outweighs the other as they are all different. When we pay out a reward that was because we took a drug dealer off of the street, or we pay out a reward that hopefully has helped to save a life of someone who could have been seriously hurt, it has a positive feeling of having contributed and know that it was beneficial to someone.

Helping a Boy Scout get his badge by allowing him to do some physical work for the organization is a way in which we help the community.

Q:what is your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge is to expand the exposure of the Crime Solvers to all of the areas that will continue to grow in crime related incidents. Our commitment to provide our services is only limited in the amount of time and personnel we have to do the job at to the fullest extent. Funding is limited at this time and we want it to grow so that our mission can also grow to help reduce the amount of crime here in Charles County.

Q:Are there any upcoming events?

There are 2 major fund raisers coming up.

  • May 7, 2017 @ Metro Gun Club
  • June 13, 2017   7th Annual Golf Tournament @ White Plains Regional Park

See web site for details     charlescountycrimesolvers.com

We will also be in attendance at several HOA meetings, National Night Out, Crime Watcher kickoffs, Charles County Fair and others.

Q:How can people get involved with the organization?

We have an approved number of Director Positions which from time to time may have a vacancy. We also have a ‘General membership’ which is available in several categories. Corporate, Individual, Civic and patron which have a small dues associated yearly. We depend on donations throughout the year from businesses and individuals in order to be able to keep funding the program which has worked so well for both the Crime Solvers and the Community. Any assistance we receive from you is 100% earmarked for the benefit of the program. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit. All monies donated are 100% tax deductible.

Myrtle Point Park provides a peaceful water front park, with variety of wildlife, birds and great hiking trails. This week’s Friday Focus features, Friends of Myrtle Point Park, an organization who strives to maintain the historic nature of the park. They sponsor education programs, maintain the parks trails and grounds, lead hikes and more, in order to make it a fun and friendly place to be. In this week’s Friday Focus we caught up with Bob Boxwell, and learned about their dedication to keep the park as an actual park.

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)

We are a friend of the park group and focus on use of Myrtle Point and helping the county keep the park as a nature park. Myrtle Point Park is located in St. Mary's County on the Patuxent River near the Chesapeake Bay. The 192 acres was purchased with Maryland Open Space Program funds in 1997. At the time of the purchase, former Governor Parris Glendening said, "Myrtle Point is one of the most significant undeveloped tracts along the Patuxent River. Rich in history and natural resources, public ownership of this area will provide for public access to the river, creation of a park and other recreational opportunities where none currently exist."

The original fight was the county’s desire to fill the park with soccer fields. Friends of Myrtle Point sponsors education programs in the park for school groups, lead hikes and clean up days. We work to preserve the park as an environmentally friendly place to be and not just a big field.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

My favorite memory is when we had the original victory that allowed the park to become county property. They didn’t want it originally and when they did get it, they tried to make it into a bunch of athletic fields.  Hundreds of people showed up to the hearings to see that this did not happen.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge is the summer season when we have an influx of illegal evening visitors who use the park as their overnight camping/fishing site. They trash the place.

Q: Are there any upcoming events?

We have beach clean-ups throughout the year.

Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

Join us for clean-ups or contact me at bobboxwell@hotmail.com.