Your article "Building a Better Promise" was informative and timely. (See River Cities' Reader Issue 654, October 10-16, 2007.) I had a general sense that the idea has potential as an economic-development tool, but didn't know any of the specifics. Your article helped fill in the specifics (as they are known) and pointed out the serious questions about funding, timing, and applicability.

I am an active PTA member at an elementary school in Davenport and am often asked my opinion on this issue. Thanks for making me sound a bit more informed! I'd love to see follow-up coverage of this issue. I think tackling real economic development is a critical local issue.


Elizabeth Axel




Prenzie's Days Are Numbered Without New Performers

Every time I view a Prenzie show I notice a certain theme - the same actors in each play. (See "Get Out Your Handkerchief," River Cities' Reader Issue 655, October 17-23, 2007.) Is the QC so empty of talent, so unworthy to be cast in a Prenzie Players show? Maggie Woolley played Desdemona because her sister is the director. Surprise, surprise. Although Aaron Sullivan was outstanding as Iago, I could name other actors who would portray Shakespeare's greatest villain just as well. If this is something that they will continue, they will not find many actors at auditions. Why go if you are wasting your time? Audiences like to see fresh faces at different theaters. The Prenzie Players' days are numbered if they continue on their present path.



(From the River Cities' Reader Web site)



New Actors Mean New Energy

It's true that a number of the members of the first Prenzie Players cast are still performing with us. It's also true that many of the people who were cast in later productions continue to audition for us and are often cast again. But it's the new faces that appear at our auditions that keep our shows vital.

Every Prenzie cast has included someone that has never been in one of our shows. Some shows have a number of new folks, some have only one. Last season began with a number of new-to-Prenzie actors, but because the season was through-cast, we had fewer and fewer roles to offer at auditions. Still, every production of the Henriad had at least one "fresh face."

Without those new faces, Prenzie would already have folded in upon itself. Our rehearsal process relies heavily on the creative impulses of the actors. Their talents and personalities shape the director's vision of the characters they are playing and the production in general. New actors mean new energy, new ideas, and new abilities. Even the most stable ensembles need new blood, and we are no different.

So, please, don't be afraid of auditioning for Prenzie Players. We're presenting The Taming of the Shrew (by William Shakespeare) this winter and Pedro Calderon's Life Is a Dream in the spring. Actors cast in one of these shows won't be able to participate in the other, so we need lots of folks to audition. I'm not directing either production, so you don't have to worry about me casting any of my family members.


Cait Bodenbender

Artistic Director

Prenzie Players

(From the River Cities' Reader Web site)



The Ensemble Defines the Company

I was able to see Prenzie's production of Henry V and I saw something that I had never seen before in the Quad Cities: passion. Here was a group of actors, performing with the scarcest sign of theatre technology, a thrift-shop selection of costumes, and set pieces that looked like they had been swiped from the dumpster behind Playcrafters. And you know what? I didn't care. I believed what they were doing because they were passionate.

Yes, the Prenzies are still a very young company, but the potential is overwhelming when you think of it. They are not trying to reinvent the wheel that is regional theatre, but they are asking audiences to look at that wheel differently. And when you are starting a company with this kind of vision, the "ensemble" needs to be the same group of people, with similar ideas, passion, and ingenuity, and the gusto to create what will define their company.

As soon as the Prenzies have made it clear to their audiences and the QC theatre community what exactly they are doing, actors who want to work with the Prenzies will find it easier to be involved with their productions because the Prenzie Players will have clearly defined the kind of theatre they are doing. And it will take this talented group of artists known as the Prenzie "ensemble" to lay down the groundwork so that outside actors, directors, and designers can join this wonderful theatre movement that the Quad City area so desperately needs.


Casey Campbell

(From the River Cities' Reader Web site)

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