Tag Archive for: theater

Miners Foundry Manifesto

We believe history is important AND cool!

We believe you cannot forge a positive, bright future without paying homage and respect to the past.

We believe cultural centers make for smarter kids, happier adults, and stronger economic and social communities.

We believe cultural centers are more than performance venues; they are where life happens.

We believe that art, music, theater, and dance matter.

We believe that supporting other non-profits in our community is not only the right thing to do, but THE thing to do.

We believe that your wedding should one of the happiest days of your life.

We believe that there is magic between our Stone Walls.

We believe a sense of place is essential to everyone

We believe we are in honorable competition with our ancestors to preserve and keep this great building intact to hand it down to the next generation.

Click here to help preserve and protect this great building!

Theater By The Book Returns With The Thriller SLEUTH – Wednesday, May 22

Theater by the Book, a series of informal play readings for the community co-presented by Sierra Stages and the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, returns Wednesday, May 22 with a reading of the Tony Award-winning play Sleuth, directed by Susan Mason and featuring local actors Jeffrey Mason and Danny McCammon.

“We kicked off the “Theater by the Book” series in April with a reading/singing of a children’s musical Stone Soup which has a musical score by Ken Hardin, Artistic Director of InConcert Sierra,” explains Peter Mason, board member of Sierra Stages. “We expected about fifty audience members, but had over one hundred and fifty in the attendance.  The feedback on the show was overwhelmingly positive.”

Sleuth has all the ingredients of a top-class thriller – a plot whose twists and turns are breathtakingly audacious and fiendishly cunning; suspense and excitement galore; and a brilliant parody of the Agatha Christie country-house thriller.  Written in 1970 by Anthony Shaffer the play is set in the English manor house of Andrew Wyke, an immensely successful mystery writer, played by Mason.  Wyke’s home reflects his obsession with the inventions and deceptions of fiction and his fascination with games and game-playing. He lures his wife’s lover, Milo Tindle played by McCammon, to the house and convinces him to stage a robbery of her jewelry, a proposal that sets off a chain of events that leaves the audience trying to decipher where Wyke’s imagination ends and reality begins.

“I love Sleuth.  It is fun, interesting, and rarely ever done because of the production challenges,” explains Susan on why she suggested the play for the series. “The play reads very well and I’m interested in the creative process of reworking a familiar play in a way that is new to me and the audience.  Plus it was a great opportunity to work with my husband again.”

Susan grew up in Grass Valley and met Jeffrey while performing in a production of Oliver! at the Nevada Theatre in 1976.  Since then the two have worked together in over thirty shows and lived throughout California and Oregon.  The Mason’s threw themselves back in to local theatre two years ago after Jeffrey retired from teaching theatre arts at the university level.  Most recently, Susan directed Assassins for Sierra Stages and Alice in Wonderland for Quest Theatreworks and acted in Sierra Stages’ production Death of a Salesman, while Jeffrey has directed The Music Man and Death of a Salesman for Sierra Stages. Both also participated in the popular 24 Hour Plays produced by Sands Hall at the Miners Foundry.

“My love of theatre comes from my love of dramatic literature,” explains Susan.  “There is so much good literature out there, you can’t run out of good material.  I also love watching the audience see something come alive in person.”

Also in the cast is seasoned actor Danny McCammon. McCammon has performed in numerous local productions, including Sierra Stages’ Assassins and CATS’ Journey to the West. He also performs in the Best Friends Club Sketch Comedy Group, and will be seen in Sierra Stages’ summer production of the musical Avenue Q at the Nevada Theatre.

The Theater By the Book readings are FREE (with a $10 suggested donation). Each reading is on a Wednesday evening – doors open at 7 and the reading begins at 7:30.

“We thought it was important that the play readings be free, but we are also asking for a suggested contribution of $10 to cover royalties for each play and the promotion and fixed costs for the Foundry,” says Peter Mason.  “Although not designed as a fund raising event (after all, admission is free), any proceeds from the series will go to the Miners Foundry and Sierra Stages, which are both 501(c)(3) organizations with a goal to provide cultural activities for our community.”

The rest of the play reading series will be entertaining as well, with a wide variety of plays: Sleuth will be followed with a comedy (Lettice and Lovage), a drama (The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds), a sprawling historical epic with music (Zoot Suit) and one reading to be announced. Jeffrey Mason will direct the Peter Shaffer comedy Lettice and Lovage the third installment of Theater By the Book on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at the Miners Foundry.


The 24 Hour Plays ~ Wednesday, May 8, 2013 ~ 6:30 p.m. Doors / 7:00 p.m. Show ~ $15.00

The Miners Foundry with Sands Hall will present The 24 Hour Plays on Wednesday, May 8, 2013.  When a team of actors, writers, directors, and producers are given just 24 hours to create, rehearse, and tech six short original plays, culminating in an off-book performance to a live theatre audience, the experience is unbelievably stimulating.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the performance will run from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  A no-host bar will be available.  Tickets are $15.00 and are available online, by phone, or in person at the Miners Foundry, or in person at Briar Patch Co-Op.

Purchase Tickets

Time and time again, going through the creative process gives rise to an enormous feeling of accomplishment, stronger creative relationships, and a renewed sense of self-confidence.  Writers overcome writers’ block, actors overcome stage fright, directors gain the confidence to take control of the rehearsal room quickly and assertively, and producers find the ability to hold their nerve in the shortest tech and rehearsal process known to man.

The 24 Hour Company

6 Writers.  6 Directors.  20 Actors.  6 Plays.  24 Hours.


The Producer

Sands Hall, writer, director, actor, and musician thanks you for supporting live theatre and performance!



The Playwrights

Gary Wright is a writer/actor who has lived in western Nevada County for about 20 years.  Several of his plays have been produced locally including Evermore, Dracula, The Diary of a Forty-Niner, and others.


Kim Culbertson writes novels for teens and teaches at Forest Charter School.  She lives in Nevada City with her husband and eight-year old daughter.  The last time she stayed up all night was in college to write a paper on Siddhartha (apparently you can step in the same river twice).


Sandra Rockman has been active in Nevada County theatre since 1978 as an actor, director, and playwright.  She recently directed Thornton Wilder’s Our Town at the Nevada Theatre and teaches workshops in acting, playwrighting, and improvisation.


Robin Wallace is the author of Sonya Weissman and the Miracle Play (staged reading by Legacy in 2008).  Her new play about the Josiah Royce Family in Grass Valley (1862 – 1866) entitled Beyond Our Mountains will be given a reading during the Royce Society Conference in Grass Valley, August 16-18, 2013.


Maggie McKaig, accordionist for Gypsy jazz quartet Beaucoup Chapeaux, has written bushels of songs, baskets of stories, and handfuls of plays, along with raising two sons and directing 60 youth theatre productions (in her spare time).


As an actor/director, Sharon Winegar has worked with the Berkeley Rep, Sacramento Theatre Company, Sonoma County Rep, Foothill Theatre Company, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Napa Valley, and the Gorky Theatre in Vladivostok.  She is a novice playwright.


The Directors

With no degrees from anywhere, Jimmy McCammon has been acting, directing, and writing plays for over 10 years.  He is the General Manager of Synthetic Unlimited, Northern California’s alternative production company.


Susan Mason has directed locally for Sierra Stages, including I Want It All and Assassins; I Hate Hamlet for LeGacy Productions; and most recently, Alice in Wonderland for Quest Theaterworks.


Lynne Collins directs for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and was an Affiliate Artist with the Foothill Theatre Company from 1990 – 2009.  She studied with Stella Adler and holds a Masters degree in English literature.


Carolyn Howarth has directed many productions in many venues, and is delighted to participated in the 24 Hour Play Festival.  When not on the road, she makes her home in Grass Valley.


Mary Baird has worked for over 30 years in the world of theatre on and off Broadway, nationally, regionally, and locally as an actor, production stage manager, properties assistance and dresser.  She is pleased to return to California and work on this amazing project as a director.


Celebrating her second year in Nevada City, Jac Royce most recently directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Sierra Stages.  She’s currently trying to get the band back together for a staged reading of Luis Valdez’ Zoot Suit.


The Actors

Grace Fae is a Yale-trained singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress.  She has recently begun directing and producing with Synthetic Unlimited, and is excited about theater in Nevada County in 2013!


Drue Mathies was last seen on the local stage in Ewing Ventures production of Harold and Maude.  He was neither Harold or Maude…



Jeffrey Mason’s acting repertory includes Cassius in Julius Caesar for the Kern Shakespeare Festival, Master Ford in the Merry Wives of Windsor, the title role in Pirandello’s Henry IV, and Danforth in The Crucible.


Lois Ewing is an actor/producer with Quest Theaterworks and Ewing Ventures.  Local theatre credits include How I Learned to Drive, The Full Monty, Last Lists of My Mad Mother, Next to Normal, and Sealed For Freshness.  Lois is working on a script for performance in the fall with John Deaderick and Trish Adair.


Isaias Acosta works as a Crisis Interventionist at a facility serving emotionally disturbed teens.  The most recent 3 productions Isaias has been involved with are The Music Man, Assassins, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Micah Cone has been acting in Nevada County for the last 21 years.  He is currently the Vice President of Synthetic Unlimited, and he encourages you to check out their website for details!


Kim Wellman has been acting and singing in the local theatre community for the past eight years.  She was last seen as the Jade Empress in the CATS production Journey to the West.


Ariana Rampy studied theater at The Foothill Theatre Company, Whitman College, and the Michael Chekhov Acting  Studio in New York City.  She currently teaches drama at Yuba River Charter School and makes the beet salads at New Moon Cafe.


Lindsay Dunckel has been acting since first grade, when she played the donkey in The Bremertown Musicians.  Lately she has appeared as Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town at the Nevada Theatre and in Ruth Ghio’s one woman show, Reflections.


Tinley Ireland is excited to give this day whatever the theatre has in store.  She was most recently seen as Helena in Sierra Stages’ production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Thanks to Caitie, her favorite playwright.


Diane Fetterly, founder of The Foothill Theatre Company, and a theatre artist for 50 years, has acted in, directed, and designed over 250 productions.  The recipient of numerous Elly awards, she’s also been honored with Nevada County Volunteer of the Year, Dr. Leland & Sally Lewis Performing Arts Award, Nevada County Chapter AAUW Woman of the Year, and the May Martin Goyne Outstanding Entrepreneur Award.

T.E. Wolfe has appeared in 15 local theatre productions over the past seven years, despite repeated claims that “This one is the last!”  Recent 2012 excurisions include Sierra Stages’ Death of a Salesman, Ewing Ventures’ Harold and Maude, and for LeGacy Productions, Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)24 Hour Plays really is his last.  Unless he changes his mind.

Corinne Gelfan comes to Nevada County from Hollywood.  Professionally her career spans a plethora of experiences from folk singing in coffee houses to dramatic and musical theater, television, and numerous commercials.



The Mission of the Miners Foundry Cultural Center is to preserve, enhance and utilize the historic Miners Foundry for cultural, educational and social activities.   The Foundry is a non profit organization, pleased to support the Nevada County theatre community.  To support cultural programming and the preservation of the historic Miners Foundry, please become a member or make a donation today.


Get Floored – Miners Foundry New Wood Floor Campaign

For the past year, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center has been hard at work quietly raising funds for a new wooden floor in the Osborn/Woods Hall, one of the two great halls. With the help and support of private donors, businesses, Nevada City, Nevada County and the Nevada City Chamber Commerce they have raised 70% of the total amount needed. With just three weeks remaining before breaking ground on January 28, the Miners Foundry is reaching out to help make this much needed facility improvement a reality for the community to use and enjoy for generations to come.

“A wooden dance floor will allow the Foundry to produce Swing, Ballroom, Salsa and Blues dance events without making excuses about dancing on cement. It’s a big step in the improvement of the Miners Foundry,” says Paul Emery, a local promoter who has produced music and theatrical events at the Miners Foundry.

Located in the heart of downtown Nevada City, the Miners Foundry is a California Registered Historic Landmark. The building retains the character of the Gold Rush days with its rough-hewn beams, iron doors, and antique fixtures and furnishings. From its earliest days as a machine shop that spawned such modern marvels as the Pelton Wheel which would go on to revolutionize hydroelectricity to the fabrication of steel that was used in the Liberty Ships of World War II to its current use as Nevada County’s premiere cultural arts and community center, the Miners Foundry has and continues to play an integral role in the story of Nevada County, and ourselves.

“Charles Woods and David Osborn had a magnificent and brilliant vision which they made a reality; to create a cultural center for Nevada County from the ruins of a once bustling but ultimately derelict industrial building which once served the mines,” said Paul Matson, board member of the Miners Foundry and friend of the late partners, Osborn/Woods. “Today what was then the American Victorian Museum is alive and well while actively fulfilling that original mission, in what is now known as the Miners Foundry.”

In 2009, the Miners Foundry brought together community members, organizers and leaders for a strategic planning session. During the meeting the floor in the Osborn/Woods Hall, along with a new sound system, stage, curtains, and kitchen, were all identified as areas that needed improvement. Since then, these areas with the exception of the floor have been updated. A new floor would beautify the hall by lightening the room and improving acoustics. It would attract more music events that involve dancing. It would also provide an elegant space for dinner dances, night-club-style events and dinner theatre. Rental business for daytime uses such as exercise, yoga and dance classes would expand dramatically.

Last year the Miners Foundry hosted over 400 events and nearly 50,000 people, local and out-of-town, visited to either attend a rock concert, theatrical production or reading, non-profit or school fundraiser, private party, wedding, or just to admire the historic mining relics and the Foundry’s famous stone walls.

Young’s Carpet One has been selected as the contractor for the job. The scope of the floor project includes sealing and leveling the existing concrete floor, and then installing a premium hardwood floor. Donors of a certain level will have their name or the name of their choice permanently imprinted on the new wood floor.

“Like many non-profit arts venues, only 40% of the buildings operating costs are covered through rental income,” explains Gretchen Bond, Executive Director. “The remainder comes from Foundry-presented events, annual memberships, fundraising events, grants and donations. Individuals and businesses that choose to support the Foundry make an enormous difference and insure the legacy of this great building.”

Hurry!  Donations of any amount are welcome.  There is a deadline of January 26th for those who donate $1,000 or more and will have the name of their choice imprinted on the floor.

To make a tax-deductible donation you can do so online here or simply call (530) 265-5040. You can also mail in your donation to Miners Foundry, attn: Osborn/Woods Hall Floor, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA, 95959. For questions or additional information please contact Gretchen Bond at (530) 265-5040 or [email protected]