Performers in the December 2019 Christmas show by the Rumford Association for the Advancement of the Performing Arts are, from left, front row, Gail Dorr, Arita Zitoli, Jennifer Lepage, Erika Rickards, Gabrielle LeVasseur and Evon Soule; second row, Cindy Archibald, Sara Perry, Fawn Palmer, Alica Hagen-Riddick and Marie DiSciullo-Naples; third row, Jeannine Murray, Paula Chase, Wayne Landry, Allan Hagen and Connie Venskus; and back row, Seth Carey, Anita Murphy, David Briggs, Tom Carey, T.J. Riddick and Mary Pulsifer. The association is making a comeback this year, after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Submitted photo

RUMFORD — The Rumford Association for the Advancement of the Performing Arts is making a comeback with a production planned for June 9-10 at the Snowshoe Club.

“Our plan is to offer an evening of entertainment, which will include a comedy murder mystery and a chorus performance, welcoming back accompanist Gail Dorr and Shirli Allen as our choral director,” Director Connie Venskus said last week. “We are excited to invite former and recent members to join our chorus, as well as potential newcomers to celebrate our return! If you, like so many of us, have missed lifting your voice in song, come and be part of the fun.”

President Anita Murphy said rehearsals will get underway this month.

It’s a new start after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Murphy, a member since 1990 and president since 2004, said RAAPA has provided the local community with many wonderful productions for 54 years come May. It celebrated its 50th anniversary with a Christmas show.

“People miss it,” Murphy said.


Venskus, a member since 1973, said the murder mystery, “And Then There Was One — a Spoof,” was cast in 2020.

“This play was not done because of the pandemic, but RAAPA had already paid $250 for the rights and scripts for the play,” she said. “We were lucky they let us keep the scripts.”

There will be auditions.

“We are working on getting the roles for the (upcoming) play,” she said. “We had it all cast almost three years ago. We’ve lost a few people that couldn’t do it because of other commitments.”

“It’s getting harder to find people for RAAPA,” she said. “A lot of us are older — 60s or 70s.”

“There’s something about theater,” Venskus said. “We’ve all been together for so many years. I’ve been doing plays since I was a little kid. And when I was a teacher, I did a lot of drama with my kids.”

RAAPA officer Fawn Palmer has started a GoFundMe page to raise startup money for operations. It’s available by visiting her Facebook page.

“We are ramping back up but need help with getting our next production going plus funds to pay storage rental and insurance,” she said.

If the June performance goes well, Venskus said the hope is to do a show at Christmas.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: