Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pitch in days upcoming at the Audi

August 19, 2010 Show Up ~ Eat Up ~ Shine Up!
The Audi’s 20th Annual PITCH IN Menu Lists a Baker’s Dozen of Feats and Treats

The well-seasoned Superchiefs of The Audi’s PITCH IN crew -- Joye and Ken Olson of Penacook – are adding a special flavor to the 20th annual “barn-raising” effort to get the historic municipal theatre ready for its 106th season. They’ve planned a special baker’s dozen of feats and treats for the crews who Pitch In on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday, August 30-31 and September 1.
The feats: each day, from 9am to noon and 6 to 9 p.m., folks show up and choose jobs from the Olsons’ “honeydew list” – this year including 13 special areas. A family or club or pick-up team scans the posted “menu” and picks an item to suit their skills and interest for a three-hour shift. “The Pitch In actually gets easier and more fun every year,” Joye says, “because 19 years of TLC and good housekeeping have really made a difference.”
The treats: every work session begins with a light breakfast provided by Panera Bread or a supper sponsored by local restaurants and supermarkets. That’s a taste of “honey” before the “do” begins.
“And here’s the history,” she adds. “We’ve always put a theatre spin on the Pitch In, with the Friends of the Audi promising dramatic working conditions, an interesting cast, roles for starts and chorus, an air-conditioned house, absolutely no pay, and the proverbial ‘Sweat Equity’ card.”
The bottom line: Every year since 1991 the all-volunteer Friends of the Audi have gathered crowds of neighbors on three summer days to shine the house for the new season – which opens with the GALA Show and its Arts Fair and Ice Cream Social on Sunday, September 19. Painting and polishing, sewing and scrubbing, mopping and raking and all – in just the past 10 years the Pitch In volunteers have provided the city with over $100,000 in maintenance labor. These savings help hold down the city’s cost of operating the theatre and the groups’ costs of presenting shows – which, in turn, means lower ticket prices. The work of the all-volunteer Friends of the Audi assures that Concord’s community-based arts and entertainment will stay affordable and accessible to everyone. Everybody wins!
Joe Andrews, the city’s former Superintendent of Public Properties, will serve as
crew chief of the six work sessions. “You can retire from the city,” he said, “but you can’t retire from the Audi.” His expertise guarantees a good job done well. This year’s Pitch In caps off a summer of major construction projects. The Friends of the Audi completed the last big item on their original 1991 wish list – mechanizing the flyspace. With broad community support of the $200,000 budget, the group first reinforced the stage area’s ironwork, then contracted for new rigging to replace the old hemp and pinrail, and finally had all the stage curtains cleaned, repaired, and fireproofed. In addition, the City of Concord completed a planned Capital Improvement Project, installing “green” and energy efficient windows in place of the leaky single pane originals. The City and the Friends worked closely together to coordinate these important upgrades.
Any special instructions for volunteers? Everyone is welcome. Superintendent Jeff Bardwell and the Public Properties staff will provide supplies and guidance. Young people 12 and up are always welcome to help gain needed community service hours. Joye and Joe advise wearing work clothes and sensible shoes and hope that volunteers will bring empty coffee cans to hold small amounts of paint. “And rags,” Joye says, “we always need more rags. Also, we especially need folks to share their upholstering and plastering skills.
Most of all, be sure to bring a sense of humor and an appetite for the treats organized by Pitch In hostess Laura McCormack.”
Just Show Up and Walk In, the Friends of the Audi say. Show Up and Pitch In ~ Eat Up ~ Paint Over ~ Sweep Under ~ Wash Down ~ and Head Out. They guarantee this is the most fun you’ll ever have with a 106-year old friend and neighbor. Plus, you’ll know you have really made a difference in the community.
For more information, please call Joye Olson, 753-4765 or email her at

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