Technical Talent Needed
First, let me thank you for taking the time to visit these pages at a time when the Players are, like many businesses, struggling to maintain our relevance during the pandemic.
One of the many areas that we have been exploring in our efforts to expand our capabilities in the age of Covid is in digital production. The ability to engage our actors, directors and other performers in the field of digital video production, and displaying the results on the many platforms now available would go a long way toward not only keeping our current stable of “theater rats” busy, but also build on the variety of entertainment outlets that we now have available to us.
Alas, the distressing lack of knowledge and technical skills among the current stable of talent here in the Grand Rapids Players means that we have hit a wall.
If you have experience in digital production, or even the desire to learn and expand your current skills, we would love to have you working with us! The Grand Rapids Players would like nothing more than to have the opportunity to support your growth with our resources in return for your willingness to share your knowledge with us, and work together to bring another level of entertainment to our audience locally and, thanks to electronic media, the world!
Contact us here, at grplayers.com and let us know that you’re interested in helping the Players take the next step into another exciting area of entertainment. We’d love to hear from you.
Hiring of Steve Jaeger
Grand Rapids Players is proud to announce the hiring of Steve Jaeger to the newly-created position as its Executive Director, effective January 1, 2020.
Steve Jaeger graduated from Bemidji State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications. Area residents might recognize him as a popular radio and commercial personality throughout the 80’s and 90’s. Jaeger has held the position as President of the Grand Rapids Players, either acted or directed 18 Players’ productions (including “Death Trap” in the fall of 2019), and performed, along with wife Candy in many shows.
After radio, he became a Performance Manager at Northwest Airlines for 10 years before moving to Las Vegas, with his wife Candy. There, Jaeger served as an Account Executive for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, a Promotions and Special Events coordinator for Caesar’s Palace, and Activities Coordinator for Wyndham Grand Desert Resort. In Las Vegas, he was a member of two theater groups (New City Theater Company and Nickel City Players), and performed in numerous TV commercials, industrial videos and a number of small independent films.
Jaeger reflected back on his proudest moment with the Grand Rapids Players, “I wrote the grant to the Blandin Foundation requesting enough money to purchase the land and the existing building that became the Players’ first home. The Playhouse”, located on Soldiers’ Lane, just north of the Fairgrounds”, was home to costumes, props, office space, rehearsals and set construction.”
The Grand Rapids Players, which is 54 years old, has been planning for this development for some time. This announcement culminates a 3-year planning process beginning with Mary Jo Wimmer, leading to an in-depth board retreat led by Linda Holliday of Impact Minnesota LLC (with funding provided by the Blandin Foundation) followed by a dedicated Task Force Committee that included Board Members and key community leaders. According to Executive Director Task Force Committee Chair Sharon Marty, “Many hours were dedicated to making sure that our board was organized enough to make this dream come true and take us into the future.”
Director Jaeger values his relationship with the Players’ partnership, the Reif Arts council and their Executive Director Shantel Dow. “I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities that are opening up over the next few years for the Grand Rapids Players. Our partnership with the Reif Arts Council, under the leadership of their Executive Director, Shantel Dow, is not only an enormous advantage for our theater company but a huge boon for theater patrons all over central Minnesota. I can remember when the Grand Rapids Players was the only game in town. And, while the Players predate the Reif Center by decades, I am looking forward to helping cement that relationship and with the help of our hundreds of volunteers and supporters, continue into a future filled with exciting projects for local theater fans of all ages.”
Working through Personnel Dynamics, Kari Hoerler facilitated the interview process and made the recommendation to the board. According to Kari, “Steve has a long-standing history with the Players. He presents impressive management experience along with background in budgeting and personnel training to compliment his love of the Arts. His energy, his plans for “first steps”, and his passion to help lead this organization is infectious!”
The Grand Rapids Players, as a partner with the Reif Arts Council, has their office located in the Reif Center. He can be reached in the office between the hours of noon and 4, in person, and at 218-327-5755.