Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Man's Trash is Another Man's...Costume?

In an effort to start replacing the props and costumes that were lost in the recent roof collapse of the Oddfellows storage space at 505 Main Street in Middletown, Oddfellows will be collecting donated items and putting on a tag sale to raise money.

Donated items will be accepted at Oddfellows Playhouse at 128 Washington Street, Middletown on February 25, March 4 and March 11 from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sat., March 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“While all donations are appreciated, we simply can't keep everything,” said Jeffery Allen, Producing Artistic Director for Oddfellows. “Our designers, artists and technical director will select the pieces we will need,” he said.

All other items will be sold at a tag sale set for Sat., Apr. 16 at Oddfellows Playhouse. The proceeds from this tag sale will be used to offset the theater’s production costs.

“We lost 2,000 costumes including everything we need to costume 200 circus performers during our summer circus,” said Matt Pugliese. “At $100 a performer, just that alone is a $20,000 loss,” he said.

Financial donations may also be made to immediately help with the production costs of shows set to take the stage beginning with the Mar. 10 performance of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Financial donations can be made online or for more information regarding items for the tag sale contact Paul at (860) 347-6143 or


As A Side Bar:
To help replenish the supplies that dress our actors and furnish our stages, Oddfellows is seeking unwanted items from your closets. All items are welcomed but these specific items are always in need:

MENS (all sizes)
• suits, jackets, slacks, khakis: all colors, but preferably black, gray, navy, and tan
• button down shirts, all colors, preferably white and light colors
• ties, all types and patterns
• dress shoes, all colors, preferably black
• top coats, preferably dark colors
• vests, tailored and knit in black, gray, and brown
• sweaters, pullover and cardigan, preferably black , gray, and brown
• vintage hats, any type, particularly felt fedoras, hombeurgs, bowlers, and newsboy types
• suspenders, and belts, any type

WOMENS ( all sizes)
• suits, jackets, slacks, khakis all colors, but preferably black, gray, navy, and tan
• blouses, all types, all colors, preferably non-patterned
• skirts, all types, all colors
• dresses, non-formal, day wear
• dress shoes, all types, all colors, preferably black
• topcoats, preferably dark colors
• vintage hats, all types, all colors
• dress gloves

• plastic or wooden hangers, suit and pant hangers
• large plastic storage bins

• old suitcases and travel accessories
• lamps and period looking items
• house wares
• old crates and boxes
• eyeglasses
• fake or prop food items
• any vintage items in general

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mayor's Ball donates $5,000 to Oddfellows

Two weeks ago, the Committee for the Mayor's Ball declared that Oddfellows Playhouse will be beneficiary of funds raised at the event. An average of $15,000 has been raised in past years.

In yesterday's building collapse, Oddfellows lost 36 years of costumes and props. According to Committee co-chair Sandra Russo-Driska, because response to the Mayor's Ball with Oddfellows Playhouse as beneficiary has been so popular, so early, the committee decided to make an early donation of $5,000 to Oddfellows.

"The words are so inadequate, but we thank everyone for Oddfellows," Producing Artistic Director of Oddfellows Jeffrey Allen said. "But not just for Oddfellows, but for the youth of Middletown. As the saying goes: the show must go on."

The sixth-annual Mayor’s Ball, Cirque de Joie, will take place at St. Clement’s Castle in Portland, on Saturday, March 26, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person and are available at the mayor’s office or the town clerk’s office in city hall at (860)344-3400.

Donations can also be made online to Oddfellows Playhouse.

Photo Credit: Ed McKeon, Middletown Eye

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thank You

To the Middletown Community,

At Oddfellows Playhouse we know the show must go on and thanks to our supporters, students and friends it will.

This winter has been a tough one for us, as it has been for so many. Last month an ice dam resulted in a flooding and the gutting of parts of our building and this week the roof collapse at 505 Main Street resulted in the total loss of our entire props and costuming inventory. No more circus costumes for our summer circus program, no more Shakespearean costumes, no more lanterns, trunks or swords, or any other props so skillfully crafted over the years.

What we do have is a deep gratitude that no one was hurt and we are truly touched by the outpouring of support we continue to get from residents in Middletown and around the state. Costumes and props are replaceable – lives are not.

We really appreciate the many offers to help with costumes and other items but currently Oddfellows has no place to store them; however, we are able to accept monetary help, and quite frankly, we are going to need it to offset the inevitable increase in our production costs.

Oddfellows has a proud 36 year history of fostering the growth and creativity in the 2,000 students we serve each year and we will continue to do that for many years to come. We are proud to be a part of the Middletown community - and a resource enjoyed by all.

Matt Pugliese
Managing Director
Jeffery Allen
Producing Artistic Director

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Costume and Prop Storage Lost

The office building at 505 Main Street in Middletown that suffered a roof collapse onWednesday February 2, housed the props and costumes that Oddfellows Playhouse had collected over its 35 year history.

Inventory is being itemized and damage is being assessed but it looks as though the entire inventory will be a total loss.

The building also housed Middletown Framing, a barbershop, Tesoro and Guilmartin, DiPiro and Sokolowski, CPAs. No one was injured in the collapse.

Oddfellows Playhouse suffered a breach in its roof at its main building located at 128 Washington Street last month, forcing classes to be relocated to First Church at 109 Court St.

Photo courtesy of the Middletown Police Department.