Scene setters — Volunteer Peter Donnelly traces letters projected onto a piece of paper taped to the wall. A saw buzzes in the background. Like most days, there is a lot of activity in the scene shop at the Sugden Community Theater. But while there are dozens of people behind the construction of sets, they aren't all masters in woodworking and design. Actually, there are only two employees — and about 40 regular volunteers who come in sporadically to help produce these elaborate sets you see at Blackburn Hall and Tobye Studio. Matt Flynn, technical director and staff designer at the theater, says he depends on volunteers to produce the professional-looking sets. 'When the curtain opens,' he explains, 'my goal is for the audience to gasp, 'My god, that is so beautiful.'' He's grateful for their help. 'It's a couple thousand hours per show that these (volunteers) are putting in. It's really stunning.' Flynn says he and Mike Santos, the scene shop supervisor, have ambitious plans for every show. 'Knowing we have that many (volunteers) kind of spurs us to design a little bigger,' says Flynn. Flynn then quotes a phrase common to scene shops everywhere: 'You never finish these sets, you abandon them. If there were two more days, we'd find two more days worth of work to do.' Flynn says there's always more to add, but at some point they have to call it finished. 'You can go back and fine-tune it,' he says. 'Add a little more trim work, a little more detail.' Volunteers and staff of the scene shop often work up until the day a show opens. After that, they usually start work on scenery for the next play. 'I can't say, 'We just opened a show, I'm going to rest,'' says Flynn.  To volunteer to work in the scene shop or in other areas, contact Becky Troop at 434-7340 (extension 14) or inquire at www.naplesplayers.org. Typical hours for volunteers range from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, depending on what needs to be done. Previous experience not necessary. Published March 19, 2007

Photo by Tracy Boulian, Daily News

Scene setters — Volunteer Peter Donnelly traces letters projected onto a piece of paper taped to the wall. A saw buzzes in the background. Like most days, there is a lot of activity in the scene shop at the Sugden Community Theater. But while there are dozens of people behind the construction of sets, they aren't all masters in woodworking and design. Actually, there are only two employees — and about 40 regular volunteers who come in sporadically to help produce these elaborate sets you see at Blackburn Hall and Tobye Studio. Matt Flynn, technical director and staff designer at the theater, says he depends on volunteers to produce the professional-looking sets. "When the curtain opens," he explains, "my goal is for the audience to gasp, 'My god, that is so beautiful.'" He's grateful for their help. "It's a couple thousand hours per show that these (volunteers) are putting in. It's really stunning." Flynn says he and Mike Santos, the scene shop supervisor, have ambitious plans for every show. "Knowing we have that many (volunteers) kind of spurs us to design a little bigger," says Flynn. Flynn then quotes a phrase common to scene shops everywhere: "You never finish these sets, you abandon them. If there were two more days, we'd find two more days worth of work to do." Flynn says there's always more to add, but at some point they have to call it finished. "You can go back and fine-tune it," he says. "Add a little more trim work, a little more detail." Volunteers and staff of the scene shop often work up until the day a show opens. After that, they usually start work on scenery for the next play. "I can't say, 'We just opened a show, I'm going to rest,'" says Flynn. To volunteer to work in the scene shop or in other areas, contact Becky Troop at 434-7340 (extension 14) or inquire at www.naplesplayers.org. Typical hours for volunteers range from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, depending on what needs to be done. Previous experience not necessary. Published March 19, 2007

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