It happened one night after a show. The dream that every nonprofit has. You know, the one where someone steps up and says, “Hi, we loved the performance and what you do! We want to support you.” Not a dream for The Players Centre, but a reality for which we are grateful to the two gentlemen who stepped up to our Box Office and asked this question.
Mark-Alan, an equity performer, and Fr. Jeff Hamblin, an Episcopal priest and physician, have long been sponsors and patrons of the arts. Beginning with NYC cabaret and off-off Broadway, as commissioners of music compositions and choirs, sponsors of playwright competitions, the MAC award- winning Salon, the Cabaret Fest in Provincetown, MA, and since their arrival in Sarasota supporters of the Sarasota Opera, Asolo, Urbanite, FST, Rise Above, and of course, The Players Centre where they have a special attachment for community theatre. Through The Players, they celebrate the very nature of how the “non-professional” is brought into the action of taking on the role of another and learning more about another’s situation; permitting reflection on her or his own life and bringing forward talents that are sometimes hidden. It is said that “it is in giving that we receive,” so for Mark-Alan and Jeff, they know they have received so much. By giving their support to the arts, it allows individual and community expression and engagement in thought and emotion that is often neglected in our digital world.
For The Players Centre for Performing Arts, Mark-Alan and Fr. Jeff Hamblin are our “Art Angels.”