ANNOUNCEMENT: What we are doing during the COVID-19 Crisis

Team Profile: Martha Potyrala

Richard Weis

Cider House's Theatre Maven

Each summer, we lose our Head of Production, Martha Potyrala - but it's for a good reason!

Forty-six weeks a year (more or less), our Head of Production, Martha Potyrala, keeps everything on track here at Cider House Media. She is our project triage specialist, scheduler, proofreader, business-to-business liaison, researcher, and wise woman. Her smile and enthusiasm help make Cider House the fantastic place it is to work.

Martha’s the glue that keeps together an awful lot of what we do here at Cider House, but for six weeks each summer, we all have to keep it together (mostly) on our own.

Because for six weeks each summer, Martha gets to do what she loves doing more than anything else: she gets to run the musical theatre workshops at the Academy of Music Theatre in nearby Northampton. For six weeks each summer, she gets to put all her people-skills, all her love of working with kids, and all of her triple-threat teaching talents to work. For six weeks each summer, she gets to bring singing and dancing and acting to scores of local kids.

Over the last 10 years, kids from 6 to 16 have been able to spend summer weeks at the historic theater. Martha and her teaching partner Susan Dillard, along with a staff of program alums, bring all the assets of a professional theater to the workshops. Kids are immersed in the experience, learning how it all works and developing as actors, dancers, and singers in a fun, focused environment.

The last week of June, my youngest daughters, ages 6 and 8, got to take part in the First Act! Workshop. Though they certainly love to sing and dance and do dramatic play, they were a little leery of a whole week of nothing but the theatre. But of course they had a great time. From the moment they walked into the lobby on Monday morning, where they were greeted by – yup – a smiling Martha, to the show on Friday afternoon, all reports were that it was non-stop fun. And they certainly did plenty of singing and dancing around the house in the evenings!

We’ve been getting by here at the office the last six weeks. But we know we’ll have an even-more energized, focused, and fun Martha back with us now that it is August, humming tunes and keeping us headed in the right direction. 

It’s pretty great to be able to work with dynamic people in a place where that dynamism is valued so highly!

– Richard Weis

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