Backstage Pass: Tim Minar

 

Backstage Pass: Tim Minar

 

Date: December 4, 2013
by: Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor

 
 

Tim Minar doesn’t have a formal title at The Players Theatre of Sarasota.

“What badge do I have on today?” he asks, pulling the silver nametag from his vest to look at it.

He relays a story from The Players gala a month ago, during which he was honored for his service to the theater. In Artistic Director Jeffrey Kin’s speech, Kin said the title on Minar’s nametag should say, “What do you need done now?” Minar says it’s because he’s the do-anything-that-needs-to-be-done-and-then-some man.

For the Dec. 5 production of “White Christmas,” he’s more formally known as the assistant stage manager to his wife, Stage Manager Cinda Goeken. He says she’s the do-anything-that-needs-to-be-done-and-then-some woman, but with one difference: “She points and I go,” he says with a laugh.

He says that one of his favorite lines in “White Christmas” is when one of the male leads asks: “What can you tell me about women?” The other answers: “They have longer hair and they’re smarter than us.” Minar undoubtedly agrees.

He has learned a lot of the lines through his backstage role; he deals mostly with props. In addition to helping with “White Christmas,” he also coaches the Sarasota Silver Stars, the 50-plus performance troupe at The Players, twice a week. And when the group doesn’t have any men available to perform, Minar will occasionally join in on stage.

“They are about as much fun as you’ll ever get to have with a bunch of people,” he says of his Silver Stars, his favorite activity at the theater.

Minar also helps with auditions, such as with last season’s “Annie.” He had the taxing job of keeping 150 girls and their parents quiet backstage. He also does play readings when they need him. Sometimes he’s a volunteer; sometimes he’s a paid stage manager.

“It’s whatever they need,” he says.

This particular Tuesday, he is at the theater from noon until 10 p.m., bouncing from a Silver Stars practice, to a production meeting and then rehearsal, with a couple of hours for a break, or to eat — or, of course, to do whatever they need him to do.

Minar knows something about service. He moved in the late ’70s to Sarasota following 20 years working as a Navy SEAL, including during Vietnam. A year after his service, he ended up in Sarasota where he met his real-life leading lady, Goeken, at church. She had been volunteering at The Players for a decade. The new couple realized they had a lot in common.

Minar had been performing since he was a 9-year-old living in Central New Jersey. He did theater throughout his schooling, and he continued to perform throughout his time as a Navy SEAL at various venues around the nation. His most memorable performance was in the prestigious Shakespeare in the Park in New York City — twice.

Nearly 30 years later, he’s happy in a backstage role. Of the three productions he typically stage manages per year — he says he’s lucky to do the Christmas production. He likes all the Irving Berlin songs. And, just like one of Santa’s elves would do come Christmas Eve, when the curtain closes just before the holiday, it’s time for a rest.

“By that time, the two of us want to fall in a heap and hide,” he says with a laugh.

IF YOU GO 
‘White Christmas’
When: Opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 and runs through Sunday, Dec. 22
Where: The Players Theatre of Sarasota, 838 N. Tamiami Trail
Cost: Tickets $25 to $30
Info: Call 365-2494 or visit ThePlayers.org

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