Royal Palm Players Inc.
PO Box 954
Boca Grande FL 33921
To entertain, educate and engage the residents of Boca Grande and surrounding communities in the performing arts. This is our mission and passion. The Royal Palm Players is dedicated to providing Boca Grande outstanding live theatre and drama education that will nuture a deeper sense of community, offer grist for thoughtful discussion and enrich the quality of life on the Gulf Coast.
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Mr. Harold McCombs
Board Chair Affiliation Community Volunteer
General Info
Organization DBA
Royal Palm Players
Supported Organization None
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1992
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Oct 2018
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS 501 C LetterView
Impact Statement

Royal Palm Players is inspired by a fresh strategy. Every performance, class or event must:

  • be fun for everyone attending and everyone performing;
  • feature as many local performers as possible; 
  • feature at least one musical each season.

The result has been delightful. Community Theater is alive and well on Boca Grande.

The RPP Board is a "working" Board with hands-on responsibility for all productions -- ranging from performance selection, design, casting, publicity to the recruitment of a small army of RPP volunteers  

The strategy works. During this RPP season every performance was sold out; community engagement is at an all-time high; and Royal Palm Players' impact is greater than ever before.

During the 2015-16 season we featured a host of actors on stage, many of whom were new to acting. We worked with well over 100 volunteers as actors, publicists, set designers, props people, ushers and more.
The season began with a staged reading of The Curious Savage, a priceless comedy authored by John Patrick which tapped the funny bone and touched the hearts of the audience. In February, Moon Over Buffalo was a terrific hit. A laugh-out-comedy it was the focus of Island conversation right from opening night. The highlight of the 2015-16 Season was Hello Dolly!, the most ambitious performance RPP has undertaken. We anticipated sold-out performances and added a Wednesday performance up front; RPP ended up adding two additional performances on Sunday to accommodate ticket demand.  Audiences loved it. 
A sweet Sunday afternoon performance of Love Letters, staring our own Jim Cowperthwait and accomplished actress Tina Sloan was a one-time special treat. Again this year RPP will sponsor a KIDS' DRAMA CLUB to bring the joy of acting to young people on the Island.  And, as in years prior, we offer workshops and classes open to Island residents for those who may be interested in learning more and developing acting skills.

Our work is year round - planning, casting and producing the season. We grapple with many of the financial issues every not-for-profit group faces, gaining support from ticket sales, donor generosity and targeted grants. 

Royal Palm Players remains dedicated to our mission of providing Boca Grande and the surrounding communities with the 3Es: we strive to Entertain, Educate, and Engage. All we do aims to enrich the quality of life in our Community and beyond.
Needs Statement
RPP's most pressing needs include:
  • More talented actors who are willing to memorize lines and love getting up in front of an audience.
  • We need better facilities, state-of-the-art equipment  - a sound system, a new piano, and other essentials.
  • More sponsors for each of our various shows and programs. A $1,500 sponsorship goes a long way toward making everything look and feel professional.
  • More volunteers willing to take on set design and props - two key ventures.
  • More Board members willing to work hard during a six-month season. The time commitment is at least several hours per week, more during the run of a show.
  • More donations. Even $1 is a help in making our season run. 
Background Statement

Almost twenty five years ago, Royal Palm Players began as a group of actors and non-actors who decided it would be fun to put on a show. According to all reports, the early shows were primitive in production values but lots of fun for both the performers and the audiences. Soon, a part-time managing director was hired and the productions grew more sophisticated. Musicals, talent shows, staged readings of major works and poetry nights became cherished parts of Boca Grande's theatrical offerings. A KIDS' DRAMA CLUB launched, giving children from our island and the surrounding communities, self-confidence, poise and a safe place to explore their talents. 

Over the years, various Artistic Directors grew the RPP program to include fundraising events, performances by visiting professional companies and up to six full productions each season. It was ambitious; but perhaps too ambitious for a short six-month season. After some soul searching a more focused strategy was adopted.

As a company, RPP today is focused on the basics. Music. Drama. Comedy. A strong children's program. And more informal staged readings.

This year every seat for every production was sold-out. RPP's volunteer base has grown to over 100. Our actors include many new to the stage. And our donations and community support have risen. RPP is self-sustaining. Every member of the RPP Board dedicates their time and talent. Although it is a lot more work for everyone, the joy our Board members and volunteers express at being involved in every aspect of theater is overwhelming.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Lee
FL- Charlotte
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments Boca Grande, Port Charlotte, North Port, Englewood, various surrounding islands.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

As President of the RPP Board we are delighted with RPP's successes and are prepared to meet the challenges ahead. We assess the success of each performance. How did the audience react? Did we have a "sell-out?"  Was there a 'buzz,' or excitement before and after the show? 

As the President of RPP, I have been able to use all of my leadership and management skills. From acting to negotiating. From leadership to showmanship. From persuading to producing. With a Board dedicated to doing the actual work that our Artistic Director used to do, we all have to pitch in. Yet, we have found more people are coming forward to offer their time, talents and money. Accomplishing this new strategic position has been wonderfully rewarding for me personally.

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
One of the things that makes RPP distinctive is the fact that we no longer have a paid Executive Director. Instead, our Board of Directors is fully committed to accomplishing that work, free of charge. RPP is community theater at its best, made possible by volunteers who gain joy in bringing the performing arts to friends and neighbors.
Description RPP produces three full productions each year. Strategically, each production must offer many parts, both male and female. This allows a maximum number of actors to be seen each season. One well-known comedy and one fully-stage musical are strategic requirements. The third production, which takes place in shoulder season, is more flexible and for the past two years has been a staged reading. This gives new actors an opportunity to participate.
Budget $50,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Short Term Success With our new strategy of Fewer Shows, More Fun, we are playing to sold-out audiences for just about every performance. Before we changed strategy, we had many empty seats and few volunteers. Now, people have to get their tickets in advance or they may not get a seat. Volunteers are growing since RPP is now known as FUN. Following the success of one of our productions, ticket sales and 'buzz' increase on Boca Grande. Actually, success is measured on a nightly basis. A good show, featuring many people actors, old and new, brings in bigger crowds the next night. More volunteers want to participate after they see how much audiences are enjoying our work. Donations grow after each show, as well. By all measures, the strategy a success.
Long Term Success When a season is successful, donations pour in and volunteers come forth to offer their services. This makes tracking the success of the season extremely simply. The 2013-2014 season brought in close to 100 volunteers. 69 people performed. Others worked behind the scenes. And, as promised, everyone has fun!
Program Success Monitoring Success is measured by the number of donations, volunteers and seats filled. When we relaunched under our new strategy, with a working Board and no paid Artistic Director, we hoped for success. And it worked. For the second year in a row, we have experienced fully sold-out audiences, a fast growing volunteer base and a rise in donations. 
Program Success Examples Our first show last season, "Love, Loss and What I Wore," starred 18 actors in rotating casts of 9 each. Many were new to the stage. Many were experienced.  The audiences packed the house every performance in a large venue that seats 170 people. The trend continued with our other shows. Our comedy, "Lend Me A Tenor," starring 9 performers, was sold-out. And our big, fully staged musical, starring 26 performers, turned people away at the door. The new program is working. And it is fun - for everyone. Audience members. Actors. Volunteers. Supporters. As long as the numbers remain at this level, our program is successful. 
Description RPP's major donors are invited to a staged, informal reading of a short play held in one of the homes on the island. A potluck supper is served at 6 PM. Then, at 7 PM, the performance begins. In order to give new volunteers an opportunity to perform, most of the cast is new to the RPP stage and the director is a first-timer also. The beautiful home hosting the event is a bonus for everyone involved. The second ACT night is open to everyone in the community we serve - on a first call, first serve basis. A notice is placed in the local papers inviting 60 people to a light supper and a reading. The charge (for the second night) is minimal, but the fun is fulsome.
Budget $10,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theatrical Performances
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Adults
Short Term Success In the short term, we hope to generate new interest in Royal Palm Players and the work that we do. We also plan to make certain everyone has a lot of fun during these nights.
Long Term Success We have no success yet as this is set to launch in January, 2014.
Program Success Monitoring If attendance is not over-subscribed at each performance, we will not have been successful. We are planning to allow a maximum of 30 people or 15 couples to each potluck and performance. Then an emailed survey after the show will be sent as a follow-up. 
Program Success Examples This show is under development now and does not launch until shoulder season.
Our Kids' Drama Club was relaunched this year with great success. Children, from on island and off, are invited to participate in a workshop after school. Acting, singing, improvising and dancing are the skills learned. Their work culminates in a performance of a children's play. A volunteer, Kathy Futch, who trained at the famed Actor's Studio, has agreed to direct this program.
Last year, 12 children performed "JungalBook." They memorized their lines, their blocking and got up in front of hundreds of audience members. By the second performance, the children gained tremendous confidence. Based on that wonderful experience for everyone involved, including the audience, we have great hopes this year.
Children who study theater gain incredible self-confidence and poise. They learn skills that are useful as adults. And hopefully, some will find they have the talent to become professionals. (We have had several kids become successful working actors after going through this program.) 
Budget $15,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Children's Theater Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Families Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short Term Success If we can get at least a handful of young players excited about theater, we will consider it a success. Based on the results of our first relaunched year, we found half of the children loved being in front of people, memorizing and gained self-confidence. The other half all want to come back but are still a little scared of acting in front of their friends.
Long Term Success Last season 12 children joined the Kids' Drama Club. This season, we anticipate many more. This summer, an Improv and Pizza workshop is being held. Many parents have already said their children plan to be there. 
Program Success Monitoring Success will be measured by the number of children attending and the number of audience members coming to see the final production.
Program Success Examples This program is set to launch in the new year.

For fundraising purposes, RPP produced two special events this year. This year the Goldtones proved to be a local favorite.  Also we collaborated with "Friends of Boca Grande" to offer Laugh.Period, a two day series of films, conversation and presentations that exploring "what makes us laugh." Both ventures were successful and helped broaden our reach and strengthen our resources.

Budget $25,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Short Term Success The short-term success is measured by the buzz and goodwill generated by hosting the first Broadway touring company to come to Boca Grande. The buzz has already begun. RPP is excited to be the first not-for-profit on our island to try anything like this.
Long Term Success The ultimate success depends on how many tickets are sold. If hosting a Broadway touring company is successful, we will do more events of this magnitude in the future. 
Program Success Monitoring Our audience always lets us know how they feel. Donations grow when we are doing well. Volunteer numbers grow, as well.
Program Success Examples Last season is the best example of a proven success.
Program Comments by Organization

New Challenges to be Met 

There are several major challenges we have to meet to ensure the long-term viability of the organization.


The first and most important challenge is attracting and developing leadership and general management skills.  Without a full-time paid director critical tasks such as selecting plays and casting must be handled by enthusiastic but at times overworked volunteers.

We are meeting this challenge in a number of ways, actively recruiting volunteers, dividing key tasks into smaller portions, connecting individual RPP Board members with specific tasks, including production, who will be fully engaged from day one. We are constantly on the lookout for volunteer candidates for the RPP Board who bring needed skills (e.g., finance, legal, general management) and who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work. 


We are also constantly on the lookout for new actors -- people who feel they might want to be on stage.  Again, we’ve met with some success as our season introduces over two dozen new talents to our audiences. Equally important, we’ve hired a new musical director who will direct the RPP musical production. Needless to say, we continue to search for ways to bring future thespians out of the woodwork. 


With only three staged events and one major fundraiser, RPP finances become a crucial issue: can RPP raise enough money to remain viable?  By eliminating the paid artistic director position, RPP overhead has been cut by over one-third.  Still, the remaining two-thirds must be raised every year for us to “stay in business.”  No performing arts organization survives on ticket sales alone, but we are convinced that if we pick the right shows and do a good casting job we will continue to receive strong ticket revenues and this has proven to be the case.. We also send out an annual appeal letter soliciting donations from the Boca Grande community. We have also placed greater emphasis on soliciting "Sponsors" for each of the three major shows.    

Still, even with these measures, RPP needs grant support from various foundations and organizations to enable us to continue to provide strong community theater to Boca Grande and the surrounding communities.  We thank you for your support.

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Erica Ress Martin June 2012 - May 2014
Michele Strauss June 2009 - June
Senior Staff
Kathleen J Kelleher Executive Administrator
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 100
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Since Royal Palm Players is on a small island in SW Florida, we frequently collaborate with other non-profits. Examples this season include, 'Civil War Remembrances,' produced by the Friends of Boca Grande, another group. RPP is provided leadership on the musical portion of the week-long event. RPP also collaborated with Friends in a joint offering: Laugh.Period. RPP's KIDS' DRAMA CLUB is a collaboration with the Island School and various church youth groups.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted Mar 2012
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization

Royal Palm Players operates without a formal Executive Director. The Board, supported by a small staff and many volunteers, is a working board, responsible for producing the short six-month season of plays, special events and educational activities. Tiny Boca Grande has many senior citizens and our new method of operation gives many of them something new and interesting to focus on. The impact can be felt just walking down the street, when strangers offer to help on the next show. The growth of volunteers is invigorating!
Beginning with our 2014-2015 season, the Board of Directors unanimously approved a division of duties previously held solely by the President.  Instead of the Board President being responsible for management of the day-to-day operations AND all artistic endeavors, a new President was elected to manage behind the scenes operations. The former board president, Erica Ress Martin, was appointed RPP Creative Director and oversees the creative side of RPP operations.  

Jim Sullivan, retired business executive, serves as RPP's President; Linda Rollyson is Vice President; and Stan Ikenberry serves as treasurer. 
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
Other Documents
Other Document 2
Whistleblower Policy
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Harold McCombs
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term July 2017 to May 2020
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Randy Bell Community Volunteer
Carol Forrester Community Volunteer
Cheryl Schum Hopkins Boca Beacon
Stan Ikenberry Community Volunteer
Betsy Joiner PJ's SeaGrille
Jeff Lehrian Community Volunteer
Priscilla Masselink retired
Harold McCombs Community Volunteer
Erica Ress Martin Community Volunteer
Linda Rollyson Retired
Kerrill Taylor Community Volunteer
Kimberly Whipple Community Volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 4
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Board Meeting Attendance % 82
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Program / Program Planning
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization

Every play and event Royal Palm produces is assessed: Was it a sell-out? Were people in the community 'buzzing' about the production both before and after it took place? Were the volunteers, actors, and audience energized and inspired by the performance? How might it have been even better?

Our biggest challenge this and every season is to find volunteers, including Board members, who are able and willing to put in the hours and energy needed to help RPP reach its potential. Every Board member spends hours every week doing what an Executive Director might otherwise do. Hopefully, the joy at being part of RPP and the excitement of live community theater will continue to attract more volunteers, more patrons and sponsors and more community engagement.

Beyond volunteers, RPP needs to improve facilities, the technical quality of performances, including the sound systems, lighting, the piano and other support-essentials.  These needs are on the agenda as well. 
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month June
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2017
Tax Year End Month May
Tax Year End Day 31
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $101,000.00
Projected Expenses $83,000.00
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$192,071$158,459$140,005
Administration Expense$9,313$8,480$8,897
Fundraising Expense$11,371$10,331$10,099
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.121.241.32
Program Expense/Total Expenses90%89%88%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue10%9%9%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$408,912$337,175$308,796
Current Assets$407,708$335,355$1,697,816,829
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$17,043$18,189$11,959
Total Net Assets$391,869$318,986$296,688
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifs, grants $115,575Contributions, gifts, grants $114,589Contributions, gifts, grants $118,697
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountBox Office Receipts $102,980Box Office Receipts $86,107BoxOffice Receipts $76,123
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAdvertising $13,379Advertising $12,451Advertising $14,269
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities23.9218.44141969.80
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
RPP's financial situation is sound. Community donations are up. Sponsorship of individual shows is up. Ticket sales are strong as well.
RPP's main financial issue is the funding of some of the more ambitious, more expensive productions and securing the necessary technical and professional resources essential to quality community theater.  By producing large ensemble shows, RPP must pay royalties. Our costumes, sets and musicals and another expenses are constantly rising. Balancing these demands remains a challenge for the Board.
Our Board is working at an intense pace. Everyone heads at least one committee. Most Board members also appear in shows. Even with all of the extra hours dedicated to RPP, we all have a great sense of accomplishment. Our community is behind us and everyone looks forward to next season's success.  
Financial Comments by Foundation Note: In their 990-EZ, they reference Schedule O, but that schedule was not provided. They did not identify Program Service Expenses on Page 2, Part III of their 990-EZ. In their P&L, they did separately state expenses, however the total expenses per the P&L did not reconcile with the total expenses per their 990-EZ. The expenses per their P&L were $113,593, yet on their tax return they were $113,007. That said, financial information was taken from their 990-EZ, by taking the program expenses of $38,599 as reflected on their financial review and then backing into the administrative expense ($113,007 - $38,599 = $74,408). Financial information taken from IRS Forms 990-EZ and 990,  Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support.  Unable to reconcile 2012 tax return for financial statement review.  Balance sheets, along with Income & Expense statements not currently available for 2010 tax year.
Nonprofit Royal Palm Players Inc.
Address PO Box 954
Boca Grande, FL 33921
Phone 941 964-2670