Had the Sudbury Savoyards credited the role of “Producer” in its early years, Will Ford would have been that person. Mr. Ford saw to much of the operations of the group, recruiting the staff and support personnel for productions and working in a variety of other roles, both on and off the stage.
Sadly, Will passed away in 2016. Upon hearing the news, 2004 Yeoman of Regard Honoree, David Larrick, presented the following recollections about Will Ford.
For about two decades, the last few years of which I personally witnessed (from the late 1970s until the new Board structure took over in the mid-1980s), the whole show was run by three people: the Stage Director, the Music Director, and Will Ford. He oversaw all the backstage and technical operations, business operations, publicity, printing, tickets, care and feeding of cast and orchestra, everything done by Producer and TD and their dozens of assistants and department heads today. All of his volunteers were SUMC members, recruited and cajoled and guided by Will and by his passion for the Savoyards.
He was a VP at Raytheon, and he was not shy about diverting his employer's resources to the Savoyards' benefit. For example, our large programs were printed for free by the Raytheon corporate print shop each year. He had multiple secretaries answering his office phone, and they always put Savoyard calls right through to him immediately.
Will was extremely supportive of the new organizational structure, helped to design it, and served on the new Board for its first couple of seasons. At the 50th anniversary celebration, he was just as astonished and gratified as the rest of us old-timers at how the group has continued to thrive and grow and improve over the years.
Will was also a first-ballot Yeoman of Regard. The Savoyards have lost another giant.
--David Larrick, Yeoman of Regard, 2004