As people know I got laid off from the Cabinet in July and no longer do any freelance work for them. Despite this I would still like to help local theatre groups with PR whenever I can. I would be willing to help with writing articles for a small stipend. Please feel free to contact me to discuss pricing. Thank you!
For the past couple weeks I have been mentoring the kids in the publicity department in the Amherst Middle School Theatre Club. Here is the article that we worked on together which will be in the Milford Cabinet and Amherst Citizen. Thank you to Jen Stover and Kim Kirk for this opportunity. The kids were so great to work with. I would also like to apologize for the foresight in leaving the show dates and times out of the articles. Performances are at Amherst Middle School March 14th-16th. Evening performance are at 7:30pm and matinees at 2pn. Please come support these hardworking kids!
My Son Pinocchio Jr to celebrate 10 years of Amherst Middle School Theatre Club Productions
by Janine Leffler
This year the Amherst Middle School Theatre Club will celebrate it’s 10 year anniversary. Their production this year is My Son Pinocchio Jr which is the story of the Disney classic Pinocchio from Geppetto’s perspective. This show features a mixture of classic songs such as I’ve Got No Strings to Hold Me Down and When You Wish Upon A Star with new songs which were written by Steven Schwartz who has written such popular musicals such as Wicked, Pippin and Children of Eden. My Son Pinocchio Jr is directed and choreographed by Jennifer Stover and music directed by Kim Whitehead.
8th graders in Theatre Club were recently interviewed about their experiences in theatre club and this very special 10 year anniversary production.
Ben Wesenberg plays Geppetto. When asked about what he likes best about playing this character is ” There are a lot of moments where he states the obvious – he’s funny. There are some really lighthearted lines that I’ve enjoyed working on.” His favorite memory about being in theatre club has been “5th grade I met one of my friends by jumping into her arms on stage. I wouldn’t have known her if that hadn’t happened.”
Helen St Cyr is playing Sue , a quirky fairy in training. What St Cyr likes best about playing her character is ” Sue is a lot of comedic relief in the show and I really like the way it’s written and I can be my own person and go anywhere I want with the character.” St Cyr’s favorite memory of being in theatre club is being the MC in the show in 5th grade ” It was my first role when I got to speak in front of the whole audience. I think it was when I started really loving acting. it was the beginning.”
Hannah Cohen is playing Professora Bunoagrazzo. She enjoys playing this character because she feels it mirrors her personality. When asked about her character development process she said ” Standing in front of my mirror and practicing gestures and singing in my room. I memorize my lines by recording all the lines that are before mine and filling in the blank spaces.” Cohen looks forward to developing her character and seeing the show come together.
Sean Corrigan is playing Stromboli. He chose to audition for this part because he liked the character’s comic ability. His favorite song in the show is Bravo Stromboli because he likes the music and lyrics. He hopes everyone who comes to see My Son Pinnochio will enjoy the show.
Katie Giannakopoulos is playing the Blue Fairy. What she enjoys the most about playing this character is being sassy. ” I’m not a really sassy person. So playing a different part is fun because I get to be someone else.” She continued by saying that her favorite memory of being in theatre club was the photo shoot for the lead characters in Camp Rock last year because it was a lot of fun.
Bella St Laurent is playing the Ringleader. To develop her character she watches the movie and pretends to be something she’s not. Her favorite memory of being in theatre club is production week because it’s a time when the cast really bonds.
Joe Guzman is playing Bernardo and Signor Alcomo. His method for memorizing his lines is going them over and over again and practicing them with his brother. He is happy with how smoothly the rehearsals have been running and looks forward to putting on a good show for an audience.
Tickets are $5.00 and are on sale at Black Forest Cafe, The Homestead and AMS.
Congratulations to the AMS Theatre Club on 10 years of wonderful productions. Here’s to many more awesome shows.
Students in the AMS Theatre Club Front Office Staff contributed to this article.
Once again I am not up to speed with my reviews. 2014 has started off with 3 awesome shows. There are many more to follow
Dateline Jan 16th I went to see the dress rehearsal for Alice in Wonderland at the Amato Center. The Boys and Girls Club was presented with a special award before the show which was pretty neat. I was so excited. It was a very well deserved award. Alice In Wonderland was a great show! Notable performances were by Ben Lopez and Doug Pedroza Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Du,m and Zac Barnaby Caterpillar. Favorite Musical Numbers were Paint The Roses Red and Zip A Dee Doo Dah.
Dateline Feb 1st : Groovin On The Go. I love the dance shows at the Amato Center! They add variety to my theatre schedule. This show was a wonderful kaledeiscope of dances from around the world! My favorite numbers were King of New York, Walk Like an Egypptian Rose of Jericho Shadowlands. Great job to everyone on a fabulous show.
Saturday night I went to see Almost Maine at Peacock Players. I saw this show three years ago also at Peacock Players only with their summer company. Almost Maine is a series of short scenes about falling in love.. or depending on the situation all of love. All stories were very touching and really pulled at the heartstrings. (No pun intended here of course) Three years ago my favorite scences were They Fell Getting It Back and Story of Hope, Story of Hope and Getting It Back was my favorite scene this time around as well as Seeing The Thing and This Hurts. Notable performances were by Jenna Enos, Olivia Vordenberg, Mac Galinson and Trisha Mahoney. Fantastic job to everyone in Almost Maine!
March Viewing Schedule
School House Rock Live Junior Actorsingers 3/07
Riverbend School of Theatre Arts 1 Act Play Festival 3/12
Peter Pan Nashua South 3/14
Grease Pentucket Regional High School 3/15
Once Upon A Mattress SHS 3/29
The Producers Palace Theatre 3/30 Thank you to Sally and Paul for the tickets!!
Hello Friends- This year we are doing something different to promote the PTA play and doing cast member profiles. These will be posted on the PTA Play Facebook page starting sometime next week but since many of them are completed now I figured I would post them here as well. Mark the dates down on your calendars April 10-13th at Souhegan High School. 7pm evening shows 2pm matinees. You won’t want to miss it.
Helen St Cyr is an 8th grader at Amherst Middle School. She loves doing the PTA Plays! Previously she has been in Children Of Eden. Music Man Oklahoma and Meet Me In St Louis. She is excited to be in Seussical. She is a Who Child in Who Family #1. What she enjoys the most about playing a Who is that the Whos are so colorful and their story is both exciting and tragic at the same time. When asked why people should come Seussical she said ” Because it’s a great family show.”
Cast Member Profile
Michelle looks forward every year to helping with this great fundraiser for the Amherst schools. Seussical is her 35th PTA Play. In the past she has been in shows with her children Christy and Jason and her husband Jim has been music director for several productions most recently The Music Man. Michelle is playing a Bird Girl and what sets this character apart from past characters she has played is that this is like a Las Vegas Style Greek Chorus. Michelle likes being able to act alongside her students. When asked why people should come see Seussical she said in addition to supporting this annual fundraiser for the schools she said that it’s a great show for families to attend.
Cast Member Profile Karen Hammes
Seussical is Karen’s 4th show with the PTA. She has previously been in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat ( Wife; Ensemble), Children of Eden (Snake) and The Music Man (Mrs. Squires). Her favorite past role has been Mrs. Squires because she loved the Grecian Urn scene and the costumes. Karen is playing Mrs. Mayor and plays opposite her husband Steve who is playing Mr. Mayor. Their daughters Katie and Megan are Bird Girls. Hammes likes Seussical because of the great music and fun characters. She also enjoys the fun time spent together with family and friends. When asked why people should come see Seussical Hammes replied ” It is a great show with great music and a fun story line that many will recognize as excerpts from several of the Dr. Seuss books. What makes it really good is that the people in the show are having fun – and it shows!”
Seussical Cast Member Profile Megan Dillon
Megan Dillon is a sophomore at Souhegan High School. Seussical is her 2nd PTA Play. She was last seen on the PTA stage in 2009 as a Lost Boy in Peter Pan. She auditioned for a new experience in theatre. In Seussical she is playing a fish and a jungle creature. She has mostly played people in past shows so it’s unique that she is playing an animal in this show. She looks forward to seeing everything come together during Tech Week.
Cast Member Profile Emma Richards
Emma Richards is a 12 year old 6th grader at Amherst Middle School. Seussical is her 4th PTA play. Previously she has been in Music Man, Oklahoma and Meet Me In St Louis. In Seussical she is playing a jungle creature, a circus animal and a fish. What sets her character apart from past characters she has played is that her other characters have been a lot more sophisticated and the character she plays in Seussical are a lot more fun. She loves being in the PTA plays and all the people that do them.
I am always looking for constant ways to improve to myself. One thing I think I need to go is stop getting so nervous about auditions. Yes, I know nerves are normal for everyone but I tend to go into in audition being very nervous about how the outcome will be like and weather or not I will impress the audition board. I also think that sometimes I set my standards too high and expect to get roles I know that I am not even half so qualified to get cast as.
For example two years ago when I auditioned for Annie with Actorsingers I auditioned for Grace Farrell, Oliver Warbucks’s secretary. Remembering past performances I have seen of the show and also Audra McDonald’s performance in the TV film from 1999. I was definitely nervous during that audition. Not only because it was my first Actorsingers audition but because it was the first time I had ever auditioned for a lead role. I wanted to use this opportunity to break out of my shell a little bit and I certainly achieved that mission. I didn’t end up getting Grace but I definitely set my standards way too high thinking I was going to get such a big part. MY back up choice was ensemble. I ended up working backstage helping with sound design which was fun. Working on Annie was the most fun experience ever.
In the fall I auditioned for Children of Eden with Stagecoach Productions. I decided to stick with auditioning for an ensemble character that time around due to my lack of familiarity with the show. I was disappointed with the outcome of that audition because I felt I should’ve have done a lot better than I did despite how hard I prepared. Maybe I was a bit too hard on myself.. maybe I’m a bit too hard on myself after every audition I do.
Last week I auditioned for Music Man with Actorsingers. I was so excited about this audition for a long time because I loved being in this show 3 years ago with the PTA and was happy to audition for it again. I debated auditioning for Marian Paroo but then decided against it because I didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment again like I did when I auditioned for Grace Farrell. I ended up choosing to audition for Ethel Toffelmeyer because I figured that part would be a lot of fun to play. I did struggle with the dance part of the audition… I always struggle with the dance part of the audition. I’ve learned to accept that despite the fact it could make me or break me. I was initially disappointed when I found out I didn’t get cast but then I remembered that when the PTA did this show 3 years ago I did struggle a lot with the dances… mostly Marian The Librarian. I am doing stage crew so I am excited about being able to work on this show again. Next stop River City!!
In a way I think it’s a good thing that I will just be doing backstage work for Music Man and there are no overlaps between Seussical and Music Man since Music Man is in May. I will have a small break in between the end of Seuessical and tech week for Music Man which I will certainly look forward too. That will give me enough time to relax between shows I think I was too burnt out doing two shows at one time when I was doing Annie and It’s A Wonderful Life two years ago at the same time. Working on both shows was certainly well worth in the end but I think it’s better for me to work on one show at a time. My next auditions won’t be until the fall when I audition for Passion For Dracula at the Amato Center and Young Frankenstien with Actorsingers ( Do we sense a bit of a theme?) Also I hope to audition for the holiday show at the Amato Center again whateer show that will be. It hasn’t been announced yet and typically isn’t announced til September
So my goal for when I audition is not t0 focus so much with getting a certain part… but instead just have fun with auditioning. I will go in to the audition less anxious and worried this way about how things will turn out.
Tonight I went to see Tess Amadeo Vickery sing at Clark’s Tavern in Milford. I am so happy that she has a successful music career. :) Tess is a colleague of mine from theatre in high school. She sang some originals and some covers. I was so happy we got to talk for a little bit during intermission and catch up a little bit. Great show tonight Tess.
Upcoming shows I will be seeing/ reviewing
Groovin on The Go Riverbend Youth Company 2/1
Almost Maine Peacock Players 2/22
1 Act Play Festival Riverbend School of Theatre Arts 3/13
Grease Pentucket High School 3.15
Once Upon A Mattress Souhegan High School 3/28
Seussical auditions went well. I am in the Whoville chorus. As you can probably guess a fanfiction based on my ensemble character is already in the works. I think this will be my best fan fiction yet…. about the tiniest planet in the sky. So happy to be back with the PTA again this year.. I missed everyone last year. I think I may end up retracting my statement about this year being my last year with the PTA…. especially since next year’s show is Beauty and The Beast. :) I also have an audition coming up with The Music Man for Actorsingers on Feb 10th. Slightly nervous.. mostly excited.
Oh what a night last night honoring the great shows of 20131!
Congrats to all finalists winners and special award winners
The Matty Award Winnipesaukee Playhouse
Children/Youth Theatre Award Tom Partridge
Lifetime Achievement Award John McAllister
Complete list of winners and finalists can be found here: http://www.nhtheatreawards.org/nhta-12-winners-2013.aspx
My Top 3 Predictions
Les Miserables Actorsingers
Children of Eden Stagecoach Productions
Meet Me In St Louis Amherst PTA
Les Miserables Actorsingers
Monty Python Spamalot Community Players of Concord
Big River Winni Players
Les Miserables Actorsingers Winner
Best Youth Production
Shrek The Musical Peacock Players Winner
Beauty and The Beast Jr Children’s Theatre Project Top 3 Finalist
Into The Woods Peacock Players
The other finalist in this category was Urinetown Teen Actorsingers
Best Actress In A Musical Community
Predicted Top 3
Margaret Windler Esther Smith in Meet Me In St Louis Amherst PTA
Ashley Hughes Swanson Eve Children of Eden Stagecoach Productions
Sarah Souter Joanne Company Stagecoach Productions
Actual Top 3
Sarah Souter Lady of The Lake Spamalot Community Players of Concord
Allison Coombs Reno Sweeney Anything Goes North Country Community Theatre
Alliegh Whiteside Maria Sound of Music North Country Community Theatre
Winner Allison Coombs Reno Sweeney Anything Goes North Country Community Players
Best Actor in A Musical Community
Rob Dionne Father Children of Eden Stagecoach Productions
Mark Schatwzberg Javert Les Miserables Actorsingers Top 3
Max McGrath Jean Val Jean Les Miserables Actorsigners Winner
The other finalist was Matt McGonagle for King Arthur Spamalot Community Players of Concord
Best Supporting Actress Musical
Sheree Owens Epionie Les Miserables Actorsingers Winner
Shawna Ciampa Fatime Les Miserables Actorsingers Top 3
Laura Prior Amy Company Stagecoach Productions
The other top 3 finalist was Sue Ellet as Carmen Bernstien Curtians Actorsingers
Best Actor Youth
Yay!! Nick Page got top 3 for playing Shrek in Shrek The Musucal!! The other finalists in the category were Peter Newland Seymour Little Shop of Horrors Majestic Academy of Dramatic Arts and Alex Giggey Baker Into The Woods Peacock Players. Peter Newland took home the award.
Best Actress Youth
Predictions/Actual Top 3
Gracie Kontack Belle Beauty and The Beast Children’s Theatre Project Winner
Julia Enos The Witch Into The Woods Peacock Players
Megan Dwinell Princess Fiona Shrek The Musical Peacock Players
Best Supporting Actress Youth
Top 3 Predictions
Alyssa Lederhos Elsa Sound of Music Riverbend Youth Company
Elsa Keefe Little Red Riding Hood Into The Woods Peacock Players
Carolyn Kegal Madam Thenardier in Les Miserables RB Productions
The winner in this category was a tie between Hannah Benson (Little Sally Urinetown Teen Actorsingers and Elsa Keefe (Little Red Riding Hood Into The Woods Peacock Players) Alyssa should have gotten top 3.
Mac Galinson Donkey Shrek The Musical Peacock Players Winner Well deserved
Jonathan Edelbluet Max Detweiler Sound of Music Riverbend Youth Company
Jakov Schwartzberg Lord Farquad Shrek The Musical Peacock Players
The other finalist in this category was Adam Harding Officer Lockstock in Urinetown Teen Actorsingers
I mean this is a hard category I’m sure they all would have deserved the award. I did not see Urinetown so I can’t make any comments on that show. I’m sure it was excellent. I suppose I am just biased toward Riverbend Youth Company kids. :( Mac was amazing as Donkey so I was stoked that he won!
Judy Hayward won best Musical direction for both The Fantasticks at Winnipesaukee Playhouse (Professional) and Les Miserables with Actorsingers (Community)
Other finalists in these categories were Joel Mercier Les Miserables New London Barn Playhouse and Andy Roinson Singin In The Rain New London Barn Playhouse. She was also nominated for music direction for Curtains with Actorsingers the other nominee in the community category was Will Ogmundson for Monty Python Spamalot with Community Players of Concord
I did not see enough shows in this category to pick a top 3. My top 2 choices were Liz Calabria Sound of Music Riverbend Youth Company and Valerie Psonis Nelson Shrek The Musical Peacock Players
Top 3 Finalists
Valerie Psonis Nelson Shrek The Musical Peacock Players
Beth Fenske Monty Python Spamalot Communuity Players of Concord Winner
Karen Krause and Brooke Solomon Beauty and The Beast Jr Children’s Theatre Project
Best Scenic Design
Didn’t see enough shows in this category to select a top 3. My top 2 choices were Meet Me In St Louis and Les Miserables
Top 3 Finalists
Les Miserables Actorsingers Don Smith Wisse Will McGregor & Dennis Schnieder
Monty Python Spamalot Community Players of Concord Wally Pineault YAY WALLY!
Deborah Jasien Of Mice And Men M&D Productions
Best Costume Design
Paula didn’t get top 3. I was very disappointed. In general the PTA didn’t do as well as I’d hoped this year with top 3 nominations.
Top 3 Finalists
Gay Bean Monty Python Spamalot Community Players of Concord Winner
Tina Kimball Anything Goes North Country Community Players
Lisa Tilliston and Lynn Head Beauty and The Beast Jr Children’s Theatre Project
Best Sound Design
Mike O’Keefe Les Miserables Actorsingers
Rich Loomer Shrek The Musical Peacock Players
Ken Martin Of Mice and Men M&D Prodcutions
Top 3 Lighting Design
Craig Brennan and Dennis Schnieder Les Miserables Actorsingers Winner
Steven Meier Monty Python Spamalot Community Players of Concord
Mark Delancy Of Mice and Men M&D Productions
Other notable top 3 wins
Amy Agostino Best Supporting Actress Community- Wit Milford Area Players
Brady Lynch Best Actress in A Musical Professional The Fantasticks Winnipasaukee Playhouse
Katie Collins Drama Comedy Best Actress Wit Milford Area Players
Best Production Drama Comedy Wit Milford Area Players
Best Director Musical Community Will McGregor Les Miserables Actorsingers
This year my goal is to see shows at Winnipasaukee Playerhouse; Community Players of Concrod; Not Your Mom’s Musical Theatre and Seacoast Rep. We’ll see where budget allows. Also I hope to be an adjudicator but I think I have missed the trainings for this year so I will have to wait until next year.