2016 Seniors Reflect on Experiences With Riverbend Youth Company   Leave a comment

Local  High School Seniors reflect on experiences with  Riverbend Youth Company

by Janine  Leffler

 

 

Spring has sprung and high school graduation  is upon us.   The Riverbend  Youth Company  performs  Curtains next  weekend and  I spoke recently  to  two seniors in  this  show   about their experiences in  productions at the Amato Center.

 

Julie Leone is   homeschooled  from  Temple  New Hampshire. Curtains is her second production at the Amato Center following  last Fall’s  Friends Of The Amato Center production  of  Mary  Poppins.  When asked why she auditioned for Curtains she stated ” I had never heard of the show, but after reading about it, I decided that it seemed super fun and I wanted to audition! Plus the whole cast would be people my age, and I figured that would make it even more fun (I was right).”    Leone has had a wonderful experience so far in Curtains and went on to explain, ” I felt very welcomed last year when I was cast in Mary Poppins, and that feeling has only grown as I’ve gotten to know so many awesome people.”   When asked what her  favorite song  in Curtains is she stated,  “Show People” is definitely my favorite song because it’s so true for all of us as theatre people! We sing; “It’s an honor and a joy to be in show business!” and I truly feel that way. Plus the choreography is awesome.”

Leone heads off  in the fall to Sante Fe College hoping to later  transfer to  University of  Florida where she hopes to major in English and minor in theatre

 

Meghan  McKnight  is a senior at Souhegan High School in Amherst.  She has been in  many productions at the Amato Center and her favorite roles include  Glinda in Wizard Of Oz,  Greek Chorus in Legally Blonde The Musical and  Mrs. Cratchit in Scrooge The Musical.    McKnight plays  Bambi in Curtains and when asked about her character  she stated,  “This character is unique because she is the comic relief of the show. Although I have played characters similar to her, someone who is girly and flighty, Bambi is a little different. She has her own spunk and is one of my favorite characters in the show. (not just because I play her)”.  Leone and McKnight  share similar sentiments about their favorite song in the show being Show  People, “This is my favorite because it really is a true representation of how people in theater are. It is a fun number, and has lots of dancing which is one of my favorite parts about being in theater. ”

McKnight heads off this fall to Emmanuel College in  Boston where she will study  Elementary Education.  She shared the following sentiments about her experiences at the Amato Center, ” Doing theater at the BGC is one of my favorite things in the world. It has impacted me from the very beginning and that is why I’m going to miss it so much. I have been a crew member, an actor and an audience member for seven years and this is the best place to do what I love. I have learned everything from how to sing and dance but also life lessons I’ll never forget. ”

 

 

 

 

Why should you come see Curtains?   McKnight  stated,  ” People should come see Curtains because it’s a show about theater people, it’s funny and dramatic. It has every character you will love and hate. It’s also a murder mystery so you can guess who did it along the way, while listening to some great singing and watch some fabulous choreography. ”  Leone adds,” The cast and production team have all worked so hard to pull this together, and it’s going to be a great show!”

 

Curtains  runs at the Amato  Center for The  Performing Arts  at 56  Mt Vernon Street in  Milford. Evening performances are at 7:30pm on May 5th,6th and 7th and 2pm on May 7th. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Come solve the mystery and enjoy the show.

 

For the seniors McKnight, Leone, Megan Dillon, Benny  Gottwald and  Max Ayotte, I leave you with the following quote from Newsies, “Arise and seize the day.”  Good luck to you all in the future. You will be greatly missed next year and thank you for  all you have given to Riverbend.

 

Local  High School Seniors reflect on experiences with  Riverbend Youth Company

by Janine  Leffler

 

 

Spring has sprung and high school graduation  is upon us.   The Riverbend  Youth Company  performs  Curtains next  weekend and  I spoke recently  to  two seniors in  this  show   about their experiences in  productions at the Amato Center.

 

Julie Leone is   homeschooled  from  Temple  New Hampshire. Curtains is her second production at the Amato Center following  last Fall’s  Friends Of The Amato Center production  of  Mary  Poppins.  When asked why she auditioned for Curtains she stated ” I had never heard of the show, but after reading about it, I decided that it seemed super fun and I wanted to audition! Plus the whole cast would be people my age, and I figured that would make it even more fun (I was right).”    Leone has had a wonderful experience so far in Curtains and went on to explain, ” I felt very welcomed last year when I was cast in Mary Poppins, and that feeling has only grown as I’ve gotten to know so many awesome people.”   When asked what her  favorite song  in Curtains is she stated,  “Show People” is definitely my favorite song because it’s so true for all of us as theatre people! We sing; “It’s an honor and a joy to be in show business!” and I truly feel that way. Plus the choreography is awesome.”

Leone heads off  in the fall to Sante Fe College hoping to later  transfer to  University of  Florida where she hopes to major in English and minor in theatre

 

Meghan  McKnight  is a senior at Souhegan High School in Amherst.  She has been in  many productions at the Amato Center and her favorite roles include  Glinda in Wizard Of Oz,  Greek Chorus in Legally Blonde The Musical and  Mrs. Cratchit in Scrooge The Musical.    McKnight plays  Bambi in Curtains and when asked about her character  she stated,  “This character is unique because she is the comic relief of the show. Although I have played characters similar to her, someone who is girly and flighty, Bambi is a little different. She has her own spunk and is one of my favorite characters in the show. (not just because I play her)”.  Leone and McKnight  share similar sentiments about their favorite song in the show being Show  People, “This is my favorite because it really is a true representation of how people in theater are. It is a fun number, and has lots of dancing which is one of my favorite parts about being in theater. ”

McKnight heads off this fall to Emmanuel College in  Boston where she will study  Elementary Education.  She shared the following sentiments about her experiences at the Amato Center, ” Doing theater at the BGC is one of my favorite things in the world. It has impacted me from the very beginning and that is why I’m going to miss it so much. I have been a crew member, an actor and an audience member for seven years and this is the best place to do what I love. I have learned everything from how to sing and dance but also life lessons I’ll never forget. ”

 

 

 

 

Why should you come see Curtains?   McKnight  stated,  ” People should come see Curtains because it’s a show about theater people, it’s funny and dramatic. It has every character you will love and hate. It’s also a murder mystery so you can guess who did it along the way, while listening to some great singing and watch some fabulous choreography. ”  Leone adds,” The cast and production team have all worked so hard to pull this together, and it’s going to be a great show!”

 

Curtains  runs at the Amato  Center for The  Performing Arts  at 56  Mt Vernon Street in  Milford. Evening performances are at 7:30pm on May 5th,6th and 7th and 2pm on May 7th. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Come solve the mystery and enjoy the show.

 

For the seniors McKnight, Leone, Megan Dillon, Benny  Gottwald and  Max Ayotte, I leave you with the following quote from Newsies, “Arise and seize the day.”  Good luck to you all in the future. You will be greatly missed next year and thank you for  all you have given to Riverbend.

 

 

 

This article will be in the Milford Cabinet and Amherst Citizen later this week.  It can also be found  on Amherst Patch.    Curtains is the last Riverbend show  I will be helping out with publicity for. I have covered many great shows at the Amato Center over the years but have recently realized my schedule is too busy and  I can’t commit to  doing publicity anymore.   I won’t be going too far though since I plan to help out with the productions in other ways. It has been a pleasure serving  RYC as publicist for the past 8 years.

 

Shrek Article   Leave a comment

Shrek. A show with a Personal Connection

by Janine  Leffler

In  2013  I saw  Shrek  The  Musical at  Peacock  Players and  I remember leaving the theatre  that evening considering  how  I can connect the musical’s theme of  acceptance to my own life experiences. When I first found out this year’s Amherst PTA play was going to be  Shrek  I was beyond excited.  Once I was cast as a  Villager and Skeleton and later the Moon,  I was even more excited, especially to work with the directing team  Roger Hurd, Jenn  Fichera, Karina  Bertrand and Vouli Anthmidou.

 

How do  can I connect  the message of Shrek to my own life?  Gather round friends.  It’s story time.

 

I grew up with many disabilities and overcame a  lot of  challenges to get to where I am today.  I was bullied and treated unfairly all throughout school because I was different.   One specific incident in high school, thankfully, changed people’s mindset and things got easier for me.   I am now telling my story to children at schools in the community and encouraging them to stand up for  people who are different and encouraging those with a disability to stand up for themselves.     What makes us special makes us strong.

 

At the opening scene of Shrek we see Shrek and Fiona being sent away by their parents. Fiona to a tower and Shrek to a swamp …both at  7 years old.  In a way Shrek spends his  whole life being bullied  and running away from tormenters, which is why he feels he is better off alone.   When Fiona is rescued by Shrek she is first shocked at first to realize that he is not the handsome prince that she expected.  She later realizes how  much they  have in common  (music  cue:  “I Think  I Got You Beat”)   and that it is what’s inside  that matters, what not the material things treasured by Lord Farquadd .  It is Shrek’s heart and his love for Fiona that truly matters.

 

Which character is my favorite in Shrek?  Probably Gingy, played by Patricia  Helbig because he ends up inspiring the rest of the Fairytale Creatures to stand up  to Lord Farquadd.  “Freak  Flag”  is my favorite song and the one I can relate to the most because of all the experiences  I have had.

 

If anyone  were  to ask me  which character I can relate to the most from  Shrek  I think that would  be a more difficult  question to answer.   Throughout the rehearsal process as I have watched the leads Jennifer Erdody  (Princess  Fiona), Dale  Byrd  (Shrek),  James Middleton  (Donkey) and  Laura  Millar (Dragon) grow into their characters, I find myself relating to each character for different reason, however what ties  each  character to each other is the   bigger theme of wanting  to be accepted.

 

I would now like to take a moment to thank the directors for choosing this wonderful show.  I have really enjoyed being in it and I think because of the personal connection  I have to the story,  it is my favorite show I have participated in with the PTA….and that’s my story.

 

 

This  article will be in  local newspapers and on local  Patch  sites.

Posted April 5, 2016 by theatretechdiva in Amherst PTA, Uncategorized

NHTA predictions   Leave a comment

Did I post these predictions already? Probably. Will they come out accurate? Highly unlikely. Feel free to weigh in with your opinions in the comments. Full review  of the NHTAs tomorrow at one point or another.

All of these predictions  are in the community  category as I shaw no shows  in professional category.
Best Production Musical

Predicted Top 3

CATS Amherst PTA

Crazy For You Actorsingers

Into The Woods  Actorsingers

I am biased towards CATS obviously but it could really be anyone’s game here.  Putting bias aside though it would be great to see Stagecoach Productions take home a win or two this evening since they recently closed their doors.

Winner: Crazy For You Actorsingers

I did not see any shows in the Best  Production Youth Category so my best guess for a top 3 prediction would be  Chicago & Wizard Of Oz Peacock Players and The Wedding Singer Teen Actorsingers

Best Director

Crazy For You Actorsingers Martha Daniels Holland

All Shook Up Stagecoach Productions  Scott Severance

Sweeney Todd Community Players Of Concord Wallace J. Pineault

The only show I saw in this category is Crazy For You but  I have previously seen a show directed by Scott at Stagecoach and it was amazing. I did not see Sweeney Todd but Wally is fantastic in general.

Winner: Keith Weirch Chicago Peacock Players

Best Actor Drama Comedy  I am biased in this category only because A Midsumer Night’s Dream was the only show I saw  and Jakov did an amazing job.

Winner:   Kevin  O’Neil  as Willy Loman Death  of A Salesman M& D Productions

Best Actor Musical Community

Top 4

CATS Amherst PTA Gary Evans as Munkustrap

Crazy For  You Actorsingers Joel Iwakewiz as Bobby Child

Top 3

Into The Woods Actorsingers Joel Iwakewiz as The Baker

Sweeney Todd Community Players Of Concord Matt Mcgonagle as Sweeney Todd

Winner: Matt Mcgonagle   Sweeney Todd Community  Players of Concord

Most of the acting categories will have a top 4 instead of top 3 because there are just too many good performances to choose from and I need to achieve balance somehow. The balance referred to is either Sweeney Todd or any other show I did not get the chance to see but have seen performers in other shows with other company

It is hard to pick a winner.

Best Actresss Drama Comedy

Predicted Top 3

*Based on  prior nominations and or wins

*All My Sons Winnnipasaukee Playhouse Barbara Webb as  Kate Keller

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof Milford  Area Players Caity Glover as Maggie The Cat

Death By Design Milford Area Players Amy Agostino as Brigid

It  is so hard to pick a winner between Amy and Caity because they were both fantastic.

Winner: Julianne Bronson  Linda Loman Death Of A Salesman M&D Productions

Best Actress Youth Top 3

Predictions are made based on previous performances I have seem then in.

The Wedding Singer Teen Actorsingers Emma Benson As Julie Sullivan. Top 3

Chicago Peacock Players Lillie Ellars as Roxie Hart

The Wizard Of Oz Peacock Players  Elsa Keefe as Dorothy

Winner:  Gracie Kontack Velma  Kelly Chicago Peacock Players

Best Actress Top 3

*Based on prior  performances I have seen them in.

Winner  *All Shook Up Stagecoach Productions Mia Beradi as Natalie

Crazy For You Actorsingers  Laura Iwaskewiz As Polly Baker

Into The Woods Actorsingers Jessica Dee as The Witch
If I could predict a tie in any category it would be this one  as Laura and Jessica were both fantastic.

Best Supporting  Actor Musical Top 4

*Based on previous performances

*Big Fish Stagecoach Productions Stuart Harmon as Edward Bloom Senior)

Top 3 Crazy For You Actorsingers Colin Malette as Bela Zangler

Crazy For You Actorsingers Kevin Linkroum as Lank Hawkins

Into The Woods Actorsingers Colin Malette as Rapunzel’s Prince

AGONY!  How does one pick a winner? I hate so much that all my friends are pitted against eachother!

Winner: Elliot Owens   Dennis in All Shook Up  Stagecoach Productions

Best Supporting Actor Drama Comedy

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Peacock Players Kurtis Beeten as Lysander and Mac Galinson as Demetrius

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof Milford Area Players Glen Grimard as Big Daddy

Glen will win this one since Peacock Players is a dominant favorite in so many other categories.

Winner:

Did not see enough shows in Best Drama Comedy category in order  to make  a legitimate prediction.

Best Supprorting Actress Musical Top 3

*Based on previous performances

Crazy For You Actorsingers  Amy Agostino as Patricia Foder

Top  3 Crazy For You Actorsingers Sophie Linkroum as Irene Roth

*Big Fish Stagecoach Productions Anja Ward as Josephine Bloom

Winner:   Candace  Gonzoulas  Anita   West  Side Story  Majestic Theatre

Best Actor Youth

*Based on previous performances

A Year With Frog And Toad Actorsingers Youth Ben Morton as Frog   Oh! I really  hope he wins! He was fabulous!

Top 3 *The Wedding Singer Teen Actorsingers Nick Page  as Robbie Hart

Stephen Koehler Peacock Players The Wizard Of Oz  as Scarecrow/ Hunk

Winner: Rowan Ferrier J. Pierpoint  Finch How To Succeed  In Business  Without Even Trying RB  Productions

Best Supporting Actor Youth

* Based on Previous performances

*Chicago Peacock Players  Jakov Scwartzberg as Billy Flynn and Mac Galinson as Amos Hart

*The Wizard Of Oz Peacock Players Brandon Felicano as Zeke/Lion

Winner: Dawson Ellis as  Leaf Cornboyer/ Carl Grunbuniere   25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee  Winnipasaukee Playhouse

Best Supporting Actress Youth Top 2

*Based on  previously  seen performances

*Chicago Peacock Players  Gabriella White as Mary Sunshine

*The Wizard Of Oz Peacock Players Gracie Kontack as Miss Gulch/ Wicked Witch

Winner:  Olivia  Dube Paulette Bonafonte  Legally  Blonde    Majestic Theatre
Tech Awards

The Best Music Director category  for a community production  is largely  dominated by Judy Hayward and Henry Kopcyznski II III.  I predict that Judy will win for Crazy For You and also win  in the professional category for Jesus Christ Superstar at Winnipasaukee Playhouse.  Winner in this category was Henry  Kopczynski  Chicago  Peacock  Players

Best Choreographer

*Based on previously seen performances

Crazy For You Actorsingers Martha Daniels Holland

Top  3/Winner *Chicago Peacock Players Valerie  Psonis Nelson

* The Wizard Of  Oz  Peacock Players Alyssa Dumas & Valerie Psonis Nelson

Vouli should have been nominated. I am mad that she wasn’t. 😓

This is a tough one to predict because Martha and Val are both great choreographers.

Best Coustume Design

*Based on previously seen performances.

Top 3 CATS Amherst PTA  Mary Selvoski Mary Jo Smith and  Laura Majore     Laura  Majore also won the Theatre Hero Award

Crazy For You Actorsingers Cherie Prior

*The Wizard Of Oz Peacock Players  Maggie Mahony

 

As much as I want this to be a win for the PTA I wouldn’t mind if  the results tonight  were as such that we tied with Actorsingers because Cherie’s costumes were awesome too.

Winner: Alex Homola  Chicago  Peacock Players

Best Sound Design

A largely dominant category for Rich Loomer and I am hoping he wins for A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Peacock Players. He is also nominated for  All Shook Up  with Stagecoach Productions and Chicago & Wizard Of Oz with Peacock Players.  Rich  won for Chicago with  Peacock  Players

I was  disappointed CATS  was not nominated in this category.

Best Scenic Design  I did not see any shows in the category so thus  I  can not make accurate predictions, however I hope Wally wins.  Winner: Jim Webber Time Stands Still  Theatre Kapow

Best  Lighting Design  Peacock Players is dominant in this category with three nominations  however I hope Wally wins. Winner:  Tayve  Young Time Stands Stil  Theatre Kapow

 

In the professional theatre category  my  summer stock alma mater  the New London Barn Playhouse  got many top three nominations and several awards for their respective  performances of  The Mystery Of  Edwin Drood and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels



Happy New Year!!   Leave a comment

Technology is frusturating! I swear to you! Have attempted numerous time to post a video blog but every time I try to post it I keep getting an error message saying I do not have enough storage to save it. Figured writing a blog post pretty much practically the same way. I will just have to post some photos of the Christmas gifts I got.

Anyway.. Happy new year to all fellow theatre fans and followers of this blog!  

2015 highlights

New Jobs- 2015 started out with stress as I was I between jobs for the first 3 months. I finally got a job at the Plus Company in April 7th. I have been there for 7 months. I work as a database administrative assistant and I scan documents in to the computer as their goal is to move all of their client files into an online database.

Poetry Class:  In addition to my job at PLus I teach a poetry class in their Adult Education program. The next session starts on January 13th and will be every Wednesday from 1-2pm. I have  seven students and am looking forward to working with them. The goal is to get poems for the Janine Book website.

Getting Jellicle: This year’s PTA play was CATS. Quite frankly when I first found that out I was diappointed because I was excited to do Beauty and The Beast but they could not get the rights. I was assistant sound designer which was a great experience which I learned a lot from.

SVC Board Of Directors: In June I was elected to the Souhegan Valley Chorus Board Of Directirs  as head of publicity. This has been a huge learning experience for me. I learned a huge lesson in time management because I waited till almost tge last minute to get a press release into the newspaper. I felt like I let myself and others down but  I have put a plan in place to stay more on top of deadlines.  

Babies: A few of my theatre friends welcomed new babies this year. Hooray for new members of my theatre family: Aurora,Lucy,AvonLea,Leo and Adam. 

On The Rooftops Of London: I was in Mary Poppins with Friends of The Amato Center. Please see entry from November 1st in which outlines my experience.

Favorite Shows seen in 2015: You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown,Crazy For You,  Shrek The Musicak, American Idiot,Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Into The Woods, Wizard Of Oz & It Runs In The Family
And what to look forward to in 2016:

Shrek:  I have PTA play auditions on Tuesday night. I am auditioning for Pinnichio but know the show will be a lot of fun no matter what part I get cast in.

Writing More Poetry and Short Stories: For the past 3 years  I have been writing a lot of  fan fiction. This has gotten boring for me and I want to write more stories with my own characters and more poetry. 

See more shows at theatres I haven’t seen shows at or theatres I haven’t been to in awhile

These theatres include

  • Comminity Players Of Concord
  • Winnipasaukee Playhouse
  • Palace Theatre Youth Company
  • Manchester Community Theatre Players
  • Windham Actors Guild
  • Peterborough Players
  • Peacock Players

See movies at either Red River Theatres in Concord or Wilton Town Hall Theatre. Variety is good since mostly when I go to the movies I go to Chunky’s or Cinemagic.

Work on my bullying play: I also hope to make sometime to work on the bullying play I stared working on prior to Princess K.I.M.  The Musical.

Assistant directing: When I interned at the New London Barn Playhouse I had a great experience assistant directing Bravery Soup. Should the opportunity arise I would love to assistant direct a youth show again…at the Amato Center,Actorsingers or Peacock Players.

Memories: Looking firward to all memories that will be made with family and friends.

Posted January 1, 2016 by theatretechdiva in Non-related ranting

NHTA Nominations   Leave a comment

Let’s review for a moment past PTA nominations and results

Music Man 

7 nominations

3 top 3

Ashley  won for Best Actress

Oklahoma

8 nominations

4 top 3

Nick Hammes won for best supporting actor

Meet Me In St. Louis

4 top 10 nominations

Margaret got top 3 for best  actress 

No winners 

Seussical 

7 nominations 

Sophie  won for  best actress.
This year’s  nominations  were  announced yesterday. CATS got 3 nominations Best Production  Musical Community, Best Actor ( Gary Evans) and Best Costune Design (Mary Selvoski, Mary Jo Smith and Laura Majore). There were quite a few people from CATS who I felt were snubbed.

Top 3 Predictions

( all are in community category.)

Best Production

Musical

CATS Amherst PTA

Crazy For You Actorsingers

Into The Woods Actorsingers

Best Director

The only show I saw in this Category was Crazy For You.  I was bummed I could not see All Shook Up because it  was  the same weekend as CATS, like wise with  Big Fish as it was the same weekend as Into The Woods. Congrats to all who were nominated from both those productions.

Best Actress Top 2 

Drama/ Comedy

Caity Glover Maggie The Cat   Cat On A  Hot  Tin Roof MAP

Amy Agostino  Bridgid Death By Design  MAP

Musical

*Did not see this production; based on previous performances

Laura Iwaskewiz Polly Baker Crazy For You  Actorsingers

Jessica Dee Witch Into The Woods Actorsingers

*Mia Beradi  Natalie All Shook Up  Stagecoach Productions

Best  Supporting Actress 

Drama/Comedy

The only show I saw in this category was Death By Design. Kimberly’s nomination was well deserved.

Musical

*did not see this production ; based on previous performances 

Amy Agostino  Patricia Fodor Crazy For You Actorsingers

Sophie Linkroum  Irene Roth Crazy For You Actorsingers

*Anja Ward  Josephine Bloom Big Fish Stagecoach Productions

Best  Supporting Actor

Drama/Comedy

Kurtis Beeten Lysander A Midsummer Night’s Dream Peacock Players

Mac Galinson Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream Peacock Players

Glen Grimard  Big Daddy Cat On A Hot Tin Roof MAP

Musical

I am extremely biased in this category for the record.

Colin Malette Rapunzel’s Prince Into The Woods & Bela Zangler Crazy For You Actorsingers

Kevin Linkroum Lank Hawkins Crazy For You Actorsingers

Best Actor

Musical

Biased  in this category too

Gary Evans Munketrap CATS Amherst PTA

Joel Iwaskewiz The Baker Into The Woods and Bobby Child Crazy For You Actorsingers 

Best Actor Youth Top 2

Ben Morton  Frog A Year With Frog And Toad Jr Actorsingers

*Nick Page  Robbie Hart The Wedding Singer Actorsingers

Best Actress Youth Top 3

*Did not see performance; based on previous performances 

*Emma Benson  Julie Sullivan Actorsingers

*Elsa Keefe Dorothy The Wizard Of Oz Peacock Players

*Lilllie Ellers Roxie Hart Chicago Peacock Players

Best Supporting Actor Youth Top 3

*Did not see performance; based on previous performances 

*Jakov Schwartzberg Amos Hart Chicago Peacock Players

*Mac Galinson  Billy Flynn Chicago Peacock Players

*Brandon Feliciano Zeke/Lion The Wizard Of Oz Peacock Players
Tech Awards Top 3 Predictions

I did not see any shows in the  best scenic design  category but yay Wally was nominated for Sweeney Todd!!

Best Costume Design

*Did not see performance;based  on previous performances

CATS Amherst PTA Mary Selvoski;Mary Jo Smith & Laura Majore

Crazy For You Actorsingers Cherie Prior

*The Wizard Of Oz Peacock Players Maggie Mahony

Best Choreography 

Crazy For You Actorsingers Martha Daniels Holland

*Chicago Peacock Players Valerie Psoinos Nelson

*Wizard Of Oz Peacock  Players Alyssa Dumas & Valerie Psonios Nelson

Best Music Director

( This category is largely dominated by Judy Hayward and Henry Kopsyzinski III so my predictions are reflected as such… I also did not see most of these shows.)

*All Shook Up Stagecoach Productions Judy Hayward

*Chicago Peacock Players Henry Kopsynski  III

Crazy For You Actorsingers  Judy Hayward

 Best Sound Design ( CATS was snubbed for this one… I am mostly biased as I was assistant sound designer)

*All Shook Up Stagecoach Productions,A Midsummer Night’s  Dream Peacock Players & *Chicago Peacock Players  Rich Loomer

A Midsummer Night’s Dream was nominated for best lighting. I did not see any other shows in this category so I cannot make accurate top 3 predictions.

Got any predictions ?  I am willing and ready to discuss what people thought of shows that were nominated and who you think will win. Congrats to all top 10 finalists. Looking forward to January 23rd.

Top 30 Favorite Somgs of 2015 & Top 10 Fave Songs from Stagecoach Production Shows   Leave a comment

Here is my top  30 list of favorite  songs from shows seen or performed in 2015.

Key: * SVC Spring Concert **SVC 1930s Showcase *** SVC Holiday Concert

1. Anything Can Happen Mary Poppins 

2. No One  Is Alone Into The Woods

***3. Nuttin’ For Christmas 

4. If I Can’t Love Her Beauty And The Beast Jr

5. Be Strong Princess K.I.M. The Musical

**6. Over The Rainbow Wizard Of Oz

7. Being Mrs. Banks Mary Poppins

***8. That’s Christmas To Me Pentatonix

9. Merry Old Land Of Oz Wizard Of Oz

*10. I’ll Be There Michael Jackson

11 Uptown Funk Marc Ronson f/ Bruno Mars  Art Of Dance. Also official theme song for the CATS cast because we had killer dance parties backstage to it.

12. Together Whereever We Go Gypsy

**13 Nearness Of You Ella Fitzgerald

14. Slap That Bass Crazy For You

15. America West Side Story

16  My Blanket and Me You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown

***17 I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

*18 Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off

19. Freak Flag Shrek The Musical

*20.  We Are The World Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie

21 If I Were A Bell Guys and Dolls

22. Agony  Into The Woods

23. Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat CATS. Can’t wait to perform this at the NHTAs!

24. Happiness You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown

25. Home Beauty And The Beast Jr

***26. 12 Days Of Christmas Straight Note Chaser

27. Memory CATS

28. Make A Move Shrek The Musical

29. Step In Time Mary Poppins

30. My New Philosophy You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown

Oh and also Stagecoach Productions is closing. Here is a list of  my top 10 favorite songs  from shows I have seen there.

1. Too Darn Hot Kiss Me Kate

2. Barcelona Company

3. Happiness You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown

4. Getting Married Today Company 

5.Climbing Over Rocky Mountain Pirates Of Penzance

6. Another Openin’ Another Show Kiss Me Kate

7. Ain’t It Good Children Of Eden

8. Beethoven Day You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown

9.Poor Wanderin’ One Pirates Of Penzance

10. What I Did For Love A Chorus Line 

Finding the words to say…….   Leave a comment

Back in June my high school music teacher Pat retired..she will be missed by a lot of people and she was a great teacher. I found out before schoool started that they were not going to be replacing her. This news was very shocking and disappointing. I was originally going to write a letter to the editor  of the Amherst  Citizen but then I retracted my decision. The main reason  was because I felt it wasn’t really my place to say much about the situation because I did not know too much information about why the school board made the choice not to replace Pat. I can only make assumptions and sometimes assumptions may not be the best things to make. Knowledge is power so they say therefore it is hard to base an opinion off little knowledge of what is going on.
I do know the following though…based on general observations I have made throughout the past couple years as I like to support the Souhegan Theatre and Music departments as much as I can by going to the plays, concerts and jazz nights.

I graduated from Souhegan 11 years ago and back when I was in high school all the music ensembles had large numbers of people in them. I don’t really know what exactly has led to the decline in recent years in participation in music but I think the low numbers in the music department definitely affect the people who try out for the musicals. The chorus is basically the feeder system for those to try out for the musicals and thus far the band is the feeder system for the pit orchestra. For example for the 2013 Musical the pit band only had four people in it. Last year when I went to see the spring concert I noticed that the chorus had about 20 people in and the Acapella group had about 16 people in it. All girls and one boy. 

I sat there wondering “What  leads to the decline in participation in the music groups at Souhegan? ” Perhaps the decline in numbers led  to the choice not to replace Pat. I heard that a lot of kids did not initially sign up for chorus  this year because of Pat not coming back. On the plus side Kim Whitehead got hired to teach Acapella and Handbells which make me happy because she is awesome.  Carl is temporarily teaching chorus until a replacement for Pat is found from what I understand. I think that spreads him a little too thin because he already teaches all the band classes and jazz band. 

I am then left to wonder about the future of  the theatre department of Souhegan and also the musicals. This year’s musical is going to be The Boyfriend which I am excited to see again after seeing it out on by Riverbend Youth Company back in 2009.  If the music ensembles work as feeder systems for the performers in the plays and pit orchestras and the participation numbers are as low as I’ve noticed them to be recently what this mean for future musicals?

Budget is the thing that it all boils down to I guess and I estimate that budget cuts  and low participation numbers led to the choice not to replace Pat.  This is disappointing to say the least. Some people may think that sports are more important than the arts and that’s probably where most of the budget money goes to.

During Meet Me In St. Louis I remember having a conversation with one of my cast mates backstage about how neither of us were involved in sports…during the course of our conversation we deducted that in its own way theatre can be definitely considered a sport. We spend 3 days a week learning dances  and getting our bodies and voices perfect for performance.  Not to mention that all the musicians who are in the music groups at Souhegan go to local,state and also national competitions to show other people how good at their craft they are. So yes, music and theatre go hand in  hand and both can be considered a sport.

I wish the arts got a little bit more respect and the people who wrote the school budgets saw things from this point of view.

Posted December 8, 2015 by theatretechdiva in Non-related ranting

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.