Archive for February 2014

My Son Pinnochio JR Article   Leave a comment

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.


Posted February 26, 2014 by theatretechdiva in Milford Cabinet Articles, Uncategorized

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2014 starts with a bang!!   Leave a comment

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!! 🙂


Posted February 25, 2014 by theatretechdiva in Uncategorized

Seussical Cast Member Profiles   Leave a comment

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 Emmond


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.

Posted February 24, 2014 by theatretechdiva in Amherst PTA, Uncategorized

Self Improvement Goal   Leave a comment

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.

Small update   Leave a comment

tess    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.


Posted February 1, 2014 by theatretechdiva in Amherst PTA