Archive for the ‘Amherst PTA’ Category

Adversity   Leave a comment

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elizabeth  Kubler Ross

I rarely get personal on this blog.. in fact  I try to avoid it since it supposed to be  professional.    I’d like to step away  from that for a second though.

Note: Names have been omitted from this blog post.

Today I have chosen to talk about adversity. I’ve overcome a lot of it to get to where I am today.   The end of last   year  and beginning of this year I  overcame my  fair share of  it and it relates to theatre and music.

In  November   there was a shake up among the  ranks for the original directors of the production were let go.It was  appropriately    refered to as Mermaidgate.  The  Board of Directors  of the PTA let them go  because of creative differences. The Board never offered an explanation or apology which I find to be frustrating. The thing that bothered me the most and still bothers me is how  the PTA Board of Directors was so deceitful  and dishonest in what they  did  to Sue and Pam.  There were many people who did not audition  because of what happened..  essentially splitting apart a family.

Despite the reservations that I had   I decided to audition.  The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite  Disney movies of all time and I did not want to pass up my shot to  be in this play. I am so glad that  I did.      This show  was so much fun to be  a part of . They always are.  We had an  amazing cast.    It was great to meet new people too. This was my absolute favorite show out of the ones   I have done with the PTA. I already miss the show and everyone in it very much.     Best way to beat post show depression? Watch DVDS of past shows that I borrowed from John Sauter.  I need some new fan fiction plot line ideas after all!

Right  now though I am at  a crossroads.    Because of what has happened  I am not sure if  I can continue to be a part of a group where the board  does not have respect for the hard work that was  put into the production. I   have a lot of respect for everyone in the PTA group and so much love for everyone too.    I really hope that  there will be a new  Board Of Directors instated  that will be able to start over   fresh with the PTA play  put creative differences aside and focus on the main goal of  the  play which is to raise money for the Amherst Schools. .   What happened definitely left a bitter  taste in my mouth.  I am glad I was able to put that aside and still enjoy the play with an awesome  group of  people that has become like a second family to me since 2011.

The  next  example of overcoming adversity   has to do with Souhegan Valley Chorus.   It is no secret that  I have had issues with getting along with my chorus director for the past couple years.   I have a lot of respect for my director and she knows that. I struggled for awhile with   focusing in chorus.  I was upset at myself for a long time and this really  distracted my enjoyment in chorus and having fun. I  also openly admit that I didn’t  really want to disclose my disabilities because  I did not think they would outwardly affect my singing.   This was a factor in me not feeling included as well.   We had a special meeting on  February 13th about inclusion.  That helped  me to feel a lot better.   I guess  I was afraid to disclose my disabilities to everyone because   I didn’t think that it was necessary to do that.    Singing is a passion of mine and it has been for many years.  My  vision  impairment definitely  had a negative impact on my performance though I think.. maybe I would have been able to get  help if  I had mentioned something sooner. Lesson learned.

These are two examples of how  I have overcome adversity  recently.  I have  learned a lot of lessons from these experiences.

Guest Reviews  Coming Soong

The Little Mermaid   Amherst PTA   Laura Vitale

Anything Goes  Pinkerton Players   (Pinkerton Academy Spring Musical)   Christie Conticchio

Update:  I decided to step away from chorus for the next semester so I can focus on the musical theatre cabaret I am doing at work.  I also need to refocus my mindset so I can actually start enjoying chorus again and work past all the anxiety I have been dealing with & focus on wedding planning .I am hoping to return in the spring. As for the PTA play next year’s  show is Mulan Junior which be  a show for 8-18 year olds. I might work backstage or take the year off so I can go watch  the show.

 

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Under The Sea Analysis   Leave a comment

 

 

tlmposter

Poster design by Sophie Linkroum

Hello Friends,

I have decided to  kill two birds with one stone  and combine my analysis of  Under  The Sea with  talking about my  experience in The Little Mermaid  thus far.  Shameless plugging for the PTA play.

 

Let my start off  by saying that  The Little Mermaid has always been  one of my all time favorite Disney movies.  It came out in  1989   with  Jodi   Benson  voicing  the lead   character  Princess Ariel.    In our   A  Night The Oscars  Showcase in 2016 my  fiancé Matt sang  Under  The Sea  for his solo and it was  a  crowd  pleaser which bought the house down. Many people were disappointed he did not try out for Sebastian when auditions came around in January   but I understood the reason why he didn’t audition and I think others did too.   Under  The Sea is sung  by  Sebastian  the  Crab  trying to convince Ariel not to  go up to the human world  “The human world is a mess.. life under the sea is better than anything they’ve  got up there.”   It is a very fun  high energy piece.

 

Rehearsals  for The Little Mermaid are going great so  far.  I have to admit  all of the drama centered around Pam and Sue being  let  go as directors  almost made me decide to not audition but then  I thought “This is not a shot  I want to throw away. ”  I am in the Under The Sea  ensemble so  I am in Under The SeaKiss The  Girl, the opening  number when King Triton’s daughters have their  concert  and a few other crowd scenes in Act II.     We are at the point the   rehearsal  process when  we are  doing full  run throughs and things  have  been going well.  It  is  fun to see all the other numbers  I am not in coming together.  We have amazing leads   who  I am excited to be  working with.   Some of them are  Sophie Linkroum (Ariel),  Russ Arrowsmith (King Triton),  Laura Millar (Ursula),  William Desharnais  (Prince Eric) and Michael Steadman (Grimsby)

Our directing   team  this year is  Sharron and Ben April, Lauren Busa and Tiffany  Jacobs and Amy  Mcguigan.      4 weeks are left  until the show opens  and I am so excited to move into  Souhegan after Easter.

 

Get your  tickets now for  Little Mermaid because you do not want to miss it!

Posted March 22, 2018 by theatretechdiva in Amherst PTA, Souhegan Valley Chorus

Stress Management   Leave a comment

Have  a little reprieve from seeing shows for a couple weeks.   Time to reflect.

Last  night  I went to  a class at Catholic  Medical  Center about  Mindfulness and Stress Relief  techniques with  Matt and Jeff.   Patty suggested it  to us and  I am so glad she did.   I have had my  share of stress and anxiety in the past  ten months or so  I  definitely needed new methods on  to manage it better.

We  got  a sheet on feeling  vocabulary at the seminar and here are some words that  stood out to me  on this list.

:

Aggravated and mad:  Mostly at myself for how I handled the situation of a friendship ending and how  I handle rejection from failed auditions. Example  of failed audition: When  I did not do well at the audition for Souhegan Valley Showcase last year or just how   I deal in general with   rejection when I fail an audition such as in the past when  I’ve auditioned for  Stagecoach Productions and Actorsingers.

 

Nervous: Because I thought how  I was acting  was affecting  how a certain person thought about me.

Now  I know this  was sort of ridiculous because I know this person  likes me. Was she mad at me? Nope.  I have no idea why I thought she would’ve been.

Sad: Especially because Dan and Gerry passed away and   I have constantly been thinking of how much  I miss them.  My  dog was put to sleep on Thursday too.

Anxious: See above notes about a friendship ending.

Unfocused: Because of all the feelings  I mentioned above which  I why I had to  take a break from SVC this semester and just focus on Wizard Of Oz. Last year  I realized   a huge part of my problem that  I was being  pulled in too many different directions between chorus,   the play and SVC  Board Of Directors.

Frustrated: Because tech week can be stressful and  I lost my cool a few times during Wizard Of Oz.

Grateful:     High School graduation has passed.  I have actually been kind of sad because  I am going to really   miss  Naomi and Matt next year as they are the two  kids  who are graduating  who  I’ve grown the closest to.  I know that they will meet amazing new people on their journey to their next chapter and can’t wait to hear where it’s going to take them.   I am also  grateful for my friends and family who helped me through my stressful time as I dealt with all these various emotions.

 

During the class  I was able to take  a  step back and reevaluate things.   I realized that all this negativity gets me nowhere  especially since  typically I am  a really  positive person .  Time   to turn the negatives into positives.   The 1st part of 2017 has been  a learning  curve and a time for growth and change for me. Here’s  to the next six months being  more happy!

 

Thank you again  Patty for recommending this class.  It was incredibly helpful.

 

 

Wizard Of Oz Article   Leave a comment

The following article will not be published in local newspapers until after the PTA play is over.    I couldn’t wait that long to post  it here because  personally   I feel it is one of my best articles… and probably one of the last publicity  articles  I will write for the PTA t00.   Naomi is  just  THE BEST!

Souhegan High School Senior  shares PTA Play Memories

by Janine Leffler

 

 

The classic and iconic tale Wizard Of OZ will be performed by the Amherst PTA this April.  I recently  spoke with Naomi Cohen, a senior at Souhegan High School who will be playing Dorothy.  She reflected on her past PTA performances and the progress of Wizard Of  OZ rehearsals up to this point.

Cohen has been in the PTA play for the past seven years being in every show since 2010 except for CATS.  When asked why she auditioned for Wizard  Of Oz  she said, “The PTA Play has been part of my spring for so long it felt weird not to do it.   I decided to audition because this would be my last PTA  Play before  going to college.” She went on to say, “There are so many memories of my first PTA play, Children  Of Eden;  having my makeup done back stage, Sophie Linkroum waltzing by with her hair in curlers and saying, “This is a zoo!” and me answering with something witty or getting to eat lettuce on stage which is something  I didn’t think happened during shows.”  Naomi remembers looking up to Sophie Linkroum  and is honored this year to be the lead character, Dorothy, in the hope younger kids will look up to her.

 

When asked what she likes about Dorothy’s character she responded  “Dorothy is quite obviously a dreamer. She’s protecting Toto with every ounce of herself even if it means running away from home to do so. She’s friendly and loving with a touch of teenage brat which makes her so much more interesting, rather than the sweet character we’ve all come to know.”  She went on to say, “It is hard for me to choose a favorite scene. I love the Munckinland scene because it is so iconic and the kids are so fun to work with.  I also like the Jitterbug scene because it is a fun dance number.  There are so many bucket-list moments for me in this show;  I get to lie down on stage, carry a live dog, eat and I am even lifted up at one point.”

Cohen encourages people who have never auditioned for a  PTA play by saying the  following,  “A wonderful thing about the Amherst PTA is that we they include everyone we they can and you get to know so many people in a different way.  Who knew that the town’s teachers had such lovely voices or that your next door neighbor was a tap dancer extraordinaire?”   When asked why people should come see Wizard Of OZ  she said, “It’s a classic.  It’s a family show which supports your community.  There are a million reasons but please come support the arts!”

 

Cohen is still awaiting word on where she will attend college next fall and hopes to study music education where ever she goes.   This show has been a dream come true for her in every way. We wish Naomi the very best of luck in her future endeavors. Your star will shine wherever you go.

 

Wizard Of OZ runs at Souhegan High School April 20-23rd with evening performances at 7pm and matinees at 2pm.  The show is directed by Vouli Anthimoudi and Sharron April, music directed by Karina Allayne and Laura Millar and choreographed by Loren Hallet. You won’t want to miss this magical show!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted March 20, 2017 by theatretechdiva in Amherst PTA, Uncategorized

15th Annual NH Theatre Awards   Leave a comment

Shows  I saw or performed in   during 2016 that were nominated  for NH Theatre Award

Full List of NHTA Winners can be found here: http://nhtheatreawards.org/results/

Actorsingers

Spamalot

Best Costune Design  Allison Sklarz  Top 10

Best Lighting  Design   Mike O’Keefe  Top 10

Best  Musical  Direction     Judy Hayward   Top 10

Jessica Dee  Top 3  Best Supporting Actress   Lady Of The Lake

Colin Malette  Top 3  Best Actor  Patsy

Mike  O’Keefe   Best Sound Desinger Top 10

Joe Paoni     Best Actor   as Drew   Top 10

Britney Lynne Stanley  Best Choreography  Top 10

Rock  Of Ages

James Middleton  Best Supporting Actor  Lonny  Top 10

Melissa Runde    Best Supporting Actress    Justice Charlier  Top 10

Best  Costume Design  Allison Skalarz  Top 10

Ashely Swanson  Best Actress  Top 10

 

New London Barn Playhouse   Shrek The Musical

Matt and I adjudicated this show  for  a regional theatre award   The Moss Hart Award at the  end of July.   I was very happy to see that  the people  that I  reviewed so highly in my   adjudication for the Moss Hart Award  won New Hampshire Theatre Awards.  That was a very proud  New London Barn Playhouse Alumni moment for me.  I am always so impressed every year when  I go up there to see what  the current interns are working so hard on.    All awards on  by  both  actors  and  production team were well deserved.

 

Amherst PTA  Shrek was nominated for 8 awards last night.  I was  so incredibly   blessed  to have been among the cast of so many talented people many who  I have worked alongside on stage and backstage for  the past several years.   Eric Skoglund  won for best supporting actor for  playing  Lord Farquaad and  I was so excited and  happy for him  when  I heard his name  called.  He really deserved that award.   It was  my first year working with him and he was awesome to work with.  I also was honored to perform on stage  at the awards show  in Ballad  Of  Farquaad  number…it was a new experience for me  and admittedly   I was nervous because it was my first time performing in the NHTAS.   Overall it was  fun and  I was happy to be a part of it and perform with my  fellow Shrekkies one last  time to honor an amazing show that had so much personal meaning to me.

Last night was  a beautiful  celebration of all  community and professional  theatre productions around the state.   The president of the Theatre Awards said so eloquently  in  her closing statements  at the end of the awards show  how the theatre is a safe and accepting place for everyone.   I  could not agree with her more about that.  I feel like ever since I got involved with doing  shows with the PTA  six years ago I have found my home and my family.  These people  have watched me grow and supported me  in my craft….especially in this new experience with performing at the NHTAs.   A recent article  I read states that the Trump Adminstration wants to get  rid of the National Endowment For The Arts which  is money for theatre comes  from.  This makes me fearful about the future of theatre.

Congratulations to all top 3 winners and finalists. You are amazing and I am proud to know all of you!

 

Here is a link to the speech   I mentioned above.:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-granite-stage/you-are-the-storytellers-the-dreamers-you-are-the-players-who-say-this-stage-thi/1325032007553730

 

 

 

Top 30 Favorite Songs List from Shows Seen or performed in 2016   Leave a comment

The NH Theatre Awards nominations were announced yesterday. Here is my list of top 30 favorite songs from shows seen or performed in 2016. What a great year in NH Theatre it has been.
30. You Won’t Succeed On Broadway Monty Python’s Spamalot
29. KansasLand Curtains
28. The title song from Footloose comes in at number 28. This song always makes me want to get up and dance.
27. Shine Like The Sun 9 T0 5
26. We’re Not Gonna Take It Rock Of Ages I just wanted to point out that I will be using this song in my protest poems unit for my poetry class at Plus Company.
25 Written In Stars AIDA I did not get to see AIDA at Peacock Players but was lucky to see this performed at the Holiday Stroll. It is one of my favorite songs by Elton John.
24. I Want The Good Times Back The Little Mermaid This song was performed in our spring concert for Souhegan Valley Chorus. I think it is fantastic and have been meaning to download it. I unfortunately did not get to see The Little Mermaid when Peacock Players performed it.
23. Proud Of Your Boy Aladdin Jr This was put on by Riverbend Youth Company back in January. This was a very powerful song and really pulled at the heart strings.
22. There You’ll Be This was one of my favorite songs from our Souhegan Valley Showcase in June. It is from the movie Pearl Harbor which I have never seen.
21. Friend Like Me Aladdin Jr This has hands down always been my favorite song from Aladdin.
20. Spanish Panic Once Upon A Mattress This was Nashua South’s musical last spring. It is a very fun dance number.
19. Everybody Say Yeah Kinky Boots My mom took me to NYC to see Kinky Boots for my 31st birthday. This was one of my favorite songs from the show.
18. Let’s Go To The Movies Annie I mean of course this would make the countdown! How could it not? Annie is one of my favorite musicals which is of course why it is my favorite song that we sang in the Showcase.
17. Won’t You Charleston With Me? The Boyfriend This one of my top favorite songs from Souhegan’s musical last year.. another fun dance number.
16. Almost Paradise Footloose A beautiful love song that pulls at the heart strings.
15. Forever Shrek The Musical This number was very fun to be in.
14. Never Fall In Love With An Elf Elf The Musical
This was one of my favorite songs from Elf. It is sung by Jovie and is about her choice of relationships.
13. Taylor The Latte Boy I love Naomi Cohen… that is all! 🙂
12. Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life Monty Python’s Spamalot To be fair I heard of this song before I even saw the play because it was in Souhegan Valley Chorus concert in 2014 when their theme for the spring concert was Broadway. Yay for throwbacks.
11. Don’t Stop Believing Rock Of Ages This song got me through some pretty difficult times when I was looking for a job. I now have two awesome jobs at Plus Company and Gateways Community Services.
10. Freak Flag Shrek The Musical This is my top favorite song from Shrek The Musical. I feel the message behind it is very important about standing up for what you believe in. It elicited many a powerful discussion in my poetry class at Plus Company the past couple of semesters.
9. Under The Sea The Little Mermaid My boyfriend Matt rocked his solo in Souhegan Valley Showcase.
8. Morning Person Shrek The Musical This was my favorite number from Shrek out of the numbers I was not in. I really want to make this song the alarm clock ring tone on my cell phone.
7. Show People Curtains I feel this song represents the core of being involved in theatre and the strong relationships I have formed with people I do shows with. I have a lot of love for the people in my theatre family which I know is reciprocated.
6. Consider Yourself Oliver This was my favorite song from Oliver.. I especially love the tap dancing flash mob section.
5. 12 Days Of A Regifted Christmas This is a parody of 12 Days of Christmas that we sang in our chorus concert last weekend.
4. Agony Into The Woods This song is hysterical.
3. OOM PAH PAH Oliver I may not drink a lot in reality but it is fun to pretend to drink on stage.. it was always really fun to waltz too. 🙂
2. I’ll Believe In You Elf The Musical This song is in Act 1 of Elf The Musical and is sung by Emily and Michael Hobbs. I feel the lyrics in this song are very powerful because it really brings home the point of how much strain is in the family dynamic because Walter works all the time.
1. Somewhere West Side Story Honestly West Side Story has so many amazing songs and it is hard to choose just one song that is my favorite. This song gives me chills whenever I listen to it and Katie Gianakoplios stole that scene with her solo. My other favorite songs from West Side Story include I Feel Pretty, Tonight and America.

Reviewing The Situation   Leave a comment

Yes, of course the title of this post  is also   a  title of song from  Oliver.  I will get to that in a second….

 

Since Shrek  ended I have been keeping busy with Souhegan Valley Chorus.  Matt and I did not perform in the spring concert   because of a conflict  with a family wedding but made up for it by singing in the   performance at Granite Square Apartments on May 24th.  The performance was then followed by the end of the semester potluck  at the Congreational Church  Parish Hall.      Souhegan Valley Showcase was last Saturday and that was a lot of fun. Our theme was  A Night At The Oscars and we sang songs from  movies  such as Annie. Lord Of The Rings, Beaches ( which  I rented from the library and will be watching tomorrow),James Bond and Pearl  Harbor.

Favorite Songs that we sang in  Chorus This Year

  1.  Nuttin  For Christmas
  2.  Wizards  In Winter
  3. 12  Day of Christmas     Straight Note Chaser is coming to Portsmouth  Music  Hall at the beginning of August!!
  4.  I Want A Hippopotmus For  Christmas
  5. I’ve Got  My Love To Keep Me Warm
  6. That’s Christmas To Me
  7. The Christmas  Waltz
  8. Comedy Tonight
  9. You Raise Me Up
  10. Lydia The Tatooed Lady
  11. I Love A Choral Medley
  12. The Deaf  Old Woman
  13.  I Want The Good  Times  Back      Can  I please just mention for one  second how  AWESOME    Rachel  Cerrulo is?  She’s awesome!  🙂
  14.  Taylor The Latte  Boy
  15.  Let’s Go To The Movies   Annie
  16. Under The Sea  The Little Mermaid
  17. Happy Working Song Enchanted
  18.  A Whole New  World Aladdin
  19. There You’ll  Be
  20.  The Wind Beneath  My Wings
  21. Cref Volant

I  Love SVC!

 

Post show depression  really hit me hard after Shrek and to top  things off  it was bought to my attention (which I am grateful for of course) that  I was  trying to plan to many events with  the  Shrek cast. Sometimes  I don’t  realize when I am getting to in people’s faces and   it was good to be made aware of it.

The reason why this  post is titled  Reviewing The Situation is because of the fact  that  I  find myself  constanly  reviewing  many different  facets of  certain situations.  Weather it’s how I handle  certain social situations or my budget.  Often   I try to overschedule  activities but  them    I realize that just leads to over exhaustion for me and the rest of my friends.  I am also  constantly reviewing  my show viewing schedule and sometimes budger and schedule does not allow me to see everything… Little Shop Of Horrors and Billy  Elliot  are fine examples.  Maybe  it’s because I have so many friends  who are in shows that I  want to support but then  I feel bad when  I can’t make it to the show.

willywonka candygrams for Curtains

Then there is the matter of buying candy grams at Riverbend Youth Company shows.  I try  to do this at every Riverbend Youth Company show  I go to.  I took my mom to see Curtains for Mother’s Day and when  I told her  how many candy grams I was buying  I instantly regretted  deciding to buy so  many…. sure they are only a dollar each but that adds up after awhile  I have to  reevaluate this situation especially hard since  I  really do not have  too much extra money to be spending to begin with and also since I know so many kids in the cast.. it’s  like  ugggh…

 

 

Thursday night was the DVD viewing  party for  Shrek at Jenn Fichera’s house.   It was a lot of fun and  it was refreshing to go swimming  especially after it has been so hot out.  The DVD  came out great as always and it was so great to see everyone.   On  July 9th we are going over Karina’s house and  I am so excited for that party.   It will be a great  way to see everyone before  I go away on vacation the following week. During which time  I will be not be on the internet.

 

I am in  Oliver with Friends OF The Amato Center (hene forth  the title of the Entry)  We have such a great cast and  I am so excited. Many of my cast mates from Shrek are in Oliver so  I am excited to work with them all again and meet new people too.  It’s going to be a great summer!!   Character development  fan fiction coming soon

 

Summer Viewing Schedule

6/30  Shana Stack

7/10   9 To 5  Interlakes Summer Theatre

7/24  Studio 2  at Stark Park  in Manchester

7/31  Shakespeare  In The Park  Romeo and Juliet   at Greeeley  Park

August  5th   Into The Woods Riverbend Youth Company  Alumni

August 12th   One  Flew  Over The Cuckoo’s  Nest  Milford Area Players

August 14th  Footloose Interlakes Summer Theatre

August 25th    She  Kills Monsters  Riverbend Youth Company Alummi

August  26th  Burt Bacharach  Concert in  Warner (family birthday outing)

August 27th   Bat Boy The Musical  Actorsingers Fringe Project

 

I am ushering at a majority of these shows.

Posted June 25, 2016 by theatretechdiva in Amherst PTA, Souhegan Valley Chorus