Submitted by Billie Owens on March 17, 2013 - 2:12pm
More than a thousand young students will visit the Genesee Community College campus between March 20-22 to see a performance of "The Boy Who Tricked the Moon" by the GCC Forum Players Children's Theatre. The cast and crew will then take the show on the road for another six performances in six counties between April 7 and May 11.
In "The Boy Who Tricked the Moon" the audience participates in helping an Orphan Boy rescue Clan Chief's son from the moon, which has spirited him away. It's a mystical adventure that includes characters Sky Grandmother and Little Sky Sister who help the two boys. The folktale, staged using masks and creative movement, shows how ingenuity and friendship can triumph over adversity.
GCC will welcome some 1,200 preschool through third-grade students from Batavia, Le Roy, Pavilion, Brockport and Geneseo to campus for daytime performances in the Stuart Steiner Theatre on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday March 20-22.
Following the performances on campus, GCC will take the show on the road for just the second time.
"In these days of limited budgets, many districts cannot afford to bus their children to campus for the show," said Maryanne Arena, director of Fine and Performing Arts at GCC. "We still want them to have the chance to experience a live theatre performance, so we're taking the show to them. We like getting out into the community to share the wonderful talent we have at GCC."
The show will be staged at elementary schools in Hilton, Barker and Medina. In addition, there are public performances scheduled as follows:
• Friday, March 22, at 7 p.m. -- Stuart Steiner Theatre, GCC Batavia
• Sunday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. -- The Stage, Warsaw
• Saturday, April 20, at 2 p.m. -- Theatre 101, Mt. Morris
• Saturday, May 11, TBD -- Springville Center for the Arts
Tickets are $8 or less, and FREE for ages 12 and under. To purchase tickets or for more information call the GCC box office at 345-6814 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cast of "The Boy Who Tricked the Moon" includes: Brianna Jones, of Batavia, and Kayli Wilson, of Canastota, sharing the role of Orphan Boy; Aidan Bonacci, of Rochester, and Christian Hoffman, of Hilton, as Clan Chief's Son; Bill Rupp, of Alexander, and Alayna Zimbrich, of Hilton, as Shaman; Jordan Griffiths, of Milford, and Rebecca Truesdell, of Batavia, as Moon; Kathleen Kwasniewski, of Alexander, and Amber Lively, of Barker, as Little Sky Sister; Courtney Amesbury, of Bergen, as Sky Grandmother; Sania Hyatt, of NYC, as Boy #1 and a Thunderbird; Lynnsee McGill, of Rochester, as Boy #2; and Kaori Shinchi, of Japan, as a Thunderbird. Several cast members also play additional roles as Trees, Frogs and Arrows.
Crew members include stage manager Jessica Yost, of Medina. Cameron Pollard, of Mt. Vernon, will handle sound. Lighting is by Eric Moultrie, of Dobbs Ferry, and Kaleb Miller, of Le Roy. And Ali Scharvella, of Copake Lake, will operate projections.
Submitted by Daniel Crofts on March 13, 2013 - 8:07pm
Le Roy high schoolers Margaret Kovach, Erica Parker and Ben Neumann posed in character during a rehearsal of "Anything Goes," Le Roy Jr./Sr. High School's 2013 musical production. They will be playing Reno, Bonnie and Moonface Martin, respectively.
Jackie McLean, chorus teacher for the Le Roy schools and musical director for the play, described "Anything Goes" as an intricate, laugh-out-loud funny show with great characters.
More than 80 kids are involved in this production, including cast and crew members.
With music and lyrics by Cole Porter, the show takes place on a cruise ship and features comic circumstances resulting from three love triangles.
Pictured Ashley Webb (Hope), Steven Farnholz (Evelyn) and Natalie Salphine (Mrs. Harcourt)
"The script is jam-packed with funny moments and intricacies," McClean said.
She also said that the cast, which is made up of students in grades seven through 12, "did a great job of making the characters believable."
Danny Weaver and Jayce Seeley play Mr. Whitney and Billy, respectively.
Having "believable" characters is a big change from last year's performance of "Cinderella," which had a fanciful fairy tale atmosphere. With "Anything Goes," the kids have switched to a more realistic setting.
"It was a challenge, but they've done a great job," McClean said. "It's a great group of kids."
For her part, McClean understands and appreciates the challenge of bringing these characters to life. She was in "Anything Goes" as a junior at Batavia High School, which put on its own performance of the show in 2001.
"I picked the show (for the 2013 musical) because I loved it when I was in it," she said. "I understand the challenges, and also the funny moments and the characters, because I lived it. That gives you a different perspective."
As for the music, McClean describes it as old-style jazz with a "huge choral involvement." So in addition to great sets and lots of humor, "Anything Goes" will also boast a large chorus.
Le Roy is known for setting a high bar when it comes to its school musicals. Each year, staff and students like to give audiences something new to look forward to.
This year, audiences can look forward to huge, elaborate tap dance numbers by the whole cast, as well as a six-foot platform of the cruise ship built by Patrick Patton, complete with the look of a real ship and lights that go on at night.
Patton, the father of a Le Roy High School student, has been building sets for these productions for seven years. McClean said he sets a new challenge for himself with each one.
"He's amazing," she said. "(His sets) get better each year."
Performances of "Anything Goes" will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the high school auditorium, at 9300 South St. Road in Le Roy. All performances will begin at 7 p.m.
All tickets are $8 each and can be purchased at the door, via the district Web site or at the school's main office.
Submitted by Billie Owens on February 4, 2013 - 4:15pm
Batavia Players, Inc., presents D.L. Coburn's Pulitzer-prize winning tragicomedy "The Gin Game" at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 7-9 at Harvester 56 Theater.
Seating is reserved. Call ahead -- phone is 343-9721; or buy tickets online at <www.showtix4u.com>. General admission is $10. Students and seniors pay $8.
The two-person, two-act play features Peg Marone and Norm Argulsky.
According to wikipedia, it's about Weller Martin and Fonsia Dorsey, two elderly residents at a nursing home for senior citizens, who strike up an acquaintance. Neither seems to have any other friends, and they start to enjoy each other's company.
Weller offers to teach Fonsia how to play gin rummy, and they begin playing a series of games that Fonsia always wins. Weller's inability to win a single hand becomes increasingly frustrating to him, while Fonsia becomes increasingly confident.
While playing their games of gin, they engage in lengthy conversations about their families and their lives in the outside world. Gradually, each conversation becomes a battle, much like the ongoing gin games, as each player tries to expose the other's weaknesses, to belittle the other's life, and to humiliate the other thoroughly.
Submitted by Ann Winters on July 26, 2012 - 12:17pm
Thursday-Saturday, October 25, 26, 27, 2012 at 7:30pm & Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 2pm
Good Grief Charlie Brown! Wonder whatever happened to your beloved "Peanuts Gang"? We follow the crew a decade later in this hilarious yet touching parody, addressing the dramas and angst of their adolescence.
Submitted by Billie Owens on April 20, 2012 - 1:24pm
"Legally Blonde" is a musical with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, and script by Heather Hach. Local auditions are scheduled next weekend and the show will premiere in Genesee County in July.
The show is based on the novel "Legally Blonde" by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film of the same name.
It tells the story of Elle Woods, a sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner. She discovers how her knowledge of the law can help others, and successfully defends exercise queen Brooke Wyndham in a murder trial.
"Legally Blonde" will be directed by Ann Marie Gsell, with vocal direction by Jacqueline McLean, choreography by Kris Ashley, and produced by Jason Juliano in conjunction with the WNY Arts Society.
Auditions are at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, and at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 29 (with call backs at 6:30 p.m. on the 29th). Auditions are at Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee Community College, 1 College Road, in Batavia.
Auditioners are asked to prepare a song of at least 16-bars from a modern/pop musical that showcases his/her vocal abilities. An accompanist will be provided. Auditioners are asked to bring their own sheet music. There will be a dance/movement portion of auditions; those auditioning should come prepared to dance. Those considered for a role will be asked to stay or return for call backs to sing a song selection from the show and read from the script.
(The musical was recorded in September 2007 and aired on MTV in October 2007. Following this, a reality TV show was aired showing the audition process for the next person to play Elle Woods on Broadway.)
In the Genesee County premiere, performances of "Legally Blonde" will be at 7:30 p.m. July 12-14 and there's a matinee at 2 p.m. July 15.
For more information, those interested in auditioning can call Jason Juliano at (716) 390-7615 or visit www.FaceBook.com/wnyarts.
Submitted by Gretel Kauffman on March 22, 2012 - 9:00pm
Back in the spring of 2003, an ambitious group of local thespians decided to take a risk by boldly staging in Genesee County what no local troupe had staged here before: Shakespeare. Nine years later, "Shakespeare in Springtime" is thriving. This weekend the group is celebrating its 10th springtime with a repeat production of its first show, "A Midsummer Night’s Dream."
“Shakespeare wrote so many plays, and we wanted to choose something familiar that we could do justice to,” Director E. Jane Burk says of the group’s original decision to perform the show nine years ago. “It was very well-received. It showed us that there really are some people out there who are willing to come see Shakespeare.”
The characters, comedy, and iambic pentameter may be the same as it was a decade ago, but make no mistake — this show is “entirely different” and definitely “not a repeat of last time.” Whereas the pioneer effort took place in a Midwestern 1950s carnival, this time around the show has a San Francisco setting circa the 1960s. The traditional fairy characters have been changed to hippies, demonstrating, Burk explains, “the difference between establishment and anti-establishment.”
Cast members agree that despite the large gap in time periods, the play translates easily from the intended Shakespearean setting to the more contemporary backdrop.
“The characters are universal,” says Malloryann Flanagan, who has the role of Puck. “A lot of the themes are still prevalent in society and are still relevant today.”
Flanagan and her sister, Caryn Burk, are the only two cast members who also appeared in the original production. But although the majority of the ensemble did not take part in the first “Shakespeare in Springtime” show, many of them have been seen in at least one other production put on by the group. One such actor is Paul Judkins, who has the part of Egeus.
“It’s always a challenge,” says Judkins, who cites his favorite previous Shakespearean role as the title character in "Julius Caesar." “You can’t use your natural language — you have to find the meaning behind the words. At first it was mystifying.”
Derrick Pechie, who has the role of Oberon, the fairy king, agrees that understanding the language gets easier with time:
“My first lead role in a Shakespeare play was in 'Richard III' two years ago. I did not know what I was saying. But now I can read the script and right away I know what it’s talking about.”
The difficult language and seemingly hidden meanings are exactly what makes Shakespeare so attractive to cast member Shellene Bailey, however.
“The language is sneaky,” she declares. “It’s very in-depth and very funny. There are lots of jokes and innuendos. It's very beautiful.”
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. March 22-24 and at 2 p.m. March 25 at the Harvester 56 Theater (located at 56 Harvester Ave. in Batavia). There will also be a dinner theater performance at Terry Hills on the 31st.
Submitted by Billie Owens on March 20, 2012 - 3:44pm
Rehearsals and set construction are well under way as Genesee Community College prepares to launch its Spring 2012 theatrical season with a production of the Neil Simon comedy "God's Favorite."
The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 29 when the GCC Forum Players, in conjunction with the Genesee Center for the Arts, take the stage in the Stuart Steiner Theatre.
"God's Favorite" is loosely based on the biblical Book of Job, with God and Satan making a bet involving a wealthy Long Island businessman whose faith is tempted by a wisecracking messenger from God.
The cast and crew, under the direction of Fine and Performing Arts Director Maryanne Arena, reflect the GCC community of faculty and students, as well as local performers. They include Jerry Newell, of Attica, as pious businessman Joe Benjamin, and Rochester's Ben Liebrand as the tempter Sidney Lipton.
Rounding out the cast is: Patrick Dodge, of Warsaw, as prodigal son David Benjamin; Tyler Eldred, of Dansville, as son Ben Benjamin; Perry's Sara Stabley as Ben's twin sister Sarah Benjamin; Nikole Marone, of Batavia, in the role of Joe's long-suffering wife Rose Benjamin; Rochester's Whitney Sellers as maid Mady; and Bobby Steeves, of Albion, as the butler Morris.
GCC technical theater faculty member Ed Hallborg tackles the set design and technical direction of the comedy, with students Alison Scharvella (Copake Lake) and Roger Williams (Kendall) sharing stage manager duties.
"The cast and crew work incredibly hard and have shown an amazing amount of dedication to their craft," Arena said. "I am extremely proud of each and every one of our performers and crew members."
In addition to the debut performance on Thursday, tickets are also available for the 7:30 p.m. shows on Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31, as well as a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 1.
General admission prices are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (55+), students and GCC faculty and staff, and $3 for Genesee students with valid ID. GCC alumni receive a $2 discount with valid alumni ID card. The theater box office is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and one hour before the start of each performance.
Reserve tickets are available through the box office at email@example.com or by calling (585) 345-6814. Payment is accepted via cash, checks, and Visa or MasterCard credit cards.
Genesee Community College is located in Batavia, just two minutes from NYS Thruway Exit 48. Visit http://genesee.edu for door-to-door directions sent via email.
Submitted by Billie Owens on January 7, 2012 - 1:59pm
The Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College is pleased to announce the calendar of spring events for its 20th season at the Stuart Steiner Theatre. The Center for the Arts is proud to bring in a jam-packed schedule with a variety of artists and productions to the community at large.
Live Performances in the Stuart Steiner Theatre:
"Extremities" by William Mastrisimone, staged by the Aegis Project of Buffalo, for one performance at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16. The Aegis Project is an initiative to raise rape awareness through theatrical productions on college campuses throughout the region. Tickets are $3 for all ages and all proceeds go to the Aegis Project for local rape awareness projects. Please note this production is appropriate for ages 16 and over.
Hailed as "WNY's Father of Country Music," Ramblin' Lou brings his Family Band, to the Genesee Center for the Arts for an afternoon of classic country music beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19. Tickets are $10 adults, $8 seniors (55+), $5 students and GCC faculty/staff, $3 GCC students with valid ID and $2 discount for GCC alumni with alumni card.
Genesee's Forum Players present "God's Favorite," a Neil Simon comedy, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 29 - 31, with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. on April 1. Directed by Maryanne Arena, this is a modern tale, loosely based on the Book of Job, in which God and Satan make a bet, and God puts his trust in Joe, a wealthy businessman living with his family in suburban Long Island, to keep his faith. God's messenger, sent to test Joe's faith, is a wisecracking guy from Queens. Simon poses questions about life, but never loses his sense of humor! Tickets are $8 adults, $5 seniors (55+), students, and GCC faculty/staff, $3 GCC students with valid ID. No children under the age of 5 permitted. Please note that this production is appropriate for ages 16 and over.
The Genesee Center for the Arts continues its commitment to introducing performing arts to children, families, and schools throughout the Western New York area with "The Princess and the Goblin" by Stuart Paterson, a magical tale of young Princess Irene finding the strength to take on the world. Packed with fun and adventure, it's a rich and magical play for the entire family! The Genesee Forum Players featuring GCC students as the cast and crew, and Norm Gayford, GCC English professor will be directing. Daytime performance dates are scheduled for Wednesday, April 18, Thursday, April 19 and Friday, April 20, with invitations sent to all the local schools. There will be one public performance at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20. Tickets are $8 adults, $5 seniors (55+), students, and GCC faculty/staff, and $3 GCC students with valid ID and $2 discount for GCC alumni with alumni card. Children under the age of 12 free!
The Fine and Performing Arts Committee at the Genesee Center for the Arts is participating in March's Arts Awareness Week with two workshops that are free and open to the public. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27 in the Forum of Batavia's main campus, local artists will be demonstrating origami, bookbinding, pottery, needle felting, painting, photography and more in hands-on workshops. On Thursday, March 29, Jeffrey Sweet will be presenting a workshop on playwriting, as well as doing a one-man performance of "You Only Shoot the Ones You Love." Please note that this short play is appropriate for ages 16 and over.
The Genesee Symphony Orchestra returns to Genesee Community College for its 64th season with one performance at the Stuart Steiner Theatre: "Musical Safari" at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26. A second concert, "Musical Salute," is scheduled at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 29 at the Elba Central School auditorium. Tickets are $12 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $5 students (18 and under or GCC students with a valid ID) or $30 family (parent plus children 12 and under). For full schedule and tickets, visit the GSO at www.geneseesymphony.com
A special GCASA jazz event taking place at the Stuart Steiner Theatre will be the Glenn Miller Orchestra, with an opening act of the Genesee-Orleans All-Star Jazz Ensemble, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. This is a fundraising event for GCASA, and tickets are $30 adults, $15 seniors (65+) and $15 students with ID. All tickets are general seating and expected to sell out early, so get your tickets soon at Roxy's Music Store and the GCASA office in Batavia. The Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office will also have tickets available, cash or check only for this event, but call ahead to check tickets availability.
The last event of the season is a collaborative event with the Genesee County Mental Health Association and Maryanne Arena, director of fine and performing arts at GCC. A one-act play by Marsha Norman " 'Night, Mother" will be performed at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 11. Starring Maryanne and Jaime Arena, it features a daughter, Jessie, and her mother, Thelma, in a story about suicide. For ticket prices and selling locations, visit GCMHA at www.gcmha.org. All proceeds will benefit GCMHA. Please note that this play is appropriate for ages 16 and over.
For general information, contact the Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office at 345-6814, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For door-to-door directions sent via email, visit www.genesee.edu.
Submitted by Suzanna Friedman on December 28, 2011 - 9:36am
A fast-paced performance entitled "Therapy" opens tonight in the Harvester 56 Theater on Harvester Avenue, Batavia.
The performance consists of various dances set to pop and rock songs that many members of the audience may identify.
Genesee County natives Tara Pocock and Trent Jeffords came up with the concept and choreographed the production. In addition to the two choreographers, the cast includes Amanda Crowley, Zack Durkin and Erin Dunham.
The show, which lasts approximately one hour, is composed of numerous dances and a few spoken lines that tell the stories of fictional characters who take part in a group-therapy session.
Due to the adult themes depicted in the dances, the production is recommended for teenagers and adults.
Each of the characters has a specific personality and unique problems, which are more fully developed in the second act. The performers make good use of the black box stage, which allows audience members to have a good view of the dancers from three sides of the stage in this intimate setting.
"Sometimes we discover that what seems like the smallest of problems actually have an enormous effect on our lives, Jeffords said. "This show is the embodiment of this concept."
"Therapy" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The proceeds collected from audience members' suggested donation of $5 will be used to support community theater through the Batavia Players.
Submitted by Daniel Crofts on December 14, 2011 - 10:29am
What the Dickens are the Batavia Players up to now?
According to Patrick Burk, the popular local theater group's president, they "wanted to do a wonderful Christmas gift to the community for the support of our new Harvester 56 Theater" this holiday season.
So they're putting on their own rendition of Charles Dickens' classic, "A Christmas Carol," the story of Ebenezer Scrooge -- a greedy, bitter, lonely old miser whose whole way of looking at the world gets turned upside down by a series of ghostly visitations on Christmas Eve.
Burk described the show as "bright and colorful as well as technically magical."
"It has a classic storyline and has always been one of my favorites," he said. "I could never find where an original version had been done (in Batavia, at least). A couple of contemporary versions with modern day spins were done in the '70s and early '80s."
The Players, on the other hand, will be giving folks pure Dickens, without any modern spin. All costumes and sets are going to be traditional. The music will be "contemporary for the time (the early 1840s, to be precise)," but with a few newer carols, according to Burk.
Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, in addition to a matinée performance at 2 o'clock on Sunday. All performances will be at the Harvester 56 Theatre, at 56 Harvester Ave. in Batavia.
Sunday's performance will be held for the benefit of the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation.
"Many of (the foundation's) members have been very supportive of us," Burk said, "I am so happy to be able to do this for them."
For those who are not familiar with Dickens' story, one of its most well-known and endearing characters is a sick child named Tiny Tim. Burk felt the Napoleone Foundation would be a "good fit" for this story.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for children and seniors. They can be purchased through www.showtix4u.com.
Submitted by Gretel Kauffman on November 3, 2011 - 5:37pm
Theater has long been thought of as a place where one can transform into someone else and lose touch with reality completely. This is particularly true for Eric Zweld, who has the "flamboyant" role of Roger DeBris in this weekend's Batavia Rotary Club production of "The Producers."
"When I go to a show I forget about the real world," says the construction project manager as he applies fake eyelashes and shimmering makeup. According to Zweld, there are "zero similarities" between himself and his character, who he describes as "very secure in his gayness." "I only wear these every other day," he jokes of the eyelashes. "I don't want the guys finding out."
Steve Valvano of Gates feels similarly toward his character of Max Bialystock, a "down-and-out" Broadway producer who "will take advantage of anyone and anything" to get what he wants: money. After Bialystock discovers that he can make more from a flop than he can from a successful show, he and accountant Leo Bloom set out to make the worst show ever, resulting in hilarity and a distinct lack of political correctness.
"It's an amazing challenge, and I like challenges," Valvano says. "The comedy is very physical. The whole show is very physical. I have to work at it just to keep up."
Cal Young, who plays Leo Bloom, is different from his castmates in that he seems to be the only one who truly identifies with his role.
"He's a scaredy little accountant nerd," he explains. "We're definitely very similar. He's very nerdy and just generally unversed in the ways of the world."
Young, like many of his fellow cast members, cites the show as a longtime favorite. But be warned: "The Producers," with its mature content and off-color jokes, is not for everybody.
"I felt it was an interesting change from the past two shows," says director Lynda Hodgins. "They were very family-friendly, very children-oriented."
Zweld and Valvano agree, describing the show as "an equal opportunity offender" and something that "a mature audience will have a ball with."
Hodgins describes the show as "PG-13."
"[The audience] will be fine if they get the fact that it's (written by) Mel Brooks," she explains. "You have to get his humor. There's nothing hidden, no subliminal messages. It's all out there, and when things are right in your face it becomes extremely comical. It's not a conservative show. It puts every stereotype out there. This is for people who like to laugh."
Showtimes: Nov. 3, 4, and 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 6 at 2 p.m.
Where: Batavia High School Auditorium, 260 State St., Batavia
Ticket prices: $12 for Thursday, $15 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Where to purchase tickets: At the door or online at www.bataviarotary.com or www.encoretheatrearts.com or in person at Lawley Insurance, Jefferson Square, Batavia or The Insurance Center, 50 Main St., Batavia, during regular business hours.
Submitted by Howard Owens on October 26, 2011 - 10:33pm
The cast of "The Producers," this year's choice for the annual theater production of the Batavia Rotary Club (this year, in conjunction with Encore! Theatre Arts, is starting to nail their performances in rehearsals.
Director Lynda Hodgins invited me into the Batavia HS auditorium tonight to take some pictures during the non-dress rehearsal. She allowed me right on the stage during the performance. Thank you to the indulgence of the cast for carrying on as I moved around trying to get some interesting shots.
The show is high-energy and fun. It's not easy to take pictures when you're laughing out loud.
Starring are Steve Valvano and Cal Young as Max Bialystock and Leopold Bloom (pictured above).
The Mel Brooks-written musical is about a broadway producer whose career is in a downward trend when an accountant, Leopold Bloom, suggests that there's more money to be made in producing a real stinker of a show than in producing a hit.
Performances are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 to 5 and 2 p.m. Nov. 6 at Batavia High School.
Tickets are $12 for the Nov. 3 show, and $15 for all other shows. Tickets may be purchased online at bataviarotary.com and encoretheatrearts.com, and in person at Lawley Insurance or The Insurance Center.
Submitted by Gretel Kauffman on October 13, 2011 - 5:25pm
There's something for everyone in the Genesee Community College Forum Players' evening of "One Acts: Fast, Funny & Fabulous," which opens tonight at the Stuart Steiner Theatre.
"I wanted to give the students the widest variety of experiences I could," says GCC Fine Arts Director Maryanne Arena. "We have everything from a satire on Hamlet to a very farcical comedy to something very touching, and I like them all for different reasons. 'Naomi in the Living Room' is very slapstick, physical comedy. 'Blind Date' is the best written and the most poignant. 'Second Beam' is about actresses auditioning for a role, and I certainly haven't forgotten what that was like."
The aforementioned "Naomi in the Living Room" stars Peggy Marone as an insane, "child-like" woman who is visited by her son and his wife. Marone says the show was a step outside her usual comfort zone.
"At work sometimes I multitask and feel psychotic," Marone laughs. "But I don't know if I've ever been this psychotic."
Tyler Eldred also faced challenges with character development, but for a different reason: Tyler is featured in three of the one acts -- "The Philadelphia", "15-Minute Hamlet", and "Foreplay or the Art of the Fugue" -- and plays four different characters within those shows. Although the third-year theater and theater tech student has been involved with shows offstage more often than on, he says he enjoys acting more than technical work.
"It's probably because I'm a sadist, and being onstage involves so much more work," he jokes. "It's also an opportunity for me to step outside my comfort zone."
Emily Jones, a sophomore theater arts major, also has her acting hands full. She is in four of the one acts, and performs with a singing and dancing quartet in between each show.
"It's so hard," she says of getting into character for each performance. "With a regular show you have the whole show to work up to it, but with this you only have a few minutes for each show. It's probably the hardest thing I've done in 10 years."
Fellow sophomore theater major Patrick Dodge is just as busy as Jones, with involvement in five of the shows. His amount of stage time, he says, is approximately the equivalent of having a role in a full-length production.
His favorite show out of the five is "Blind Date" -- a Horton Foote comedy about a seemingly sullen teenage girl who is set up on a blind date by her aunt, a former beauty queen.
"I get to play kind of a nerdy guy," he explains. "And secretly I'm very clumsy and nerdy."
Playing opposite Dodge in the role of the sullen teenage girl is Sarah Lawson, a sophomore education major. Lawson also enjoys portraying her "Blind Date" character, but for different reasons.
"It's been really interesting finding out who (my character) is," she says. "At first she seems like an unpleasant person, but she's really just lonely and not very skilled socially. And she loves Rudy Vallee."
Three of the shows--"The Philadelphia", "15-Minute Hamlet", and "The Second Beam" -- are directed by Norm Gayford, an English professor at the college who has been extremely involved with the Forum Players for the past five years.
"It's very challenging because you have to keep changing moods, and it's hard getting everybody focused," he says about the evening's fast pace. "It's like reading multiple short stories rather than reading a novel."
The showtimes are as follows:
Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m.; and Oct. 16 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for high school students, GCC faculty and staff, and senior citizens (55+), and $3 for GCC students with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or advance by calling 345-6814. The Stuart Steiner Theatre is located at 1 College Road in Batavia.
Submitted by Ann Winters on August 18, 2011 - 2:21pm
Hobnobbin’ Goblins Halloween Theme Puppet Show
by Robert Rogers Puppet Company
Saturday, October 29th at 11am
Tickets: $8/$5/$3 Special Buy One Get One Free – Buy one adult or senior ticket get a child ticket free!
A rousingly spooky (but not scary) Halloween celebration. It's the perfect occasion for elaborate marionettes (string puppets) expertly brought to life, to bring out the mischief and fun of this special holiday. Fun for all ages!
Submitted by Ann Winters on August 18, 2011 - 2:09pm
Forum Players performance of six “One Acts”, Fast, Funny and Fabulous!
Thursday – Saturday, October 13 – October 15 at 7:30pm
Sunday Matinee, October 16th at 2pm
Tickets: $8/$5/$3 - No Children under the age of 5!
Join the Forum Players for an evening of six one act plays! ‘The Philadelphia”, ‘The Second Beam” and “The Fifteen Minute Hamlet, directed by Norm Gayford. “Blind Date”, Naomi in the Living Room” and “Foreplay or the Art of the Fugue”, directed by Maryanne Arena.
One Acts really highlight the creative abilities of the Forum Players, join us for an evening of great entertainment! The play is appropriate for ages 16+.
Submitted by Daniel Crofts on July 12, 2011 - 2:28pm
Jon used to think of himself as a promising composer, but...
"Instead, I've been promising for so long I'm afraid I'm about to break my promise."
That's the paraphrased line of the main character in "Tick, Tick...Boom," a semi-autographical musical by Jonathan Larson, the writer of "Rent." It will be performed this weekend at Harvester 56 Theater in Batavia.
Directors Shellene Bailey and Thorin Vallentin are members of the newly formed local theater group, JNS Productions -- named after the founders: Joel, Shellene, and Nick. They look forward to bringing this lesser known work of Larson's to the local stage.
"The music is very similar (to the music in "Rent")," Vallentin said. "It has some of the same styles, with roots in rock music but including various other styles as well."
"Rent" fans may be interested to know that Larson worked on this play first. When listening to the music, according to Vallentin, they might notice the seeds of a style that will further develop in the tunes of "Rent."
While it is similar to "Rent" stylistically, it has what Vallentin calls a "lighter feel."
"It's not as heavy," he said. "It does deal with emotional issues, but it's not as in-your-face."
The show also doesn't have as much R-rated material as "Rent," although there is some bad language (including the f-word) and a somewhat provocative dance number.
Pictured are Amanda Taylor and Drew Williams, the actors in the roles of Susan (Jon's girlfriend) and Jon, an aspiring Broadway playwright
A little information on the story: Jon is approaching his 30th birthday, and he is having what Williams calls a "pre-midlife crisis."
"His career isn't where he thought it would be by the time he turned 30," Bailey said.
At this pivotal point in his life, Jon has to decide whether he wants to continue to pursue a career in musical theater, which is his true passion, or choose a safer and more realistic path in life, as Susan and Michael, Jon's friend since childhood and an executive in corporate America, advise.
"He doesn't want to give up his dream," Bailey said.
Williams said he sees a couple of similarities between himself and the character he's portraying.
Like Jon, Williams is also about to turn 30.
"Also, he has a real passion for music," he said, "like I do. So I can kind of relate."
"Tick, Tick...Boom!" will have four performances: this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and then a matinée at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.showtix4u.com (through the Batavia Players, Inc). People can also buy tickets at the door.
At this point, there are still tickets available for all four shows. The Harvester 56 theater seats about 110 people.
Submitted by Gretel Kauffman on April 7, 2011 - 12:18pm
This Thursday, the London smash hit "Blood Brothers" will make its local debut at Genesee Community College.
The show, written by Willy Russell, is based on the 1844 novella "The Corsican Brothers." It has won multiple awards, including the 1983 Olivier Award for Best New Musical and a Tony nomination.
The current West End revival is one of the longest-running productions in history due to its nearly 20-plus year run. But despite its immense popularity across the pond, the musical is rarely heard of, much less performed, in America.
Director Maryanne Arena says its obscurity is one of the reasons she chose "Blood Brothers."
"I like doing shows that not everyone does," she said.
The story centers around two twins who are tragically separated at birth, grow up in radically different environments, and become best friends, all the while unaware of their biological connection.
It is a musical, with songs that Arena describes as "a cross between '70s pop and Broadway tunes." Much of the score is accentuated with dancing by Tara Pocock and Leland Fuller.
The director chose the show for both personal and professional reasons.
"The show has always been very close to me because I'm adopted, and it's partially about adoption. I think the topic of nature versus nurture is very interesting: are the genes our parents gave us ones we can't get away from, or is it a matter of our environment and how we're raised? And also, I always pick a show where the kids learn new things. In this case, it was the dialect."
Said dialect is a British accent -- but not the traditional posh one that first comes to mind when thinking of the English. The actors had to learn to talk with a "Northern British" accent, which Arena describes as having stronger Irish and Scottish undertones.
Cal Young, the first-year theater major portraying the twin Mickey, says that prior to the auditions he hadn't ever heard of "Blood Brothers."
"At first I was a little skeptical," he says. "But after a while I began to really relate to the characters emotionally."
Mickey's other half, Edward, is played by Anthony Shoap. Like his fictional twin, he is also a first-year theater major, and also wasn't familiar with the show before this production.
"At first I didn't really like it," he admits. "But I've come to like it a lot more in these past few weeks now that I'm starting to understand all the underlying subtext better."
The story is partially told by a narrator, who is alternately played by Alex Grayson and Patrick Dodge. The role of Mrs. Johnstone, the real biological mother of the twins, is also double-cast with Kiley Conklin and Emily Jones.
"I really couldn't make up my mind," Arena explains of her decision to double-cast the roles. "They all auditioned equally well."
All four of the actors agree that sharing a role improves their performance.
"It lightens the load," Grayson explains. "It's nice having someone else there to check your performance and help you out."
Although they may be playing the same parts, each of the double-cast actors has created a slightly different character.
"It's hard to justify the narrator," Dodge says. "He isn't exactly a person. He's sort of a devil-type character. It's interesting to see how Alex interprets the character -- he's not as evil and devilish."
Jones agrees that although being double-cast is "definitely a challenge," it's "something to learn from. We do things differently and have different takes on the show."
For the performances, when they are not playing their main parts, the other narrator and the other Mrs. Johnstone are in the background chorus.
"Going back and forth gives you so much energy," Conklin says. "When I'm in the chorus playing a little kid, I get so much energy, and that gives more energy to my performance when I'm playing Mrs. Johnstone."
Ian Gayford is the musical director and Patti Simmons is the choreographer.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 7-9 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) and there is a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 10. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, students, and GCC faculty/staff, and $3 for GCC students with a valid ID. There is a $2 discount for GCC alums with Alum ID.
Tickets can be reserved in advance or puchased at the door. For more information or to make reservations, contact the GCC Box Office by e-mail (BOXOFFICE@genesee.edu) or telephone (345-6814). The box office is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and also one hour prior to a performance.