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Friday, February 27, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Le Roy students set to perform Shrek: The Musical

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, entertainment, Le Roy, theater

"Shrek: The Musical," based on the Dreamworks animated motion picture, is coming to Le Roy. Performances are at 7 p.m. March 5 and 6 and 4 p.m. March 7 at the Le Roy Junior Senior High School Auditorium. Tickets are $8 presale and $10 at the door.

The show is directed by Jacqueline McLean.

Photos from Thursday's rehearsal.

Friday, February 20, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Photos: ECS Drama Club performs CATS

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, elba, elba central schools, theater

The Elba Central School's Drama Club held a dress rehearsal Thrusday night for their performance of the hit Broadway musical "CATS."

A performance originally scheduled for tonight has been moved to 2 p.m. tomorrow. The cast will perform a second show at 7 p.m., tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 8:05 am

Batavia drama club marks 100th year of theater at school with Shakespeare

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, Batavia HS, theater

Theater-in-the-round, Shakespeare, celebrating 100 years of live stage performances at your school. These are all heady things to take on for a group of young thespians, but the Batavia High School Drama Club is pulling it all together nicely, says advisor Caryn Burke.

It was actually a student who suggested the club perform Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" this year after noticing the comedy was the first public stage performance by BHS students in 1914. Though none of the students had much experience with Shakespeare, they've all taken to it like sprites to pixie dust.

Burke admits she was a little apprehensive once it was settled that they would perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

The first step was for them just to get through a reading of the play.

"A lot of them had no idea how to read or even comprehend Shakespeare," Burke said. "Once they got it, they just ran with it. Once they understood what the show was and what all the dialogue meant and they had a good understanding of it they just took it from there."

The version the students will perform this Friday and Saturday is an adaption suitable for a high school performance by Ken Womble. None of the language is changed and the plot and themes remain the same, Burke said. It's just a slightly abridged version.

Even so, taking on Shakespeare, especially in the theater-in-the-round format Burke prefers for the winter show could be a bit daunting. She says the club has been able to remain focused on its primary goals.

"It's supposed to be fun," Burke said. "It's supposed to be educational, but there's a time and place for Shakespeare and that's not always necessarily in a high school drama club. The kids rose to the challenge."

The lead cast is Ross Chua, Andrea Gilebarto, Chelsea Jensen, Evan Bellavia, Lauren Dunn, Cara Ranalli, Alex Mott and Nick Piedmont.

Show times Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 each and only available at the door. Seating is limited to 100 patrons.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 2:23 pm

GCC's Children's Theatre ensemble to present traditional collection of Japanese stories

post by Billie Owens in GCC, theater

Press release:

Genesee Community College Forum Players Children's Theatre ensemble is pleased to present "Tales from Japan," a unique collection of traditional Japanese stories written by Patricia Montley and produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 25 - 26, with a Sunday Matinee at 2 p.m. on April 27 in the Stuart Steiner Theatre at GCC's Batavia Campus.

The traditional tales presented in the show bring to life subtle and surprising aspects of Japanese culture. Treasure is discovered in unexpected places, beauty is found in all aspects of nature and even the most unassuming characters are heroes. The exciting stories feature a variety of interesting characters from an old woman using her wisdom and wit to save a kingdom from tyranny to a young girl fighting a horrific undersea dragon and a peach boy defeating the village monster.

"These tales speak to all ages. Because they are folkloric, they speak meaningfully to the spectrum of emotions and human experience," said Director Norm Gayford, English professor at GCC.

Special performances of "Tales from Japan" are also scheduled for students from area schools. Batavia, LeRoy, Geneseo, Alexander, Perry and Pavilion, and also homeschool students are being bussed or transported to GCC's Stuart Steiner Theatre in Batavia on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, April 23 - 25, for two shows, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. each day. While most of these school group performances are sold out, there are still plenty of seats available at the public performances listed above.

"Our children's theatre program has always been very well received, and this year is no exception," said Maryanne Arena, director of Fine and Performing Arts at GCC. "Last year we performed for more than 2,000 people at our theatre and on location."

The cast of "Tales from Japan" includes: William Rupp, of Batavia, Kayli Wilson, of Canastota, Amber Lively, of Barker, Christian Hoffman, of Hilton, Kathleen Kwasniewski, of Alexander, Tony Heard, of Fillmore, Ryan McKenrick, of Rochester, Brianna Jones, of Batavia, David Wysocki, of Hamburg, Courtney Amesbury, of Bergen, Jerry Jordan, of the Bronx, Cameron Pollard, of Mount Vernon, Sania Hyatt, of NYC, Kaori Shinchi, of Japan, GCC paralegal instructor Karyn Bryson, and Jordan Griffiths, of Milford, who is also serving as stage manager for the show. Ali Scharvella of Copake Lake is assistant stage manager. William Rupp has served as Tai Chi and Katana trainer as well as mask maker, and Kaori Shinchi as language consultant.

Tickets for the show at the Batavia Campus in the Stuart Steiner Theatre are $8. GCC students with ID and children pay $3. Seniors and GCC faculty/staff are $5. GCC alumni receive $2 off with ID. Contact the Box Office for more information at (585) 345-6814 or [email protected].

For more information, visit http://www.genesee.edu/campuslife/arts/calendar.cfm.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 11:16 am

Le Roy students to perform 'Legally Blonde: The Musical'

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, entertainment, Le Roy, le roy hs, theater

About 150 students at Le Roy High Sschool are busy in rehearsals and stage set up for upcoming performances of "Legally Blonde: The Musical."

The show stars, above, John Snyder, Rachel Glucksam, Danny Weaver and Ashley Webb.

Performances are at 7 p.m. March 20, 21, and 22, in the auditorium at Le Roy HS. Tickets are available online at www.leroycsd.org and are $8 or $10 at the door.

The show is directed by Jacqueline McLean. She described the themes of the show as appropriate for school children in fourth grade and older.

"We picked the show because we had a lot of strong girls, but we also wanted to talk about some things in society that are a little controversial but important," McLean said. "The overlying theme of the show is the overall acceptance of people and people with differences. "

Friday, December 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm

BHS players perform 'The Brother's Grimm Spectaculathon'

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, Batavia HS, theater

Batavia High School opens its performance of "The Brother's Grimm Spectaculathon: Not your Disney fairy tales" at 7:30 tonight in the high school auditorium.

Tickets are $10 at the door ($8 for students).

There is a second performance at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow.

(submitted photos)

Friday, October 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm

GCASA program presents theater performance of 'Pass It On'

post by Daniel Crofts in announcements, GCASA, GCC, theater

Press release:

In celebration of Red Ribbon Week, Genesee County Drug Free Communities Coalition, a program of GCASA, presents the North American tour of the new hit stage play “Pass It On…An Evening with Bill W. & Dr. Bob.”  The production is a dramatization of the early history of Alcoholics Anonymous, delivered with a message of hope, help and the miracle of recovery.

This highly acclaimed two-man show comes to Batavia for a one-time engagement on Tuesday, October 29th at 6:30pm, at the Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee Community College.

This unique, inspirational and often hilarious theatrical production celebrates sobriety and serves as the centerpiece for an international recovery education project, raising awareness about the solution to North America’s number one public health issue – the disease of alcoholism and addiction.

“Pass It On…An Evening with Bill W. & Dr. Bob” has created excitement among audiences and recovery communities.  The show travels across the United States and Canada, appearing in such cities as Phoenix, Sacramento, Tucson, San Antonio, Delray, Ottawa, Little Rock and now Batavia.  Audiences experience an unforgettable evening of inspirational entertainment that aims to enhance recovery, inspire hearts and reach people who cannot be reached in any other way.

The show transports audiences to the late 1940s to meet Bill W. and Dr. Bob, the beloved cofounders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).  They tell their stories, share their experiences, strength and hope, and dramatize key events – such as their legendary drinking sprees and the extraordinary night they met in Akron, Ohio in 1935.

Audiences will be regaled with fascinating and hilarious yarns about the early history of AA – including the writing and publication of "The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous," the creation of the "12 Steps," and how the protagonists overcame tremendous obstacles as they struggled to develop their new recovery program and pass it on to others.

Reservations are suggested; call Diane at 815-1883 or e-mail [email protected]  A $5.00 donation is recommended.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Stage production of Charlotte's Web opens Friday at GCC

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, entertainment, Forum Players, GCC, theater

GCC's Forum Players Theater Company presents "Charlotte's Web" this week, opening at 7 p.m. Friday in the Stuart Steiner Theater.

Alumna Jaime Arena directs the production, which also shows at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

From a press release:

The show is being produced with the support of The BEST Center at GCC by special arrangement with the Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Ill. Originally published in 1952, E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” chronicles the life of Wilbur the pig  (played by 2010 GCC alumnus Robert Reiss). Born the runt of the litter, Wilbur is saved first by 8-year old Fern Arable (Brianna Jones of Batavia) who stops her father (played by GCC English Professor Norm Gayford) from killing the pig and nurses him to good health. In the barn at the Zuckerman farm, Wilbur encounters a spider named Charlotte (Margaret Gayford, of Warsaw High School), who spins magic when Wilbur’s life is again in danger. A timeless tale of bravery, selfless love, and the true meaning of friendship, the play is adapted for stage by Joseph Robinette.

Other cast members include: Kayli Wilson (Canastota) and Jordan Griffiths (Milford) as narrators; Sania Hyatt (New York City) as Templeton; Courtney Amesbury (Bergen) as Mrs. Arable; William Rupp (Batavia) as Avery; Christian Hoffman (Hilton) as Homer Zuckerman; Alayna Zimbrich (Hilton) as Edith Zuckerman; Tony E. Heard (Fillmore) as Lurvy; Emily Jones (Waterloo) as Goose; and Norm Gayford as Old Sheep. William Rupp, Norm Gayford and Emily Jones will play fairgoers while Brianna Jones, Tony E. Heard and William Rupp will appear as spiders.

All tickets for the show are $5. An autograph session will be held after each performance. Tickets can be purchased by cash, check or credit card from the GCC box office at (585) 345-6814 or [email protected].

Photos from today's dress rehearsal by Howard Owens.

Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm

GCC theatre troupe will take the show on the road - 'The Boy Who Tricked the Moon'

Press release:

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 [email protected].

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.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Le Roy High School presents 'Anything Goes'

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.

Supplemental Photos: Past Performances

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