Friday, December 19, 2014

MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST OF 'MIRACLE WORKER'

The classic play by William Gibson which focuses on the stormy relationship between Helen Keller and her governess Annie Sullivan is at The Media Theatre January 28-February 15. It's "The Miracle Worker", which follows Media's new tradition of placing a classic play within its annual Broadway Series schedule.

The tradition started last winter with the highly acclaimed "Diary of Anne Frank" and, again, Artistic Director Jesse Cline has chosen a play which has much educational and historic value. Cline will also direct "The Miracle Worker", another fact-based drama.



Helen Keller was rendered blind, deaf, and mute due to a childhood illness. William Gibson's play highlights the struggles of her family to control her wild behavior and their subsequent hiring of teacher Sullivan in an effort to assist their cause.The moving, triumphant show is a testament to the power of the human spirit as it highlights the struggle to be heard without speaking, to find one's way without sight, and to function without the ability to hear. 

With several 10am performances scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday specifically for school students, The Media Theatre will highlight certain educational aspects of the production. 

A professional cast of Actors Equity Association union members will bring the show to life, led by Lexi Gwynn as Helen Keller and Jennie Eisenhower as Annie Sullivan. Lexi Gwynn is a New School student at The Media Theatre who becomes a union member with this production. Eisenhower, well known to Media audiences and throughout the Philadelphia region, is a Barrymore Award winner.
JENNIE EISENHOWER AS ANNIE SULLIVAN AND LEXI GWYNN AS HELEN KELLER IN THE MEDIA THEATRE'S 'MIRACLE WORKER'
Keller's parents will be played by Andrew Criss, making his Media Theatre debut, and Hillary Parker, seen previously in "Dr. Dolittle". Alex Kryger is James, Helen's teenage half-brother who holds resentment toward her.

Audience favorite Nicholas Saverine is Agnanos, the headmaster for the Perkins Institute of the Blind. Maria Wolf plays Aunt Eve, and Kelly Briggs portrays a Doctor.

Viney, a servant in the Keller household, is played by Tamara Woods with her young Kennedy Ndiaye and Nasir Turner as her children. 

Other blind children in the cast are portrayed by Josh Atkinson, Katheryn Cooper, Katie Davis, Anna Rosenthal, Brea Turner, Mary Kate Vink, and Carter Weiss--all students at The Media Theatre.

For tickets to "The Miracle Worker" call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. The theatre has a Family Pack available (four tickets for $100). The show plays January 28 to February 15.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES 'SNOW WHITE' CAST

One of the most popular children's stories of all time is coming to The Media Theatre each weekend from January 24 to February 22. It's "Snow White", brought to life by a cast of young people who are studying at Delaware County's only professional music theatre. They are participants in The New School, which is the theatre's conservatory-style music theatre education program, or Acting Classes.

The entire cast for this unique production is made up of students who have a true passion for being on the stage, utilizing their talents to share this popular fairy tale with audiences. "Snow White" has a particular appeal to the very young, and having it represented by youth actors will only add to its message of goodness winning out over evil and jealousy. 
In this version of "Snow White", a Wicked Queen hears from her mirrors of the beautiful young lady living in the forest with seven little people. The humorous clan do everything in their power to protect Snow White from the Wicked Queen. Along the way, there is a Fox, a Huntsman, and a Handsome Prince to delight audiences. The Wicked Queen also disguises herself as a younger version of herself and an old woman to trick Snow White.

The one hour show plays Saturday mornings at 11am and Sundays at Noon January 24 through February 22 and is perfect for ages 4 and up. For tickets or information call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

The "Snow White" actors are 'double cast', so that the young actors each have a chance to shine.

The "Snow White" cast is:


SNOW WHITE…..VERONICA GARRUBBO/ MOLLY SORENSEN

WICKED QUEEN….HANNA MURPHY/ EMILY SMITH

The Mirror is played by three actors at a time.
The Queen will be surrounded by Mirrors.
They’ll each state a section of each thing the Mirror says:
*MIRROR 1…JILLIAN DONOHUE/ LAUREN POLTROCK
*MIRROR 2... ANNA BOZZI/ SOPHIE LEONE 
*MIRROR 3....CASSIDY ELSE/ SARAH SHOUMER

CAT… YASMIN AHMED/ VIOLET WILEY

PRINCE…JUSTIN FITZGERALD/ MICHAEL WELLS

HUNTSMAN….LARS HALLDIN/ SUNNY TAGHAVI

VIXEN (A Fox)….ALEXSA MCKEOWN/ BRYNNE WASHBOURNE 

ESMERELDA (Younger disguise of Queen)….ELAINA FITZGERALD/ BRIANNA JAFFE

CRONE (Older disguise of Queen)….KATIE DAVIS/ MARY LAYNE

THE DWARFS:
SARGE…………..HOLDEN DUBACH/ JAYDIN KNIGHT
GABBY…………..SAMUEL COOPER/ BEN PEDERSEN
GLOOMY GUS….ZACHARY DIVITO/ DILLON KOSTIUK
TICKLISH……….MIRANDA FITZGERALD/ BRIDGET HENRY
SPRITELY………ALEX POLLARD/ CARTER WEISS
SNORE………….SEAN O’ NEILL/ TIM WOODWARD
SLOWPOKE……SEBASTIAN FITZGERALD/ AIDAN CRANE

Dwarf Understudies: Brynne Washbourne/ Sarah Shoumer/ Alesxa McKeown

Understudy to Queen, Crone…Rachael McCabe

When not playing the role listed, all actors will be a part of the Ensemble. 




Wednesday, December 10, 2014

THE MEDIA THEATRE HAS WINTER ACTING CLASSES STARTING IN JANUARY

It's a New Year soon, and time to register for the Winter Session of Acting Classes at The Media Theatre. They begin again the weekend of January 10 and are produced and supervised by Media Music Theatre Company, the professional music theatre organization which is housed at The Media Theatre. The classes offer a semester of professional training for those just beginning or wishing to further their education. A new class for parents of students will be instructed by Jesse Cline, Artistic Director, and Dance Classes will begin soon.
Register Now for Media Theatre Acting Classes: www.mediatheatre.org
All acting classes are based on The Meisner Technique which follows the basic structure that ‘Acting is living as truthfully as one can under an imaginary circumstance.’ Within this curriculum there is no ‘character’ or pretense and actors are placed in an environment which allows them to be who they are, building self-awareness and self-esteem within their own unique personality. The idea of ‘copying’ someone else’s performance is pushed aside as actors create from within themselves to fulfill the required role they may be asked to portray.

The Media Theatre will continue to offer three levels of classes for children. The popular Children’s Class, for ages 6 and up, will meet on Saturday mornings at 9am beginning January 10 and continuing for ten weeks. This 10-week one-hour course is primarily for ages 6 to 9 who are just starting out or who have less stage experience than others in their age group. It features exercises for building basic speaking skills on stage (volume, diction), learning stage directions, and developing self-esteem. Fun improvisational style exercises are also utilized to build the concept that acting requires team work on occasion.

Level Two for Children will meet Tuesdays at 4:30 beginning January 13. This 10-week one-hour course is appropriate for children ages 8 to 11, or for those who have some onstage experience. The focus is primarily on student scene work to strengthen beginning acting skills. Theatre exercises are also implemented to enhance stage focus and discipline. Diction is a big part of this class, as well as following direction with one-on-one instruction within a group environment. 

Younger children, aged 4, 5, and 6, can get into the act with the Introduction to Theatre Class on Tuesdays at 3:30. The one hour weekly course is specifically designed for the youngest age group that has an interest in performing. The young children will learn by ‘Acting Out’ by 'talking to' a stuffed animal in which the topic of real conversation is approached. They may also be asked to act as if they are ‘walking in the rain or snow’ or to ‘show us how you deal with a pet dog or cat’. The class will instill within the students that being who they are is important and following instructions will be a major focus. Imagination will be a large ingredient of the Introduction to Theatre Class.

The Teen Acting Class will continue on Sundays at 6pm starting January 11. This eight-week 90-minute class is ideal for ages 12 and up. Each student is given one-on-one instruction within a group environment.  Focus is on stage skills, following direction,  scripted scene work with partners, and monologues. As the class progresses, the scene work or monologue is enhanced through continued study and performance. Improvisational Scene Work is also explored, and becomes a major part of the focus as the weeks progress, enhancing the ability to 'react quickly as you would without over-analyzing'.

The Adult Class will meet Sundays at 7:30. This eight-week 90-minute class is designed for the adult (18 and up) who wishes to explore acting for the first time or who wants to strengthen their stage skills. Scene study with partners and monologues are the focus.

Jesse Cline, the Artistic Director for the theatre company, will have a new class on Sundays at 6pm. The class is specifically designed for parents who currently have students enrolled at the theatre and is entitled "The Truth Is Everything". Cline will instruct the parents in the Meisner Technique so that they will be able to have a larger understanding of what their child or teen is experiencing in other classes. Cline will also continue to instruct and oversee the next semester of The New School, The Media Theatre's conservatory-style music theatre education program which focuses on acting, vocal music, and dance. There is availability for three students in the 2015 Winter New School. Call for interview or audition.

The other classes require no audition or interview. Roger Ricker, a stage veteran of over 85 productions and concerts at The Media Theatre, instructs the Children and Teen Classes. Tim Haney, who has been with the theatre since 1997, instructs the Adult Class.

The Media Theatre will begin offering Dance Classes in 2015. These classes, and all others, will take place at their new Education and Dance Center on State Street. Please call for information.

To register for the Acting Classes, please call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. Email rer764@gmail.com with specific questions or request information.

Monday, December 1, 2014

"LES MISERABLES" EXTENDED THRU JAN. 18 AT MEDIA THEATRE

The barricades are bringing them in!

The Media Theatre's production of "Les Miserables" is so popular and critically acclaimed its run is being extended by one week. The show will now play through January 18 rather than its original closing date of January 11.

The extra week will not have a Wednesday matinee, but will have 7pm evening performances on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night as well as afternoon matinees on Saturday and Sunday.
John Smitherman as Valjean with James Zannelli as Javert in The Media Theatre's "Les Miserables" Now Thru Jan. 18
The cast has been widely acclaimed with rave reviews from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Broadway World, Delco News Network, Delaware County Daily Times, Theatre Sensation, and Ticket Magazine. The Inquirer said the show was "Spectacularly Sung" while Philadelphia's renowned theatre critic Neal Zoren called it a "Triumphant Production". Audiences have agreed, with consistent standing ovations and record ticket sales for The Media Theatre's holiday production.

Jesse Cline, who is also receiving acclaim, directed the show set during the backdrop of revolutionary France during which Jean Valjean is persistently pursued by inspector Javert. The men, who are eternally bonded by being adversaries, begin to question their very existence while deciphering what it is that defines them.

"Les Miserables" is the world's most popular musical, with more tickets sold around the globe than any other stage show. It's based on Victor Hugo's legendary novel. The iconic score includes songs such as "Do You Hear The People Sing?", "On My Own", and "I Dreamed A Dream".

For tickets, visit mediatheatre.org or call 610-891-0100.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

FIRST LOOK PICS...LES MISERABLES at Media Theatre

DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING?
You will when you see the moving and memorable production "Les Miserables" at The Media Theatre, now on stage through January 11.

It's based on Victor Hugo's legendary novel focusing on Jean Valjean, the French peasant who steals a loaf of bread and spends almost two decades in prison. He is tracked down obsessively by police inspector Javert after he breaks his parole. The Tony winner has one iconic anthem after another in the Claude-Michel Schonberg score with lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. Set during the backdrop of revolutionary France, the musical reaches beyond the narrative of its story into the hearts of theatre-goers with titles such as "I Dreamed A Dream", "Castle On A Cloud", and "On My Own".

Here are FIRST LOOK PICS from the production, directed by Jesse Cline.
Get tickets at 610-891-0100 or www.mediatheatre.org

Photos by Maura McConnell


JOHN SMITHERMAN AS VALJEAN AND JAMES ZANNELLI AS JAVERT
SEAN THOMPSON AS ENJOLRAS WITH ENSEMBLE
ELISA MATTHEWS AS FANTINE WITH JOHN SMITHERMAN AS VALJEAN
SUSAN WEFEL AS MADAME THENARDIER WITH CAST
LAUREN CUPPLES AS COSETTE
KELLY BRIGGS AS THENARDIER WITH CAST
LES MISERABLES. The Media Theatre. Now through January 11. www.mediatheatre.org

Thursday, November 20, 2014

MEDIA THEATRE GETS 37 BROADWAY WORLD NOMINATIONS FOR 2014 'BEST OF PHILLY THEATRE'

After winning a total of 18 Broadway World Awards in 2012 and 2013, including Best Theatre Company, The Media Theatre received a total of 37 nominations for "Best of Philadelphia Theatre 2014", including Best Musical, Best Play, and Best Theatre Company in the region. 

For the first time, The Media Theatre was eligible in the Best Play category due to its critically acclaimed production of the classic "Diary of Anne Frank", which received a total of 9 nominations.

"The Addams Family", a Philadelphia regional professional premiere, received a total of 15 nominations, while "Sunset Boulevard" received a total of 7. "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" has a total of 3.

In the Best Theatre Company category, The Media Theatre is nominated 2 times for two specific productions.

Artistic Director Jesse Cline has two nominations as Best Director ("Sunset Boulevard" and "Diary of Anne Frank"), as does actor Nicholas Saverine (competing against himself with two different roles). Dann Dunn is nominated three times for his work at The Media Theatre (Best Choreographer twice and Best Director). 

The voting is open to the theatre community locally, nationally, and internationally as well as to the general public. To vote, visit broadwayworld.com/philadelphia

Nominations have been announced worldwide by the esteemed online theatrical media outlet, which gives an up-to-date daily journal of the latest theatrical productions, happenings, and events from Broadway to London's West End. 

The Media Theatre will be the definite recipient of at least one of the categories--Best Special Event. The only two nominated shows in that category are both Media Theatre productions: "Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark" and "What We Do Concert Featuring Christine Andreas".

The Media Theatre's 2014 Broadway World Nominations are listed below:

Best Theatre Company: The Media Theatre (twice nominated for two different shows)

Best Actor in A Musical: Jeffrey Coon (Gomez), "The Addams Family"; Kyle Lowder (Joseph), "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

Best Actress in A Musical: Ann Crumb (Norma Desmond), "Sunset Boulevard"; Jennie Eisenhower (Morticia), "The Addams Family"

Supporting Actor in A Musical: Nicholas Saverine (Fester), "The Addams Family"; Nicholas Saverine (Max), "Sunset Boulevard"; JD Triolo (Pugsley), "The Addams Family"; Bill Vargus (Lurch), "The Addams Family"

Supporting Actress in A Musical: Lauren Cupples (Wednesday), "The Addams Family"; Krissy Fraelich, (Alice) "The Addams Family"; Elisa Matthews (Ellen), "Sunset Boulevard"; Susan Wefel (Grandma), "The Addams Family"

Best Director of A Musical: Jesse Cline, "Sunset Boulevard"; Dann Dunn, "The Addams Family"

Best Musical: "The Addams Family"; "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"; "Sunset Boulevard" 

Best Costume Design: K. Whitney Rogers, "Diary of Anne Frank"; Xiachen Zhou, "The Addams Family"

Best Choreography: Dann Dunn has two separate nominations. They are for his work on "The Addams Family" and "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

Best Ensemble of A Musical: "The Addams Family" and "Sunset Boulevard".

Best Set Design: Matthew Miller, "Diary of Anne Frank"

Best Sound Design: Carl Park, "The Addams Family"

Best Lighting: Troy Martin O' Shia--two nominations: "The Addams Family", "Diary of Anne Frank"

Best Music Direction: Scott Anthony, "Sunset Boulevard"; Christopher Ertelt, "The Addams Family"

Best Play: "Diary of Anne Frank"

Best Direction of A Play: Jesse Cline, "Diary of Anne Frank"

Best Actor in A Play: Paul Dake (Otto), "Diary of Anne Frank"

Best Actress in A Play: Anastasia Korbal (Anne Frank), "Diary of Anne Frank"

Supporting Actor in A Play: P. Brendan Mulvey (Dussell), "Diary of Anne Frank"

Ensemble of A Play: "Diary of Anne Frank"


Voting is open now through the end of December.

Visit broadwayworld.com/philadelphia to show your support of The Media Theatre and vote!  VOTING LINK HERE

For tickets to the current production: "Les Miserables" which runs through January 11, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

THE MEDIA THEATRE IS BROADWAY RIGHT HERE IN DELAWARE COUNTY

Many patrons have no idea who they are actually seeing on our stage, even though they may quickly glance at an actor’s bio in the playbill. And then there are those actors who create an indelible impression when seen here in a musical, but who leave Media and the surrounding region after the show ends its run…what happens to those talented singers and actors?

Interestingly, as passers-by on State Street drive past the Media Theatre marquee or walk underneath it, the thought rarely occurs that—aside from instantly recognizable names like Ann Crumb, Justin Guarini, Andrea McArdle, and Wanda Sykes—there are many actors you find regularly in television, film, and the Broadway stage who are entertaining thousands of people annually in the heart of Delaware County.

For instance, take a look at the cast of the Dolly Parton/Queen Latifah musical comedy film “Joyful Noise”. Right there on the big screen, and now seen on millions of DVD players around the world sharing the scenes with two iconic female talents is none other than Andy Karl in the role of Caleb. He is now a name audiences around the USA are becoming very familiar with. Karl is very familiar with The Media Theatre and the Media Borough ever since he portrayed the leading 'dual' role of "Jekyll and Hyde" in Frank Wildhorn’s musical version of that split personality tale in 2002—right here on State Street.
Audiences reacted to Karl’s brilliant portrayal of Jekyll/Hyde by giving him standing ovations at each and every performance during curtain call. Following his memorable run here in 2002, Karl went on to appear in Legally Blonde on The Great White Way as the UPS Guy. He has also appeared in Wicked, and Dolly Parton’s Nine to Five musical. He’s a three-time Tony nominee for his bravura lead performances in Broadway's "Groundhog Day: The Musical" (currently running) and in the short-lived (but wonderful) Rocky musical on Broadway, and as a featured actor for his 2015 performance in On The Twentieth Century in which he shared the stage with Kristin Chenoweth.
Now that’s the type of talent you may not realize is on The Media Theatre stage.
Phillip Boykin is another Tony nominee our audiences enjoy seeing. In The Media Theatre’s Show Boat four seasons ago, Boykin did more than bring the house down with his portrayal of Joe and his interpretation of the classic show tune "Ol’ Man River"—He actually shook the rafters with his booming, powerful baritone. Boykin graced the entire full page of The New York Times entertainment section as he appeared in the Broadway revival of Porgy and Bess. The New York Times raved about his interpretation of the role of Crown, in which he shared the stage with four-time Tony winning Broadway icon Audra McDonald. Boykin received his first Tony nomination for his performance. He was in the hit Broadway musical revival, On The Town, as well as other productions in NYC.
See what we’re getting at? You pass The Media Theatre dozens of times a year and perhaps don’t realize what is happening inside on the stage. Jesse Cline, artistic director for the theatre, certainly has quite a knack for casting. The actors are members of the Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. These are not people who perform as a "hobby" --although there is nothing wrong with that, it’s a choice, just like the choice made to pursue a professional career and make a name for yourself doing what you love to do.
Others who have done well before, after, or during appearing on Media’s only professional music theatre stage are:
Ian Kahn, who delighted audiences five years ago as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady (also directed by Cline). He went on to Broadway in Enron: The Musical and to living rooms across the country in the ABC hit Castle. He now has a lead role on the AMC cable network program Turn, recently renewed for its fourth season.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Now there’s a name for you. Cast by Cline when he was only 22 in a production of Hello Dolly as Barnaby, and seen by over 8,000 people here in Media, this young man went on to several Emmy nominations and two SAG Award wins for his work in the mega-popular ABC situation comedy Modern Family. He plays Mitchell Pritchett. (Those of us who were here at the time remember, when working with this young man years ago Jesse Cline stating quite matter-of-factly, "This guy is a talent to watch. He is going to be big." Sure enough, with Modern Family winning every award imaginable and being seen by millions of people weekly, those were words to carve into stone. And he was our Barnaby…just a kid then.)
Barely a week has gone by in the past few years when a Media Theatre stage alum is not performing on Broadway. There’s Kyle Barrish, who was in our production of Titanic, who portrayed Raoul in the long-running Phantom of The Opera; Conrad Ricamora who is in the current Broadway revival of The King and I; Joseph Spieldenner, seen here in Oklahoma! is in Broadway's Les Miserables; and The Media Theatre’s very own New School student Beada Briglia, who performed in A Christmas Story at Madison Square Garden during its 2013 run and also in Matilda on The Great White Way. Currently, Sean Thompson shares the stage with Glenn Close in the revival of "Sunset Boulevard" on Broadway. Thompson has been seen here at The Media in half a dozen productions. 

Josh Young, who trained here as a youth, was seen on Broadway with the much buzzed about and anticipated musical Amazing Grace.
This article names  just a small sampling of successful professional actors who have walked in and out of The Media Theatre for weeks at a time as they rehearsed and performed here. They have, most likely, shopped and dined at Media’s businesses and restaurants while in town and you may have seen them out there in the borough somewhere, casually strolling along the sidewalk or passing you in their car. 
So the next time you see our marquee and notice a show title that intrigues you, the next big Broadway star, film icon, or award-winning television personality could be right here in Media, near you, or perhaps dining at a table next to you here in town or locally. Or perhaps someone who already has a long list of Broadway credits is currently performing here. It’s right here at The Media Theatre. 
We are Delaware County's only professional music theatre, bringing you the finest talent Philadelphia and New York City have to offer with each season of shows. (Well known Philadelphia actors who have made a career for themselves as professionals in our region that are Media Theatre Stage Alumni include Jennie Eisenhower, Krissy Fraelich, Lauren Cupples, Dann Dunn, Elisa Matthews, and Jeff Coon. Coon, in fact, started his professional Philly career right here at The Media Theatre 20 years ago in a production of "Phantom" directed by Jesse Cline, who spotted the then very young actor's definitive talent.)
For upcoming performances, visit mediatheatre.org.



Friday, November 7, 2014

MEDIA THEATRE DEDICATES NOV. 23 PERFORMANCE OF 'LES MISERABLES' TO JACINDA MILLER

The Media Theatre’s performance of “Les Miserables” on Sunday November 23 at 3pm is dedicated to the memory of Jacinda Marie Miller of Coatesville.

Jacinda Marie Miller was a fitness instructor and certified personal trainer at Brandywine YMCA in Chester County, and the mother of two teenage sons. Her dedication to her children and community was well beyond typical. She always had a warm smile and kind words, and an amazing sense of humor. The YMCA staff and members loved her immensely. She was an active supporter of the Coatesville Red Raiders football team (high school), for which her oldest son played. She was a beautiful, giving, vibrant woman who left us way too soon.
Jacinda Miller
On Monday, November 3, 2014, her ex boyfriend waited for her in the parking lot of Brandywine YMCA. As she got out of her car, the man opened fire and fatally wounded her. As police arrived on the scene, he committed suicide.

The dedication was proposed to The Media Theatre by a theatre patron, Gayle Musselman. Gayle had already purchased 17 tickets with her group of friends to see “Les Miserables” on Sunday November 23 before the tragedy and suggested that the show be dedicated on that day to Jacinda, who was a friend of the group. The group's new official name is Friends Of Jacinda Miller. 

Gayle Musselman said, “She will be deeply missed by everyone whose lives she touched. We love you, Jacinda! Your beautiful memory will live on.”

For information, call 610-891-0100


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

YOUTH ENSEMBLE JOINS PROFESSIONAL CAST OF MEDIA THEATRE'S 'LES MISERABLES'

The Media Theatre presents Delaware County's first full professional production of the classic Broadway hit musical "Les Miserables" November 19 to January 11. It is produced by Media Music Theatre Company and, as with all of the company's Broadway Series shows, features a cast of professional actors who are members of Actors Equity Association, the Union of professional actors based in New York City. 

With "Les Miserables", a talented youth ensemble will join the professional actors on stage. Seven local and regional junior high and high school students who have a shared interest in following in the footsteps of the professional actors they'll be working with will add their powerful vocals to the classic score during the show's run.
The "Les Miserables" Youth Ensemble is, from left to right: Julia Seeley, Thomas Lock, Katie Davis, Rhiannon Charney, JD Triolo. Seated are Michael Wells and Kurt Hartwell. 
 "Les Miserables" is based on Victor Hugo's legendary novel focusing on Jean Valjean, the French peasant who steals a loaf of bread and spends almost two decades in prison. He is tracked down obsessively by police inspector Javert after he breaks his parole. The Tony winning show has one iconic anthem after another in the Claude-Michel Schonberg score with lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. While set during the backdrop of revolutionary France, the musical reaches beyond the narrative of its story into the hearts of theatre-goers with titles such as "I Dreamed A Dream", "Castle On A Cloud", and "On My Own".

Boothwyn's Rhiannon Charney, who attends Chichester High School, is a member of the "Les Miserables" Youth Ensemble. She has been involved at The Media Theatre previously in the summer "Vocalist" contest for the past three years and was a student of its Teen Acting class as well. This is her first show with Media Music Theatre Company.

Katie Davis, of Bryn Mawr, is also one of the seven students who comprise the youth ensemble. Last season, she was in the cast of "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Dr. Dolittle" two years ago. Also seen frequently in the Children's Series shows, she's a member of The New School at the theatre, which is a conservatory-style music theatre education program. 

Kurt Hartwell, of New Jersey, makes his debut with Delaware County's only professional music theatre. He is home schooled and was also a "Vocalist" contestant.

Malvern is represented by Great Valley High School student Thomas Lock. The young actor and singer was 2014's second place winner in the summer "Vocalist" contest. During the event held last July and August, he was told on stage in front of a packed house by the theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline that he would be cast in "Les Miserables". 

Bryn Mawr's Julia Seeley, who attends Villanova's Academy of Notre Dame, makes her Media Theatre debut with this production. 

Two young men who are often on The Media Theatre stage, JD Triolo and Michael Wells, join "Les Miserables" Youth Ensemble as well. Triolo, a West Chester resident who attends Malvern Prep, has been involved with The Media Theatre for several years with acting classes, summer camp, and New School. He's also been on stage with such legendary names as Andrea McArdle in "Mame" and recently was seen as Pugsley in "Addams Family" at Media.

Michael Wells is a Springfield resident and attends E. T. Richardson Middle School. Like Triolo, he's been in classes, New School, and summer camp at Media and has had principle roles in shows such as "Dr. Dolittle", "Annie Jr", and "The Wizard of OZ Jr."

 Jesse Cline, who is directing "Les Miserables", has high praise for the youth ensemble. "These are young actors with a real sense for what it takes to become a true professional," he said. "They have the opportunity with this production to learn from the professionals who will share the stage with them during the rehearsal and performance process. It's the best type of training."

For continued training and opportunities for youth, The Media Theatre will be making announcements soon about its new School and Dance Center. The Center is at State and Monroe Streets in Media, next to the theatre. 

Call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org for tickets to "Les Miserables" which runs November 19-January 11. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

ANNIE JR IS AT MEDIA THEATRE ....SEE SHOW PICS!

The sun will come out tomorrow! That's what Annie sings and what audiences will walk away humming when they see "Annie Jr" at The Media Theatre. It's a special one-hour version of the legendary Broadway musical for youth audiences. A cast of young actors brings the show to life along with guest adult actors now through December 28.
CASSIDY ELSE AS ANNIE AND HENRY O' NEILL AS DADDY WARBUCKS
"Annie Jr" and the gang of singing orphans get Miss Hannigan riled up on Saturday mornings at 11am and Sundays at Noon. Daddy Warbucks helps to save the day after a conniving Rooster Hannigan and his friend Lily pretend to be Annie's parents. 

There are two talented young actresses playing Annie in this production. They alternate playing the chipper hopeful little girl each weekend. Cassidy Else and Amanda Treston, both New School students at Media Theatre who wowed audiences with their powerhouse performances during "The Vocalist Junior" this past summer, play the iconic role. Each of them get to sing "Tomorrow" and "Maybe" as audiences watch Annie escape the orphanage and hope for a brighter day.
AMANDA TRESTON, WHO ALSO PORTRAYS THE ROLE OF ANNIE
Henry O' Neill, a Delaware County policeman from Ridley Township, portrays Daddy Warbucks. This is O' Neill's first time on stage in a lead role, although he made his stage debut last winter in "Diary of Anne Frank" at The Media Theatre. He follows in his son Sean's footsteps, as his son has been seen in several Media Theatre productions. 
The cast of ANNIE JR
Aimee Theresa, an actress from the West Chester region, is Miss Hannigan. She's been featured in several award-winning films at the Philadelphia Film Festival and was seen at Media in "Death on the 16th Fairway", a world premiere play, in 2013.
Annie with her dog Sandy (Sebastian Fitzgerald)
"Annie Jr" follows the premise of the original two-act Broadway musical, but is condensed into an hour for young attention spans. The score is mostly intact, and scenes such as those dealing with President Roosevelt's cabinet have been cut from the "Jr" version. FDR does make an appearance, however, during the finale.

For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

The cast of "Annie Jr" at The Media Theatre is:
                       Annie….Cassidy Else / Amanda Treston 

                                                 Orphans:
                                         Molly…Bridget Henry
                                        Kate….Alexsa McKeown
                                       Tessie….Kennedy Ndiaye
                                        Pepper…Mary Kate Vink
                                          July…Madilyn Gibbs
                                        Duffy….Elaina Fitzgerald 

                                  Miss Hannigan….Aimee Theresa
                                 Daddy Warbucks….Henry O’ Neill
                                    Grace Farrell….Shiron Denise 
                                        Rooster….Michael Wells
                                  Lily St. Regis….Veronica Garrubbo
                                     Star-To-Be….Molly Sorensen
                             Sandy, The Dog...Sebastian Fitzgerald
                                                    Servants:
                                            Drake…Lars Halldin
                                     Mrs. Greer….Rachel McCabe
                                      Mrs. Pugh…Sophia Leone
                                       Cecille…Molly Sorensen
                                      Annette…Jillian Donohue

             Bert Healy/ Sound Effects Man…Josh Atkinson/ Carter Weiss
             Bundles/ Louis Howe…Roger Ricker        FDR…Tim Haney 
             Apple Seller ….Mary Layne                        Dogcatcher ....Justin Fitzgerald
                                      Lt. Ward/ Man in NYC…Jaydin Knight
ENSEMBLE: All listed above and…Anna Bozzi, Scott Bradbury, Zachary Divito,  Miranda Fitzgerald, Sagan Ingram, Lauren Poltrock, Sarah Shoumer, Brynn Washbourne, Violet Wiley, Megan Winterbottom, Roya Wolcott




THE MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST OF 'HEATHERS, THE MUSICAL: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION"

The Media Theatre has "Heathers, The Musical: High School Edition" on stage this summer, every weekend in July. With a cast of ...