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




Thursday, October 2, 2014

DELAWARE COUNTY COUNCIL GIVES MEDIA THEATRE $125,000 GRANT

During the opening night of "The Addams Family" Delaware County Council presented The Media Theatre with a wonderful gift: $125,000. The grant is a community development grant which is a 'bricks and mortar' support grant for the historic building. 

The gift, presented by County Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle, allows Media Music Theatre Company to thrive as Delaware County's only professional music theatre organization in the historic location on State Street.
Delaware County Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle presents a $125,000 check to The Media Theatre prior to a recent performance of "The Addams Family". Accepting the check are Media Music Theatre Company Board Chair Perry Ecksel and Director of Development Austin Connors.

"We are honored to assist the theatre company with this gift," McGarrigle said. "We look forward to many more wonderful productions here. It's often referred to as The Miracle on State Street due to its many opportunities offered for young people through education and the award-winning professional musical theatre produced here."

The gift was accepted by Media Music Theatre Company's Board of Directors Chairman Perry Ecksel and Director of Development Austin Connors.

The opening night of "The Addams Family" held Friday September 26 had an audience of approximately 400 theatre patrons and guests enjoying the region's premiere of the Broadway hit musical comedy. They applauded enthusiastically when the check was presented prior to the show.

"The Addams Family" is on stage at The Media Theatre through November 2. For tickets call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

SAIL INTO A NEW 'LITTLE MERMAID' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE THRU MAY 20

There's a new musical version of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" at The Media Theatre every weekend throug...