Monday, March 31, 2014

MEDIA THEATRE DELCO IDOL SINGER AUDRA LYNN MCLAUGHLIN IS ON NBC'S 'THE VOICE'

Back when The Media Theatre's "The Vocalist" singing competition was titled "Delco Idol" a young singer from Glenolden, Audra Lynn McLaughlin, appeared in the summer contest. 

She was a contestant in the "Delco Idol" competition, working with Artistic Director Jesse Cline in 2007 and 2008. She was a finalist in "Idol" both years, wowing both the judges and the audience with her powerhouse vocals on pop and country hits.

Now, on NBC's hit Emmy-winning singing sensation which regularly beats "American Idol" in the ratings, McLaughlin had two of the judges--Adam Levine and Blake Shelton--turn around during the blind auditions on the show. She picked Shelton to be her coach as country music is her passion. 

UPDATE: MCLAUGHLIN WAS VOTED BY TV VIEWERS TO MOVE FORWARD AFTER HER FIRST 'LIVE' ROUND PERFORMANCE! She is now one of the top ten contestants.
McLaughlin won her battle rounds on the hit show, which was shown mid-March on NBC and moves on to the next round of the program--THE LIVE SHOWS! During the blind auditions, she had ALL FOUR judges turn around for her and now she moves into the LIVE SHOWS where America gets to vote for their favorite singers. Entertainment Weekly says she is #2 currently on the VOICE POWER LIST! Way to go, Audra! Show all the world what Glenolden and The Media Theatre has known for years!

Neal Zoren, a journalist for the Delaware County Daily Times, recently spoke to McLaughlin and wrote in his article which appeared Monday March 31:  "She said participating in the Media Theatre’s “Delco Idol” program taught her a lot about live performance and how to position oneself in a competitive situation."
Audra Lynn McLaughlin on NBC's THE VOICE
Zoren went on to write that "Audra said she is grateful to ...the Media Theatre, because during “Delco Idol,” Jesse Cline helped teach her stage presence and what she had to do to bring a song to an audience. She said this helps her on “The Voice.”"

The Media Theatre is very proud of Glenolden's former Delco Idol contestant and now "THE VOICE" charmer, AUDRA LYNN MCLAUGHLIN! If you would like to follow in her footsteps at The Media Theatre during the 2014 "Vocalist" contest, register online at this link: 
THE VOCALIST REGISTRATIONS-AUDITIONS ARE MAY 12-14

To read entire article in Delaware County Daily Times, READ ABOUT IT HERE

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

CAMP MEDIA THEATRE IS A REWARDING EXPERIENCE AT DELCO'S ONLY PROFESSIONAL MUSIC THEATRE

Camp Media Theatre is gearing up for its 14th summer with five two-week sessions focusing on acting, vocal music, and choreography.
The 2014 music theatre camp begins June 16.

At the end of each two week session, campers perform a show with their original scenes and popular Broadway songs.
“Camp Media Theatre is an extraordinary and exciting opportunity for young actors to study,” said Artistic Director Jesse Cline. “With daily classes in the three aspects of music theatre, campers study in a fun environment with professional directors, performers, and technicians. It’s a two-week day camp that is a rewarding experience at Delaware County's only professional music theatre.” 
Camp Media Theatre does not utilize scripted scenes that have been performed previously.
“The campers write and perform their own theatre piece,” Cline said. “The acting scenes are created through improvisational exercises in the acting class, and the show includes Broadway songs and choreographed movement as well. It adds up to an enriching summer program for the youth, and a very entertaining performance for family and friends at the end of each two-week session.” 
An Advertisement for Camp Media Theatre that appeared last summer

Each camp is designed for ages 5 and up, in three separate age groups (ages are split according to the demographics of each session). 
The 2014 Camp Media Theatre Themes are “Disney” June 16-27, “Dance” June 30-July 11, “Contemporary Broadway” July 14-25, “Classic Broadway” July 28-August 8, and “OZ!” August 11-22 (musical numbers from Wicked and The Wizard of OZ).
 The 2014 Camp will also include the “Fiddler on the Roof” youth experience. Campers will rehearse and perform the classic show in its entirety. The seven-week “Fiddler” camp includes three weeks of rehearsal and four weekends of performance. The “Fiddler” Camp meets at 6pm starting June 16, with performances for the general public starting July 11 and running through August 10.  
For more information regarding Camp Media Theatre or “Fiddler” camp experience, visit www.mediatheatre.org or call 610-891-0100.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE CONTINUES AT MEDIA THEATRE THRU MARCH 30

Roger Bean's jukebox musical "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" which features four young ladies singing about the men in their lives continues through March 30 at The Media Theatre.
Megan Rucidlo, Ashli Rian Rice, Victoria Mayo, and Lauren Cupples
The ladies begin discussing their love lives at an unplanned party at bride-to-be Millie's apartment. As the drinks flow, the songs commence. With a score of familiar 1960's tunes like "He's A Rebel" and "I Will Follow Him", the show has a fun atmosphere while it also has its more serious side when Millie reveals things about her fiance. 

The 90-minute production has its Philadelphia regional premiere at The Media Theatre and makes for a great ladies night out. The cast is made up of Lauren Cupples, Victoria Mayo, Ashli Rian Rice, and Megan Rucidlo--all Delaware County natives. Cupples now resides in Chester County, while Mayo has relocated to NYC and Rucidlo has a home base in Center City Philadelphia. 

Dann Dunn directs and choreographs the show, with music direction by Scott Anthony.
It's on Sunday March 23 at 3pm.
The final week performances are Wednesday March 26 at 2pm and 7:30pm; Thursday at 7:30pm; Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2pm and 8pm; and Sunday at 3pm.

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


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

STATE STREET MIRACLES CONTINUE INSPIRING AS AMBASSADORS FOR THE MEDIA THEATRE

The Media Theatre's State Street Miracles, a performance troupe of adults with developmental disabilities, continue to spread the joy of music and dance while increasing awareness of the talents and abilities of people like themselves.
The Miracles started their Spring 2014 rehearsals at The Media Theatre on Saint Patrick's Day, donning green to celebrate the occasion. They'll continue rehearsing their repertoire for two months as they prepare to perform at local schools, clubs, or regional venues. They've been entertaining and inspiring for six years. 
The State Street Miracles are: (left to right) Front Row: Kimiko Iizuka of Middletown; Nakisha Edwards of Media; Brittany Roberts of Edgmont; Kim Watson of Middletown; Erin McGivney of Wayne; Maryjo D'Allesandro of Divine Providence Village. Second Row: Jake Spencer of Middletown; Ted Harris of Rose Valley; John Abrams of Swarthmore; Patrick Clark of Springfield; Peter Crumb of Media; and Brian Short of Middletown.

The Miracles have quite a list of performance credits. They have spread the joy of music as ambassadors to The Media Theatre at the Senate Russell Rotunda in Washington, D.C. and were honored in Harrisburg where they were recognized by the state Senate. They were featured on Philadelphia's WHYY and NBC 10, have showcased their abilities at several Delaware County Council meetings, and recently received a huge standing ovation at the swearing-in of Delaware County District Judges. They have also performed at Rose Tree Summer Festival, Pennsylvania Special Olympics Fall Festival at Villanova University, and several concerts and galas at The Media Theatre.
It's a common occurrence for The Miracles to receive standing ovations, as they inspire with songs like "Don't Stop Believin'", "We Are The World", and "That's What Friends Are For". Their musical theater selections include songs from "The King and I" and "The Sound of Music". Their finale often includes "God Bless America". 
Their performances are professional, yet spontaneous as they introduce themselves before performing allowing audiences to know they hold jobs, are members of clubs, and involved in things like Special Olympics.
The troupe is a part of The Media Theatre's educational and community outreach mission to provide opportunities for those with an interest in the performing arts while advancing their speech and articulation, increasing self-esteem, and providing for stronger independence and decision-making for each group member. While people with disabilities are more included today in the school and work environment, there are still many barriers preventing them from participating in the arts community. The Media Theatre, through the work of the professional music theatre organization known as Media Music Theatre Company, provides a bridge to performance opportunities.
The Miracles recently joined forces with Villanova University's a cappella singing group The Supernovas for a performace at Special Olympics. 
“We are happy to be able to showcase a group of performers like the State Street Miracles, who really demonstrate the pure joy of live performance,” said Jesse Cline, artistic director of the Media Theatre. “We are proud to have them as part of the Media Theatre family and they only strengthen our mission to nurture the joy, creativity and diversity unique to music theater. This group embodies the joy of music theater!”
Roger Ricker is their director, with Tim Haney accompanying on keyboard. Ellen Wineman is the Speech Therapist. 
The State Street Miracles are available to perform one or all of their songs at community functions. They are also available to open events with “God Bless America.” For information about the State Street Miracles, contact Trish Cofiell at 610-459-5498. You may also visit www.mediatheatre.org or contact The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

VOCALIST COMPETITION HAS AUDITIONS MAY 12, 13, AND 14 and Read About FIDDLER Camp

READ ABOUT 'FIDDLER' CAMP HERE

It’s time once again for “The Vocalist” competition at The Media Theatre. The region’s premier vocal contest heads into its ninth summer with a title that is representative of the professional music theatre company’s mission. 

Previously titled “Delco Idol” and renamed “The Vocalist” in 2013, it sets the tone for The Media Theatre’s focus on musicals and music theatre education. It is produced by Media Music Theatre Company, the professional non-profit music theatre organization which has a full season each year with its Broadway Series and youth programming.

Auditions for “The Vocalist” will be held Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday May 12, 13, and 14 from 6pm to 8pm. The contest produced several winners who have gone on to appear in professional productions at The Media Theatre and at other regional theatres.

As is the norm, there will also be a Junior version of the vocal contest. All ages may audition on the same nights and will be placed in the proper category according to their age. “The Vocalist” is for ages 14-24 while “Vocalist Junior” is for ages 7-13.

The summer contest will have 35 contestants culled from the auditions for both versions of “The Vocalist”.  Jesse Cline, the theatre’s Artistic Director, selects the individuals for the competition. 

“I look forward to seeing who attends the auditions,” he said. “There are many talented individuals who can be developed throughout the process. Watching them grow as performers each week as we rehearse with them and when they are in front of an audience is interesting and noteworthy. This is an educational event on certain levels for each of them, as well as an entertaining showcase.”

After the audition process, Cline chooses those he believes are the most capable and those who are able to apply direction he gives to what it is they do each week. “Contestants have a lot of pressure to deal with,” he explained. “They must be able to handle that as well as the ability to focus on their performance.”

“The contests are the perfect combination of our mission of music theatre and education,” Cline continued. “We are fortunate to have young people involved who are developing an interest in the performing arts and a more mature age group who study, learning their craft in some way.”

The five week competition provides an opportunity for each contestant to hone their skills in front of a large, enthusiastic live audience. “It’s a contest, but it’s also a showcase for these performers,” Cline said. “It’s fun for the performers and the audience.”

All contestants perform the first three weeks of the competition, regardless of the judge’s scoring in categories such as Vocal Ability, Song Interpretation, and Song Choice. Cline is the one constant judge throughout the summer, sharing the duty with guest judges each week. Cline has one extra category: Individualism, which defines each participant’s unique ability to connect with the song and to the audience.

Cline and guest judges rate the singers each week for three weeks. Scores are then added together and eliminations are made prior to the Semi-Final round during week four. After the performances take place during Finals week, a winner is announced. The winner of “The Vocalist” and “The Vocalist Junior” will receive a cash prize to assist in furthering their education or career and gift cards from local restaurants and businesses. Iron Workers Bank sponsors the competition.


There is a $25 registration fee for the auditions at The Media Theatre. All auditioning must bring sheet music for the pianist. Any audition song is acceptable for both age groups. There is one main rule for those auditioning: Contestants must live within a 55-mile radius of The Media Theatre to be considered.

For more information, visit mediatheatre.org. You may register online, or register at the door the night of the auditions. No appointments; the auditions are held in order of ‘sign-up’ all three nights. No phone calls. Please email rer764@gmail.com with questions.





Tuesday, March 11, 2014

CAMP MEDIA THEATRE IS A FUN WAY TO STAY FOCUSED ON MUSIC THEATRE THIS SUMMER

Children and teens have been singing and dancing at The Media Theatre each summer for more than a decade as participants in Camp Media Theatre. Now headed into its 14th summer, the camp first opened in June of 2001 with only 30 members. It’s grown into one of Delaware County’s most popular summer camps with registration of over 250 youth each summer who enjoy learning more about theatre while having a good time with others who share a similar interest. It is part of the educational component of Media Music Theatre Company’s mission.



With five two-week day camp sessions to choose from, plus a “Fiddler On The Roof” camp, there are plenty of opportunities for budding thespians, singers, and dancers.

Artistic Director Jesse Cline looks forward to Camp Media Theatre. “Each year we have more children sign up for the camp,” he said. “With the growth of our New School conservatory-style music theatre education program September through April, plus the success of our youth musicals, the camp is in direct correlation to our mission defining us as a professional music theatre company.”

Cline added, “The philosophy of education here is based on The Meisner Technique which states that ‘acting is living as truthfully as one can under an imaginary circumstance’. Camp Media Theatre is structured so that the young people involved gain self-confidence and a strong ability to work well with peers.”

“The camp is fun and upbeat, but the instructors and directors involved do enforce the idea that acting is not about pretending,” Cline explained. “It’s about living, it’s about doing, and it’s about being comfortable with who you are. There are no ‘theatre games’.”

Once everyone is registered for Camp Media Theatre, the youth are divided into three age groups. Generally, ages 5-8 work together, with the mid-age range group being approximately 9-11. Ages 12 and older make up the third and oldest age group. The age groups may fluctuate a bit, depending on how many children are in each camp session and what the median age range happens to be.


A typical camp day begins at 9:30am and ends at 3:30pm. Each age group works with the instructors on a rotating basis throughout the first part of the camp day, with all age groups working onstage together from 2pm until 3:30. As a courtesy to parents and guardians, early drop-off is accepted after 8:30am although the actual camp day does not begin until 9:30am. Counselors are on hand during the early hour to supervise the campers before classes start.  All ages have a lunch break in the Media Theatre’s Crystal Room. Arrangements can be made for late pickup.

This summer’s day camp themes highlight various genres of Broadway music. Session One (June 16-27) is focused on Disney, with Session Two (June 30-July 11) placing the spotlight on Dance musicals. Session Three (July 14-25) is Contemporary Broadway, while Session Four (July 28-August 8) goes back to Broadway Classics. Session Five (August 11-22) is OZ Camp and will feature songs from “The Wizard of OZ” and “Wicked”. 

After two weeks of rehearsing, and adding scenes which are created during the daily acting classes, each session has a camp performance which is held the final Friday evening of each session. Each child, regardless of age or experience level, becomes actively involved in the production.

Jesse Cline explained, “The performances are not scripted but with the guidance of the instructors are created through the creativity of the children.”

In addition to the day camp, The Media Theatre brings "Tradition" to Summer Camp with the Summer Youth Project Musical, Fiddler On The Roof. This will be the first summer musical at The Media Theatre that is not specifically for teens and is for participants ages 8 and up. 


The “Fiddler” camp will meet starting June 16 with three weeks of rehearsal and performances begin July 10. The musical will perform for the public through August 10, four times each weekend. Campers will work directly with Artistic Director Jesse Cline, plus resident music director Scott Anthony. The entire camp gives insight as to what it is like being in a professional production. It's also an educational opportunity in which young people will learn more about this time in history, simply by being involved in the production. 

In the legendary musical, set in Tsarist Russia in 1905, Tevye tries to maintain his family (with five daughters) and Jewish traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives. The score is filled with memorable songs like "Sunrise, Sunset", "If I Were A Rich Man", "Matchmaker", and more.

Camp Media Theatre 2014 promises to be an enlightening, entertaining, and enriching experience for young people who have an interest in music theatre. Participants will perform on an award-winning professional music theatre stage in an environment which promotes and cultivates each individual unique personality as the singing and dancing creates a memorable summer.

For camp registrations and information, call the Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit the website at mediatheatre.org.



Friday, March 7, 2014

MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES 'SUNSET BOULEVARD' CAST

The Media Theatre presents the regional premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony winning musical “Sunset Boulevard” April 16-May 18. The show, based on Billy Wilder’s classic 1950 film, is produced by Media Music Theatre Company (MMTC), the non-profit music theatre organization that brings professional musicals to the historic venue. Jesse Cline is its Artistic Director.

Cline will direct “Sunset Boulevard” which features Broadway actress and Tony nominee Ann Crumb as Norma Desmond, the silent movie star who longs for a return to the big screen. Crumb has collaborated with Cline previously in MMTC’s “Wings”, “Master Class”, and “Souvenir”. She recently portrayed The Lady of The Lake in MMTC’s “Spamalot”. She received her Tony nomination for starring in Broadway’s “Anna Karenina”. Her previous Broadway credits include “Les Miserables”, “Chess”, and Webber’s “Aspects of Love”.

Nicholas Saverine is Max, Norma’s first husband and butler. Saverine has appeared in Broadway’s “Phantom of The Opera” and “Les Miserables” as well as several National Tours.

The cast also includes Sean Thompson as Joe, the screenwriter within whom Desmond sees an opportunity to return to her glory days. Thompson returns to MMTC after last season’s “Dr. Dolittle” and “Forever Plaid” productions.

Elisa Matthews will portray Betty, with Patrick Ludt as her fiancé Artie. Kelly Briggs appears as the legendary Cecil B. Demille, with Mark Colmer as movie producer Sheldrake.

JP Dunphy is Manfred, the tailor, with the ensemble consisting of Aaron Atkinson, Geoff Bruen, Anne Connors, Lauren Cupples, Brian Michael Henry, Jacqueline Elise Rosenthal, Sean O’ Shea, Michelle Siracusa, and Jarret Smith.

“Sunset Boulevard” is the final production in MMTC’s 2013-14 Broadway Series season, playing April 16-May 18. Scott Anthony music directs with Dann Dunn as choreographer. For tickets and information call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

SPRING SESSION OF ACTING CLASSES STARTS UP END OF MARCH

Those wishing to pursue a career in acting may choose from a variety of courses at The Media Theatre beginning the weekend of March 29. The Spring session of classes offer acting lessons weekly for children through adults. The Improvisation Class with Second City Training Center's Robert Huntington continues as well.

All Media Theatre acting classes follow the Sanford Meisner Technique, which is based on the premise that, as the legendary actingteacher stated, "Acting is living as truthfully as one can under an imaginary circumstance."

When you register for acting classes you are providing a revenue source which benefits Media Music Theatre Company, which is a non-profit organization.
The Media Theatre Photo January 2014
There are two levels of instruction for children, both one hour per week. Level One Acting takes place Saturdays at 9am for ages 5 to 9 starting March 29, or for those who are just starting out with an interest in theatre. The 10-week course is structured to include exercises which assist basic speaking and stage skills, learning stage directions, and developing an ability to work with others while gaining self-confidence and self-awareness. Fun theatre exercises are incorporated and each child works at their own pace.
  
Level Two Acting, which is also a 10-week course, takes place Tuesdays at 4:30pm starting April 1. Primarily for those ages 8-11, or for those with some stage experience, the class focuses on scene work which is created by the students and strengthened by the instructor. Focus and discipline are a large part of the class.

Teens have their Acting Class on Sundays at 6pm starting March 30. The 8-week 90 minute sessions focus on monologues previously written as well as composed by the students, plus scene work. All is done within a group setting, allowing the students to have one-on-one instruction as well as to learn by watching others. Teens are encouraged to discuss scene work and critique other students as part of the learning process.

The Adult Acting Class is a 90 minute 8-week course as well, Sundays at 7:30pm starting March 30. For ages 18 and up, it’s for those who wish to explore something new or wish to solidify their stage skills. Scene study with partners is the focus, as are monologues. The class is instrumental in developing renewed self-esteem and a stronger ability to deal with business associates. It is also a great class for those who have careers which deal with public speaking or who deal with the public on a day-to-day basis. No experience is necessary. 

All classes at The Media Theatre are under the supervision of Artistic Director Jesse Cline, who adds his own expertise to The New School, a conservatory-style music theatre education program for youth. Cline received the 2013 Best Director Award on Broadway World for his production of “Mame” starring Andrea McArdle. He has maintained the integrity and award-winning status of The Media Theatre’s Media Music Theatre Company for two decades. 

Roger Ricker instructs the children and teen classes, with Tim Haney teaching the adult course. The Improv Class is instructed by Robert Huntington, an alumni of Chicago’s famed Second City Training Center. It meets Tuesdays at 6:30pm for 8 weeks starting April 1. The 90 minute course will be fun and instrumental in building a quick rapport with other actors. For teens and adults, the Improv Class will be specifically designed to each participant’s level of experience. 

For information call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org to register. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

TONY NOMINEE ANN CRUMB TO STAR IN MEDIA THEATRE'S 'SUNSET BOULEVARD'

Tony nominated actress Ann Crumb will portray Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Sunset Boulevard” at The Media Theatre April 16-May 18. She will once again be directed by Media Music Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Jesse Cline in this production.

“Sunset Boulevard” is Webber’s Tony winning musical based on the classic 1950 Billy Wilder film in which a faded silent movie star believes she has a chance to make a comeback on the silver screen. Time Magazine said the show features “Webber’s most artfully constructed score”.

Ann Crumb recently appeared on The Media Theatre stage to critical acclaim as the Lady of The Lake in Monty Python’s “Spamalot”. She has a long standing working relationship with director Cline and has appeared in his productions of “Master Class”, “Wings”, “Souvenir” and “The Who’s Tommy”.

Ann Crumb was nominated for the Tony Award when she appeared in “Anna Karenina.” She has appeared on almost every regional theatre stage in the Philadelphia region, with her most recent appearance being “Other Desert Cities” at The Walnut Street Theatre. She won a Best Actress Award for her work in “Sunset Boulevard” in Colorado and is the recipient of a Barrymore Award and an Arts Recognition Award. Her television credits include “Law and Order” and “One Life to Live”. She has performed in concerts around the world and on her father George Crumb’s Grammy winning 70th Birthday album. She opened Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Aspects of Love” in London and New York in the late 1980’s through early 1991.

 For tickets to “Sunset Boulevard” at The Media Theatre April 16-May 18, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. The entire cast will be announced soon.