Thursday, December 31, 2015

FIGHT FOR THE ARTS WITH JOSH YOUNG AND MORE AT MEDIA THEATRE'S ANNUAL GALA FEB. 20

You ready to put up your dukes? It's time to "Fight For The Arts" at The Media Theatre's Annual Gala, the biggest fundraiser of the year for Media Music Theatre Company (MMTC). This year's gala features three exciting choreographed boxing matches and Delaware County's own Tony nominated Broadway star Josh Young as the Main Event.

Josh Young was recently seen on Broadway as the lead in the new musical "Amazing Grace" and received a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Judas in "Jesus Christ Superstar". His national tours include playing the role of Marius in "Les Miserables" and Tony in "West Side Story". Off-Broadway he was seen "Warsaw" and "The Woman Upstairs" as well as "See Rock City" and "Oliver's Idea". He's been in "Evita" as Che and in "Kiss Me Kate" as Paul and has been seen on stage at La Jolla Playhouse, North Carolina Theater, Walnut Street Theater, and Baltimore's Center Stage. 


Josh Young will be performing a special one-night only concert during "Fight For The Arts" to add his voice to the cause for MMTC and The Media Theatre. He'll be accompanied by Brian Lowdermilk. 

MMTC is the Philadelphia region's only year-round professional music theatre company, which provides an award winning Broadway Series, Children's Series, and a Theatre School for all ages. Its much lauded Artistic Director is Jesse Cline, recipient of Broadway World's "Best Director" award. 

MMTC's Broadway Series was much buzzed about on social media recently with productions such as"Les Miserables",  "Gypsy", and the Philadelphia premiere of "Billy Elliot: The Musical".

Now you may find yourself asking "How can MMTC produce a premiere if the national tour has already come through the region?". The answer is this: A Philadelphia premiere means that it's the first time a show has been produced from the ground up by a local professional theatre company. It means that "Billy Elliot: The Musical" was completely and uniquely designed, directed, and produced for The Media Theatre stage by MMTC prior to any other professional theatre company producing the show in the area. Other Philadelphia premieres done by MMTC for The Media Theatre include "The Addams Family" and "Ghost: The Musical".


So, when you support the Annual Gala Saturday night February 20 and "Fight For The Arts" at The Media Theatre, you are assisting MMTC in continuing to provide professional premieres, classic Broadway shows, and a thriving educational program. 

Sponsorship Levels and Individual Tickets are available for "Fight For The Arts". Each gets you the opportunity to see the Main Event: Josh Young In Concert. 

The choreographed fights leading up to the Main Event are staged by Philadelphia's Peter Andrew Danzig. Each will add 'punch' to the evening in a fun, aggressive manner reminding audiences, patrons, and sponsors that it is definitely time to "Fight For The Arts".

Each Gala also includes two sponsor receptions as well as a live auction. Sponsorship levels are available between $300 to $1500...or more if you or your organization chooses. Individual tickets for the show only are $55 until February 1 at which time they become $65. Individual tickets which include reception are $150.  

Call 610-891-0100 for tickets. GALA INFO HERE INCLUDING SPONSORSHIP LEVELS







 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST OF 'TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD' AND EXTENDS SHOW THRU FEB. 21

The Media Theatre has the Philadelphia/ Wilmington region's only professional production of the classic play "To Kill A Mockingbird" starting January 27. Advance sales and buzz surrounding the production are so strong that the theatre is extending it by one week. "To Kill A Mockingbird" will now close on February 21, rather than the previously announced closing date.

The extra week adds six more performances, allowing audiences greater opportunity to see the show based on Harper Lee's iconic novel.


Jesse Cline directs the show. Cline has been the recipient of Broadway World Award honors for his critically acclaimed productions of The Diary of Anne Frank and The Miracle Worker. The Media Theatre adds a classic play to its season of musicals each year to assist with educating audiences and to highlight appreciation of masterpiece titles. 

"To Kill A Mockingbird" has been front and center in cultural news during 2015, as Harper Lee's sequel to her famed novel was released. The story focuses on attorney Atticus Finch as he defends an African American male falsely accused of a crime. The play centers on his children, Scout and Jem, and how they are affected by the trial during the Depression era in Alabama. 

With themes relevant to the modern era, "To Kill A Mockingbird" is a striking reminder that although things change they often remain the same.
Robert Stineman, who will play the role of Atticus Finch

Philadelphia-based actor Robert Stineman will play the role of Atticus Finch. His local credits include Soldier Bear, Traveling Light, Travesties, and Bachelorette. His New York credits include This Is Not About 9/11. He's been seen on stage at InterAct Theatre Company, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Candlelight Dinner Theatre, and with Philly Fringe Festival. He holds a BFA from University of the Arts.

Talented young students from The Media Theatre's New School and Acting Classes will share the roles of Scout, Jem, and Dill. Lexi Gwynn returns following her award-nominated performance in last season's The Miracle Worker as Scout, a role she shares with Jolie Jaffe who was seen recently in Les Miserables and Billy Elliot
Brayden Orpello-McCoy and Ben Pedersen share the role of Jem, while Dill is played by Tim Woodward Jr. and Jacob Shapiro. 

For tickets to The Media Theatre's production of "To Kill A Mockingbird" which runs Jan. 27 to Feb. 21 call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

The entire cast is:

Atticus Finch....Bob Stineman
Scout....Lexi Gwynn/ Jolie Jaffe
Jem.......Brayden Orpello-McCoy/ Ben Pedersen
Dill........Tim Woodward Jr./ Jacob Shapiro

Calpurnia..........Tamara Woods

Maudie....Hillary Parker
Sherrif.....Kelly Briggs

Walter Cunningham...Tim Haney
Bob Ewell....Tim Woodward, Sr
Mr. Gilmer.................Paul Dake

Tom.......Travis Keith Battle
Reverend....Pastor Mays of Second Baptist Church of Media
Judge....P. Brandon Mulvey
Mayella....Megan Rucidlo

Stephanie.....Virginia Barrie
Mrs. Dubose....Susan Wefel

Boo.....John Baxter

Ensemble:
Members of Second Baptist Church of Media, Virginia Barrie, John Baxter, Shyra Goodwin, Henry O' Neill, Denzel Thomas, Susan Wefel, Faith Yesner



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST OF NEW 'PETER PAN AND WENDY'

There are a few versions of Peter Pan's story that are cultural icons beyond J. M. Barrie's original story: Disney's cartoon version, Spielberg's film version, and the musical from the '50's which Cathy Rigby re-ignited in later years.

The Media Theatre will add a fresh, modern interpretation of the Peter Pan saga in January 2016. Running on weekends through the end of February, and geared to audiences ages 5 and up, "Peter Pan And Wendy: A New Musical" is written by Kate Herzlin with a score by Ben Kapilow. 
Gunar Daniels, who will play the role of Peter Pan
West Chester's Gunar Daniels, who is one of two 13 year old boys from the region that take on the role of "Billy Elliot" currently at The Media Theatre, will portray Peter Pan.  Mary Kate Vink, who has been a student at the theatre for seven years, will have her first lead role as Wendy. She is 11 years old. 
Mary Kate Vink, who will portray Wendy

Kapilow was the music director for Camp Media Theatre this past summer. He became even more connected with the theatre and many of the families who participate in its educational programming as the accompanist for the 2015 "Vocalist" contests. Upon learning that the theatre was seeking a new musical for children and families, Kapilow suggested "Peter Pan And Wendy" which he and his writing partner Herzlin had been working on.

"We are very excited to have the world premiere of our new show at such an acclaimed professional theatre," Kapilow said. The show plays January 23 to February 28 Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon. 

"The educational component of The Media Theatre is a main ingredient to what we do," said the theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline. "As with all of our Children's Series shows, "Peter Pan And Wendy" will combine professional actors on stage with those who are from our New School and other classes. It's somewhat of an extra-curricular activity as young actors must be enrolled in our classes in order to be cast."

"Peter Pan And Wendy: A New Musical" takes place in 2016 in the USA. The show will reflect its contemporary style with references to Minecraft vs. imagination, allowing young audiences to understand that Neverland is that part of you that exists within yourself as a reminder to always be true to yourself as you grow older and mature. 

Peter Pan will have the charisma of a current celebrity pop artist, while the Pirates will be a mingling of top charting rock bands with the traditional look for the story. The entire show will be fun for young children and adults as they see their favorite characters come to life, allowing imagination to take flight.

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

The "Peter Pan And Wendy" cast at The Media Theatre is:

Peter Pan…..Gunar Daniels
Wendy………Mary Kate Vink
Tinkerbell…..Bridget Henry

John, Wendy’s brother…………................Zachary Divito
Michael, Wendy’s younger brother……..Alex Pollard
Mr. Darling….Michael Wells
Mrs. Darling….Gigi Furlan
Nana……......Sarah Shoumer
Liza…………Lauren Poltrock

LOST KIDS:
Tootles….Sarah Shoumer
Nibs……...Violet Wiley
Twin 1…..Alexsa McKeown
Twin 2…..Eve Rosenstein
Slightly…Hannah Brady
Curly…....Sean O’ Neill
Lost Kids: Yazmin Ahmed, Scott Bradbury, Aidan Crane, Caileigh Crane, Aiden Fox, Danny Pedersen, Kiki Troilo, Alexandra Shoumer, Annabelle Shoumer, Madison Vassilakopoulos, Brynne Washbourne, Roya Wolcott
(Note: The female swing for the Lost Kids is Brynne Washbourne, who will understudy Tootles, Nibs, Alexsa McKeown, Eve Rosenstein, Hannah Brady)

PIRATES:
Captain Hook….Denzel Thomas
Smee….Roger Ricker
Ceco….Michael Wells
Jukes……Lauren Poltrock
Cookson…Henry O’ Neill
Skylights….Gigi Furlan
Noodler….Hannah Murphy
Mullins…...Noelle Longenberger
Random….Kayla Blackstock

Crocodile/ Lost Kid – Maxwell Talbot

Understudies:
Peter Pan….Michael Wells
Wendy…..Sarah Shoumer
John….Sean O’ Neill
Michael….Aiden Fox
Nana/ Liza….Noelle Longenberger
Tinkerbell….Alexsa McKeown
Mr. Darling/ Captain Hook…Roger Ricker

All Pirates…Kayla Blackstock 


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

MEDIA THEATRE EXPANDS CURRICULUM WITH NEW CLASSES FOR ALL AGES

With a New Year arriving soon, and spring not far behind, it’s time to become reacquainted with the performing arts at The Media Theatre while having fun during the learning process. Several new acting and voice classes for tiny tots all the way to adults have been added to the continuing popular acting classes, with a rejuvenated schedule starting up the weekend of January 9. 
SEE ENTIRE CLASS SCHEDULE HERE (Acting, Voice, Dance)

“Kids Cabaret” will meet on Tuesdays from 4:30-6pm beginning January 12. The Voice Class is specifically designed for children in grades 2-5. The high energy class is all about Singing, Dancing, Acting and Fun! Performers create a cabaret style concert which is performed at the end of the 8-week session in a Grand Finale Recital for family and friends. Performers discover healthy vocal technique, master basic dance steps and learn to bring their personality to the stage while working together as a group rather than maintaining solos.
Therese Walden Murphy, who will instruct and supervise four new classes for The Media Theatre
In the “Teen Cabaret” Voice Class, participants in grades 5-12 create a concert with all students performing a solo within the concert. The 8-week course meets Tuesdays beginning January 12 and culminates in a special Grand Finale Recital for family and friends. “Teen Cabaret” focuses on all aspects of performing a song: interpretation, healthy vocal technique, and breathing skills. Every performer receives individual vocal and acting instruction from instructor Therese Walden Murphy, a professional actress and singer who appeared in the National Tour of “Phantom of The Opera” and several Media Theatre productions. She holds an MFA from the Award winning Old Globe Theatre/U of San Diego program and was the 2nd Assistant Director for the 1997 Broadway Production of Annie.

In the new class “Theatre Magic” pre-school children ages 3-5 experience the joy of imaginative play through theater games, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, movement, music and singing. They’ll be encouraged and challenged to follow directions, learn listening skills, appreciate teamwork, and develop confidence, individuality, and social skills while having fun with new friends. “Theatre Magic” takes place on Wednesdays from 10:30-11:30am starting January 13, running for ten weeks.

The Media Theatre adds a new Adult Acting Class with instructor Therese Walden Murphy. The class will now meet on Tuesdays from 7:30-9pm for eight weeks. The class explores improvisation plus basic Meisner and Stanislavsky techniques. The new Adult Acting Class will be a fusion class for actors of all levels, assisting both beginners and those who have made acting a career. This class will be a new approach.  

These new classes join the three mainstay courses offered by the theatre: The Level 1 Children’s Class which meets Saturday mornings at 9am starting January 9, Level 2 Children’s Class which meets Tuesday afternoons at 4:30 starting January 12, and the Teen Acting Class which is on Sunday nights at 6pm starting January 10.
Remember: Acting , Voice, or Dance Classes make great gifts!


The Level 1 Children’s Acting Class meets one hour each week and is a ten week course designed for ages 5-8. It focuses on Stage Direction, Working Together, Partnering Exercises, Volume and Diction, and eventually creating scenes. Students enjoy acting and learning exercises such as “Mirror Image”, “Living Picture”, and “Dig Dig Dig!” which explores individuality and self-expression. New acting and learning exercises are added from time to time to keep the class exciting and fresh while maintaining its core-value that “Acting is living as truthfully as one can under an imaginary circumstance.”

The Level 2 Children’s Class for ages 8-11 or those with more stage experience builds upon the core values of Level 1. The course involves much more self-awareness than level one yet keeps its sense of fun. Everyone learns that ‘the character is on the page, but the role is on the stage’ in this class which means that the only actor is ‘you’ and you have the freedom to portray the role according to what the playwright puts on the page with the director or instructor’s guidance.

Being true to yourself is a main ingredient in the Teen Class as well. Students meet for 90 minutes per week for eight weeks with the option of doing scene work with a partner or a monologue. The class is broken up into time sections which also include improvisation, scene creation and study, and dialogue within the class about the work being done. The final week is an Open House in which family and friends are invited to see the work being done by the teens. Roger Ricker, a Media Theatre veteran who has worked with Artistic Director Jesse Cline for over 20 years, instructs the Teen Class as well as the Level 1 and Level 2 Children’s classes.

“Kids Cabaret”, “Teen Cabaret”, “Theatre Magic”, and the four acting classes are $400 for the Winter session. 90 minute classes run for 8 weeks, with the hour long classes meeting for 10 weeks. The “Cabaret” classes and “Theatre Magic” must have at least ten registered students each in order to successfully fulfill their mission.

Along with these new and returning classes, Dance Classes are ongoing at the theatre’s School and Dance Studio. Tap 1 and Tap 2 continue in the New Year, with Ballet being available for both youth and adults. New Dance Classes will be announced soon. Dance Cards are available for $120 (good for 10 classes) and may be used anytime during the week for any dance class.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTIRE CLASS SCHEDULE (Acting, Voice, Dance)

For information, call 610-891-0100 or email rer764@gmail.com. You may also visit mediatheatre.org

Monday, November 30, 2015

THE MEDIA THEATRE'S JACK FROST PHOTOS...AND SHOW SCHEDULE...PLUS VISIT WITH SANTA!

It's time for the holidays which means "Jack Frost Saves Christmas" is on stage at The Media Theatre. This one hour upbeat and heartfelt show for youth of all ages is all about the boy who can't seem to do anything right because everything he touches turns to ice! Soon, however, friendship and the art of giving get everyone in on the act for a wonderful holiday.
Media Theatre New School student Michael Wells as Jack Frost
"Jack Frost Saves Christmas" was Matt and Tina Jo Wallace with music by Scott Bradley, a previous resident music director for The Media Theatre. Songs include "Countdown to Christmas", "Frost", and "Gifts Are For Giving".

The production features a cast of the theatre's professionally trained acting, dance, and New School students along with three guest adult actors: Roger Ricker as Mr. Holly, the town's eccentric theatre director; Tim Haney as Polar Bear; and Henry O' Neill as Santa Claus. Three New School students are featured: Michael Wells portrays Jack Frost with Hannah Murphy as Elizabeth, who befriends him, and Gigi Furlan plays the role of Mom. 
Tim Haney as Polar Bear, Cassidy Else as Rabbit, Michael Wells as Jack Frost, and Ben Pedersen as Penguin
Music Direction is by Patrick Murphy. The colorful costumes are by Patricia Garrubbo and Carol Sorensen with assistance from Casey Feeley and Nicole Trotter. The show includes audience participation and an opportunity for children to be on stage during the "Rompin' Reindeer" dance.
Roger Ricker as Mr. Holly with Wells as Jack Frost

The show plays Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon now through January 1. On Saturday December 5, 12, and 19 children attending the show will be able to meet Santa Claus upstairs in the theatre's Crystal Room starting at 10:30am. Photos may be taken with Santa Claus and a few of the actors from the show on each of the three Saturdays.
Hanna Murphy as Elizabeth and Gigi Furlan as Mom notice "Frost" on the windowpane

There is one special Tuesday evening show at 7pm December 8. 
The "Jack Frost" Chistmastown Citizens cast
To purchase tickets call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. It's just $12 for children and $15 for adults to enjoy this special holiday themed treat.
Carter Weiss as Raccoon with the other animals and Jack 
PHOTOS BY CHRIS FURLAN



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

MEDIA THEATRE RECEIVES 44 NOMINATIONS FOR 2015 BROADWAY WORLD AWARDS!

After winning a total of 36 Broadway World Awards the past three years combined, including Best Theatre Company of Philadelphia three years in a row, The Media Theatre received a total of 44 nominations for "Best of Philadelphia Theatre 2015".  The nominations include Best Musical, Best Play, and two nominations in the category of Best Director for Jesse Cline, the theatre's artistic 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. Voting takes place through Dec. 31 with winners announced in January by Broadway World.

Nominations have been announced worldwide by the esteemed online theatrical media outlet Broadway World, 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 is nominated alongside other professional theatres in the Philadelphia region including The Walnut Street Theatre.

In an ironic twist, as Media is known for producing musicals, its critically acclaimed production of the classic play "The Miracle Worker" this past February received the most nominations for the company with a total of 11.

Another critically acclaimed production at Media, "Les Miserables", received 9 nominations as did the Andrea McArdle starring vehicle "Hello Dolly". The recent "Gypsy" was awarded 8 nominations, and the theatre's regional professional premiere of "Ghost: The Musical" was given 4.

Three special events were nominated in the appropriate Event category. The category honors those one-night or 'off season' shows or concerts outside of a theatre's regular season. Media received nominations for the "Summer Club ALS Benefit", "The Who's Tommy", and the annual "Roger Ricker & Friends Concert".

Here are the nominations received by The Media Theatre:

Best Musical: "Gypsy", "Hello Dolly", "Les Miserables"

Best Play: "The Miracle Worker"

Best Director of a Musical: Jesse Cline, "Les Miserables"; Dann Dunn, "Hello Dolly"

Best Director of a Play: Jesse Cline, "The Miracle Worker"

Best Actor in A Musical: Kelly Briggs as Herbie in "Gypsy"; Patrick Ludt as Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables"; John Smitherman as Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables" (Both played the role); Zack Krajnyack as Sam in "Ghost"

Best Actor in A Play: Andrew Criss as Captain Keller in "The Miracle Worker"

Best Actress in A Musical: Krissy Fraelich as Mama Rose in "Gypsy"; Anna Giordano as Molly in "Ghost"; Andrea McArdle as Dolly in "Hello Dolly"

Best Actress in A Play: Jennie Eisenhower as Annie Sullivan in  "The Miracle Worker"; Lexi Gwynn as Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker" 

Supporting Actor in A Musical: Kelly Briggs as Thenardier in "Les Miserables"; Kelly Briggs as Horace in "Hello Dolly"; JP Dunphy as Subway Ghost in "Ghost"; Patrick Ludt as Cornelius in "Hello Dolly"; Cameron Scott Slusser as Barnaby in "Hello Dolly; Sean Thompson as Enjolras in "Les Miserables"

Supporting Actress in A Musical: Anna Giordano as Louise in "Gypsy"

Supporting Actor in A Play: Alex Kryger as James in "The Miracle Worker"; Nicholas Saverine as Doctor in "The Miracle Worker"

Supporting Actress in A Play: Jennie Eisenhower as Annie Sullivan in "The Miracle Worker" (nominated in both lead and supporting category for this role); Hillary Parker as Mrs. Keller in "The Miracle Worker" 

Best Ensemble cast of A Musical: "Gypsy", "Hello Dolly", "Les Miserables"

Best Ensemble cast of A Play: "The Miracle Worker"

Best Choreography: Dann Dunn, "Gypsy"; Dann Dunn, "Hello Dolly" 

Best Music Direction: Christopher Ertelt, "Les Miserables"

Best Costumes: "Les Miserables"; Katie Yamaguchi, "Gypsy"; Katie Yamaguchi, "Hello Dolly"

Best Lighting Design: Troy Martin O' Shia, "Gypsy"

Best Sound Design: Carl Park, "Ghost: The Musical" 

Best Set Design: Matthew Miller, "The Miracle Worker"

Best Special Event: "Jeff Coon's Summer Club ALS Benefit", "Roger Ricker & Friends Concert", "The Who's Tommy".

To vote for The Media Theatre, visit the Broadway World Awards here: VOTE NOW!



Friday, November 20, 2015

'BILLY ELLIOT: THE MUSICAL' FIRST LOOK PHOTOS

The Media Theatre has the region's professional premiere of the 10-time Tony winning "Billy Elliot: The Musical" now through January 3. Elton John's score enhances the story based on the film of the young boy in a Welsh mining town who wants to do ballet rather than boxing. It all takes place during a miner's strike in the '80's, so Billy's enthusiasm to dance is not quite getting through to his family or the town although a dance instructor sees the gift within.

A truly inspirational story for the holidays, "Billy Elliot" features two boys in the title role. After an extensive search, the two boys who were chosen were both from the Philadelphia region. Gunar Daniels of West Chester and Brandon Ranalli of Media, both 13 years old, share the role.

Here are first look photos from the production, taken by Laura Briglia Photography.
For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

Brandon Ranalli as Billy Elliot
Gunar Daniels as Billy Elliot
Susan Wefel as Grandma
Kelly Briggs as George with the Boys
Anne Connors as Mrs. Wilkinson with the Ballet Girls

Monday, October 19, 2015

MORE PICS FROM 'GYPSY' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE...IT'S ON THRU NOV. 1

The iconic musical "Gypsy" is on stage at The Media Theatre through November 1. Philadelphia's Krissy Fraelich, a Springfield resident, plays Mama Rose who is the ultimate stage mother, doing everything she can to push her daughters to stardom. From the time of vaudeville's heyday to it's end, Mama Rose wants nothing more than celebrity and fame to find its way to siblings June and Louise. Based on the true story of famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, "Gypsy" never goes out of style due to its resonating core. 

The score is legendary, with songs including "Let Me Entertain You", "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "Rose's Turn" that have become synonymous with music theatre. The lyrics, written by Stephen Sondheim in his younger years, are filled with irony while the music by Jule Styne represents the brassy, sassy style rarely heard in contemporary theatre. 

Enjoy the photos and get tickets to the show by calling 610-891-0100 or visiting mediatheatre.org. "Gypsy" has Wednesday performances at 2pm and 7:30, Thursdays at 7:30, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm now through November 1. 

Photos by Laura Briglia.


Krissy Fraelich as Mama Rose


Mama Rose finds a Newsboy (Zachary Divito)  for her show 



Dainty June (Taylor Elise Rector)
performs with the Farmboys (Glenn Britton, Avery Sobszak, Kyle Segarra, and JD Triolo)


Louise (Anna Giordano) and Tulsa (Avery Sobszak) kick up their heels
Herbie (Kelly Briggs) learns more about Mama Rose (Krissy Fraelich) 
It's not vaudeville anymore....Mama Rose (Fraelich) with Tessi Tura (Jennie Eisenhower), Cigar (Jim Conte), and Louise (Anna Giordano)
Cassidy Else as Young Louise with Ava Briglia as Baby June during the opening of "Gypsy".
With them are Holden Dubach, Hanna Murphy, Alexsa McKeown, Aiden Fox, and Bridget Henry. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST OF 'JACK FROST SAVES CHRISTMAS'

The Media Theatre's holiday children's show is right around the corner. "Jack Frost Saves Christmas" returns to the stage after first being produced here five years ago. It plays every weekend November 21 to January 3, Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon. 

The rollicking, merry, and heartfelt musical is all about a boy who is unique because everything he touches turns to ice. Jack Frost appears out of a snow bank and meets four humorous animals: a rabbit, a polar bear, a penguin, and a raccoon. 

Realizing he is different, they take him to Christmastown where he meets Elizabeth, a girl who befriends him, as well as the theatre director Mr. Holly who thinks Jack is in town to perform in the holiday show! Hijinks ensue, temperatures soar, and the holiday is in jeopardy until friendship saves the day.

With Book and Lyrics by Matt Wallace and Tina Jo Wallace and Music by Scott Bradley (who was once The Media Theatre's resident music director) "Jack Frost Saves Christmas" is a fun holiday show for everyone ages 4 and up. 

The cast is made up of The Media Theatre's New School students, Media Theatre professional actors and educators, and an ensemble from its acting and dance classes. For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

The "Jack Frost Saves Christmas" cast is:

Jack Frost.......Michael Wells
Elizabeth.........Hanna Murphy
Elizabeth's Mom...Gigi Furlan

Rabbit.............Cassidy Else
Penguin.........Ben Pedersen
Raccoon........Carter Weiss
Polar Bear.....Tim Haney

Story Tellers....Emma Fox, Lauren Poltrock, Mary Kate Vink
News Vendors...Holden Dubach, Sean O' Neill

Mr. Holly.......Roger Ricker
Anna..............Alexsa McKeown
Michael.........Zachary Divito

Father Winter/ Santa.....Henry O' Neill

Townspeople....Yazmin Ahmed, Kayla Blackstock, Noelle Longenberger, Sean O' Neill, Bridget McTear, Danny Pedersen, Samantha Sweeney, Maxwell Talbot, Madison Vassilakopoulos

Understudies:
Jack Frost....Ben Pedersen
Elizabeth......Noelle Longenberger
Mom..............Kayla Blackstock
Rabbit...........Lauren Poltrock
Penguin.......Sean O' Neill
Polar Bear/ Michael....Holden Dubach
Raccoon/ Anna......Yazmin Ahmed
Mr. Holly/ Father Winter/ Santa....Tim Haney

Monday, October 12, 2015

THE MEDIA THEATRE -PHOTOS FROM 'TALE OF BEAUTY AND THE BEAST'

There's a Beauty on stage at The Media Theatre each weekend through November 1. It's the "Tale of Beauty and The Beast" Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon, featuring a cast of professional adult actors as well as student actors.

This original version of the story features songs such as "Could You Possibly Be My Friend?" and "Fables and Fairytales" as well as humorous characters like Greedo and Graspo the two brothers-in-law of The Beauty who will do everything they can to achieve riches.

Swarthmore's Jacob Mergott, 16, plays the dual role of The Prince/ The Beast, with Molly Sorensen, 14, of Malvern as The Beauty. Both did very well in The Media Theatre's summer "Vocalist" contests with Mergott making it to the final round in 2015 and  Sorensen winning the competition in 2014. 

An Old Woman (Roger Ricker) casts a spell on The Prince and, later, on the entire audience as volunteers are invited onto the stage to help out.

Enjoy the photos, and get tickets to the show by visiting mediatheatre.org or calling 610-891-0100. The show is suitable for ages 5 and up and is one hour in length. Photos by Chris Furlan. 


Molly Sorensen as The Beauty
Jacob Mergott as The Prince
Roger Ricker as The Old Woman
Lars Halldin as Graspo with Michael Wells as Greedo
Tim Haney, center, as The Clock with Sarah Shoumer as a Masterpiece Painting and Molly Sorensen as Beauty
The Beast (Mergott) with his Magic Looking Glass (Violet Wiley and Caileigh Crane)
Emily Smith as Marguerite and Brianna Jaffe as Isabel, the sisters of Beauty (Photo by Monica Crane)
The Beast (Jacob Mergott) with his paintings (Sarah Shoumer, Mary Kate Vink) and Madame Rondeau (Veronica Garrubbo) --Photo by Monica Crane

Friday, October 9, 2015

MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES 'BILLY ELLIOT' CAST

The Media Theatre has the Philadelphia region's professional premiere of the 10-time Tony winning Broadway show "Billy Elliot: The Musical". Based on the film about the boy who, during a miner's strike in the 1980's, wants to become a ballet dancer rather than the boxer his father has set his sights on, the musical features a score by Elton John.

"Billy Elliot: The Musical" became an instant hit on both London's West End and Broadway due to its incredible choreography which is mostly performed by the young actor portraying Billy. A show based on the template of old-fashioned 'book' musicals while leaping into a new genre of entertainment it encapsulates the unique qualities which each of us have within us, thereby focusing on individuality and self-expression. As The New York Times said, 'Billy Elliot is not a dance musical. It's about why we need dance.'


With a sub-plot regarding a miner's strike in a small town and the life values which go along with it, sometimes which deeply contrast with the goals of life one has when art is a main ingredient to one's make-up, "Billy Elliot: The Musical" reaches beyond dance as it reminds us all that sometimes life is not just about what is in front of us but what it is we are able to achieve.



The production at The Media Theatre will be directed by Geoffrey Goldberg. It plays November 18, 2015 to January 3, 2016 during the holiday season.

The role of Billy Elliot will be shared by Media's Brandon Rannalli and West Chester's Gunar Daniels. Both boys were chosen after an extensive East Coast search in which the production company had two days of auditions in New York City. 


Mrs. Wilkinson, the ballet teacher, will be played by Anne Connors. Billy's Dad is Zach Wobensmith, with the role of his brother Tony being brought to the stage by Garrison Carpenter.


Billy's friend Michael is double cast with Nathan Esser and JD Triolo, with the saucy sassy role of Grandma being played by Delaware County's Susan Wefel. Mr. Braithwaite is Steven Ciapanna, with Kelly Briggs as George.


Elisa Matthews has the plum role of Billy's Dead Mum, while the role of his friend Debbie is double cast with two Media Theatre students: Allie Buchanan and Anna Grace Rosenthal. Big Davey is Rusty Flounders.


Rachel Beiswenger, Kaitlin Davis, JP Dunphy, Jake Glassman, Topher Layton, Patrick Ludt, Kimberly Maxson, Mark Schenfish, Carl Nathaniel Smith, and Kristi Smith make up the Ensemble. 


The Ballet Girls are Larissa Culbertson, Jolie Jaffe, Anais Lee, Mirabelle Lee, Brooke McCarthy, Kennedy Ndiaye, and Kristianna Ranalli. Aiden Fox is the small boy. Josh Atkinson is Posh Boy and Tall Boy. 


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


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