Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Aspiring young singers--Mark your calendars! 

It’s time once again for “The Vocalist” competition at The Media Theatre. The region’s premier vocal contest kicks off with annual auditions May 18 & 19. "The Vocalist" and "Vocalist Junior" claim titles that are representative of the professional music theatre company’s mission of professional music theatre. 

Previously titled “Delco Idol” and renamed “The Vocalist” in 2013, the summer event 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 and Tuesday May 18 and May 19 from 6pm to 8:30pm. The contest has produced several performers who have gone on to appear in professional productions at The Media Theatre and at other regional theatres, including Beada Briglia who was a top five placer during "Vocalist Junior" and is currently in Broadway's hit show "Matilda". She was also in "A Christmas Carol" at Madison Square Garden two years ago. 

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. (During the actual competition, "Vocalist" lights up Media Theatre's stage for five consecutive Wednesday nights beginning July 8, while "Junior" does the same starting July 12.)

Between 35-40 contestants will be culled from the auditions for both versions of “The Vocalist”.  Jesse Cline, the theatre’s Artistic Director, selects the individuals for the competition. 

“There are many talented individuals who can be developed throughout the process," Cline said. "Watching them grow as vocalists each week as we rehearse and perform is interesting and noteworthy. This is an educational event for each of them, as well as an entertaining contest.”

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. It's the perfect combination of our mission of music theatre and education.”

All contestants perform the first three weeks of the competition, with no eliminations until they head into week four, regardless of the judge’s scoring. Scores are added together for the first three weeks and eliminations begin prior to the Round Four Semi-Finals. 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. 

The winner of “The Vocalist” and “The Vocalist Junior” will receive a cash prize to assist in furthering their education or career. 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. 

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’. No phone calls. Please email rer764@gmail.com with questions. 

(Note: slight regulations may change prior to the contest beginning in July which would not affect the outcome of the auditions or the competition.)

Saturday, March 28, 2015


She's back where she belongs! "Hello Dolly" starring Andrea McArdle is at The Media Theatre April 22 to May 24. Andrea McArdle returns to the award-winning professional music theatre venue after winning accolades as "Mame" two years ago.

"Hello Dolly", Jerry Herman's Tony winning musical based on Thornton Wilder's "The Matchmaker", is all about the sassy, brassy, and totally classy lady who has her eyes on Horace Vandergelder and assists a few others in finding love as she follows her own destiny.

Andrea McArdle
Andrea McArdle first captured the hearts of theatergoers everywhere in 1977 when she originated the title role in the mega-musical ANNIE, based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”.  Since then, she has starred in several Broadway musicals and appeared in theatres in New York, nationally and internationally.  She has performed in concert halls from Carnegie Hall  to the Hong Kong Philharmonic and casino hotels in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City.  She has honed her craft by working with some of the great legends of the entertainment industry such as Ethel Merman, Liza Minnelli, Julie Andrews, Bob Hope, Liberace, Frank Sinatra, Steve Martin and Martin Short, to name a few, and was privileged to have appeared on television with Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin and Dinah Shore.

As “Annie”, Andrea became the youngest performer ever to be nominated for a Tony Award as Best Lead Actress in a Musical.  She also received the Theater World and Outer Critics' Circle Awards for her performance and went on to star when the show was produced on London’s West End. 

Coming full circle, Andrea was tapped by Academy Award nominated director Rob Marshall to appear as “The Star to Be” in the Disney/ABC television production of ANNIE starring Kathy Bates and Victor Garber.   And in the summer of 2010, Andrea played, yes, Miss Hannigan in a production at the North Carolina Theatre and at Musical Theatre West in California.

Also on Broadway, Andrea starred in the Jerry Herman musical "Jerry's Girls" alongside Carol Channing and Leslie Uggams; she portrayed the sassy Smoking Car, Ashley, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s "Starlight Express"; and starred as Margy Frake in "State Fair"; as Fantine in "Les Miserables" and, most recently as Belle in Disney’s "Beauty and the Beast".  

Most recently, Andrea appeared Off-Broadway in the satirical "Newsical" and regionally as the title role in "Mame" (Media Theatre).  Other theatre appearances include starring as Esther, the Judy Garland role, in "Meet Me In St. Louis"; Mrs. Johnstone in "Blood Brothers", Penelope Pennywise in "Urinetown", Sonia in "They're Playing Our Song"; Luisa in "The Fanasticks"; Eva Peron in "Evita";  Nancy in "Oliver"; the Narrator in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"; Annie Oakley in "Annie Get Your Gun",  Sandy in "Grease" and as Mama Rose in "Gypsy".

In addition to ANNIE, Andrea’s film and television credits include starring as Judy Garland in "Rainbow", appearing in "The Leading Ladies of Broadway" on PBS, "All My Children"on ABC and headlining her own PBS special "Andrea McArdle On Broadway".

Joining Andrea McArdle in the production is a cast of Media Theatre favorites in plum roles and a few newcomers to add to the mix.

Kelly Briggs, recently seen as Thenardier in Media's "Les Miserables", returns to delight audiences alongside Andrea McArdle as Horace Vandergelder. He worked with her in "Mame" as well.

The silky tenor vocals of Patrick Ludt will enhance the role of Cornelius, as he sings "It Only Takes A Moment". Ludt recently took on the role of Jean Valjean in "Les Miserables" and the chameleon-like actor was also Roger in "Rent", Sir Robin in "Spamalot", and Freddy in "My Fair Lady" at The Media. His sidekick, Barnaby, will be played by Cameron Scot Slusser who makes his Media Theatre debut.
Patrick Ludt
Memorable actress and vocalist Elisa Matthews will bring Irene Molloy to life. She was also seen in "Les Miserables" recently as Fantine, and Media audiences have enjoyed her as Betty in "Sunset Boulevard", Maria in "The Sound of Music", and Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady".

Madalyn St. John makes her debut at Broadway World's "Best Theatre Company" of Philadelphia winner (2012, 2013, 2014) as Minnie Fay.

Sam Nagel as Ambrose Kemper, Anne Connors as Ernestina Money, Megan Rucidlo as Ermengarde, Nicholas Saverine as Rudolph, and Hillary Parker as Mrs. Rose round out the featured roles in "Hello Dolly", with the Ensemble consisting of Rachel Beiswenger, Nicole Calabrese, Zachary Chiero, JP Dunphy, Nathan Nolen Edwards, Karen Hockenberry, Adam Hoyak, Richie Sklar, and Taylor Webster.

For Tickets to "Hello Dolly", call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. (Andrea McArdle will not be performing May 1, 2, or 3.)

Saturday, March 21, 2015


"Ghost: The Musical" is receiving standing ovations, as audiences enjoy the regional premiere of the Broadway show at The Media Theatre.

It follows the story of the popular 1990 film it's based on, in which Molly deals with her lover Sam's early demise. Sam contacts a psychic so that Molly understands what really happened.

The show runs through March 29. Wednesday matinee at 2pm, Wednesday evening at 7:30. Thursday performance at 7:30, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, Sunday at 3pm.

The professional cast are members of the Actors Equity Association union. The musical is directed by Jesse Cline.

Anna Giordano as Molly
JP Dunphy as the Subway Ghost with Zack Krajnyak as Sam

Tamara Anderson as Oda Mae Brown and Donnie Hammond as Clara
Anna Giordano as Molly and Zack Krajnyak as Sam

OR VISIT mediatheatre.org

If you were born in the '80's or '90's you are eligible for $25 tickets
on Wednesday nights. Must mention '80's Discount.

Final week of the show $1 from each ticket sold supports Penncrest High School musical if you mention Penncrest Pay-It-Forward.

Friday, March 13, 2015


The Media Theatre has the region's premiere of "Magic Tree House: Knight At Dawn"! It's a fun hour long musical for ages 4 and up based on Mary Pope Osborne's second story in the popular book series about Jack and Annie who find a tree house filled with magic books. When they put their finger on any of the books, they go back in time. 

In "Knight At Dawn", Jack and Annie go back to Medieval Times to meet The Black Knight and learn what courage is all about. The musical has plenty of humor, adventure, and songs such as "How Far Can You See?" and "Welcome To The Dungeon".

This is the second consecutive year in which The Media Theatre presented the regional premiere of a "Magic Tree House" musical. Last year's "Dinosaurs Before Dark" took audiences to prehistoric times and was extremely popular.

The shows are fun for adults as well, presenting a fast-paced hour during which the youth cast, with help from professional adult actors, take audiences along on the journey. There is also a chance for little ones to come up on stage and join in!

Young actors Ben Pedersen and Brynn Washbourne as Jack and Annie
Roger Ricker as The Jester

Jaydin Knight and Jolie Jaffe as Jack and Annie! (The roles are double cast; the actors take turns playing the lead roles)

Denzel Thomas as The Duke!

The Minstrels (Cassidy Else, Sophie Leone, Mary Kate Vine, Katheryn Cooper on the floor)
with Roger Ricker as The Jester

For tickets to the high-energy show, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org! Be one of the first to see "Magic Tree House: Knight At Dawn", which is on weekends now through May 24 (Saturdays at 11am; Sundays at Noon)

Monday, March 9, 2015


Area residents who love theatre will be able to pay it forward by supporting The Media Theatre's hometown high school, Penncrest, which is producing its own all-school musical this month. $1 from every ticket of Ghost: The Musical sold during its final week of March 25 to 29 will help defray costs of Penncrest's annual musical. To make the donation, call the Box Office at 610-891-0100 and use promo code Penncrest Pay Forward.

Broadway's Ghost: The Musical was nominated for three Tony Awards.
With a book by Bruce Joel Rubin and music from the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, with assistance from Glen Ballard, this 2 hour and 20 minute musical maintains its narrative focus on Sam and Molly, the two lovers who are attacked upon returning home one evening causing Sam's untimely demise. An eccentric medium does what she can to help Sam get back in touch with his dear Molly.

An interesting combination of our world and the afterlife, Ghost: The Musical is a touching tribute to love. Performances run through March 29 with matinee and evening shows. The show's final week  -- March 25-29 -- will benefit Media's own Penncrest all-school musical, The Apple Tree. Media Theatre Executive Director Patrick Ward will personally deliver the donation check to the high school at the end of the month.

"Over 60 students in grades 9 through 12 come together each year to put on a top-notch production complete with professional sound and lighting technicians," explained Patrick Murphy, Media Theatre Board Member and Director of Penncrest's All-School Musical. "With costumes and sets and technical requirements, the bills can run quite high so it is imperative that we break even each year. This partnership with The Media Theatre is a wonderful gift. It is also our best bet to defray this year's costs so we may announce to our kids and parents that we have a zero balance as we plan for 2016."

Educating the next generation of actors, dancers, wardrobe supervisors, stage managers, lighting designers and singers is what Media Theatre does best. Its popular schools and summer camps are designed just for children and teens. Information and online registration for The New School, Acting Classes, and Camp Media Theatre can be found at mediatheatre.org. In a few weeks the theatre will be cutting the ribbon on a brand new studio space just two blocks away.

"With a new School and Dance Studio on State Street, The Media Theatre’s educational opportunities have the opportunity to expand beyond the basic core of acting classes currently offered," revealed Jesse Cline, Media Theatre's Artistic Director.
Sean Thompson, seen here in a scene from GHOST with the ensemble. He'll lead the new Audition Class at Media Theatre's School and Dance Studio

"As spring offers a sense of ‘all things new’, the professional music theatre has two new courses added to its curriculum for aspiring actors and singers. Starting Friday April 10, a new Audition class will begin which will touch upon music theatre history as well. In “Audition Through The Decades”, instructor Sean Thompson will teach students the proper way to approach any audition process by becoming familiar with the work of famous musical theatre writers such as Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, and Andrew Lloyd Webber." Thompson is currently in Ghost: The Musical as Carl and has been seen on The Media Theatre stage frequently.

"Another exciting new class being offered," continued Cline, "is the new Introduction to Songwriting for ages 8 and up, instructed and created by Ben Kapilow. Meeting on Wednesdays from 4pm to 6pm starting April 22, the seven-week course seeks to introduce students to the process of composing original songs."

In addition to the final week ticket promotion benefitting Penncrest High School students, theatre fans born in the '80s or '90s can take advantage of a special $25 ticket for any Wednesday performances playing March 11, 18 & 25. Call the box office at 610-891-0100 with the promo code 80's to '90's Special to get the discount.

To purchase tickets online, check the most up-to-date schedules and discover specifics visit mediatheatre.org.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


The Philly region's professional premiere of the musical GHOST: THE MUSICAL is on March 4 to March 29!

Be the first to see the pop/ rock sight and sound extravaganza based on the popular 1990 film. It's one of the most romantic stories of all time, as Sam tries to contact his lover Molly after an untimely demise. 

Here's pics:
Anna Giordano as Molly and Zack Krajnyak as Sam
The Pottery Scene
Tamara Anderson as Oda Mae Brown with Anna Giordano
SAM! Look out!
Sean Thompson as Carl with Ensemble




SEE IT! www.mediatheatre.org/ 610-891-0100
If you were born in the '80's or '90's you can see the show for $25
 any Wednesday night at 7:30.
Just call and say '80's/ '90's Special

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


With a new School and Dance Studio on State Street, The Media Theatre’s educational opportunities have the opportunity to expand beyond the basic core of acting classes currently offered. As spring offers a sense of ‘all things new’, the professional music theatre has a new combined course added to its curriculum for aspiring actors and singers. (Previously announced as two separate classes, the new "Audition/ Songwriting" will be a combination of the two.)

Starting Friday April 24, a new "Audition/ Songwriting" class will begin which will touch upon music theatre history as well. Instructor Jesse Cline, the Artistic Director for The Media Theatre, will teach students the proper way to approach any audition process by becoming familiar with the work of famous musical theatre writers such as Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Ben Kapilow, accompanist, will introduce students to the process of composing original songs of their own.

“Audition/ Songwriting Class” is most suited for ages 10 and up. The 90 minute weekly class will meet from 5:30 to 7:00pm Fridays beginning April 24 for seven weeks.
Ben Kapilow, instructor for Songwriting class

In the "Songwriting" portion of the class, Ben Kapilow seeks to introduce students to the process of composing original songs. Students will be exposed to a variety of musical forms and styles and will analyze famous songs across all genres, discovering what makes them tick. As a group, the students will work both on writing the music and lyrics to their own original songs. Depending on the size of the class, students may also have the opportunity to work on their own personal songs, receiving individualized feedback from the instructor.

Kapilow started playing piano in elementary school, drums in middle school, and composing at age 14. He studied composition privately at the Julliard School of Music when he was 17 years old and then later on at Swarthmore College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2013, and at the Bowdoin International Music Festival. He is active in education, currently teaching piano and voice for the Meridee Winters School of Music in Ardmore and the Darlington Arts Center in Garnet Valley, as well as music directing for the St. Pius School in Broomall and the Mother of Providence School in Wallingford. Ben has collaborated on compositions with artists across many disciplines and has written pieces for dozens of grade school ensembles.

In the "Audition" portion of the class, students will work with Artistic Director Cline on the proper way to handle important auditions. Answers to such questions as "What to wear?", "How to walk into the room or onto the stage?", "What to sing?" , etc. will be approached on an individual level for each student. Lessons will be given which include music theatre history and the work of classic music theatre composers as well as contemporary composers and lyricists which will assist the Songwriting portion of the class. 
Artistic Director Jesse Cline
The songs will also be recorded and made available for download to the parents and families. Though the course will involve a rigorous look into the nuts and bolts of songwriting, no prior knowledge of music or lyric-writing is assumed or necessary.

Along with this new course, The Media Theatre will continue to provide its popular Acting Classes. The hour long Saturday morning Acting Class for Children ages 7 and up will begin its spring session April 11 at 9am, continuing for ten weeks. 

The Second Level Acting Class for Children for those with a bit more experience will start up again Tuesday April 7 for ten weeks starting at 4:30pm, while the Introduction To Theatre Class for ages 4 and 5 will begin the same day at 3:30pm. Each class is one hour per week.

The Teen Acting Class, as well as the Adult Acting Class, will start their spring session April 12. Each is 90 minutes long per week for eight weeks, with the teens meeting at 6pm and the adults meeting at 7:30pm.

Further information regarding the Acting Classes may be found on the website, mediatheatre.org or you may email rer764@gmail.com. 

To register for any of the upcoming Spring classes offered by The Media Theatre, call 610-891-0100 or visit www.mediatheatre.org. All classes are produced and maintained by Media Music Theatre Company, the professional music theatre organization which is based at the theatre (104 East State Street in Media). Classes will take place at the new School and Dance Studio at 28 West State Street.

New Tap and Ballet classes are also being offered! Visit mediatheatre.org