Thursday, December 31, 2015


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.  



Wednesday, December 23, 2015


The Media Theatre's summer teen camp experiences, in which young actors, singers, and dancers work with professionals to produce and perform popular musicals, expands in 2016. Two musicals will be available for youth performers: Jason Robert Brown's "13" and Andrew Lloyd Webber's "School of Rock".

Campers may register for one or both of the musical camps. ENROLL HERE

"13" begins rehearsal on Monday June 13 at 6pm, meeting for three weeks of preparation and allowing the young performers four weekends of performance in July for general public audiences. The musical is all about Even Goldman who moves from New York City to small-town Indiana while dealing with a split family, getting ready for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah, and the pressure of a new school's social circles. 

"School of Rock" is based on the Paramount film which starred Jack Black. A disgruntled rock star wanna-be poses as a substitute teacher and turns his classroom into a mind-blowing rock group. Andrew Lloyd Webber composed 14 new songs for this stage adaptation which confirms the transforming power of music in a fun, hilarious manner. It begins rehearsal on Tuesday July 5 at 6pm, performing for four weekends in August.

The Media Theatre summer teen camp experiences give young actors opportunity to rehearse and perform on the award-winning stage where Broadway stars such as Ann Crumb, Justin Guarini, and Andrea McArdle have delighted audiences over the years. Jesse Cline, the artistic director for the professional music theatre company, oversees the summer camp working with professional directors and designers. 

Registration for "13" is $895 and "School of Rock" is $995. Deposit required.

You may also register for both camps for $1600, with a deposit of $600. 

Call 610-891-0100 for info or visit

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


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

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

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


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

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

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)

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

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 

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Saturday afternoons will be defined by jazz hands, music video style moves, and plenty of stepping as The Media Theatre adds new dance classes to its curriculum. Classes will take place at the theatre's School & Dance Studio located at 28 West State Street in Media starting January 16.

Melanie Hanson joins the staff as a new dance instructor who will lead the new Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Music Theatre Dance Classes Saturday afternoons starting at 1:30pm.
Each class will be an hour in length, with a 15 minute break between each so that students may join in for just one class each Saturday or, if they have the stamina, can take all three each week.
Melanie Hanson, The Media Theatre's new Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Music Theatre Dance Instructor

Melanie Hanson is a recent graduate from York College of Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre. Dancing and training since she was 6 years old, Melanie has used that skill to assist her theatre career. She is also an actress who has stage management in her credits as well. "I'm very well rounded in the art of music theatre," she explained. "Dancing has always been a passion of mine."

To register for the classes, participants must purchase a Media Theatre Dance Card, which are $120 and are good for ten classes of the registrant's choice throughout the week. Each time a card is used, it's marked by the instructor. After ten classes, simply purchase a new one at the theatre.

The entire Winter 2016 Dance Class schedule which begins Monday January 11 at The Media Theatre's School & Dance Studio is:

Mondays: 4pm, Tap 1; 5pm, Tap 2; 6pm, Youth Ballet

Wednesdays: 5pm, Tap 1; 6pm, Youth Ballet; 7pm, Adult Ballet

Thursdays: 6pm, Youth Ballet

Saturdays: 10am, Creative Movement for Ages 4-6; 1:30pm, Hip-Hop; 2:45pm, Jazz; 4pm, Music Theatre Dance


Dorothy Brown will continue to instruct Youth and Adult Ballet classes as well as Tap 1 and Tap 2. 

To register for a Media Theatre Dance Card, call 610-891-0100 or visit

Thursday, December 10, 2015


One word used by professional dancers is ‘extension’. Now, “Billy Elliot” may use the term for a different reason as the hit musical at The Media Theatre has been extended through January 10.

With the one week show extension, Philadelphia/ Wilmington region theatre patrons will have more opportunity to see the production hailed as “Terrific” by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Gunar Daniels flies through the air in "Billy Elliot: The Musical" at The Media Theatre. Photo by Laura Briglia

“Billy Elliot: The Musical” is the 10-time Tony winner which has its regional premiere at The Media Theatre. Elton John’s score propels the story of the boy who has a desire to be a dancer rather than a boxer in a Welsh mining town in the 1980’s. It all takes place during a miner’s strike which propels the boy even more to be all he can be and is an inspirational musical focusing on individuality and following your personal passion.

Media’s Brandon Ranalli and West Chester’s Gunar Daniels, both 13, share the role of Billy Elliot. 

Both were chosen after an extensive search in Manhattan in which director Geoffrey Goldberg and Media’s Artistic Director Jesse Cline put out the call for young actors who could not only fulfill the show’s requirement of ballet and tap, but also would be able to sing the songs such as “Electricity” and had depth as actors. After the search, it was an ironic twist—and an added bonus-- that both boys lived in the Philadelphia region.

“Billy Elliot” will now play through January 10, with the extension week having evening performances at 7pm Wednesday through Saturday, a Saturday matinee at 2pm, and Sunday matinee at 3pm.

For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


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. 

“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.


For information, call 610-891-0100 or email You may also visit

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Auditions for “Dogfight: The Musical” will be held  at The Media Theatre, 104 East State Street, Media, PA. The Open Call is scheduled for Tuesday December 15 from 10am to 4pm.

"Dogfight: The Musical" has a book by Peter Duchan and music and lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul and is an adaptation of Nancy Savoca's 1991 non-musical film. The show premiered off-Broadway at Second Stage in 2012. In the show, three Marines spend their last night in the states before being deployed by partying together. They decide to have a 'dogfight' contest in which they each try to find the homeliest girl and bring her to a party in town. Eddie Birdlace finds Rose, a young waitress, who rewrites the rules of the game and teaches him a major life lesson.

At the audition on December 15, All Roles Open for both AEA and Non-AEA actors.
AEA actors seen first; others, including EMC, as time permits.

No phone calls; for info email
Prepare a song in your vocal range. Accompanist provided.

Director: Jesse Cline
Music Director: Christopher Ertelt

Rehearsals for “Dogfight” begin Monday February February 8, 2016 and continue through Tuesday March 1, 2016. The show plays March 2-27, 2016. 

Eddie Birdlace: A U.S. Marine, Pvt. 1st Class, careless/ lost, from Buffalo NY, early to mid 20’s

Rose Fenny: diner waitress, dreamer, early to mid 20’s; should play the guitar (at least chords)

Bernstein: U.S. Marine, Pvt. 1st Class, inexperienced, from Cleveland, 20’s
Boland: U.S. Marine, Pvt. 1st Class, handsome Southern cad, 20’s
Marcy: brash and crass, nearly toothless prostitute, 30’s
Fector: U.S. Marine, Pvt. 1st Class, not too bright, 20’s
Stevens: U. S. Marine, Pvt. 1st Class, cocky, early 20’s
Gibbs: U.S. Marine, Pvt. 1st Class, Midwestern, early 20’s
Mama: 40’s
Ruth Two Bears: 20’s
Lounge Singer: 40’s

The following roles are included in the ensemble and may be doubled by the actors portraying any roles except the roles of Eddie, Rose, Bernstein, and Boland: Bus Passengers, Pete, Sergeant, Peggy, Librarian, Praying Drag Queen, Diner Patron, Party Dates, Marines, Chippy, Waiter, Big Tony, Hippies