Friday, December 30, 2016

DISNEY'S 'CINDERELLA' IS AT THE MEDIA THEATRE THIS WINTER

Disney and fairy tales have become synonymous over the decades due to the animated cinematic treatments given to classics such as “Cinderella”. Disney’s “Cinderella” may be seen live onstage at The Media Theatre each weekend January 21 through February 19. GET TICKETS HERE

Released by Walt Disney Studios in 1950, the film is one of their most successful adaptations. The story of “Cinderella” has always been one that many relate to, so when Disney added its brand of humor and song to tell the tale of the young lady who dreams of meeting a handsome Prince the legendary story took on new life. Ever since, when “Cinderella” is mentioned it is Disney’s version that first comes to mind.


The Media Theatre has Disney’s “Cinderella” on stage Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon. It’s referred to as the “KIDS” version due to its shortened length and a cast which features young actors in many roles. The stage adaptation includes the beloved songs such as “Bibbidee Bobbidee Boo” and “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” and is approximately one hour in length.

Humor plays a large part in this version, with plenty of opportunities for young audiences to laugh and have fun while feeling sympathy for Cinderella’s predicament. There are, of course, those silly stepsisters and the cute mice as well as audience participation when Cinderella dances at The Ball!

Adding to the humor of the show, the Wicked Stepmother is played by Roger Ricker, a veteran of over 90 productions at The Media Theatre. He was seen most recently as Eeyore in “Winnie The Pooh’s Christmas Tail” and the Broadway Series productions “1776” and “Gypsy”. Tim Haney, another veteran stage performer, plays the role of The King.

Disney’s live stage adaptation features Narrators who assist in moving the fast-paced musical along.

Some of the roles in Disney’s “Cinderella” are double cast, giving performance opportunities to students of The Media Theatre. The student actors are from the New School and acting classes.

The entire cast is:
Cinderella……..Mary Kate Vink/ Violet Wiley
Stepmother……Roger Ricker
Drizella (Stepsister)….Shannon Clark/ Cassidy Else
Anastasia (Stepsister)….Alyssa Carlow/ Hanna Brady

Godmother……Noelle Longenberger/ Hanna Murphy
Prince……………Zachary Divito / Paul Vink
King……………..Tim Haney

Narrators.......Yasmin Ahmed, Grace Curry, Bridget Henry, Eve Rosenstein, Alexsa McKeown

The Mice: Gus….Aidan Fox, Jaq….Charlie Carroccio, Luke…Adrian Henry, Perla….Kiki Troilo

Grand Duke….Sean O’ Neill

Heralds……….Savanna Galloway, Chloe Islam (not double cast….there are two Heralds!)

Cat…….Macy Devitt


For tickets to Disney’s “Cinderella” at The Media Theatre call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. All Broadway Series and Youth Series productions are produced by Media Music Theatre Company.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

MEDIA THEATRE HAS WINTER ACTING CLASSES STARTING IN JANUARY

It's not too early to register for The Media Theatre's Winter Semester of Acting Classes or New School which begin the weekend of January 7, 2017. Classes make a great gift for those interested in honing their stage skills.

The popular acclaimed Children and Teen Acting Classes will be returning, as well as the Adult Acting Class. 

All classes are under the supervision of Broadway World Award winning Artistic Director Jesse Cline, who also instructs the New School which is a conservatory-style music theatre education program. 

The New School, a separate entity from the Acting Classes offered at the theatre, is a weekly session with both acting and vocal music elements for two age groups. The younger age group meets on Mondays from 4:30-6:30 with the teen group meeting on Thursdays during same time period with Cline and Chris Ertelt, the resident music director. 
Pictured:
Media Theatre New School teen students Cassidy Else, Noelle Longenberger, Josiah Jacoby, 
Shannon Clark, Paul Vink, Alyssa Carlow, Isabella Martinez, 
Josh Atkinson, Marni Clark, Jackson Sweeney, and Toni Huegel


The Acting Classes focus solely on acting skills and stage presence while also featuring improvisational theatre exercises for each age group. 

All classes and the New School at The Media Theatre follow the Sanford Meisner Technique which basically states that 'acting is living as truthfully as one can under an imaginary circumstance'. This means that all actors should create as they will as honestly as they are able, without copying anyone else's performance or trying to be who they are not. It's a confidence booster while raising self-awareness.

Roger Ricker, who has been in over 100 productions at The Media Theatre and has worked with Artistic Director Jesse Cline since 1991, will continue instructing the Level One Children's Class on Saturday mornings at 9am for ages 5-8, and the Level Two Children's Class on Tuesday afternoons at 4:30 for ages up to 11. He'll also head the Teen Acting Class on Sunday evenings at 6pm. 

The Level One Children's Class starts January 7, with the Teen Class starting January 8. The Level Two Children's Class starts January 10, as well as the Adult Class.

Tim Haney, who has directed two mainstage productions at Media and has been with Media Music Theatre Company since 1998, instructs the continuing Adult Acting Class on Tuesdays at 7:30pm. 

Cline's New School begins again on January 23, with a 12 week course focusing on monologues and solo vocal performances.

To register for the Acting Classes or New School, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. All Media Theatre acting classes are $400 for the Fall Semester, with The New School having a separate pricing structure.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

MEDIA THEATRE HAS 'WINTER WONDERLAND' CONCERT SUNDAY DECEMBER 11

Sleigh bells ring! Are you listenin'? In the lane snow is glistenin'--well, maybe. While the weather is unpredictable, one thing is certain-Sunday night December 11 a great time will be had by all when The Media Theatre presents its annual holiday themed concert "Winter Wonderland" at 7pm.


Roger Ricker will sing and emcee, with special guests from the cast of "A Christmas Story: The Musical" and students of The Media Theatre's New School and classes entertaining with song and dance in this special two act concert performance. Tickets are $20 each with all proceeds benefiting The Media Theatre.

Ben Pedersen, seen here as Ralphie opening his present in "A Christmas Story",
is one of the featured performers during The Media Theatre's annual "Winter Wonderland" concert
Sunday December 11 at 7pm
Ben Pedersen, who plays Ralphie in "A Christmas Story" will sing "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town". He's been a Media Theatre New School student for three years, studying acting with the thetare's Artistic Director Jesse Cline. He will be joined by adults and youth actors from the cast of "A Christmas Story" who will entertain in this special holiday fundraiser.

Several other young performers who take classes at The Media Theatre will sing, and two young actors will dance their own choreographed routines. "Santa For A Day", "Sleigh Ride", and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and other memorable songs will be featured during the "Winter Wonderland" concert as well as a Billy Squire holiday song that is rarely heard and "The Grinch" will make an appearance. 

The Media Theatre, home to Media Music Theatre Company which produces the Broadway Series, Children's Shows, and educational programs at the historic venue, is Delaware County's only professional music theatre. 

It's a beautiful sight! You'll get into the holiday mood on the night of Sunday December 11 at the "Winter Wonderland" concert at The Media Theatre. Get tickets by calling 610-891-0100 


Friday, November 18, 2016

FIRST LOOK PICS...'A CHRISTMAS STORY' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE

"A Christmas Story: The Musical" is at The Media Theatre now through January 8. The New York Times says the show has a 'likable, perky score' by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. It received Tony Award nominations for Best Score and Best Musical in 2013, as well as for Best Book of A Musical for Joseph Robinette, which is based on the classic holiday film.

"A Christmas Story" is all about Ralphie who wants a Red Ryder BB Gun and his Old Man who wins that ugly leg lamp. The show takes place in Indiana in the 1940's, with everyone learning through the humorous chaos that the holiday season is all about who you have around you rather than the material things you long for. 

The show is directed and choreographed by Dann Dunn, with music direction by Christopher Ertelt. There are matinee and evening performances each week now through January 8. 
Take a look at Maura McConnell's photos from the production and GET TICKETS HERE 
or call 610-891-0100. 

Ralphie (Ben Pedersen) opens his Christmas gift while little brother Randy (Aidan Crane) watches.
The two roles are shared with Tim Woodward and Jacob Shapiro.

The Old Man (Patrick Ludt) enjoys his "Major Award" with the Ensemble 

The cast of "A Christmas Story" at The Media Theatre

Saturday, November 5, 2016

MEDIA THEATRE RECEIVES 49 'BEST OF PHILLY THEATRE 2016' BROADWAY WORLD AWARD NOMINATIONS

After winning a total of 56 Broadway World Awards the past four years combined, including Best Theatre Company of Philadelphia three years in a row, The Media Theatre has received 49 nominations for "Best of Philadelphia Theatre 2016". This is the highest amount of nominations Delaware County's only professional music theatre has ever received in one single year. The nomination process is for shows which opened from October 2015 through September of 2016.
The Media Theatre has a total of four shows nominated for Best Musical ("Billy Elliot", "Bridges of Madison County", "Dogfight", and "1776") as well as a Best Play nomination ("To Kill A Mockingbird"). Even it's non-professional summer camp production was given notice, with the youth production of "13" receiving receiving a nomination for Best Non-Professional Production and two of its lead actors (students Lexi Gwynn and JD Triolo) receiving mention for their performances for the educational experience.
Bob Stineman as Atticus Finch in a scene from "To Kill A Mockingbird", which was nominated for 12 Broadway World Awards for Best of Philly Theatre 2016. Stineman was also nominated for his work in "Bridges of Madison County"
Those who visit the Broadway World Philadelphia site may now vote for their favorites in each category, somewhat like a People's Choice Award, which is why the process is of particular importance to The Media Theatre. "This is a recognition by the public which is highly valuable. These are not theatre critics or journalists who choose what they feel is best, but rather the theatre-goers, theatre community, and general public who allow their voices to be heard," said Artistic Director Jesse Cline, who is nominated for directing both "Bridges of Madison County" and "To Kill A Mockingbird". 
The voting is open to the theater 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 theaters in the region, including The Walnut Street, Bristol Riverside, and more.
Two concerts were nominated in the Best Special Events category: "Jason Robert Brown in Concert" and "Kelly Briggs: Broadway and Beyond". And, for the first time, The Media Theatre was nominated in the Best New Work category for its hit youth production from February of 2016, "Peter Pan And Wendy: A New Musical" with music from composer Ben Kapilow.
In an ironic outcome, since The Media Theatre is known for producing musicals, its annual production of a classic play ("To Kill A Mockingbird") received the most nominations with 12. "Billy Elliot" walked away with 10, while "Bridges of Madison County", "Dogfight", and "1776" each received 7. 
Four actors received two nominations each for their work at Media: Lexi Gwynn, Bob Stineman, JD Triolo, and Susan Wefel.
The nominations received by The Media Theatre for "Best of Philly Theatre 2016" are:
Best Musical: "Billy Elliot", "Bridges of Madison County", "Dogfight", and "1776"
Best Play: "To Kill A Mockingbird"
Best New Work: "Peter Pan And Wendy: A New Musical"
Best Special Event: "Kelly Briggs: Broadway and Beyond" and "Jason Robert Brown In Concert"
Best Non-Professional Production: "13"
Best Director of A Musical: Jesse Cline, "Bridges of Madison County"; Jennie Eisenhower, "1776"; and Geoffrey Goldberg, "Billy Elliot"
Best Director of A Play: Jesse Cline, "To Kill A Mockingbird"
Best Actor in A Musical: Derek Basthemer, "Bridges of Madison County" ; Gunar Daniels, "Billy Elliot"; Ben Dibble, "1776"; Zack Krajnyak, "Dogfight"; JD Triolo, "13" (non-professional)
Best Actress in A Musical: Lexi Gwynn, "13" (non-professional); Elisa Matthews, "Bridges of Madison County"; Victoria Mayo, "Dogfight"
Best Actor in A Play: Bob Stineman, "To Kill A Mockingbird"
Best Actress in A Play: Lexi Gwynn, "To Kill A Mockingbird"; Jolie Jaffe, "To Kill A Mockingbird". (Both played the role of Scout)
Supporting Actor in A Musical: Garrison Carpenter, "Billy Elliot"; John Morrison, "1776"; Bob Stineman, "Bridges Of Madison County"; JD Triolo, "Billy Elliot"
Supporting Actress in A Musical: Susan Wefel, "Billy Elliot"; Faith Yesner, "Bridges of Madison County"
Supporting Actor in A Play: Travis Keith Battle, "To Kill A Mockingbird"; Kelly Briggs, "To Kill A Mockingbird"
Supporting Actress in A Play: Megan Rucidlo, "To Kill A Mockingbird"; Susan Wefel, "To Kill A Mockingbird"
Best Ensemble of A Musical: "1776", "Billy Elliot"
Best Ensemble of A Play: "To Kill A Mockingbird"
Best Music Direction: Christopher Ertelt, "Bridges of Madison County"
Best Choreography: Dann Dunn, "Dogfight"; Jennie Eisenhower, "1776"; Geoffrey Goldberg, "Billy Elliot"
Best Costumes: Four nominations for Katie Yamaguchi, "1776", "Billy Elliot", "Dogfight", and "To Kill A Mockingbird"
Best Set Design: Matthew Miller, "Dogfight"
Best Sound: Carl Park, "Dogfight"
Best Lighting Design: Troy Martin O' Shia, "Billy Elliot"; Troy Martin O' Shia, "To Kill A Mockingbird"



Thursday, October 13, 2016

MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST OF 'WINNIE-THE-POOH'S CHRISTMAS TAIL' NOV. 12 TO DEC. 31

There's a lot of goings on in the Hundred Acre Wood, especially because of Eeyore. It seems he has lost his tail so everyone gets into the act to help find it in "Winnie-The-Pooh's Christmas Tail", which is at The Media Theatre November 12 to December 31. The hour long musical has performances on Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon each weekend, but there is no show on Christmas Day because Winnie-The-Pooh and the gang will be resting.

In "Winnie-The-Pooh's Christmas Tail" a very special Friend-and-Relation tells Christopher Robin a story of a Christmas Eve long ago (about last year) when Eeyore, the old gray donkey who lives by himself in the thistle corner, was absolutely miserable. It seems that he lost his tail and Winnie-The-Pooh and Piglet got their friends together to organize a search.

The show is perfect for ages 4 and up, and is nostalgic fun for parents who love A.A. Milnes' lovable characters. The theme of the show is caring, sharing, and the importance of cultivating friends. It's a perfect introduction to live theatre for young audiences during the holiday season. GET TICKETS HERE!

Roger Ricker, who has appeared in over 100 productions at The Media Theatre including both Broadway and Children's Series musicals, plays the role of Eeyore, the Old Gray Donkey. Ricker was seen last holiday season as the flamboyant town show director in "Jack Frost", and in last season's mainstage shows "Gypsy" and "1776". 

The rest of the cast is made up of students from The Media Theatre's New School and Acting Classes. All of the principle roles are double cast, giving as many young actors as possible the opportunity to hone their skills in front of a live audience.

The entire cast is:

Winnie-The-Pooh......Holden Dubach & Sean O' Neill
Christopher Robin....Alex Pollard &  Carter Weiss
Eeyore.........................Roger Ricker
Piglet............................Aidan Fox & Bridget Henry
Rabbit..........................Marnie Clark & Hanna Brady
Tigger..........................Josh Atkinson & Zachary Divito
Kanga.........................Isabelle Martinez & Mary Kate Vink
Roos...........................Macy Devitt, Danny Pedersen, Maxwell Talbot
Owl..............................Alyssa Carlow & Shannon Clark

The Ensemble is made up of Yasmin Ahmed, Sarah Begley, Brooklyn Bonner, Charlie Carroccio, Grace Curry, Savanna Galloway, Adrian Henry, Maiah Islam, Abitha Madesh, and Mary Kathryn Schwartz.

"Winnie-The-Pooh's Christmas Tail" is on Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon November 12 through December 31 (no show Christmas Day). Tickets are on sale now at 610-891-0100 or mediatheatre.org. Group seating available. There is one special Friday morning show on December 2 at 9:45am.








Tuesday, October 4, 2016

MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST FOR 'A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE MUSICAL'

The hit show "A Christmas Story: The Musical" is at The Media Theatre November 9 to January 8. It's suitable for all ages and makes a great outing for families during the holiday season. 

Based on the classic film which has gained popularity with each showing on television each holiday season, the musical has a book by Joseph Robinette with music and lyrics written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Songs include "Ralphie To The Rescue", "Sticky Situation", "It All Comes Down To Christmas", and "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid!"

The story takes place in Indiana in the 1940's focusing on Ralphie, the boy who wants a Red Ryder BB Gun. He eventually learns that the holidays are not about what you have but who you have around you to share them with. There is a humorous sub-plot featuring Ralphie's father, referred to as The Old Man, who wins a leg lamp. 

It was nominated for three Tony Awards for its 2012 production at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in Manhattan (Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score). It also received two Outer Critics Circle nominations (Outstanding New Broadway Musical and Featured Actor), as well as six Drama Desk nominations.

"A Christmas Story: The Musical" is part of The Media Theatre's Broadway Series which features professional actors who are members of the Actors Equity Association union. The two-act show has a live orchestra, as do all professional productions at The Media Theatre. It is directed and choreographed by Dann Dunn. 

The role of Ralphie is double cast, with two students from The Media Theatre's New School. Ben Pedersen and Tim Woodward will share the role. The role of Ralphie's younger brother Randy is shared by Aidan Crane and Jacob Shapiro.

Jennie Eisenhower takes on the role of Mom, with Patrick Ludt as The Old Man. Kelly Briggs is Jean Shepherd, while Krissy Fraelich plays Miss Shields.

Each role in the youth cast is shared by two talented young actors. Schwartz is brought to life by Zachary Divito and Sean O' Neill, with Josh Atkinson and Josiah Jacoby appearing as Flick. Scut is Jared Brito and Andrew Rubin, with Grover being performed by Aidan Brito and Carter Weiss. 
The youth ensemble who play the school students is made up of Caileigh Crane, Rebecca Hunchak, Jolie Jaffe, Alexsa McKeown, Rachael McVey, Kate Nadauld, Kennedy Ndiaye, Kristianna Ranalli, Noah Scher, Brynn Washbourne, and Violet Wiley. 

Julianna Babb, Dante Brattelli, Glenn Britton, Nicole Calabrese, Larissa Culbertson, JP Dunphy, Nate Golden, Alicia Jayne Kelly, Topher Layton, Mark Marano, Kimberly Maxson, Hillary Parker, Amanda Shaffern, and JD Triolo make up the rest of the cast. They'll be seen as everything from Elves and Santa in Higbee's Department Store to parents of school students. 

For tickets to "A Christmas Story: The Musical", which is on stage November 9 to January 8, call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. Gift cards are also available. The show is suitable for all ages for the entire holiday season. CLICK HERE TO GET TICKETS NOW















Tuesday, September 20, 2016

"THE REAL STORY OF LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD" IS AT MEDIA THEATRE WEEKENDS SEPT. 24-NOV. 5

In this day and age, everyone knows there are at least two sides to every story. Now, you get to see the Wolf's point of view when it comes to the tale of Red Riding Hood.

"The Real Story of Little Red Riding Hood" at The Media Theatre presents two versions of the fable in a comedic fashion for ages 4 and up. The first version is the one we all know in which a wolf disguises himself as Grandma to attack the girl in the red outfit. But, what we don't know is the second version of the story in which the girl is totally annoying and Grandma makes a deal with the Wolf to teach her a lesson in humility. 


The musical is on each Saturday morning at 11am and Sundays at Noon September 24 through November 5. It's the perfect treat for children who are being introduced to live theatre, and it's fun for the adults to see the humorous twist in the tale. 

The show features a cast of young student actors from The Media Theatre's New School and Acting Classes. There are animals on stage, including a Deer, Skunk, and Rabbit, as well as a Butterfly and little bugs to add to the fun. 
Brynn Washbourne as Red Riding Hood, with Paul Vink as the Wolf
They share the roles with Bridget Henry and Zachary Divito
The 45 minute production has memorable lessons for children, and pleasant reminders for more mature audiences with songs such as "It's Nice To Be Nice". There is also a public service announcement in the production about not littering in public parks and campgrounds.

Other song titles are "The Chase", "The Plan", "That's The Way It Was", and "I'm So Pretty". Judy Wolfman wrote the script, with music and lyrics by David Reiser. Carol Sorensen designed the costumes, with Daniel Espie music directing and accompanying each performance on keyboard.

"The Real Story of Little Red Riding Hood" does not contain any frightening scenes and provides a fun way for young audiences to learn while being entertained. For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. GET TICKETS HERE

Friday, September 16, 2016

FIRST LOOK PHOTOS.....THE MEDIA THEATRE'S 'BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY: THE MUSICAL'

Jason Robert Brown's Tony winning score enhances "The Bridges of Madison County: The Musical", which is on stage at The Media Theatre through October 23. The beautiful borough of Media, Pa., has the region's only professional music theatre at 104 East State Street. 

"The Bridges of Madison County: The Musical" is having its Philadelphia regional professional premiere at The Media Theatre. While a national tour did come through Philly a few months ago, this is the first time an area theatre has produced the show from 'the ground up', creating a set unique to The Media Theatre production directed by Broadway World Award winner Jesse Cline. 

In the show based on the classic novel, Francesca, an Italian housewife played by Elisa Matthews,  meets Robert, a National Geographic photographer one afternoon and has a romantic affair with him while her family is away at the Iowa State Fair. Derek Basthemer makes his Media Theatre debut as Robert.

For tickets to the musical, call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. Photos by Maura McConnell. GET TICKETS HERE NOW


Francesca (Elisa Matthews) and Robert (Derek Basthemer)
in "The Bridges of Madison County: The Musical"
at The Media Theatre
Elisa Matthews and Derek Basthemer
Francesca's son Michael (Gianni Palmarini) with her husband Bud (Bob Stineman)
Francesa (Elisa Matthews) with daughter Carolyn (Anna Rosenthal)
Derek Basthemer as Robert remembers Francesca (Elisa Matthews)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

MEDIA THEATRE STUDENTS GAIN PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE IN 'BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY' MUSICAL

The borough of Media, just minutes from Center City Philadelphia, is fortunate to have a thriving professional regional music theatre company housed in its historic Media Theatre. Known as Media Music Theatre Company, the not-for-profit sees as one of its greatest achievements a focus on education.

Producing five major professional productions per season, The Media Theatre has become synonymous with Media Music Theatre Company. The productions often have opportunities for its students to perform alongside Actors Equity Association members, gaining insight and experience as they portray important roles within the show's structure. 
Gianni Palmarini, who plays Michael in "Bridges of Madison County" at Media Theatre
The 2016-17 season opener, "The Bridges of Madison County: The Musical", offers that experience for three Media Theatre students. Gianni Palmarini, a 16 year old from Aston, plays the role of Michael in the show, while Anna Rosenthal and Molly Sorensen share the role of Carolyn. Michael and Carolyn are the children of Francesca, the Italian woman who meets a National Geographic photographer and has a life-changing romance for a few days while her family is away.

Gianni Palmarini has his first professional role in the production. A proud product of The Media Theatre's New School, which is a conservatory-style music theatre education program focusing on acting and vocal music under the guidance of Artistic Director Jesse Cline, Palmarini has been in several of the theatre's summer teen musicals including "Hair" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" and is the 2012 "Delco Idol Junior" winner. He's been in several Media Theatre Children's Series productions as well, and recently studied vocal performance at Interlochen Center for the Arts. The knowledge and confidence he gained at Media allowed him to play the lead role of Evan in "13", Nathaniel in "The Civil War", and Laurie in "Little Women: The Musical" in community theatre productions. 
Anna Rosenthal, one of the young student actresses who plays the role of Carolyn


Philadelphia's Anna Rosenthal and Malvern's Molly Sorensen share the role of Carolyn. 

Rosenthal, 14, is in her second professional production at Media, after appearing in last season's holiday hit "Billy Elliot". She's appeared off-Broadway in "Timmy the Great" and was a featured vocalist this past June in Cline's "The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber" at Media. She's a New School student as well, and has had private lessons with Cline. She's been in productions of "Mary Poppins", "Annie", and "The Sound of Music" and won a Broadway World Award for Best Actress Under Age 25 for the Central PA region.
Molly Sorensen, who also plays the role of Carolyn
Sorensen, 15, is in her Broadway Series debut with "Bridges of Madison County", but she's been seen frequently on The Media Theatre stage taking part in the performance opportunities its students gain. She played Patrice in "13" and lead roles in the theatre's children's series productions of "Snow White" and "Beauty and the Beast". in 2014, she won the "Vocalist Junior" summer singing competition. She's also been seen in "Shrek Jr" and "Beauty and the Beast Jr" at Malvern Theatre Society.

"We are very happy to increase the validity of music theatre education," said Cline, who also directs "The Bridges of Madison County"at Media. "The classes are extremely helpful. The opportunities we provide each season for our students to perform alongside professional actors in major Tony winning Broadway productions such as "Bridges of Madison County" are an added bonus. Music theatre education is a major component of our mission."

Over the years, Cline has overseen a revised Theatre School which gained popularity and recognition with acting classes for children, teens, and adults. Camp Media Theatre just celebrated its sixteenth summer, seeing growth each year so much so that in 2016 the camp offered two complete summer musicals ("13" and "School of Rock") and had more campers within its day camp than ever before. The New School came into fruition in 2010, which is a conservatory-style music theatre education experience with weekly classes for two age groups September through April.

"Classes are the basis of the training," Cline explained. "Performing in productions adds so much to each student's capabilities. It's training taking place in front of a live audience at an award-winning music theatre company. We are very appreciative of the region's support."

To see "The Bridges of Madison County: The Musical" at The Media Theatre, which runs September 14 to October 23, or to find out more about classes being offered, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. The show, with a book by Marsha Norman, and a Tony winning score by Jason Robert Brown, is based on the best-selling novel. It's a sweeping romance about the roads we travel, and the bridges we dare to cross. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

MEDIA THEATRE'S 2016-17 CHILDREN'S SERIES SEASON BRINGS LITTLE RED, WINNIE, CINDERELLA, AND A TRIP TO WONDERLAND

The Media Theatre has a line-up of Children's Shows for 2016-17 that will please children ages 4 and up as well as their parents. Each show has important valuable lessons, student actors as well as adult actors, and songs which assist in telling the story. They're on Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon for general audiences. Each are approximately one hour in length. 
The Children's Series opens on September 24 to November 6 with "The Real Story of Little Red Riding Hood". Based on the tale of the little girl who meets a hungry wolf, this comedic musical is told from the Wolf's point of view. The sympathetic beast is upset because he has been maligned for too many years due to the well-known children's parable. He's determined to defend his good intentions and he reveals Red Riding Hood's true nature, which is rarely shown to the outside world. With toe-tapping tunes, this funny story is ideal for pre-school through elementary ages, showing that there are always two sides to every story. It's cuddly, not scary, and funny instead of frightening. 

"Winnie-The-Pooh's Christmas Tail" entertains for the holidays November 12 through December 31. (Note there is no show on Christmas Day, Dec. 25). In the musical, Christopher Robin hears the story of a Christmas Eve very long ago--about last year--when Eeyore, everyone's favorite old gray donkey who lives by himself in the thistle corner of Hundred-Acre Wood, lost his tail. Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet get their friends together to search for his lost 'ending'. The delightful adventure has a theme of caring, sharing, and friendship.
"Cinderella" is on stage January 14 to February 19, 2017. This musical for children is a bit different than the Disney version of the story, in which a dog assists Cinderella to find happiness. He joins all of the other characters audiences have come to know such as the stepsisters, stepmother, Fairy Godmother, and Prince Charming.

The spring brings "Alice In Wonderland". The Media Theatre's Ben Kapilow, who gives private piano lessons throughout the year and who wrote the music for the recent "Jungle Book" and "Peter Pan And Wendy", writes a new score for this fast-paced humorous adventure in which Alice follows The White Rabbit to come face to face with the Queen of Hearts. She has quite an adventure, meeting a Caterpillar, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and others from Lewis Carroll's book. "Alice" is on March 4 to May 21. 

Tickets are on sale now for "The Real Story of Little Red Riding Hood" and "Winnie-The-Pooh's Christmas Tail". Group rates available. Individual tickets are $12 for children and $15 for adults. Call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org




Monday, August 15, 2016

MEDIA THEATRE'S 2016 VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD GOES TO SANDRA MCKEOWN!

The Media Theatre appreciates its volunteers. As a non-profit organization, the professional music theatre company often needs assistance in various aspects. The 2016  Volunteer of The Year Award goes to Brookhaven's Sandra McKeown, who is affectionately referred to as 'Sandy' by those who know her.

She received the honor during the Wednesday August 24 concert "Can't Stop The Beat" which featured many youth from the theatre's classes and camps who entertained the crowd.
The Media Theatre's 2016 Volunteer of the Year Award winner Sandy McKeown,
with her daughter Alexsa who is a student at Media Theatre.

Sandra McKeown has been involved at the theatre for three years, watching as her daughter, Alexsa, has taken acting and dance classes. "I love helping out here," Sandra said. "Our daughter's confidence and self-awareness plus her ability to just be herself grew as a result of the education programs and performances she is in."

She's referring to the fact that all of the students at Media have opportunities to perform in both children's series productions and, at times, the Broadway Series. 

"I like to be busy," Sandra stated. "I am not very good at sitting still! So I found ways to get involved. It's a way for me to support something that means so much to Alexsa and it allows me to support the arts in our region. On top of all that...it's fun!"

Sandra McKeown has volunteered in many aspects, including ushering, selling concessions, telemarketing, assisting with costumes for the children's shows, and even designing the costumes for the recent summer camp production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "School of Rock".

"I am honored," she said. "Thanks to The Media Theatre for this recognition. But it's important for me to say that the recognition is not why I'm involved. I believe it is important to support our children, the community, and to enable The Media Theatre's music theatre experience to be accessible to everyone."

She's the second recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award. Last year's award was given to Prospect Park Police Officer Henry O' Neill.

To find out about The Media Theatre's education programs, children's shows, or how to get involved, visit mediatheatre.org or email Roger at rer764@gmail.com.




BERWYN'S VERONICA GARRUBBO WINS 'VOCALIST JUNIOR' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE

Veronica Garrubbo, 13, of Berwyn, is one happy singer. She won the 2016 "Vocalist Junior" contest, which is The Media Theatre's annual singing competition for ages 7-13. The past three years have seen the title go to 13 year old vocalists.

During the Sunday night contest, in which Veronica along with the entire team of contestants performed songs of their choice for packed houses and a rotating roster of judges, she belted out several of her favorite Broadway tunes to enthusiastic applause. 

Veronica Garrubbo reacts as her name is called as the 2016 "Vocalist Junior" winner.
Second place winner Sadie Lock looks on.
For the win, she received $500. Each of the top five received a cash prize, although it's most likely fair to say that all of the contestants--whether in the final five or not--were able to take with them an educational experience due to singing for live audiences each of the six weeks the contest was held. 

Second place went to went to 9 year old Sadie Lock of Wenonah, NJ. Third place went to Sean Lock, 12, of Malvern. Ironically, he and Sadie are not related at all and did not know each other prior to the event.

Fourth place was Bridget Henry, 9, of Havertown, with Hayley Hughes, 13, of Hockessin, DE, taking fifth.
The 2016 "Vocalist Junior" top five:
Veronica Garrubbo, Bridget Henry, Hayley Hughes, Sadie Lock, and Sean Lock


As Jesse Cline, Artistic Director for Media Theatre, stated each week during the contest, "This is not just about who wins or does not win. They are all winners. To have this type of educational experience is priceless."

Iron Workers Bank sponsored the event, as it has for the past several years. "Vocalist Junior" was created to compliment the "Vocalist", which is for singers aged 14-24.

For more information regarding The Media Theatre's educational opportunities, visit mediatheatre.org or call 610-891-0100. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

SWARTHMORE'S JACOB MERGOTT WINS MEDIA THEATRE'S 'VOCALIST'

The tallies have been tabulated, the votes have been counted, and the songs have been sung. After six weeks of bringing his smooth pop crooning style to The Media Theatre stage, the winner of the 2016 "Vocalist" competition is 17 year old Jacob Mergott of Swarthmore.
Alli Sutton and Jacob Mergott, the "Vocalist" Top Two
as they wait to find out
whose name was called as the winner
Jacob Mergott wins!
HUGS!
Mergott brought a unique quality to the contest, choosing songs one might hear Michael Buble sing or that you would hear backed by a big band week after week. Barely needing a microphone, but using one as all contestants do, Mergott's natural sleek bari-tenor vocals were loud and clear. 

During the finals, each of the Top 15 were asked to sing a show tune. Each of the contestants had to prepare two songs in the case they made it to the second act (the top five). Jake Mergott's show tune was "Blue Skies" from the 1929 Rodgers and Hart show "Betsy", and in the top five spotlight he performed the classic "You Raise Me Up" to much applause.

The 17 year old audience favorite walked away with $1500 as the winner, and much enthusiasm for his future. To see his winning performance, watch the video on the Ridley Good News facebook page WATCH IT HERE
John Whitig of Iron Workers Bank (sponsor for the Vocalist), winner Jacob Mergott,
Artistic Director Jesse Cline, and emcee Kelly Briggs
Coming in second place was 16 year old Allison Sutton of Hatboro who won $500. Malvern's Molly Sorensen, 15, came in third place, with Elaine Ficarra, 15, of Glenmoore winning fourth and Phoenixville's 21 year old Carrie Hytha taking fifth. The third, fourth, and fifth place winners received $100 each. All of the five top placers were also given Media Theatre gift cards.

The Media Theatre has been producing the summer singing contest for a decade, having been created by Cline. Once called "Delco Idol", for the past several years it's been referred to as "The Vocalist" and is sponsored by Iron Workers Bank. The Wednesday night gives young performers and singers an opportunity to highlight their skills in front of a large live audience each week, as they hone their craft. For four weeks, no one is eliminated, until the Semi-Finals and the Finals take place in August. 

This was Mergott's second year in the competition, having made it to the Top 15 last summer. He was also seen in "Tale of Beauty and the Beast" as The Beast last fall, during which he was able to focus on his acting skills.

For more information about educational opportunities at The Media Theatre, which begins its Fall semester of acting classes September 10, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

MEDIA THEATRE'S 'VOCALIST JUNIOR' HAS ITS TOP 15 FINALISTS

The twenty remaining contestants of "Vocalist Junior" gave it their all during the Semi-Finals, and now the Top 15 Finalists have been announced.

Since all previous scores had been erased before the Semi-Finals, the Finalists bravely chose difficult songs, dressed in costumes, and some even had props with them on stage.

The one constant judge for the competition, The Media Theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline, gave advice or comments to each vocalist. To a few, he mentioned "You must listen to the keyboard" as there were, in such anxiety filled performances, pitch problems. To others, he said, "This is a great song, but should really be sung by someone in their forties. You're only 13!"

And there were the select few to whom he stated, "That was great! A very good performance."
The Vocalist Junior Top 15 are:
Back-Grace Curry, Fiona Moser, Veronica Garrubbo, Amanda Shaughnessy
Middle-Mary Kate Vink, Josh Atkinson, Violet Wiley, Cara Furchner,  Hayley Hughes, Sean Lock
Front-Skylar Kelly, Sadie Lock, Carter Weiss, Bridget Henry, Brynn Washbourne
So as the night wore on the singers did their best with a variety of song styles and choices (vocalists always choose their own songs). The judges filled out their ballots as the show took place, and online/ public voting was available as well. Each contestant started the Semi-Finals with a score of Zero, as all previous scores were wiped away.

The same will be true with the Finals on August 14. No previous score will have any affect on the outcome, and it will all come down to what happens on the Final night. The Top 15 will sing in Act One on August 14 and then the Top Five will perform in Act Two, as ten will be eliminated at intermission.

The "Vocalist Junior" 2016 Top 15 are: Josh Atkinson, 12, Drexel Hill; Grace Curry, 11, Broomall; Cara Furchner, 8, Glen Mills; Veronica Garrubbo, 13, Berwyn; Bridget Henry, 9, Havertown; Hayley Hughes, 13, Hockessin, DE; Skylar Kelly, 12 of Phoenixville; Sadie Lock, 9, Wenonah, NJ; Sean Lock, 12, Malvern; Fiona Moser, 13, Havertown; Amanda Shaughnessy, 13, Wallingford; Mary Kate Vink, 12, West Chester; Brynn Washbourne, 9, Coatesville; Carter Weiss, 11, Pike Creek, DE; and Violet Wiley, 10, Woodlyn.

For tickets to the very entertaining event, call 610-891-0100 OR GET TICKETS HERE

MEDIA THEATRE HAS 'FIVE LITTLE PUMPKINS' SUNDAYS SEPT. 30 TO OCT. 28

The Media Theatre has a brand new hour long musical for children ages 4 and up just in time for the Halloween season. "Five Little Pu...