Monday, July 11, 2016


The Media Theatre's 2016 edition of "Vocalist Junior" opened Sunday July 10 to an enthusiastic crowd. The weekly event, now through August August 14, gives audiences an opportunity to see and hear up and coming talent. The performers, aged 7-13, get a rare chance to perform on a professional music theatre stage for large crowds singing the song of their choice each week.

Jesse Cline, the Artistic Director for the Media Theatre, explained to the audience and the vocalists that while it is a competition, and one of them will eventually become the Vocalist Junior winner, it is first and foremost an educational opportunity for the young singers. No one is eliminated until after week four, as it moves into the Semi-Finals and Finals.
Andrew DePaul, one of the judges for "Vocalist Junior" opening night.
He is a Camp Media Theatre Assistant Manager 
The opening week had plenty of Broadway songs for the audience to enjoy, with a large percentage of the vocalists mentioning that Broadway is a main goal where they hope to perform someday. Songs were performed from "Shrek", "Les Miserables", "The Secret Garden", "Oliver!", "Aida", "Newsies", and "Fun Home". Two performers chose songs from the hit musical "Matilda" and one brought back a classic from "Godspell", even dressed as a hippie to add to the feel of her song choice.

But not all of the young singers did Broadway. There were interesting choices such as the pop song "Black Horse and A Cherry Tree" and even one tiny rapper who brought the house down with Eminem's "Lose Yourself". 
Hedgerow Theatre's Susan Wefel, who emceed,
with The Media Theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline

Susan Wefel, a 36 year veteran of the Hedgerow Theatre who often performs at The Media Theatre, emceed. She's back on Media's stage in January and February of 2017 during the upcoming season in "Romeo and Juliet". She will play the Nurse in the production. Wefel has worked with several of the "Vocalist Junior" contestants, having appeared in Media's "Billy Elliot" this past holiday season. 

Cline is the one constant judge throughout the contest, sitting on stage left each week. He chats with the singers after they perform, adding to the entertainment value as the conversations are completely unrehearsed. Two judges assisted Cline, sitting in the audience with their ballots. They were Andrew DePaul, a student at Gettysburg College and Camp Media Theatre Assistant Manager, and John Whitig. Whitig is the President of Iron Workers Bank which sponsors the annual event.

For tickets to "Vocalist Junior" visit or call 610-891-0100. It's just $12 for children and $15 for adults and is a unique way to spend a Sunday evening through August 14. 

Online voting for your favorite contestant is also available for $2 per vote. After the fourth week, all votes are tabulated and those with the most online votes receive extra points added to the judges' scores. It's a fundraising opportunity for the theatre and allows the public to have a say in who might move forward to the Semi-Finals.


Josh Atkinson started the show,
as the entertainers appeared in alphabetical order via their last name.
He did "Build A Wall" from Shrek

Matthew Bentley sings "New York State of Mind"

Jada   Bochanski, "House of Gold"
Shannon Clark, "Castle On A Cloud" from Les Miz
Joseph Colasante, "Seize the Day" from Newsies
Grace Curry does Toy Story 2's "When She Loved Me"
Cara Furchner, "Where Is Love" from Oliver
Veronica Garrubbo, "Killer Instinct" from Legally Blonde
Bridget Henry, "Naughty" from Matilda
Hayley Hughes
Ava Kelly, "Light of the World" from Godspell
Skylar Kelly, Ava's twin, does "The Fight Song"
Khadijah King, "Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?" from Frozen
Sadie Lock, "Disneyland"
Natalie Mancini, "Fly"
Carly McGuinn, "Black Horse and A Cherry Tree"
Fiona Moser, "The World Above"
Amanda Shaughnessy, "I Know The Truth"
Mary Kate Vink, "The Girl I Mean To Be" from Secret Garden
Brynn Washbourne, "Ring of Keys" from Fun Home
Abigail White, "Quiet" from Matilda
Carter Weiss, "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
Violet Wiley, "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid

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