Saturday, March 19, 2016

MEDIA THEATRE HAS A WHO'S WHO OF PHILLY FAVORITES IN '1776'

To close the 2015-16 season, The Media Theatre has a musical to lead Philadelphia into the time frame of the upcoming 2016 Democratic Convention which will be hosted by the City of Brotherly Love. 

It's "1776", Peter Stone and Sherman Edwards' classic which follows John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Richard Henry Lee as they attempt to have the second Continental Congress vote for independence from the British monarchy by signing the Declaration of Independence. 
BEN DIBBLE IS JOHN ADAMS
With humor and insight, "1776" represents the most seminal event in our nation's history. It's a musical based in Philadelphia, about the beginnings of our American society as we know it today. 

"1776" is directed by Jennie Eisenhower--the granddaughter of two Presidents, which seems very fitting-- and stars Ben Dibble as John Adams as it represents the beginnings of our freedoms to choose. It runs April 13 to May 22. (Interesting side note: The date of the first public performance, April 13, happens to be Thomas Jefferson's birthday.)

With "Hamilton" wowing crowds on Broadway, it's time to revisit the classic musical about our founding fathers. 

Songs in "1776" include "Cool, Cool, Considerate Men", "Mama Look Sharp", and "Molasses to Rum". The show is appropriate for all ages and is an entertaining view of the beginnings of our nation for young audiences.

The cast of "1776" features many of Philadelphia's most popular actors including Dibble, Joseph O' Brien, Jim Conte, Nicholas Saverine, Bob Stineman, and more. Abigail Adams and Martha Jefferson are portrayed by Elyse Langley and Meredith Beck.

The entire cast is:
John Adams………… Ben Dibble                                   
Abigail Adams……….. Elyse Langley
Thomas Jefferson… Joseph O’Brien
Martha Jefferson……..  Meredith Beck
Ben Franklin……….. John Morrison
John Hancock…….. Andrew Criss
Richard Henry Lee…. Larry Lees
Stephen Hopkins….. Jim Conte
McKean……………… Rusty Flounders
Lyman Hall…………. David Nikolas
Livingston…………. Patrick Ludt
Rutledge…………… Luke Brahdt
John Dickinson…… Bob Stineman
Andrew McNair…….. Bill Van Horn
Caesar Rodney…….. Nicholas Saverine
Lewis Morris………… Dave Gold
Roger Sherman…….. Jason Mangano
Courier………………… Thomas Lock
Samuel Chase………. Mark Marano
Joseph Hewes……… Sam Nagel
George Read………… Roger Ricker
Witherspoon………… Michael Fuchs
James Wilson………. Geoff Bruen
Josiah Bartlett………..Steven Ciapanna
Charles Thomson…… Anthony Marsala
Leather Apron……….. Chris McCollum

For tickets to "1776" visit mediatheatre.org or call 610-891-0100. Group rates available. 


Friday, March 11, 2016

PHOTO FLASH! 'DOGFIGHT' THE MUSICAL PICS....SHOW IS AT MEDIA THEATRE 'TIL MARCH 27

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's music and lyrics drive "Dogfight: The Musical" at The Media Theatre. With a book by Peter Duchan, this fast-paced show touches the heart in ways you may not imagine as the tale is told of young marines ready to be deployed. One of their lives is changed forever after they play a cruel game only to discover that love and life are the eventual winners.

Directed by Jesse Cline and featuring a cast of professional actors from NYC and the Philadelphia region, "Dogfight" is on stage through March 27. All seats are just $25 on Tuesday nights.

Call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org for tickets. 

Zack Krajnyak as Eddie Birdlace


The Marines: Joe Pudetti, Zack Krajnyak, Kyle Segarra, Michael Wessells, Jake Glassman, CJ Celeiro,
and Denzel Thomas
At the Dance: Victoria Mayo and Zack Krajnyak
Wartime: The Marines
The Kiss
PHOTOS BY MAURA MCCONELL

Monday, March 7, 2016

'DOGFIGHT' ACTORS GET MARINE CUTS AT HAIR KUTZ STUDIO IN MEDIA

The musical "Dogfight" is about young marines in 1963 who are getting ready to be deployed. To be a marine in this context, an actor must be able to portray a healthy, strapping, and exuberantly youthful guy who has no idea what his future holds. Well, he does know one thing...He'll have to get his hair cut 'high and tight'.

To that end, and to assist the actors and the production directed by Jesse Cline, Jackie Ferrell stepped in. She owns and operates Hair Kutz Studio in Media on State Street, just a few blocks away from The Media Theatre where the show is on stage March 9-27. She also does most of the cutting for her mostly male clientele.
Jackie Ferrell, of Hair Kutz Studio in Media, does a 'high and tight' for actor Kyle Segarra

Jackie Ferrell adores The Media Theatre, and said, "I am honored to be able to help out. The shows are terrific, the actors are so nice, and it makes me feel happy to be partnered with the theatre."
Lead actor Zack Krajnyak has mixed feelings about getting the Marine look but knows the value of doing what's needed for your art...and your girlfriend

So on Monday morning March 7, just two days prior to the show's opening, on a day Jackie would usually have as a day of rest from her busy hair cutting schedule, she pleasantly opened her studio for the seven young actors. One by one, with a smile on her face and the enthusiastic conversation one would expect from a professional hair stylist, she buzzed each actor's hair to give them the 'high and tight' look needed for the production.
Glenn Britton seems fine, don't you think?
Denzel Thomas actually ended up loving having almost no hair. 
And she did it all as a gift for the theatre. It took her just a bit over two hours, and she never tired or stopped to rest. In fact, she said, "I love this! This is what I live for, to do my job, to do it well, and to support the community when I am able."

The seven actors (Glenn Britton, Jake Glassman, Zack Krajnyak, Joe Pudetti, Kyle Segarra, Denzel Thomas, and Michael Wessells) kept her entertained while she clipped and buzzed one 'marine' after the other. With jokes flying right and left, talk of a contest to see who lost the most hair, and a bit of off-color humor befitting a troupe of dudes in their 20's, she was never bored. "They are like a group of guys who would be deployed together," Jackie said. "They've bonded and they'll forever be buddies now because of the show and their experiences together. It's a natural thing and it's what marines do, too."
Jake Glassman with one side down.
An almost finished Joe Pudetti.
Michael Wessels is diggin' it, as they would have said in 1963.

So if you weren't there, you'll never know exactly what transpired because, as the saying goes, 'only the hairdresser knows for sure'.
Seven handsome young men, with their 'high and tight' haircuts, ready for action in DOGFIGHT
From left to right is: C. J. Celeiro, Kyle Segarra, Jake Glassman, Zack Krajnyak, Michael Wessels, Glenn Britton, and Joe Pudetti with Denzel Thomas at center.

You can see the guys in action during the run of "Dogfight: The Musical" at The Media Theatre March 9-27. The show, by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul and a book by Peter Duchan is based on the 1991 film. The story follows the marines as they have a night of partying and play a cruel joke, which causes a young waitress to change one of their lives forever. It is a heartfelt and haunting musical. Call 610-891-0100 for tickets or visit mediatheatre.org. Note: "Dogfight" does have adult language.

Hair Kutz Studio is at 300 West State Street in Media, no appointment necessary but you may call 610-566-4820. Studio hours are Tues and Wednesday 7:30am-3pm, Thursday and Friday 7:30am-6pm, and Saturday 6:30am-3pm. Tell Jackie that the guys from "Dogfight" sent ya!

Friday, March 4, 2016

SPRING SEMESTER OF ACTING CLASSES BEGINS APRIL 2 AT MEDIA THEATRE--REGISTER TODAY!

Acting classes start up again the weekend of April 2 at The Media Theatre. The Spring semester presents a variety of classes for children, teens, and adults.  

The classes offer professional training for those just beginning or wishing to further their education. Instruction is based on The Meisner Technique which follows the basic structure that ‘Acting is living as truthfully as one can under an imaginary circumstance.’ 

Within this curriculum there is no ‘character’ or pretense and actors are placed in an environment which allows them to be who they are, building self-awareness and self-esteem within their own unique personality. The idea of ‘copying’ someone else’s performance is pushed aside as actors create from within themselves to fulfill the required role they may be asked to portray.
A scene from Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs at The Media Theatre. All youth registered for acting classes are invited to appear in the children's shows on Media's stage.
The Media Theatre will continue to offer two separate levels for children. The popular Children’s Class, for ages 6 and up, will meet on Saturday mornings at 9am beginning April 2 and continuing for ten weeks. This one-hour weekly course is primarily for ages 5 to 8 who are just starting out or who have less stage experience than others in their age group. It features exercises for building basic speaking skills on stage (volume, diction), learning stage directions, and developing self-esteem. Fun improvisational style exercises are also utilized to build the concept that acting requires team work on occasion. Imagination is a major ingredient of this class.

Level Two for Children will meet Tuesdays at 4:30 beginning April 5. This 10-week one-hour course is appropriate for children ages 8 to 11, or for those who have some onstage experience. The focus is primarily on  group or scene work to strengthen acting skills. Theatre exercises are also implemented to enhance stage focus and discipline. 
Ben Pedersen, Jolie Jaffe, and Jacob Shapiro in a scene from the recent "To Kill A Mockingbird"

The Teen Acting Class will continue on Sundays at 6pm starting April 3. This eight-week 90-minute class is ideal for ages 12 and up. Each student is given one-on-one instruction within a group environment.  Focus is on stage skills, following direction, scripted scene work with partners, and monologues. Improvisational Scene Work is also explored, and becomes a major part of the focus as the weeks progress, enhancing the ability to 'react quickly as you would without over-analyzing'.

The Adult Class will meet Tuesdays at 7:30 starting April 5. This eight-week 90-minute class is designed for the adult (18 and up) who wishes to explore acting for the first time or who wants to strengthen their stage skills. Scene study with partners and monologues are the focus. The class also enhances those whose careers involve any type of public speaking.

For those who have been students in the classes, The Media Theatre reminds participants that each semester, while based on similar structure, is completely different as classes are built to reflect the personalities of each student within the group setting. Therefore, for example, if a child repeats the Saturday morning class or any of the classes offered, it is never exactly the same. Students are also dealt with and instructed within their own personal level. 

The Children's, Teen, and Adult Acting Classes require no audition or interview. Roger Ricker, a stage veteran of over 90 productions at The Media Theatre, instructs the Children and Teen Classes. Tim Haney, who has been with the theatre since 1997, instructs the Adult Class.

The Media Theatre also has several dance classes to choose from, which are ongoing. Purchase a Dance Card for $120 (good for 10 classes). Please call for information.

To register for the Acting Classes, please call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. Email rer764@gmail.com with specific questions or request information.