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Showing posts from August, 2016

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

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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. 
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…

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

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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 …

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

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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.
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, a…

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

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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. 

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 kno…

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

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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.
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 …

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

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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." 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 …

SEE PICS FROM 'SCHOOL OF ROCK' AT MEDIA THEATRE

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The youth edition of "School of Rock", Andrew Lloyd Webber's current Broadway Tony nominated hit musical, is on stage through August 28 at The Media Theatre. With performances on Fridays at 7pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm, and Sundays at 3pm, "School of Rock" features a young cast playing all the roles and singing the memorable score with songs like "You're In The Band" and "Stick It To The Man".

Based on the Jack Black comic film, "School of Rock" focuses on a washed up rocker (played by Owen Mannion during the show's first three weekends and Sean Lock the final weekend) who poses as a school teacher and transforms his classroom into a rock band. It's all about the transforming power of music and hits upon the fact that education should, in the eyes of many, feature more music classes and programs. 

"School of Rock" is humorous, but also has heartfelt moments particularly when a few of the children are ignored by…

"VOCALIST" NAMES ITS TOP 15 FINALISTS AT MEDIA THEATRE FOR 2016

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The songs were sung by the remaining top 20, the votes were tallied, and "The Vocalist" has its Top 15 contestants for 2016.

Unfortunately for four of the guys in the contest, they said goodbye during the Semi-Finals so heading into the Finals "The Vocalist" is a very female oriented competition with only four young dudes still in the summer event. 



                         PICTURED ABOVE, 'THE VOCALIST' TOP 15 FOR 2016
                   Back: Toni Huegel, Jake Faragalli, Elaine Ficarra, Jacob Mergott
                 Middle: Alexandra Battisti, Tori D'Ascenzo, Kaleigh Kahan, Emma Costello,                                                           Carrie Hytha, Sarah Korbel
   Front: Molly Sorensen, Paul Mariani III, Lauren Faulkner, Moses Gonzalez, Alli Sutton

With each week leading up this point, every contestant brought their best to the stage with songs ranging from pop classics and country, to jazz and Broadway. Contestants choose their own songs each w…

REGISTER NOW FOR MEDIA THEATRE'S WINTER 2017 ACTING CLASSES STARTING IN JANUARY

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it's not too early to register for The Media Theatre's Winter Semester of Acting Classes which begin the weekend of January 7, 2017.

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

MEDIA THEATRE'S ARTISTIC DIRECTOR JESSE CLINE AND ACTRESS SUSAN WEFEL SING THE PRAISES OF 'THE VOCALIST'

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On a breezy August afternoon, as the "Vocalist" and "Vocalist Junior" competition are headed into their final weeks for summer 2016, Media Theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline and professional actress Susan Wefel, who emcees the "Junior" event each week, were chatting about the importance and vitality of the contest.

The Media Theatre has been producing the two summer singing contests for a decade, having been created by Cline. Once called "Delco Idol", they are now "The Vocalist" and are sponsored by Iron Workers Bank. The Wednesday night "Vocalist" and Sunday evening "Vocalist Junior" give 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. 
"Wow, we are headed into the final eliminations," said Wefel, who added, &qu…

'VOCALIST JUNIOR' AT MEDIA THEATRE NAMES 2016'S TOP 20 SEMI-FINALISTS

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The results are in! Four weeks of performance have gone by, with young singers entertaining audiences during 2016's "Vocalist Junior" contest at The Media Theatre. While all were worthy of applause, the performance showcase is, in its creative format, a competition so now the Top 20 little singers ranging in age from 7 to 13 will move forward into the Semi-Final round.

The "Vocalist Junior" Semi-Finals take place Sunday night August 7 at 7pm on The Media Theatre stage. Each singer will perform a song of their choice to try to make it to the Top 15.

During the past four weeks, the judges' ballots were filled out and the contestants were ranked in the categories of Vocal Ability, Stage Presence, and Song Choice. The judges were different each week, except for the main judge: the theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline, who also has an extra added category defined as "Individualism", referring to each contestant's unique 'X' factor.

Ther…