Friday, June 30, 2017

ROGER RICKER CONCERT 'THE TOGETHER SHOW' AUGUST 17 FEATURES BROADWAY PERFORMERS

The Media Theatre's Roger Ricker has his annual fundraising concert on Thursday August 17. "The Together Show" will feature Ricker singing songs focused on the theme of friendship and working together to do 'positive' things, a youth ensemble, The State Street Miracles, and special guests including Broadway performers.

Ava Briglia, recently seen on Broadway in the title role of "Matilda", will perform. Her older sister Beada, seen on The Great White Way in "Matilda" and "A Christmas Story: The Musical", will sing as well. Both are products of The Media Theatre's education program and, prior to their careers in NYC, were seen in the Children's Series. 

Broadway veteran Kelly Briggs will join the concert as well, from which all proceeds benefit The Media Theatre's Broadway Series. Briggs has been seen on The Media Theatre stage frequently in the past few years in shows such as "Les Miserables", "Side Show", "To Kill A Mockingbird" and more. 


"My annual concert has become a tradition, having happened every summer for the past decade," Ricker said. "It's a fun-raiser, as well as a fundraiser. It's like a giant party on the stage and in the audience. We've been known to throw beach balls and have audience participation. If you are looking for a good time---no, a great time---and you love The Media Theatre, this is your night."

Part of the Ricker concert experience is surprise, and this year promises to be no different. Ricker explained, "The Together Show will have moments that are completely unplanned and unrehearsed, believe me. You never know what will happen. Of course, there is a large amount of planning that takes place as well, including choosing the right songs, rehearsing, and all of that. But it's the spontaneity of the evening that really brings it home."

Ricker and his guests will be accompanied by the theatre's resident music director Ben Kapilow on the keyboard. "It's just us, the audience, and Ben on piano," Ricker said. "When you get right down to it, that's all you need. The message is in the music."

Another special guest is Eileen Wiley, who is playing the role of The Queen of Hearts this summer in Alice In Wonderland. She's the mother of Media Theatre student Violet Wiley. "Eileen sings with a local band, and has an awesome voice," Ricker said. "We'll be doing a couple of duets, and she's going to sing one of her favorites. Each year we try to have one of the parents involved as a way of saying we are all, truly, working together for the good of the theatre." 

The State Street Miracles, the theatre's performance troupe of adults with developmental disabilities, are a part of The Media Theatre family and will be singing a medley of their 'greatest hits'. "It would not be a summer concert without them," Ricker said. 

As for Roger Ricker's choice of songs, he says, "My selections are usually pop classics, which suit my vocal style. The songs, such as "You've Got A Friend" and "Peace Train", will suit the theme."

The Volunteer of The Year Award will be given to Media's Toni Nolek during the concert. She's been volunteering her time for a decade as an usher and friend to The Media Theatre.

For tickets to "The Together Show" featuring Roger Ricker and Friends, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. The concert is on the main stage Thursday August 17 at 7pm. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CAILEIGH CRANE GOES 'INTO THE WOODS' THIS SUMMER AS RED RIDING HOOD

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim's Tony winning musical "Into The Woods" on stage this summer, July 7 through July 30. The show is being produced as a teen musical experience, in which a youth cast performs along with two local (and slightly older) actors who have had professional or university experience.

The show also has a handful of pre-teens, including Caileigh Crane, 10, who plays the role of Little Red Riding Hood. “This is my ninth show at The Media Theatre,” she said. “I started out here when I was six years old in “101 Dalmatians”, and then did some other children’s shows like “Madagascar Junior” this past spring.”
CAILEIGH CRANE

Caileigh was also seen in the Broadway Series production “A Christmas Story: The Musical” at The Media Theatre. “That’s my favorite show so far,” she explained. “And I was in “School House Rock Junior” at St. Mary Magdalene School in Media, where I just finished fourth grade.”

“I’m playing Little Red Riding Hood in “Into The Woods”. I approach the role the way I would if I were in this situation in real life,” she said. “I also found inspiration watching the Broadway musical and the Disney movie.”

Caileigh believes the art of acting assists here in other ways, aside from being on stage and receiving applause. “Acting and performing helps me because it makes me more confident in almost everything, makes me less shy, and more willing to talk to people. No strangers, of course,” she said.

“Into The Woods” inspires her because “Sondheim has reimagined these fairy tales in a way that we would not have thought of. Everyone should come to see this show because there are a lot of talented young people in it, and we worked really hard. It’s going to be a great show!”

For tickets to this summer's "Into The Woods" at The Media Theatre (July 7-30) call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. Performances are Friday nights at 7pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Most roles are double cast, so it's a different cast each weekend!




Saturday, June 24, 2017

SHANNON CLARK ENJOYS PERFORMING IN THE MEDIA THEATRE'S 'INTO THE WOODS' THIS SUMMER

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim's Tony winning musical "Into The Woods" on stage this summer, July 7 through July 30. The show is being produced as a teen musical experience, in which a youth cast performs with two local (and slightly older) actors who have had professional or university experience.

Shannon Clark, 15, of Havertown, is a New School student at The Media Theatre pursuing her further education by appearing in "Into The Woods" this summer. "I am playing Little Red Riding Hood's Grandmother," she said. "I'm also playing Cinderella's mother and the voice of the Giant. I approach the roles by practicing my lines, and by really feeling the role. I become my role, and act and react how I would as the role."

Young actress Shannon Clark
She explained that "At The Media Theatre we learn that 'acting is living as truthfully as one can under an imaginary circumstance', so it's a great way to approach roles. It's the Meisner Technique, which we study with Artistic Director Jesse Cline."

Shannon Clark enjoys the experience of acting. "It helps me to really be more self-aware, and helps me to know who I am," she said. "Performing also assists me with public speaking."


She has been seen on stage at The Media Theatre in "The Real Story of Little Red Riding Hood" as The Mother, in "Cinderella" as Stepsister Drizella, in "Madagascar: A Musical Adventure" as Gloria, and was seen as Owl in "Winnie The Pooh's Christmas Tail". Currently she is The Duchess and Matron Flower in "Alice In Wonderland".


At Archbishop Carroll, she was seen in "Miracle On 34th Street", and at Notre Dame Academy has been in "Beauty And The Beast Pantomime", "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten", "Check Please", and "Little Mermaid Junior". 


Of "Into The Woods", Shannon said, "The show has added a different angle to fairy tales, which is very interesting. The music is also unique and memorable."


"Audiences should see this production because it's a truly amazing cast!" Shannon Clark concluded. "All the performers are good singers and actors. Audiences will feel as if they are right there, in the story, which is the beauty of live theatre."




For tickets to this summer's "Into The Woods" at The Media Theatre (July 7-30) call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. Performances are Friday nights at 7pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Most roles are double cast, so it's a different cast each weekend!

Friday, June 23, 2017

BEN KAPILOW IS THE MEDIA THEATRE'S NEW RESIDENT MUSIC DIRECTOR

The Media Theatre heads into its 2017-18 season with Ben Kapilow as its new Resident Music Director. The theatre’s Artistic Director Jesse Cline made the announcement recently when discussing the upcoming Broadway Series which includes the titles “Carousel”, Disney’s “Beauty and The Beast”, “Next To Normal”, “IF/ THEN”, and “Newsies”. All are musicals, as the theatre is not preparing a classic play for the first time in three years.

Cline said, “I look forward to working with Ben. He’s been a member of our team for the past two years, working on special projects and within our education program. He has an M.M. in composition from the Peabody Conservatory, where he also completed the Music Teacher Certification Program. He has a bit of a local connection also, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in music and psychology. We have a great season lined up. He’ll be working with our professional actors for each show, as well as teaching private lessons and instructing our New School music theatre education program.”
The Media Theatre's new Resident Music Director Ben Kapilow
As a composer, Kapilow's classical pieces have been performed by Symphony Number One, the Great Noise Ensemble, Trio Ex Animo, the University of Scranton Singers, and at the Jack O'Lantern Blaze Festival in Hudson Valley, NY.

His children's pieces have been performed by over 40 choruses, and he has written the score for three children's musicals for the Media Theatre, including the current “Alice In Wonderland”, which is on stage through August. One of the three, "Peter Pan and Wendy," won the Broadway World “Best of Philadelphia Theatre” Award for Best New Work. 

Kapilow is approaching his new position with a clear goal in mind.  “My goal is to cater what I do as much as possible to the diverse needs of the theater,” he said. “My position involves everything from teaching 6-year olds how to sing Disney songs to music directing professionals who have been on Broadway, so I want to take every new task on its own terms and help the Media continue to attract as wide of a range of people as possible.”

Having been working with Camp Media Theatre for two summers, and currently involved once again as its music director, he said, “I love working at the Media Theatre because the programming here encompasses a wide variety of avenues for me to explore my own random hodgepodge of interests.” 

Kapilow has a fondness for composing and says, “While focusing on composition is not common for music directors, I believe that this training has made all the difference for me. Whenever I encounter a piece of music, I think about it from a compositional standpoint, which allows me to really engage with it in an inside-and-out manner. This is incredibly helpful no matter what I do, whether I'm sight-reading a piece at an audition, working with a singer on interpreting the song, or even just listening to music for fun.”

“For me, composing is incredibly detailed work, and I will often spend hours working on just a few seconds of music,” he said of his work process. “I find it inspiring when vocalists bring the music to life, whether they're professionals or children. I've had this experience a lot at the Media Theatre, and it is incredibly uplifting and reminds me why I go through all the effort of composing in the first place.”

With all of his experience at a relatively young age, his approach adds a fresh perspective to what audiences will hear when attending the 2017-18 Broadway Series at The Media Theatre.

For tickets to any upcoming shows at The Media Theatre, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. Subscriptions are available (VIP, Traditional, Preview, or Flex).



Thursday, June 22, 2017

OWEN MANNION IS AT THE MEDIA THEATRE IN 'INTO THE WOODS' BEFORE HEADING TO MANHATTANVILLE

Local actor Owen Mannion, 18, of Broomall, is headed to Manhattanville College this fall. But first, he's performing in "Into The Woods" at The Media Theatre each weekend in July as The Wolf and Cinderella's Prince.

"My major at Manhattanville will be theatre," Owen said. "My goal is to gain an understanding of professional theatre, while networking in New York."

Owen believes that studying at The Media Theatre truly prepared him for the future. "The professional acting lessons and classes I was a part of with Jesse Cline truly have prepared me," he said. "Also having a strict schedule of extra curricular activities in high school helped a lot, too."

Owen Mannion
He's been seen at The Media Theatre in over two dozen productions. "Actually, "Into The Woods" is my 25th show here! Seven of the shows were a part of the Broadway Series professional productions," he explained. "Last summer I had the opportunity to be Dewey in the regional premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "School Of Rock" musical."

Owen has strong feelings about "Into The Woods" and says, "It's an example of how fairy tales can be made completely different through an American lens. Sondheim took simple characters and plots, breathing new life and depth into them. It gives audiences a chance to see fairy-tales as a somewhat realistic state of emotion and interaction. It's got a sophisticated score, and raised the bar for Broadway upon its premiere, eventually winning the Tony Awards for Best Book plus Best Score."

"Into The Woods" is presented as a teen summer camp production at The Media Theatre. Owen Mannion, upon his final summer as a 'student camper', says "Audiences will be surprised with the level of professionalism on the stage."

For tickets to "Into The Woods", call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org




MEDIA THEATRE HAS BROADWAY PERFORMERS HIGHLIGHTING ANNUAL BENEFIT MARCH 3

The Media Theatre is hosting a special evening  Saturday March 3  entitled “There’s No Place Like Home”, with a one-night-only concert per...