Monday, July 31, 2017

THE MEDIA THEATRE'S 'VOCALIST JUNIOR 2017' HAS ITS TOP 20!

The Media Theatre’s “Vocalist Junior 2017” Top 20 contestants have been announced, after four weeks of entertaining audiences and judges. Twenty-eight singers ranging in age from 7 to 13 years old performed their favorite pop, Broadway, and country songs with plenty of heart and lots of talent during the four weeks leading to the semi-finals. The Top 20 will sing again Sunday night August 6 at 7pm hoping for the chance to make it to the final round.

The Top 20 “Vocalist Junior 2017” contestants are: Ella Baker, 10, Media; Savi Bell, 10, Conshohocken;  Charlie Carroccio, 7, Newtown Square;  Katie Cotrotsios, 9, West Chester; Sophia Cotrotsios, 12, West Chester; Grace Curry, 13, Broomall; Katie Foca, 11, Wallingford; Zachary Graaf, 12, Havertown; Bridget Henry, 10, Havertown; Skylar Kelly, 13, Phoenixville; Lily Lexer, 8, Malvern; Maya Maloskey, 11, Malvern; Isabella Martinez, 13, Woolwich, NJ; Lauren McAlee, 11, West Chester; Alexsa McKeown, 11, Brookhaven; Zoe Nesbitt, 7, Drexel Hill; Amanda Treston, 13, Malvern; Mary Kate Vink, 13, West Chester; Alexis Whiteside, 11, Morton; and Violet Wiley, 11, of Woodlyn.

The annual competition is very entertaining for audiences, much like the popular national singing contests on television. Produced by Media Music Theatre Co., the weekly showcases provide ample opportunity for the contestants, allowing them a chance to perform for large audiences while honing their skills on Delaware County’s only professional music theater stage.

“During the past month, audiences actually got to see each contestant grow,” said Media Music Theatre Co. Artistic Director Jesse Cline. “We also look at this as an educational experience. So, rather than singing one song and leaving the competition, each of them had the opportunity to learn a bit more about what it takes to perform in front of an audience on a professional stage. Now, in sticking to the format of the competition we created, it’s down to those whose scores were strong enough to place them in the Top 20.”

The scores Cline refers to were accumulated for four weeks, including both the Judges’ Scores and the Online and Public Voting Tallies. Guest judges accompany Cline each week in voting, marking their ballots in three categories: Vocal Ability, Stage Presence, and Song Choice. Cline has an extra added category, Individualism, which has to do with each contestant’s uniqueness and sense of self-awareness and growth as a performer. He chats with each contestant in front of the audience after they sing, with a completely unrehearsed and spontaneous question and answer period, building a rapport with all of the vocalists.

Cline said. “There may be a week in which a young singer falters a bit, but I will know what they are capable of and who they are. The Individualism category speaks to the fact that each contestant is unique. Their interests and what is best for them should come first. Each has their own story to tell in their own way.”
John Whitig of Iron Workers Bank, the sponsor of "Vocalist Junior"
Online voting took place again this year, not affecting any outcome until after Week Four, assisting in compiling the Top 20 for the Semi-Final Round. After Week 4, the online scores were tallied and the person with the most votes online received an added 30 points to their judges’ score. The second-place online vote-getter received an added 25 points, with the third receiving 20 extra. Vote-getters four through 10 received 15 extra points, and those who rank 11-15 online gained 10 extra points to possibly move them into the semifinals.

Now that the Top 20 have been chosen, all previous scores are erased and each contestant begins the Semi-Final Round (August 6) with a total score of zero once again. So, anything is possible as “Vocalist Junior 2017” moves toward finding a winner.

If you would like to be entertained, be sure to see “Vocalist Junior 2017”, which is on August 6 (Semi-Finals) and August 13 (Finals) at 7pm. The Media Theatre is the place to be! Call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org


The top five in each contest receive cash prizes. “Vocalist Junior” is sponsored by Iron Workers Bank. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

NORTHLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL'S SKYLAR PARK IS 'INTO THE WOODS' AT MEDIA THEATRE

The Media Theatre’s “Into The Woods” has its final performance on Sunday July 30 at 3pm! Do not miss it.

Skylar Park plays the role of one of the Stewards in the production. “This production of Into the Woods is played by an extraordinary youth ensemble.  I've learned so much working with so many talented people.  People should really come out and see us!” she said.

She’s headed into the 7th grade at Northley Middle School in Aston this fall. “Last year,” she said, “I was a part of their ensemble for the show Once On This Island.”

Sondheim’s musical has really touched Skylar throughout the show’s run in Media. “It’s a really important piece to our culture because it represents life and how you have to persevere and stick together through hardships,” she explained.

“Acting has made me much more confident both inside and outside of The Media Theatre,” she said. “I feel like it makes me more comfortable taking risks. I’m now not afraid to try something new.”


For tickets to the final performance of “Into The Woods” at The Media Theatre which is Sunday July 30 at 3pm, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

Thursday, July 27, 2017

SPRINGFIELD'S TONI HUEGEL WINS 'VOCALIST 2017' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE

After three weeks of singing Broadway classics, contemporary show tunes, and pop favorites, "The Vocalist 2017" contestants were narrowed down to the Top Five and a winner was announced: Toni Huegel, 15, of Springfield. She won $1500, and plenty of enthusiastic applause throughout the competition for her smooth vocals. Her final song was "Someone Else's Story" from the musical "Chess".

Toni Huegel will be a sophomore at Springfield High School, where she has performed as Lady Rowena in "Once Upon A Mattress". She's also been seen as Dorothy in Viviana Theatre Company's "The Wizard of Oz", and also played Sleeping Beauty in their production of "Into The Woods". The Sondheim show is a favorite of hers, and this summer she was seen as The Witch in "Into The Woods" at The Media Theatre, where she has also been in productions of "13: The Musical" and "The Real Story of Little Red Riding Hood".

Iron Workers Bank's President John Whitig with "The Vocalist 2017" winner Toni Huegel.
Iron Workers Bank is the talent competiton's title sponsor.
"Performing has been a huge part of my life for the past four years," she said. "Music is a universal language and can tell a story when words cannot. I am thrilled to have won "The Vocalist" as performing is something that's helped me break out of my shell and makes me who I am today. Thanks to everyone, this is just amazing!"

Two of the top five were from New Jersey. Second place winner Nyah Anderson, 16, is from Woolwich Township, and third place winner Amanda Barrish, 24, is from Mount Laurel. In fourth place was Michael Deboer, 18, of Exton, and fifth place went to Glenolden's Lauren Faulkner.


During the three week competition, the young vocalists were given points in three categories (Vocal Ability, Stage Presence, and Song Choice) by several guest judges including Broadway and regionally known professional actors and singers, as well as from representatives from Iron Workers Bank, the title sponsor for the contest. The one constant judge each week, and seen onstage as he would regularly chat with the contestants, was Jesse Cline. Cline is The Media Theatre's Artistic Director. He had one extra category, Individualism, on his score sheet. "I see them perform each week, and know what they are capable of," he explained. "So the extra category is all about their uniqueness and sense of self-awareness."


"We created this contest eleven years ago," Cline said. "It furthers our mission of music theatre education, allowing young people an opportunity each week to actually perform songs they love in front of a live audience. They are all winners, as they are finding ways to express themselves doing what it is they love to do. Audiences enjoy it, and we thank Iron Workers Bank for continuing to support this important program each summer."


Cline continued, "As a professional music theatre company that produces a five show Broadway Series season every year from September through June, it's very important that we include educational opportunities for young people. We have had nationally recognized names on our stage, and they set a great example for these young performers to follow."


"We have "Carousel" coming up in the fall," Cline said. "Joseph Spieldenner will play the role of Billy Bigelow for us, and he just finished a Broadway run of "Les Miserables" not too long ago. After that, we have Disney's extremely popular version of "Beauty and The Beast" for the holidays. Both shows will have young actors in the cast, which is also a component of our educational opportunities for youth."


"The Vocalist 2017" was emceed each week by Kelly Briggs, who appeared on Broadway in "Cats" and several other musicals. Briggs is often seen in productions at The Media Theatre, and is also in "Carousel" this fall (Sept. 20 through Oct. 22). The contestants were accompanied by the theatre's Resident Music Director Ben Kapilow.


For more information regarding acting classes, voice lessons, dance class, or The New School at The Media Theatre, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. Subscriptions are available for the entire Broadway Series season which includes "Carousel", Disney's "Beauty and The Beast", "Next To Normal", "IF/ THEN" (a Philadelphia regional professional premiere), and Disney's "Newsies". 



Monday, July 24, 2017

DAVID POTTS BECOMES CINDERELLA'S FATHER IN 'INTO THE WOODS' AT MEDIA THEATRE

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning musical “Into The Woods” on stage this summer, now 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.

David Potts, 16, plays the role of Cinderella’s Father in the production. “This is my first production ever, as I have never been in a show before. I love it!”
David Potts
David started acting training this past spring with The Media Theatre’s Teen Acting Classes, which are on Sundays from 6pm to 7:30. The classes start up again in September with the Fall semester. “Acting helps me to work with others and to open up,” he said.

“I wanted to do this show because I was drawn to the story,” he explained. “I approached my role by studying the traditional story of Cinderella.”

“The musical really allows you to see how hard work and cooperation can accomplish great feats,” he said. “Not feets, but feats!”

He believes audiences who come to the show will be “enlightened and entertained”.


"Into The Woods" is on thru July 30. For tickets, call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

MARPLE NEWTOWN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT JOSH MYERS GOES 'INTO THE WOODS' AT MEDIA THEATRE

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning musical “Into The Woods” on stage this summer, now 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.

Josh Myers, of Marple Newtown High School, plays the role of Rapunzel’s Prince in the production. “It’s  a grand departure from the goofy roles I am accustomed to playing,” he said. “However, I learned to look past the Prince's hamminess, and discover the humanity that Lapine (Bookwriter)  and Sondheim (composer) had hidden in every character in the show. As such, when playing the Prince, I try to strike a precise balance between goofy caricature and genuine person.”

He continued, “This happens to be my very first show at the Media Theatre; however, I've been greatly involved with theatre at Marple Newtown High School, at which I am a Senior. My previous roles there include 'Chef Louis' in The Little Mermaid, 'Friar Tuck' in The Trials of Robin Hood, and 'Starkey' in Peter Pan.”
JOSH MYERS
He is a big fan of the musical. “I think that what makes ‘Into the Woods’ unique from Sondheim's other shows, and other Broadway shows in general, is that it seems to entirely defy genre; it has the large cast, the generally stagnant setting, and comedy of a farce, yet it also possesses complex, multifaceted characters and dramatic elements that could be found in most tragedies. It combines comedy and drama elegantly, which is why I believe it to be such an important piece of modern American art.”

He’s also very proud of the cast he has had the pleasure to work with. “This production had roughly 3 weeks to prepare for opening night; putting together a show in such a short time is unfeasible, until you consider that it is a Sondheim show; then it becomes impossible. However, the entire cast pulled together and worked so valiantly that we achieved the impossible. Audiences should come to see, not only the show, but the hard work and the sheer passion that we, the cast, have for theatre.”

Of theatre, and acting, he says, “Acting and performing has helped me so much with confidence over the years, and, as it turns out, I've discovered genuine passion in the theatrical arts; this passion is so great that, in college, I hope to be studying theatre and working towards making a career as an actor. I suppose it's safe to say that theatre doesn't influence aspects of my life, but rather is itself an aspect of my life.”


"Into The Woods" is on thru July 30. For tickets, call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

Saturday, July 22, 2017

THE MEDIA THEATRE'S 'INTO THE WOODS' FEATURES JOSIE INTHAM OF SPRINGTON LAKE MIDDLE SCHOOL

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning musical “Into The Woods” on stage this summer, now 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.

Josie InTham plays the role of The Mysterious Person. “ Being a young girl playing an old man is a huge challenge, from the way I talk to the way I walk,” she said. “I'm thrilled to take it on, and I'm approaching it by trying to find what we have in common.”
JOSIE INTHAM
“This will be my very first show at The Media Theatre! I've also played Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," Amber von Tussle in "Hairspray," Oliver in "Oliver!" and Amaryllis in "The Music Man" at Hedgerow Theatre, as well as Aunt Em in "The Wizard of Oz" at Springton Lake Middle School, where I'll be starting 7th grade this fall,” she said.

Of the show, she said, “"Into the Woods" is more weird and complex than the musicals I'm used to.  It doesn't have the "happily ever after" ending, and I think that makes it more realistic show.  In real life, just because you are a good person, you could still live an awful life, and if you are an awful person, you could still live a great life.  "Into the Woods" captures the realistic part of life.  Stories with the perfect happy ending can be boring.”

“This production has a ton of great actors and singers, and there is an interesting twisty plot.  And if you come on different weekends, you can see a different cast,” she explained, approaching the ‘double cast’ in the production.

“I've loved musical theater since my very first show three years ago, and it's taught me a lot, from being part of a team to public speaking to pulling a project together as part of a team,” Josie said. ”It's also helped me to be a better performer in other contexts, from school presentations to singing or clarinet performances.”

"Into The Woods" is on thru July 30. For tickets, call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org



CHLOE MILLETT IS 'INTO THE WOODS' THRU JULY 30 AT THE MEDIA THEATRE

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning musical “Into The Woods” on stage this summer, now 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.

Chloe Millett, who is going to be in the 10th grade at Shipley School this fall, plays the role of Jack’s Mother. “It’s an older, more maternal role,” she said. “Since I’m only 15, my maternal instincts come from babysitting, so I really had to imagine what it would be like to be in her situation. She’s raising a unique child, who doesn’t listen to his mother and is sort of in his own world. His mom tries to be his sense of reality.”

I've been doing theatre since the first grade, so needless to say, I've been in a lot of roles!” Chloe said, as she began to list her credits.  “From Rizzo in "Grease" (Haverford), to Daddy Warbucks in "Annie" (Notre Dame Academy), to Lady Macbeth (St. Mary's School in Cambridge, England), and many more. Shipley School has a fabulous theater department. This year, I was in a Shakespeare one acts play, where I played the mystical Iris from "The Tempest". At Media Theatre, I've been in "13" as "Cassie" and several kids' shows last year!”
 
CHLOE MILLETT
“I think "Into the woods" sets the bar pretty high for all other musicals. It's hard to live up to such a complex, well thought-out, detailed musical with not only great dialogue and characters to root for, but also an amazing array of music,” she said of the classic musical.

 “I think everyone should see the show, since it's so fascinating! Like I said before, everything is so well done in this show, even down to the point where when my character enters the stage, the band plays a melody similar to my solo in the prologue. It may seem minor, but things like that really make a show entertaining. Not to mention the amazing costumes! I love how everyone looks on stage. Milky White is also pretty impressive!” she stated, raving about the show’s production values.

 She summed it up with, “Being onstage has really helped me with my confidence! Back when I started doing theatre here at Media when I was 13, I was much more shy and introverted. However, over the summer into my freshmen year, I did “13 The Musical”, and that really brought me out of my shell. I ended up running for student government at my school! Now, this year marks my second year on student government. I am amazed with how much I've changed, and I credit a lot of this to The Media Theatre.”

"Into The Woods" is on thru July 30. For tickets, call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org


Friday, July 21, 2017

STRATH HAVEN STUDENT ALEXIA ALVAREZ-BUROCK IS 'INTO THE WOODS' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning musical “Into The Woods” on stage this summer, now 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.

Alexia Alvarez-Burock plays the role of Lucinda, Cinderella’s stepsister. “I approach the role with the Meisner technique, which I learned about at Media Theatre,” she explained. “It is described as "living truthfully under imaginary circumstances," and I use this idea to react to the actions of other characters realistically as my character would.”
ALEXIA ALVAREZ-BUROCK
“Acting helps me in all aspects of my life,” she said. “It has helped me to grow my confidence and to express myself to others. It has taught me to stay calm under pressure and always be prepared.”

She’s no stranger to the stage. “At The Media Theatre, I’ve been in their summer singing competition which is “The Vocalist”, and I was in “School Of Rock” last year. At Hedgerow Theatre I was in “Hairspray”, “Oliver!”, and “The Little Mermaid”. I’m a sophomore at Strath Haven High School and most recently played the Beggar Woman in our school’s production of “Sweeney Todd”.”

She hopes to see large audiences at “Into The Woods”. “Everyone should see it,” she said. “It’s beautifully written and features a talented youth ensemble. Audiences will be surprised at the level of professionalism- and also seeing shows at The Media Theatre is a great way to support the arts in our region.”

She loves Sondheim’s masterpiece. “Into The Woods reflects the diversity of our American culture. The musical features stories of many different people interacting with each other and shaping each other’s lives. The ‘woods’ represent difficulty, and how everyone goes through hard times. The lesson is that people who work together can achieve great things. Life won’t be perfect, but that is what makes life exciting.”

For tickets to this summer's "Into The Woods" at The Media Theatre now through July 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!







Thursday, July 20, 2017

ROYA WOLCOTT, OF THE SHIPLEY SCHOOL, IS RED RIDING HOOD AT MEDIA THEATRE

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning musical “Into The Woods” on stage this summer, now 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.

Roya Wolcott plays the role of Little Red Riding Hood. “This is very exciting because it is my first lead role! I tried to be myself, as the character, in each situation. When I am backstage, I think about everything that is going to happen in the scene,” the soon-to-be Shipley School fifth grader said. “This is a great play for actors to work together in, as it has very good roles. It’s created a new way to tell familiar stories.”
ROYA WOLCOTT
Roya has been on stage previously at The Media Theatre. “I was in “Fiddler On The Roof” here,” she stated. “My first ever speaking role here was a maid in “Beauty and The Beast”, and then I also played the role of Katie, the bass player, in “School Of Rock”. And I’ve been in a school play, in fourth grade, when we did a show about American history. I was Ellen Moore, who was on The Mayflower.”

“I used to be somewhat shy,” she explained. “But acting has made me more confident. I participate in a lot of school activities and plays. Being involved in theater has given me the courage to speak in front of many people.”

“Everyone should come to see “Into The Woods” because it is a very unique production,” she summed it all up. “What makes it so unique is that instead of choosing on fairytale, it bunches them together in one show.”

For tickets to this summer's "Into The Woods" at The Media Theatre now through July 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!

Monday, July 17, 2017

HANNA MURPHY HAS A SECOND HOME AT THE MEDIA THEATRE, WHERE SHE GOES 'INTO THE WOODS'

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning musical “Into The Woods” on stage this summer, now 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.

Hanna Murphy plays the role of The Witch. She attends the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur in Villanova and will be in the ninth grade this fall. “This is my 21st show at the Media Theatre. I’ve also been in their summer productions of “Fiddler On The Roof” and “13”, and also the Broadway Series musical “Gypsy”. And, while I’m in “Into The Woods”, I am also playing The March Hare in “Alice In Wonderland”, so it’s a busy summer! At Notre Dame I played Ursula in “The Little Mermaid”, which was fun.”
HANNA MURPHY
“With this musical Sondheim brings together several popular characters that would not otherwise meet each other,” she said. “This isn’t a sugar coated Disney Princess tale of happily ever after. It teaches valuable lessons about family and responsibility.”

“I was excited to learn that I would be playing a role that Bernadette Peters had made famous, The Witch,” she explained. “As I read through the script and studied the music I realized that there were many layers to the Witch's character. Many people think that the Witch is just evil and that there is nothing more to her, but that is not necessarily the case. She wants to be successful and have family that loves her.”

Hanna says audiences should come out to The Media Theatre to see the show. “The production of "Into the Woods" this summer at the Media Theatre is made up of teens who have worked hard to create a show worth seeing. Although serious at times the show is very funny. I'm proud to be a part of this production.”

 “Acting has given me confidence and made me an effective public speaker. I have never been very good at sports and theater has given me something to feel proud of at a time when being a teenager can be rough. The Media Theatre is my second home.”


For tickets to this summer's "Into The Woods" at The Media Theatre now through July 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!

GIGI FURLAN SAYS ACTING MAKES HER A BETTER PERSON--SHE'S 'INTO THE WOODS' THIS SUMMER AT MEDIA THEATRE

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning musical “Into The Woods” on stage this summer, now 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.

Gigi Furlan shares the role of Jack’s mother. “It’s my 11th show at The Media Theatre,” she said. “I was most recently seen here in Romeo & Juliet in the Ensemble, and I also understudied Juliet, which was my first Broadway Series show at the theatre.  Other shows I have been in at Media are “13”, “The Who’s Tommy”, and “School of Rock”, which were all summer productions like “Into The Woods”. I have received training at the theatre’s New School and am now enrolled in the Center for Performing and Fine Arts, entering my junior year of high school.”
GIGI FURLAN
Of Sondheim’s classic, Gigi says, “It is a unique show, with a fairytale like plot and a complex score that combines classic fairytales with their grim counterparts. The distinctive plot is moved forward with its diverse score, ranging from a mixture of ballads and fast paced ensemble pieces. Each contrasting song compliments each other while showing off Sondheim’s wide array of writing styles and unmatchable skill. While a wide assortment of shows have hit Broadway, Sondheim’s works tend to rise above most in dexterity level and other impressive factors that go into making or breaking a show.”

Gigi continues, “I think audiences will be impressed with the show, especially because it was put together in such a short amount of time with such an age diverse cast. It is generally a show played by a cast of well-seasoned and trained adults. This cast has a youth ensemble of actors playing the roles. Into The Woods is one of Sondheim’s most interesting works (they’re all pretty amazing), so when one has the chance to see it live, performed in a beautiful regional theatre, they should take that chance.”

Of her role as Jack’s mother, she explains, “Though it’s a role that is generally out of my age range, I’ve taken the obstacles and started viewing them as interesting challenges that have taught me a lot as I maneuver through them. I know after I get through this run I’ll become a better actor.”

“After my first show here back in the summer of 2015, I started to become more confident in life and on the stage, I had found a new passion. Theatre has helped me set more goals and learn how to deal with an overwhelming busy schedule, dealing with school and other things. Learning lines can be tricky with impending deadlines. I would think it’s changed me as a person, for the better.”

For tickets to this summer's "Into The Woods" at The Media Theatre now through July 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!




Thursday, July 13, 2017

SPRINGTON LAKE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT KAITLYN HANRAHAN IS 'INTO THE WOODS' IN MEDIA

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning musical “Into The Woods” on stage this summer, now 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.

Kaitlyn Hanrahan, who just finished up 7th grade at Springton Lake Middle School where she sings in the choir, plays the role of Lucinda, one of Cinderella’s stepsisters. “Lucinda is “beautiful at face, but violent black of heart” so I make sure everything from my hair, dress, and voice sounds beautiful by being as feminine as possible, while my temperament is the opposite,” she said.  “I approach this role by feeling free to be as mean and cocky as I want.  I think about ways to talk to be as rude as possible, especially to Cinderella.  I also approach the role by always fixing my appearance.”

Kaitlyn has been involved with stage crew at Springton Lake as well, during “The Wizard of Oz” this past May.  This is her first production at The Media Theatre. “Acting and performing has made me more confident in myself, and understand that mistakes are lessons that make you better, and it’s okay to make mistakes. Acting has especially made me think about what other people could feel about certain things, seeing things from their perspective and not just my own.”
KAITLYN KETCH
Of the classic musical she says that “Into The Woods” ‘reflects the American culture’. “Like in the play with characters coming from all different stories,” she explained. “People come to America bringing their own stories, and they all intersect and come together in, at times, peculiar ways. In the musical and in American life people are following their dreams. When they get their wish, it is not always for the best.”

She says, “The musical has so many lessons. It teaches people of all ages about working hard and to not give up. It reminds us how cheating often creates problems. Everyone should see it, as it can make a big impact.”


For tickets to this summer's "Into The Woods" at The Media Theatre now through July 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!

ACTOR MATTHEW SAYLOR IS THE BAKER IN THE MEDIA THEATRE'S 'INTO THE WOODS' THRU JULY 30

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning musical “Into The Woods” on stage this summer, now 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.

Matthew Saylor plays the role of The Baker. He’ll be attending the 9th grade at Owen J. Roberts High School this fall. He has previously been seen on stage at The Media Theatre in ‘13’, which was last summer’s teen production. He has also been seen as Aladdin in “Aladdin” at Owen J. Roberts Middle School, as The Artful Dodger in “Oliver!” at The Forge Theatre, as Colin in “The Secret Garden” and as Jack in “Titanic” with Barley Sheaf Players, and in the ensemble of “A Christmas Story” at The Walnut Street Theatre.
MATTHEW SAYLOR

Of “Into The Woods”, Matthew says, “The production is so unique in that it is a fairy tale in which no one lives happily ever after.  It is a very complex plot where there is both humor and tragedy, and the technical aspect of the music is a great challenge for any performer. The main theme throughout the show seems to be that of uncertainty and in the end, “perhaps some things may be best left alone”.

“I play the role of the Baker in “Into The Woods””, he said.  “Of all of the characters, the Baker changes the most from Act I to Act 2. He is a good person, but gets caught up in the quest for obtaining his wish (at all costs) and then must pay the price for his actions.  He also realizes how much he depended upon his wife for everything.  Sadly, he learns the consequences of his wrong doings and vows  to change for the better for the benefit of his son.”

Matthew loves acting and performing. “Acting helps me most predominately in school as it gives me confidence when speaking in front of a class or to teachers. I have found that my classmates often request that I be the speaker for group projects due to my experience on stage (and I appreciate their confidence in me).  Improvisation skills learned in acting help me think quickly, make me a better listener, and somewhat unexpectedly, a better writer.”

He’s hoping the show has huge audiences. “I hope people come to see the show because it is a fantastic production portrayed by incredibly talented young performers.  The show contains such technically complex music for a teen summer show, which was accomplished in a remarkably short rehearsal timeframe.   A huge thank you goes to Jesse Cline and Ben Kapilow for their direction and dedication to the entire cast and to this production.”

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!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

THE MEDIA THEATRE'S 'INTO THE WOODS' HAS SPRINGFIELD HIGH SCHOOL'S TONI HUEGEL AS THE WITCH

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning musical “Into The Woods” on stage this summer, now 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.

Toni Huegel, who attends Springfield High School as a sophomore this fall, plays the role of The Witch. “I’m having a blast this summer at The Media Theatre, “she said. “I’m also in the Vocalist contest.”

“I was Lady Rowena in “Once Upon A Mattress” in high school,” she said. “I’ve also played Dorothy in Viviana Theatre Company’s “The Wizard of OZ”, and was also in their production of “Into The Woods”. Here at The Media Theatre I have done “13: The Musical” and “The Real Story of Little Red Riding Hood”.”
TONI HUEGEL
She loves Sondheim’s musical. “The show, “Into The Woods”, is a compilation of entertaining stories with a lot of hidden meaning,” she explained. “Sondheim pieced together group of very familiar fairytales that everyone has been known to love and enjoy, but he also leaves a sense of "the real world." Behind each fairytale is a lesson that each of the characters must learn in order to live a successful and happy life.”

“It’s a show for any age, because of its setting and characters,” Toni said. “It’s impossible to be bored by it, as it is fast paced and very involving. The songs provide even more excitement.”
How about The Witch? “Well, it’s the biggest and most elaborate role I have ever played,” she said. “It’s a huge task. I choose to be as vocal and animated as possible with the role, for dramatic expression. She’s full of yearning, anger, love, and all sorts of feelings. She’s not scary, really, she’s just trying to see that justice is done.”

Toni Huegel loves acting, and says performing is a large part of her life. “I love the musical side of the performing arts because music is a universal language, and it tells a story where words cannot. You can, on stage, be yourself while being in situations that are very unique and varied. It makes me very happy!”

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!



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

MEDIA THEATRE ANNOUNCES CAST FOR 'GODSPELL' AUGUST 4-27

"Godspell" is at The Media Theatre August 4 - 27, with a youthful cast, a live band, and a new vision for the classic musical. The musical was the first major musical theatre offering from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner, Stephen Schwartz (WickedPippinChildren of Eden), and it took the world by storm. 
Led by the international hit, "Day By Day", which hit the pop charts in the early 1970's after the show's premiere on Broadway, and has been recorded by everyone from Judy Collins to dc Talk, the musical focuses on a small group of people who assist Jesus as he tells the parables from the Book of Matthew using a wide variety of story techniques, and plenty of comedy. It all dissolves hauntingly into The Last Supper and the Crucifixion, while Jesus messages of kindness, tolerance, and love come vibrantly to life.


"Godspell" features chart topping songs, a book by John Michael Tebelak, and also became a feature film in 1973. Never out of 'style' and always relevant, "Godspell" continues to touch audiences.

The Media Theatre’s production is directed by Roger Ricker with music direction by Ben Kapilow, and will have, at its core, a new vision for the two-act musical as it is performed by children, teenagers, and adults. Tim Haney choreographs.

Austy Hicks will play the role of Jesus. He’s from Wayne, PA, and has been seen on stage at West Chester’s Limelight Performing Arts Center. He showcased his talent previously at The Media Theatre in professional productions of “Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “The Diary of Anne Frank”. He is also seen as Jack in Media’s summer production of “Into The Woods”. Austy is also a past winner of The Media Theatre's "Vocalist" summer singing competition. 

Media Theatre teen acting class student Evan Bramlage will portray the role of Judas, with Media’s Ted Harris as John The Baptist. Ted Harris is heavily involved at The Media Theatre as one of its State Street Miracles, which is a performance troupe for adults with developmental disabilities.

“This is unlike any “Godspell” you have ever seen,” said the theatre’s Artistic Director Jesse Cline. “It allows performance opportunities for a wide range of personalities, ages, and actors with unique backgrounds. Because the musical allows itself to be played by all ages, this will be very exciting for audiences, and very moving.”

“Godspell” is on stage at The Media Theatre August 4 through 27, with performances on Fridays at 7pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm, and Sundays at 3pm. For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

The cast of “Godspell” at The Media Theatre is:

Jesus................Austy Hicks
Judas................Evan Bramlage
John The Baptist..........Ted Harris

With:
Josh Atkinson, Hannah Brady, Charlie Carroccio, Aidan Fox, Adrian Henry, Bridget Henry, Skylar Kelly,
Leo Koncos, Sarah Lambert, Noelle Longenberger, Nora Martin, Alex Pollard, Lauren Saddic, Brynn Washbourne, and Violet Wiley

The songs :
"Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord"...........Ted Harris as John The Baptist
"Save The People"......................................Austy Hicks (Jesus)
"Day By Day"...............................................Sarah Lambert
"Learn Your Lessons Well"........................Leo Koncos
"Oh Bless The Lord"..................................Skylar Kelly and Alex Pollard
"All For The Best"......................................Hicks (Jesus) and Evan Bramlage (Judas)
"All Good Gifts"..........................................Noelle Longenberger
"Light Of The World"..................................Entire Cast
"Learn Your Lessons Well (Reprise)"..........Leo Koncos
"Turn Back O' Man"....................................Violet Wiley
"Alas For You"............................................Austy Hicks (Jesus)
"By My Side"..............................................Josh Atkinson and Bridget Henry
"We Beseech Thee"...................................Hannah Brady and Brynne Washbourne
"Day By Day Reprise"................................Cast
"On The Willows".......................................Nora Martin, Lauren Saddic, Charlie Carroccio,  Aiden Fox, Adrian Henry
"Finale"......................................................Cast

PENNCREST HIGH SCHOOL'S JACKSON SWEENEY IS 'INTO THE WOODS' AT MEDIA THEATRE

The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning musical “Into The Woods” on stage this summer, now 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.
Jackson Sweeney, who is starting his sophomore year at Penncrest High School in Media this fall, plays the role of The Narrator. “I’ve usually played supporting roles,” he said. “I’ve been in “Bye Bye Birdie”, “13”, and “The Sound Of Music” as well as a few others.”
JACKSON SWEENEY
“To me, “Into The Woods” is a shining example of how satire should be done,” he explained. “It’s great how the characters have feeling and depth, while still being shallow and clich├ęd.”
“The Narrator doesn’t have as much depth as some of the roles, but it’s a fun position to be in,” Jackson said. “I’m always keeping the interest and attention of the audience, focused on the story.”
He feels that as many people as possible should see the production. “Besides the fact that it’s a great show, and the actors have genuine talent, it’s a time to sit back for two hours or so and relax.”
“Doing these performances, as well as acting in general, is very important to me, considering that I want to write and perform in shows as a career,” he concluded, looking very much forward to a bright future.

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!

FIVE REASONS TO SEE 'NEXT TO NORMAL' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE JANUARY 31 THRU FEBRUARY 25

"Next to Normal" is a contemporary family drama, about a woman’s struggle with mental illness, and the effects of her illness on ...