Tuesday, August 29, 2017

BROADWAY'S JOSEPH SPIELDENNER LEADS CAST OF MEDIA THEATRE'S 'CAROUSEL' SEPT. 20-OCT. 22

The Media Theatre has Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical “Carousel” as the opener for its 2017-18 Broadway Series season. The beloved show plays September 20 to October 22.

The musical takes place between 1873 and 1888 in a small New England fishing village. The tale revolves around a love affair between Billy Bigelow, a travelling carnival man, and Julie Jordan, a local factory worker. Desperate for money after learning that he is soon to become a father, Billy is killed during an attempted robbery. Several years later, when he is allowed to return to earth for a short time, he seeks out the daughter of his union with Julie.

“Carousel” was adapted from Ferenc Molnár's 1909 play “Liliom”, transplanting its Budapest setting to the Maine coastline, although the ending was changed. The 1945 musical reunited the creative team that had brought Oklahoma! to the stage two years earlier, was a success. The New York Daily Mirror wrote: "Carousel is beautiful, bountiful, beguiling...it is the product of taste, imagination and skill."
Broadway actor Joseph Spieldenner, who will play the role of Billy Bigelow
The production ran for 890 performances and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for "Best Musical" of 1945 and 8 Donaldson Awards including Best Musical, Book, Lyrics and Score. The 1994 Broadway revival won its share of awards as well, boasting 5 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, and in 1999, TIME Magazine voted Carousel "Best Musical of the Century!"

“Carousel” has a memorable score, featuring songs such as “If I Loved You” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

The Media Theatre’s cast features Broadway’s Joseph Spieldenner in the role of Billy Bigelow. Spieldenner was recently seen in the revival of “Les Miserables”. Prior to his Broadway career, he was in The Media Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!” as Curly.

Originally from Albion, Maine, Spieldenner was in the recent Broadway revival of "Les Miserables" as Grantaire. He was also seen in the National Tour of the 25th Anniversary of "Les Miserables", as well as in the tour of "South Pacific". He has performed at North Shore Music Theatre, North Carolina Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse, Sacramento Music Circus and on other stages. His TV credits include "Redrum" on InvDiscovery, as well as the Netflix series "Iron Fist". 

The Media Theatre’s production will be directed by its Artistic Director Jesse Cline, with music direction by Ben Kapilow. Dann Dunn choreographs. "Carousel" is on stage September 20 through October 22. GET TICKETS or call 610-891-0100. 

The cast is:

Billy Bigelow…..Joseph Spieldenner
Julie Jordan…..Maxwell Porterfield
Carrie……………..Madalyn St. John
Jigger………………Carl Smith
Mrs. Mullins……Susan Mattson
Nettie Fowler…..Elisa Matthews
Mr. Snow………….George Slotin
Enoch Snow Jr/ Ensemble….Austy Hicks
Starkeeper……….Jim Conte
Louise………………..Beada Briglia
Mr. Bascomb…….Kelly Briggs
Carnival Boy….Willem Guenther
The Ensemble: Todd Berkich, Dante Brattelli, Madalaina D’Angelo, Sarah Jane Knoblich, Sam Nagel, Dana Orange, Maddy Pelesh, Kristin Smith, Liam Snead, Erika Wasko, and Tasha Waters.

Snow Children……..Group One: Charlie Carroccio, Zachary Divito, Savanna Galloway, Mary Katherine Schwartz, Amanda Treston.    Group Two: Sutton Gold, Adrian Henry, Lauren McAlee, Drew Murphy, Brynn Washbourne
Subscriptions are available! Along with "Carousel", The Media Theatre's 2017-18 Broadway Series includes Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" (Nov. 15-Jan. 14), "Next To Normal" (Jan. 31-Feb. 25), "IF/ THEN" (March 14-April 1), and Disney's "Newsies" (April 18-June 10). 

MEDIA THEATRE'S FALL SEMESTER OF ACTING AND DANCE CLASSES BEGINS AFTER LABOR DAY!

It's now time to register for The Media Theatre's Fall Semester of Acting Classes which begin the weekend of September 9, 2017. 

The popular acclaimed Children and Teen Acting Classes will be returning, as well as the Adult Acting Class. Each semester brings a fun educational atmosphere as students develop by working together and creating within a group setting.


A new "Media Theatre Dance Machine" class for ages 10 and up will begin on Sunday September 17 as well, with two popular regional performers as instructors.

Classes are under the supervision of Broadway World Award winning Artistic Director Jesse Cline, who studied with the renowned Sanford Meisner. All classes and the New School at The Media Theatre follow the Sanford Meisner Technique which basically states that 'acting is living as truthfully as one can under an imaginary circumstance'. This means that all actors should create as they will as honestly as they are able, without copying anyone else's performance or trying to be who they are not. It's a confidence booster while raising self-awareness.
Media Theatre Students perform on stage

The Acting Classes focus solely on acting skills and stage presence while also featuring improvisational theatre exercises for each age group. 


Students from the New School and acting classes are given performance opportunities throughout the year at The Media Theatre, playing roles in the Children's Series such as the upcoming "Snow White" and, when applicable, the Broadway Series.

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 instruct the Teen Acting Class on Sunday evenings at 6pm. 

The Level One Children's Class starts Saturday September 9, with the the Level Two Children's Class starting September 12. The Teen Class starts up again Sunday September  10.

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 Tuesdays at 7:30pm beginning September 12. 


The "Media Theatre Dance Machine" starts up Sunday September 17 meeting each week for 8 weeks from 10am to 11:30am. The instructors are popular Philadelphia performers Ronnie Keller and Kimberly Maxson, both who frequently appear on The Media Theatre stage.

Ronnie Keller says, "We are thrilled to be working together as a team to create a fun, safe, and informative environment where students will learn while having a great time."
Ronnie Keller and Kimberly Maxson, who will instruct the new Media Theatre Dance Machine
"The class will focus on learning the importance of strength, rhythm, musicality, and acting through dance," Kimberly Maxson added. "We will focus on body strengthening through proper warm-ups, while introducing students to core ballet techniques, expanding their musical theatre dance repertoire, and learning to sing as an ensemble while retaining this new information."

To register for the Acting Classes or "Dance Machine" call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. All Media Theatre classes are $400 for the Fall Semester.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

'GODSPELL' HAS FINAL SHOW AT MEDIA THEATRE AUGUST 27....WALLINGFORD'S LEO KONCOS LOVES THE SHOW'S LESSONS

The Media Theatre revitalizes the classic musical “Godspell” now through August 27. The show, with music by Stephen Schwartz and a book by John Michael Tebelak, features a cast of children, teens, and adults as the followers of Jesus while they humorously act out his parables from the Book of Matthew.

Leo Koncos is one of the Disciples. He is 13, lives in Wallingford and attends Strath Haven High School as a freshman. He was seen previously at The Media Theatre in “Into The Woods”, “School Of Rock”, “Real Story of Little Red Riding Hood”, and “13”. At Strath Haven Middle School he was in “Tarzan” and “The Little Mermaid”. He studies acting at The Media Theatre.
LEO KONCOS
Leo says, “I believe “Godspell” is about following someone, and learning from that person. The show appeals to people of all religions (or no religion!) and age groups because it leaves out the more religious/miraculous parts of the story of Jesus and focuses more on his teachings.”

“My favorite parable is the Altar parable because it highlights the importance of forgiveness,” Leo said. “In the parable, two brothers must forgive each other before they can offer a gift at an altar. I believe forgiveness is an important lesson to learn.”

He summed it up by saying, “The Media Theatre’s version of “Godspell” is different because it is set in a playground environment and has a large sports theme. This makes it have less of a Broadway feel and a more natural tone throughout the show.”


 “Godspell” at The Media Theatre is directed by Roger Ricker, with music direction by Ben Kapilow. Austy Hicks plays the role of Jesus. For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

Friday, August 25, 2017

STRATH HAVEN MIDDLE SCHOOL'S ALEX POLLARD IS IN 'GODSPELL' AT MEDIA THEATRE

The Media Theatre revitalizes the classic musical “Godspell” now through August 27. The show, with music by Stephen Schwartz and a book by John Michael Tebelak, features a cast of children, teens, and adults as the followers of Jesus while they humorously act out his parables from the Book of Matthew.

Alexander Benjamin Pollard, 12, is one of the Disciples in the musical. He attends the 6th grade at Strath Haven Middle School, and was seen previously at The Media Theatre in Children’s Series productions such as “Alice In Wonderland”, “The Jungle Book”, “The Wizard of OZ”, “Snow White”, “Winnie The Pooh’s Christmas Tail”, and Disney’s popular classics “Cinderella” and “101 Dalmatians”. He was also in last summer’s special event production “School Of Rock”.
Alex Pollard

 Of “Godspell”, Alex says, “The show is about a group of people having fun while they follow a teacher named Jesus. At the same time they are playing they become serious and realize what is going on.”

His favorite parable is ‘the one with the judge, robber, priest, and good citizen. It shows how all the people had the choice to be good, but only one person did. And how every single person could be the one that makes the right choice.’

He also has a favorite song in the show. “My favorite song is “Beautiful City”, because I love how we all come together in the end after all that has happened,” he explained. “We just let it go and relax, singing together as one big family.”

Alex stated that “The show appeals to all ages because little kids don’t see the sadness in the show, but they will see the happiness and joy. No matter if you are African American, Hispanic, Caucasian, Christian, or Jewish you will see the show through your own eyes. It’s great because it’s not a religious show, really, it’s about a group of people and their teacher. It’s a different kind of musical because it’s really all about an ensemble, not lead roles except for Jesus.”


“Godspell” at The Media Theatre is directed by Roger Ricker, with music direction by Ben Kapilow. Austy Hicks plays the role of Jesus. For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

Thursday, August 24, 2017

TWO GARNET VALLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE IN 'GODSPELL' AT THE MEDIA THEATRE

The Media Theatre revitalizes the classic musical “Godspell” now through August 27. The show, with music by Stephen Schwartz and a book by John Michael Tebelak, features a cast of children, teens, and adults as the followers of Jesus while they humorously act out his parables from the Book of Matthew.

Hannah Brady, age 12, plays one of the Disciples. She is from Garnet Valley, and will be attending the 7th grade at the Middle School there this fall.
HANNAH BRADY
She did her first show at The Media Theatre several years ago when she appeared in “Velveteen Rabbit Christmas”, and has been in almost every other children’s show produced there since that time. She was also in the 2016 summer musical “School of Rock”. She’s also been in school plays and was cast as a supporting role in an independent film, “Reins of Hope”. She is currently involved with two more film projects, which are a pilot tv series and a horror movie.

Of the show “Godspell”, Hannah says, “It’s everyday people getting together to forget today’s world and to experience something different, while sharing the virtues of faith, hope, and love. In this production, they connect as a team to learn how to put down the electronics and work together.”

“The musical appeals to all ages, background, and religions,” she explained. “It’s a learning experience. You put away what’s not important and just focus on each other, with friendship and love.”

Her favorite song in the show is “All For The Best”. “That song acknowledges the fact that some people don’t want to work for what they get,” she said.

She likes the message of “Godspell”. She said, “It’s heartwarming and real. It’s a quest to connect with others and to show that there is much good in the world if we just try to find it.”

Another cast member is Lauren Saddic, also a Disciple. She’s 12, and also attends Garnet Valley Middle School in the 7th grade, but lives in Glen Mills. She’s been in “Into The Woods”, “Annie”, and two productions of “The Jungle Book”.
LAUREN SADDIC
Lauren said, “The show is about God and Jesus, basically, but on a wider scale it’s about life’s lessons. It calls out to all religions, and even if you don’t believe in God at all the show teaches you to make the right choices and to be a good person.”

Lauren’s favorite parable in the production is about The Rich Man and Lazarus. “This talks about when you do something bad you will receive the consequences for your wrongs. It reminds you that when you make the right decisions you receive the benefits.”

“The musical is a lot of fun,” she said. “You learn while you watch.”


“Godspell” at The Media Theatre is directed by Roger Ricker, with music direction by Ben Kapilow. Austy Hicks plays the role of Jesus. For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

MEET TWO MORE OF MEDIA THEATRE'S 'GODSPELL' ACTORS: CHARLIE CARROCCIO AND SARAH LAMBERT

The Media Theatre revitalizes the classic musical “Godspell” now through August 27. The show, with music by Stephen Schwartz and a book by John Michael Tebelak, features a cast of children, teens, and adults as the followers of Jesus while they humorously act out his parables from the Book of Matthew.

Charlie Carroccio, 7, of Newtown Square, is one of the Disciples in the production. He attends the second grade at Ss. Colman John Neumann Elementary School. Charlie has been seen previously at The Media Theatre in several children’s shows: “The Real Story Of Little Red Riding Hood”, “Winnie The Pooh’s Christmas Tail”, Disney’s “Cinderella Kids”, and “Madagascar Jr.”. Plus he was in “Annie” at Archbishop Carroll, and coming up this holiday season he is playing the role of Chip in The Media Theatre's professional Broadway Series production of Disney's "Beauty and The Beast" (Nov. 15-Jan. 14).
CHARLIE CARROCCIO


Of “Godspell” at The Media Theatre, Charlie says, “It’s about people with all different backgrounds coming together. Because everyone is different, we see things differently and that is what makes the show special. We have an amazing group of young actors making up this cast!”

His favorite song in the show is the big hit “Day By Day”, which is led by young actress and singer Sarah Lambert, 16, of Cherokee High School in Marlton, NJ. She’s been in high school productions of “High School Musical”, “A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to The Forum”, and “Anything Goes”. “Godspell” is her first show at The Media Theatre.

Sarah said, “To me, “Godspell” is about community. A variety of people and a range of ages coming together, with different views about God, and putting aside their differences.”
SARAH LAMBERT
She believes “Godspell” reaches many people. “It’s not just about God,” she explained. “Most of our cast isn’t even Christian or Catholic as we also have those who are Jewish on stage, and a few agnostics. The show is really about the parables and the life lessons they teach such as helping others, loving your enemies, and forgiveness. These are good lessons for anyone! Even though the show is centered around Jesus and God, that does not mean that is the only thing you’ll get out of it.”

Sarah’s favorite song in the show is not “Day By Day”, which she leads, but “The Finale”. Of that, she says, “Austy Hicks, who plays Jesus, is incredible. During the Crucifixion when he sings it makes my heart cry out to him. I’ve invested in tissues!”

“This production of the classic musical is the most unique and intriguing version I’ve ever seen,” she said. “Director Roger Ricker really had a vision for the show that is eye catching, from the props to the screen graphics, and a sports theme including a boxing match with Jesus and Judas. It’s really special.”


“Godspell” at The Media Theatre is directed by Roger Ricker, with music direction by Ben Kapilow. Austy Hicks plays the role of Jesus. For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

MEET THE HENRY SIBLINGS OF HAVERTOWN WHO ARE IN MEDIA THEATRE'S 'GODSPELL' THRU AUG. 27

The Media Theatre revitalizes the classic musical “Godspell” now through August 27. The show, with music by Stephen Schwartz and a book by John Michael Tebelak, features a cast of children, teens, and adults as the followers of Jesus while they humorously act out his parables from the Book of Matthew.

Two talented siblings, Adrian and Bridget Henry, portray Disciples in the musical. From Havertown, they have been involved at The Media Theatre for several years.
Bridget Henry
Bridget will be attending the 6th grade at Havertown Middle School this fall. She’s been seen in many shows at The Media Theatre including Children’s Series productions such as “Cinderella”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Annie Jr.”, “Magic Tree House”, “Aladdin Jr.”, “Peter Pan And Wendy: A New Musical”, “The Real Story of Little Red Riding Hood”, “Alice In Wonderland”, and “Madagascar Jr.”. Last summer she was seen in the Camp Experience Musical “School Of Rock” and has also been in two Broadway Series professional productions: “Gypsy” and “Billy Elliot”.

She says that “Godspell” is about “a group of people coming together to have a good time. This production incorporates sports and makes it really fun!”

Her favorite song in the show is “Learn Your Lessons Well”. “I really like that style of music,” she says.
Adrian Henry
Her little brother Adrian will be attending the third grade at Manoa Elementary. He’s not lined up quite as impressive a list of credits as his older sister, but is certainly working on it! He’s been seen at The Media Theatre in Children’s productions such as “Alice In Wonderland” and “Madagascar Jr.”. Also, he has a big holiday season coming up as he will be playing the plum role of Chip in the Broadway Series professional production of Disney’s “Beauty And The Beast” from November 14 through January 15.

Adrian enjoys being in “Godspell” and says that the show is about “Friendship and love. My favorite song is “Day By Day” because it relates to that.”


“Godspell” at The Media Theatre is directed by Roger Ricker, with music direction by Ben Kapilow. Austy Hicks plays the role of Jesus. For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org

Monday, August 21, 2017

MEET MEDIA THEATRE'S 'GODSPELL' ACTORS AIDEN FOX AND VIOLET WILEY

The Media Theatre revitalizes the classic musical “Godspell” now through August 27. The show, with music by Stephen Schwartz and a book by John Michael Tebelak, features a cast of children, teens, and adults as the followers of Jesus while they humorously act out his parables from the Book of Matthew.


Aiden Fox, of Media
9 year old Aiden Fox, from Media, is one of the show's Disciples. He attends Indian Lane Elementary School and was seen previously on The Media Theatre stage in Children's Series shows "The Jungle Book", "Aladdin", "Winnie The Pooh's Christmas Tail", "Cinderella", "Sleeping Beauty", and "Magic Tree House". He was also in two Broadway Series professional productions: "Billy Elliot" and "Gypsy".

Aiden has been studying acting at The Media Theatre for three years and says "The parables in "Godspell" teach us about life. The show has adults, teenagers, and children in it, but the show does not discuss religion even though it's based on the New Testament."

Aiden's favorite songs in the show are "Day By Day" and "On The Willows", which he sings with other cast members. "We use our own names in the musical, so I'm Aiden!"
Woodlyn's Violet Wiley
Violet Wiley, who is 11, is also one of the Disciples. She attends 6th grade at Ridley Middle School and is from Woodlyn. She's been seen in several shows at The Media Theatre including playing the lead role in Children's Series productions "Cinderella" and "Alice In Wonderland". She was also in last year's summer musical "School Of Rock" and in two Broadway Series productions: "Billy Elliot" and "A Christmas Story: The Musical". 

Violet explains, "The musical "Godspell" is about unconditional love and tolerance, and has a message of love that is universal and applies to everyone."

Her favorite song is "Light of The World" because, she says, "it's fun to sing!"

"This production is set in the present time and is a bit more modern," she said. 

“Godspell” at The Media Theatre is directed by Roger Ricker, with music direction by Ben Kapilow. Austy Hicks plays the role of Jesus. For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org













Saturday, August 19, 2017

POPULAR PERFORMERS INSTRUCT MEDIA THEATRE DANCE MACHINE CLASS THIS FALL

The Media Theatre has a new dance class to add to its curriculum for ages 10 and up. It's "The Media Theatre Dance Machine", which begins Sunday September 17 at 10am. It will meet for a total of eight weeks during the fall semester. The instructors are popular Philadelphia performers Ronnie Keller and Kimberly Maxson, both who frequently appear on The Media Theatre stage.

Ronnie Keller says, "We are thrilled to be working together as a team to create a fun, safe, and informative environment where students will learn while having a great time."
Ronnie Keller and Kimberly Maxson, who will instruct the new Media Theatre Dance Machine
"The class will focus on learning the importance of strength, rhythm, musicality, and acting through dance," Kimberly Maxson added. "We will focus on body strengthening through proper warm-ups, while introducing students to core ballet techniques, expanding their musical theatre dance repertoire, and learning to sing as an ensemble while retaining this new information."

The semester is $400 per student, which is the same cost as The Media Theatre's acting classes, and each Sunday the Dance Machine class will meet for 90 minutes. Appropriate attire for the students is active-wear with jazz shoes or tennis shoes.

"The class will culminate to a showcase in which family and friends will be able to see what the students have been learning," Maxson stated. 

Keller summed it up by looking forward to the experience. "We will do our best to teach the class at an appropriate pace based on student experience level and age. We want the students to grow every week with their happiness, development, and progress in mind!"

Ronnie Keller is from Conshohocken and has been involved in musical theatre since the age of 10. He's been in The Media Theatre productions of "Side Show" and "West Side Story".  He started dancing at age 14, continuing his training at Temple University's musical theatre program under Maggie Anderson and numerous other Philadelphia educators. He has also appeared in multiple professional productions at the Walnut Street Theatre, Candlelight Theatre, Broadway Theatre of Pitman, City Theatre Company, Mazeppa Productions, and numerous collegiate productions. Receiving his B.A. in musical theatre in 2016, Ronnie has been consistently performing in the Philadelphia area and is excited to teach what he has the pleasure of doing every day.

Kimberly Maxson is originally from Long Island, New York, and started dancing at the young age of five at the Mulvihill-Lynch School of Irish Dance.  She competed as an Irish Step Dancer for 12 years and was ranked 26th in North America.  She moved to Philadelphia to attend Temple University. It was here under the instruction of her teacher and mentor Maggie Anderson, and many other professors and guest teachers, where Kimberly was introduced to and studied countless styles of dance from Ballet, to Musical Theater Jazz, to African and Polish Folk dancing. Since graduating from Temple, manga cum laude in 2014, with a degree in Musical Theater and minor in Dance, she has been lucky enough to be consistently working in the Philadelphia Theater Community, and at times as a dance captain, in places like the Walnut Street Theatre, the Eagle Theatre, Candlelight Theater, Mazeppa Productions, The Media Theatre, where she was seen in "Gypsy", "A Christmas Story", "Side Show", and "Billy Elliot". She looks forward to sharing her knowledge and to create a safe place where people are free to ask questions and to try new things.

Registrations are currently being accepted for The Media Theatre Dance Machine. To register, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org.







Monday, August 14, 2017

DON'T MISS ROGER RICKER & FRIENDS: "THE TOGETHER SHOW" THURSDAY AUGUST 17

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. 
       WATCH VIDEO FROM LAST YEAR'S CONCERT

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, 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.

"We are thrilled to have three Broadway performers join "The Together Show"! This 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. "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.

Over 30 talented children and teens will represent the Media Theatre Youth Ensemble for two big numbers (“Peace Train” and “We Are Family”), and several of the students will perform solos.

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 "Stand By Me", 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.

WEST CHESTER'S 9 YEAR OLD KATIE COTROTSIOS WINS MEDIA THEATRE'S 'VOCALIST JUNIOR 2017' CONTEST

“The Vocalist Junior” competition at The Media Theatre had its final round for 2017 on Sunday August 13. And the winner is: 9 year old Katie Cotrotsios of West Chester!

Cotrotsios won over the judges during the Finals with her renditions of “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” from My Fair Lady and “Once Upon A December” from Anastasia. She is the youngest Vocalist Junior winner in five years, as the most recent winners had all been ages twelve or thirteen.
West Chester's 10 year old Katie Cotrotsios, left,  beams as her name is announced as the "Vocalist Junior" winner.
Next to her is second place winner Lily Lexer, 8, of Malvern.
All of this year’s Top Five, in fact, were on the younger side of the contest except for Skylar Kelly, who is 13. Second place went to Lily Lexer, 8, of Malvern. Another Malvern singer, Maya Maloskey, age 11, took third place. Fourth place went to Skylar Kelly, 13, from Phoenixville, while fifth place went to tiny Zoe Nesbitt, 7, of Drexel Hill. Each of the top five received cash prizes plus gift certificates to The Media Theatre.

The competition is sponsored each summer by Iron Workers Bank. John Whitig, the President of IWB, was on hand as a judge for the final round. The other three judges on August 13 were the theatre’s Artistic Director Jesse Cline, dancer and choreographer Lydia Krull, and professional actress Karen Toto-Hockenberry.

“Vocalist Junior” is a partner competition with the “Vocalist” each summer, and while “Vocalist” provides an opportunity for singers age 14-24 to choose their favorite songs and perform them for a live audience each week, the “Junior” contest is for ages 7-13. Artistic Director Jesse Cline stresses each week during the event that although they are competitions, and were set up as such, the main goal is to provide an educational platform for the vocalists. Audiences are actually able to see the progress each competitor makes weekly, which creates an entertaining and memorable show throughout the summer.

The top five were culled from the final round’s top fifteen singers, who were chosen with a combination of the judges’ scores and an online voting system within which the public is given a ‘voice’ to choose their favorites. After the top five were chosen, all online voting ceased and only the judges’ scores were used to choose a winner.

“Vocalist Junior” will return again in the summer of 2018, as will its counterpart “The Vocalist”. Audition information will be posted on The Media Theatre’s website, www.mediatheatre.org. You may also call for information at 610-891-0100.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Media Theatre Announces Cast for "Carousel" (Sept. 20-Oct. 22)

The Media Theatre has Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical “Carousel” as the opener for its 2017-18 Broadway Series season. The beloved show plays September 20 to October 22.

The musical takes place between 1873 and 1888 in a small New England fishing village. The tale revolves around a love affair between Billy Bigelow, a travelling carnival man, and Julie Jordan, a local factory worker. Desperate for money after learning that he is soon to become a father, Billy is killed during an attempted robbery. Several years later, when he is allowed to return to earth for a short time, he seeks out the daughter of his union with Julie.

“Carousel” was adapted from Ferenc Molnár's 1909 play “Liliom”, transplanting its Budapest setting to the Maine coastline, although the ending was changed. The 1945 musical reunited the creative team that had brought Oklahoma! to the stage two years earlier, was a success. The New York Daily Mirror wrote: "Carousel is beautiful, bountiful, beguiling...it is the product of taste, imagination and skill."

The production ran for 890 performances and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for "Best Musical" of 1945 and 8 Donaldson Awards including Best Musical, Book, Lyrics and Score. The 1994 Broadway revival won its share of awards as well, boasting 5 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, and in 1999, TIME Magazine voted Carousel "Best Musical of the Century!"

“Carousel” has a memorable score, featuring songs such as “If I Loved You” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

The Media Theatre’s cast features Broadway’s Joseph Spieldenner in the role of Billy Bigelow. Spieldenner was recently seen in the revival of “Les Miserables”. Prior to his Broadway career, he was in The Media Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!” as Curly.

The Media Theatre’s production will be directed by its Artistic Director Jesse Cline, with music direction by Ben Kapilow. Dann Dunn choreographs. "Carousel" is on stage September 20 through October 22. GET TICKETS or call 610-891-0100. 

The cast is:

Billy Bigelow…..Joseph Spieldenner
Julie Jordan…..Maxwell Porterfield
Carrie……………..Madalyn St. John
Jigger………………Carl Smith
Mrs. Mullins……Susan Mattson
Nettie Fowler…..Elisa Matthews
Mr. Snow………….George Slotin
Enoch Snow Jr/ Ensemble….Austy Hicks
Starkeeper……….Jim Conte
Louise………………..Beada Briglia
Mr. Bascomb…….Kelly Briggs
Carnival Boy….Willem Guenther
The Ensemble: Todd Berkich, Dante Brattelli, Madalaina D’Angelo, Sarah Jane Knoblich, Sam Nagel, Dana Orange, Maddy Pelesh, Kristin Smith, Liam Snead, Erika Wasko, and Tasha Waters.


Snow Children……..Group One: Charlie Carroccio, Zachary Divito, Savanna Galloway, Mary Katherine Schwartz, Amanda Treston.    Group Two: Sutton Gold, Adrian Henry, Lauren McAlee, Drew Murphy, Brynn Washbourne
Subscriptions are available! Along with "Carousel", The Media Theatre's 2017-18 Broadway Series includes Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" (Nov. 15-Jan. 14), "Next To Normal" (Jan. 31-Feb. 25), "IF/ THEN" (March 14-April 1), and Disney's "Newsies" (April 18-June 10). 

Monday, August 7, 2017

THE MEDIA THEATRE'S 'VOCALIST JUNIOR 2017' HAS ITS TOP 15 FINALISTS

The Media Theatre’s “Vocalist Junior 2017” Top 15 contestants have been announced, after five 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, which were cut to the Top 20 last week and now down to the fifteen the judges felt deserved to make it to the Finals, which are August 13 at 7pm. 

The judges for the Semi-Finals were West Chester University Voice Major Kyleigh Bleacher, Professional Actor Austy Hicks (a previous winner of the adult "Vocalist" competition), and Iron Workers Bank representative Brent Whitig (IWB is the sponsor of the competition). The fourth judge was The Media Theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline. 






The Top 15 “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; Zachary Graaf, 12, Havertown; Bridget Henry, 10, Havertown; Skylar Kelly, 13, Phoenixville; Lily Lexer, 8, Malvern; Maya Maloskey, 11, Malvern; Lauren McAlee, 11, West Chester; Alexsa McKeown, 11, Brookhaven; Zoe Nesbitt, 7, Drexel Hill; Amanda Treston, 13, Malvern; and Mary Kate Vink, 13, West Chester.

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 15.”

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.”

Now that the Top 15 have been chosen, all previous scores are erased and each contestant begins the Final Round (August 13) 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 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.


MEDIA THEATRE HAS 'FIVE LITTLE PUMPKINS' SUNDAYS SEPT. 30 TO OCT. 28

The Media Theatre has a brand new hour long musical for children ages 4 and up just in time for the Halloween season. "Five Little Pu...