Sunday, April 26, 2015


A grand opening is truly grand when a legendary Broadway actress cuts the ribbon. Andrea McArdle, who started an impressive career by becoming the youngest actress ever nominated for a Tony award as the "Annie" known worldwide, did just that at the grand opening for The Media Theatre's new School & Dance Studio in Media. 
Broadway's Andrea McArdle cuts the ribbon, as young actor Ben Pedersen looks on
At the Sunday April 26 event attended by Media's Mayor Bob McMahon, Borough Council President Brian Hall, Media Business Authority Executive Director Zubair Khan, Delaware County Council's Colleen Morrone, and the theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline as well as Executive Director Patrick Ward, McArdle beamed with a bright look toward the future as she spoke prior to cutting the ribbon. 
Andrea McArdle speaks, looking at the young Media Theatre actors Ben Pedersen and Jaydin Knight with an eye toward the future

"This is a momentous occasion," she said. "The work done at The Media Theatre is truly wonderful, and the opportunities for the youth are very special. Talent must be nurtured. We are here to celebrate the opening of this new education space for music theatre, for singing and for dancing, and for these young people here with us today who truly are the future of Broadway."
Andrea McArdle speaks from the heart
"Education for the youth performers is very important to me," she stated. "I had the gift of "Annie" and now the young people in this region have this gift. A new space to learn, to rehearse, to follow their dreams."

It was a very meaningful, moving moment when this iconic actress, who belted out "Tomorrow" all those years ago and is now starring in "Hello Dolly" at The Media Theatre, cut the red ribbon at the entrance to the School & Dance Studio. It truly was inspirational, as everyone beamed with a smile as large as Andrea McArdle's as she looked adoringly at the youth members of the theatre's children's show "Magic Tree House: Knight At Dawn". 
Media Mayor Bob McMahon opens the ribbon cutting event
Mayor McMahon opened the event giving a proclamation to Executive Director Patrick Ward which states that April 26, 2015 is known as Media Theatre Day. "This new space will fulfill several purposes," McMahon said. "There will be opportunities here on State Street during Dining Under the Stars on Wednesday nights for young children."
Colleen Morrone, of Delaware County Council
Colleen Morrone of Delaware County Council said, "This is a wonderful addition to Media and also to the County. It, and The Media Theatre, are an economic boon to the region. Artistic Director Jesse Cline has a vision, and it's why he was just given an ICON Award by Media Arts Council. I get to introduce an ICON!"
Artistic Director Jesse Cline
With that Cline took center stage and looked upon the crowd with pride. "Thank you all," he said. "We are very happy to be more involved with the borough with this new space on State Street."
Media Borough Council President Brian Hall leads celebratory applause

Borough Council's President Brian Hall closed the ceremony by saying, "My daughter takes acting classes here. Speaking as a parent, I know how much care is given to each and every student from the staff at The Media Theatre."
Members of The Media Theatre's "Magic Tree House: Knight At Dawn" cast
After the cheers began to subside, the "Magic Tree House" cast in attendance happily went to the second floor dance studio for a well deserved pizza party. Tap and Ballet classes begin Monday April 27, but it was free-style dancing at the celebration party.

To find out more, or to register for classes, visit or call 610-891-0100.


Saturday, April 25, 2015


The Media Theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline received the 2015 ICON Award from Media Arts Council (MAC), a non-profit organization based in Media borough which seeks to actively support local artists and integrate a wide range of arts into the life of the entire local and regional community. 
Patrick Ward, Media Theatre Executive Director; Mayor Bob McMahon; Artistic Director Jesse Cline; and MAC's Executive Director Judy Fowler

In introducing the eveing at MAC's annual award presentation Friday night April 24, the Arts Council's Executive Director Judy Fowler said, "Jesse Cline is truly an artist, having been at the Artistic Director of The Media Theatre since 1994 and continuing its transition as a non-profit in the 2000's. We represent artists, and he is responsible for many years of bringing professional music theatre and education to the community."

She continued, "He and his partner Patrick Ward, the Executive Director of the theatre, work tirelessly to continue that goal and we are proud to present the 2015 ICON Award to Mr. Jesse Cline."
Jesse Cline with Judy Fowler at the ICON Awards presentation

Media borough Mayor Bob McMahon presented the award to Cline, saying "When Jesse started his mission at the theatre more than two decades ago, Media was a completely different place. Through the work of the theatre and it being a destination for thousands of visitors per year, the borough has seen a great transition since the 1990's."
Mayor Bob McMahon with Media Theatre Executive Director Patrick Ward

Cline accepted the honor by saying, "This is a humbling experience. All of us must continue to work together to do what is best for the borough and the region. I would also like to acknowledge your other honoree tonight, Mike Berman, who is your volunteer of the year recipient. Without volunteers, organizations like The Media Theatre and Media Arts Council simply would not be able to thrive."

He then stated, "I am appreciative of this wonderful honor and also wish to publicly thank the Mayor, Media Business Authority, and the Borough Council for being so supportive of what it is we do."
Media Business Authority's Bryan Messick and Zubair Khan

Cline has staged almost 100 productions at The Media Theatre since 1994, and as the Artistic Director since its revised status as a non-profit in the 2000's, has led the theatre to award status throughout the region with honors from Broadway World, Philadelphia Inquirer, Main Line Today Magazine, New York Daily News, Delaware County Council, Pennsylvania Senate, and the US Congress. He has brought Tony winning actors and nominees to The Media Theatre stage including Christine Andreas, Phillip Boykin, Betty Buckley, Ann Crumb, Andy Karl, and Andrea McArdle who is currently starring in "Hello Dolly" through May 24. Emmy winner Wanda Sykes also appeared on Media's stage in "Annie" in 2011. He holds a BFA in theatre from Virginia Commonwealth University and did graduate work at Bowling Green University. Having studied with the legendary acting teacher Sanford Meisner, Cline bases all of the theatre's work and educational opportunities on the Meisner Technique.
A wall in the Media Arts Council show room, which focuses on the work of local artists. The show room is open to the public.

Due to Cline's vision, The Media Theatre has a new second space opening April 26. The new School and Dance Studio at 28 West State Street will provide a continuing platform for youth and adults who have a passion for music theatre with Tap and Ballet classes, an expanded Acting Class curriculum, and Songwriting courses. 

For more information about The Media Theatre visit or call 610-891-0100. For information about Media Arts Council, visit 

Friday, April 24, 2015



This exciting event happens Sunday April 26 at 1:30pm! 
Be there at 28 West State Street in Media.

It’s the grand opening celebrity ribbon-cutting of The Media Theatre’s New School and Dance Studio, located a mere two blocks from the theatre. Tony nominee Andrea McArdle, currently playing the title role in “Hello Dolly” through May 24, will join Mayor Bob McMahon, dignitaries from local business and government plus students who perform as the cast of “Magic Tree House: Knight At Dawn”.

In attendance, aside from Broadway star Andrea McArdle and Mayor McMahon, are Jesse Cline, the Artistic Director for the theatre company; Patrick Ward, the theatre’s Executive Director; Brian Hall, Media Borough Council President; Zubair Khan, Media Business Authority Executive Director; Colleen Morrone of Delaware County Council, and others.

            The school, situated right in the center of Media borough near the Plumstead Mall, offers year-round courses for children, teens and adults who have a passion for dancing, singing and acting. The upcoming curriculum ranges from classes in tap and songwriting to auditions. A “Billy Elliott” ballet class encourages young boys to try dance ahead of the 10-time Tony Award winning musical Billy Elliott, opening just before Thanksgiving. And talented tots ages 4 – 5 can enjoy a class called Intro To Theatre.

During the town’s annual spring/ summer event Dining Under The Stars, in which patrons enjoy delicious meals on State Street as dusk approaches, the theatre’s new School and Dance Studio will offer “Theatre Under The Stars” for children ages 5 and up who wish to partake in acting games and theatre fun while their parents are enjoying great meals from Media’s Restaurant Row.

            For tickets to “Hello Dolly” or “Magic Tree House: Knight At Dawn” visit or call 610-891-0100. You will also find information regarding the new Tap and Ballet classes which begin April 27 as well as other educational opportunities.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


The legendary "Hello Dolly", Jerry Herman's iconic Tony winning musical, returns to the stage with Broadway's Andrea McArdle at The Media Theatre.

Starring as the sassy, brassy, and always classy Dolly Levi who not only does her matchmaking but also meddles her way into Horace Vandergelder's life, McArdle lends her powerhouse vocals to songs such as "Before The Parade Passes By".

She's appearing now through May 24 at The Media Theatre, with Kelly Briggs in the role of Horace. Patrick Ludt is the youthful Cornelius, with Cameron Scot Slusser as his store-clerk sidekick Barnaby. Elisa Matthews sings "Ribbons Down My Back" as Irene Molloy, and Madalyn St. John is Minnie Fay. Dann Dunn is the director/ choreographer.

McArdle was previously seen at The Media and Bucks County Playhouse in their co-production of "Mame", for which she won Best Actress In A Musical from Broadway World Philadelphia in 2013. 

For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit Photos by Maura McConnell

ANDREA MCARDLE AS DOLLY LEVI, with JP Dunphy and Zachary Chiero

Cameron Scot Slusser as Barnaby with Madalyn St. John as Minnie Fay

Patrick Ludt as Cornelius, Kelly Briggs as Horace, Cameron Scot Slusser as Barnaby with Male Ensemble
Elisa Matthews as Irene Molloy

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Jake Spencer, one of The State Street Miracles, held his 30th birthday celebration at The Media Theatre recently and-instead of just receiving gifts for his milestone-gave back to the professional music theatre company that has allowed him to perform regularly for seven years.

At the event attended by 80 of his closest friends and associates, including government and cultural leaders of Delaware County as well as his Special Olympics colleagues, Spencer presented Artistic Director Jesse Cline with a donation of a 'Star' for the Miracles, which will be displayed in the theatre's lobby. 
Pictured: Jake Spencer's mother Trish Cofiell, Media Theatre Artistic Director Jesse Cline, Miracle Jake Spencer, and the theatre's Development Associate Kimberly Bosshardt. 

Each star hung on the walls near the theatre's mission statement is worth $1000. Spencer collected the funds from his friends who attended the celebration so that the theatre would receive support for its performance troupe of adults with developmental disabilities and as a way of ensuring the State Street Miracles will forever have a place in the theatre's history.

Jesse Cline, upon accepting the Miracles' Star, said, "The Miracles program is the one we are most proud of here. It truly represents the idea that all who wish to perform on a professional stage have the opportunity to do so."

Jake Spencer's birthday celebration featured the concert, a reception, dancing, and karaoke for the participants. It was held on April 4. He's a founding member of the State Street Miracles, having started out at Camp Media Theatre a decade ago. 

His mother, Trish Cofiell, could not be more proud. "Jake is my rock," she said. "It's been a blessed 30 years and I look forward to many, many more." She brought her concept for the Miracles to Cline seven years ago. The two of them collaborated on what the State Street Miracles have eventually become-- a performance troupe of adults with developmental disabilities, who continue to spread the joy of music and dance while increasing awareness of the talents and abilities of people like themselves.

After the Star presentation, Spencer and the rest of the Miracles performed a 30 minute concert on stage, encompassing every song they perform currently. Titles included "Getting To Know You", "Do Re Mi", "Over the Rainbow", and "That's What Friends Are For".

With an impressive list of performance credits including the Senate Russell Rotunda in Washington, D.C. and the State Senate in Harrisburg, the Miracles are true ambassadors spreading the joy of music and The Media Theatre. They've been featured on WHYY and NBC-10, Rose Tree Summer Concert Series, and have performed at Delaware County Council meetings as well as Naturalization Ceremonies and the swearing-in of Delaware County District Judges. 

The troupe is a part of The Media Theatre's educational and community outreach mission to provide opportunities for those with an interest in the performing arts while advancing their speech and articulation, increasing self-esteem, and providing for stronger independence and decision-making for each group member. 
The Miracles perform with the Villanova University Supernovas (2014)

While people with disabilities are more included today in the school and work environment, there are still many barriers preventing them from participating in the arts community. The Media Theatre, through the work of the professional music theatre organization known as Media Music Theatre Company, provides a bridge to performance opportunities.
“We are happy to be able to showcase a group of performers like the State Street Miracles, who really demonstrate the pure joy of live performance,” said Jesse Cline, artistic director of the Media Theatre. “We are proud to have them as part of the Media Theatre family and they only strengthen our mission to nurture the joy, creativity and diversity unique to music theater. This group embodies the joy of music theater!”
The State Street Miracles are available to perform one or all of their songs at community functions in exchange for a donation to their program. They are also available to open events with “God Bless America.” For information about the State Street Miracles, contact Trish Cofiell at 610-459-5498. You may also visit or contact The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100. 


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