Friday, November 30, 2018


Make Rome Great Again! 

The Media Theatre has a stellar cast for its upcoming production of "Julius Caesar", on stage January 30 through February 24, 2019.

Shakespeare’s political thriller tells the story of the conspiracy against Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of his conspirators. GET TICKETS

In the play, Caesar has returned to Rome, triumphant from the war against Pompey. The republic is prepared to give him new power, causing concern and dismay among senators who believe that too much power is held by one man. So Caius Cassius plots a conspiracy against Caesar, believing his death is necessary for the good of the republic.

The Media Theatre has gathered a gender-bending cast from the Philadelphia region to bring Shakespeare's legendary prose to life.

Zoran Kovcic plays the title role. Kovcic makes his Media Theatre debut after appearing at Delaware County's Hedgerow Theatre in dozens of productions.

Barrymore Award winner Jennie Eisenhower portrays Marc Antony with Charlotte Northeast taking on the role of Cassius.

Damon Bonetti is Brutus in director Bill Van Horn's production, and Catherine Purcell takes on Portia, Voluminus, and Strato.

Serena Vesper is Calpurnia, Messala, and Voluminious in her Media debut. Jack Blouch also appears at Media for the first time as Casca and Strato. 

Michael Fuchs, seen at Media in "1776" and "Romeo and Juliet" will be busy as Flavius, Cinna, Artemidorus, Publius, Titinius, and Lepidus.

A Media Theatre audience favorite, Broadway's Nicholas Saverine, appears as Marullus, Cicero, Ligarius, Popilus, Trebonious, Cinna, and Clitus.

Hannah Brannau returns after appearing in "Romeo and Juliet" to take on the Soothsayer, Artemidorus 1, and the Poet. 

Malik Abdul Khaaliq of Delaware County, makes his Media debut as Metellus, Pindaru, and Dardanius. And another Hedgerow veteran, Lisa Villamill, will appear as Casca and Varro.

Several of the actors will also fill in the roles of Citizens, Cobblers in director Van Horn's vision for Shakespeare's classic.

Be sure to visit or call 610-891-0100 for tickets. There are several 10am performances for school groups.

Monday, November 26, 2018


The Media Theatre has everyone's favorite classic "The Wizard of OZ" this holiday season, as the award winning music theater company celebrates its 25th anniversary season. 

"OZ" is celebrating its 80th anniversary as one of the most beloved films of all time. The live musical presentation at The Media Theatre has an all-star Philly cast in the iconic roles. It's on now through January 13. 

Bob Stineman plays the role of Tin Man. "Though I don't cry nearly as much as Tin Man, I do share his sensitive nature and gentle soul," Stineman said. "Those moments in which he wears his heart on his sleeve are the things I find easiest to access. We have the same 'wants'."

"Back in my freshman year of high school I had a crush on a girl I knew from the band," he reminisced. "I found out she was trying out for the drama club, so I tried out too in the hopes of getting closer to her. While that part of things did not work out, I did end up landing the leading role in "Cheaper By The Dozen" and have had the acting bug ever since."

"Even though I have performed in quite a bit of musical theater, I have never considered myself a music theater actor. I have seen myself as 'just an actor'. But I think the original cast recording of "Phantom Of The Opera", which I listened to a lot when I was younger, taught me how to sing. I'm drawn to darker, more tortured characters," Stineman explained.

"Story telling is important," he said. "It is how we pass down tradition, history, knowledge, and other things. Being an actor, writer, or performer of any kind is part of that tradition and I'm honored to be a part of it."

"Theater helped me find my voice at a time when I was struggling to figure out who I was," he continued. "I never feel as free as when I'm on stage."

As far as his connection to The Media Theatre, he says "I've had the privilege and good fortune to work here for the better part of three years. Jesse Cline, the theatre's Artistic Director, took a chance on me when he cast me as Atticus Finch in "To Kill A Mockingbird". I cannot thank him enough for that opportunity and the others he has given me such as "Bridges of Madison County", "1776", and "Side Show"."

"I've gotten a chance to work with some really wonderful people here at Media. Some of the finest folk in the twenty plus years I've been doing this."

When asked about a memorable experience on stage, Stineman said "In my final year of college I worked on a piece by James McClure called "Lonestar" that was an incredible experience. It was one of the few projects where every piece of it was fulfilling. It was challenging and rewarding. Plus I was sharing the stage with one of my closest friends who played my brother in the show. The director was a good friend. We all pushed each other to find those truthful moments that brought the playwright's words to life."

And, even though he searches for a heart on stage in "The Wizard of OZ" through January 13, Stineman definitely is heartfelt when it comes to his father. "My late father came to see me in "1776" here at Media four times a couple years ago. Listening to him talk about it with tears in his eyes is a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life, as it moved him so deeply. Everything I do now is in his memory---the way live performance can really move someone, especially the ones we love."

For tickets to "The Wizard of OZ" now through January 13, call 610-891-0100 or visit

Bob Stineman would love to see you at the theatre!

Monday, November 19, 2018


The Media Theatre has received 43 nominations for “Best of Philadelphia Theatre 2018”. 

Jesse Cline, the Artistic Director for the professional music theatre organization housed at The Media Theatre, said,  “These nominations are a testament to the great work being done here on State Street in Media,” he said. “We are happy to be a large part of the Philadelphia theatre community.”

The nominations are for productions which were produced between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018. The Media Theatre landed 43 nominations from the esteemed online theatrical magazine.  Broadway World has headquarters in NYC and regional offices throughout the USA, giving up to the minute reports on all that is Broadway, Off-Broadway, and for each major city's theatre district and community.

A scene from The Media Theatre's "Newsies", nominated for 12 Broadway World Awards for "Best of Philadelphia Theatre 2018" including BEST MUSICAL, BEST DIRECTOR, BEST CHOREOGRAPHY, BEST ACTOR, BEST ACTRESS, BEST MUSIC DIRECTION, AND BEST ENSEMBLE
Now that nominations have been announced, Broadway World opens the voting up in each region to public voting. Members of each theatre community cast their votes as well as theatre patrons. The awards are very similar to the nationally televised People's Choice Awards, as the public chooses the winner in each category.

The Media Theatre was nominated alongside other professional theatres in the Philadelphia/ Wilmington region including Walnut Street Theatre, Bristol Riverside Theatre, People's Light and Theatre Company, Bucks County Playhouse and The Arden Theatre.

Since 2012, The Media Theatre has won a total of 86 Broadway World Awards, cementing its status as one of Philadelphia’s premier theatres.

Its 2018 nominations include some of Philadelphia theatre's biggest names, such as Jenny Lee Stern (Always, Patsy Cline), Krissy Fraelich (Next To Normal), Ben Dibble (Next To Normal), Tom Teti (Tommy and Me), and Kelly Briggs (Beauty And The Beast, Newsies). 

The Media Theatre shows receiving the most nominations are: "Newsies" with 12, Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" with 10, and "Next To Normal" with 9.

The play "Tommy And Me" (a co-production with Philly's Theatre Exile) received 5 nominations, while two of its Children's Series productions received a total of 3 nominations.

The Media Theatre's current production, "The Wizard of OZ", will be eligible for next year's nominations. It's on now through Jan. 13. For tickets: 610-891-0100

The Media Theatre's 2018 Broadway World Award Nominations are:

BEST MUSICAL: "Disney's Beauty And The Beast"; "Newsies"; "Next To Normal"

BEST PLAY: "Tommy And Me" (a co-production with Theatre Exile)

BEST NEW WORK: "The Princess And The Pea"; "Snow White" (both Children's Series productions)

BEST SPECIAL EVENT: "The Princess And The Pea"; "Roger Ricker Concert: Rocket Man"

BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL: Jesse Cline, "Always, Patsy Cline"; Dann Dunn, "Disney's Beauty And The Beast"; Geoffrey Goldberg, "Newsies"; Geoffrey Goldberg, "Next To Normal"

BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY: Joe Canuso, "Tommy And Me"

BEST MUSIC DIRECTION: Ben Kapilow, "Disney's Beauty And The Beast"; Ben Kapilow, "Newsies"

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Ben Dibble, "Next To Normal"; Christopher Infantino, "Newsies"; Jeff Sundheim, "Newsies"; Jarret Jay Yoder, "Disney's Beauty And The Beast"

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Krissy Fraelich, "Next To Normal"; Maya Maloskey, "Snow White"; Megan McDevitt, "Newsies"; Alanna J. Smith, "Disney's Beauty And The Beast"; Jenny Lee Stern, "Always Patsy Cline"

BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY: Tom Teti, "Tommy And Me"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Kelly Briggs, "Disney's Beauty And The Beast"; Kelly Briggs, "Newsies"; Ronnie Keller, "Next To Normal"; Patrick Ludt, "Next To Normal"; Nicholas Saverine, "Disney's Beauty And The Beast"


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Hillary Parker, "Disney's Beauty And The Beast"; Molly Sorensen, "Next To Normal"

BEST ENSEMBLE IN A MUSICAL: "Disney's Beauty And The Beast"; "Newsies"; "Next To Normal"


BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: Dann Dunn, "Disney's Beauty And The Beast"; Geoffrey Goldberg, "Newsies"

BEST COSTUMES: Carol Sorensen, "Newsies"

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN: Steven Spera, "Newsies"

BEST SOUND: Carl Park, "Newsies"

BEST SET DESIGN: Kyle Brylczyk, "Next To Normal"

Friday, November 16, 2018


It's time for the holidays which means "Jack Frost Saves Christmas" is on stage at The Media Theatre. This one hour upbeat and heartfelt show for youth of all ages is all about the boy who can't seem to do anything right because everything he touches turns to ice! Soon, however, friendship and the art of giving get everyone in on the act for a wonderful holiday.

"Jack Frost Saves Christmas" is by Matt and Tina Jo Wallace with music by Scott Bradley, a previous resident music director for The Media Theatre. Songs include "Countdown to Christmas", "Frost", and "Gifts Are For Giving".

The production features a cast of the theatre's New School and acting class students along with Philadelphia's Jarret Martin as Santa Claus. Jarret is currently seen in The Media Theatre's "The Wizard of OZ" and was featured as the Ensemble Swing in "Newsies" last spring. He's been seen in productions of "Children of Eden", "Little Shop of Horrors", and "A Chorus Line".

The role of Jack Frost will be played by Aston's Zachary Amos, previously seen at Media as Les in "Newsies" ,"The Princess And The Pea" , "The Little Mermaid", and "Five Little Pumpkins".

Music Direction is by Patrick D'Amato of Media. The colorful costumes are by Carol Sorensen. The show, directed by Roger Ricker, includes audience participation and an opportunity for children to be on stage during the "Rompin' Reindeer" dance.

The show plays Sundays at Noon November 25 through December 30. 

To purchase tickets call 610-891-0100 or visit It's just $12 for children and $15 for adults to enjoy this one hour holiday themed treat. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


The Media Theatre has everyone's favorite classic "The Wizard of OZ" this holiday season, as the award winning music theater company celebrates its 25th anniversary season. 

"OZ" is celebrating its 80th anniversary as one of the most beloved films of all time. The live musical presentation at The Media Theatre has an all-star Philly cast in the iconic roles. It's on November 14 through January 13. 

Here are First Look Photos from the production, directed and choreographed by Marc Andrew Nunez, with music direction by Ben Kapilow.

For tickets to "The Wizard of OZ" November 14 through January 13, call 610-891-0100 or visit

Photos by Greg Carroccio.





Friday, November 9, 2018


The Media Theatre has everyone's favorite classic "The Wizard of OZ" this holiday season, as the award winning music theater company celebrates its 25th anniversary season. 

"OZ" is celebrating its 80th anniversary as one of the most beloved films of all time. The live musical presentation at The Media Theatre has an all-star Philly cast in the iconic roles. It's on November 14 through January 13. 

Philadelphia's Carl Smith portrays the legendary role of Scarecrow, who travels the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy to discover Oz. His personal journey to becoming a professional actor started, he said, "When I was cast in a production of "Oliver!". It's gone on from there. I've always been a communicator and a performer, and that was my first foray in the world of acting."

From Texas, Carl made his way to the East Coast, ending up in the Philly region where he performed many times at Hedgerow Theater in Rose Valley, which is just a bit of a mile from Media. "I wanted to perform here at Media ever since I saw "My Fair Lady" on their stage. I was working with Hedgerow at the time, and my fellowship there was coming to a close. Media's beautiful space, production quality, and emphasis on musicals drew me here. I've been seen here in "Billy Elliot" and "Carousel", and am now enjoying the trip to Oz."

"There are so many gorgeous scores, which initially attracted me to musicals. Sharing a story set to beautiful music is a privilege. I love Rodgers and Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz--they were my bread and butter growing up."

He continued with, "Theatre provides the satisfaction of a story well told. With a story told with conviction enough to cause audiences to consider its lessons, its moral....We can change the world for the better."

"I form new memories with each show and each one is different. I've been very blessed to share the stage with wonderful people."

For tickets to "The Wizard of OZ" November 14 through January 13, call 610-891-0100 or visit
Carl Smith would love to see you at the theatre!

Monday, November 5, 2018


The Media Theatre has everyone's favorite classic "The Wizard of OZ" this holiday season, as the award winning music theater company celebrates its 25th anniversary season. 

"OZ" is celebrating its 80th anniversary as one of the most beloved films of all time. The live musical presentation at The Media Theatre has an all-star Philly cast in the iconic roles. It's on November 14 through January 13. 

Jennie Eisenhower plays the iconic role of The Wicked Witch, and--as all Witches know--doubles her fun on stage in the role of Miss Gulch. "I am really looking forward to performing in OZ as my daughter and my partner love to watch the classic movie together," Jennie said. 

"Performing has created so many memorable moments for me, so it's hard to choose a 'fondest' memory," she stated, thinking about past roles. "I can say that "A Christmas Story" at The Media Theatre was a fun one for me, but honestly I love it all."

"My very first role was The Artful Dodger in "Oliver!" in middle school," she reminisced. "After that, I was totally bitten by the acting bug and did more school shows and some community theater before going to Northwestern as a theatre major."

""Oliver!", the Broadway musical, was a big inspiration for me, as was the last Broadway revivial of "Showboat", she said. "That was the first time I was moved to tears because of how beautifully the cast brought the score to life. And also "Rent" was a huge inspiration. Saw that one on Broadway six times--three times at standing room only in the back row!"

She explained that she "Went to an acting camp the summer after 10th grade. It was three weeks of musical theatre from the moment I woke up at 7am until I fell asleep exhausted at midnight. At the end of the camp, instead of being burnt out, I wanted more! That's when I knew I was in this for life."

As for her times on The Media Theatre stage, she says: "I did my first gig here in 2003 in "Nunsense". I've been involved here since then. Artistic Director Jesse Cline has always been willing to give me challenging opportunities, from roles I have been eager to play to directing ("Chicago" and "1776"), as well as being an Associate Director with him ("Side Show", "Sweeney Todd"). He has been very supportive of me. Having someone believe in you in this competitive business is a wonderful gift." 

For tickets to "The Wizard of OZ" November 14 through January 13, call 610-891-0100 or visit
Jennie Eisenhower would love to see you at the theatre!

Thursday, November 1, 2018


The Media Theatre has everyone's favorite classic "The Wizard of OZ" this holiday season, as the award winning music theater company celebrates its 25th anniversary season. 

"OZ" is celebrating its 80th anniversary as one of the most beloved films of all time. The live musical presentation at The Media Theatre has an all-star Philly cast in the iconic roles. It's on November 14 through January 13. 

Elisa Matthews plays Glinda, The Good Witch, and Aunt Em. "This is my tenth year working with the Media Theatre!," she said.  "I have so many wonderful memories here and many of my closest friends are from this community.  I also love the town and historic building that we perform in."

She continued by recalling some of her past roles at Media. "Many of my fondest theatre experiences have been here at Media Theatre starting with playing Eliza in "My Fair Lady" to the recent role of Francesca in "The Bridges of Madison County".  I owe Jesse Cline (Artistic Director) and Patrick Ward (Executive Director) so much gratitude for all the wonderful opportunities and experiences I have had here."

Elisa was also seen at Media in "Oliver!", "Les Miserables", "The Sound of Music" and several other critically acclaimed productions. Philadelphia theatre critic Neal Zoren once said, "My dream is to see an entire season of musicals built around Elisa Matthews. She's that good."

Elisa reminisced about her early days on the stage. "I started in elementary school.  My first big role was the Wicked Queen in "Snow White" which was a lot of fun.  We also did fully-staged and costumed musicals in my backyard every summer and it was a big event for all the neighbor kids.  One year we did "The Wizard of Oz" and I played Dorothy.  I remember how fun it was coming up with ideas for the special effects of the show."

As far as her ultimate moment in 'deciding' to become an actress, she says she "never had a deciding moment actually.  I went to school for art and was planning on being an elementary art teacher but kept getting opportunities to sing and perform.  Eventually I changed course and went back to school to study music and drama."

She has played several of the roles that Julie Andrews made famous the world over. ""My Fair Lady" was a movie that I loved and I memorized every song on the record.  I was obsessed with Julie Andrews and wanted to play all the parts she played."

She's done Eliza Doolittle and Maria von Trapp at The Media Theatre so far. Will "Mary Poppins" be in her future? Only time will tell. 

For tickets to "The Wizard of OZ" November 14 through January 13, call 610-891-0100 or visit
Elisa Matthews would love to see you at the theatre!

    Tuesday, October 30, 2018


    THE WIZARD OF OZ is the beloved tale, in which a Kansas farm girl travels over the rainbow to discover the magical power of home, that has been entertaining audiences for generations. The motion picture, released in 1939 and an annual treat for families every year on the small screen, comes to life in this stage musical version adapted from the MGM film. An all-star Philly cast brings the show to life at The Media Theatre Nov. 14 through Jan. 13. 
    This two-act Broadway musical includes the songs "Over The Rainbow," "Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead)," "If I Only Had A Brain/A Heart/The Nerve," "We're Off To See The Wizard (Follow The Yellow Brick Road)," "The Jitterbug," and "The Merry Old Land of Oz" and "If I Were King Of The Forest."
    The live orchestra which accompanies the cast will be conducted by The Media Theatre's Resident Music Director Ben Kapilow. Audiences will be able to see the musicians as well as hear them, as for this production the orchestra will be on a raised platform on stage throughout the show.

    A cast of professional actors will bring OZ to life, including several of Philadelphia's award winning stars such as Jennie Eisenhower (Wicked Witch), Elisa Matthews (Glinda), Kelly Briggs (Cowardly Lion), Bob Stineman (Tin Man), and Carl Smith (Scarecrow). JP Dunphy is Uncle Henry and the Gatekeeper, and Media's own Roger Ricker is Professor Marvel and The Wizard.
    Philadelphia's Anna Rosenthal portrays Dorothy. She was seen on The Media Theatre stage in "Billy Elliot" and "Bridges of Madison County". Other professional productions include "Meet Me In St. Louis", "Ragtime", "Mary Poppins", and the off-Broadway show "Timmy The Great".

    The Ensemble consists of Anne Bragg, Dante Bratteli, Lauren Bristow, Julia deGruchy, Jarrett Martin, Christian Ryan, Amanda Shaffern, and Denzel Thomas.
    The Munchkins are two separate casts of youngsters from The Media Theatre's School, spanning ages 6 to 13. With the two casts come two Mayors of Munchkinland (Charlie Carroccio and Aidan Crane). The Munchkins will also portray the Flying Monkeys and Poppies. 
    The two Munchkins casts are: 
    Emerald Cast
    Aidan Crane (Mayor/Nikko)
    Mae Weaver (Coroner)
    ZoĆ« Nesbitt (Barrister)
    Lila Bea Hannon and Sadie Wynne (Teachers)
    Journi Hamilton (Fiddler)
    Natalie Amos (Lullaby League)
    Sydney Amos (Lullaby League)
    Lucy Amos (Lullaby League)
    Adam Makke (Lollipop Guild)
    Alex Palombo (Lollipop Guild)
    Kai Quimbo (Lollipop Guild)

    Ruby Red Cast

    Charlie Carroccio (Mayor/Nikko)

    Lily Jo Shelkin (Coroner)
    Reese Masiello (Barrister)
    Olivia Stroup and Kathryn Galka (Teachers)
    Blake Jones (Fiddler)
    Savanna Galloway (Lullaby League) 
    Chloe Tomaszewski (Lullaby League)
    Aneesa Hernandez (Lullaby League)
    Ryan Zebley (Lullaby League)
    Greyson Heneks (Lollipop Guild)
    Kevin Olive (Lollipop Guild)
    Drew Murphy (Lollipop Guild)
    Marc Andrew Nunez directs and choreographs, bringing OZ to colorful and energetic life. Based in NYC, Nunez founded Gotham Dance Theater, and urban contemporary dance theatre company dedicated to creating art with social purpose, representing the diversity of NYC and beyond. He performed last season in The Media Theatre's "Newsies" as Finch and recently assisted Artistic Director Jesse Cline with the production of "Sweeney Todd" as choreographer. He's been a dancer with Rihanna at the Video Music Awards and has done various music videos and commercials for Disney and Nintendo. He's hoping to bring a bit of a contemporary edge to the classic "Wizard of OZ" at The Media Theatre this holiday season (Nov. 13-Jan. 14).

    "The Wizard of OZ" is currently celebrating the 80th anniversary release of the 1939 film, which the stage musical is based on.

    For tickets, call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit (where you'll also see the entire show schedule). Group rates are available.

    Monday, October 22, 2018


    The Media Theatre has a brand new children's show on right now through October 28, "Five Little Pumpkins". It's based on the children's nursery rhyme, and tells audiences why the Pumpkins are where they are. The fun show involves a crazy Witch, a bumbling Private Detective, and Neighborhood Children who sing "Trick Or Treat".

    Not only that, but the children in the audience are asked to come dressed in their favorite Halloween costume because at the end of each show (Sundays at Noon through October, plus one Saturday morning show at 11am Oct. 27) there is a Costume Contest on stage.

    The show features songs by the theatre's Resident Music Director Ben Kapilow, and a story by Roger Ricker.

    Below, in her first blog entry on Media Theatre News, 8 year old Lily Jo Shelkin who is in the show talks about her experiences.

    For tickets to "Five Little Pumpkins", call 610-891-0100 or visit

    Lily Jo Shelkin in "Five Little Pumpkins" at The Media Theatre

    "Hello.  My name is Lily Jo and I am 8 years old.  I have been doing theater classes with Roger Ricker since I was 4 years old.  He taught me this quote that you should always remember on stage --- “Acting is living as truthfully as one can under an imaginary circumstance”.   He also taught me upstage and downstage and other important things to know on stage. 

    Then, I noticed some of my friends were doing plays, and I wanted to do them too.  My first play at Media Theater was Madagascar Jr. and it was so much fun I wanted to do more.  In my picture you can see me and my friends doing our first performance of The Five Little Pumpkins.  I am Petunia, the first pumpkin on the gate.  I sing a song about umbrellas and keeping the neighborhood kids dry.  If you come to the show and don’t see me, it is because my part is double cast with Sydney Amos who is a great actress and my friend.  It is an awesome show by Ben Kapilow and Roger Ricker.  Come see it on Sundays at noon!

    Also, this year I started New School at Media Theater.  We have class one day a week for 2 hours.  My teachers are Jesse Cline and Ben Kapilow.  Jesse is very helpful and kind.  Ben knows every piano song you ask him to play.  We have been practicing monologues and songs.   

    I also spend my summer at camp Media Theater and it is super exciting.  My favorite song we performed at camp was “Stick It To The Man” from School of Rock. 

    But, my favorite thing about the theater is making new friends and having the most fun I could ever have on stage!"


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