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Amity Musical “Into The Woods” Selling out Fast: Get Your Tickets Now

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News  Comments Off on Amity Musical “Into The Woods” Selling out Fast: Get Your Tickets Now
Mar 112016

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 7.49.55 PMThe Amity High School Theater Department announces that tickets are now on sale for its spring production of Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award winning musical… Into the Woods with book by James Lapine, directed by Robert and Andrea Kennedy.

Into the Woods is an exploration about wishes, child-parent relationships and the choices we make as told through several familiar fairy tale characters by the inimitable Brothers Grimm.

The story follows a Baker and his wife who wish to have a child, Cinderella who wishes to attend the King’s Festival, and Jack who wishes to save his cow.

When the Baker and the Baker’s Wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

One of Sondheim’s most popular works proven by the box office hit of its recent movie adaptation, Into the Woods dazzles audiences with memorable songs such as “Steps of the Palace,” “Giants in the Sky,” and haunting melodies that tug at heartstrings such as “No More,” “Children Will Listen,” and “No One is Alone.”

This year’s musical takes place at The John J Brady Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Amity High School, 25 Newton Road Woodbridge.

Performances dates and times are as follows:

▪ Friday, April 8, at 7:30 pm

▪ Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 pm

▪ Friday, April 15, at 7:30 pm

▪ Saturday, April 16, at 2:00 pm

▪ Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 pm


Tickets: $18 general

Purchase online at: www.amitytheaterdepartment.com or call (203) 392-2019.

Don’t delay, Amity Musicals sell out quickly.

Announcing the Cast of “Into The Woods”

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on Announcing the Cast of “Into The Woods”
Jan 102016

12471609_1505135189789698_5195218151186811598_oIf you live in the Amity area (Bethany, Orange or Woodbridge) you either know, or have heard that the regional high school has an excellent theater program.

Under the leadership of Robert and Andrea Kennedy, Amity has been nominated for numerous CT High School Musical Awards and sent two students John Jorge (Les Miserables) and Alli Kramer (Legally Blonde) to the National High School Musical Award competition — in the Outstanding Actor Category.

This year, the Spring musical is “Into The Woods.” The Auditions took place last week and now, Rob Kennedy talks about the auditions and the selection process.

“We want to thank all of the talented Amity students who auditioned for Into the Woods.  Thank you for taking the time and care to prepare for this process.  We especially want to note the excellent auditions by our freshman class!  We wish we could cast every student who auditioned but that is just not possible.”

“Casting always comes down to who is “most right” for the role in the mind of the directors to fit this very specific play.  It does not reflect how we feel about you as a person or a performer.  We have a vision for the show and this cast reflects the closest thing to that vision.”

“There were actors that didn’t receive a callback who were cast and there were actors that did receive a callback and were not cast. Others were not cast due to their scheduling conflicts.  It is a complicated puzzle with lots of moving pieces.”

“The talent pool runs very deep here at Amity.  It is very competivve for every role.  Only 40% of the actors who auditioned were cast.  Each year we feel fortunate to work with such wonderful students.   Thank you.  If you are an underclassman please do not be discouraged and please come back to audition next year!”

“Congratulations to everyone who auditioned.  For those of you who feel like you still want to be involved in the show we will be posting applications for crew positions sometime in early February.”

 Introducing the cast of Into the Woods:

The Narrator –                                Ian Pittinger

The Baker –                                       Jacob Leibowitz

The Baker’s Wife –                         Clara Gamsu

The Witch –                                        Elaina Dwyer

Rapunzel –                                       Kara Kachmar

Cinderella –                                       Emily Kilian

Cinderella’s Stepmother –         Yuliya Faryna

Lucinda –                                         Audrey Grotheer

Florinda –                                          Lauren Flaumenhaft

Cinderella’s Prince –                   RobertBo”Worth

Rapunzel’s Prince –                      Harrison Paek

The Wolf –                                       Ryan Chizmadia

Jack –                                                Josiah Oakley

Jack’s Mother –                               Abby Hazlett

Little Red Ridinghood –              Lillian Querker

Granny-                                             Maren Westgard

The Mysterious Man –                 Christopher Cassella

The Prince’s Steward –                Ryan Rattley

Cinderella’s Mother-                     Annie Foley

Cinderella’s Father-                      Jeffrey Gallo

The Giant-                                         Ali Ashworth

Snow White-                                    Kelsey Paier

Sleeping Beauty-                            Christina Genovese


Joyce Lin,   Claire Haupt,   Oriana Mack,   Ben Kemp,   Shane Gordon,

Max Seigman,   Nathan Shilling,   Dean Pocwierz,   Natasha Kaluzynski,

*Maren Westgard,   *Ali Ashworth,   *Kelsey Paier,   *Annie Foley,

*Christina Genovese,   *Ryan Chizmadia.

* Will double as named part and ensemble

The show will take place on April 8, 9, 14 and 15.

Keep your eyes open for when tickets will be available.

Box Office number is 203-392-2019

And check in on their web page.

Today Is The First Day Of Auditions For Amity’s Spring Musical — Amity Students Have An Advantage

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Jan 042016

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 12.50.36 PMToday and tomorrow, Amity Theater Kids will audition for roles in the Amity spring musical, “Into The Woods.”

Auditioning can be nerve-wracking for even seasoned performers, but the Amity Creative Theater students have a leg up on this one.

Back on Oct. 26, 2015, Broadway actor Rob McClure addressed the theater students who were seated in rows on the Amity stage, sounding more like a friend than a celebrity.

Here is a video from that special event

He shared personal stories of his own experiences and walked them through the way to tackle an audition.

McClure revealed that on his first audition he did not know what show he was auditioning for and decided to try out for the part of Toby (Sweeney Todd). When his turn came up, he sang “Stars” — from… Les Miserables. No, he didn’t get the part, but one hiccup didn’t stop him from achieving his dream of being on Broadway.

He said acting is playing make believe, connecting with the audience and having them empathize with you. If you get good enough at play acting you can achieve anything.

McClure said Steven Sondheim’s “Into The Woods” is the ultimate masterpiece with complicated, catchy tunes and lyrics.

He asked the students to sum up “Into The Woods” — what is the function of fairy tales in real life?

The answer — to teach a lesson.

He said Sondheim asked what do you get when a young girl puts everything she has into getting a prince? What happens after she gets prince charming? Jack  from Jack And the Beanstalk did not have a father figure in his life, and he did a lot of things he shouldn’t have.  What happens after the beanstalk falls and Jack kills the giant? The baker’s wife cheated on her husband with Prince Charming – What happens next?

“This show has so much to offer,” McClure said, “Listen to the lyrics… that’s what woods are for… or is it, ‘that’s what Would’s are for’?  It’s all about the possibilities.”

McClure had all of the kids stand and make a large circle for a warm-up exercise involving eye contact and reactions.

“Acting is reacting,” he tole them, “Everything you do is in response to something else. Your life is a constant state of reacting.”

Another lesson he taught was that eye contact is awkward and personal … the eyes are the window to the soul. Big eyeglasses hide what you’re feeling, you have to let people in.

As students took center stage to sing a few lines from a number from Into The Woods, McClure explained what the character is feeling, realizing about their situation and themselves.

With each break the students’ performances improved (see video link above).

The kids really responded to him and hung onto every word he said.

Now, 2 months after that opportunity of a lifetime, the actors should remember to make eye contact, and to rely on one another.

Before taking the stage for their auditions for “Into The Woods,” today, the actors have to think about their character’s objective, are they in a public or private place, what is their relationship to other characters and more.

We, at Orange Live wish all of the actors the best of luck in their auditions and look forward to a stellar production of Into The Woods next spring.

This full day workshop was facilitated by the Broadway Method Academy of Fairfield, CT.  The Broadway Method Academy was founded in 2014 by Amity alumni Connor Deane of Orange.  Deane is a 2010 graduate of Amity High School and of The University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.  His company offers comprehensive training in acting, singing, and dancing. Broadway Method Academy or BMA offers a variety of classes, private coaching sessions, and performance opportunities, bringing in some of Broadway’s top talents to work with students.  Their mission is to provide the essential tools for young artists to integrate acting, singing, and dancing. BMA helps to build audiences for tomorrow, to educate audiences of today, to enrich the community, and to enrich the lives of children.

Rob McClure received the 2013 Tony, Drama League, Astaire, and Outer Critics Circle Nominations, and won the Theatre World and Clive Barnes Awards for his performance as Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin The Musical on Broadway. He recently starred, opposite Tony Danza, in the Broadway production of Jason Robert Brown’s Honeymoon in Vegas.

A two-time Barrymore Award winner, Rob starred on Broadway as Princeton/Rod in the Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q. He made his Broadway debut in the 2002 Broadway revival of I’m Not Rappaport alongside Judd Hirsch and Ben Vereen.  McClure most recently spent the summer at the MUNY in Ohio playing the Baker in Into The Woods.  Rob will be returning to Broadway in the highly anticipated revival of Noises Off starring Smash star, Megan Hilty. 

Amity partnered with the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation to bring this opportunity to Amity students. 

Musical Excitement: Amity Theater Takes On “In The Heights”

 Amity High School, Around Town, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on Musical Excitement: Amity Theater Takes On “In The Heights”
Jan 152014

Screen shot 2014-01-15 at 1.35.55 PMIn the Heights, winner of four 2008 Tony Awards® including Best Musical and the 2008 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Show Album, is  coming to Amity High School April 4,5, 10,11,12 2014.

In the Heights, tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood – a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music.

Like ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ ‘In the Heights’ celebrates a community and culture through incredible dance, song, and glimpses into hopes, dreams, and struggles of the residents in New York’s vibrant Washington Heights neighborhood. It’s a community on the brink of change, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.

The Washington Post said In the Heights, is “Pure Broadway. An evening of old-style, innocent pleasure,” and Ben Brantley of The New York Times enthused “In the Heights, is an exuberant, animated shrine to the importance of family ties and being faithful to where you come from.”

The Amity High School Theater Department, the 2013 winner of “Best Musical the Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards is delighted to be one of the first theaters in the region to produce this show.

The Amity production will feature senior Nick Bottone of Bethany as Usnavi, Senior Shaylen Harger of Orange as Nina, Sophomore Chris Cassella of Orange as Benny, SeniorChelsea Tambis of Woodbridge as Vanessa, Senior Nicole Simon of Woodbridge as Abuela Claudia and Junior C.J. Spaziani of Orange as Sonny.

The talented cast of 45 has begun rehearsals and is very excited to be able to present this new, family friendly, Broadway smash.

The show will once again be directed by Rob and Andrea Kennedy with musical direction by Peter Randazzo.

Tickets to see In the Heights will go on sale in mid-February. Please check our website at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com for more information or like us on facebook @ Amity TheaterDepartment.

Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” Opens at Amity on Friday

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” Opens at Amity on Friday
Apr 032013

IMG_0644The Amity Creative Theater still has tickets for its annual Spring Musical Production of Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

When the unjustly imprisoned Sweeney Todd returns to London, he vows revenge upon those who framed him. Working as a barber and joining forces with Mrs. Lovett, they both serve their customers in wicked ways. Enjoy this award winning musical by Stephen Sondheim.

The show will take place on April 5th, 6th ,11th ,12th, and 13th @ 7:30 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com or by calling 203-392-2019.  All seats are reserved and cost $17.00

More humorous than the recent film version starring Johnny Depp, this production of the Tony Award winning classic musical tells the suspenseful, razor-sharp story of barber Benjamin Barker (aka Sweeney Todd), who returns to grimy 19th century London vowing to extract revenge for his false imprisonment with the help of immoral baker Mrs. Lovett. Their twisted strategy: Sweeney will murder his victims in his barber chair and Mrs. Lovett will turn them into the tastiest meat pies in London.

The Amity Creative Theater production of Sweeney Todd features a multi-talented cast of more than forty Amity actors, ages 14 to 18 years old. The principal cast includes sophomore Kevin Durkee of Orange as Sweeney Todd; Junior Alida Ballou of Bethany as Mrs. Lovett; Junior Shaylen Harger of Orange as Johanna; Sophomore Max Karsanow of Woodbridge as Anthony; Junior James Ottaviano of Bethany as Judge Turpin; Sophomore Kahari Blue of Bethany as the Beadle; Senior Ted McNulty of Bethany as Pirelli; Senior Peter Charney of Bethany as Tobias and Junior Nicole Simon of Woodbridge as the Beggar Woman.

“Our talented performers seem to thrive on our raising the bar.  Sweeney Todd is the most musically demanding production we have undertaken in our twelve years directing high school students, but I feel confident that the cast and musicians will meet the vocal and dramatic challenges head on and deliver remarkable performances,” said Rob Kennedy, director and theater arts teacher at Amity.

The Sweeney Todd cast will be accompanied by an award winning thirty-piece orchestra of experienced student musicians led by conductor Phil Dolan of the Amity Music Department.

Rob Kennedy co-directs the production along with his multi-talented wife Andrea Kennedy, with musical direction by Peter Randazzo, costumes by Julie Chevan and lighting by Dan Hassenmayer. Past ACT musical productions include: Legally Blonde the Musical, Chicago, Les Miserables, Rent and Grease.

The Amity High School Theater Department has been awarded two Moss Hart Awards from the New England Theater Conference for Best High School production in New England and seven Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards.

Last year Amity was a national finalist in the American High School Theater Festival and traveled to Scotland England to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  This April the theater students along with the music students will travel to Walt Disney World to perform on a Disney stage as part of the Disney Performing Arts On Stage program.

The show takes place on the campus of Amity High School at the John J. Brady Center for the Performing Arts.  Tickets and information are available online at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com or by calling our box office at 203-392-2019.  Tickets are $17 and all seats are reserved.

Show Dates: Friday, April 5th @ 7:30 pm Saturday, April 6th @ 7:30 pm, Thursday April 11th @7:30, Friday April 12th @7:30 and Saturday April 13th @7:30.

***Although there is no strong language in this production of Sweeney Todd, it is not recommended for young children.

See these previous posts on Orangectlive.com

Originally published April 2 at 11:06 a.m.