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Amity Middle School Students Participate In Video Production Program

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May 312018
 

Pictured (top row from left to right):  Daniella Landino, Colleen Shaw, Zola Kneeland, Gillian Fuchs, Michael Pickett, Nolan Young, Mason Beaudette, Tristan Douglas, Kyheem Moore-Horton, Andrew Soldra, Daniel Slugoski, Emma Hatjopoulou, Alexandra Louros Pictured (bottom row):  Carly Gravitt, Jake DeMattia Missing from picture:  Jade Krukar, Kayley Mingione, Melissa Musante (Photo by Kristin Yeakel)

Amity Middle School in Orange has had a cadre of eighth-grade students participating in a video production program run by former Amity student, Tristan Douglas, again this year.  The program was made possible through a grant from the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation (www.jamiehulleyartsfund.org).

Mr. Douglas met with the student cadre sixteen times over the course of the school year and introduced the students to the art of video production.  Students learned how to storyboard, set up and use a professional video camera and equipment, navigate the intricacies of filming a video, and much, much more.

This year’s participating students were:  Mason Beaudette, Jake DeMattia, Gillian Fuchs, Carly Gravitt, Emma Hatjopoulou, Zola Kneeland, Jade Krukar, Daniella Landino, Alexandra Louros, Kayley Mingione, Ky Moore-Horton, Melissa Musante, Mikey Pickett, Colleen Shaw, Dan Slugoski, AJ Soldra, and Nolan Young.

Thanks to the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation grant, the video production students were exposed to a wide array of learning opportunities.  Amity Middle School in Orange does not currently have a course in video production like Amity Regional High School does; however, many students are interested in that aspect of art and drama.  This opportunity was embraced wholeheartedly by the students.  The program was a resounding success; and if offered again next year, there are several seventh graders who are very interested in participating in it.

The final video will be shown at the Amity Middle School in Orange Moving Up Ceremony in June and will be viewed by the nearly nine hundred people who will be attending the ceremony.

BMA Announces Stephen Sondheim Award Nominees

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May 212018
 

For many years, Amity Regional High School participated in the Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards program, and year after year it received numerous nominations and prizes, and twice won the lead actor award: John Jorge for Les Miserables and Alli Kramer for Legally Blonde.

The CHSMTA program, now extinct, after its creator retired, left Amity in Limbo — Would there be a way to honor the hard work of Connecticut’s High School Theater programs.

In comes Orange native, Amity Grad Connor Deane to the rescue — Read On!

Broadway Method Academy (BMA), in association with the Shubert Theatre of New Haven and Westport Country Playhouse, is proud to announce the nominees for the Stephen Sondheim Awards. The black-tie gala will take place on June 4 at 7:30 pm at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, CT.  The program’s mission is to recognize excellence in high school musical theater.

BMA Executive Directors, Connor Deane & J. Scott Handley announced today that Hamilton’s Solea Pfeiffer (Eliza Hamilton) and Ryan Vasquez will host the 2018 black-tie gala.

“We are thrilled to partner with two organizations that have contributed so much to the American theater,” said Deane. “We are looking forward to bringing some of Broadway’s brightest talents to share this special night with the next generation of musical theater performers,” Deane said that over the next two weeks BMA would utilize their social media channels to announce the Broadway presenters.

Over the past eight months, a panel of judges attended performances by the following 14 (fourteen) high schools:

Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School

Suffield Academy

West Warwick High School

Notre Dame High School

North Kingstown High School

Trumbull High School

Branford High School

Newtown High School

Darien High School

Nonnewaug High School

Cheshire High School

Amity Regional High School

Shelton High School

Immaculate High School

The panel of judges was comprised of performing arts educators, entertainment professionals and Broadway performers & designers. On May 19, these judges met for a final discussion and a review of highlights from each high school performance to subsequently create nominations.

The nominees for the 2018 Stephen Sondheim Awards are …

*Amity received 8 nominations in the 10 available categories.

Best Scenic Design

Isabel Adolphe – Heathers – Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School

Justin Mossa – Footloose – Darien High School

Bobby Marcinauskis – Legally Blonde – Shelton High School

Todd Perrin, Dan Reilly and Nina Soriano– Les Miserables – Newtown High School

Best Costume Design

Sophie Howard – Footloose – Darien High School

Kira Turlington – Heathers – Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School

Marissa Proto – The Addams Family – Amity Regional High School

Best Lighting Design

Alicia Foster – Heathers – Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School

Emily Marcinauskis – Legally Blonde – Shelton High School

Oak Chaisathaporn – Hairspray – Suffield Academy

James Gallo – Curtains – Trumbull High School

Dean Jones – Footloose – Nonnewaug High School

Bobby Gaffney- Les Miserables – Newtown High School

Best Supporting Actor

Michael Hoadley – Shrek – Pinocchio – Branford High School

Antonio Mantero – Into the Woods – Mysterious Man – Notre Dame

Callum Zak – Legally Blonde – Kyle/Chad/Dewey – Shelton High School

Thomas Leonard – Curtains – Christopher Belling – Trumbull High School

Ryan Kennedy – Addams Family – Lucas – Amity High School


Best Supporting Actress

Alex Hernandez – Shrek – Dragon – Branford High School

Marina Kolistas – Grease – Patty Simcox – Immaculate HS

Molly Schalenghe – Legally Blonde – Brooke – Shelton

Madison LaPlante – Shrek – Dragon – West Warwick

Ainsley Lugal – Legally Blonde – Serena – Shelton High School

Best Choreography

Andrea Kennedy – The Addams Family – Amity Regional High School

Emily Frangipane – Footloose – Darien High School

Matthew Farina – Grease – Immaculate High School

Katherine Sedlock – Legally Blonde – Shelton High School

Mia White – Hairspray – Suffield Academy

John Carter – Merrily We Roll Along – Cheshire High School

Best Direction

Rob and Andrea Kennedy – The Addams Family – Amity Regional High School

Tim Sorenson – Footloose – Darien High School

Matthew Farina – Grease – Immaculate High School

Fiona Bryson, Katherine Sedlock, Justin Zenchuk – Legally Blonde – Shelton High School

Thomas Dugan – Hairspray – Suffield Academy

Richard Marchetti – Shrek – West Warwick High School

Best Actor

Marty Gnidula – Addams Family – Uncle Fester – Amity High School

Grady Allen – Footloose – Willard – Darien High School

Joshua Cocuzzo – Footloose – Ren – Nonnewaug

Cooper Cardone – Beauty and the Beast – Beast – North Kingstown

Connor Wall – Legally Blonde – Emmett Forrest – Shelton

Max Weiner – Hairspray – Edna Turnblad – Suffield Academy

Matt Sullivan – Legally Blonde – Professor Callahan – Shelton High School

Best Actress

Alaina Dwyer – Addams Family – Alice Beineke – Amity High School

Lexi Staubi – Footloose – Ariel – Darien High School

Teah Renzi – Les Miserables – Eponine – Newtown High School

Kyla Hackett – Legally Blonde – Elle Woods – Shelton High School

Jacqueline Mate – Curtains – Georgia – Trumbull High School

Mia White – Hairspray – Velma Von Tussel – Suffield Academy

Lilli Querker – Addams Family – Pugsley Addams – Amity High School

Best Musical

Hairspray – Suffield Academy

Shrek – West Warwick High School

Footloose – Darien High School

The Addams Family – Amity Regional High School

Legally Blonde – Shelton High School

Grease – Immaculate High School

BMA is thrilled to partner with the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation to present more than $4,000 in cash scholarships to deserving students who submitted auditions and written responses pertaining to how theater has influenced their lives.

Tickets for the gala are $35 per person and are currently on-sale through the Shubert box office or Ticketmaster.

The gala will be music directed by Jad Bernardo and will feature choreography by Julie Kavanagh and Audra Bryant. Weston G. Wetzel serves as Director of Production.

ABOUT BROADWAY METHOD ACADEMY

Broadway Method Academy is a non-profit organization that offers a premier musical theatre-training program and provides the essential tools for young artists in acting, singing, and dancing. BMA also connects children and teens that are passionate about the arts with some of Broadway’s top talents and guest instructors. BMA’s goal is to create a thriving artistic atmosphere where students can create lasting friendships and develop skills they will use forever. 

ABOUT THE SHUBERT THEATRE

Opened in 1914, the Shubert Theatre in the New Haven earned the title “The Birthplace of the Nation’s Greatest Hits” by staging over 300 shows that later opened in New York. Although the Shubert is best known for its Broadway presentations, the theatre has played host to the greatest artists of ballet, opera, classical music, jazz, big bands and popular solo artists – a tradition that continues today. The Shubert Theatre is owned and operated by CAPA—A Connecticut Not-For-Profit Organization. CAPA is one of America’s most respected theatre managers and diverse arts and entertainment presenters. In addition to the legendary Shubert Theatre in New Haven, CAPA is owner/operator of downtown Columbus, Ohio’s magnificent historic theatres (Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre, Southern Theatre) and manager of the contemporary Riffe Center Theatre Complex and Lincoln Theatre.

ABOUT WESTPORT COUNTRY PLAYHOUSE

The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus. The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering: Live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; the New Works Circle Initiative, a program dedicated to the discovery, development, and production of new live theatrical works; programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; youth performance training and performance opportunities through Broadway Method Academy, WCP’s resident conservatory; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.

Don’t Forget, “Bubblemania” Is Coming To Town On Saturday

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Jan 182018
 

Orange Community Women (OCW) invites you to see “Casey Carle’s BubbleMania” at High Plains Community Center, on Saturday, January 20 at 3 p.m. 

BubbleMania is a highly-acclaimed show combining the science of bubbles with theatrical showmanship and comedy.   Its website describes the show as an “extremely unique program combining high energy entertainment with artistic achievement.  

BubbleMania is loaded with visual comedy, quick wit, big band swing music and the untamed, often unbelievable qualities and beauty of spherical liquids: 20-foot bubble serpents; bubbles that bounce, dance and shimmy; jaw-dropping fog filled bubble sculptures; gravity-defying blobs of bubble foam; bubble spaceship; crystal ball; soap bubble ping-pong and more! This will be a wonderful community event and lots of fun for all ages.

This show is sponsored by the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation.

Tickets are $7 at the door – under 1 free.

Publicity Chairman Laura Griest said, “Orange Community Women is a chapter of Connecticut Junior Women, Inc.  We seek to unite the women of Orange and surrounding areas by participating in community service and providing enrichment, leadership and social interaction.  Our projects include awarding scholarships to Amity students, donating children’s books to the library, collecting for veterans, organizing activities for the Tracy Bunch (a group of special needs adults sponsored by Orange Community Services), visiting and working with the seniors at Silverbrook, donating holiday food baskets and gift cards to Orange Community Services and partnerships with Days for Girls, Manes and Motions Therapeutic Riding Center and Female Soldiers/Forgotten Heroes. Proceeds from this fundraiser support projects such as these.”

For more information on Orange Community Women, contact Donna Wesolowski, 203-799-3519.

Here’s A Great Opportunity For Theater Lovers and Supporters Of The Arts

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Nov 272017
 

The Square Foot Theatre in Wallingford is offering special “preview night” fundraisers for Jamie’s Foundation. 

Your donation is the cost of admission – the amount is up to you!!!    

Come see Annie on Thursday evening, Nov. 30. For reservations: e-mail Kathleen Kilian at kmkcpa@optonline.net then pay at the door: cash or checks only.

Amity High School student and Orange resident Ann Driscoll plays Little Orphan Annie. Orange resident and Amity High School student Ethan Selmon also appears in the show.  This is a great opportunity to see one of America’s favorite holiday musicals and support the work of the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation at the same time.

Square Foot Theatre is located at 950 Yale Ave in Wallingford directly off the Wilbur Cross Parkway Exit 66 … it is an intimate BYO cabaret-style venue so bring your favorite food and drinks to enjoy before and during the show. 

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; performance begins at 7:30 p.m.

Look for these future “Jamie’s Foundation” preview nights during the rest of Square Foot Theatre’s exciting 11th season.

“These preview nights are a wonderful thing for Jamie’s Foundation,” said Judy Primavera, founder of the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation. “Square Foot Theatre is ‘giving back’ to us by opening up a preview night and all ticket “sales” go to the foundation.  Normal ticket price is $28 but guests can see the show for whatever donation they wish to give – it is a real bargain!

E-mail jamieart@snet.net to receive announcements for future preview nights and other special offers.

Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation Benefits Region 5 Third-Graders

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May 122017
 

The Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation, headquartered in Orange, is dedicated to providing arts programs for students of all ages in the Amity region and many surrounding cities and towns.

This week, third-grade students at Bethany Community School benefitted from a Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation grant and participated in a Magic Storybook play “Haunted in Time” set in the 1920’s.

The classes worked collaboratively on the “Page to Stage” program writing the script, memorizing lines, rehearsing and gathering costumes.

“They did an amazing job and should be commended,” said teacher Meladee Ruzbarsky.

ATTENTION: Get Your Tickets For Fiddler On The Roof Before They’re Sold Out

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Mar 272017
 

The Amity Theater Department JUST made tickets available for its Spring Musical “Fiddler On The Roof” on Feb. 4 and by 7 p.m. the front center section already was pretty much sold out.

We’ve covered many Amity musicals in the past and can state with certainty that when sales are this brisk on opening day, every show will be sold out before you can blink — and that certainly is the case here.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is a beloved classic show that Amity Theater’s Andrea Kennedy calls the “Best musical of all time.”

Today the Amity Theater Department announced that the show is nearly sold out. Click HERE to buy your tickets NOW!!!

Performances will take place at the John J. Brady Center for the Performing Arts
Amity Regional High School, 25 Newton Road, Woodbridge on March 31, April 1, 6, 7, and 8 at 7:30 p.m.

For more information call (203)-392-2019 or e-mail: amityboxoffice@gmail.com

Visit their website at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com

This Production of Fiddler on the Roof has been made possible through generous donations from The Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation, Laticrete International and Caldwell Banker.

 

Poet, author, and gay-rights activist to visit Amity High School

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Oct 112016
 

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-9-09-00-pmNew York poet, author, and gay-rights activist Emanuel Xavier will visit Amity Regional High School on Monday, October 24 to share his poetry and discuss his creative process.   

Xavier is the author of several books of poetry including Radiance, Nefarious, and Americano: Growing Up Gay and Latino in the USA. He also is a novelist, spoken-word poetry performer, poetry event curator, Random House editor, and gay-rights activist.

Emanuel will share his poetry with Amity’s Creative Writing students and members of PLAHD (Amity’s gay-straight alliance) and discuss his creative process and the real-life events that have inspired them.

Students will have an opportunity to ask questions about Emanuel’s creative process and life experiences to help them with their own creative writing.

Amity English teacher Jeni Bonaldo and Amity librarians Robert Musco and Cara McConnell will host the event which is made possible by the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation. Click HERE to learn more about the Foundation’s mission and work.

Are You Going To The Evening for the Arts Gala?

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Sep 102016
 

FourByFour-textFairfield University Quick Center for the Arts hosts “FOUR by FOUR – A Tribute to the Legendary Music of the Beach Boys, Beatles, Bee Gees and Motown,” tonight, September 10.

The performance is part of The Evening for the Arts Gala, which benefits the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the educational enrichment and professional development of young artists and early career professionals, and created in the memory of Orange resident Jamie Alaine Hulley.

“FOUR by FOUR – A Tribute to the Legendary Music of the Beach Boys, Beatles, Bee Gees and Motown” — an exhilarating musical revue of hits songs from four of the most iconic musical styles of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s — headlines the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation’s fourteenth annual Evening for the Arts Gala Benefit on Saturday, September 10, 2016, at Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

The performance begins at 7 p.m. and is preceded by an Evening for the Arts reception at 6 p.m., which includes complimentary wine and beer, light hors d’oeuvres and silent and live auctions. Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: 203-254-4010, or toll-free 1-877- ARTS-396. (1-877- 278-7396). Tickets are $45 in advance or $50 at the door.

“FOUR by FOUR” hails from Las Vegas and is the brainchild of the same creative team that brought OH WHAT NIGHT! to last year’s Hulley Foundation event. This exciting and nostalgic music revue is conceived and directed by award-winning Broadway producer/director Michael Chapman, written by Motown producer George Solomon, and choreographed by Paul Holmquist.

The show features some of the most memorable songs from the California surfing scene, the British Invasion, the Disco decade, and Detroit city’s Motown – FOUR electrifying musical performances in ONE extraordinary night of entertainment!

“Everyone is sure to be singing along to the music and on their feet dancing – this music makes everyone feel good!” said Judy Primavera, co-founder and president of the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation. “There is something for everyone – it’s a real musical smorgasbord of classic hits songs from three decades.”

FOUR by FOUR thrills its audiences with their vocal perfection, great choreography, humorous banter, and music-inspired costume changes as they perform some of the most memorable songs of our time including Good Vibrations, She Love You, Staying Alive, and My Girl. The Gala also showcases the talents of young aspiring performers involved in the foundation’s programs at Square Foot Theatre in Wallingford, Amity High School’s Creative Theatre, and Broadway Method Academy in Fairfield. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening is Jared Brown, Artistic Director of Square Foot Theatre with Rob and Andrea Kennedy, Directors of Amity Creative Theatre, serving as co-hosts and auctioneers.

The Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the educational enrichment and professional development of young artists and early career professionals, was founded to celebrate the memory of the late Jamie Alaine Hulley. All proceeds from the Gala are dedicated to scholarships, educational programs and grants in the arts throughout Connecticut especially in the greater New Haven and Fairfield counties.

Since the foundation’s creation in 2002, nearly $700,000 in scholarships and grants have been awarded which have touched the lives of thousands of area youth each year. For information on the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation, visit www.jamiehulleyartsfund.org, call 203-891-8869, or e-mail: jamieart@snet.net.

 

Previously Published on: Aug 8, 2016 @ 03:00

Connecticut Author Caragh O’Brien Visits Amity

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Oct 302015
 

Author Caragh O’Brien reading from her book Birthmarked at Amity.

Author Caragh O’Brien reading from her book Birthmarked at Amity.

Caragh M. O’Brien, author of the “Birthmarked” trilogy and “The Vault of Dreamers,” both from Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press, visited Amity Regional High School on Thursday, Oct. 29.

O’Brien offered students enrolled in Amity’s Creative Writing classes an inside look at what motivates authors to write, and explained the ins and outs of the fiction-writing process. Using examples from her own fascinating journey, she helped students understand what goes into a well-constructed story, and then thrilled the audience by reading a section of her own work.

O’Brien then led students through a series of writing exercises, focusing and sensory details, after which students shared their writing. Students’ reaction was extremely enthusiastic.

The event was hosted by the Amity High School Library, and made possible by the generosity of the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation.

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 7.53.00 PM

Broadway Comes To Amity: Hosted By Amity Alumni Connor Deane

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Oct 192015
 

Broadway Actor Rob McClure

Broadway Actor Rob McClure

The Amity Theater Department at Amity High School will be hosting an audition workshop for the theater students with Broadway Actor and Tony Nominee Rob McClure on Monday October 26 in the John J Brady Center for the Performing Arts.  The event has been made possible by a generous grant from the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation. 

This full day workshop is being facilitated by the Broadway Method Academy of Fairfield, CT.  The Broadway Method Academy was founded in 2014 by Amity alumni Connor Deane of Orange.  Mr. 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.

The workshop will consist of acting and singing audition techniques and will be taught my Deane and Broadway star Rob McClure.  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. 

Once again Amity is proud to partner with the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation to bring this opportunity to our students.  Amity grad and artist Jamie Hulley passed away in 2002 just two weeks before her 21st birthday after a brief battle with an aggressive form of lymphoma.

To celebrate Jamie’s vivacious spirit and the beauty that she brought to the world, her family and friends established the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation. This non-profit organization provides educational and career development opportunities in the arts including Grants for Schools, Special Project Grants in the Community; Scholarships, and Jamie’s legacy programs that reflect the experiences, the places, and the people that she loved. 

In 2014 The Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation sponsored a workshop with Broadway Actor Mike Boland.   The Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation has sponsored the Amity play, musical and a student college scholarship each year since 2007.