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Broadway Actors Perform On Amity High School Stage, Interact With Students

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News, Today's Events  Comments Off on Broadway Actors Perform On Amity High School Stage, Interact With Students
Jun 042015
 

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Aaron Walpole, Andrew Love, and Hannah Shankman talk to Amity Students about life as working actors.

When Amity Band Director Phil “I never win anything,” Dolan entered the WSHU Public Radio’s 14th annual “Music In Our Schools” outreach contest, he never dreamed he’d win.

But when the station picked the grand prize winner from 300 entries, the name on the card read “Amity Regional,” Phil Dolan was able to give his school the coolest gift ever.

The Grand Prize was better than a cash donation, or free T-shirts for the entire student body. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see three actual Broadway stars perform on the High School stage, then spend more than a half hour in a question and answer session, and join the actors in a choreographed number before rubbing elbows with them, talking one-on-one, taking selfies and getting autographs.

The three actors are all now starring in the new production of Les Miserables at the Imperial Theater on Broadway. Andrew Love (Javert — Ken Adair played this role in Amity’s production) sang “Stars”; Hannah Shankman (Eponine — Alli Kramer portrayed her at Amity in 2009) gave a stirring performance of “On My Own.”; and Aaron Walpole (Jean ValJean — John Jorge won the 2009 CT High School Musical Award for this role) sang the beautiful “Bring Him Home.”

Actress/Choreographer Shorey Walker served as emcee, she introduced each actor, then called upon Amity students to stand up and ask the cast questions about performing, getting started, dealing with stage fright, the path that led them to performing on Broadway etc.

When this session was over all of the students stood and participated in a fun, upper body choreography to the show stopping “Do You Hear The People Sing.”

The names of every student present were written on scraps of paper and placed in a basket from which six lucky winners were chosen.

Most received a CD of the Broadway Cast Recording of Les Mis, and the grand prize winning student won a full package of goodies, including a poster autographed by the cast, cd, and 4 tickets to see the show on Broadway.

Even though the actors had an evening performance to prepare for, they stuck around after the assembly was dismissed and talked to the kids, signed autographs took photos and just showed everyone that even busy working actors on a schedule can be down to earth.

The students didn’t forget to thank Mr. Dolan for making this afternoon experience possible.

Amity Principal Charles Britton was still smiling long after the assembly was over. “That was great,” he said. “What an amazing experience for the kids.”

About Music In Our Schools

WSHU developed the outreach program to bring visibility to the importance of music education, and to reward educators for the critical role they play in the community.  All elementary, middle and high school music teachers in WSHU’s listening area were invited to enter the drawing. In addition to the cast performance, the Grand Prize winner received tickets to see LES MISÉRABLES on Broadway.  First prize winning teachers each received a pair of show tickets, while second prize winning teachers received CD cast recordings.

“The ‘Music in Our Schools’ program is an integral part of our mission to serve our community,” said WSHU General Manager George Lombardi.  “It also fits into our work to promote the importance of music, art, and culture.   We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to bring something really special to educators and students in our listening area.”

This year’s outreach program was generously sponsored by Really Good Stuff.

Tarzan, The Musical: If You Have Tickets, You Will Laugh, Cry, and Be Amazed By Amity’s Talent

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Mar 072015
 

Addie Robbins (Jane) and Max Karshanow (Tarzan) during a long Saturday rehearsal.

Addie Robbins (Jane) and Max Karsanow (Tarzan) during a long Saturday rehearsal.

The continuous snowfall throughout February and early March have put a monkey wrench in rehearsal time for the Amity Theater Department. Still, during Saturday’s 7-hour rehearsal, when the stage crew and parents were putting the final touches on the set and lighting man Dan Hassenmayer was working on the special lighting that this show requires and Rob and Andrea Kennedy were working with the cast on their lines, songs and dance moves, everything went along smoothly.

Phil Dolan’s orchestra sounds phenomenal again this year and the cast is really wonderful, too.

Max Karsanow is Tarzan; Addie Robbins is Jane; Josiah Oakley is Tarzan’s lifelong ape friend Terk; Morgan Guadagnoli is Tarzan’s ape mother, Kala; Kahari Blue is Kerchak, the leader of the Gorilla pack; Jacob Leibowitz is Jane’s father, Porter; Ethan Smith is Clayton, the hunter that protects the Porter family on the expedition.

Since Amity has no young children, Ryan Kennedy will play the role of Little Tarzan. If the name sounds familiar, Ryan is the son of directors Robert and Andrea Kennedy.

From what I’ve seen, audiences will fall in love with Max again this year, he’s had primary roles in other Amity musicals over the years, and you will find Addie absolutely delightful.

The play will be completely sold out soon, so, if you haven’t gotten tickets yet, why not do it today? Click this link for the online box office.

 

Amity Offers An Instrumental Summer Camp (Ages 8 and Up)

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Apr 112014
 

band campGive your child something different to do this summer. The Amity Instrumental Summer Camp 2014 Directed by Award Winning Amity Band Director Philip Dolan will teach Drums, Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, and More!

Camp dates run July 7 through August 1  8am – Noon.

This fun camp, for students ages 8 and up, is designed to teach students instrumental performance skills on the instrument of their choice, as well as build performance experience; build on their creative spirit and sense of accomplishment and, most of all, Have Fun!  All skill levels are welcome.

Camp Includes:  Daily group and individual classes, sheet music and instruction book, studio recording sessions, camp t-shirt, fun camp activities including movie day, pirate day and more, and a performance on stage at the end of camp!  There is a $50 sibling discount if more that one student from the same family registers for camp.

Instrument Rental-Instruments are available for rent, at an additional fee, through Bethel Music Center.  See below for rental fees.  (The renter is solely responsible for the instrument, as Amity Region 5 can assume no responsibility for rented instruments).  The rental period is 3 months, as time is needed to clean and prepare the instruments after they are used.  Contact Bethel Music Center at (800)-276-7974 or visit their website www.bmcmusicsource.com.

Rental Fees:  (3 Months)

Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone, Drumkit:  $24.45

Alto Saxophone, Oboe:  $58.48

Tenor Saxophone, French Horn, Baritone:  $77.62

For more information on the summer camp please visit www.amityband.org

Contact Philip Dolan with any questions at [email protected]

Don’t Miss Out! Tickets On Sale Tomorrow for Amity’s Musical “Sweeney Todd”

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News  Comments Off on Don’t Miss Out! Tickets On Sale Tomorrow for Amity’s Musical “Sweeney Todd”
Feb 142013
 

Get Your Tickets Early

Amity High School is pleased to announce that tickets for its spring musical production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will go on sale Friday February 15 at noon.

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 over 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 203-397-2019.  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.