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Amity Wins 2 of 14 Nominated High School Musical Theater Awards — Plus One Big Bonus

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News, Today's Events  Comments Off on Amity Wins 2 of 14 Nominated High School Musical Theater Awards — Plus One Big Bonus
Jun 022015
 

Ryan Kennedy was honored for his work as young Tarzan.

Ryan Kennedy was honored for his work as young Tarzan.

On May 18, Orange Live was with Rob Kennedy and the Amity Theater kids when they learned they had received 14 nominations from the CT High School Musical Theater Awards officials.

On Monday evening, June 1, everyone was dressed to the nines as they entered the Palace Theater in Waterbury for the Awards Gala.

Amity, with its nomination as Outstanding Production of the Year, opened the show with a musical number from Tarzan. Little Ryan Kennedy as young Tarzan getting hoots and hollers from the crowd, even though, unfortunately, something was wrong with the sound system. For the first 1/4 of the song the audience could only really enjoy the dancing and heard a low mumble as the kids sang their hearts out.

Amity kids weren’t the only ones to be muted, the first best actress nominee to perform powered through about a third of her song without being heard as well.

The Amity contingent went wild when presenter Connor Deane — Orange native, Amity grad, former Amity theater kid, graduate of the University of Cincinnati, College- Conservatory of Music and now the Executive Director/Resident Acting Coach at the Broadway Method Academy in Trumbull— graced the stage to present the award for Outstanding Hair and Make up Achievement.

Presenter Connor Deane greets winner Andrea Kennedy.

Presenter Connor Deane greets winner Andrea Kennedy.

The Amity group also shattered the sound barrier when Andrea Kennedy and David Linet won that award. Andrea hugged her former student, then graciously accepted the award and gave David plenty of time to offer his thanks too.

The second award that Amity won was for Outstanding Sound Design – Tom “Ivan” Ivanovich and Dave Trovarelli – Horizon Sound.

As the evening wound down to a close with only a few categories left to announce, Brett Bernardini, who founded the Awards 7 years ago, announced that they never present any awards for no reason, but several professionals in New York and adjudicators in Connecticut insisted that one person receive an award for his work and for inspiring an entire school. That person is Ryan Kennedy.

Ryan took the stage to thunderous applause and gave a sweet, unprepared speech.

Amity’s Tarzan and Jane, Max Karsanow and Addie Robbins were part of an ensemble group of students from 13 high schools who took part in the tribute song of the evening — “What I Did For Love” — a tradition that began two years ago to honor the lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary.

One Amity Alumni that we didn’t see (but his name appeared in the program) was 2013 grad Peter Charney, who was the Assistant Stage Manager.

St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol was the big winner with 7 awards, including Lead Actress, Director and Production of the Year.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 11.59.00 PMBut Amity wasn’t out of the spotlight. While accepting his best director award, St. Paul’s Mark Mazzarella took a moment to mention that his students noticed the person next to him, shook his hand and hugged him whenever he won an award. “Wasn’t he up for that award too?” they’d ask.

That person, his competition, was Amity’s Rob Kennedy.

Mazzarella said, “It’s not that you win, or how many prizes you take home, it’s your actions that the kids see that will leave a lasting impression.”

The Spirit of St. Paul

One of Mazzarella’s students, Chiara Giampietro was up for Best Actress for her role as Maria in The Sound of Music. On Sunday evening she was rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Knowing that she wouldn’t be able to perform her full number, Mazzarella quickly put together a 3 minute video showing highlights of her performance in the play.

Out of the hospital, less than 24 hours after her life saving surgery Chiara came on stage after St. Paul’s cast performance and sang a couple of lines from Climb Ev’ry Mountain with KodyLynn Perkins who won the Best Supporting Actress Award for her role as Mother Abbas.

Chiara went on stage a few minutes later when her name was announced as best actress, and then again when St. Paul’s won best production of the year.

Chiara and Best Actor Zac Gottschall will both represent Connecticut in the Nationals on Broadway and have won $1,000 scholarships to attend the Broadway Method Academy’s Musical Theater Summer Intensive course.

This may not have been Amity’s year, but, as Ryan Kennedy said, “Even if we don’t win Production of the Year, it’s just an honor to be here.”

Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards Is June 1 — Orange Live Will Be There

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Jun 012015
 

215px-Tarzan_musical_Broadway_PosterThe Seventh Annual Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards (CHSMTA) Gala, will take place on Monday June 1, 6:30 p.m. at The Palace Theater in Waterbury, featuring Special Guest Master of Ceremonies, Matthew S. Morgan, a Connecticut born and raised actor who has appeared in the Broadway productions of The Lion King and Hairspray.

Awards will be presented in 17 different areas of recognition including Technical, Design, Performance and Educational.

Orange Live was there when the Amity theater kids learned what nominations their production of Tarzan had received.

Amity will attend the gala on Monday with its 14 nominations, including Outstanding supporting actress, Morgan Guadagnoli- who portrayed Tarzan’s ape mother, Kala; Outstanding supporting actor, Kahari Blue (he won an award last year) – who portrayed Kurchik the leader of the gorilla group; Direction; Costumes; Choreography; Chorus; Orchestra; lighting and production of the year.

Orange Live will attend the gala and let readers know what honors Amity receives on Monday evening.

 Originally Published on: May 30, 2015 @ 0:28

Feb 192015
 

Ryan Kennedy as Young Tarzan.

Ryan Kennedy as Young Tarzan.

There are no “bad” seats at the John Brady Center for the Performing Arts at Amity High School, but, if you want to watch the Amity Theater production of Tarzan from anywhere but the back row you’d better act quickly!

At only $18 each, the cost of admission is one of the greatest bargains around and hundreds of people already have taken action and reserved their seats for this wonderfully entertaining musical.

The production has a 5 show run, including one matinee: March 20, 21, 27 @ 8pm, March 28 @ 2pm & 8pm

Click this link to purchase your tickets today.

Amity High School Presents New York Dec. 5 and 6 — Tickets Now On Sale

 Amity High School, Amity Theater Department, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on Amity High School Presents New York Dec. 5 and 6 — Tickets Now On Sale
Dec 052014
 

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 8.54.42 PMThe Amity Creative Theater (ACT) at Amity High School is ready to take the stage for their fall production of New York By David Rimmer.  The show dates are Friday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m.  General admission seats for $10 can be purchased through their website at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com

The plays author David Rimmer, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his play Album that opened to great success off-Broadway starring film star Kevin Bacon. 

New York was originally written to raise funds for volunteer psychiatrists dedicated to helping the overwhelming number of patients psychologically affected by 9/11. Depicting the reactions of 15 individuals to the events of that day, the characters all speak to a central psychiatrist. The play has been performed at theaters throughout New York, the United States and internationally to great acclaim. 

The New York Resident called the play “brilliantly written… a thought-provoking event avoiding the sentimental and capturing realistic portraits of how we’re all dealing with it… a touching exploration of the effects of September 11 on the lives of average New Yorkers”. 

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Amity students and Judy Primavera visiting the 9/11 Memorial in New York.

The Amity production is directed by theater teacher Rob Kennedy.  Kennedy said he chose this production for his student actors because, “The oldest of the Amity Students were only four years old when the events of 9/11 occurred and the youngest ones were barely a year old.  I think it’s an important learning opportunity for our school to talk about that time in our countries history and how it changed all of us.”

The cast and crew recently visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum on a trip sponsored by the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation to get some perspective.  The students had a special guided tour of the museum and spent time with New York’s playwright David Rimmer.  

After the trip, Amity senior Ethan Smith who is playing a fireman named Tom O’Neil said, “It was an incredible experience.  It really put a human face on the part I am playing.  And meeting the author of the play was great too.  We got to ask him questions about the play and the characters we are playing.”  The cast and crew have been working on the show since early September and have been busy rehearsing and creating the technical elements of the play.  

The play also will be shown during school hours to the entire Amity High School student body and the eighth grade classes from the two middle schools, as part of the Spartan Seminar program.  The students will view the play and then have discussions related to the topic afterward. 

Amity Principal Charles Britton said, “The fall play gives us the opportunity to showcase the talent of our students, build a little school spirit and camaraderie, and capitalize on the “teachable moment” offered by the themes of the production. Our students were very young in 2001; we owe it to our nation to keep the memory of 9/11 alive”.  

The Cast Includes Clara Gamsu, Addie Robbins, Ethan Smith, Kahari Blue, Yulia Faryna, Ryan Chizmadia, Alex Cavanagh, Kevin Durkee, Clara Stirling, George Grotheer, Emily Kilian, David Linet, Chris Cassella and Caroline Burkhart.  The crew is led by Stage managers Megan Foley, Sage Saffran and Jacob Okolo.  

For Information and tickets go to the ACT website at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com or call the box office at 203-392-2019.  The ACT production has been made possible by a grant from the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation.  

Originally Published on: Nov 13, 2014 @ 21:34

Second Publishing on: Nov 23, 2014 @ 11:34

Third Publishing on: Nov 30, 2014 @ 20:32

Last Publishing on: Dec 3, 2014 @ 9:52

UPDATE: “In The Heights”: Just 1 Seat Remains for Thursday’s Show – All Others SOLD OUT

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on UPDATE: “In The Heights”: Just 1 Seat Remains for Thursday’s Show – All Others SOLD OUT
Apr 072014
 

IMG_5582Watch this short VIDEO, then visit the Ticket Site and get your tickets for Amity’s production of “In The Heights.”

The show opened to a sold out crowd Friday, April 4. There are 5 performances April 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12. Tickets are just $17. If you’ve never seen an Amity High School Musical, let this one be your first. You won’t regret it.

As of 9 a.m., Monday, April 7, only  1  seat remains for the Thursday, April 10 show;  SOLD OUT April 11 and closing night April 12.

Originally Published on: Apr 1, 2014 @ 21:58

Pretty Close To Sold Out: Get Your Tickets For In The Heights Now!

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News  Comments Off on Pretty Close To Sold Out: Get Your Tickets For In The Heights Now!
Mar 312014
 

The cast during a rehearsal in late January.

The cast during a rehearsal in late January.

The Amity spring musical “In The Heights” will open on Friday night and tickets for the five performances are selling quickly.

A check of the ticket website shows the following:

Opening night – 17 seats remain

Saturday, April 5, 11 seats available

Thursday, April 10, many seats in the side rear sections

Friday, April 11, 11 seats remaining

Saturday, April 12, about 30 seats or more available. Closing night is always exciting as scholarships are presented to the students involved in the arts.

Tickets are a bargain at only $17 each, and you get to see the Amity High School Theater Program, which won the Best Musical honor at the 2013 CT High School Musical Awards.

 

Amity Cast of “In The Heights” Performs on Better Connecticut

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Mar 142014
 

Shaylen Harger and cast mates from "In The Heights" on Better Connecticut March 14.

Shaylen Harger and cast mates from “In The Heights” on Better Connecticut March 14.

This afternoon, at 3 p.m., 8 of the Amity Performing Arts students (and director Rob Kennedy) appeared on WFSB’s Better Connecticut where they performed a song from the upcoming spring musical “In The Heights.”

Click HERE to see the performance.

Shaylen Harger who plays “Nina” sang the lead and, might I add, was just perfect.

The entire group was wonderful, each time I’ve visited a rehearsal they are working so hard on every aspect of this show.

Show dates are April 4, 5, 10, 11, 12. Tickets are ONLY $17. Click HERE for the box office.

If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, you’d better hurry. “In the Heights” will sell out quickly, it’s already nearly 75% filled. Thursday, April 10 has the most available seating.

Procrastination will get you nowhere!

 

 

Amity Theater Department Honors Its Own

 Amity High School, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on Amity Theater Department Honors Its Own
Jun 132013
 

Trophies from the recent Ct. High School Musical Theater Awards in the forefront on a table for all to see at Wednesday's award dinner.

Trophies from the recent Ct. High School Musical Theater Awards in the forefront on a table for all to see at Wednesday’s award dinner.

The Amity Theater Department held its annual awards dinner Wednesday evening.

The following students were honored for their exemplary contribution to the theater department in the past year for not only the award winning Spring Musical “Sweeney Todd,” but all other performances throughout the 2012-13 school year.

Parents of Amity Creative Theater Spirit Award and Scholarship- Emily Rippel and Chloe Eitzer

Outstanding Freshman- Chris Cassella

Outstanding Member of the Ensemble- Chelsea Tambis and Arlo Eitzer

Outstanding Supporting Actress- Sarah DeFeo

Outstanding Supporting Actor- Ted McNulty

Outstanding Actor in a Play- Peter Charney

Outstanding Actress in a Play- Miriam Roday

Techie of the Year- Catie Clark

Outstanding Student Production- The Mystery of Cecil Blue- Rishi Mutalik, Kahari Blue, Gabby Aiardo, Caroline Burkhart, Emma Lampropoulos, Arlo Eitzer and Zach Arons

Outstanding Actor in a Musical- Kevin Durkee

Outstanding Actress in a Musical- Alida Ballou

Thespian of the Year- Andrew Gusciora

Congratulations to all of the winners, we will truly miss the seniors next year and look forward to all the great things the underclassmen will accomplish in 1013-14 and in years to come.

Thank you all for sharing your talents with the Amity community.

Andrea Kennedy, Rishi Mutalik, Addie Robbins Byran Kirby and Rob Kennedy at the Amity Theater Department Award Dinner.

Andrea Kennedy, Rishi Mutalik, Addie Robbins, Byran Kirby and Rob Kennedy at the Amity Theater Department Award Dinner.

Amity’s Sweeney Todd Has14 Nominations for CT High School Musical Awards Tonight

 Amity High School, Latest News, Today's Events  Comments Off on Amity’s Sweeney Todd Has14 Nominations for CT High School Musical Awards Tonight
Jun 042013
 

IMG_0644The ballots are in, the judges have deliberated and Amity High School is up for 14 categories in the 2013 Ct High School Musical Awards, (The Most Nominations of All Participating Schools) including Outstanding Lead Actress, Outstanding Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor, Director, Orchestra and more.

I would Love to see Alida Ballou go to New York City for the National High School Musical Awards. And best of luck to Peter Charney, you’re a senior so you just have to win!

Congratulations to all the nominees. You all deserve to win!

The CT High School Musical Awards take place tonight, Tuesday, June 4 in Waterbury.

OUTSTANDING HAIR & MAKE UP ACHIEVEMENT

Amity Regional High School – SWEENEY TODD

OUTSTANDING COSTUMING ACHIEVEMENT

Amity Regional High School – SWEENEY TODD
Julie Chevan

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN ACHIEVEMENT

Amity Regional High School – SWEENEY TODD
Dan Hassenmayer

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN ACHIEVEMENT

Amity Regional High School – SWEENEY TODD
Robert Kennedy

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION

Amity Regional High School – SWEENEY TODD
Robert & Andrea Kennedy

OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION

Amity Regional High School – SWEENEY TODD
Peter Randazzo

OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRA

Amity Regional High School – SWEENEY TODD

OUTSTANDING LEADING ACTRESS

Amity Regional High School – SWEENEY TODD
Alida Baliou – MRS. LOVETT

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amity Regional High School – SWEENEY TODD
Shaylen Harger – JOHANNA

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR

Amity Regional High School – SWEENEY TODD
Peter Charney – TOBY

OUTSTANDING CHORUS

Amity Regional High School – SWEENEY TODD

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR

Amity Regional High School – SWEENEY TODD

OUTSTANDING LOBBY DISPLAY

Amity Regional High School – SWEENEY TODD
Cheri Charney & Tom Lawler

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

For the visuals that we saw on the background screens during the show.

As I See It: Sweeney Todd In Rehearsal

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Mar 282013
 

IMG_0622Sitting in on the rehearsal for Sweeney Todd at Amity High School Wednesday night, I was pleasantly surprised by how wonderful and catchy the songs are.

This is one musical that I was completely unfamiliar with, just as I was clueless about Les Miserables back in 2010. I haven’t seen the entire play yet, just bits and pieces, a song here, a scene there, but I think once it’s all together it’s going to be wonderful.

The Orchestra was in place last night and rehearsal was a bit intense with the cast having to sing certain big numbers for the first time with the live orchestra.
With only 9 days before opening night, it was time to get serious and get it right as soon as possible.

This show has several extraordinary sopranos, including Shaylen Harger, whose parents, Gary and Barbie, of Orange, are both amazing singers. Also Nicole Simon who wowed us with teased hair, and the line “I was in the shower” in last year’s Legally Blonde, really shows off her high octave ability. And Alida Ballou, who played one of Elle’s giddy BFFs in Legally Blonde takes on a more adult role in Sweeney where she can really show off her voice.

Traditionally by this time, all shows would be nearly sold out, but unfortunately, a fabricated story that got blown out of proportion put a dark cloud over this production and there are still plenty of seats remaining in the left and right sections on all five nights.

IMG_0628The entire cast, crew and orchestra have been working hard since November on this production and it is sure to amaze all theater goers as past Amity productions have.

“That story really hurt our ticket sales,” said Director Rob Kennedy.

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

If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, I encourage you to visit the performing arts website at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com soon, choose your seats and pay for them online before it’s too late and witness another Amity High School musical gem.