Quantcast

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

 Latest News  Comments Off on Today Is The First Day Of Auditions For Amity’s Spring Musical — Amity Students Have An Advantage
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. 

Broadway Comes To Amity: Hosted By Amity Alumni Connor Deane

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on Broadway Comes To Amity: Hosted By Amity Alumni Connor Deane
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. 

Be Careful What You Wish For… Amity’s 2016 Musical Is “Into The Woods”

 Latest News  Comments Off on Be Careful What You Wish For… Amity’s 2016 Musical Is “Into The Woods”
Sep 042015
 

e673cb232b91b7c3e2b1f39118dff0afOn Thursday, Sept. 3, Rob Kennedy revealed the name of the 2016 Amity Spring Musical Production, “Into the Woods.”

“Into the Woods,” starring Bernadette Peters, opened on Broadway on November 5, 1987, so even though it’s not a “new” musical, many people most likely are more familiar with Disney’s screen version, starring Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, and Emily Blunt that was released on Christmas Day 2014, than the stage show.

It’s common knowledge that Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the music for this play is famous for fast-paced, often difficult songs, but if Amity could master “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (also scored by Sondheim) surely, “Into the Woods” will be challenging, but not out of reach for the talented students at our regional high school.

Synopsis

A childless baker and his wife endeavor to lift their family curse by journeying into the woods, where they encounter Rapunzel (and her witchly “mother”), Cinderella, Jack (of Beanstalk fame), Little Red Riding Hood and other classic fairy tale characters, and they all must learn the responsibility that comes with getting what you want.

We look forward to seeing how Dan Hassenmayer will light the stage for this one, and how the parents with tools will create the scenery. It should be interesting.

 

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

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards Is June 1 — Orange Live Will Be There
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”. 

groun zero

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

 Amity High School, Home, Latest News, School News, Today's Events  Comments Off on Amity Cast of “In The Heights” Performs on Better Connecticut
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!