May 172013

Summer_Theater_Camp_logo12-300x276Have you ever wanted to be a star?

Robert and Andrea Kennedy the award winning directors that brought “Les Miserables”, “Chicago”, “Legally Blonde” and “Sweeney Todd” to the Amity High School stage, are excited to direct their 2013 Summer Production, “OnBroadway!”

This theater arts day camp is designed to teach students voice, dance, and acting skills; give them performance experience; ignite their creative spirit; build a sense of accomplishment and community; and encourage them to have fun!

Fun camp activities include; Movie Day; Improv-Olympics; Ice Cream Social, and more! The camp culminates in a full production where all the students participate. All skill levels are welcome.

If you have a love for singing, dancing and being on stage, join us for this theatrical journey.  Just bring a snack, wear comfortable clothing, (sneakers please, no sandals), and be ready to have fun!

Register online at https://amityadulted.myprogramplus.com/course/summer-2013/amity-summer-theater-camp-on-broadway

For questions regarding the camp email director Rob Kennedy at [email protected]

Mar 112013

Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 7.48.15 PMOne parent voices concerns about the subject matter of a high school play.

One individual composes a sensationalized story leading others to think there’s a posse going after the Amity Theater Department.

Yes, Sweeney Todd murders people in his barber chair, but will the Amity Stage flow with blood? – No

Yes, People are the main ingredient in pies sold to townspeople. but will the smell of burning flesh fill the auditorium? – No

Will there be hundreds of angry people with picket signs demanding that the show NOT go on? – highly unlikely.

Robert Kennedy was summoned by the Amity Board of Education prior to its monthly meeting, and by the Superintendent at the end of the school day.

We spoke to Kennedy this afternoon to see what he had to say about his choice of musicals for Amity.

HERE is a video of his candid responses.

WWRS (what would Rob say)? Now you know.

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.


Aug 142012

The Amity Creative Theater Students in England at Stratford Upon Avon on day two of their trip.

As we first reported on Saturday, a group of Amity Theater kids are in Europe, enroute to Scotland where they were invited to perform the play “Almost Maine” at the Fringe Festival.

On Sunday, after an overnight flight they hit the road running and saw the sights in London, including a portion of the 2012 Olympic Games Men’s Marathon.

The students are accompanied by chaperones, Director Rob Kennedy and Costume Designer Julie Chevan.

On Monday, Aug. 13, they were in Stratford Upon Avon for the entire day. They visited Shakespeare’s birthplace; his home; his daughters home; and his grave.

They took a fun acting workshop with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and saw a performance of A Midsummer Nights Dream (a very comic strange yet wonderful version in Russian with sub titles and a trick dog).

“It was another great day in the UK,” Kennedy wrote, “Just got in at midnight and up at 5 a.m. to drive to Scotland!”

Here are some of Rob Kennedy’s photos from day two of the trip:

Jun 062012


Sophia Gall "Paulette" in a memorable scene on the Palace Theater stage.

The 2012 Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards presentations at the Palace Theater in Waterbury on Monday yielded many surprises for Amity High School, including the fact that OUR “Paulette” Sophia Gall did not win Outstanding Supporting Actress, but the “Paulette” from East Lyme High School walked away with the prize.

Our dynamic chorus was beaten by Valley Regional High School’s “Titanic” cast.

But, enough sour grapes on my part, call me biased (I am) — then again, I did not see all the other shows like the adjudicators, so what do I know. Seriously! were they sleeping when Sophia was on stage?

Back to the show and what we did get.

Stage Manager Sloane Churchill did receive a trophy for Outstanding Student Achievement.

And our Amity Superintendent John Brady, who attended the show to support the Amity Creative Theater Program found his way up on stage two times.

The CHSMT organizers asked if he would present an award, and he said he was happy to do that.

Brady was surprised when Sophia Gall, whom he felt was a shoe in for the award, did not win in her category. “Not to take anything away from the girl who won, but I just think that Sophia was over the top,” he said.

Amity Supt. John Brady, accepts the President's Award.

He was even more surprised when he was called to the stage to receive his own award that evening. The recipient of the President’s Award went to Brady in recognition for his overwhelming support for the arts at Amity.

Parent Russ Adair captured the moment on video.

For Amity, the most rewarding part of the evening was when the second to the last award was announced and Amity senior Alli Kramer’s name was called.

The Palace Theater erupted in thunderous applause as everyone, including ALL of the other students from competing high schools rose to their feet for Connecticut’s number one actress in a musical.

Brady said he was ecstatic when Alli Kramer won the top prize for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role. “Having seen all of the nominees, to me, Alli was the performer who had it all — she danced, she sang, she had a presence — She had it all, and, being biased toward Amity, I think the Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards got it right by selecting Alli Kramer,” he said. “To me she was the most deserving. All the other nominees did a fantastic job, but Alli stood out.”

Alli Kramer is the Best High School Actress in CT

Alli and the amazing best actor winner, Shevance Stephens, who portrayed Coalhouse in the Regional Center for the Arts production of Ragtime, will accompany chaperone Robert Kennedy (from Amity) to New York City for a week long experience of a lifetime, training with Broadway choreographers, vocal coaches and directors with the best of the best from across the nation.

The week culminates into a performance on a Broadway stage for the National High School Musical Awards.

11 nominations – 2 wins — I can’t say the evening was a complete disappointment.