Greetings from all of us at Amity Creative Theater at Amity High School. I hope that each and every one of you is safe and healthy. Our community is so important to us. It has been our joy and privilege to make the BOW glow with excitement each fall and spring. Sadly, this year will be different. As you can imagine, our school has been significantly impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 virus. With courage and hope, we are looking forward to a time when we can all be together safely. We appreciate the support of our students by our Principal Mrs. Mahon and our Superintendent Dr. Byars.
The winners will be announced at the Shubert Theater in New Haven on Monday, June 3.
Addams Family, The Musical opened at Amity this week and so far, audiences are loving it – at least from comments posted on Facebook and what I observed last night.
Just about everyone was talking about the most lovable character, “Uncle Fester” played by Sophomore Martin Gnidula.
“I can’t believe he’s just a sophomore,” one man said.
“That means he’ll be around for two more years,” someone responded.
“I think this is his first play,” said another as she flipped through the program book.
Lilli Querker, “Pugsley” also got some attention, not only for her voice and performance, but one young girl turned to her mom and said, “I KNEW he was a girl!”
Out in the lobby, a man said, “I can’t imagine what they look like without their stage makeup.”
I wanted to say, go to Orange Live, they did a feature with side by side photos of the lead actors. But I didn’t.
During the show, there were audible gasps when Emily Kilian, “Wednesday” sang. “Wow, she’s so good!”
Ben Kemp, “Lurch” got a lot of laughs with his low growls, moans – whatever you want to call them. He must have practiced endlessly, because, if you watched Orange Live’s meet the Addams Family video, you’ll notice that his speaking voice is not terribly low.
Harrison Paek “Gomez” and Ali Ashworth “Morticia” received equal raves for their performances. Paek being compared to Raul Julia and Ashworth to Angelica Houston.
And Maren Westgard’s “Grammama” was so weird and much more popular with this audience than the television character ever was with all of us baby boomers back in the day.
The conversations were all over the place as we exited the theater.
“So, the boyfriend was the director’s son?”
“Ya, he was the little kid in Tarzan, too, remember?”
Even the lighting left people in awe. “Did the students do the lighting too?”
“Some older guy does it every year and the kids work with him I think.”
“Well, it was amazing. They did a great job.”
“They always do. It’s like Broadway.”
Orange Live will have MORE on this play and audience reaction next week.
If you are reading this, then you are familiar with Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Thing, and my personal favorite, Cousin Itt.
The Amity Creative Theater Department began auditioning actors for the production on Tuesday, January 2, and Director Rob Kennedy is extremely enthusiastic about it.
During a break during the girls’ basketball game, Kennedy said, “They’re practicing the dance moves now.”
A huge smile came across everyone’s favorite retired teacher Debbie Davis’s face as she demonstrated the “Bunny Hop” for Athletic Director Ernie Goodwin in the corner of the gym. — Oh to see the two of them on stage as guests at one of the Addams’s fabulous balls!
“It’s going to be fun,” Kennedy said.
He added that many of the theater students graduated last year, so there is a large pool of fresh faces for theatergoers to discover and enjoy, starting with this production.
So come on, sing along
They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
mysterious and spooky,
They’re all together ooky,
The Addams Family
And get ready to see the Amity production of the Addams Family Musical this Spring!
I can’t wait to see what Dan Hassenmayer comes up with for the lighting on this show.
In the fall of 2007, the revamped Amity Creative Theater presented its first play: The Laramie Project.
The Laramie Project tells the story of the brutal killing of a gay college student named Matthew Sheppard and how his hometown of Laramie Wyoming dealt with the aftermath of the crime.
The authors of the play revisited Wyoming ten years later to investigate if any real change had occurred in Laramie. What does change look like? Have we progressed as a nation? How do we stop hate?
Get your tickets for the ACT presentation of The Laramie Project Ten Years Later HERE. Tickets are only $10.
Price per car is $5 and all proceeds help defray costs for Amity HS students performing at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland in August, 2016.
Stop by on the way home from the football game.
“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.
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.
Each year, the Amity Creative Theater (ACT) kids go to Disneyworld where they tour the behind-the-scenes departments that regular visitors most likely will never see.
The students perform in front of an audience and gain a wealth of knowledge about professional theater.
The kids and their adult leaders prepare for months to put on their always entertaining, often award-winning spring musical productions, This trip is the icing on the cake, their “reward” for a job well done, but they must raise their own money for the trip in order to attend.
On Sunday, Feb. 22, the Orange Ale House will host a benefit for the ACT — Dan Hassenmayer, the award winning lighting guru for the Amity productions — works with his father Jim, running the business.
The benefit will take place at the Ale House, 517 Boston Post Road, beginning at 4 p.m. Admission is $25 at the door.
The 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”.
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