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 Students Perform At Disney World

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Apr 232013

Scholarship winner Peter Charney takes center stage with Bowen Kirwood and Kevin Durkee

Scholarship winner Peter Charney takes center stage with Bowen Kirwood and Kevin Durkee

104 members of the Amity High School Band, Theater and Choir spent last week in Walt Disney World performing as part of the “Disney Performing Arts Program.”

Students have been fundraising for the trip since last October selling pies, cookie dough, candles, program ads and paper shredding.

The five-day trip included workshops and performances.

Amity Performing Arts Teacher Rob Kennedy gave this rundown of the activities:

“The band students worked with a Walt Disney conductor from their animation studio to rehearse and record tracks from famous Disney films, the theater and choir students participated in an audition workshop with casting agents from Walt Disney Theatrical learning material from the musical Mary Poppins and the technical Theater Students participated in a 6 hour behind the scenes walking tour of the Magic Kingdom where they went underground, backstage and in depth into the design and day to day running of Americas favorite theme park.”

“The students also performed on the Lakeside Stage at Downtown Disney thrilling crowds from around the world,” Kennedy said. “As the trip was a huge success the Amity Performing Arts Department plans on making this a Bi- Annual trip for Amity Students.”

All Photos Courtesy of Marie Pedenski .

Travel Notes: Amity Students Explore the Scottish Highlands: Kennedy To Speak At Fringe’s Closing Ceremony

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Aug 232012

As their adventure of a lifetime winds down, Amity Drama teacher Rob Kennedy, fellow chaperone Julie Chevan, and 15 Amity Performing Arts students are making the most of their last days in Scotland where the students were invited to perform the play “Almost, Maine” at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh.

Kennedy’s latest installment from the trip, posted Wednesday, Aug. 22, goes as follows:

“Exhausted! Why? Left at 8 a.m. for an all-day tour of Stirling Castle (Home to Mary Queen of Scotts and the site of many battles of William  “Braveheart” Wallace), met a Highland Coo (that’s the way they pronounce it), climbed the highlands, danced among the heather and shopped till we dropped at a local woolen mill.”

“Afterwards we saw a ton of shows including: “One Man Lord of the Rings,” “Sweeney Todd” and “The Blind,”” he wrote. “Still others took part in a Edinburgh dungeon and ghost tour! Phew!”

Today, August 23, is the closing ceremonies for the Fringe Festival, where Kennedy has been asked to speak. It also is the group’s last opportunity to see some of the best theater in the world.

Orange Live looks forward to welcoming these wonderful kids and their chaperones back to Amity just before the start of the new school year.

Travel Notes: Day Three Amity Kids Off To Scotland

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Aug 152012

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

Kennedy reported Tuesday night, “Day three not as exciting as the previous days. Up at 5 a.m. and spent 9 hours on a bus up the Lake District of England into Scotland. Had a quick tour of the City of Edinburgh with Andie the world greatest tour guide. We checked into our accommodations for the rest of our trip. Kids had a nice dinner and as of 15 minutes ago were all hanging out in the courtyard between the boys and girls dorms playing cards and having fun.”

Today they will hike up Arthurs Seat and have their all important technical rehearsal of “Almost, Maine.”

Like our hometown kids on “Almost Maine Fringe 2012” on Facebook.

Here are Kennedy’s photos from Tuesday in England.

Jun 142012

Ryan Shea and Sophia Gall

It’s no secret that Supt. John J. Brady is a great supporter of the performing arts. When he first came to Amity it was the one thing on which he most wanted to dedicate his attention.

He hired Robert Kennedy and his wife Andrea to run the theater department at Amity and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Kennedys have put the Amity Performing Arts on the map. Early on, their productions were popular, but as word spread about how wonderful the shows were, more and more people regretted missing them and vowed to purchase tickets early the following year.

Chicago in 2011 was sold out by the time the first show debuted. This year’s Legally Blonde sold out almost a month before the first curtain went up and procrastinators were placed on a waiting list.

Since they began working at Amity, the Kennedy’s productions and all the talent behind them, brought the school to the CT High School Musical Theater Awards (CTHSMTA) three times.

Legally Blonde won the top award at the CTHSMTA, as BEST in the STATE.

Each year, the Amity Performing Arts has an awards banquet for its members (and parents). Four years ago it took place in the Amity Cafeteria with about 30 guests, this year it was held at Racebrook Country Club with 150 guests.

Among the award recipients were two seniors that everyone believed should have won at the States — Sophia Gall – “Paulette” the hairdresser with a heart of gold, and Ryan “I’ve got a package” Shea – “Kyle” the UPS delivery guy.

Every year the question is, “With all these amazing seniors leaving — Alli Kramer, Carson Adair, Marques Christopher Iwanicki, Sophia and Ryan, Kusal Yapa, Rachel Skalka, Miles Radin and so many others — Who will star in next year’s show?

Fear not, Amity, we’ve seen them on stage in past productions — Peter Charney, Nicole “I was in the shower” Simon, Allida “OMG” Ballou, Maya Rose, David Linet and Maddy Eldridge to name a few — who will still be around next year. and with the Kennedys at the helm, everything will be fine!


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