Amity’s “Anastasia” Wins Top Prize At Awards Gala

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Jul 182021

The Amity Creative Theater (ACT) won the coveted “Best Musical” Award for its production of Anastasia last night during the Stephen Sondheim Awards Gala at the Shubert Theater.

“It’s the best one (award) to get,” said Rob Kennedy after the Gala. “We were all thrilled to get — and to even be there — at all after this long year.”

After last year’s show, “The Drowsy Chaperone” was canceled due to concerns over the Covid-19 Pandemic, ACT had to come up with a safe, alternative venue for this year’s show, and chose the High School parking lot under a tent.

Anastasia was well received and night after night brought audiences to their feet with wild applause.

The Kennedys, Rob and Andrea, took over the Amity Theater program when they were hired by their alma mater in the 2007-2008 school year. Since then they have directed 13 musicals (only one, The Drowsy Chaperone in 2020,  was not seen by any audience due to Covid.

The “Kennedy Productions” have won at least one award every year, the most coveted being “Best Musical” which they competed against many other Connecticut high schools.

Although there have been numerous memorable shows, Rent, Les Miserables, In the Heights, Grease, and Tarzan included,

Amity’s first Best Musical Win was for Sweeney Todd at the 2013 Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards. (Sweeney Todd won a total of 7 awards that year.

Their second chart topper was with the Addams Family in 2018 at the first annual Stephen Sondheim Awards, which took over honoring the High School Musicals when the CT HSMTA ended.

And now the 2021 Stephen Sondheim Award for Best Musical with Anastasia. `
Congratulations to the cast, crew, directors and everyone involved in this year’s show. I can’t wait to see what the Kennedy’s have up their sleeves for next year’s musical production.

Last Chance To See The Amity Fall Play Tonight

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Dec 082018

Amity Creative Theater presents “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”  – Winner of 7 Olivier Awards and 5 Tony Awards® including ‘Best Play,” on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time brings Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel to thrilling life on stage.

People who’ve saw it last night say the acting and visuals are magnificent. Don’t miss this one!

Click HERE to buy your tickets, they’re only $12. (or try to buy at the door)

Hurry! Get Your Tickets For the Addams Family Musical – They’re Going Fast!

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Feb 122018

Amity Creative Theater presents “The Addams Family Musical” for its 2018 Spring production.  

That lovable family of creepy kooks is alive and well and living in their super-spooky mansion in Central Park.

The Addams family, led by the elegantly gaunt and seemingly undead Morticia and her ever-devoted husband Gomez, is in turmoil. Their daughter Wednesday, now 18, finds herself falling in love—a sensation that is unsettling for both her and her family of endearing misfits.

When the teen invites her new boyfriend, Lucas Beineke, over with his “normal” family to get better acquainted with the Addams household, comic chaos ensues.

The hilarious Broadway musical smash comes to Amity April 6, 7, 12, 13, 14. All performances begin at 8 p.m. All tickets are $18, obviously, a bargain, seeing that the center seating areas from the stage to the back wall are nearly all sold out. 

There appear to be plenty of seats remaining on the left and right sides. Order yours today by clicking HERE.

Amity High School is located at 25 Newton Road, Woodbridge, CT.

Recently, Orange Live sat in on a rehearsal with the lead actors — the Addams’ and their butler Lurch — Watch this Video to meet the actors and get a sneak peek at one of the scenes.

Kennedy Reveals This Year’s Amity Spring Musical

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Sep 082017

The Amity Creative Theater Department, under the direction of Rob and Andrea Kennedy, has been delighting audiences for years with its spectacular Spring Musical presentations.

In the past, we’ve seen “Rent,” “Chicago,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Les Miserables,” “Legally Blonde,” “Tarzan,” “Into the Woods,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “In the Heights” and so many others.

The choice of the musical is always a highly guarded secret, and this year, Kennedy decided to share the announcement LIVE on Facebook.

Watch the big reveal HERE

They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
mysterious and spooky,
They’re all together ooky,
The Addams Family

Yes, Folks, The Addams Family will grace the Amity stage in April. As always, be smart and get your tickets the second they go on sale because they go quickly — no kidding!


Amity Earns 14 CT High School Musical Theater Award Nominations

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May 222017

Amity High School’s Production of Fiddler On The Roof earned 14 Ct High School Musical Theater Award Nominations.

This is Amity’s 8th year in the awards and its 8th consecutive year being nominated for Outstanding production of the year.

The nominations, announced today, are:

Hair and Makeup – Andrea Kennedy (and crew)

Costumes – Julie Chevan, Brenda Burt and team

Lighting – Dan Hassenmayer

Scenery – Rob Kennedy (and crew)

Sound – Tom Ivanovich

Direction – Rob  and Andrea Kennedy

Choreography – Andrea Kennedy

Music Direction – Marcia Rizzotti

Orchestra – Phil Dolan Conductor (Amity Musicians)

Chorus – Amity Theater members

Lobby -Kim Goklowski and Amity Theater Parents

Leading Actor – Tevye – Eric Greenbaum

Supporting Actress – Golde – Yuliya Faryna

Outstanding Production of the Year – Fiddler on the Roof

The show nearly swept every category, the only ones that did not receive a nomination were Ensemble Member, Featured Performer, Supporting Actor, and Lead Actress.

Congratulations to Amity, Rob and Andrea Kennedy, The actors, musicians, costumers and everyone involved in this show.

Click HERE to see all of the Nominations.

Award recipients will be announced from the stage of The Palace Theater, Waterbury, on Monday, June 5, 2017, in a stunning and entertaining black tie gala. Tickets are on sale through the Palace Theater Box office.

Mission Statement:

The CHSMTA program recognizes excellence on stage and behind the scenes. We do not believe that everyone deserves an award for “showing up.” We believe that exceptional achievement should be celebrated as beacons of inspiration and aspiration.

Amity Performing Arts Summer Camps

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May 222017

Robert and Andrea Kennedy of the Amity Theater Department welcome area youth to spend this summer on stage at Amity High School.  

The award-winning Amity Performing Arts department is offering a theater and orchestra camp from July 5- 28.  

This half day camp offers daily classes in acting, singing, dancing or music.

Included in the itinerary are movie days, ice cream social, games and fun!  

For information go to www.amitytheaterdepartment.com  or www.amityband.org.   

PHOTOS: Relay For Life Luminaria Ceremony

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May 212017

The Luminaria Ceremony at the BOW Relay For Life was quiet, respectful and reflective of lives lost and a time to honor those who are struggling with cancer.

One team, “Mild to Wild” was honored with the Bob Rauch Award as the group that embodied the spirit of the late Dr. Robert Rauch, a longtime Relay supporter and Cancer patient who passed away a few years ago.

All of the team captains, most of them Amity High School Students, collected glow sticks to distribute to their team members, then as a group of victims (or survivors) was read off — if you are here because of a parent; a child; a cousin; a neighbor; etc — snap your glow stick now.

And slowly, the entire perimeter of the track was lit up.

Members of the Amity Creative Arts Department sang, as participants walked around the track in silence and dropped their glow sticks into a luminaria bag on the ground lining the track.

Amity High School Presents “Fiddler On The Roof”

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Jan 102017

The Amity Theater Department under the direction of Robert Kennedy will present the classic musical “Fiddler On The Roof” in the spring.

This week Kennedy released the cast list as the young actors sat down for their first “table read.”

Following are the students and the characters they will portray in what Kennedy and his wife, Andrea call “The best musical ever.”

The cast list is in alphabetical order:

Jenna Aconfora (daughter), Ali Ashworth (Momma, Frumah Sarah), Gabby Aversa (Hodel), Sophie Benjamin (son, male wedding dancer), Talya Braverman (Chava), Karianne Canfield (mama), Caitlin Carlson (daughter, Male wedding dancer), Evan D’Onofrio (son), Michael Decesare (Russian), Alaina Dwyer (Yente), Yuliya Faryna (Golde), Simon Flaherty (son, Russian), Kayleigh Foley (mama), Brian Forbes (constable), Jeffrey Gallo (Sasha), Jamie Genovese (son, Russian), Emma Gilshannon (mama), Shane Gordon (Fydeka), Eric Greenbaum (Tevye), Sofia Halepas (daughter).

Also, Tyler Jennes (Yussel), Zach Katz (papa), Kiersten Keating (mama), Brynne Keevil (daughter), Ben Kemp (Rabbi), Emily Killian (Tzeitel), Joyce Lin (fiddler, bottle dancer), Kyle Magri (Mendel), Josiah Oakley (Nahum the begger, bottle dancer, Russian), Kelsey Paier (Shindel), Dean Pocweirz (Avram, bottle dancer), AJ Pocweirz (son), Lilli Querker (Shprintze), Ryan Rappaport (Perchik), Blythe Rets (Bielke).

And Nico Sagnelli (Mordcha), Ethan Selmon (Papa, bottle dancer), Sydney Sherrick (daughter, male wedding dancer), Nathan Shilling (Lazer Wolfe), Lily Swain (mama, male wedding dancer), Halle Syrop (daughter), Julia Vinci (daughter), Maren Westgard (daughter, grandma Tzeitel) Kayla Zamkov (mama).

Since the Kennedy’s took over, he Amity Theater Department has tackled many huge musicals including Les Miseables, Tarzan, In the Heights, Rant, Sweeney Todd, Legally Blonde and Chicago.

They chose “Fiddler on the Roof” because it is a beloved musical and their all time favorite show.

So, this spring get ready for this wonderful musical with well-known songs including: Sunrise Sunset, If I Were a Rich Man, Tradition, Matchmaker, Do You Love Me … and more.

]Fiddler on the Roof  cast list by character:

The Fiddler                                      Joyce Lin

Tevye the Dairyman     Eric Greenbaum

Golde his wife               Yuliya Faryna

His Daughters:        

Tzeitel                          Emily Kilian

Hodel                          Gabby Aversa

Chava                         Tayla Braverman

Shprintze                  Lilli Querker

Bielke                        Blythe Reis

 Yente the Matchmaker        Alaina Dwyer

Motel the Tailor                   Harrison Paek

Perchik a student                Ryan Rappaport

Lazer Wolf the Butcher       Nathan Shilling

Mordcha an Innkeeper        Nico Sagnelli

The Rabbi                             Ben Kemp

Mendel the Rabbi’s Son      Kyle Magri

Avram a Bookseller             Dean Pocweirz

Yussel the Hat Maker          Tyler Jennes

Grandma Tzeitel                  Maren Westgard

Frumah Sarah                      Ali Ashworth

The Constable                      Brian Forbes

Fydeka a Russian Soldier   Shane Gordon

Sasha his friend                   Jeffrey Gallo

Shaindel- Motel’s Mother  Kelsey Paier

Nahum the Beggar               Josiah Oakley

Rumor Soloists           Emma GilshannonKayla Zamkov, Ali Ashworth

Yente’s Boys               AJ Pocwierz, Evan D’Onofrio

Bottle Dancers:          Dean Pocwierz, Joyce Lin, Josiah Oakley, Ethan Selmon

Wedding Dancers:  Caitlin Carlson, Lily Swain, Sophie Benjamin, Syndey Sherrick


Mamas: Lily Swain, Kayleigh Foley, Kiersten Keating, Karianne Canfield, Emma Gilshannon, Kayla Zamkov, Ali        Ashworth, Brynn Keevil

Daughters: Maren Westgard, Sydney Sherrick, Caitlin Carlson,  Halle Syrop, Julia Vinci, Sofia Halepas,  Jenna Aconfora

Sons: Josiah Oakley, Simon Flaherty, Jamie Genovese, AJ Pocwierz, Evan D’Onofrio, Sophie Benjamin

Papas                          Ethan Selmon, Zach Katz

Russian Soldiers      Josiah Oakley, Simon Flaherty, Jamie Genovese, Micheal DeCesare

                                       Dance Captain           Joyce Lin

Classic Theater Brings What Matters To The Amity Stage in December

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Nov 222016

Rehearsal for Our Town

Rehearsal for Our Town

The Amity High School Theater Department will present Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Our Town, on Friday December 9th 2016.

Our Town presents a timeless tale of everyday life in the fictional Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. Teenagers George and Emily meet, fall in love, and marry; enduring both the joys and sorrows of everyday life. Wilder transforms their ordinary story into a poignant and captivating exploration of mortality and the wonder of living.

Our Town has been called the “Great American play by Edward Albee. Thornton Wilder was a lifelong resident of Hamden, Connecticut. Although the play takes place in New Hampshire many of the inspirations for the play come from this region of Connecticut. Woodbridge resident, Yale Professor and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Donald Margulies in his recent foreword to Our Town, wrote; “Indeed the play’s success across cultural borders around the world attests to its being something much greater than an American play: it is a play that captures the universal experience of being alive.”

When Our Town was first performed, America was experiencing the aftershocks of the Great Depression and living under the impending shadow of World War II. Although uncertain times and fear characterized the time period, Wilder focuses the play on the facets of the human experience, which testify to the strength, and endurance of the human spirit. The New York Times hailed the play as “beautifully evocative,” and named it “one of the finest achievements of the current stage.” Our Town cemented its place in history when Wilder was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1938.

For director Rob Kennedy, Our Town’s New England setting and its message about everyday life make it an especially relevant piece for the Amity audiences. “Each visit to Grover’s Corners reveals some new facet,” Kennedy said. And while you may have seen it before or been in it in high school, Wilder himself points out that “I Love You” and “I Suffer” have been said many billions of times, and never twice the same. Kennedy hopes audiences will “watch with fresh eyes, for the first time.”

Our Town includes ACT new comer Brian Forbes as the Stage Manager who leads audiences on their journey through Grover’s Corners; Emily Kilian as Emily Webb; Harrison Paek as George Gibbs; Carrie Ann Canfield as Mrs. Webb; Eric Greenbaum as Editor Webb; Alaina Dwyer as Mrs. Gibbs; and Ryan Rattley as Doctor Gibbs. Other cast members include Lili Querker, Evan D’Onofrio, Ryan Rappaport, Maren Westgard, Shane Gordon, Jeffrey Gallo, Dean Pocwierz, Ben Kemp, Joyce Lin, Emma Ginshannon, Kelsey Paier and Kayla Zamkov.

Set design by Rob Kennedy, costumes by Julie Chevan, and lights by Dan Hassenmayer.

The Assistant Director is Yuliya Faryna and the stage managers are Jacob Okolo, Jillian Gusciora and Sophie Clemons.

The show will be presented to the Amity student body grades 8 through 12 as part of our Spartan Seminar program from December 7th through the 9th. The public performance will take place on Friday December at 8pm.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.amitytheaterdepartment.com or by calling the box office at 203- 392-2019.

A New Voice Under The Friday Night Lights

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Sep 232016

rob kennedy announceTonight the Amity Spartans Football Team (0-2) will take on the Jonathan Law Lawmen (1-1) at 7 p.m.

Both of the past games have been well-attended and fans have kept their enthusiasm through the last play.

Amity fans have noticed something different at their home games and some haven’t been exactly pleased.

Several years ago, back when Joey Choiniere was captain of the team, his dad, former football player Ed Choiniere, took over the announcing duties in the booth when longtime announcer Stan Gedansky fell ill on the first day of the season.

Ed stayed even after his youngest son graduated, and was tinkering with the idea of returning this year, until he moved out of the Amity region. (the commute would be a killer). So, Athletic Director Ernie Goodwin went looking for a replacement and found sports fan, Amity teacher Rob Kennedy who was willing to take the seat.

On his first night, the soloist for the National Anthem and Amity Band were not in sync, the numbers on the roster did not match the players on the team, and Kennedy did not have a spotter in the booth to help ID the athletes who made a play, and the scoreboard was not working.

When Kennedy called a number and said what the player had done, fans in the stands were heard saying, “He has a name Jack@**”

Kennedy heard this, but kept going til the end and he returned last week too.

Week 2 was much different. The soloist stood in front of the band, the roster was correct, a spotter showed up and the scoreboard worked fine – so did Kennedy.

“Mr. Choiniere made it look easy,” Kennedy said. “The first week was rough, but it will get better with time.”

You may miss Ed Choiniere, but remember, Rob Kennedy stepped in at the last minute to perform in front of one of the toughest audiences in his career. He teaches all day long, then hangs around until the game and goes home about 15-16 hours after he went to work in the morning.

So Please, if he makes a mistake, remember that YOU are not perfect and you’ve made mistakes too.

He is taking time away from his family to volunteer and provide you with this important coverage.

Appreciate the fact that he cares enough to want to do it.