Category Archives: events

Flippin’ Fun

20160216 Flippin Broadway promo (74)
Rodd Robertson and Bea Gilbert with John Masa

On March 5, DreamWrights Youth and Family Theatre is flipping things around in the name of fun and fundraising. We are hosting a special event called Flippin’ Broadway which is a cabaret of Broadway show tunes with a fun twist.  Rodd Robertson, DreamWrights actor and Guest Director, came up with the idea. Robertson explains, “A few years ago, another actor and I were discussing songs we would never get to sing in a traditional Broadway show.  We were having a great time imagining what it would be like to perform songs as those characters and suddenly we looked at each other and asked why we couldn’t stage a show where we could perform those songs?!” And the idea for Flippin’ Broadway was born.

20160216 Flippin Broadway promo (12)
Rebecca Wolf with Michael Frock

Although, Flippin’ Broadway wasn’t originally conceived as a benefit show, it soon took on that life.  Robertson says the idea grew as they talked to friends and other cast mates about the idea.  Robertson reports, “We’re thrilled to be doing this for DreamWrights because we admire their mission statement and that they abide by it.  It’s a real testament to the theatre that we wanted to have our premiere there.  We’re doing good for a great place!”

20160216 Flippin Broadway promo (144)
Patty Price with Michael Frock

With 18 cast members performing 27 songs, the evening promises to be full of entertainment and surprises. Robertson agrees, “If the scores of people who auditioned for it and the word of mouth buzz is any indication, we should have a really nice crowd; hopefully a sell-out.”  Robertson quickly adds two more reasons to attend the event: “to support this community theatre treasure and to imagine what different Broadway musicals might be like if they were ‘flipped’!”

He’s not kidding when he describes it as “flipped”! The concept of Flippin’ Broadway is for Broadway songs to be performed in a non-traditional way.  For example, “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserable is sung by a middle-to-older-aged white man, Jean Val Jean, but not in the Flippin’ Broadway version.  Robertson dishes, “In our version, a young teenage girl is singing the song.  So we’ve switched it up with some funny results and some thought provoking changes.”

20160216 Flippin Broadway promo (88)
Hannah Kuhn and Caitie Kieffer with Missy Kiefer

But that’s not the only act that will stand out. The evening will feature talented adults as well as kids.  Robertson boasts, “We have a mother with her two teenagers in the show.  I think this exemplifies the opportunities that DreamWrights provides families in the mid-state region.  How great is it that so much talent lies in one family!  Just wait until you hear them! You won’t be disappointed!”

Flippin’ Broadway will be held at DreamWrights Youth and Family Theatre on March 5,, 2016 from 7 – 10pm. Tickets are $15 and are available online at www.dreamwrights.org or by calling 717-848-8623. There will be an extended intermission offering elegant desserts for purchase. Proceeds will benefit DreamWrights Youth and Family Theatre.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Reunion

20151220 DW TBCPE Reunion - 2003 cast crew (3)
Cast and Crew of the 2003 TBCPE

As DreamWrights Artistic Director, Diane Crews, prepared to wrap up the final performance of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,  nearly 75 former Pageant cast and crew members gathered to reminisce and celebrate. 2015 ended DreamWrights’ fourth run of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and Diane’s last holiday production. Cast and crew members from the 1998, 2004, and 2009 shows gathered to share stories and honor Diane.

20151220 DW TBCPE Reunion - 1998 cast crew (4)
Cast and Crew of the 1998 TBCPE

Many great memories were shared and lots of nice words were exchanged. Bob Godfrey, who was unable to attend the reunion, made sure his sentiment was heard  by sending in a video tribute to Diane. Several others including Ann Davis, Brian Frey, Joan Bitzer, and Jo Olewiler spoke up, honoring Diane and the wonderful experience that The Best Christmas Pageant Ever was.

20151220 DW TBCPE Reunion - Herdmans (3)
Herdmans through the years

1998’s Gladys Herdman, Lexi Hubb, traveled from Chincoteague with her husband. She fondly remembers the fun she had playing Gladys seventeen years ago when she was only 12! Father and daughter Mark and Christiana Lipsitz, played father and daughter Bob and Beth Bradley in the 2003 version. Joan Bitzer and Steve Brown have been in every Pageant, Joan as one of the church ladies (different each time) and Steve as Rev. Hopkins, twice a PSM, and a crew member. Megan Cintron’s first DreamWrights appearance was as Jessica in the 2003 Pageant. She went on to become Beth Bradley in 2009.

Cast and Crew of the 2009 TBCPE show
Cast and Crew of the 2009 TBCPE

For many, Pageant was a family affair. Over the years, many of our DreamWrights families participated in the holiday show as a family (or nearly whole family): the Browns, Kominskys, Oles, Gordons, Dunlaps, Bitzers, Beckers, Hartnetts, Mir-Youngs, and Sheltons, to mention a few.  It was great to see these families and everyone who came to the reunion to reminisce with Diane moments before she headed back stage for her very last holiday production at DreamWrights. What a perfect way to celebrate Diane’s final holiday show!

20151220 DW TBCPE Reunion pix - Mrs Armstrong (2)
Broken-legged Mrs. Armstrongs
20151220 DW TBCPE Reunion - crew (3)
TBCPE Crew and Staff through the years
20151220 DW TBCPE Reunion pix -Bradleys (4)
Bradleys
20151220 DW TBCPE Reunion - Firemen (5)
Firemen
20151220 DW TBCPE Reunion pix - Church ladies (2)
Church ladies

StAGEs: Seniors will Showcase their Talents on October 29

Something funny is brewing at DreamWrights. For the past six weeks, StAGEs, a theater arts program designed specifically for the over 55 crowd, has been entertaining, challenging, and intriguing participants. Inspired by the National Council on Creative Aging (NCCA), StARTSomething and DreamWrights have partnered to offer this unique theater arts offering.

StAGEs

The members of the inaugural workshop will showcase their talents as well as what they’ve learned and accomplished on Thursday, October 29 a 2pm. This performance is free and open to the public. Free and easy off-street parking is available. As the performance unfolds, the audience will be treated to comedic scenes, touching reflections and maybe even some singing and dancing. Come ready to laugh.

Led by NCAA-trained theatre artists, Christina Myers and Luke MacCloskey, the StAGEs group has been experimenting with theatrical techniques to play games, tell stories, create plot and characters, and build new friendships.  These 5 men and 12 women range in age from Skip Lefever at 57 to Dolores Quickel at 94. Dolores can’t wait to register for the next StAGEs workshop. “I go home feeling really happy!” she beams. She claims she even laughs about it in bed as she’s falling asleep. “We’re having fun and enjoying ourselves” announces Nancy Wolgamuth. “It makes you laugh!” adds Mike Stewart.

When asked about the workshop, the participants could hardly contain their excitement and enthusiasm. “Nobody is a polished performer,” declares Judy Grimm. “But we’re learning to be hams,” interrupts Evelyn Miller. Mike Stewart explains that StAGEs is not at all what he anticipated. He was expecting a more serious workshop. “I even brought a pen and notebook the first time. But this turned out to be much better than a class!” The other participants agree. Nancy Wolgamuth loves the exercises because they “make your mind work” while having fun.

IMG_4909

Christina Myers, actor, writer, and producer has appeared in various TV and film projects including “Girl, Interrupted” (as Nurse Margie opposite Oscar Award Winner, Angelina Jolie).  Luke MacCloskey, actor, writer, and producer has performed on stage and screen around the country.  You might recognize him (or not!) as the interloping zombie in the national TVBoss.org commercial.  Together they perform as Cobblestone Comedy for corporate events and private parties.  They also lead professional rapport-building workshops for medical professionals.

StAGEs encourages active participation in the performing arts.  Meet new people, make art, and enjoy the benefits of “creative aging.”  Enrollment is limited to 16 participants and is free of charge.  A fully refundable registration fee will be returned at the culmination of the sessions. No experience is necessary. Accommodations will be provided for those with physical limitations and/or stage fright. Call 717-848-8623 x221 for more information and to register.

An Interview with Theatre Under the Trees Director, Michelle Denise Norton

Director Michelle Denise Norton sat down with DreamWrighters to answer some questions about Theatre Under the Trees. You won’t want to miss a performance. There are three performances left! July 31 @ 6:30pm William Kain County Park, Aug 1 @ 6:30pm Codorus State Park, and Aug 2 @ 2:30pm at DreamWrights Youth & Family Theatre. Admission is free!

DW_2015Season_Inside

DW: What is Theatre Under the Trees?  

MDN: Theatre Under The Trees is a branch of DreamWrights that tours the comedies of William Shakespeare in local parks.  Admission is free.  

DW: When/How did it get started?

MDN: In 1998, I wanted to direct an outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the DreamWright’s Board agreed to support it.  The first year was a success and we have continued evolving over seventeen years.  I like to say I want to direct a show I’d love to sit in the audience for.  We aim to show people why Shakespeare still draws audiences after more than 4 centuries.  And to remind the world that Shakespeare wrote comedies as least as well as he wrote anything else.  I am amazed and very grateful that so many people have volunteered their time and talent for a program I feel so strongly about.

DW: How has it changed over the years?

MDN: Well, I took a year off, only to discover I missed it terribly and everyone still talked to me about Shakespeare anyway. <wink> Each year is really different.  I have learned to plan just enough ahead that I am ready to see who auditions and build the show from there.  Some years have different needs. The last time we did The Tempest, I knew I wanted to create a storm with dancers so I started discussing the show with a choreographer several months in advance.  But what we were able to do started from the people who showed up at auditions to share their talents. 

DW: What is your favorite performance and why?

MDN: I have two. One was a dress rehearsal of the original production of Twelfth Night and it was just a beautiful night outside, listening to one of Shakespeare’s best plays, done well by people enjoying the challenge. The actors had responded to every note I’d given them. Everything clicked.  It was perfect. The other was sitting in the grass at Sam Lewis Park watching Merchant of Venice.  One of the actresses had missed the previous performance due to a family emergency. I’d had to perform in her stead and when she came back, the entire cast had a new energy.  It was amazing.  Plus, I could sit in the grass in casual clothes rather than being onstage in a sweater, skirt and pantyhose.

DW: How is Shakespeare challenging and rewarding?

MDN: It’s rewarding for me because I get to see some of my favorite characters, vibrant, on stage, having new dimensions thanks to the actors who make them live.  The challenge is taking a random group of people and merging them with a play I’ve picked far in advance.  It can be a little scary the night between audition days.  

MDN: From a directing standpoint, I try to forget a lot of what I’ve done before so I can discover things again with a new cast.  It’s a group challenge to work out the meaning and dynamics of each play and relationship, as well as the physicality required by comedy in the Theatre Under The Trees style. With Shakespeare, we have to pay a lot of attention to the language, but the reward is the wonderful pictures Shakespeare created that the actors get to paint for the audiences.  

DW:   How is performing outside different then in a traditional theatre setting?

MDN: Performing actually started outside, with the Greeks and their theaters with seating cut into the sides of hills for better acoustics.  And in Shakespeare’s time, theaters lacked roofs and were open to wind and weather.  For our actors, we spend a lot of time building our voices and becoming aware of the mechanics of projection.  Changing locations for every performance brings unique challenges.  We learn to be flexible. We rehearse outside as much as possible and have tech and dress rehearsals in people’s backyards, weather permitting.

DW:     How can/ does weather play into your performances?

MDN: We stop for lightning.  The rest we mostly adjust to.  Everyone who has done Theatre Under The Trees has at least one good weather story. It’s always fun to hear people recalling their rain/hail/wind adventures for newcomers.  

DW: What’s the best thing for you about Theatre Under the Trees ?

MDN: The people I’ve met.  

Gown & Dress Consignment & SALE

Gown & Dress Consignment & Sale PLUS!

Thursday May 7, 5-7PM            Gown Consignments Accepted

Friday May 8  5-8PM                     SALE

Saturday May 9  9 AM – 3 PM       SALE

What started as a Gown & Dress Consignment and Sale has morphed into more!

This Years Sale Features … Bridal Gowns from the 1940s to 2015

Plus … Prom & Homecoming Gowns, Furs, Coats, Mensware, Vintage Clothing, & Jewelry, & Unlimited Costume Possibilities – $5 and Up!

Below are just a few items available!!

dress 9 web Dress 1 web dress 5 web dress 8 web