Two Fabulous Shows at Summer Theater Workshop - Buy Tickets Today
Local Luminaries To Compete In Spelling Bee Fundraiser
Glen Head, NY _ Rehearsals are underway for two fabulous shows at the Summer Theater Workshop at North Shore High School. Led by visionary NYC director Terry Berliner and an amazing staff of theater professionals, the workshop cast and crew are busy preparing “Live Out Loud,” a concert of new songs from some of the best musical theater composers and writers working today and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” a hilarious musical comedy featuring special guest appearances by local luminaries as spelling bee contestants.
Performances of “Live Out Loud” are Friday, July 31 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 1 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The concert features songs specially selected for the show by Ms. Berliner from her colleagues in the musical theater world and include new material from all sorts of musicals, including a zombie love story. The critically acclaimed writers and composers include Andrew Lippa; Michelle Marie Elliott and Danny Larson; Wendy Leigh Wilff and Glenn Slater; Kristen Guenther and Joy Son; Tommy Newman and Gaby Alter; Pete Mills; Adam Gwon and Julia Jordan; Joe Iconis; Michael Koomin and Christopher Dimond; Bobby Cronin; Tony DeSare and Lynette Barkley. Many have donated use of their work and some even plan to attend.
Performances of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” are Friday, August 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 8 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Conceived by Rebecca Feldman with music and lyrics by William Finn and a book by Rachel Sheinkin, this warm-hearted Tony Award winning musical comedy centers on a middle school spelling bee run by three quirky adults in which six equally quirky students compete, supported by their kooky family members. In an unusual twist, four audience members participate in the spelling bee each night.
Purchase reserved seat tickets for both shows today at www.summertheaterworkshop.org or by phone 516-945-9910. Prices are $6 or $8 for students and senior citizens, and $12 or $16 for adults. Group rates are available - contact northshoreSTW@gmail.com for more information. Performances take place in the air-conditioned North Shore High School Theater at 450 Glen Cove Avenue, Glen Head. Ample free parking is available.
The Summer Theater Workshop is produced by North Shore Arts Angels, Inc. a non-profit foundation devoted to enhancing arts education opportunities and deepening community connections through the arts. The organization recruited Ms. Berliner to run the workshop, a long-standing summer tradition at North Shore being revived after a 12-year hiatus. Ms. Berliner is a New York-based artistic director, director/choreographer, and writer whose critically acclaimed, sold-out production of Kirsten Guenther and Tony Asaro's new musical, “The Cable Car Nymphomaniac,” had an extended run at the Eureka Theater in San Francisco this spring. Her Broadway credits include “The Lion King,” “The Tale of the Allergist's Wife,” “The Sound of Music “and “The Red Shoes.” She has directed a regional theaters and universities across the country, and has wirtten for theater, including a musical “Alone in the U.S.” with composer Bobby Cronin.
Ms. Berliner directs a brilliant cast and crew comprised of dedicated and talented middle school and high school students, as well as college undergraduate and graduate students engaged in advanced training in the performing arts. Working with them is an all-star staff comprised of theater professionals with extensive credits on Broadway, off Broadway, in regional theaters, colleges and universities, and in film and television. Music Director Seth Farber is a four-time Grammy nominee for his work with the folk legend Odetta. A longtime Broadway conductor and music director, his credits include “Hairspray,” “Soul Doctor,” “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” and “Fosse.” One of his songs, “The LIttle Hill” is to be performed in the “Live Out Loud” concert and is from a musical he co-wrote with his wife Liz Queler that sets to music the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Scenic Designer Antje Ellermann is an Emmy Award nominee who has worked with prominent directors on original works on stages in New York City and around the country. Costume Designer Teresa Snider-Stein is a 20-year veteran of theater, television and film whose Broadway credits include “I’m Not Rappaport.” Lighting Designer Kirk Fitzgerald has designed for theater, television, concerts and nightclubs around the world, including work on New York’s Shakespeare in the Park. Sound Designer Scott Stauffer’s extensive credits in theater include numerous productions at the Lincoln Center Theater and concerts at Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, as well as off-Broadway and in regional theater.
Choreographers are TJ Newton, a recent graduate of the musical theater program at Marymount Manhattan College, and Francesca Carillo-Vaccino, a long-time Sea Cliff resident who upon graduating from North Shore was awarded the distirct’s presitigious Roy and Betty Ten-Haagen Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in Theater. Leading the back-stage crews is Cate DiGirolamo a production manager and lighting designer who has worked on award-winning productions for various NYC companies, including TACT, Wide Eyed Productions and UglyRhino productions. She previously worked for the Gate Theatre Notting Hill, Royal Court Theatre and Alameida Theatre in London. She has also worked for the New York City Opera, Mark Morris Dance and CAP21 Musical Theater Conservatory and Theatre Company. Assiting her is Jason Domingo, the school district’s light and sound advisor who takes over the position of Orchestra Director this fall at North Shore HS; he will also play cello in the production pit band.
Over 140 alumni of the Summer Theater Workshop helped raise seed money to re-launch the program in a gala concert held in June 2013 that featured appearances by celebrity grads Michael McKean and Kate McKinnon. The Summer Theater Workshop is funded by tuitions, donations and grants, and provides financial assistance to students whose families cannot afford the $1,700 tuition. Supporting the workshop’s effort to ensure that no applicant is turned away due to financial need are numerous local luminaries who have signed on to a fundraising campaign that may land them on stage as contestants during performances of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Each has to first raise an “entry fee” of $500. Supporters can pledge $5 or more for any one or all of the candidates at www.summertheaterworkshop.org Donations may also be made by check to to North Shore Arts Angels Inc. PO Box 41 Sea Cliff NY 11579.
Would-be spellers, all stalwart friends of the arts at North Shore, are Amy Beyer, owner of Men on the Move, who serves on the district’s Legislative Action Committee (and who, incidentally, won her 6th grade spelling bee); John Canning, an attorney and erstwhile Town of Oyster Bay official who is a favorite local emcee, parade grand marshall, poet and thespian known for his leading role in the indy film "The Chumley Factor;" Carolyn Mazzu Genovesi, an attorney and alumna of the Summer Theater Workshop who now performs for fun with the Sea Cliff Silly Shakespeare Company; local business owner and Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy who notably became a Democratic in a run for state office when asked to pledge that he would not officiate at same-sex marriage ceremonies; retired NYC firefighter and independent filmmaker Mike Lennon (writer and director of the “Chumley Factor” and other titles) who among his numerous acts of local benevolence organizes rummage sales to support the library and annually leads dozens of district families on a weekend of beach camping in Montauk; North Shore Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Melnick who began his career in education as a clarinet-playing music teacher and served for many years as the district’s director of Fine and Performing Arts, and Bill Mozer, an audio engineer with an extensive career in New York radio and television who in retirement has become administrator of a popular Facebook community group.
The workshop is grateful to the North Shore School District and Board of Education for enabling the use of district facilities, to the outgoing and incoming directors of the Fine and Performing Arts Department, the department secretary and all the summer staff of North Shore High School, especially the custodians who under the leadership of Jerry Boertzel have assisted in numerous ways to make the launch of this program a success. Anyone interested in volunteering to assist with set construction or other aspects of the workshop productions is invited to contact producer Julia Brennan at northshoreSTW@gmail.com or by phone 516-945-9910