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The OnStage Newsletter - April, 2009

MPOnStage NewsletterIn the April edition of the OnStage Update, MP OnStage announces audition dates for the 2009-2010 season; fills you in on the next NJACT Perry Award Reviewer Training sessions; keeps you up to date on what MPO Alumni are doing; and reveals how the team made it rain on stage during its 2008 production of Singin' in the Rain.

MPO Announces 2009-2010 Audition Dates

Mark your calendars! Maurer Productions OnStage has finalized the audition schedule for its 2009-2010 season. The follow are the audition dates. Detailed information and online registration forms will be made available 4 to 6 weeks prior to each audition. All auditions and rehearsals will be held on the campus of Mercer County Community College and all performances will be staged at the Kelsey Theatre.

Hollywood Arms

Audition Dates:
Saturday, July 11, 2009 - 10am to 5pm
Sunday, July 12, 2009 - 12pm to 5pm
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 - 7pm to 10pm (if callbacks are needed)

Mandatory Read-Through With Entire Cast:
Sunday, July 19 - 1pm to 5pm

Performance Dates:
Friday, October 2, 2009 - 8pm
Saturday, October 3, 2009 - 8pm
Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 2pm
Friday, October 9, 2009 - 8pm
Saturday, October 10, 2009 - 2pm & 8pm
Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 2pm

Children's Letters to God

Audition Dates:
Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 10am to 5pm
Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 12pm to 5pm
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 6pm to 9pm (if callbacks are needed)

Mandatory Read-Through With Entire Cast:
Sunday, November 1, 2009 - 1pm to 5pm

Performance Dates:
Friday, January 8, 2010 - 7pm
Saturday, January 9, 2010 - 2pm & 7pm
Sunday, January 10, 2010 - 2pm
Friday, January 15, 2010 - 7 pm
Saturday, January 16, 2010 - 2pm & 7pm
Sunday, January 17, 2010 - 2pm
(Note: Additional Weekday Performance Dates May be Added)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Audition Dates:
Saturday, December 12, 2009 - 10am to 5pm
Sunday, December 13, 2009 - 12pm to 5pm

Mandatory Read-Through With Entire Cast:
Saturday, December 19, 2009 - 1pm to 5pm

Performance Dates:
Friday, March 12, 2010 - 8pm
Saturday, March 13, 2010 - 2pm & 8pm
Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 2pm
Friday, March 19, 2010 - 8pm
Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 2pm & 8pm
Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 2pm
(Note: Additional Weekday Performance Dates May be Added)


NJACT Reviewer Training Scheduled for April

NJACT Reviewer TrainingNJACT will conduct two new Perry Award Reviewer Training Sessions in April, one each in the northern and southern parts of the state. If you or someone you know would like to become an NJACT Perry Award Reviewer, please contact the appropriate NJACT liaison below. Remember, you must be pre-approved to attend. See below for details.

If you would like to attend one of these training sessions and become an NJACT Perry Award reviewer, please contact the Reviewer Liaison below who is conducting the training session that is most convenient for you.

Marie Fiorello
North New Jersey Reviewer Liaison
Date: Saturday, April 18, 2009
Time: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Place: Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, Chatham, NJ

Gina Lupi
South New Jersey Reviewer Liaison
Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Time: 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Place: Kelsey Theatre, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor, NJ

To be accepted as an NJACT reviewer, candidates must have experience and knowledgeable in various areas of theatrical production (e.g. performance, stage management, props, lighting, sound, directing, producing, costuming, backstage crew, front of house, etc.) Experience in all these areas is not expected, but the broader and deeper your experience, the better your chances of being accepted as a reviewer.

As an NJACT Reviewer, you will be expected to travel around the state to review theater productions in communities other than your own. Each reviewer must review a minimum of 4 shows per year. Reviewers are provided with two free tickets for each show they review. Reviews are conducted using a number scoring system and must be submitted to NJACT within two weeks of the performance reviewed. More details will be provided if your application is accepted

Send a letter to one of the Reviewer Liaison's listed above asking to become an NJACT Perry Award reviewer. You may contact whichever Reviewer Liaison is conducting the training session that is most convenient for you to attend. When you apply, you must include a copy of your theater resume with contact information. Be sure to include as much information about your theater experience as possible. Please also include a list of the theater companies you are associated with. Your application will be reviewed by NJACT and if your theater experience is found sufficient, you will be invited to become a reviewer. Please note that not all applications are accepted.


Alumni Happenings in April


godspellThis is the last weekend for Playful Theatre’s Production of Godspell. Based on The Gospel According to St. Matthew and featuring a sparkling score by Stephen Schwartz, Godspell boasts a string of well-loved songs: (led by the international hit) “Day By Day,” “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” “All For The Best,” “All Good Gifts,” “Turn Back, O Man,” and “By My Side.” Several alumni will be gracing the stage for this production, including Liz Rzasa (Man of La Mancha), Melissa Rittman (Man of La Mancha), Mike Schiumo (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown), and Thomas Martella (Winnie the Pooh). Providing vocals from the pit will be John Bergeron (Man of La Mancha) and Jim Petro (Singin’ in the Rain and Man of La Mancha). Performances are Friday, March 27 and April 3, 2009, at 8 pm; Saturday, March 28 and April 4, 2009, at 8 pm; and Sunday March 29 and April 5, 2009, at 2 pm. Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $12 for students and children. For tickets, go to Kelsey Theatre website. For information on how to purchase tickets, go to the bottom of the page.

All Shook Up

all shook upAlso in its last weekend at the Media Theatre in Philadelphia is John Shanken-Kaye (Lucky Stiff) playing Sheriff Earl in All Shook Up!, a love story that is set to the music of Elvis, the King. It's the summer of 1955, and Natalie is a young woman in a small town in the American Midwest with dreams of hitting the road. Chad, a black-jacketed, rock and roll loving motorcyclist stops at the town's garage because his bike needs repair. Chad is a charismatic rebel, and Natalie, the mechanic, immediately falls for him. She overhears him saying that he's had "a lot" of women but only travels with men. So Natalie covers her hair with a hat and puts motor oil on her face to approximate a beard, becoming "Ed", Chad's sidekick. Eventually Chad falls in love with "Ed"/Natalie, and during a 24 hour period, brings rock and roll to the town and changes it forever.
Performances run through Sunday, April 5.
Check out the Media Theatre website for information on dates and times of performances and ticket prices.

Summer Stars ‘09

teswsThe Actors’ NET of Bucks County is now accepting registrations for its 2009 Summer Stars program for young people. To be held Monday through Friday July 6 – July 31, students aged 7 to 12 meet in the mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., while teens aged 13 – 17 are schooled from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. While geared to be fun, the program offers professional training in acting, singing and dance, culminating the weekend of July 31st with the students in each session performing a full book musical comedy. For the kids, this year’s show is Bucks County Kids in Camelot – as mysterious Professor Linmer (“Merlin” inverted) casts a spell to whisk the kids back in time to help young "Wart" fulfill his destiny as king. The teens will perform The Twi-Nite Zone, a musical spoof of the classic Rod Serling series complete with mysterious and spooky happenings.

Two OnStage alumni will be on the teaching staff this summer: Matt South (Singin’ in the Rain) will be teaching acting to the teens, and Tess Ammerman (Man of La Mancha) will be teaching acting to the younger group.

For more information, go to Actors’ Net’s website at:

California Suite

sams headshotChatham Playhouse will present the delightful Neil Simon comedy, California Suite. With alumnus Sam Rosalsky as Marvin Michaels, "Visitor from Philadelphia". The laughs are abundant in this 1976 play by Neil Simon, one of the masters of American comedy. It is a bittersweet comedy that shows a glimpse of various guests in the same suite at the renowned Beverly Hills Hotel. The first hail from New York City and are a divorced couple battling over the custody of their daughter. The second, "Visitor from Philadelphia" is a freewheeling farce about a man who is in town to attend a bar mitzvah and wakes up with an unconscious hooker in his bed and his wife on the way up to the room! He is trying unsuccessfully to prevent his wife from seeing her, catching him in flagrante delicto. The third are from London; she is nominated for an Academy Award, he is gay. The fourth and fifth are two couples from Chicago, who fight constantly while they are on vacation together. They all bring along their problems, anxieties, and comical marital dilemmas.

Dates are May 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 8pm and May 16 at 3pm

Tickets: Box Office: (973) 635-7363 Theater Lobby: (973) 635-9886 Online at Ticketleap


matt daleyOver at The College of New Jersey, Alumnus Matt Daley (Winnie the Pooh, the Musical) will be performing in All College Theater presentation of Jeffrey Hatcher's SMASH. Based upon the George Bernard Shaw novel "An UnSocial Socialist," SMASH follows a millionaire socialist, Sidney Trefusis, as he leaves his wife on their wedding day in order to infiltrate ideas of socialism at an all girls college (where future wives of millionaires are made!) The production is directed by Janet Quartarone (of Shakespeare '70), and features Matt Daley as the love-sick poet, Chichester Erskine. Performances will be held in the Don Evans Black Box Studio, located in Kendall Hall at The College, on April 8th, 9th, 10th, & 11th at 8PM and 11th at 2PM. Tickets are $4 for students and $6 general admission.

Tickets can be purchased at the door. Ticket reservations can be made my e-mailing For more information, you can visit SMASH's Facebook Event posting:

The Underpants

Laurie hardyAlumus Laurie Hardy (Lucky Stiff) will be opening in the Langhorne Players production of "The Underpants" (adapted for modern audiences by Steve Martin) on April 17th for a 3 week run. The show is about The sex. The lies. The lingerie. And the jealous Jewish barber. Carl Sternheim wrote the play Die Hose in pre-WWI Germany, where it was shunned for being immoral and too satiric, but The Underpants is really a hilarious look at the chaos and commotion caused by a simple act of fate, and a flash of a lady’s undergarments. Adapted for modern audiences by Steve Martin, it is an outrageous, over-the-top, and utterly believable look at feminism, politics, sexism, and sex in general.

Opens April 17th. Tickets available at the door or can be reserved by calling the Box Office at 215 860 0818 and leaving their volunteers a message.


scripts MPOnStage Theatre Quiz - From Stage to Screen and Back

Is it a movie based on a popular musical or a musical based on a popular movie or TV show or book? You get 10 questions to test your theatre knowledge. Good luck!

Try out our April edition


Case Study - Making it Rain on Stage

case study pot belly stoveWeather control is the holy grail of mad scientists and theatre techs. Making it rain on stage can be costly and complex. Where does the water come from, where does it go and what should it hit or not hit on the way down? We'll discuss all of these issues in this months case study.

More case studies will be added in time, so check the site whenever you have a prop need or if you love checking out how things are made. And if you have any prop solutions, tips or tricks you have used and would like to share, contact John at

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