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The OnStage Update - July 2008


Perry Award Nominations Just Around the Corner

Perry AwardIt’s almost here! The 2008 Perry Award nominations are going to be held on August 2nd at Kelsey Theatre on the campus of Mercer County Community College. For those who have never had the opportunity to attend the nominations before, the event begins with a members' meeting where the present and future direction of NJACT is discussed. Then after a short break for refreshments, the nominations are announced.
The nominations presentation will run from 2:00-5:00 PM at the Kelsey Theatre at Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor, NJ 08550. Tickets are $5.00 per person and will be sold at door. For directions, please visit http://www.kelseyatmccc.org or call 609-570-3333.

Remember to mark your calendars - the 2008 Perry Awards Ceremony will be Sunday, September 21st.

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Winnie-the-Pooh Raises a Hand Toward August 15th Opening

Puppetry ClinicRehearsals for Winnie-the-Pooh are moving along nicely and puppet construction continues.   The cast are learning their music and dances and everyone is off book.   We had our first puppetry clinic a week ago, and cast worked their puppets in front of mirrors and did some acting exercises. You can really see the transformation where the actors and Puppetry Clinic 2the puppets are starting to become one.
“Adding puppets to the mix makes the roles and character development far more complicated than one would normally find in a musical,” says Diana Maurer, the director.  “The actors must learn to deliver lines, sing, and dance while operating a puppet.  They are facing the big challenge of transferring all the emotion of the character away from themselves and into the puppet.  It’s a challenge for all of us-- I need to tell the actors what their characters need to convey to the audience, and the actors need to make that happen, but through the piece of cloth and foam on their arm.  How do you get something with no facial expressions to show happiness or sadness?  It’s all up to the actors to convey that with their voices and movement.”  To get the scoop on the show, visit the Birthday Tail section of the website.

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Brighton Beach Memoris Casting It's Lot on Local Actors

Brighton Beach Memoirs LogoAfter four days of monologues and scene readings, auditions for Brighton Beach Memoirs are complete. It is now time for the difficult casting process to begin.  We had over 80 people audition for 7 roles, and thanks to our experienced production team and some new high-tech tools everybody got in and out quickly and on time.  “It’s hard when you are at auditions and are cut off from our office phones and computers,” said John Maurer, Artistic Director of MPOnStage.  Thanks to our new office phone system, we can route all our contact numbers to one cell phone and our email and signup system can be forwarded to a blackberry, both sitting at the registration desk.  If someone calls because they are lost or running late, or emails to change their appointment time, we get the info right away and can shift people around and keep the process moving.” 

BBm CastingFinal casting decisions will be made soon and will be announceddd in next month’s newsletter.
Brighton Beach Memoirs is part one of Neil Simon's autobiographical trilogy, a portrait of the writer as a Brooklyn teenager in 1937 living with his family in crowded, lower middle class circumstances. Eugene, the young Neil Simon, is the narrator and central character. His mind is full of fiercely fantasized dreams of baseball and dimly fantasized images of girls. The play captures a few days in the life of a struggling Jewish household that includes Eugene's hard- working father, his sharp-tongued mother, his older and vastly more experienced brother, his widowed aunt and her two young daughters. As Eugene's father says, "If you didn't have a problem, you wouldn't live in this house." It is a deeply appealing play that deftly mixes drama with comedy.
Mark your calendars: Brighton Beach Memoirs runs for two weeks beginning Friday, February 6.

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The Kelsey Brochure coverThe Kelsey Theatre Announces 2008-2009 Season

The new season brochures for Kelsey are scheduled to arrive at Kelsey on August 1.  In the meantime, there’s a sneak preview available on the We're All in This Together Season Events page on the Kelsey site.  Next season promised to be great.  Check it out!
Don’t wait for the brochure to order your season ticket package.   If you are a current or new season subscriber you can contact the box office now to purchase you tickets for the 2008-2009 season.  Sales of regular single tickets start on August 25th, so get ready, the sooner you order, the better your seat location.  Go to the Season Package Info page of the Kelsey site for a full season list and ordering information.

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The Art of First Impressions, Marketing the Man of La Mancha.

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  When making the decision to see a play or musical, especially if you don’t know the show, the poster is normally your first impression.  Does it look like it’s fun, exciting or dramatic?  Do I really want to see this, or should I save my money for a show I already know?  That is always the tough choice for potential audience members.   How much of my disposable income is now being eaten away by rising gas prices?
Man of La Mancha PosterWe have always worked hard to make our marketing materials reflect the look and feel of the show we are producing. From our buck slips, those little ads you find in your ticket envelopes, to our website and posters, we choose our designs carefully so that you know what to expect.  We have just finished the designs for our final show of the season, Man of La Mancha.  The show is a dramatic musical comedy that illustrates despair, hope and dreams.  We have searched the world over, literally, to find just the right look for the poster. We found what we were looking for in the photos of Macki Haer, A photographer from the UK.  Macki’s image of the Chesterton Windmill in Warwickshire England, set just the right tone, One mans hope and dreams played out in a stark reality of the world in which he lived. Mr. Haer was gracious enough to give us permission to use his photo and we hope you’ll visit his online gallery and see some of his other impressive work. Visit http://www.pocketropolis.com/mackigallery/  and sign his guest book.

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We Need Your Help and Suggestions for MPOnStage's 2009-2010 Season

scriptsIt’s time for MPOnStage to start thinking about what shows to do in the 2009-2010 Kelsey Season.  Thanks again to those who made suggestions for shows for the 2008-2009 season.  If you have any additional shows to add to the list, email us with your suggestions.
All your suggestion from last year were taken under consideration, and for all those who suggest shows like Avenue Q, Spamalot, Legally Blonde, and the like… well, we would like to do them, but they are not yet available.  With few exceptions, shows currently running on Broadway do not have rights available for community theater productions.  Shows recently on Broadway could still be on a national tour.  If the rights are available, they are usually restricted and difficult or impossible to obtain.  Please try to suggest shows for which the rights are available.

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UnPack Your Tap Shoes. It's Fleet Week at the Kelsey Theatre as Dames at Sea holds Auditions

Dames at seaOur friends at PIERROT PRODUCTIONS are happy to announce auditions for their fall production of Dames at Sea.

This delightful, small-cast musical spoofs the movie musicals of the 1930s and will be presented at The Kelsey Theatre on October 17-19 and 24-26.

Please note: While they are beginning the casting process now, rehearsals will not begin until after Labor Day.

Auditions will be held on Sunday, July 20th, with appointments beginning at noon.

Interested applicants are to come prepared with a song from any musical theater work and a one- to three-minute monologue. If auditioning for one of the roles requiring tap dancing skill, you will be asked to improvise a brief tap routine.

To make an audition appointment, email your contact information to pierrotinfo@aol.com as soon as possible. Appointments will be scheduled in the order that people apply.

For more information go to: http://www.kelseyatmccc.org/auditions.shtml

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