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OnStage News & Notes - September 2010

MPOnStage NewsletterIn our September newsletter, A Few Good Men auditions open; the 2010 Perry Award Nominations are announced; we talk to the cast and and crew of Seussical; catch up with some alumni happenings.

Auditions Open for A Few Good Men

the Best of Nosing AroundDirector Alycia Bauch-Cantor brings Aaron Sorkin's classic play, A Few Good Men, to the Kelsey stage. It is the story of military lawyers at a court-martial who uncover a high-level conspiracy while defending two Marines on trial for murdering one of their own. In doing so, the play raises the questions of what it means to have honour, dignity and humanity in an increasingly complex world.


Auditions will be Sunday, October 3th and
Monday evening October 4th.

You can get full details and
sign up for an audition slot here.


NJACT Perry Awards Nominations are Announced

Perry NominationsThe 37th Annual New Jersey Association of Community Theaters' ”Perry” Award nominations were announced at the South Amboy Middle HS on Saturday, July 31st.

The event contained a general meeting for the NJACT organization, a performance by the Herndandez Theater Workshop from their production of Footloose and the announcements of the nominees.

Among those listed for nominations were 5 performers and production staff from MPOnStage's 2009-2010 season and several alumni from past years.

Outstanding Youth Actress in a Play


Kirsten Pasewaldt
Maurer Productions OnStage

Kayla Vanderbilt
Maurer Productions OnStage

Outstanding Youth Actress in a Musical

Gabriella Green

Gabriella Green
Maurer Productions OnStage

Outstanding Stage Manager

Diana Gilman Maurer
Maurer Productions OnStage
Jeff Cantor

Jeff Cantor
Maurer Productions OnStage

Here is the list of our Kelsey friends who also were nominated!
Congrats to everyone!!

Outstanding Lighting Design of a Play
Charles Dorner/Dan Blazejewski
BUS STOP, Yardley Players

Outstanding Properties
Marian Wright/Mike Dilorio
BUS STOP, Yardley Players

Outstanding Scenic Design of a Play
Michael Almstedti
BUS STOP, Yardley Players

Outstanding Musical Direction

Lou Woodruff
THE PRODUCERS, Pierrot Productions

Outstanding Production of a Musical
Pete Labriola, Producer/Director
THE PRODUCERS, Pierrot Productions

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical
Brian Meltzer
RAGTIME, Pennington Players

Jim Petro
THE PRODUCERS, Pierrot Productions

Kyrus Westcott
RAGTIME, Pennington Players

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical
Vicky Czarnik
RAGTIME, Pennington Players

Outstanding Youth Actor in a Play

Stephen Szemis
A CHRISTMAS STORY, Pennington Players

Jason Welks
A CHRISTMAS STORY, Pennington Players

Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical
Judi Parrish
MUSICAL OF MUSICALS, Pennington Players

Outstanding Costume Design
of a Musical

Jay Stevens
RAGTIME, Pennington Players

Outstanding Choreography
Nicole Farina-Machin
RAGTIME, Pennington Players

Kat Ross
THE PRODUCERS, Pierrot Productions

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical
Kevin Palardy
THE PRODUCERS, Pierrot Productions

Mike Schiumo
THE PRODUCERS, Pierrot Productions

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Michael Krish
JOSEPH…, Yardley Players

John Grewen
ANNIE, Yardley Players

Joe Zedeny
JOSEPH…, Yardley Players



The MPO Puppets Visit the Doctor... Doctor Seuss that is.

Seussical PuppetsThe MPO Puppets once again hit the stage at the Kelsey theatre in the Pennington Players production of Seussical.  MPO Artistic Director John Maurer and his daughter Stacy are in the ensemble of Seussical and when the discussion of puppets for the production came up John offered his services.  Working closely with director Laurie Gougher and prop mistress Elizabeth Blazejewski, John oversaw the design and construction of 12 puppets for the production.  Most of the puppet work centered around the song "Possible." The scene required 8 fish, 2 manta rays and an eel puppet to move around the stage among the dancers and principles.

Puppet Making
"I saw this as a great teaching opportunity," said John. "Since 7 of the puppets were identical in design, this gave us the chance to put together a small training class on puppet making.  Several of my friends have mentioned that they wanted to learn puppet building and over the years have asked to watch while I’m building puppets for a show.  This was a chance to spread some knowledge and get 7 puppets built in one night."
Jake Checking out his puppet

The class started at 7pm with each volunteer standing around two tables that contained enough supplies to build 7 puppets.  "As we moved through the construction process," John explained, "I tried to show not just how to build each piece of the puppet but why it was being built that way.  During the construction each fish started to develop its own look. Even though the same pattern was used to build all the fish puppets, we had a different person building each one so they were all assembled a little differently."
Painting the puppets

After 3 hours of construction everyone got the chance to paint and highlight the fish before the class closed for the night.  This added another layer of personality to the puppets as well.   The puppets may get another layer of customizing before opening night because each of the actors who will be puppeteers in the scene have been given permission to add their own detail to the fish before opening night. 

Seussical is being presented by the Pennington Players and will presented at the Kelsey Theatre on the West Windsor Campus of Mercer Country Community College.

For tickets and show times visit


Podcast with the Cast and Crew of Seussical

Horton from SeussicalBackstage Pass sat down with the cast and crew of the Pennington Players production of Seussical to see what the Doctor has in store for his audience. Our guests for this podcast were Director Laurie Gougher, Producer Judi Parrish and actors Kyrus who plays the Cat in the Hat, Steven Anzuini who plays Horton, Kim Cupo who plays Gertrude and Simon Hamilton who plays JoJo.

Listen to the Podcast


Alumni Happenings in September

It's back to school time and back to the theater time as well as most theaters begin their new seasons. Lets see what our alumni are up to.


seussical by the Pennington PlayersCome see Alumni Scott Karlin, Rosie Karlin, Molly Karlin, Rob Gougher, Samantha Gougher, Charlotte Gougher, Stacy Maurer, Amy Slothower, Dominick Sannelli and Artistic Director John Maurer in the Pennington Players production of Seussical. The show is director by Alumnus Laurie Gougher and coducted by MPO Board member Buzz Herman.

The story centers around Horton the Elephant, who finds himself faced with a double challenge - not only must he protect his tiny friend Jojo (and all the invisible Whos) from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left to his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him, the only one who recognizes "his kind and his powerful heart." Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant, in a story that makes you laugh and cry.

Show Dates:
Fri. Sept. 24 & Oct. 1, 2010 at 7:30pm
Sat. Sept. 25 & Oct. 2 at 2pm & 7:30pm
Sun. Sept. 26 & Oct. 3 at 2pm

Tickets: or by phone at (609) 570-3333

The Kelsey Theatre at MCCC
1200 Old Trenton Road
West Windsor, NJ 08550 U.S.A.


The King and I

See Alumni Kiernan Matts, Kristen Robinson
and Victoria Scialfa in the Somerset Valley
Players Production of the King and I.

This classic musical lushly sweeps across
the exotic Orient, as the moral righteousness
of an dedicated British schoolteacher is pitted
against the authoritarian whims and wile of the
King of Siam, as cultural and personal mores
clash in a collision of wills where both
sides seek to achieve grace and learn acceptance.
king and I SVP

Dates and Times:
September 17,18,24,25 at 8:00 pm
October 1,2,9,10 at 8:00 pm
September 19,26 at 2:00 pm
October 3,10 at 2:00 pm


Website Address:

Somerset Valley Players
689 Amwell Road
Hillsborough, NJ

The Fantasticks

fantasticks See Alumni Elizabeth Rzasa as Louisa
and John Bergeron as El Gallo in the
Circle Players Production of the Fantasticks.

The Fantasticks" tells the story of a
young boy and girl who fall madly in love
at the hands of their meddling fathers,
but soon grow restless and stray from
one another. Will their separation
provide a deeper appreciation for the love
they once shared—or create a permanent
gulf between them?
"The Fantasticks" is a quintessential
celebration of love in all its gorgeous
simplicity and heartbreaking complexities.

Dates and Times:
Friday: Sept. 17, 24, and Oct. 1st, 2010 at 8:00pm
Saturday: Sept. 18, 25, and Oct. 2nd, 2010 at 8:00pm
Sunday: Sept. 26 and Oct. 3rd, 2010 at 3:00pm

Tickets: For reservations and information, call 732-968-7555       

Ticket Prices:
Adults - $17.00
Seniors & Students - $16


416 Victoria Ave.
Piscataway, NJ 08854


Roebling The Story of the Brooklyn Bridge

Roebling See Alumni John Russell and James Houston in a play written by alumus Mark Violi.

Theater to Go and Pierrot Productions have been invited by the Roebling Museum in Roebling NJ to perform a new production of Mark L.Violi's play Roebling: The Story of the Brooklyn Bridge. By special invitation of the Roebling Historical Society, this play will have its New Jersey premier at the newly restored Roebling Theater in the historic village of Roebling, NJ.

Based on a true story, Roebling: The Story of the Brooklyn Bridge brings to the stage the human drama surrounding the herculean construction effort to complete one of the most endearing and enduring engineering icons in the world. The play examines the beginnings of the project to build the Brooklyn Bridge in1869 through its completion in 1883. John Roebling set out to build the most ambitious engineering project of the Industrial Revolution-The Brooklyn Bridge. But the project was beset with obstacles and tragedies that left the Roebling family and the bridge project in crisis and which required several dramatic reversals to achieve the goal of completing this massive engineering undertaking. Unexpected events continued to confront the Roeblings, who rallied together to complete this project, and in support of her father in law’s vision, Emily Roebling provided an unusual response which challenged all 19th century assumptions about the abilities and traditional roles of women

Dates and Times:
Friday, October 15th - 8:00 pm (Gala to begin at 6pm)
Saturday, October 16th - 8:00 pm
Sunday, October 17th - 2:00 pm
Friday, October 22nd - 8:00 pm
Saturday, October 23rd - 8:00 pm
Sunday, October 24th - 2:00 pm

$20.00 per ticket. $18.00 seniors and student with ID Special
Opening Night Pre-Show Gala w/ Reception and Special Guests: $25.00 all seats.
For Information and reservations call 609-499-7200


Roebling Museum 100 Second Avenue, Box 9
Roebling, NJ 08554

If you are an Alumni and have and event you would like to get in the newsletter and on the calendar then click over to our Alumni Submission Form and fill it out.

We are waiting to here from you!


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