Category Archives: Stage – all

Theatre By The Sea Reopens July 9 With Nicolas King

 

POP-JAZZ CROONER NICOLAS KING

BRINGS NEW SHOW TO THEATRE BY THE SEA

Nicolas King

Theatre By The Sea’s owner and producer Bill Hanney, who recently announced the reopening of Theatre By The Sea after a 21-month intermission, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, is ecstatic to open the 2021 Summer Concert Series with Rhode Island’s own Nicolas King on Friday, July 9 and Saturday, July 10 at 8:00 pm. 

Nicolas King has been performing since he was four years old. Having been in three Broadway productions before the age of twelve is no small feat! Aside from appearing opposite Tom Selleck in A Thousand Clowns and Carol Burnett’s Hollywood Arms, directed by Hal Prince, he was Broadway’s longest running Chip in Disney’s Beauty and The Beast. Mr. King has also appeared in dozens of national television commercials, including his award-winning “Oscar Mayer Lunchables” commercial. He has appeared on numerous television talk shows including “The View,” “The Today Show,” “Sally Jesse Raphael,” “Liza & David,” and twice on “The  Tonight  Show” with Jay Leno, (including Leno’s final week as host in 2014). Nicolas’ latest album, “Act One – Celebrating 25 Years of Recordings,” was released in 2021 with Club 44 Records and features collaborations with Jane Monheit, Norm Lewis, hit-maker Charles Calello, and longtime musical director Mike Renzi. He performed on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon for eight consecutive years live in Las Vegas, originated the voice of Oscar on Discovery Kids’ “Kenny The Shark” and is the recipient of the 1995 and 1996 Talent America Award, the 2010 Julie Wilson Award, the 2015 AMG Award for Artist of the Year, the 2012 Bistro Award for Outstanding Performer of the Year, the 2019 Legends Award for his contribution to the preservation of the Great American Songbook, and the 2021 BroadwayWorld Award for Best Swing Act. In addition to performing with artists such as Tony Danza, Andrea McArdle, Jack Jones, Lainie Kazan, Donna McKechnie, Faith Prince, Billy Paul, Jennifer Holliday, Debby Boone, and Linda Lavin, he has also performed alongside his mentor, the legendary Liza Minnelli, since he was eleven years old as her opening act from 2002-2012, touring throughout the country. Mr. King has performed on many iconic stages including concerts and appearances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Birdland, 54 Below, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and aboard Silversea and Crystal Cruises.

Accompanied by the Mike Renzi Trio, Nicolas will be performing a collection of jazz, pop and Broadway songs which celebrate the ups and downs of a year we are all happy is over. This optimistic set highlights lessons learned, new perspectives gained, and the music that got us through it all. 

Hindsight’s 2020 with Nicolas King will be at Theatre By The Sea on Friday, July 9 and Saturday, July 10 at 8:00 pm. Additional performances for the 2021 Summer Concert Series will take place on July 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31 at 8:00 pm. The theatre is located at 364 Cards Pond Road, Wakefield. Tickets are $29 – $52 (additional fees may apply). Discount rates are available for groups of 10 or more by calling (401) 782-3800 x112. Tickets are currently on sale online 24-hours-a-day at www.theatrebythesea.com and via telephone from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday by calling (401) 782-TKTS (8587). 

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The Ogunquit Playhouse Is Back With “Monty Python’s Spamalot”

With Monty Python’s Spamalot

The Ogunquit Playhouse

Returns Us To The Bright Side Of Life

Reviewed by Bobby Franklin

Charles Shaughnessy as King Arthur and Mariand Torres as The Lady of the Lake

In the early spring of 2020 hope began to fade that the Corona Virus was going to recede, and the reality that life for all of us was going to be quite different for some time was setting in. At the time Brad Kenney, Executive Artistic Director of the Playhouse, had to make the announcement the 2020 Season would be canceled. Brad did this via video and the poor guy could not have looked more beaten down. His heart and soul is in the Ogunquit Playhouse and having to let the public know the curtain wouldn’t be going up last year was heart wrenching. It seemed sure the place would  remain dark for a long time. Some wondered if it would be able to survive.

Well, Brad may have been staggered and even floored, but the count never got to ten. He soon recovered and was back in the fight, a fight he was not going to lose. After having to refund over 50% of the ticket sale money for the up coming season Brad went to work on fundraising, and more importantly, keeping the flame burning at the playhouse. This began with video talks with Playhouse Alumni such as Sally Struthers. The mood was changing for the better. Next was the Playhouse Cabaret Series where performers from past seasons displayed their talents before small crowds outside the theatre in a cafe setting. So, even though the season was officially canceled, there were still performances taking place before a live audience. 

Left to Right) Jen Cody, Dwelvan David, Charles Shaughnessy, Mariand Torres, Josh Grisetti, and Daniel Lopez (Photo by Gary Ng)

As the 2021 Season approached it was still unknown if the COVID restrictions would allow for the theatre to reopen. Since it takes some time to put together full scale productions it was decided to build a pavilion next to the theatre where it would be easier to allow for social distancing and ventilation. 

With generous donations from the many loyal supporters of the Playhouse, and a huge gift from benefactors Carol and Noel Leary, the Leary Pavillon was erected and a four show season was planned.

Last Friday night the season kicked off with Monty Python’s Spamalot. As one of the tag-lines from Monty Python goes; “And now for something completely different”. Well, not completely different as this production lives up to the high standards the Ogunquit Playhouse has always adhered to.

The laughter that came from the audience in response to those lines shows the resilience people have and how, just like the Ogunquit Playhouse, we are not giving up.

It was an interesting choice as the first musical to play since the pandemic hit in that it opens with references to plague and deaths. Grim? Not at all, gallows humor is exactly what is needed at this time. The laughter that came from the audience in response to those lines shows the resilience people have and how, just like the Ogunquit Playhouse, we are not giving up. 

Charles Shaughnessy is excellent in leading the cast as Arthur the King who just can’t seem to command respect. Sent by God on a quest to find the Holy Grail, Arthur is accompanied by his faithful companion Patsy (Jen Cody). Along the way the King assembles members of his Knights of the Round Table, a motley crew who often take things Arthur says literally which causes more than a little Pythonish confusion.

Josh Grisetti as Sir Robin
(Photo by Gary Ng)

Dennis Galahad (Daniel A. Lopez) is not easily convinced to become a knight as he has the radical idea leaders should be chosen by the people and not by Divine Right. The Lady of the Lake (Mariand Torres) appears and wins over Dennis with Come With Me who now becomes Sir Galahad. Ms Torres while singing hilarious songs shows her talent as a genuine Broadway Belter with the Diva’s Lament and Find Your Grail/The Song That Goes Like This.

Jen Cody is outstanding as Patsy. Her performance of the show’s best known song Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life was pitch perfect, and she showed great comedic expressions when Mr. Shaughnessy sang I’m Alone. Poor Patsy who had stood by the King throughout thick and thin was a riot as she looked to the audience with “What about me looks?” as Arthur spun his tale of loneliness.

Jen Cody as Patsy
Photo Credit: Gary Ng

With many of the devices that make Monty Python so popular, such as a giant wooden rabbit, the huge hand, poking fun at the French, and riding on horseback sans horses, fans won’t be disappointed.

The big show tunes are a treat as well. You Won’t Succeed On Broadway (Josh Grisetti) is Mel Brooksian in its formula for it’s humorous take in what you need to produce a Broadway Show while His Name Is Lancelot (Nic Rouleau) is best described as Lancelot’s coming out song.

Music, laughter, beautiful sets, and the joy of the Ogunquit Playhouse is back. Life is good again.

By the finale the audience was fully back in theatre mode. Music, laughter, beautiful sets, and the joy of the Ogunquit Playhouse is back. Life is good again.

I’d like to say a few things about the Leary Pavilion. While it is different from the main theatre it is a very interesting setting for a play. It accommodates 75% of the Playhouse’s indoor capacity. The 25,000 square foot steel structured, fully covered, open air performance venue has a 96 foot wide stage, a full array of lighting, and much better acoustics than I expected. A major plus is having the seats arranged in “pods” of two for social distancing. This also ensures every audience member is guaranteed an aisle seat with plenty of leg room. For a fidgeter like me this is a positive delight. Site lines are clear and unobstructed. You doin’t have to crane your neck to look past people’s heads. Is the pavilion better than the indoor theatre? No. Is it worse? No. It is a different and very interesting experience, and it works very, very well. 

Brad Kenney deserves more than high praise for making this all happen. Don’t think twice about buying tickets for Spamalot and the rest of the season. Come out of your cocoon and step into the world of outstanding musical theatre at the Ogunquit Playhouse. It really feels good to be back looking at the bright side of life!

Monty Python’s Spamalot

Through July 10

The Ogunquit Playhouse

Ogunquit, Maine

Box Office: 207.646.5511

ogunquitplayhouse.org 

The Ogunquit Playhouse Patio Cabaret Opens June 4

Ogunquit Playhouse 

Opens The

 Playhouse Patio Cabaret

By Bobby Franklin

In addition to the four Main Stage plays being presented this season, the Ogunquit Playhouse will once again be welcoming patrons to their Playhouse Patio Cabaret. The Patio proved extremely popular last year and will be an extra treat this season as things begin to shift back to normal in Ogunquit with the opening of the Main Stage.

The opening performance will see the return of Nat Zegree to the patio. Nat, who rocked the house in Million Dollar Quartet, will be sharing his talent and musical knowledge June 4 through 6. This will be a great prelude to the opening of the first full musical in nearly two year which takes place on June 16 with Monty Python’s Spamalot.

The Playhouse Patio Cabaret will continue throughout the summer with  total of 10 events. In addition to Nat Zegree the performers along with the plays they were in are Diana Huey(Elf The Musical) June 25-27, Jeffry Denman (White Christmas) and David Lamoureux(An American in Paris)July 23-25, F. Michael Haynie (Hunchback of Notre Dame)July 30-August 1, Alysha Umphress (Smokey Joe’s Cafe) and Jeff Blumenkrantz  (Broadway’s Bright Star) 6-8, NicoleVanessa Ortiz August (Smokey Joe’s Cafe)13-15, Kyle Taylor Parker (Kinky Boots) August 20-22, Lindsay Roberts (Ragtime)September 10-12, Jonathan Mousset Alonso (JerseyBoys) and Vince Di Mura September 17-19, and Graham Scott Fleming (Kinky Boots)September 24-26. 

With seats limited to 100 per performance, tickets will run out fast. Last years series sold out within days. Cabaret performances are On Sale Now at ogunquitplayhouse.org and through the Box Office phone lines at 207.646.5511. Seating is by table, priced as $140 for a table of two, and $280 for a table of four, limited to 100 patrons per performance. Pricing includes one complimentary drink per person.

This will be a very exciting summer in Ogunquit led by the very talented performers and staff at the Ogunquit Playhouse. You don’t want to miss out.

2021 Ogunquit Playhouse 2021 Season Announced!

The Show Will Go On

In Ogunquit!

The pandemic put a serious damper on live theatre, and last year the Ogunquit Playhouse was limited to just a few cabaret style outdoor events. Things were up in the air for this year, but the show will go on. The team at the Playhouse have worked hard to come up with a way to stage productions in a safe environment. They have been as creative with providing a new setting as they are with their stage work. It looks to be an exiting year in Ogunquit. 

Bradford T. Kenney, Executive Artistic Director stated, “When it became obvious we couldn’t produce shows indoors this year, the creative wheels began turning on how we could deliver that legendary Ogunquit Playhouse magic in an entirely new way”. Rising from the grounds of the South lawn on the campus this April is The Playhouse Pavilion, a 25,000 square foot, fully covered, open air venue designed to give audiences the greatest theatrical experience in the safest of environments. Fully wired for lights and sound, the 75 foot wide stage will dazzle socially distanced audiences seated in pods of two seats with clear sight lines for all the show stopping glitz and side-splitting laughter they’ve been without for the past year.

The 2021 Season kicks off with Spamalot,  which returns in a new 90-minute, no-intermission extravaganza. From the comedic brilliance of the mighty Pythons and their hysterically inaccurate retelling of King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail, Eric Idle adapts his original Broadway script to streamline the music and laughter for a COVID-friendly environment. Spamalot will run June 16 through July 10.

Next up will be the regional premiere of Escape To Margaritaville. You’ll be dining on cheeseburgers in paradise and wasting away with this 90-minute no intermission journey through the music of the incomparable Jimmy Buffett. Kick off your flip flops for seven weeks from July 14 through August 28, as Maine’s Seacoast is transformed into a Caribbean paradise where love and laughter are the keys to growing older without growing up.

Act Three of the season will run from September 1 through October 2 with The Pavilion stage transforming into a quaint New England seacoast village for the World Premiere of Mystic Pizza, the beloved 1980s MGM romantic comedy that launched the career of Julia Roberts. Three girlfriends navigating life, love, and coming-of-age in a working class seaside pizza joint. This pizza is topped with the hits of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Bringing the curtain down on the season’s Pavilion stage spectacular will a new 90-minute, no intermission, side-splitting version of Young Frankenstein! Mel Brooks and Susan Stroman scared the pants off Broadway giving his 1974 cult classic creature new life on stage as a mind-blowing tap dancing monster of an experience. The creepy and kooky family will run from October 6 through, fittingly, Halloween!

While audience members are not being required to provide their proof of vaccination, Ogunquit Playhouse encourages all patrons and guests to get vaccinated for their own safety and the safety of those around them. They are also making it clear that everyone on campus — staff, artists, and patrons alike — adhere to current State and Federal CDC guidelines for social distancing. Masks will be required at all times, except when eating and drinking. Masks will be provided to those who arrive without one. And patron traffic flow will be managed to ensure the safest, most efficient arrival and departure from the campus.

It’s important to keep in mind that seating in The Pavilion is limited, so it would be wise to purchase tickets and subscriptions early. Playhouse Members will receive a week of pre-sales beginning April 19 at 10AM ET. With an annual Membership of $100 or more, you too can get a fast pass to the front of the line! General Public sales begin April 26 online at ogunquitplayhouse.org and by phone at 207.646.5511.

Knowing this Season will be completely different from what Playhouse audiences are used to, all patrons are encouraged to share their questions and concerns by filling out the comments form at https://bit.ly/3snypuR. While it is not possible to address each inquiry individually,  responses will be shared on the Playhouse Facebook page and in the weekly eNews.

For the latest information on the 2021 Season, please visit http://ogunquitplayhouse.org/ or email mstailey [at] ogunquitplayhouse [dot] org

Jack Palance: In The Ring, On The Stage

Jack Palance 

Fought Professionally 

Played In Requiem For A Heavyweight

Took On Joe Baski

By Bobby Franklin

If looks could win fights Jack Palance would have been heavyweight champion of the world. His face appeared as if it were cut out of stone and he had the persona to go with it. While well liked, he was known as someone who didn’t pull his punches, figuratively or literally. At 6’3”’ and 200 pounds, he was built lean and hard and was an imposing figure.

He was born Volodymir Ivanovich Palahniuk on February 18, 1919 in Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania to Ukrainian immigrants. At an early age he decided he didn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps working as a coal miner. After 39 years working in the mines his father died of black lung disease. As a young man it bothered him that his mother was forced to buy groceries at the company store when the same goods could be had for cheaper in nearby establishments. 

A natural athlete, Jack earned a football scholarship to the University of North Carolina but dropped out after two years. It was then that he decided to take up boxing. He fought under the name of Jack Brazzo and reportedly won his first 15 fights with 12 coming by way of knockout. I was unable to verify this record, but it is a fact that he took on future heavyweight contender Joe Baski in 1938 losing a four round decision. It was after the Baski loss that Palance left boxing for a career in acting. He later recalled, ”…Then I thought, ‘You must be nuts to get your head beat in for $200.’ The theater seemed a lot more appealing…”.

His career was sidetracked by WWII. He was seriously injured when bailing out of a B-24 Liberator that had caught fire. He required facial surgery for wounds he received. When later asked if the plastic surgery had enhanced his looks he responded “If it is a ‘bionic face,’ why didn’t they do a better job of it?” After the war he returned home and to the coal mines. He then enrolled at Stanford University where he earned a degree in journalism. He worked for a time as a sportswriter while resuming his acting career having now changed his name to Jack Palance.

In 1956 he got to put his boxing experience to work when he starred in the Playhouse 90 production of Requiem For A Heavyweight. Most people remember the movie version that had Anthony Quinn in the leading role. With a screenplay written by Rod Serling, another former boxer, the Playhouse 90 performance was aired live on television on October 11th of that year. Co- starring Ed and Keenan Wynn along with Kim Hunter, this version is different from the big screen production.

 

The character Quinn played was named Mountain Rivera, while Palance’s was Mountain McClintock. Palance brought a more nuanced tact to the role of the over the hill boxer who now had to find his way in the world outside of the ring. His experience as a boxer certainly aided in his being able to dig more deeply into the role. The two versions show the fighter suffering from pugilistica dementia, while also struggling with his loyalty to his manager who wants him to continue boxing even after being warned by a doctor that one more fight could kill him. It’s a touching and tragic story enhanced by the grim fact it is something that happens time and again in boxing.

While aired live, the performance was saved on film and is available on Amazon and Youtube. I highly recommend it both for the outstanding acting done by Palance and the hard-hitting screenplay by Serling. While the big screen version is an excellent movie, Quinn’s Rivera tends too much to the pathetic side and sinks into caricature while Palance’s McClintock has a depth and realism that makes for a very moving performance. While Quinn’s character remains under the spell of his manager, Palance’s McClintock struggles to break away in a pursuit to regain his self-respect. Palance brings complexity to the role, for which he won an Emmy. It is interesting to watch the two versions and compare them.

Palance went on to have a legendary career in film, while never feeling at home with the Hollywood crowd. A life long vegetarian and health fanatic he stayed fit all of his life. In 1991 while accepting the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Curley in City Slickers he brought the audience to its feet when at age 73 he dropped to the floor and did one armed pushups. 

I wish more information was available about his boxing career, but there is no doubt that any of his opponents would have felt at least a brief chill when looking across the ring at Jack Palance.

While a genuine tough guy, Jack liked to spend his free time painting and writing poetry and fiction. On November 10, 2006 Jack Palance passed away at the age of 87 of natural causes. A true original, he will never be forgotten. 

Ogunquit Playhouse Re-Opens with an Exclusive Open Air Playhouse Patio Cabaret Series, Welcoming Back Ten of Broadway’s Finest Voices! 

The Summer lives on for Ogunquit Playhouse, as we re-open our immaculate grounds for a limited seating, COVID-safe, open air Playhouse Patio Cabaret featuring some of Broadway’s finest alumni vocal talents from our most popular shows including Jersey Boys, Million Dollar Quartet, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Kinky Boots, and more! This 10-week series offers 50 patrons the opportunity to enjoy music they’ve come to know and love, in an idyllic setting, escaping the stress of today’s world, if only for an hour. Beginning August 7 and running through October 11, each week will feature four performances (Friday 7:30PM, Saturday 4:00 and 7:30PM, Sunday 1:00PM) from Broadway and veteran Playhouse performers, sharing music and memories in an intimate cabaret environment. 

Opening the Playhouse Patio Cabaret August 7 through 9 is Nat Zegree (Jerry Lee Lewis in 2015 and 2016’s Million Dollar Quartet) whose energetic stylings from over, under, and behind the piano have become legendary. August 14 through 16 welcomes back Eddie Clendening (Elvis in 2017’s Heartbreak Hotel, and the original Elvis in Broadway’s Million Dollar Quartet) and his passion for classic Rockabilly music with a powerful tribute to The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. August 21 through 23 brings home fan favorite Jonathan Mousset Alonso (Frankie Valli in 2018 and 2019’s Jersey Boys) for a musical celebration of The Four Seasons and America’s greatest composers. We round out the month from August 28 through 30 with the velvet vocal stylings of Kyle Taylor Parker (Lola in 2019’s Kinky Boots, the Off-Broadway transfer of Smokey Joe’s Cafe), whose evening of pop, soul, and Broadway standards is par excellence. 

The weekend of September 4 through 6 features Maine native Scott Moreau (Johnny Cash in 2015 and 2016’s Million Dollar Quartet) with an evening of music honoring the legendary Man in Black. September 11 through 13 celebrates the return of Carter Calvert (Patsy Cline in 2012’s Always… Patsy Cline and original Broadway cast of It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues), whose stories and songs are woven into a captivating and endearing evening of Patsy Cline’s music. September 18 through 20 welcomes home Kurt Jenkins (Buddy Holly in 2012 and 2013’s Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story) whose light-hearted musical revue features the best songs from the early days of Country, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Rhythm & Blues. And the month wraps up with Andy Christopher (Bob Gaudio in 2018 and 2019’s Jersey Boys) sharing his take on the music of Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, The Beatles, and more, from September 25 through 27. 

Matt Magnusson (Tommy DeVito in 2018 and 2019’s Jersey Boys) ushers in the month from October 2 through 4, with a mix of music theatre-goers love, as only he can deliver it. And we close out the series October 9 through 11 with the energy and passion of Jelani Remy (2018’s Smokey Joe’s Cafe and the Off-Broadway transfer, and on Broadway as Eddie Kendricks in Ain’t Too Proud), whose shining star delivers a feast of pop and musical theatre standards as a love letter to Broadway. 

With 16 tables spaced eight feet apart, all more than 14 feet from our new Playhouse Patio Cabaret stage, patrons will be able to enjoy a socially distanced evening with access to cashless concessions, frequently cleaned and handicapped accessible restrooms, and a hand washing station. Masks will be required to enter and exit the grounds, as well as while traveling between seating and other areas of the property. Masks will be made available for those who do not bring one. The Playhouse staff is going above and beyond to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all our guests and performers. 

Playhouse Patio Cabaret seating goes on sale Monday, August 3 at 10:00AM both online at ogunquitplayhouse.org and through our Box Office at 207.646.5511. Seating is by table, priced as $118 for a table of two, and $236 for a table of four, limited to 50 patrons per performance. Ticket price includes one drink per person. In the case of a cancellation for inclement weather, every attempt will be made to reschedule the performance for Sunday at 4:00PM or 7:30PM that same weekend. Given the unique circumstances of this exclusive event, there will be no refunds or exchanges. For more details please visit our website or reach out to the Box Office staff via email at boxoffice [at] ogunquitplayhouse [dot] org 

As always, your support of Ogunquit Playhouse during this challenging time is most greatly appreciated. If you cannot attend the Playhouse Patio Cabaret series and would like to make a donation to our Save the Playhouse campaign, please visit https://tickets.ogunquitplayhouse.org/donate/contribute.

Ogunquit Playhouse to Launch On-Line Education Programs and Youth Programming Camps for 2020

Ogunquit Playhouse is expanding its educational offerings to include a new On-Line Academy with programs beginning Monday, July 27. The On-Line Academy will be part of the recently developed Ogunquit Playhouse Arts Colony – an homage to Playhouse founder Walter Hartwig, who created the education-based Manhattan Theatre Colony, that was dedicated to teaching all aspects of theatre. The Arts Colony operates with the belief that theatre is a profound tool for students to exercise their imagination, and to discover their innate skill set. The Ogunquit Playhouse education programs strive to create new opportunities for students’ success, to increase self-confidence, teach goal orientation and professional etiquette, strengthen collaborative skills, improve listening skills, and prepare students to perform at personal best standards. As students assimilate to learning and performing via an on-line platform, they in turn build confidence and develop new skills. Parents are invited to view student’s streamed performances.

For 2020, the On-Line Academy has been created to connect with students when in-person programs are on pause. The new education programs kick off Monday, July 27 and include offerings for students ages 5 through adult. Professional teaching artists from the Ogunquit Playhouse stage, Broadway, National Tours, and leading Regional Theatres lead each program, which are designed for small groups. In addition, each student will have the opportunity to sign up for sessions that include only one to three people. 

Ogunquit Playhouse On-Line Academy programs enrollment begins on Thursday, July 16, and continues Monday – Friday, 10AM to 4PM. To register call 207-646-5511. There is a limited class size, and all classes are subject to cancellation if registrations do not meet a minimum of six students ages 5 to 7, and twelve students ages 16 and up. Each program incurs a $10 non-refundable registration fee. For more information email registration [at] ogunquitplayhouse [dot] org or visit: www.ogunquitplayhouse.org.

Ages 5 to 7 – Two-day on-line camps are geared to engage our younger students in various activities using theatre techniques and household items. Students will meet from 9 to 10AM on Monday and Wednesday via ZOOM. Parents or guardians are encouraged to participate with their child in these fun and innovative sessions. Drama Games: Jul 27 and 29; Build-A-Prop: Aug 3 and 5; Arts & Crafts for the Stage: Aug 10 and 12; Musical Scavenger Hunt: Aug 17 and 20. Each session is $75 per child.

Ages 8 to 12 – One-week, on-line camps include musicals written especially for on-line programming and specifically chosen and designed to be performed via ZOOM. The Broadway Experience includes programming and songs specifically chosen from some of Broadway’s most popular shows The small classes allow students individual attention and a chance to work one on one with instructors. Streaming of the final performances will be available for a small donation to parents, families and friends who wish to experience the culmination of the students’ work. Super Happy Awesome News: Jul 27 to 31; The Show Must Go On Line: Aug 3 to 7; The Broadway Experience – #1: Aug 10 to 14; The Broadway Experience – #2: Aug 17 to 21. Sessions run Monday through Friday from 9AM to Noon. Each session is $225 per student.

Ages 13 to 18 – The Broadway Experience one-week on-line camps include programming and songs specifically chosen from some of Broadway’s most popular shows and designed to be performed via ZOOM. The small classes allow students individual attention and a chance to work one on one with instructors. Streaming of the final performance will be available for a small donation to parents, families and friends who wish to experience the culmination of the students’ work. The Broadway Experience – #1:  Jul 27 to 31; The Broadway Experience – #2:  Aug 3 to 7; The Broadway Experience – #3: Aug 10 to 14; The Broadway Experience – #4: Aug 17 to 21. Sessions run Monday through Friday from 9AM to Noon. Each session is $225 per student.

Ages 16 and UpPerformance Workshop Tuesdays and Wednesdays meet via ZOOM twice a week for 90 minutes over 3 weeks. Each Workshop is taught by professional teaching artists and designed to be a unique and exciting learning experience intended to stretch each participant’s knowledge and talent. All levels are welcome and encouraged to take both Tuesday and Wednesday sessions if preferred. No experience is necessary to participate in these classes. Tuesday Session #1: Jul 28, Aug 4, 11. Tuesday Session #2: Aug 18, 25, Sep 1. Wednesday Session #1: Jul 29, Aug 5, 12. Wednesday Session #2: Aug 19, 26, Sep 2. Sessions run from 4 to 5:30PM. Each session is $150 per person. 

Ages 16 and Up – Broadway Guest Star Workshops meet twice a week via ZOOM for 90 minutes. Each Workshop will be taught by a professional Broadway artist. This unique and exciting program is designed to stretch each participant’s knowledge and talent. No experience is necessary and all are welcome. Thursday Sessions: Jul 30, Aug 6, 13, 20. Sessions run from 11AM to 12:30PM. Each session is $75 per person. 

Ogunquit Playhouse 1954

Ogunquit Playhouse 2020 season has been cancelled due to the COVID19 pandemic. It will focus on reimagining the season to carry on its mission and fundraising efforts to ensure the financial viability of the historic non-profit theatre. Public support is crucial during this global health and economic crisis. For more information on how to contribute and to stay connected during this year, visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org

About Ogunquit Playhouse:
Ogunquit Playhouse, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization listed on the National Historic Register. Its mission is to produce world-class performances, and new works, and preserve the historic playhouse for future generations. Follow Ogunquit Playhouse on Twitter (@OgunquitPH) and on Facebook (facebook.com/OgunquitPlayhouse) for behind-the-scenes info, photos and fun throughout the season. For more information visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org

Ogunquit Playhouse Congratulates Wells and Ogunquit High School Graduates

Ogunquit Playhouse staff members welcomed and cheered the 2020 Wells and Ogunquit high school graduates as they made their way past the historic theatre in a 131 car parade on Sunday, June 7, 2020. Each June, Ogunquit Playhouse hosts the Wells High School Convocation at the theatre, where students spend a day preparing for the ceremony under the guidance of faculty and the Playhouse technical crew. Later in the day, families come to watch the students perform, sing songs and deliver messages of inspiration and hope. Traditionally, as part of the ceremony, Ogunquit Playhouse gives each student a voucher to return to the Playhouse to enjoy a show.

This year, due to the pandemic, all such activities were cancelled. But, this did not dampen the spirits of the students or the enthusiasm of the Playhouse staff! Each student received a voucher to use in the future, when the Playhouse is once again open. While the stage was not an option for celebration this year, a lively parade around the front of the theatre made up of smiling, happy and proud students brightened the day!

“Each year it is an honor to welcome all of the Wells and Ogunquit graduating students to Ogunquit Playhouse, to celebrate their great achievements and to wish them well in their future endeavors. One of our top priorities is to provide opportunities for young people to connect to the arts, and theatre in particular, to broaden their perspectives and instill an awareness that will carry with them all their lives,” stated Executive Artistic Director, Bradford Kenney. “While this year broke with tradition, we hope the wonderful memories that were made instead, will be as cherished. We look forward to the day when we can welcome these young graduates into our beloved Playhouse to enjoy a show, but for today, our heartfelt congratulations and all best wishes to the 2020 Wells and Ogunquit graduating class!”

Ogunquit Playhouse will focus on reimagining the 2020 season to carry on its mission and fundraising efforts to ensure the financial viability of the historic non-profit theatre. Public support is crucial in this time of global health and economic crisis. For more information on how to contribute and to stay connected during the coming year, visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org

SPEAKEASY ANNOUNCES TWO NEW  FREE VIRTUAL AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVES

When You Can’t Go To The Theatre, The Theatre Comes To You

A play discussion group focused on contemporary female voices and a weekly Q&A with the artists of SpeakEasy’s 30th Anniversary Season are the two new audience engagement initiatives set to debut at SpeakEasy Stage next week.  

All events comprising both these initiatives are free and open to the public.  

To sign-up for any of these discussions, or for more information, the public is invited to contact SpeakEasy Community Programs Manager Alex Lonati at alexlonati [at] speakeasystage [dot] com

First up, beginning Wednesday, May 20 at 5PM, is a five-week half-hour series offering an insider’s guide to the five shows making up SpeakEasy’s 2020-2021 Season, which is also the company’s 30th Anniversary year.

SpeakEasy Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault and Community Programs Manager Alex Lonati will be the hosts for lively discussions with the key artists associated with each upcoming show.

The schedule of shows and artists is as follows:

Once On This Island – Wednesday, May 20, 5:00-5:30pm

Artists present: Director Pascale Florestal, Music Director David Freeman Coleman

People, Places & Things – Wednesday, May 27, 5:00-5:30pm

Artists present: Director David R. Gammons, Actress Marianna Bassham, Actor John Kuntz


Slave Play – Wednesday, June 3, 5:00-5:30pm

Artist present: Director Tiffany Nichole Greene

Bright Star – Wednesday, June 10, 5:00-5:30pm

Artists present: Director Paul Daigneault, Actress Laura Marie Duncan, 

Choreographer Misha Shields, Music Director Eli Schildekraut

The Inheritance – Wednesday, June 17, 5:00-5:30pm

Artist present: Director Paul Daigneault

Those interested can join by tuning into SpeakEasy’s Facebook page for each live 30-minute Q&A session. In addition to learning more about each show, participants will also find out about the season selection process, production plans, and the artists’ inspiration, and also be able to ask questions.

Next, on Thursday, May 21, SpeakEasy Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault and Community Programs Manager Alex Lonati will kick off SpeakEasy’s Play Discussion group, which will focus on the works of four contemporary female playwrights, and which will, for at least three of the four sessions, have the writers join in the conversation.

The first installment will feature a chat with Mr. Daigneault and Ms. Lonati, who will offer tips to participants on how to read a play.

After that introduction, the group will focus on the following four plays:

  • Cost of Living by Martyna Majok – Thursday, May 28 from 5:30 – 6:30pm
  • Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee – Thursday, June 4 from 5:30 – 6:30pm
  • DIASPORA! by Phaedra Michelle Scott, developed through SpeakEasy’s The Boston Project Thursday, June 11 from 5:30 – 6:30 

Wild Goose Dreams by Hansol Jung – Thursday, June 18 from 5:30 – 6:30pm

Martyna Majok, who won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Cost of Living; Phaedra Michelle Scott, author of DIASPORA! ; and Hansol Jung, who wrote Wild Goose Dreams, are currently scheduled to attend the discussion of their plays. 

 All discussions will take place on Zoom, so that everyone can see those participating and share comments.

Scripts will need to be purchased in advance, which will help support the playwrights during this time when all productions are on hold.  The script for DIASPORA! will be distributed in advance for free to all participants since the play is still in development.  

 Each discussion will also be hosted by a veteran Boston actress, who will help facilitate the conversation as well as offer their perspective on the play from an acting standpoint.  At press time, that list was still being confirmed.

Individuals may sign up for as many of these discussions as they like.

Questions on either initiative may be directed to Community Programs Manager Alex Lonati at AlexLonati [at] SpeakEasyStage [dot] com.