Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Youth summer theater returns to Keene

zoom theater sessionThe Book & Blanket Players, sponsored by East Branch Friends of the Arts (EBFA), has been producing youth musicals-in-a-week summer theatre for 11 years in Keene Valley, usually at Keene Central School.
Last summer they moved their rehearsals online (pictured here) and premiered their recorded musical as a Pop-Up Drive-In at The Bark Eater in Keene.
This year the adventure continues with an emphasis on flexibility and outdoor rehearsals and performance. The Keene Valley Library will serve as the hub and the performance will be outside at the Neighborhood House the weekend of July 17. All COVID safety precautions will be observed. The production will be a new and improved original musical adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice.”

EBFA was recently awarded grants from the Adirondack Quad-Country Decentralization Grant and the Stewarts’ Holiday Match Grant specifically for the youth theatre-in-a-week program.
Players’ producer/director Kathleen Recchia said, “We’re grateful to EBFA and the foundations that continue to support this program. We are also excited to have the opportunity to share live theatre with the folks who live at the Neighborhood House. They will be able to watch from the building as our musical unfolds on their front lawn.”
Auditions for the Summer 2021 production will be at the Keene Valley Library on May 19 at 3:15 pm.
Youth from ages 8 to 18 will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, based on registration receipt.
The workshop week and production run from July 11 to July 18 with performance(s) on the weekend. Registration is $85.00.
The production team includes vocal coach-master class teacher, Alisa Endsley. Ms. Endsley has worked with some of the biggest names on Broadway including composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Director Trevor Nunn, Tony wining actors Patti Lupone, George Hearn and Betty Buckley. Her talents have also taken her on many national tours and leading roles in London’s West End. The Book & Blanket Players are pleased to have Alisa back as part of the team. Other members of the creative team are Rose Chancler, (Piano by Nature), Dawn Klotzko, Annie Scavo, guest English Country Dancers and more.
This is the 11th year for the Players to take on the musical-in-a-week format. They began with the musical “Mirette,” followed by the first incarnation of the original musical “Road to Dannemora,” then the broadway musical “Irene.” Other productions have included “1776,” “Lend Me a Tenor, the Musical,” and last year’s original theatrical/film: “Piano Portal.”
Call or email producer/director Kathy Recchia at 518-708-3606 or bookinnjay@aol.com for more information or for a registration form.
EBFA and the Book & Blanket Players are grateful to Stewart’s for awarding Holiday Match funds and the Pumpkin Hill Foundation. This project is made possible, in part, with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program on the New York State Council of the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.

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