The 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.
This year the theatrical 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 on the lawn at the Neighborhood House on July 17 at 1 PM and outdoors at the Holt House at Marcy Field in Keene Valley at 3 PM on July 18. The production is a new and improved original musical adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice” with lyrics by Kathleen Recchia, music by Kathleen Recchia and Sam Balzac and arrangements by Sam Balzac. The original musical is written in the style of Rodgers & Hammerstein and Lerner & Loewe.
EBFA was awarded grant funds from both 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 are excited to have the opportunity to share live theatre with the folks who live at the Neighborhood House in Keene Valley. They will be able to watch from the building as our musical unfolds on their front lawn. We will also be able to accommodate a select reserved audience at our Saturday 1 PM performance on the lawn but will have another performance at Marcy Field on Sunday at 3 PM to accommodate more numbers. Reservations are required for the Saturday performance, and it would be wise to check in about the Sunday performance as weather will play a factor.” To make reservations or inquire about a Plan B indoor option call or email Kathy at 518-708-3606; [email protected]
Youth from ages 8 to 18 will perform the original musical which has been revised since its first incarnation in 2013. The cast includes Mallory Arnold (Elizabeth Bennet), Harvey Runyon (Mr. Darcy), River Gray (Mr. Bingley), Schulyer Durant (Miss Bingley), Cooper Halloran (Mr. Wickham & Mr. Collins), Olivia Marocco (Charlotte Lucas), Zoe Hadden (Jane Bennet), Emily Glass (Mrs. Bennet and Lady Catherine), Niven Warner, (Mr. Bennet), Olive Stewart (Lydia Bennet), Sadie Burgess (Mary Bennet), Lucy Ayres (Kitty Bennet), Jianna Giovacco (Lady Lucas), and Yvetta Hofrichter(Hill).
The production team includes vocal coach-master class teacher, Alisa Endsley. Ms. Endsley is known in the Broadway community. As a leading actress, 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), Maddy Runyon, 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”. Other productions have included “1776,” “Lend Me a Tenor, the Musical,” and last year’s original theatrical/film: “Piano Portal.”
The show is free, donations will be gratefully accepted. Bring a chair and sunscreen. Call or email producer/director Kathy Recchia at 518-708-3606 or [email protected] to make a reservation for either performance.
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 with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program on the New York State Council on 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.
Photo provided- left to right: Mallory Arnold, Sadie Burgess, Schuyler Durant, Lucy Ayres, Jianna Giovacco, Zoe Hadden, Olivia Marocco, and Olive Stewart.