KEENE VALLEY, NY– The Book & Blanket Players, sponsored by East Branch Friends of the Arts (EBFA), has been producing youth musicals-in-a-week summer theatre for 13 years in Keene Valley. This year the theatrical adventure continues with an original musical written by two high school students, Cooper Halloran, Olivia Marocco and Book & Blanket Players producer/director Kathleen Recchia.
The creative team has been meeting by Zoom once a week since October 2022 to develop this original musical. They began by going to the Robert Louis Stevenson source and reading the original novel. Then through lots of discussion and writing sessions between the two students in addition to the Zoom sessions all together their own plot and characters unfolded. When asked about the experience now that they have finished, Cooper, in keeping with the humor that he injected into the script answered “if you don’t like something that’s Olivia’s and Kathy’s, if you do like something, it’s mine.” While Olivia said, “It was a great experience. We learned a lot.” Recchia too learned along with the students and added, “We have our own plot twists, female protagonists and music! And are excited to share the full production with our friends, family and supporters.”
The whole cast and crew are eager to bring their vision of this classic to life on Saturday, July 15 at 11;30 AM and 4:30 PM at The Keene Valley Country Club. The cast of twenty 8 to17 year old’s will spend the week prior rehearsing at Keene Central School.
The students hail from various Adirondack towns: AuSable Forks, Jay, Westport, Lake Placid and Keene. There’s even a cast member who summers in Keene but goes to school in New Jersey.
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 winning 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 co-director Annie Scavo, Rose Chancler, (Piano by Nature), Maddy Runyon, Lia Loomis, Kim Peralta, Samantha Stytzer and veteran Players actor Cal Page-Bryant.
This is the 13th 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 the original theatrical/film: “Piano Portal,” the new and improved original musical of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice” and last year’s “Little Women”.
The show is free, donations will be gratefully accepted. Reservations are required as seating is limited. Call 518-487-0041 to make a reservation for either performance or to ask about the open dress rehearsal.
EBFA and the Book & Blanket Players are grateful to Stewart’s for awarding Holiday Match funds, the Pumpkin Hill Foundation and NYSCA-A.R.T./New York Creative Opportunity Fund (A Statewide Theatre Regrant Program) to help fund this workshop and production.