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Community Theater

'Six Characters in Search of an Author' opens tonight at Harvester 56

By Steve Ognibene

Press release:

The play "Six Characters in Search of an Author" opens tonight at Harvester 56 Theater.

Here's the synposis of it: “Six individuals come to a stage where a company of actors has assembled for a rehearsal. They are claiming to be the incomplete, unused creations of an author’s imagination. They demand lines for a story that will explain the details of their lives. In ensuing scenes, these 'real life characters' -- all professing to be part of an extended family -- produce a drama with disagreements, interruptions and arguments.” 

Directed by Anthony Baldwin-Giambrone 
Assistant Director: Michele Stamp
Rehearsal Assistant: Jane Burk

Two evening shows, tonight and Saturday at 7:30 and a Sunday matinee at 2 o'clock.
Tickets available online or at the box office. Adults -- $13, students and seniors $10, or to purchase online click here.

Come out and watch this fantastic depiction of the “theater of the theater” by some of our WONDERFUL actors this weekend at the Harvester 56 Theater!

PHOTOS: On Broadway at Harvester 56 Theater

By Steve Ognibene

Batavia Players just finished their third production this year directed by Anthony Giambrone. This past weekend, five performances were held at the Harvester 56 theater. Each performance had five sections of range from different types of broadway theater.  

We have a family friendly show, "Annie," that will make your heart melt when hearing the song "Tomorrow." Then we have a wild story of "Kinky Boots" where the challenge of singing modern pop music and still try to get the message across to the audience.  

"Wicked" has a reputation of being a showstopper and the cast had to live up to that. A challenge of women in "Leading Ladies" had a task of singing five different songs from five different musicals and had to find a way to make them flow together nicely.

The last section, "Hairspray," proved to be the largest section for both cast and director and it was the longest section in the show that called for the most dancing. The directing and choreographing of this show took a bit of extra time needed but was aimed to have the audience leave with smiling faces.

Batavia Players next show is "Xanadu" and runs from May 14-16th. For more upcoming events go to:

Summer Youth Theater production is the 'CATS pajamas'

By Gretel Kauffman

WHAT: Batavia Players Summer Youth Theater production of CATS

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18-20th at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Batavia High School auditorium, 260 State St., Batavia

For most musical theater productions, the actors prepare by learning their lines, listening to show tunes, and practicing choreography. However, this year's Batavia Players Summer Youth Theater production of CATS required some slightly unorthodox preparation: the 64 young people who make up the cast got into character by watching their pets.

"Since I have three cats at home, it was easy to observe their movements and their habits and to draw from that to create my character," said Maryssa Peirick, who has the role of Victoria. This is not Peirick's first time playing a feline on stage: "I played the Cat in the Hat in "Seussical the Musical," though he's a very different kind of cat, and the Cheshire Cat in "Alice in Wonderland," who actually does have catlike mannerisms."

Those cast members who live in cat-less homes, such as Batavia High senior Melzie Case, were forced to draw their inspiration from "cat lessons" and multiple viewings of the 1998 movie.

"It was rather challenging at first to act like a cat," said Case, who portrays "motherly" cat Jellyrolum. "The arm and leg movements are obviously much more different than those of humans. You also have to crawl on the ground instead of simply walking, and it's also good to scratch your 'fleas' every now and then." 

CATS, which opens tonight, is an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that is based on T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." The show first opened in the West End in 1981 and then on Broadway in 1982. Its 18-year run made it the second-longest running show in Broadway history, and it has won numerous awards, including the Laurence Olivier Award and the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Peirick, a recent Batavia High grad who is headed to Fredonia in the fall to major in vocal performance, said she was not immediately thrilled when she heard CATS had been chosen as the summer show despite its popularity.

"Initially I was completely repelled by it, but as auditions neared and I watched more, I became slowly interested in the characters, who seem to have quite extensive back stories -- even if not all of them are known," she said. "Though it is seriously lacking in plot, it makes up for it in creativity and visual entertainment, so there really is no such thing as a boring moment."

Director Pat Burk said he chose the show because of its uniqueness.

"It is a dream show that needs to be done correctly in order to be effective on stage," he explained. "It also allows for a large cast and you can do a tremendous amount with dance and music because it is an all-dance, all-music show. It is more like a modern opera."

The extensive dancing could easily have been a problem, but the young actors handled it like pros.

"It's so different from conventional theater, and because we're a community theater youth production, we simply don't have professional dancers to fill up the stage," Peirick said. "However, long hours of intense dance rehearsals have caused everyone to really come together and make the choreography come to life. I'm constantly impressed with my fellow cast members' progress."

Burk says he has been very impressed with the young actors' hard work and character interpretations, and is confident that the production will be a success.

"Judging from pre-sale tickets, which are more than double of last year's show, it will be well-received. The dress rehearsal went extremely well and it is quite a magical show."

The only downside to the experience?

"Now that we've been acting like cats for so long, we're starting to act like cats in real life!" Case said.

Tickets for CATS can be purchased online at or by calling 1-866-967-8167.

Arts scene blossoming in Batavia

By Daniel Crofts

March was Arts Month and it was a busy one. Here are some snapshots of Harvester Center activities, as well as arts-related activities elsewhere in Batavia.

The Batavia Players' production of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" (Friday, March 18)

Garrison Starr performance at the Harvester 56 Theater (Thursday, March 31)

Photos submitted by Loren Penman

Starr (pictured with a wool cap) socializes during the champagne reception.

OATKA School of Glass

Photos submitted by Amanda Taylor

People learn how to manipulate glass in a kiln with the help of instructor Lance Taylor (left).

A guest instructor shows people how it's done.

A sample of a student's work.

Leadership Genesee members try their hands at glass art.

For previous coverage, see OATKA School of Glass one of Batavia's best-kept secrets.

"Anything Goes: Books and More"

Proprietor Mary Holmes showed me the above space, which she acquired this past month and which will be used for auctions, craft shows, etc.

For previous coverage of "Anything Goes," click on the following links:

Batavia siblings make a good team selling 'books and more'

Local woman opens retail store in Harvester Center

Coming Soon -- The "Moon Java Café"

(Sorry about the glare.) This is the sign for "Moon Java Café," which will be opening soon in the Harvester Center.


Student artwork display -- Richmond Memorial Library Gallery Room

The following are samples of art from Batavia students in grades K-12.

'Music in Our Schools' concert at Batavia High School (Thursday, March 31)

These songs are arranged in the order presented on Thursday night. My apologies -- it was hard to get good pictures from where I was sitting at some points.

Fast facts: Batavia Players' new theater

By Daniel Crofts

Some of our readers had questions after reading Thursday's, "Opening gala showcases Batavia players' new theater on Harvester."

Here's some more information:

  • Seating/Capacity: The new theater seats between 100-140 people.
  • Ticket prices: These will vary depending on the show. The first play to be performed in the Harvester location will be an Honesty Theatre performance (click here for more information on this group) on Jan. 22; admission will be $10 per adult, $8 for children and seniors.
  • Theater hours: At this time, according to Batavia Players' Board President Patrick Burk, the space is only open for rehearsals and performances. Burk hopes, eventually, to have people working there "around the clock" on various projects. 
  • To read more about the new theater space, visit

Opening gala showcases Batavia Players' new theater on Harvester

By Daniel Crofts

(Please note additional information added on Jan. 10 below the story and pictures.)

Ever since he was a 10-year-old boy putting on plays with his friends in the basement of a church -- with no audience but themselves -- Patrick Burk dreamed of having his own theater.

"I asked my grandpa for $500 to set up a theater in Mumford," Burk said. "Because for some reason I thought that was how much it would cost."

Grandpa said no, so he had to wait 44 years.

Fast forward to the present day: Burk is board president for the Batavia Players, which are 95 percent finished establishing their new theater in the historic Batavia Industrial Center on Harvester Avenue (see last year's story for background information).

An opening gala was held at the new theater last night. Attendees got to tour the grounds, listen to some music, and enjoy some refreshments. 

Burk is pictured above, addressing those in attendance from the stage of the three-quarter round theater. He said that while there is still work to be done, "we did pass inspection (which is a big deal in Batavia)."

This met with laughter and applause.

The following are pictures of the new theater space, including the black-box stage, the costume storage room, meeting room (where actors can gather to rehearse) and refreshment room.

There is also a box office at the front of the building.

By all accounts, this was (and still is) a labor of love. A total of roughly 30 volunteers spent, according to Burk, "literally hundreds of hours" -- sometimes working from 8 a.m. until midnight -- to convert this industrial space into what it is now.

Just to give you an idea of how much work was required in this endeavor, here are a couple pictures of a part of the building resembling what the space looked like before:

The first performance set to take place at the new theater is "Love Lines," a play that Burk wrote himself. 

"It consists of a series of vignettes dealing with how different people have experienced falling in love," Burk said.

Characters range from Nancy Reagan to Burk's own parents, and from couples who write love letters to one another for years to couple's who don't even know one another until they've gotten married.

Performances are set for Feb. 11-14.

"Love Lines" will be followed by:

  • Shakespeare's "The Tempest," set to be performed March 17-19
  • "Rent," May 19-21
  • "On Broadway" -- featuring music from "The Lion King," "Aida," "Sweeney Todd" and "Spring Awakenings" -- June 23-25
  • "Cats" Aug. 18-20
  • "Three from Tennessee" Sept. 15-17
  • Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" Dec. 14-16.

APPENDIX: The Artisan Center

The new theater is part of Harvester's Artisan Center, which is home to others with similarly artistic interests. Some of them were at the gala last night, including:

Susan Meir, of Susan Meier Photography

Colin Dentino, of En Garde Fencing.

(UPDATE Jan. 10): Some of our readers had questions after reading Thursday's, "Opening gala showcases Batavia players' new theater on Harvester."

Here's some more information:

  • Seating/Capacity: The new theater seats between 100-140 people.
  • Ticket prices: These will vary depending on the show. The first play to be performed in the Harvester location will be an Honesty Theatre performance (click here for more information on this group) on Jan. 22; admission will be $10 per adult, $8 for children and seniors.
  • Theater hours: At this time, according to Batavia Players' Board President Patrick Burk, the space is only open for rehearsals and performances. Burk hopes, eventually, to have people working there "around the clock" on various projects. 
  • To read more about the new theater space, visit

State group celebrates community theater with festival at GCC

By Billie Owens

The Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College has announced the return of the Theatrical Association of New York State – TANYS Festival, the weekend of Nov. 19 – 21. This is the third year in a row that TANYS will be hosted by the college.

The TANYS Festival theme is "Our Thanks to Broadway" -- an intense, three-day celebration of community theater. The festival brings together theater lovers statewide to mingle, network and make new friends.

A presentation of at least eight award-winning productions will take place, with the highly qualified Festival Adjudicator Steven Willis judging. In addition, several new workshops are scheduled in acting, directing, scene design, wireless mics and the return of some favorites, such as stage combat, auditioning and makeup.

Community residents are urged to join in the festival and discover the "theater" at the Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee Community College – a state-of-the-art facility!

"We once again welcome the TANYS festival back to Genesee Community College," said Maryanne Arena, director of Fine and Performing Arts at Genesee. "This is such a wonderful event for students and local theater-enthusiasts to watch performances and participate in educational acting workshops.

"Some of the best community theater actors from the across the state will be in attendance to 'wow' local audiences."

For complete details, registration and ticket on the TANYS Festival visit the website at <>, deadline for workshop registration is Nov. 15.

The Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office will be open during the festival days only, Nov. 19 to 21, contact phone number (585) 345-6814.

Les Mis cast buzz - hear about their experiences, rehearsals - And why YOU should see the show!

By Leah Stacy

Trevor Lee | Age 16 | Junior at Batavia High School

His role: Thenardier

"Les Miserables has been an phenomenal experience and I can confidently say that others share the same sentiments. I have met some many wonderful new people and I am enthralled to have shared this experience with everyone.

Les Miserables is a very profound and heart wrenching show, but despite all of the strife, there are glimpses of comedy which my character and his "charming" wife provide. Every cast member has something to bring to the stage, allowing our production to really shine."

Alex Black| Age 18 | Nursing major at SUNY Brockport

His role: Javert 

"Rehearsals are fun because we MAKE them fun. Lynda (Hodgins) is a great director and likes to get things done and get down to business, but us kids like to loosen her up. The good thing about the cast is we usually know when to get serious and when to mess around. Either way, rehearsals always turn into a fun time with friends. 

People should come to this show because even though it is set in a time much earlier than 2010 it is still very relatable to most audiences. What I personally love about this show is how emotionally attached everyone gets to the characters. 

You can't help but feel bad, sorry, a whole spectrum of emotions for each individual character. It makes for quite the heart wrenching performance but thats what people look for in a show. Even a cold hearted audience member could shed a tear watching Les Mis."

Sydney Alexis | Age 17 | Senior at Notre Dame High School, Batavia

Her role: Factory girl/ensemble

"Rehearsals are great. After a long, irritating day at school they're just what I need. I get to actually be somewhere with people who share the same interests as me and who don't judge. My favourite part of the whole thing has got to be the process of thinking up and the making of a big secret surprise that won't be revealed until Halloween night! I can't say much more... Stay tuned!

Les Miserables is, without a doubt, power in musical form. The show is filled with tough, painful lessons on love, revenge, failure and hope. There is a lot to get from the story and everyone will leave with a piece of it- from a song in their heart to a tear on their cheek. You're going to learn something from this show. And I guarantee you're going to love it."

Jake Bortle | Age 17 | Senior at Leroy Jr./Sr. High School 

His role: Jean Valjean

"Above all, rehearsals have been extremely rewarding. Watching the show come together even in the past few days really puts my dreams into reality. I have always wanted to play this role and having it finally come true, and with such a talented cast, really makes everything worth while. 

My favorite experience in the show would have to be my favorite song, 'The Confrontation.' I love singing this song with Alex (Black, who plays Javert). Being onstage with sets, costumes, hair, and make-up, this scene really intensifies. Every single time we sing it, it gets more and more intense. 

But to keep this short, people should come see the show because it's awesome. But really, the talent in this cast is something you would not expect from people our age. Every single person is putting all they can into the show, and it really shows. The quality of this show really is fantastic and will blow anyone out of their chairs."

For more info, including ticket prices and show dates, on Les Miserables School Edition, click here or become a fan Encore! Theatre Arts on Facebook by clicking here.

More photos from "The Importance of Being Earnest"

By Rachel Oshlag

Here are some more photos from Batavia Players' "The Importance of Being Earnest", directed by Justin Soble.  All photos were taken by Mr. Don Fryling. 

Show dates are this Thursday, May 20th, Friday, May 21st, and Saturday, May 22nd at 7:30 PM.  The show will be at John Kennedy (166 Vine Street) and tickets are $10 (Students and Seniors are $8).

Backstage photos....

 Bill Moon (Lane)

  Katelyn Rogers (Gwendolen Fairfax)

Rebecca Oshlag (Lady Bracknell)

 Alex Balbi (Merriman)

 Alex Balbi (Merriman), Kevin Partridge (Reverend Chasuble), Charles Smith (John Worthing), Matthew Smith (Algernon Moncrieff)

 Rachel Oshlag (Cecily Cardew)

And on stage photos....

 Rebecca Oshlag (Lady Bracknell)

Alex Balbi (Merriman)

Charles Smith (John Worthing), Katelyn Rogers (Gwendolen Fairfax)

 Deanna Spiotta (Miss Prism), Kevin Partridge (Reverend Chasuble)

 Rachel Oshlag (Cecily Cardew)

 Rachel Oshlag (Cecily Cardew), Matthew Smith (Algernon Moncrieff)

Bill Moon (Lane)

Rehearsal Pictures from "The Importance of Being Earnest"

By Rachel Oshlag

I wanted to share some rehearsal photos from Batavia Players "The Importance of Being Earnest"!  The show is this Thursday, May 20th, Friday, May 21st, and Saturday, May 22nd at 7:30 PM.  The show will be at John Kennedy and tickets are $10 (Students and Seniors are $8).  The show is directed by Justin Soble and assistant directed by Michele Stamp.  It features a cast of nine.


Charles Smith (John Worthing), Katelyn Rogers (Gwendolen Fairfax), Alex Balbi (Merriman)

Bill Moon (Lane)


Kevin Partridge (Reverend Chasuble), Deanna Spiotta (Miss Prism)


Deanna Spiotta (Miss Prism), Rebecca Oshlag (Lady Bracknell)



Matthew Smith (Algernon Moncrieff), Rachel Oshlag (Cecily Cardew), Charles Smith (John Worthing)


GCC to hold open auditions for 'Chicago' and 'Anansi the Spider'

By Billie Owens

The Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College is holding open auditions for two musicals, scheduled for the spring of 2010.

Auditions for "Chicago" and children's theater "Anansi the Spider and the Middle Passage" are scheduled at 6 p.m. for Monday, Dec. 14 and Tuesday, Dec. 15 in the Stuart Steiner Theatre at the Batavia Campus. These auditions are open to the public and all ages and types of actors are welcome.

Event Date and Time

'Cinderella' off to a good start

By Gretel Kauffman

Last night, young and old alike (some dressed in costumes) enjoyed the opening of "Cinderella," the Rotary Club's 61st musical production. The enthusiastic crowd was enchanted by the tale of the evil stepfamily, handsome prince and pumpkins-turned-carriage, directed ably by Patrick Burk. 

The show opened with ballet-style dancers, a theme that continued througout the show. Paul Spiotta, as the Herald, had the first musical number, his talents setting the bar high for the rest of the show as he proclaimed that "the prince is having a ball." Fortunately, the rest of the show reached the bar easily.

The evil stepmother and stepsisters, portrayed by Jane Burk, Deanna Spiotta and Caryn Burk, entertained everyone with their bickering and over-the-top antics. Whiny, glum Joy and giggling airhead Portia were audience favorites.  

Esteemed Rotary vet Cheryl Maier was the perfect Fairy Godmother, returning to the stage for her ninth Rotary show. Alex Balbi, Shawnie Woeller and Eric Waples also had solid performances as the King, Queen and Prince, providing both comic relief and some sweet romantic moments. 

Rachel Oshlag was a lovely Cinderella, emulating charm and sweetness in her first singing role since her school days.

"I've known Rachel since she was in high school," audience member Patty Pacino told me, "and she is Cinderella." 

"We are very proud of her, and the rest of the cast," her father, Jeff Oshlag, said.

All in all, "Cinderella" makes for an enjoyable evening for the whole family. All of the audience members I spoke to had positive things to say about the show.

"I think this is very enjoyable," said Don Fryling. "It's very entertaining."

Pacino agreed with him:  "I've seen this show before. This one is even more charming. I never knew my dentist could juggle. And I'd never seen Paul Spiotta in tights."

There are three performances remaining: tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 2.

'Cinderella' will delight young and old starting Thursday night

By Billie Owens

The perenially popular fairy tale of "Cinderella" comes to life beginning 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the opening of the 61st annual Rotary Club of Batavia Musical.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic will also be performed Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 and there's a matinee at 2 on Sunday, Nov. 8.

The production is directed by Patrick D. Burk and takes place in the Batavia High School Auditorium, located at 260 State St., in the City of Batavia.

Tickets are $16, available online at <bataviarotary dot com> or at Hawley & Associates Insurance Center, 260 State St. in downtown Batavia, Lawley Genesee in Jefferson Square, or at the door.

More than 40 friends, students, associates, neighbors, citizens, Americans and so forth have put countless hours and great effort into bringing the community this enchanting story. Ditto dozens more in the orchestra and production crew.

It's very much a family show and little ones are welcome -- encouraged -- to come dressed in a befitting costume.

This stage performance of "Cinderella" is one-hour-45-minutes long and has a happy ending, but there's soooo much to keep you entertained until then!

"Once upon a time there was a young maiden named Cinderella, who lived with her wicked stepmother and two wicked stepsisters..."

You are cordially invited to come reimagine the magic, timeless tale of romance-against-the-odds. And invite someone you care about.

Both photos were taken during rehearsals and provided by the Batavia Rotary Club.

Welcome Christopher Dailey and Welcome to the Weekend

By Patrick D. Burk

I met briefly with Christopher Dailey today.  He is the new Principal at Batavia High School.  His first week has been interesting to say the least.  He started off the week with the National School Boards Association Technology Conference and ends it with the Drama Club Production of OUR TOWN....and the Batavia Invitational Track Tournament...interwoven with a myriad of other things.  Tomorrow morning is his first "Coffee with the Principal".... If you want the chance to meet him...stop on in..... I think you will be impressed.  I know I am.

The nice thing about Chris Dailey's job is that he honestly works with some great people.  Our staff at the High School is quite exemplary.  As I walked the halls, I noticed the work that they were doing for individual students and the innovative ways that we teach, not just with technology, but one to one as well.  I always have been proud of our students with disabilities... at Batavia they are allowed to shine and be a part of a wonderful school community.  They participate in clubs, go on field trips, do plays, partipate in music programs and play sports.  You want to see a staff shine? Look at the Batavia High School Group that works with these wonderful students on a daily basis.  They are true heros in my eyes.  From those that work in food service to the adminstration, there is a special way that they nurture and care for our students.....all of our students.

Tonight is opening night for OUR TOWN...expertly staged and directed by my daughters Caryn Leigh and Malloryann.  It starts at 7:30PM at John Kennedy School.  They make Dad so proud.....and son Nick has the Batavia Track Invitational this weekend - VanDetta Stadium at 3PM.  My daughter Sara Jane is participating in here first "Parent of a Child in a Dance Recital" as my granddaughter hits the boards at the age of four.  Since my granddaughter is an already an excellent ice skater .... I am sure she will be a wonderful dancer, with grace and beauty......she is certainly a beauty anyway.

So that is our show (Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean - 7:30PM at GCC Friday and Saturday), thier show (Our Town - 7:30 at JK Friday and Saturday)....the Track Invitational and the Dance Recital..... Busy....Busy...Busy...and on top of that one birthday to celebrate and Mother's Day.....Brunch sounds good... If we all get the chance to all sit down at the same time that is....

Have a good weekend & to all the Mom's...Happy Mother's Day!!!!!!!




Opening Night Jitters..... How Lucky Can You Get

By Patrick D. Burk

Opening Night!!!!  Yikes!!!!! I always get the jitters....not that being nervous isn't what I do best.  I am compulsive about making sure that everything is just right.  Last two nights the PRESS has been there, I have been gluing and painting and tweaking and taping, to insure that the picture I saw in my mind lands on the stage at Genesee Community College.  What a week!!!!   I am so proud of this really does shine!!!

That is where the problem of doing plays or musicals lies.  It depends on how you look at things.  Theater is one of the few art forms that can not be replicated.  I mean, sure we make tapes of certain nights and look at them again...but the alive feeling is what it takes to make the show.....well.... the show.  That only happens once, when the audience member is impacted the first never happens again.  Once played....always lost.  That is the nature of the beast as it stands.  It also is the beauty of LIVE theater.  Each and every performance is its own separate piece of art, subtly being changed each time to be slightly different then before.......

When I start to design theater productions I look at it all as one big painting.  What does each and everything look like in a certain way on stage.  What type of actor will fill this role or what color the drinking glass should be.  I am that centered and compulsive... trust me.   I see the whole thing as a snapshot in the minds of those that will be sitting in the seats in the theater.  If I was a good painter, I probably would paint my scenes...instead I imagine them.... I can only draw stick figures.....  I tend to land on color a lot....Color sets the mood and allows the show to exist in a certain frame of mind.  It either soothes or inflames....or it adds a sense of nostalgia.

So...tonight opening night....All the last minute preparations.....all the work that has yet to be done and all the tickets left to be sold.....  Opening night of "Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" at Genesee Community College - 7:30PM.  As I have said many, many times....this is a dream come true for me.... I am lucky that way.  I have many dreams about shows and performing......playing a certain character or sharing a favorite play or musical.   In Batavia, this community, I get the support to make those dreams come to life.... How indeed fortunate I am.   Please come see our show.


Two Plays.....Two Directors....One Weekend....One Family.... A Dad's Pride and Congratulations

By Patrick D. Burk

Well what can I say....more than one person  has brought it to my attention that this weekend there are two theater offerings in Batavia.....  The Batavia High School Drama Club's Production of "Our Town" by Thorton Wilder is sure to be wonderful.  It runs Friday, May 9th and Saturday, May 10th at John Kennedy Elementary.  Tickets are avaialble at the door and it begins at 7:30.  "Our Town" has always been a favorite of mine and it is expertly Directed by Caryn Leigh Burk with Assistant Directed by Malloryann Burk.... one could say the apple does not fall far from the tree....or apples as in this case.  I couldn't be more proud to see them both working to share theater with our BHS Students.  Caryn and Malloryann are hard working young people that value the children of Batavia.  Please go see this wonderful piece of Americana.  It will be worth the trip.  Congratulations Caryn on a job well done.....

During this same weekend, the Batavia Players will be presenting "Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean".  It is another slice of Americana that takes place in 1955 Texas during the filming of the movie "Giant" and again in 1975.  A beautifully scripted play with an incredible story line and fresh and exciting characters.   It is no wonder that the likes of Kathy Bates, Karen Black, Sandy Dennis, Sudie Bond and Cher were featured in the Broadway version and that the movie Directed by Robert Altman became a cult classic.  I am fortunate to be directing nine incredible local actors who shine in this production.   Valeria Antonetty, Shawnie Euren, Lynda Hodgins, Peggy Marone, Nikole Marone, Joan Meyer, Patti Michalak and Rachel Oshlag perform thier roles with familiarity and grace.  Working on these colorful and complex characters is  not easy.....IT is exhausting and you will be very impressed by thier efforts.  Oh...we can not forget the great job the one male in the cast.....Jake Bortle, a freshman from LeRoy Central School, is doing.  I was so lucky to find these 9 gracious actors to be in this production.

Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean is this Thursday, May 8th through Saturday, May 10th at the Stuart Steiner Theater, Genesee Community College....7:30PM.  Tickets are $10 General Admission and $8 Seniors/Students.  I guarantee you will enjoy this show.  The Batavia Players are reminding everyone that it is PG-13 in nature and may not be suitable for younger audiences.

So what can I say???  How great is it that we live in this small city with Classic Theater offerings like we have this weekend.  How wonderful for those of us in the arts,  that we have the support of our community and residents.  How proud can I be as a Dad when my daughters and I both have shows on the same weekend.  Make this a special week and see both shows.... We appreciate your support.


Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean to Open at GCC

By Patrick D. Burk

Whew...this is a busy time for me so on this wonderful Saturday I wanted to take the time to remind everyone that the Batavia Players, Inc. Spring Show...."COME BACK TO THE 5 & DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN is opening on Thursday, May 8th and running through Saturday, May 10th. Performances are at 7:30 PM at the Stuart Steiner Theater at Genesee Community College. Tickets are $10 for General Admission and $8 for Seniors and Students. The play was a wonderful hit that starred the likes of Cher, Kathy Bates, Sandy Dennis and many more on Broadway. The content is PG - 13 in nature. Please join us this coming week. The play centers around the Kresmonth 5 & Dime outside of Marfa, Texas during the time of filming "Giant". The movie starred Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean. Our characters are depicted in 1955 during the filming and again in 1975 at the 20th Year Reunion of the Disciples of James Dean. A comedy/drama that is brilliant with dialouge and bright in character. I am pleased to direct our local cast which includes Valeria Antonetty, Shawnie Euren, Lynda Hodgins, Nikole Marone, Peggy Marone, Joan Meyer, Patti Michalak, Rachel Oshlag and featuring Jake Bortle as "Joe". I hope that you will all join us for this wonderful production. This is the second of four shows in the Batavia Players, Inc. 2008 Season. Next up - "Jesus Christ Superstar" in August.

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