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May 18, 2010 - 4:07pm
posted by Rachel Oshlag in batavia, Batavia Players, theater, Community Theater, Blogs.

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.

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

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Bill Moon (Lane)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

May 12, 2010 - 1:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, theater, GCC, fine arts.

Genesee Community College and Genesee Center for the Arts in Batavia continue a long-term commitment to the arts with five new theater workshops for people age 15 and up.

These one- and-two day workshops cover a variety of topics and are taught by theater experts who have worked professionally in the theater industry. The workshops take place June 21-28 at the Genesee Center for the Arts at the Batavia Campus.

How to Audition for a Play: 6 to 10 p.m. June 21 & 22  /  $50
Get that role at your next audition! Learn how to pick and perform a monologue. Learn what tools you will need to successfully audition for a play. How your voice and movement make an impression. How to make the best of "cold readings" when you have never read the script before.

Improvisation Workshop: 6 to 10 p.m. June 23  /  $25
Free yourself from the text and learn how to play with a scene. Learn the secrets behind successful improv work. Be as funny as the people on "Who's Line is it Anyway?"

Voice Workshop for the Actor: 6 to 10 p.m. June 24  /  $25
Is your voice holding you back from playing that role you've dreamed of? Learn how to project and articulate.

Musical Theatre Audition Workshop: 10 to 5 p.m. June 26 & 27  /  $75
Learn everything you need to know about auditioning successfully for musical theater. What songs to choose, how to act a song, what general dance steps will help you win the role.

Acting for the Camera: 6 to 10 p.m. June 28  /  $25
Learn the skills necessary to dazzle producers with your "on camera" persona! Learn what to wear, how to interview and what to say through the camera.

Key instructor for the workshops will be Maryanne Arena, director of Fine and Performing Arts at Genesee Community College, and her daughter Jaime Arena. Maryanne was a professional actor, singer, dancer, choreographer and director before turning to a full-time teaching career.

She holds an MFA in acting/theater and has toured the United States with several professional theater companies. Maryanne has created and implemented Theatre Programs for gifted high-school students, as well as college students.

Jaime completed her conservatory training at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. She has worked professionally as an actor and is now teaching at the Performing Arts Academy in Hartford, Conn. Jaime is a sought-after acting coach and has several students in movies and on television.

"In the past we have offered a two-week theater experience for area youth," Maryanne said. "This year we wanted to reach out to another sector of our community and involve adults in the Center for Arts. There is an abundance of talent in our region and our goal here at the college is to educate and provide creative avenues for individuals of all ages."

For further information and/or to register, please contact Ann Winters at 345-6814, or e-mail <http://[email protected]>.

April 8, 2010 - 6:29pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in Announcements, theater, GCC, Chicago.

This weekend, the big city is coming to the small one in Genesee Community College's production of "Chicago."

"I've always wanted to do 'Chicago,' but we've never had the right people together at the right time," says Director Maryanne Arena. "It's been a dream of mine, and a dream of Patti [Simmons, the choreographer]'s. She's someone that I respect very much, and we just thought that if we don't do it now, we never will."

"Chicago" is an exciting show that is all about jazz, sex and fame -- and the lengths people will go to for all three. Set in the title city during the Prohibition Era, the musical centers around two imprisoned murderesses awaiting trial in Cook County Jail: Roxie Hart (portrayed by Kiara Davis), who dreams of being a Vaudeville star, and Velma Kelly (played by Jessica Francis), who already is one. Both are clients of the smooth lawyer Billy Flynn, and will do anything for the spotlight.

Those only familiar with the movie version, starring Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones, will find the stage version to be slightly different, with a dark, minimalist set and mostly black costumes.

"The stage version is more like a Vaudeville show," says Arena. "The show is traditionally done with practically no sets, and all in black. But that wouldn't transfer to the screen properly; it wouldn't hold anybody's attention. The movie is done as though it's all inside Roxie's head, so it could be done in a very flashy way."

Arena says she doesn't believe the show is as racy as its reputation makes it out to be.

"It's about life in the Twenties," she says. "There was murder then, just like there's murder today."

Johnny Dow, who has the role of Billy Flynn, agrees: "I've seen worse. The reaction will depend on the audience."

Every performance will be unique, as two of the lead characters, Billy Flynn and Amos Hart, have been double-cast. Dow will be portraying Billy in the Thursday and Saturday performances, while Norm Gayford will have the role on Friday and Sunday. Roxie's husband Amos will be played by Richard Torres on Thursday and Friday, and Rob Reiss on Saturday and Sunday. Arena decided to split the parts because all auditioned equally well:

"Each of them approached their role differently, with different voices, even a different way of walking. They all deserve it."

Dow, a GCC student, says that although he and Gayford play the same part, they have created very different characters.

"Norm's more realistic, and I wanted my Billy to be more surreal. Mine is very cheesy."

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. General admission ticket prices are $8 for adults, $5 for students, seniors (55+) and GCC faculty, and $3 for GCC students with a valid ID.

March 18, 2010 - 11:59am

richard.jpg

Televisions and cameras surround the action, and music thumps out of the huge speakers. People saunter by in black leather and chains, brandishing signs and video cameras. Has Judas Priest come to town? No, it's the Batavia Players' 'Shakespeare in Springtime' production of Richard III this weekend at Batavia High School. 

"It's very contemporary," says director Jane Burk. "The show goes to a very dark place, and I wanted to take advantage of that."

The show is very dark, indeed. It follows Richard, the younger brother of King Edward IV of England, and his plot to become king -- even if it means killing whoever gets in his way. 

"The play is called 'The Tragedy of Richard III' but it is not actually a true Shakespeare tragedy," Burk explains. "It was part of a series he wrote about that specific time period in English history. It's a historical play."

"[Richard III is] pretty much a guy who's really upset because he's deformed physically, and his family has rejected him," says Anthony Giambrone of his title role, which has the second-largest number of lines of any Shakespearean character. "He basically wants to become king to make people love him."

Aside from the setting and costumes, there is another unexpected twist to the show: the performance takes place behind the curtains, in the center of a ring of chairs on stage. The audience members will be sitting in these chairs, only feet away from the action, mimicking the feel of a black-box theater.

"The Batavia Players are in the process of building a black-box theater, and we had originally hoped that this would be the first show performed there," says Burk. "So when we began rehearsals, we blocked everything in this style. Once we found out that we were going to be performing here at Batavia High instead, we decided we still wanted to keep the intimacy of a black box and not just do it straight out to the audience."

"I think it's really, really cool," says Giambrone, who has previously performed in a black-box setup. "But it's a lot harder because you have the people right there in front of you, watching you really closely." 

"It's the first show I've done like this, so it's been a challenge," says Rachel Oshlag, who has the role of Queen Elizabeth. 

Although Oshlag may be inexperienced when it comes to the setup of the stage, she is no stranger to the stage itself. This is her seventh Shakespeare show, and her twenty-first year of doing theater. 

"It becomes easier each year," she says of performing Shakespeare, "but each show is its own challenge. You have to be careful how you say the lines and make it sound as close to (real) people speaking as possible." 

"Shakespeare is poetry. There's a rhythm to it that helps a lot," says Jesse Conklin, who plays Buckingham, one of Richard's right-hand men. This is Conklin's fifth 'Shakespeare in Springtime' production.

James Earl, an Elba High School senior portraying Lord William Hastings, says that for him, the highlight of the show hasn't been the costumes or the dialogue. 

"The best part about it is that I get beheaded, and then I come on carrying my head later.  The head is a cabbage in a bag," laughs Earl. "It's a lot of fun."

Performances of Richard III are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at BHS.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.bataviaplayers.org or at the door, and are $10 general admission and $8 for students and seniors.

March 4, 2010 - 1:50pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in theater, events, musical.
Event Date and Time: 
March 5, 2010 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Batavia High School's 2010 musical performance will be 'Once Upon a Mattress."

It is a Broadway musical/comedy adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's "The Princess and the Pea."

Showtimes are March 5 at 7 p.m. and March 6 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the BHS auditorium, 260 State St. Tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for students and seniors.

Tickets for reserved seating can be purchased in the BHS main office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Please contact BHS at 343-2480, Ext. 2000 for more information.

February 19, 2010 - 12:49pm
posted by Pamela LaGrou in Announcements, theater, music, youth, jazz.
Event Date and Time: 
April 24, 2010 - 7:30pm to 10:30pm

An Evening of Jazz is scheduled for Saturday, April 24th at the intimate Stuart Steiner Theater at Genesee Community College.  Event Chairman, Derek Reiss will welcome guests to this signature jazz event beginning at 7:30 pm with the Batavia High School Jazz Band.  The featured artist, Bobby Militello, will take the stage by 8:00pm.  Bobby plays the also sax for legendary jazz great Dave Brubeck.  General admission tickets cost $15 for students/$30 for adults and may be purchased at Roxy's Music Store, 228 Main Street, Batavia.  Or

January 30, 2010 - 3:10pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in Batavia Players, arts, theater, Harvester Center.

For 45 years, the Batavia Players have had to do without a place to call their own. Now, at last, they will have their own theater in the historic Batavia Industrial Center on Harvester Avenue.

According to board member Michelle Stamp, BP president Patrick Burk "put a lot of legwork into finding a physical space for us."

"It always helps the actors when they have a space to call their own," she adds.

"This is a really exciting thing for us to be doing," said Matt Mayne, BP board member and actor. "Hopefully, it will help to draw more attention to the building, which is definitely historic."

The location of the new theater is BIC's new Artisan Center, which the Mancuso Business Development Group wanted to establish in order to increase their own business activity.

The Artisan Center not only helps foster a relationship between business and the arts locally, but also affords artists of various stripes the chance to support each other.

"We will be doing things to encourage other artists," Burk said. "There will be areas in the Artisan Center in which they can work. And we'll also have people who come in regularly for BP events and shows, and we'll allow people to display their artwork for people to see."

Burk, Stamp and Mayne all believe that the coming change will prove beneficial to actors and their performances as well. One of the greatest challenges they have dealt with in the past was that of finding, in Mayne's words, "readily available space."

"Before, we would be in situations where we weren't sure what venue we'd be performing in," Stamp said. "Now we'll have our own space we can become accustomed to, we'll know what we have to work with, and we'll have all the materials at hand."

"Our types of performances will change," Burk said, "because we'll experience greater flexibility in terms of what we can do and when. We've had shows that we've wanted to do for quite some time that we'll now be able to fit into this venue."

The new theater's black-box format, which will have audience members seated to the right and left of the stage as well as in front, also offers fresh creative challenges and opportunities.

"This type of set up requires actors to do a little bit more, because people will be watching them from three sides instead of just one," Mayne said.

All BP performances -- beginning with the Spring 2010 show -- will be held in the Artisan Center except for the Summer Youth Theatre performances, which tend to require greater stage space. Please contact the Batavia Players for more information.

January 9, 2010 - 11:15am
posted by Daniel Crofts in theater, High School Musical.

The following video was taken at Batavia High School on Friday, Jan. 8, before and after the Encore Theatre Arts performance of Disney's "High School Musical." There is another performance tonight at 7:30 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the BHS auditorium.

Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvrrisCIuSs

December 16, 2009 - 9:40pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in theater, High School Musical, encore theatre arts.

The Disney Channel's immensely popular "High School Musical" franchise comes to the local stage!

The cast of Encore! Theatre Arts' production of "High School Musical" at the Richmond Memorial Library - left to right: Alex Grayson (Chad), Brian Bogdan (Troy), Samara Brown (Gabriella), Justin Ryan (Ryan), Cara Ferraro (Kelsi), Kiera Davis (Taylor) and Tara Kaczorowski (Sharpay).

Performances aren't until January, but fans young and old got a sneak peak Tuesday night at the Richmond Memorial Library. The show's seven main cast members came running into the library's Gallery Room -- each fully in character -- to perform some of the play's songs, including "We're All in This Together."

Children and their families who attended could buy advance tickets to the show, and anyone who did so was rewarded with free HSM gift items.



"The kids love [HSM]," said Sandra Gillard, RML children's librarian and coordinator of the event, "so this seemed like a great cooperative venture."

The library has done similar preview programs with other groups in the past (see, for example, article on RML's "Cinderella" program at http://preview.tinyurl.com/ye5kecg), and Encore! Theatre Arts, being a fairly new organization, was interested in a similar collaborative effort.

ETA was founded in June by Eric Traugott, who is also producer and musical director for HSM.

"I wanted to make sure that there continued to be quality theater in Batavia and Rochester," Traugott said. "We have a lot of great groups already, but I still wanted to fill in the gaps and make sure there's always something available."

ETA has put on many performances in Batavia and in Rochester since its inception, but arguably none are comparable to HSM in popularity. The kids who came on Tuesday knew all of the words to the songs, and one young girl even commented that her basketball coach uses HSM lyrics to motivate his team.

Traugott and Director Lynda Hodgins hope people will be happy to see this nationwide phenomenon in the hands of local talent.

Performances of HSM will take place at Batavia High School from Jan. 7-10. For information on times, tickets sales and other details, please visit www.encoretheatrearts.com.

December 9, 2009 - 12:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, theater, Genesee Community College.

The Theatre Association of New York State (TANYS) has again asked Genesee Community College to host the annual TANYS Festival.

It's an indication that Genesee's Theatre Arts program is on the rise among higher education programs across the state.

At last month's TANYS festival, Genesee's production of "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf" by Ntozake Shange, took top honors.

The performance was awarded in four categories:

  • "Excellence in Acting to the Ladies of Color for their Ensemble Work" to Anjelica Sistrunk, Lady in Brown; Faith Horne, Lady in Green; Crystal Ray, Lady in Orange; Samara Brown, Lady in Blue; Nikole Marone, Lady in Red; and Nikkia A. Travis, Lady in Yellow;
  • The "Excellence in Choreography" went to Madia Cooper;
  • "Excellence in Acting" went to Nikole Marone for her portrayal of the Lady in Red;
  • "For Colored Girls" also received the highest honor, "Best Long Play of 2009," a remarkable achievement for Genesee's Theatre Arts program.


"I began working on 'For Colored Girls' in the spring, and was finally able to recruit the right ensemble," said Maryanne Arena, director of Fine and Performing Arts at Genesee. "This performance showcases the importance of ensemble work and the wealth of talent that is cultivated from Genesee's Theatre program."

This was the second year Genesee Center for the Arts hosted the TANYS event. By all accounts, the college provided a top-notch production crew for the weekend-long event, using theater students led by Technical Theatre Program Director Ed Hallborg.

Throughout the weekend, the crew was consistently praised for their ability and professionalism. The students involved were stage managers: Jessica Francis and Amelia Favata; lighting designers, Adam Wilbur and Sara Leonard; sound designer, Joe Catalano; and the run crew, comprised of Alex Farley, Jamie Hicks and Tyler Eldred.

In previous years, Genesee's Forum Players have also been recommended for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (ACTF). The ACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 college and university students. It has helped improve  the quality of U.S. college theater. The Forum Players will not be competing this year in ACTF due to funding limitations and because they were featured in the TANYS festival.

Genesee students have appeared on Broadway, auditioned and gone on to conservatory training, and are working professionally on stage, movies and television. Graduates have also attended the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Genesee students who have transferred and graduated from other four-year institutions have been featured in films, started theater companies, served as artistic directors, interned for regional equity theatres, designed costumes for college and equity theaters, and taught acting at professional theaters to elementary and high school students.

The Genesee Center for the Arts is another reason students choose to hone their artistic talents here. It's a modern facility with a 328-seat theater, rehearsal studio, dressing rooms, full scene shop, a well-equipped costume shop, and state-of-the-art sound and lighting studio.

Award-wining faculty help Genesee's Theatre Arts program shine among other programs. Maryanne Arena, director of Fine and Performing Arts, was a professional actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, and director before turning to a full-time teaching career. She holds an MFA in Acting/Theatre and has toured the United States with several professional theater companies. She recently received the 2009 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

To discover all the opportunities in Genesee's Fine and Performing Arts programs visit http://www.genesee.edu/index.cfm/program/dspArticle/arts.theatre/default... . <http://www.genesee.edu/index.cfm/program/dspArticle/arts.theatre/default...

November 30, 2009 - 11:11am
posted by Leah Stacy in batavia, Announcements, theater, entertainment.

On Tuesday, December 1, tickets for Encore! Theatre Arts’ January production of Disney’s High School Musical will be on sale to the general public. Whether you’re buying a holiday gift for theatre goers or the East High “wildcat” in your life, tickets to Disney’s High School Musical are a perfect choice.

Tickets are available for $10 advanced sale at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle (located at 8 Center St., Batavia) during regular business hours. After 3 p.m. on show dates, tickets will be available for $12 at the venue door.

The show premieres January 7-10, 2010 at Batavia High School (260 State St., Batavia).

For more information, hours or phone orders, call Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle at (585) 343-0548 or visit http://adammillertoyandbicycle.com.

November 21, 2009 - 12:01am
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, Batavia Middle School, theater, schools.

The cast of "The Mysterious Case of the Missing Ring" (photo by Daniel Crofts)

 

“Terror!”

“Intrigue!”

“Romance, blooming like a lotus in the springtime…”

Entire cast in unison: “What?!?”

“Just kidding.”

There you have it — the opening lines of “The Mysterious Case of the Missing Ring," the latest play put on by the Drama Club at Batavia Middle School. The first performance took place last night.

The show was directed by Matthew Mayne, English/Drama teacher at Batavia High School, and starred 22 BMS students (grades 6-8) in a variety of comedic roles.

From a stage play written by Janie Downey Maxwell, “Missing Ring” centers around a Queen — played by 7th grader Mica Pitcher — who has lost her royal ring and hires several competing teams of detectives to find it. All of the detectives — from the pratfall-prone, tap-dancing Oliver (Blake Carter) to the nervous, germaphobic Kat (Spencer Hubbard) — prove to be hysterically incompetent.

Mayne, who is certainly no stranger to local theater (see article about his recent Thornton Wilder production at http://tinyurl.com/yknj4bu), began work on the production of "Missing Ring" in late September. He took Maxwell’s play and made of it an opportunity for everyone involved to bring his/her own ideas to the performance.

"We added a lot to this,” Mayne said. “I added some characters that weren’t in the original script. That’s good for me as a director, because then the story has more characters to work with. And it’s good for the kids, because there are more roles available and they can add their own personal touches to the overall performance.”

Additionally, there were numerous jokes and humorous bits that were not in the script.  Mayne said the students “came up with a lot of ideas and put so much of their own unique humor into it.”

In so doing, they drew plentiful laughter from the audience.

Thursday night’s performance was well performed and well received, but the production was far from easy. Because of his extracurricular duties at BHS, Mayne could only devote three days a week to rehearsals. So with a total of only 20 rehearsals, the cast had to exercise a great deal of dedication in order to make the play work.

If this weren’t enough, a number of students became ill during the course of production and had to quit the play. There was even a last-minute cancellation the night before the performance, forcing one of the cast members to learn new lines overnight.

“I’m amazed at how much the kids care about the show,” Mayne said. “They really pulled themselves together.”

The play also featured set designs made by BMS teacher Lucille DiSanto and BMS students Riley Cole, Megan Draper and Kayla Gannon.

“Missing Ring” will have one more performance, this time intended exclusively for BMS students, faculty and staff; this will take place during the school day Monday.

July 23, 2009 - 2:56pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in batavia, Announcements, theater, entertainment.

The Stuart Steiner Theater at Genesee Community College has hosted many quality college productions over the years. However, these past three weeks, a younger group of thespians called it home.

They are members of GCC's theater camp who'll be performing “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” this Friday and Saturday.

The musical comedy features the beloved Peanuts characters from the late Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip. The gang's all here -- Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Sally, Schroeder and Snoopy, of course.

Maryanne Arena, director of Fine and Performing Arts at the college, says she picked the show because of its wide appeal and because it is a full-length musical.

“I felt we were ready to do a full-scale show,” she said. 

The 22 campers, who range in age from 8-16, say the past three weeks have been fun, but challenging. 

“It’s a great experience to be onstage, and it gives the kids the idea of what it’s really like," said Margaret Gayford, who is playing Lucy. "Everyone works really hard." 

This is the 13-year-old Warsaw native’s fourth year at the camp, and she says she enjoys seeing old friends year after year.

“We’re all like a family from working together so much,” Margaret said.

Spencer Hubbard, also 13, has the role of Linus. He says the camp has made him realize his love of live theater.

“I’ve learned that I really, really want to be an actor," Spencer said. "And now instead of acting on TV, I’d much rather do Broadway.”

“You shouldn’t be afraid to come out and show the world what you can do,” added 11-year-old Alix Young, with a grin, spreading her arms theatrically.

Alix has the part of Sally.

Arena says that she hopes the children will take away from the camp an appreciation for more than just the applause at the end of the show.

“I try to teach love for the process, not just the end result,"  said the director. "I try to teach respect for what goes into making a show.”

Performances of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” are Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at  2 p.m.. The college is located at 1 College Road in Batavia. Tickets are $5. For ticket reservations contact the Box Office at (585) 343-0055 x6814 or by email to [email protected].

March 26, 2009 - 6:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, theater, GCC, Forum Players.
Event Date and Time: 
April 23, 2009 - 7:30pm to April 25, 2009 - 7:30pm

Press Release:

March 7, 2009 - 9:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Announcements, theater.

We received this via e-mail:

Last chance tonight to see the Batavia High School Musical "Little Shop of Horrors". This years production is fantastic! Production value for a High School play is the best to date and the actors/actresses are fantastic in thier respective roles. Please spread the word.....Last performance is tonight March 7th. Show starts at 7pm at the BHS.

February 23, 2009 - 8:16am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Announcements, theater, entertainment.

From the Batavia Players:

To begin its 77th Year as one of New York State’s oldest continuous Community Theater organizations, Batavia Players, Inc. is pleased to announce it’s first offering this 2009 Season.  The Annual Shakespeare in Springtime Program this year will feature “A Comedy of Errors”.   The uproarious mistaken identity misadventure opens on the stage at John Kennedy Elementary School on March 19th and runs until Saturday, March 21st.  Show time is 7:30 each evening.  Tickets are available at the door or at Go Art!, 201 East Main Street in Batavia.  Ticket Prices are $10 for Adults and $8 for Students and Senior Citizens.

“A Comedy of Errors” is the shortest of Shakespeare’s plays and perhaps the most humorous.  It revolves around the story of two sets of identical twins that get separated shortly after birth.  The fun and frivolity ensues when both sets appear in the same town 30 years later.  Directed by E. Jane Burk, the play consists of a cast of 25 professional and community theater actors.  “Comedy’s” set is designed by Kevin Partridge and Patrick Burk.   Both Mr. Burk and Mr. Partridge also appear in the show.  Costumes are designed by Patrick Burk, Beth Ann Hooker and Alice Judkins.

Batavia Players, Inc. is starting its second year of a five-show season.  They also are looking to establish a permanent performance space by the 2011 Season.  This year’s season includes Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe - to be performed in June, Summer Youth Theater Production of The Wiz – August 20th – 22nd, A Wilder Evening – One Act Plays by Thornton Wilder  - September 18th – 19th and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown which will feature the City of Batavia All Elementary Chorus as its holiday offering in December.

Anyone interested in Batavia Players can call 585-343-9313 ext 31 or call Patrick Burk directly at 585-343-9721.

February 19, 2009 - 9:10am
posted by Philip Anselmo in arts, Announcements, theater, GCC, schools.

From Genesee Community College:

Genesee Community College is proud to announce the addition of the Theatre Arts Academy beginning in the Fall 2009 semester. As the fifth Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) Academy Program, the Theatre Arts Academy is a six-college credit program of study that gives high school students the opportunity to hone their theatre arts skills while earning transferrable college credit, and also help ease the transition into the college atmosphere.

With trained seasoned professionals, the Theatre Arts Academy combines classroom theory with extensive hands-on experiences to refine individual talents and develop creativity both on stage and behind stage. High school students will attend integrated classes with current Genesee students and earn high school elective credits, as well as college credits. Students in the ACE programs are offered a discount from the regular Genesee Community College tuition rate.

"We are very excited about giving high school students interested in Theatre Arts the opportunity to enrich their knowledge base of theater, as well as their comfort zone in acting or performing in front of others," said Maryanne Arena, director of Genesee's Fine and Performing Arts program. "Even someone who doesn't plan to make a lifetime career on stage will find this program valuable."

The ACE Program is a partnership between Genesee Community College and Western New York high schools to provide college courses to secondary students during the school day. These programs offer high school students the opportunity to enroll in college level courses and to earn college credits from Genesee Community College while still in high school. The goal is to enhance the high school learning experience and prepare students for the transition to college and career. ACE includes Advanced Studies, College Today, and the other Academy Programs including Health Careers Academy, Legal Careers Academy, Business Career Focus and Information Technology Career Focus.

Course work for the Theatre Arts Academy includes Fundamentals of Acting (THE103) and Stagecraft (THE106). Fundamentals of Acting will teach basic acting techniques and will help students become more comfortable with monologues and auditioning. Stagecraft will teach basic theories and techniques of design, construction and painting of theatre sets, as well as appreciation of the organization and operation of production crews.

Students will have the opportunity to learn and perform in the Genesee Center for the Arts, a state-of-the-art performing arts space located on Genesee's Batavia campus. At the culmination of the Academy program, students will produce a live performance in the spectacular Stuart Steiner Theatre, the heart of the Arts Center. The 328-seat facility is accessible for special needs audiences and hosts a wide array of performances throughout the year. Among the many amenities are contemporary lighting and sound systems, state-of-the-art acoustics, complete scene and costume shops and an art gallery in the lobby of the Stuart Steiner Theatre.

Acceptance into the Theatre Arts Academy is limited and requires a recommendation by the student's high school guidance counselor. Students must also possess a desire to explore career opportunities in the performing and theatre arts.

For more information on the ACE Theatre Arts Academy, visit www.genesee.edu/ace or call the ACE Programs department at 585-345-6801.

October 6, 2008 - 10:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, theater, GCC.

From a press release sent to us by Donna Rae Sutherland

The Forum Players at Genesee Community College, the college's student-based acting group, will be opening their 2008-2009 theatrical season with MINDGAME. Premiering Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 7:30PM in the Stuart Steiner Theatre, subsequent performances include Friday, October 17, 2008 at 7:30PM, Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 7:30PM, and Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 2:00PM.

A thrilling psychodrama by Anthony Horowitz, MINDGAME is the story of a prominent novelist and author of "true crime" stories as he enters a secluded mental asylum to interview a notorious serial killer. Between a hostile doctor, an intruding nurse and missing staff members, the author stumbles into a nightmarish world of murder and deception, and soon discovers that nothing is quite what it seems. A play full of twists and turns, one question remains...dare you play?

As the London Evening Standard stated, "MINDGAME probes the terror of madness while exhibiting roguish love of the macabre." MINDGAME features Johnny Dow (Rochester, NY) as Styler, Anjelica Sistrunk (Syracuse, NY) as Plimpton, and Edward Wolfe (Arcade, NY) as Farquhar. MINDGAME is being directed by Maryanne Arena, Director of the Fine and Performing Arts department at Genesee Community College, with Technical Direction by Edward Hallborg, the new Technical Director and Technical Theatre faculty member at the Center for the Arts.

General admission ticket prices are $6.00 for adults, $3.00 for senior citizens, students and GCC faculty, and $2.00 for GCC students (with a valid ID). For ticket reservations and more information, contact the Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office at (585) 343-0055 x6814, or by email to [email protected]. The Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office accepts cash and checks only; credit cards are not accepted. For door-to-door directions to the Genesee Center for the Arts, sent via email, visit www.genesee.edu.

August 8, 2008 - 5:00pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in theater, Jesus Christ Superstar.

Genesee County's Summer Youth Theater Program will present Jesus Christ, Superstar at Batavia High School August 14, 15 and 16. Tickets are available during rehearsals at Batavia High School, at Roxy’s Music Store on 228 West Main Street in Batavia or at GO ART! at 201 East Main Street, Batavia. Tickets are $10 for Adults and $8 for Students and Senior Citizens. Call (585) 343-9721 for more information.

August 8, 2008 - 8:27am
posted by Philip Anselmo in theater, wbta, police, Rotary, weird news.

Thousands of live chickens spilled from their crates onto the state Thruway yesterday when a truck carrying nearly 10,000 of them overturned at the Route 190 off-ramp in Erie County. WBTA's Dan Fischer spoke with state police who said they had never seen anything like it. Dozens Thousands of chickens were killed. Many others were taken to the Erie County Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty. The truck driver was ticketed with unsafe lane change.

UPDATE (9:18am): The Buffalo News ran a full story on this sad crash—the photographs and video are unsettling. It turns out that not dozens but thousands of chickens died, either at the scene or later by euthanization. From that article:

Gina Browning, the public relations director of the SPCA in the Town of Tonawanda, described a grim scene of blood and broken eggs inside the SPCA facility.

“In 18 years [working at the SPCA], I can tell you I’ve never seen anything of this magnitude,” Browning said.

The facility closed 2 hours early to make room for the birds. SPCA officials used the auditorium and the garage to fit all the crates.

“It’s mortifying,” employee Julie Ruppel said. “It’s unimaginable what we’re seeing.”


In other news, Batavia's Rotary Club will be holding auditions for its upcoming musical production of Singing in the Rain. Auditions for the November performance will be held on September 3, 4 and 5 in the Batavia High School from 7:00 to 10:00pm.

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