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SJCT Up To Date

FREE Dance Performance

Lina Downes of the island’s first professional dance company, La Danse De La Mer, is inviting folks over to see the wonderful talents we have on this island.  The FREE  in-studio dance performance is this Saturday, October 18th at 6:45pm at Dance Workshop Studio, (next door to Second Act) and features cellist Sasha Von Dassow and Professional contemporary dancer Kerry Ratza, middle eastern dance by Ferah Bakuy and Amani, Ballet, Folklorico Monarca and performance artist Cynthia Church.  This performance event is a benefit to raise awareness and funds for the full length “ adult fairy tale ” ballet, The Prince of the Rain Realm, set for February  7 in the Whittier.

Thank you to KINGS

Our community is so lucky to have such generous donors amongst us!  KINGS Market recently helped us to purchase new devices to improve our productions’ sound for those audience members with hearing impairments.  The equipment from Listen Technologies works for people either with or without hearing aids.  One option is an integrated neck loop/lanyard that automatically senses and sends audio signals directly to telecoil users (that’s what Bill Wertz is showing in the photo below).  The other option is headphones and a receiver you can wear around your neck. 

 The complimentary devices can be checked out at the box office before an event begins.

 

We’re Floored!

Wow!  Thanks to a very generous donor, the Whittier has a brand new stage floor.  It’s been about 15 years since the last one was installed and it had definitely been showing (and feeling) its age after being painted over and over and over again. We also want to thank the volunteers (including students from Paideia painting here) who helped Penelope and John with installing and painting it. 

Workshops Are On!

Our summer youth workshops have begun.  Penelope and Amanda are teaching three courses this week and then Penelope has another one next week (July 21-25).  There is still room in next week’s class for kids in grades 5-8.  Contact the box office at 378-3210 or www.sjctheatre.org.

The first day of this week’s Adventures in Theatre I class at the PARC included an exercise for the youngsters to practice an audition by reciting “One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.”  (That’s Penelope on the right demonstrating for the kids). 

Amanda’s class for young teens on the Whittier stage started off with an icebreaker exercise where the kids had to move from their seats if they had something in common with the speaker (for instance, if shesaid “I have a sister”—then whoever else had a sister would get up and move around to find another seat.  But like musical chairs, there would be one chair missing).

Both classes will have a performance for friends and family on Friday.

OH What a NIGHT!

SJCT’s Silver Celebration was both a trip down memory lane and a wonderful reminder of the island talents that still keep our Theatre thriving, taking us into the next 25 years.  Mixing live theater, song and dance performances with video clips and photo collages from the past, Artistic Director Susan Williams and CAO Mary Blevins and staff and volunteers created an evening of true community theater.  (Below the photos is a copy of the program from the evening).  The smiles at the end of the evening as we all celebrated with cupcakes and champagne said it all!

Some of the photo highlights:

Here’s Gretchen Gubelman playing her mom, Martha, in an adaptation of Dan Weber’s original script written for the 1989 opening of SJCT.

Ted Soares was honored with the first annual Volunteer Award.  He has been part of our Theatre family since its beginnings and has covered all the bases: from acting to investing (including purchasing our stage curtains!) to behind the scenes where he’s been prop master for most of our musicals and plays—Mary was thrilled to give him the award and to name it THE TEDDY AWARD.

And here’s more highlights: Dance Happy fun…San Juan Singers…Annie orphans…Lobby togetherness…cupcakes!…and the confetti finale!

San Juan Community Theatre 25th Anniversary Celebration

 Master of Ceremonies:  Susan Williams, Artistic Director

 A Visit With Martha Gubelman……………………………Gretchen Gubelman

adapted from the original script written for the 1989 opening of SJCT by Dan Weber

Twenty Five Years of Community Theatre on the Whittier Stage 

“It’s a Hard Knock Life”……………………………………..The Orphans from Annie, Choreographer - Lisa Duke;  Accompanist Jim Collado

“Dance Happy”………………………………………………….Bill & Rita Ament & Company

La Dance de la Mer ……………………………………………Dancers: Joely Loucks & Caitlin Ross                                                 Choreographer - Lina Downes

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Thank You Volunteers………………………………………….Susan Mazzarella - SJCT Board of Trustees President

Thank You CATS………………………………………………..Cyndy Gislason - CATS President

Volunteer Award 2014………………………………Mary Blevins - Chief Administrative Officer

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Melodious Notes “When Love Comes to Stay”………Composer Richard Hieronymus, ASCAP

                        Sue Collado, Clarinet - Sonja Zarek, Piano - Sasha von Dassow, Cello 

A Visit with General George Pickett……………………..Mike Vouri 

“Can You Feel the Love Tonight”…………………………The Island Chordsman Plus                 Director - Angel Michaels

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The Bricks & Mortar of SJCT……………………………..Merritt Olsen 

A Message to Andrew McLaglen

Streaming Live Encore 2014 - Bringing the world’s Great Performing Artists to SJCT

Family Theatre……………………………………………………Penelope Haskew

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FHHS Drama Group presents:  a monologue from Working written by Studs Terkel       

Grace Willows, Piano - Nick Bey as Mike (Steelworker)

Director - Jane Maxwell Campbell

“Before the Parade Passes By” from Hello Dolly……Jacki Altier - Accompanist Sonja Zarek

“A Hymn to Him” from My Fair Lady…………………..Daniel Finn - Accompanist Sonja Zarek

“Stay With Me” from Into the Woods…………………….Jill Urbach - Accompanist Jim Collado

Chicago Medley………………………………………………….The San Juan Singers

                        Angel Michaels, Director - Jenepher Reeves, Piano - Sasha von Dassow, Cello

Happy Birthday SJCT!………………………………………….Everybody!

A Special THANK YOU to our generous Silver Celebration sponsors:

Anonymous, David & Phyllis Adelman, Charlie Bodenstab,

Robert & Rebecca Pohlad, George & Susan Swindells

Leapin’ Lizards!

Here are just a few of the many images from our spectacularly successful production of Annie.  Thank you to Keith Busha, Lisa Duke and Patricia Bolding for taking and donating the photos.

100 PLUS!

That’s how many islanders have been involved in our spring musical, Annie

We don’t have room for photos of all …but here’s some shots of “behind the scenes” crews  to give you the idea of just how much goes into a production like this.  A special thanks to choreographer Lisa Duke for her excellent photography skills.

Here’s director Susan and assistant director Therese; and below is musical director Jim with costume designer Anita and choreographer Bill.

Then there’s set building crew and painters

And how about all these smiling faces making everything tick backstage and in the orchestra pit.

Welcome Back Diana!

A friendly and familiar face is back on staff at the Theatre – our new Volunteer Coordinator Diana Mancel. 

 Diana worked here as Front of House Manager in 2008 and left the island a year later to work on the mainland.  Since her return in 2012, she has been volunteering as a House Manager.

 Diana is taking over for Amanda Smith, who recently left the Theatre to spend more time with her young daughter, Georgia.  Diana will work in both front of house and back of house, concentrating on volunteer recruitment, training and retention—something she holds close to her heart.  An avid volunteer throughout her life, Diana says she “strongly believes volunteerism is an important role to give to the community.”

 The San Juan Island community has grown to be a very important one to Diana, who has lived in many different environments (from Washington D.C. to New Mexico) and has worked in a myriad of jobs (from being a police officer to being a tour guide to owning a shooting range).  She says this new part-time job is her dream job.  “It’s so upbeat.  It’s like working with friends…everybody who walks into the box office I know or recognize,” said Diana.  “I feel like I’m really part of the community.”   

 And when Diana returned to the Island in 2012, she brought along a friend to share her favorite community with: her partner Rich Norris who moved from Florida to be with Diana, and don’t be surprised if he’s seen volunteering around the theatre now and then.

MEET ANNIE!

Nine-year-old ElseDora Arendt has two exciting things to look forward to on Friday, May 9.  It will be the opening night performance of our spring musical, Annie, in which she is playing the title character; and it is also her tenth birthday!

One of the youngest girls to audition for the role of little orphan Annie, ElseDora is no stranger to musical theater.  She has loved to sing since she was in pre-school, and since then has acted, danced, and/or sung in Missoula Children’s Theatre productions, SJCT Family Theatre, short plays in the Playwrights Festivals, and the 2012 production of The Sound of Music.  “It’s not hard for her,” said her mom, Amy Hull.  “It’s natural.”  ElseDora says that before going on stage, she might get a little “freaked” but the nervousness soon ends.  “When I’m on stage, I feel like the character I’m playing.”  Indeed, Amy believes that one of ElseDora’s other loves—reading—has really helped her to be drawn into stories and into the characters within them.

 The fourth grader at Friday Harbor Elementary School says she enjoys “all the singing” in Annie and especially likes the scene where she sings Tomorrow because she’s with Bogey (who plays Sandy, the dog).  “He’s nice and soft,” she says.

 

Taking on such a major role has been a time-consuming endeavor for the soon-to-be ten-year-old, but mom Amy says it helps that the family has been involved in the Theatre right along with her.  Dad Cole Hull is the assistant stage manager for Annie and has volunteered at SJCT for years; big sister Macalister is also an actress, having recently played “Gwendolyn” in The Importance of Being Earnest; and Amy—who has also acted and volunteered in several SJCT productions—will help backstage during the Annie shows (she has promised ElseDora, however, that she will watch two of the shows in the audience and has been banned from rehearsals so she’ll be surprised when she watches).

 ElseDora says her love of singing and dancing (especially ballet) should keep her involved in theater for birthdays to come; and no, she’s not dreaming of Broadway or Hollywood at this time—community theater, she says, is just right.

 Annie plays in the Whittier May 9, 10, 15-17, 22-24 at 7:30 pm and May 11 and 18 at 2:00 pm

 

Jammin’ with the Scots!

Some lucky islanders had a chance to get up close and personal with Friday Harbor’s favorite Scots, The Battlefield Band.  Before their concert on April 4 (their 15th time at SJCT), band members held a free workshop in the Whittier.  First they played a few songs that weren’t going to be in the concert later that night and then they had a great discussion about Scottish versus Irish music and the many instruments involved.  Several of the locals brought their own instruments and had a chance to jam with the band—creating their own Celtic sounds.  The workshop was part of a grant from Western States Arts Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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