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SJCT Up To Date

Helping Out!

It’s pretty cool to see how middle school and high school students can look out for each other.  Recently, while middle school actors were rehearsing for the upcoming The Importance of Being Earnest (March 28-30), several high school students volunteered to help paint the Earnest set.   Director Jane Maxwell Campbell (that’s Jane peeking out from the back in the first photo below) was impressed with how the two drama groups were working together and having so much fun at the same time!

It took just ONE….

One ticket, that is.  You see when FHES teacher Heather Mueller saw her friend Sabrina selling “Dream Vacation” raffle tickets for CATS at the grocery store last year, she figured she’d buy one ticket in support of the Theatre and her friend’s efforts.  She had absolutely no expectation of winning and didn’t really even pay attention to what the prize was. 

Fast forward to December 7 at SJCT’s annual Holiday Festival—out rolled a barrel full of raffle tickets (around 1,500!) and the winner was chosen: Heather Mueller! While Heather was not present at the event, she ran into a friend the next day who had been there, who congratulated her on her great prize…it didn’t all set in, though, until CATS’ Mary Sliger called Heather Sunday evening to confirm the news.  “I was so surprised,” said Heather.  “I’ve won things like CDS before in raffles, but nothing of this magnitude.” 

Heather got to choose from four “Dream Vacations” and chose to go to Paris with her partner, David.  They’d been there briefly eight years ago for a memorial but did not have the time to explore and appreciate the area.  Now, they will enjoy free airfare and six nights at a luxurious hotel in the heart of the city.  They’re planning to go in August.  “There’s no way we could have done a trip like this,” said Heather.  “I’m very grateful to CATS and the Theatre for putting on this raffle—it’s a great gift.”   

Dozens!

The girl turnout for auditions for our spring musical was phenomenal!  We sure have a lot of young talent on this island. The girls from ages 5 to 15 got to try out their dancing, singing and acting skills for our production of Annie that will be presented in May.

Adult auditions are Monday and Tuesday, February 3 and 4 at 6:30 pm and then Susan hopes to have a cast list to post on Friday, February 7.  Good luck all!

Chiara Power!

Twelve-year-old Chiara Power is indeed living up to her last name…she brought power to her words as the youngest writer in the recent Playwrights “On the Fringe”.  Chiara wrote and directed the short play, Tears from the Media.  The story centered on bullying, Facebook and suicide.  That’s Chiara below during Friday’s show when Tony Vivenzio of Rotary surprised her with a Rotary International  “Distinguished Service” certificate for her work in bullying prevention and education.  The Theatre and our island is so lucky to have such a talented and thoughtful youth in our community!

What a Night to Remember!

Our Holiday Festival: A Night of Stars was full of shimmering highlights…from the food to the entertainment to the glittering dresses and well-pressed tuxes, it was a wonderful success.  And the generosity was overflowing, raising almost $90,000 to our endowment fund and another $70

,000 was raised from the auctions and CATS raffle.  Money that will help with operating expenses and get the Theatre moving quite well into its next 25 years.  THANK YOU to all !

Nutcracker FUN!

Our family theatre production of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King was a huge success!  What a wonderful community experience!  Here’s some stage and behind-the-scene photos of the more than 60 cast and dozens of crew members who made this all happen. 

Snowflakes and Sugar Plum!

It’s almost NUTCRACKER SEASON!  CATS members this week got a chance to see some of the lovely singing and dancing set for SJCT’s family theatre production of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King  Friday through Sunday, November 22-24 in the Whittier.  The classic holiday tale, directed by Penelope Haskew and choreographed by Lisa Duke, features more than 50 island youngsters and several adults/parents presenting the story of the Prince who turned into the Nutcracker who later magically saves Clara from the evil Mouse King.  This version not only features traditional dancing and music from the Tchaikovsky ballet, but also singing (evening a rap tune) and dialogue.

At the monthly CATS meeting, the charming girls pictured performed the “snowflake” dance and Presley Clark sang and danced as the “Sugar Plum Fairy.”

SJS Joins HS Concert

Angel Michaels tells us that the San Juan Singers will be joining the Friday Harbor High School band concert on Tuesday, November 5 at 7 pm.  The band and the singers will perform Marta Keen’s HOMEWARD BOUND—a beautiful contemporary choral piece.

If you haven’t heard the song, check out one of the Canadian tenors sing it on this Youtube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0kJYTz1kuo

It will be exciting to see how the students and adults put their own special touches onto the song—gonna be great!  PLUS..the concert is FREE!

"Out of the Box"

When you attend SJCT’s fall play this Thursday through Sunday, October 24-27, there will be a new air of intimacy in the Whittier.  Director Susan Williams wanted a more close knit setting for Jane Martin’s Talking With…featuring 11 monologues about 11 different women’s lives.  Susan went to John and Penelope who with the help from volunteers were able to set up a special “thrust stage” for the play, bringing the stage out into the audience more and reducing the number of seats available.

"I’m interested in "out of the box" performance space," said Susan.  " I like looking at a space and seeing the possibilities beyond 
its intended configuration.”   This isn’t the first time Susan has moved things around.  She also started the annual summer Night Music series in the Gubelman, which changed around the stage and the audience as well.
"Fortunately we have a production team that enjoys the challenge and comes up with great ideas.  Night Music’s success can be somewhat attributed to the intimacy we created within the new setting and I think audiences and performers will find the Whittier experience deeply altered, more intimate and more provocative."
The photo below shows just how much the stage goes into the audience (that’s Julie Greene on stage rehearsing for her role in Talking With…—seated is stage manager Nan Abel). 

SUCCESS!

Wow!  What a raving success was our recent joint production with Island Stage Left:  From this Desk: A Reflection on Thomas Jefferson in Three Acts.  We sold out all the reserved seats and Saturday’s pay as you can was a close sell out!  Reviews were great, including shouts from at least one fan: “take it on the road—more people should see this!”  We’ll see what writer Don Pollard has planned, but are pretty sure we’ll hear much, much more about the play. 

That’s Don below (middle) with Island Stage Left’s Daniel Mayes and Helen Machin Smith.

And here’s Daniel Mayes on stage in the one-man play.

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