Monthly Archives: November 2016

There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

20161114-dreamwrights-the-wizard-of-oz
(l.to r.) Doug Walters, Waverly Speranza holding Daisy, Brandon Flemmens,  and Billy Ferrell

This holiday season, DreamWrights Center for Community Arts is staging the Royal Shakespeare Company’s version of The Wizard of Oz.  This classic story, in which a Kansas farm girl travels over the rainbow to discover the magical power of home, has been entertaining audiences for generations. The R.S.C. version is described as a more “faithful” adaptation of the film that many know and love. Guest Director Jaci Keagy explains, “Some of it will be very familiar, but there will be a few new things as well.”

Keagy, who directed more than 60 productions at Dover High School before retiring last April, makes her directorial debut at DreamWrights. In fact, about a quarter of this show’s crew and cast are new to DreamWrights.  Keagy admits, “I love directing and knew I wanted to get involved as a director in community theatre when I retired. I accepted the challenge of this double casted musical with trepidation, but I’ve loved every minute of the experience and, even after all of my other shows, I’ve learned so many things.”

Chris Quigley, a familiar face (and voice) in York’s musical and performance scene, appears for the first time on the DreamWrights stage playing the cowardly Lion. Ironically, Quigley’s first experience with The Wizard of Oz was when he played the braggart munchkin at the age of ten when he attended York Catholic. But, his Oz history doesn’t stop there. In 2005, he directed the show at Susquehannock High School and most recently, he tapped his way into hearts as the Tinman at Acts of Kindness Theatre in a sheet metal costume. Chris says, “I love being the Lion now. So happy I wasn’t picked for the Tinman. I’ve done that before and I was afraid they’d pick me for that.  It’s so nice doing a comedy part.”

Making their performance debuts are Daisy Raymond and Pepper Hollabaugh, both of whom play Toto during separate performances. The whole crew and cast is excited to add these two adorable distractions to the performance and, as Keagy points out, “The cute kids and dogs create an instant aww factor!”

The Wizard of Oz opens Friday, December 2 and runs December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, and 17 at 6:30pm and December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 2:30pm. Tickets may be purchased online at www.dreamwrights.org or by calling 717-848-8623. Seats cost $10 for general, $14 for reserved.

 

Thankful

This Thanksgiving, we pause to recognize many of the great things that make us thankful.

We are thankful for our Board of Directors that steers our non-profit company, navigating regulations, scooping up opportunity, and setting a course for success and longevity.

group

We are thankful for our DreamWrights community. When we come together, we are so much more than the sum of our parts. It is you who makes DreamWrights so special. We are proud to call you family.

We are thankful for our tireless volunteers. You are the heart and soul of DreamWrights. We sincerely appreciate all of your time, effort, and enthusiasm.

We are thankful for our founding members who built DreamWrights’ strong foundational pillars, encouraging personal growth, inclusivity, and making DreamWrights a safe place to try new things and discover new interests and talents.

20161116-dw-poppies-7

We are thankful for our members. We greatly appreciate your ongoing support and vote of confidence.

We are thankful to those who make monetary and in-kind donations of all sizes and shapes. Among other things, we are happy to have lights, heat, and licensed scripts to keep our day-to-day operations running.

We are thankful to the larger York art community. We are inspired by your courageous participation in the arts and proud to be a part of this circle.

d7701161281-cropped

We are thankful for our capital campaign donors. Without you, DreamWrights would not continue to grow, be relevant, draw new participants and audiences, and serve our community.

We are thankful for the opportunity to stage such a magically iconic musical, The Wizard of Oz, this holiday season. We appreciate the time and effort put forth by the crews and casts of this show, all working as a team to present our best show yet.

Critter Crew

20161116-dw-critter-crew-13
Bethany Mortorff (seated center) surrounded by the Critter Crew.

Have you seen the adorable handmade critters that are for sale at DreamWrights during the shows? They are created under the direction of Bethany Mortorff. You might say she heads up the DreamWrights “Critter Crew.”

It all began when she joined the costume crew in spring of 2015 for Tom Sawyer Sings. She remembers, “Rebecca [Eastman] taught me to sew and at the end of the show I made some of the turtle patterns she had. I just assumed making critters was something she did for every show so when I came back for the next show, I said, ‘What are we going to make’ and she said, ‘I don’t know.’”

20161116-dw-critter-crew-6

That’s when Bethany began designing concepts and patterns for critters beyond turtles. She started making mouse patterns and crafting cute stuffed mice but when she realized there weren’t going to be lobby sales for The Mouse that Roared, she started designing for Seussical. It took off from there.

For Seussical she made elephants and giraffes and other characters that were in the show. “I just started experimenting and making things up.” The popularity of the Seussical critters caught on quickly. They completely sold out in the first several days.

Bethany expects the critters she’s currently making for The Wizard of Oz to sell quickly as well. “I started designing the patterns months ago because I knew this show was coming. I’ve been trying to have them ready to go so that when the show came along it would be easier to make them.”

20161116-dw-critter-crew-10

Many of the patterns are her own, including the popular Ozian tree which has gotten a lot of attention and interest from the cast and crew. Bethany explains, “I wasn’t planning to make trees until they had people show up and get cast as trees then decide they didn’t want to be a tree and dropped out. I thought, for the people who are excited to be a tree, I’m going to make them a tree! And they got popular!”

Participating for the first time at DreamWrights, Andrea Mariano has found her way onto Bethany’s Critter Crew. Her three kids Julianna, Mason, and Taryn hold positions on the costume, lights, and props crews respectively (10 year old Mason will be operating the follow spot!). After dropping her kids off, Andrea decided to stick around and help out. She laughs, “Last week I showed up and Bob [McCleary] handed me a power drill. I had high heeled boots on. So now I just sneak up the back to the costume shop.” She says she feels more at home with scissors and fabric than with power tools and wood.

Although Bethany has made a big impact in the costume shop, she’s been on stage twice: Anne of Green Gables and The Adventures of Peter Rabbit. She says with a chuckle, “Every now and then they let me out of the costume shop but mostly I reside somewhere up here.”

Be sure to check out the Critter Crew’s creations for sale in the lobby before, during, and after The Wizard of Oz shows. Prices range from $5 – $25 each, while supplies last.

The Proverbial Fly on the Wall

20161109-wizard-costumes-12

If you’ve done a show at DreamWrights, you probably know Rebecca Eastman, the costumer. Many people, especially the kids, think she lives in the costume shop. Some days she feels like she does. But because she’s a normal fixture behind the sewing machine or under a garment with needle and thread, she blends right in and is privy to many a green room conversation. As the crew and cast create the splendor and magic of The Wizard of Oz, Rebecca shares some of the magnificent things that have caught her ear.

I’m a tree!!! I’ve never been a tree before! How cool is that?!”

“WE GET UMBRELLAS!!!”

20161019-wizard-of-oz-munchkins-4

Question: “I wonder what the poppies do?”
Answer: “WE HAVE UMBRELLAS AND WE DANCE!!

“Mom, I’m so excited! I am the MAYOR!”

Rebecca working on monkey wings turns around to see herself surrounded by a sea of three foot tall munchkin eyes, all open really wide.
Rebecca: “May I help you? Does Andrew need you for practice?”
Munchkin: “Not right now. We like to watch.”
Rebecca: “That’s ok. Just listen for Andrew. You can come do costumes when you are 10.”
Munchkins: “YAY!!”

From a parent passing through the green room during singing rehearsal: “Wow! They sound good already!”

Monkey wings!!! And weird hair! Which one is mine? Can I try them on?

Lion: “I feel like I am in my jammies. SO soft.”
Rebecca thinks to herself: Wait until the stage lights come on!

“Monkey jackets are cool!”

While jumping up and down: “Can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait! This is soooo much fun!

Whether you’re a tree or a munchkin, a costumer or on props, there is fun and excitement to be found in every part of staging a production. Just ask Rebecca.

Never Too Old for Halloween

img_08143

Last week, with the help of her daughters and a beautiful dress from DreamWrights, 101 year old Rebecca Woodward’s fairy tale came true. It all began with a discussion about Halloween. Rebecca announced to her daughters that she wanted to dress up like Cinderella and participate in the Halloween party at her senior living community. Rebecca’s daughters set into motion to make Rebecca’s wish come true. Daughter Faye Kroh turned to DreamWrights for wardrobe help. She explains, “The gown DreamWrights provided to Mother was a perfect fit. We topped it off with a lacy scarf, long satin gloves, jewelry, sparkly slippers, a blonde wig, and of course, a tiara! She truly looked royal.”

img_0828

When the Activities Director at her assisted living residence got wind of Rebecca’s plan, he decided to dress up as Prince Charming. During the Halloween party, Rebecca’s daughter, Linda Dyson, played “Someday My Prince Will Come” on the piano as the couple danced. They even took first prize in the costume contest. The staff and residents loved it!

Faye says that at 101 years old, her mother’s memory is failing. “She may not even carry this memory into the future, but for the moment, she felt young, beautiful, and very special.” It gave Faye and Linda a lot of satisfaction to see their beautiful mother so happy.

Cinderella reminds us, “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.” Isn’t it wonderful when dreams really do come true?!