Monthly Archives: December 2016

Top 10 Best Moments of DreamWrights 2016

As we countdown the days to 2017, our twentieth year, we take a moment to relish our accomplishments and great memories from 2016.

dreamwrights-mark-color_full-descriptortagline-600-x-528

10. Our transition from a Youth and Family Theatre to a Center for Community Arts

In March we began to transition our identity from a Youth and Family Theatre to a Center Community Arts. Building characters for life became our mantra while putting growth center stage was identified as the inspiration behind our capital campaign. As a Center for Community Arts, a new Innovative Programming Committee was formed and wasted no time sponsoring DreamWrights’ first Open Mic Night. Budding comedians, talented musicians, and a friendly faced magician graced the stage of our relaxed and casual space. We had so much fun we are planning to do it again soon!

20161027-dreamfrights-86
Zombies in the elevator at DreamFrights

9. New camp and event programming

This year, DreamWrights offered a wider array of art and performance based camps as well as a few new events. Our first ever DreamFrights Haunted House was a huge success! With different fright levels, we were able to entertain young ones up through older kids and adults who enjoy the thrill of the scare. We hosted a tea parties during the runs of The Secret Garden and The Adventures of Peter Rabbit and we had cookies, cocoa, and caroling with Santa, Dorothy, and the Wizard in Oz earlier this month. Flippin’ Broadway, a cabaret of Broadway show tunes with a fun twist, was a crowd pleaser in February.

20160805-101-dalmatians-camp-50

As for summer camps, this year we offered 24 different exciting and creative camps. These included three Disney performance camps, 101 Dalmatians, Cinderella, and Aladdin. We also held art camps taught by local artists Rita Whitney and Karen Paust, a digital photography camp taught by Randy Flaum of White Rose Community TV, and a poetry class taught by York’s poet laureate, Christine Lincoln. We are planning equally innovative, clever, and exciting camps and classes again this coming summer. Spread the word and tell your friends!

8. Our beautifully designed sets

20160212-the-secret-garden-3-edited-cropped
The Secret Garden

This year, DreamWrights raised the bar with our set design by employing the talents of some amazing designers and builders. Fifteen year old first time set designer, Jacob Schlenker, gave a beautiful and sassy makeover to the set of Legally Blonde. The first ever DreamWrights raked (sloped) stage was designed by Billy Ferrell for The Adventures of Peter RabbitAllen Brenner brought us a beautiful two story set staged in alley configuration with the audience on two sides for The Secret Garden. Most recently, the illustrious Ray Olewiler designed a magical set that was over the rainbow.

7. The enthusiasm and energy that Guest Directors bring

20161207-dw-directors-9
Guest Directors Andrea Unger and Chris Quigley

This year, DreamWrights benefited from the expertise of five guest directors: Andrea Unger (Our Miss Brooks and The Adventures of Peter Rabbit), Nic Ecker (Legally Blonde), Michelle Denise Norton (As You Like It), Kirk Wisler (The Beverly Hillbillies), and Jaci Keagy (The Wizard of Oz). In anticipation of the upcoming season, where we will be using six guest directors and three guest assistant directors, a formalized guest director process was introduced. The first introduction and kickoff meeting for guest directors was held in early December. Please join us in welcoming Guest Directors Rodd Robertson (directing Pride and Prejudice), Andrea Unger (Peter Pan and Mary), Michelle Denise Norton (The Taming of the Shrew), Timothy Storey (The Mousetrap), Chris Quigley (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), and Jaci Keagy (It’s a Wonderful Life) as well as Guest Assistant Directors Amanda Nowell, Kevin Alvarnaz, and Andrea Unger. We hope that our improved processes for these guest directors will make for an even better experience for our crews, casts, and audiences!

6. Our community celebration to kick off our capital campaign

dwphotobooth_83

On June 30, to kick off the public phase of our capital campaign, we threw open wide our doors and invited the local community to meet our refreshed Center for Community Arts. Nearly 200 friendly faces joined us in the celebration. This exciting event featured performers and artists that included: YWCA’s Temple Guard Drill Team, Devix, Kingsfoil, Weary Arts Group, First Capital Drumline, Illstyle & Peace presented by Positive Energy Arts Foundation, and DreamWrights’ own Theatre Under the Trees and StAGEs troupes.

 

5. Our StAGEs program winning a Nonprofit Innovation Award

20161219-dw-stages-29

In February, DreamWrights was awarded a Nonprofit Innovation Award in the category of collaboration with StARTSomething by the Central Penn Business Journal for our work with StAGES, our creative improv class for folks 55 and older. StAGEs encourage active participation in the performing arts. Thanks to additional support from the Cultural Alliance Creative Impact Award, this year our StAGEs troupe has made new friends, new memories, and has had tons of laughs while enjoying the benefits of “creative aging.”

4. A successful internal transition

2016-hilary-adams-color

This year we honored the career of founding member, Diane Crews, and we welcomed Hilary Adams, our new Director of Artistic Programming. Diane’s DreamWrights career was memorialized in the naming of our black box theatre. Hilary has hit the ground running as she is currently finalizing the crews and casts of her first DreamWrights production, Babe, the Sheep-Pig.

3. Being on TV and performing to sold out crowds

20161201-dw-wizard-fox-43-40

We ended the year with a bang as we enjoyed our 4 minutes of fame on Fox 43‘s morning show on December 1. It was a great way to kick off our run of The Wizard of Oz as nearly every show was sold out. Our hearts, minds, and confidence was renewed as we remember that there’s no place like home – or your second home – as many of you call this place known as DreamWrights.

2. Community support of our capital campaign

20160922-dw-hats-at-the-hound-13
Executive Director, Ann Davis, with Mayor Kim Bracey and York City Solicitor and DW Board Member, Jason Sabol at Hats at the Hound fundraiser event

What began as a dream took a foothold in reality this year with the funds we have raised towards our capital campaign. We brought our message to the broader community through fundraising events like Hats at the Hound. Although we have not met our goal of $2.5 million dollars, we are standing strong at $1.8 million with phased construction plans and approvals from the appropriate local municipalities to begin moving forward with our construction this spring. We are excited for the opportunities the future holds with the new studio space, upgraded building enhancements, and expanded programming. We have received some amazing support from businesses and individuals alike. We thank you for your support. If you have not done so already, we graciously ask you to consider helping us get closer to our goal.

1. You walking through our doors

20161217-dw-ozians2-6-edited-cropped

Your involvement is what makes DreamWrights the amazing community it is. People of all ages, from all backgrounds and experiences are welcome to safely explore the arts, try new things, and be part of something bigger than themselves. DreamWrights builds characters for life. We look forward to working together with you again in the coming year to create our best, brightest, and biggest year yet!

Happy New Year from DreamWrights!

DreamWrights’ Holiday Wish List

20161220-dw-bob-santa-29-cropped

We’ve been good for goodness sake! This year, DreamWrights has taken the liberty of making a Christmas Wish List. We are hoping that Santa or his helpers might put a few of these new or gently used items under our tree (or drop them off at the box office). Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa!

New or gently used:
Electronics
Bluetooth or plug-in-to-laptop speakers for use in rehearsals (to play sound from computers, tablets, phones)
Camcorder/ video camera
Digital camera
Ipad/tablet with camera
Laptop projector
Power strips
Camera tripod
Working electric pencil sharpeners

Tools
Corded Drills – Variable speed reversible
Cordless Drills (as long as the battery can hold a charge and the charger is included)
Grinder  – got an old one that just sits on the shelf in your basement? It would do DreamWrights a world of good!
Hand power tools
Staple guns & staples

Misc
6’ or taller stepladders/ ladders
Fabric scissors
Folders for scripts (with brads for 3 hole punched paper)
Latex Paint (1/2 cans or more)
MailChimp license
Music stands
Quiet games and activities for ages 7 and up
Sewing machines- in good working condition
Snow blower
Working flashlights (do not need to come with batteries)

Always need:
Crafting supplies
½” glue sticks
A. C. Moore gift cards
Jo-Ann Fabrics gift cards
Neutral colored thread
Sew on Velcro
Tape – any kind
Twine and String
Velcro

Office supplies
Black sharpies
“My Name Is” labels
Pencils (bonus: pre-sharpened)
Reams of white paper (with our without holes)
Rolls of postage stamps
Yellow highlighters

Shop
3” Drywall Screws
5 Gallon buckets
Duct tape

Misc
Batteries (all types –not car batteries, obviously!)
Blue light bulbs
Lowes gift cards
Glow tape
Masking tape (any and all width)
New mops and brooms
New tires for the van
Clip lights
Playdoh for the Sensory Friendly performance guests
Short mic/ audio cables (ask Bob for details)

 

Teens Invited to a Magical Night in Neverland

20161105-dw-night-at-neverland-promo
(l to r) John Patterson, Paige Gross, Jonah Unger, Lilly Einsig

Seventeen year old Paige Gross has attended all of the teen dances at DreamWrights. She and her friends have enjoyed them so much that she decided to take matters into her own hands. “I was inspired and thought it’d be fun to plan this year’s Winter Ball. I was talking to Jonah one day and we started coming up with ideas, not seriously thinking about actually planning it. But the more we talked about it the more we realized we wanted to make our ideas a reality.” Paige’s friend, Jonah Unger, is planning it with her. Jonah says, “I thought it would be a good learning experience, as well as simply being fun.”

These two are taking the lead and with the help of a small group of friends, they are planning a winter dance with a Neverland theme just for teens. Paige explains, “I’ve always loved the fantasy element of the story and the world of Neverland. Winter is a magical season, with sparkling snow, twinkling lights, and something cheerful in the air. Winter has an enchanting element to it, and DreamWrights is a magical place that celebrates the youth in everyone. At DreamWrights, no one ever really grows up. Just like in Neverland.”

The evening promises lots of music, dancing, and merriment. Refreshments like root beer served in tankards and other themed surprises will abound. A peaceful space, known as the Treehouse, will be available with games and comfy chairs for teens who prefer a quieter, less crowded space in which to talk and have fun.

All of the teens involved in planning this project agree that York offers far too few events like this for their age group. They hope that kids new to DreamWrights attend as well as those who are familiar. One of the teen planners, Lilly Einsig, sums it up, “I think it’s nice to have events like this around because it gives young people in the area a chance to meet and enjoy a fun night together. Even if you don’t know anyone or have never been involved with DreamWrights before, don’t be afraid to come. It’s the perfect place to meet new people and make friends.”

This special evening, A Night in Neverland, is just for teens ages 13 – 17. Join us December 28 from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm at DreamWrights, 100 Carlisle Avenue, York. Tickets are $12.00 at the door. Dress is semi-formal and themed outfits are encouraged (pirate, fairy, lost boy, etc.). Refreshments will be served.

What I Like About DreamWrights by Nora (and Kimberly)

in DreamWrights' Emerald Cast production of 'The Wizard of Oz' archive view
Munchkin Nora (center)

At seven years old, Nora McIntyre is one of the youngest member of the cast of The Wizard of Oz. She plays the part of a munchkin and while she looks quite young, she always seems to know what is expected of her and where she needs to be.  Her mom, Kimberly, explains, “Nora has always been our independent child.  She is usually the one that takes initiative and is a real go-getter.  I think that’s what makes theater a good fit for her. Auditioning was completely her idea.”

But, her story, like many others, didn’t start here. She auditioned last December for The Secret Garden and was disappointed to not make it. Kimberly recalls, “She was very young and didn’t understand how the whole process worked at that time.”

nora-writing
A story Nora wrote about getting the call
nora-writing-2

But she persevered and tried out again. Kimberly remembers the day Nora found out she made the cast. “We happened to be grocery shopping that afternoon, and I had already set her up to be disappointed that she might not get a call because it was already after 12:00 noon.  We were in the canned fruit and soup aisle when she got the call.  When she got off the phone, she was jumping up and down in the middle of the aisles and calling all of our relatives.  To say she was excited would probably be an understatement!”

201611-wizard-nora-drawings-1

Nora will tell you herself how excited she is to be in this production. When asked what she likes best, she says, “I like being myself and being a munchkin and getting all creative and acting.  It amazes me by seeing the characters and the action and making the people that are doing it come to life.” She says she particularly likes the costumes and might want to work on costume crew when she’s old enough.

As for Kimberly and her husband, Jason, they say that even though they were both new to theatre, the experience has been enlightening and positive. And when they got to see Nora on opening weekend, they were  proud to see her self-confidence translate onto the stage.  Kimberly says, “She appeared so comfortable and self-assured; as if she had done that her whole life rather than being her first show.  She fit right into the cast and didn’t appear to be a “newbie” to the entire production.  I know that we look forward to seeing her on stage again.”

201611-wizard-nora-drawings-2

Looking back on Nora’s experience, Kimberly reflects, “”It means a lot to our family because now that Nora has found theater at DreamWrights both of our children have found something that they are very passionate about. Nora has been very responsible in remembering her materials for rehearsals.  She would practice and read her script on her own in her room.  She also took a lot of responsibility for making sure that her schoolwork was still done even with all the late rehearsals. She never argued about any rehearsals and was as excited to go to the final rehearsals as she was the first. I know that we felt extremely busy, but it was worth it to see how motivated Nora was during the entire process.”

Nora McIntyre attends second grade at Red Lion’s Larry J. Macaluso Elementary School. In 2014, when she became old enough, she started attending summer camps at DreamWrights.  Her first camp was The Wide Mouthed Frog . She also attended Disney KIDS production camps: The Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians. She absolutely loved all the camps and couldn’t wait to be old enough to try out for a big production. Nora plans on trying out again for Babe, the Sheep-Pig. But before that, you can see Nora on stage in The Wizard of Oz this final weekend.

Building Skills, Confidence, and Scenes

20161129-set-herrington-1

At first, Maddie Herrington wasn’t sure theatre was for her. Her younger brother, Jack, gave it a try first when he was cast in Young King Arthur. Jack had so much fun coming home and discussing it with his family. So when Jack decided he wanted to try out again for The Wizard of Oz, Maddie decided to audition too, “I just really wanted to be a part of the show but I didn’t want to act because I was afraid of singing in front of people.” She says her mom suggested working behind the scenes on the set and since “moving stuff around the stage” sounded fun to Maddie, she signed up for set crew. Maddie’s mom, Katie, was recruited too.

maddie-herrington-the-many-colors-of-oz
“The Many Colors of Oz” Maddie’s pants after a productive (and fun) night on set crew

Katie is pleased with the new skills that Maddie and even she herself are learning, like how to use different power tools. Katie enjoys watching Maddie grow from the experience. “The confidence in saying, ‘I don’t know how to do this but I’m willing to learn’ then coming home and going, ‘Hey Dad! I learned how to use a jigsaw tonight!’ Realizing that you just gained that new experience…that new skill set… it’s been great.”

Maddie beams when asked about the power tools – her favorite part of working on set crew. “I liked doing the drill. I finally got the hang of it. I had to learn how to use power tools to build the scenes. The people who help us are really nice. If we forget to do something they will always help us out.”

20161129-set-herrington-8

Katie says it has been a fabulous experience. “Just being able to do something new like [learning to use power tools]. And it’s been fun to make it a family experience. Because we’re busy anyway, we might as well be busy together!”

Maddie Herrington is in 5th grade at Dallastown Area Intermediate School. Come see the beautiful set Maddie, Katie, and the rest of the amazing DreamWrights set crew have crafted when The Wizard of Oz takes the stage. You might even get a glimpse of Maddie and Katie shifting set pieces, dressed in black, in between scenes. Keep your eyes open on stage for Maddie’s brother, Jack, who plays the Mayor of the Munchkins. Show dates and times: 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 or by calling 717-848-8623.

5 Great Stocking Stuffers You Can Only Find at DreamWrights

20161202-dw-concessions-4-cropped

Gift giving for a loved one? A theatre kid? Someone who loves the arts? This holiday season, slip something unique and clever into their stocking. Here are the best of what you can only find at DreamWrights this holiday.

 

 

 

20161202-dw-concessions-18

1. Wizard of Oz Ornaments – Whether you were in the show or watched it in the theatre or on TV, you will love to glitz up your Christmas tree with these sweet ornaments. Choose from the ruby slipper ($1.50 each) or one of the ball ornaments representing Dorothy, Tinman, Lion, and Scarecrow ($4 each). Heck,why not get a set?!

 

20161202-dw-concessions-8

2. Flying Monkey – Who doesn’t need a Flying Monkey in their stuffed animal collection? These clever critters are hand crafted and are cute enough to put a smile on anyone’s face!  ($12 each)

 

 

20161202-dw-concessions-20

3. Make a donation to DreamWrights in someone’s honor. Even better, do it as part of our current Yellow Brick Road Fundraiser (suggested amount $30), and leave your mark behind on our Yellow Brick wall!

 

 

20161202-dw-concessions-10

4. Dorothy doll – These adorable gal pals are handmade with love. Add one to your Oz lover’s collection. And while you’re at it, pick up a friend for Dorothy: Toto, Tinman, Lion, Scarecrow, Glinda, a Tree, or a Munchkin or two. (prices range $12 – $20)

 

5. A DreamWrights Membership – It’s only $15 and lasts a year. Membership includes 10% off classes and camps. Punch your card with every show you see and your 7th is free! And, you’ll get a fabulous DreamWrights newsletter every quarter!

snowballs

If these goodies don’t appeal to you, DreamWrights has an array of other Oz and winter themed gifts: stuffed snowballs, magnets, signs, blocks, ornaments, Jitterbugs, and more!

Sales are open before, during, and after performances of The Wizard of Oz, while supplies last.

The Wizard of Oz is a Family Affair

billy-munchkin
Billy (center) as a munchkin at age 11

This holiday season, DreamWrights invites families to enjoy The Wizard of Oz. And what’s better than watching this iconic adventure story with your family? Bringing the story to life with your family! Many DreamWrights crew and cast members are working to stage this show along with family members. It is a wonderful way to spend quality together time during the busy holiday season.

Billy Ferrell, who plays the Cowardly Lion remembers, “I have loved the Wizard of Oz since I was a child. I was fortunate to perform as a munchkin when I was 11 years old, and it has been a dream of mine to perform in it again since then. I never could have imagined performing in it alongside my daughters. We are making lifelong memories together.” The Ferrell girls can be seen onstage, Elizabeth and Rebecca as snowflakes and Julia as a Jitterbug.

201611-ferrell-wizard-of-oz
Billy Ferrell with his daughters

Like Billy and his three daughters, DreamWrights productions often draw talent from multiple generations of families. Families cooperating together as peers is a hallmark of DreamWrights. Guest Director Jaci Keagy explains, “This was my first experience working with a multi-generational cast and I LOVED it!” She adds, “Some are on stage, some are off, but everyone contributes to the show, and no one has to stay home!”

Billy agrees, “Where else can parents and children participate in activities together as peers? It’s an amazing experience to be a part of a creative process along-side my kids — to see them interact with other kids and adults and vice versa. The creative process of making a live theatrical production happen is valuable, but the life lessons and social experience are invaluable!”

20161129-dw-fraser-6
The Fraser Family

Kristen and Scott Fraser are in the show with their three kids. William and Anna are on costume crew while Sophie is on stage with her parents. Kristen says, “DreamWrights is the one place where my family can collaborate to create something great. This place is a second home to us.”

Fifteen year old Anna says that she is the envy of many of her friends, “My friends talk to me about this a lot. They will say, ‘Wow, I wish my family did these kinds of things together like your family does’ and ‘You guys are so lucky.’” Sixteen year old William agrees that doing a show all together is a great family experience. In fact, the Frasers have done so many shows together as a family at DreamWrights they can’t agree on exactly how many it has been. Twelve? Fourteen? But all agree when Sophie, a wise young lady of eleven, declares, “DreamWrights is the most amazing thing I ever do. It is the most fun.”

We invite you to see the Frasers and Ferrells in The Wizard of Oz. It 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 or by calling 717-848-8623.

And why not join the fun yourself by rounding up your own family and auditioning for our next show, Babe, the Sheep-Pig?! Auditions will be held December 13 or 14 at 6:00pm. No prior experience necessary.