Category Archives: Announcement

Year-Round Wish List

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Even though the holidays and the traditional time for gift giving is over, that doesn’t mean that the need for new and gently used things at DreamWrights is satisfied. As you act on your resolutions to declutter and clean out that junk closet, to simplify your life, or to give something to a great organization that needs it more than you, we are happy to take gently used and new things off your hands. Please remember us as you sort stuff for your spring yard sale and clean our your garage. What might be hiding in your notions drawer that you don’t care about but we would benefit from?!

A HUGE thank you to those of you who have already heeded our call and passed some wonderful supplies our way. We are very grateful to to be the recipient of a Bluetooth speaker, pencil sharpener, labels, pencils and glue sticks galore. We wasted no time putting all of these items into use!

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
Mirrors (full length on wheels)
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” hot 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
Lowe’s 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)

Announcing our 2017 Season Lineup and 20th Year Milestone

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Not only does 2017 offer what promises to be a highly entertaining year of theatrical programming for DreamWrights Center for Community Arts, but also marks the theatre’s 20th year anniversary. “2017 will be an exciting year for us at DreamWrights,” comments Ann Davis, DreamWrights’ Executive Director. “Especially for those of us who are founding members and have been involved since the beginning, it is great to see the organization grow and develop. Since the beginning, DreamWrights has been offering educational and mentorship opportunities across multiple generations, while constantly strengthening our reach and impact on the greater York community. The 2017 season is well positioned to continue this growth.”

With shows from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, to Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, to the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Hilary Adams, Director of Artistic Programming, says that this season will provide opportunities behind the scenes or on the stage for the seasoned DreamWrights participant as well as those thinking about trying something new. Adams explains, “We have comedies, dramas, and musicals. We have classic and modern text. On the technical side, we will be creating a diverse variety of theatrical worlds. We look forward to engaging the community and welcoming people to DreamWrights.”

This season, DreamWrights is proud to stage a world premiere by local playwright, Paige Hoke, Peter Pan and Mary or, the Girl Who Would Not Be a Lady, a prequel to J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. For anyone familiar with Hoke or her work, this anticipated event promises to be popular for crew, cast, and audiences alike.

In addition, the 2017 season brings to life theatrical adaptations of books and films, including Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, family favorite, Babe the Sheep-Pig, and holiday staple, It’s a Wonderful Life. Adams reports, “In terms of education, adaptations provide an opportunity to experience a story in different forms. You could see the stage version first then work backwards, for example, watching the movie then reading the book, and then compare and contrast the differences between the various art forms.” She suggests this season provides plenty of inspiration for launching a reading club. “These adaptations would be fun to read and study. It would an excellent educational opportunity to look at an age appropriate theatrical adaptation, ask questions about the differences in the forms of the story, and then play with adapting a scene from the book or film to the stage.”

For summer time programming, DreamWrights’ Theatre Under the Trees brings Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew free to York County parks. Since 1998, Theatre Under the Trees has provided classic Shakespeare with a modern twist to fans and families.

DreamWrights 2017 season kicks off with Babe, the Sheep-Pig which runs February 10 – 26, followed by Pride and Prejudice (March 30 – April 1), Peter Pan and Wendy or, The Girl Who Would Not Be a Lady (May 5 – 21), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (June 22 – 25), The Taming Of the Shrew (July 21 – 29), The Mousetrap (August 11 – 20), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (October 6 – 22) and It’s a Wonderful Life (Dec 1 – 17). For further information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.dreamwrights.org.

Meet Our New Director of Artistic Programming

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In a completely new position to DreamWrights Center for Community Arts, Hilary Adams joins the team as Director of Artistic Programming. In this visionary role, Adams will work with and oversee all areas of programming and show direction, even directing some shows herself.

Growing up on the east coast, Adams was introduced at a very young age to theatre, ballet, opera, and puppetry. Pretty quickly she was hooked. She remembers, “My first forays onto the stage were around the age of five, when I began acting in community and school productions. In my teens, I directed shows in my high school, assistant directed a summer musical theatre camp for young people at the local community center, and attended Yale University’s graduate acting program in summer session.”

At Evergreen State College, she worked with a children’s touring theatre based in Basingstoke, England. The experiences and challenges she faced setting up in places like barns and grange halls, offering up what, in many cases, was the community’s only theatre production for the year, made her realize how much of a difference access to the arts made to a community. Thus, her love for community theatre arts and education was born.

After college, Adams headed to New York City to intern at Playwrights Horizons. From there, she was offered a Society of Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observership in the position of 2nd Assistant Director on the Broadway show Titanic. She assistant directed three more Broadway shows (Aida in Chicago and NYC, Collected Stories, Reckless) and assisted the playwright David Henry Hwang on Flower Drum Song. In addition, she also served as personal assistant to Hwang. She received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Director of a Play for her direction of Works Productions’ Moby Dick, and was awarded 5 Manhattan Theatre Club Directing Fellowships.

Adams earned a master’s degree in Applied Theatre from the City University of New York (CUNY). She explains, “Applied Theatre is using theatre for education, social development, and community building, in addition to entertainment. This is exactly what I have been passionately practicing in various forms since I was a teenager.” She put these skills into practice when, as part of the master’s program, she worked with the Creative Arts Team Youth Theatre, trained in interactive storytelling for preschoolers, and worked with Carte Blanche, a youth theatre in Viborg, Denmark.

All in all, Adams has directed hundreds of plays and musicals from staged readings to full-fledged productions. She has held many theatre positions, from Assistant Directing on Broadway to participation in many festivals, handling both world premieres and previously produced material. She even served as the Artistic Director for a mid-west community theatre for two years.

As far as DreamWrights, Adams says, “When I learned about DreamWrights I knew I had found a perfect match for my values, and an artistic home where I can give back through my work.” She feels that her Applied Theatre background will be useful as she anticipates returning to the heart of what is most important to her, “the intersection of community and the arts, with a solid foundation of education inside of all theatre practice. I was seeking a theatrical home that was as passionate as I about the importance of arts for and with community. I’ve found that in DreamWrights.”

DreamWrights is excited and anxious to introduce Hilary Adams to the greater York community. Join DreamWrights for a “Meet and Greet” prior to the evening show of The Adventures of Peter Rabbit on October 8 from 5:00pm – 6:30pm.

Honoring Diane Crews

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For nearly twenty years, DreamWrights founding member and Artistic Director, Diane Crews, has built a youth and family theatre based on a culture of growth, responsibility, and exploration in a safe and accepting environment. On Saturday, September 24, the DreamWrights family came together to honor Crews as she is set to retire at the end of the month.

J.T. Hand, President of DreamWrights’ Board of Directors, believes that although Crews is retiring, the foundation she has fostered and built will persevere well beyond the current generation. Hand explains, “We don’t see this as an end, but rather as part of DreamWrights maturing. We’re not done growing yet. This culture will persist and anyone who walks into this theatre will be able to feel it. It is and will continue to be palpable.”

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Saturday’s heartfelt retirement party was emceed by long time DreamWrights members, Paul and Corinne Brown. Paul Brown reflects, “Diane has touched so many lives in so many ways, we wanted to represent a good cross section of presenters.” These presenters included Paige Hoke, Timothy Storey, Kevin Alvarnaz, Steve Brown, and Joan Bitzer. Brown noted that at least twenty additional audience members spoke on Diane’s behalf from the floor. Hand adds, “This was a very personal event. Many people wanted to speak and thank Diane for the positive impact she had on them.” There was no shortage of love and appreciation coming from the full house.

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In addition to sentimental stories and speeches, the retirement party included an original song written and sung by the Browns and a skit arranged by Crews’ daughter, Shama Mir-Young. In an exciting moment, Board President Hand honored Crews with the announcement that DreamWrights’ black box theatre would now be officially known as “The Diane Crews Black Box Theatre.”

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As Hand revealed the sign to be installed above the entrance to the black box theatre, he likened DreamWrights to a sports team. He said that although some, including him, have never been in a show directed by Crews, “we have all been impacted by her. And just as athletes touch something for inspiration and guidance as they take the field, I foresee the sign named for Crews to be the touchstone for the cast and crew – the DreamWrights team – as it takes the stage. Performers would touch it to remember why there are there and to get inspiration from Diane, even in her retirement.”

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Throughout her nearly twenty years at DreamWrights, Diane Crews directed roughly 70 and wrote more than 30 shows.  Paul Brown reminisces, “She will be remembered for the tone of her shows. They introduced classic values to people and created a kinder community atmosphere. She made the theater a safe place to be and discover your gifts. Diane leaves behind a family of theatre people.”  Crews may be leaving DreamWrights but her legacy and memory will live on in “The Diane Crews Black Box Theatre” and in the hearts and minds of those whom she impacted.

Retirement Party Planned to Honor Founding Member, Diane Crews

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On Saturday, September 24 from 6pm – 9pm, the DreamWrights family will honor founding member and Artistic Director, Diane Crews as she is set to retire at the end of the month. As Crews reflects back on her time at DreamWrights, she remembers, “What began out of a desire for a special place for people of all ages to come together to create live theatre and then share it with audiences of all ages, still is! What began as a dream of a few is now a reality for many!”

Long time DreamWrights members, Paul and Corinne Brown, will emcee the evening which will include a pot luck dinner, a “hit parade” of memories from the nearly 70 shows directed and more than 30 shows written by Crews, and a gift presentation.  Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite DreamWrights t-shirt and share brief stories and memories during the evening.

As Crews makes her exit from the place she called home for the past twenty years, she asks something simple of the family she leaves behind. “As you go forth, may each of you share your many gifts with as many others as you possibly can. What you will get back is priceless.”

All are invited to attend the retirement party. Visit www.dreamwrights.org for more information.

Local Celebrities Pass Hats and Pour Sips for DreamWrights’ Capital Campaign

On Thursday, September 22 from 5pm – 7pm, local celebrities Mayor Kim Bracey and DreamWrights Executive Director, Ann Davis will be serving up drinks and fun at the Holy Hound Taproom. Proceeds will benefit the DreamWrights Capital Campaign.

Ann Davis, Executive Director sports a hat
Ann Davis, Executive Director sports a hat

As its six month capital campaign wraps up, DreamWrights hopes to raise some more cash and community awareness. Mayor Bracey whole-heartedly supports the effort.  “DreamWrights has been an important member of the York community for twenty years. They have done a wonderful job of educating kids through theater, and I’m excited that the Capital Campaign will allow them to expand their reach not only to more children and families, but also to more diverse groups that are underserved by the Arts in York currently, like millennials and retirees, and the African-American and Hispanic communities.”

Ann Davis and the DreamWrights community are anxious for the Center for Community Arts to take its next step. Davis explains, “The work made possible by this campaign will complement, not replace the capital improvements made more than ten years ago. This campaign will allow DreamWrights to make the investments necessary to increase the reach and range of our programming, and to revitalize our historic building.”

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Mayor Bracey says that DreamWrights, as well as many other businesses in the city, is in the midst of a renaissance. “Empty storefronts have been replaced by thriving boutique shops and restaurants, and chain link fences around construction sites have become the norm, rather than the exception. The city is rebuilding and retooling. But we need more than just the downtown to thrive. And DreamWrights has the potential to be the sort of anchor for the Avenues and West End neighborhoods that the Strand Capital is for the downtown. DreamWrights’ Capital Campaign allows it to truly become a center for community arts, and a sense of ‘community’ leads to cleaner and safer streets, a better education for our children, and economic development.”

To make the celebrity happy hour more fun, costume hats will be available for donors to try-on and model.  Photos are encouraged to be posted to social media and tagged with #DWHats to raise awareness and show community support. The DreamWrights Hats at the Hound event will be held on Thursday, September 22 from 5pm – 7pm at the Holy Hound Taproom in downtown, York, PA.

About DreamWrights’ Capital Campaign

On July 1, DreamWrights kicked off the public phase of its $2.5 million Capital Campaign. This campaign will allow DreamWrights to make the investments necessary to increase the reach of its special programs and provide accessibility to all. The capital project will achieve two strategic goals: to grow programs and audience and to revitalize our landmark, historic building. Community support is essential in helping DreamWrights reach its $2.5 million goal.

The Art of the Theatrical Haunted House

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This fall at DreamWrights, hands-on classes will teach a variety of spooky theatre elements and techniques, including scene design, costume design, and special effects. Students will create the actual components for the first ever “DreamFrights” Haunted House held October 28 and 29. Classes are also offered for haunted makeup and freaky food fare.

In the scene design workshop, participants will create scary scenes through faux painting, set decorating, props creation, and special wall treatments. Costume design workshop participants will craft textile-based scene decorations as well as creepy costumes like hooded capes, goblins, ghosts and other clever creatures. For those interested in special effects, participants will construct sound and lighting cues for each scene and pathway and will utilize spooky background noises like a stormy night, haunted woods, bats, spiders and snakes.  In the Haunted Makeup class, learn to turn great looking people into creepy ghosts, ghouls, skeletons and zombies. The Freaky Food Fare workshop will explore ideas and creativity for making autumn and Halloween inspired food.

For the younger crowd, the Mini Musical: How to be a Pirate will bring out your inner scallywag through story and song. This workshop will culminate with a musical performance at the DreamFrights Haunted House on Saturday, October 29 at 2:30 pm.

All workshops run four Saturday mornings: October 1, 8, 15 and 22 from 9:00am-12:00pm and one Wednesday evening, October 26 6:00pm-8:00pm (with the exception of the Mini Musical). All workshops culminate with the DreamFrights Haunted House on October 28 and 29 where students will receive free admittance to the DreamFrights haunted house. More information can be found at http://www.dreamwrights.org/education/fall-2016-classes.

About DreamFrights Haunted House

On October 28th and 29th DreamWrights opens the doors of DreamFrights – its first ever Haunted House fundraiser. A team of creative minds are stewing up a theatrically frightful event that has modified fright factor levels from mild to menacing. Tickets are $10 per person and are available online at http://www.dreamwrights.org/fund-raising-event/special-events through October 27th at 4pm or at the door. Drop in any time Friday, Oct. 28th 7:00-9:00 pm (Menacing) or Saturday, Oct. 29 2:00-4:00 pm (Mild), 4:30-6:30 pm (Medium), 7:00-9:00 pm (Menacing). Suggested fear level guidelines: Mild – under age 7, Medium – 12 and under, Menacing – 13 and up.

DreamWrights Expands Programming, Hosts First Open Mic Night

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With the promise of expanding programming to non-traditional audiences, DreamWrights Center for Community Arts will host its first 21+ Open Mic Night on August 26. This anticipated event is just one example of the fresh and new activities that DreamWrights plans to add to its lineup of programming in its soon-to-be renovated facility. With the changes underway at DreamWrights, a new Innovative Programming Committee (IPC) was formed headed up by DreamWrights board member, Kevin Alvarnaz. “There is a community of adults who is seeking an outlet to showcase their talents in a fun, relaxed, and low pressure atmosphere. DreamWrights has the space and availability to host such an event. So we decided to give it a try and so far, the response has been great.”

One local talent who plans to perform is the father son blues duo, 10 Gauge. Ben Garner and his father will be playing a couple of acoustic numbers as well as running the sound for the event through Garner’s company, Rent Sound Gear. Garner says, “Rent Sound Gear specializes in providing sound for events like this. We’ve hosted many open mic nights before. We will also be recording the event.” He says he is looking forward to this community event.

For this first open mic event, DreamWrights will be limiting its audience to those over 21 years of age. Tutoni’s will be providing a cash bar and York Pretzel Company pretzels will be available for purchase. DreamWrights will be following up this first open mic with plans for an all ages open mic event and maybe even a teens only one as well. Alvarnaz explains, “Our teen committee members are anxiously awaiting a date for their own event. I think several of them have even begun rehearsing for it already!”

DreamWrights’ inaugural Open Mic Night will be held Friday, August 26 from 8:00pm to 11:00pm. Advance tickets may be purchased online for $4 at www.dreamwrights.org or by calling 717-848-8623. Tickets will be available for $5 at the door. Ages 21+ only, please.

Burn This

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A Public Service Announcement from Bob T. Builder.

It’s fire pit time in the York area and what is your best source for wood? Why DreamWrights, of course! We are making room for the renovations and are clearing out a lot of our shorter lumber. Just imagine yourself sitting around the backyard fire and reaching for a piece of 1×4 that may have been in Seussical, Ann of Green Gables or perhaps the legendary Annie. Ah! The memories! Reminds me of that old country song. “Throw Another Memory on the Fire”.
And with winter coming up you should be stocking kindling for the wood stove.

Did you know that you can do more with wood than just burn it?! People have been known to make blocks and toys from theater shop scraps.

So bring a big box and visit the basement Scene Shop. You will find several bins roughly in the middle of the basement with a sign, “Burn this”.

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Contact Bob T. if you have any questions or need help.

This will be a big service to DreamWrights. If we can’t send this off to be burned, we might have to rent a dumpster, and you know we have better things to do with our money!

DreamWrights Launches $2.5 Million Capital Campaign to Update Building and Programming

On July 1, DreamWrights Center for Community Arts kicks off the public phase of its $2.5 million Capital Campaign. The Campaign effort is headed up by J. T. Hand, COO at The York Water Company, and Suzanne McConkey, Vice President of Human Resources at Glatfelter Insurance. Together with Executive Director, Ann Davis, and a handful of Ambassadors and Solicitors, DreamWrights will hit the ground running on July 1, one day following a community centered kickoff event.

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Suzanne McConkey (left) and JT Hand (right), DreamWrights Capital Campaign Co-Chairs

The work made possible by this campaign will complement, not replace the capital improvements made more than ten years ago. This campaign will allow DreamWrights to make the investments necessary to increase the reach of its special programs and programming, and provide accessibility to all. The capital project will achieve two strategic goals:
Grow Programs and Audience – DreamWrights will expand and diversify its programming, participants, and stakeholders, thereby meeting its mission more fully. The renovations will enable DreamWrights to create better spaces for experimentation, participation, and learning throughout the building.
Revitalize a Landmark Historic Building – The investments made possible by this campaign will ensure that the physical building is fully up to code, activated, and protected.

Both Hand and McConkey have a unique perspective on the DreamWrights organization and the value it holds in the York community. Hand has seen first-hand the amazing impact DreamWrights has on young people when his own children participated in theatre productions. Hand expresses, “We are blessed to live, work and serve in a community that has supported us, encouraged us, and embraced performing arts in our historic theatre. For nearly twenty years, DreamWrights’ founders, staff, volunteers, and the entire DreamWrights family, have espoused a culture of inclusion and accessibility. At DreamWrights, we grow characters for life.”

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McConkey was not introduced to the organization through her kids as Hand and most other community members were, so she does not share the same connection to the program side. However, she is a strong supporter and sees DreamWrights as a center for community education. “Providing this opportunity for people to grow and learn about themselves, other people, and life skills is really impressive to me. The fact that adults and children are learning together and supporting each other is just phenomenal. It’s such a unique opportunity. I’ve always been drawn to the educational piece of it, the life skills the kids and even adults are learning, the respect for each other, and that they are given this opportunity to put themselves out there. So what if they might mess up or might not quite get there? There are no repercussions. It is risk-free, safe and comfortable.”

With pride in its past and passion and excitement for its future, DreamWrights is pursuing this Capital Campaign as the central, structural element of a multi-year and multi-faceted transition. DreamWrights is seeking to cultivate the community’s next generation of donors and leaders, while building relationships and partnerships that will sustain the Center for Community Arts. Hand believes, “Through this campaign we have an opportunity to open wide our doors, to draw back the curtains, and offer more diverse and expansive programming.”

McConkey agrees, “DreamWrights offers the opportunity for people of all ages to test their creative juices and energy in a very safe and comfortable place. DreamWrights brings together people who have different life experiences. It gives kids the opportunity to do something other than sports and electronics and meet kids outside of their classroom and school district. It gets adults connecting with people outside of their typical circle. That’s why it is important to me. The Capital Campaign will allow us to do more of that.”