Category Archives: #characters4life

Celebrating Twenty Years Full of Drama

This year marks a major milestone for DreamWrights – its twentieth year anniversary. Founded in 1997 as a community and family theatre, DreamWrights was built on the values of collaboration, perseverance, dedication, responsibility, leadership, and education. Now, twenty years later, DreamWrights still upholds the same basic tenants as it did all those years ago, but with a broader focus. Just last year, DreamWrights expanded from a youth and family theatre to an inclusive center for community arts by offering new programming that includes open mic nights, art classes, and improv for older adults.

Joan Bitzer and her family of four were part of DreamWrights from the start. Joan has seen many changes as she’s participated and volunteered her way through the past twenty years. “Watching DreamWrights grow from an idea in 1997 to a huge and successful educational arts facility has been an absolute joy. When we started planning, we had a vision that has been far surpassed in both the size and scope of what DreamWrights is and does.” Joan’s daughter, Allison Witherow agrees, “What started as a few families in a small church basement has turned into an arts organization that has touched the lives of thousands in our community.”

Joan Bitzer with daughter Allison in the very early days of DreamWrights

Since 1997, DreamWrights has had an impact on literally thousands in the community. The magic of DreamWrights has reached more than 206,000 audience members with its touring and traditional shows and has engaged more than 200,000 people through camps, classes, workshops, casts and crews. Joan says that she hopes DreamWrights continues to grow and meet the needs of the community while retaining the values, opportunities, and wholesome atmosphere that has helped shape community leaders and strengthen family relationships.

Allison started at DreamWrights in 1997 as Janet Mara in Miracle on 34th Street and now holds a seat on the Board of Directors. Allison shares, “DreamWrights has been a part of my life for each of the 20 years of its own life. It has taught and continues to teach me life lessons about responsibility and collaboration. I think I would truly be a different, less driven person if it weren’t for the lessons I’ve learned at DreamWrights.”

Joan and Allison today

Throughout its history, DreamWrights has proven that there is a passionate audience for its valued programs. As a center for community arts, DreamWrights is poised to more fully realize its vision of broad access to its transformational programs and greater engagement with the community. To that end, DreamWrights has launched a capital campaign to raise funds to revitalize and reimagine its building and offerings to be able to attract new participants, audiences, and partnerships.

Joan has seen many changes to the DreamWrights building throughout the years, but she says construction doesn’t change the foundation of what DreamWrights is. “I would like people to know that through participation in DreamWrights, they can find a place in their community where people are welcoming and inclusive, where their children can be among good role models, and where adults can find a group of peers with whom they can share quality time and make life-long friendships.”

We’ve Got Two Babes

DreamWrights has had a long history of double casting. Twenty years of it, in fact. This has provided for more involvement and educational opportunities. And more fun. Traditionally, the two actors cast for the same role were very similar. Comparable in size, shape, look, and style. Hilary Adams, Director for Babe the Sheep-Pig, decided to mix things up and choose two very contrasting young actors to play the lead character of Babe. Ten year old Natalie Doran and twelve year old Noah Youcheff are distinctive in many ways: height, gender, style, but both had something that caught director, Hilary Adams’ attention. She explains, “I looked for poise, confidence, and natural ability to interpret text and find meaning. She also had the sense that they would be able to carry the show since they are on stage for practically the entire production. “That’s a lot of stage time to handle effectively for any age.”

Hilary is anticipating the uniqueness that each Babe brings to his/her show. “They both have wonderfully unique, inventive versions of the character of Babe. They are very different actors, and thus their “Babes” are both quite different from each other. That’s one of the really fun things to witness: two very different, equally effective, interpretations of a character in action!”

Both Noah and Natalie were eager to be chosen to be Babe, and even more thrilling for them was that their friend was chosen to be their “other.” The two had become pals while working together on The Wizard of Oz. Natalie remembers, “When I found out I was chosen to be Babe, I was super excited because this is only my second show at DreamWrights and I thought I wasn’t going to get a part this big. I was really happy for Noah and excited to find out he was chosen as the other Babe. I thought it was crazy…” Noah interrupts, “…because we were just joking about it during auditions! I was really happy too.”

Even at their young ages, these two are learning more than the challenging blocking. They are learning the life lesson woven through the story of Babe. Natalie explains, “The show itself has taught me that it really doesn’t matter what you are, you can be whatever you really want to be if you try hard enough.” Noah agrees, “Yes, you can be anything you want. That’s a strong lesson that people need to know. Babe is very realistic story, other than animals talking. A pig could actually herd sheep… It could!” Natalie laughs in agreement, “Yeah, it could happen with them talking animal language. But yeah, it could.”

Come to the DreamWrights farm show, Babe the Sheep-Pig, which opens Friday, February 10 and runs February 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, and 25 at 6:30 pm and February 11, 12, 19, and 26 at 2:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 717-848-8623. Advance seats cost $10 for general, $14 for reserved. General admission seats at the door cost $12.

 

Babe Reminds Us that Anything is Possible

Left to right: Mark Evans, Andi Cooper, Sierra Noll, Makaela Cooper, Noah Youcheff, and Maddie Trimmer
Left to right: Mark Evans, Andi Cooper, Sierra Noll, Makaela Cooper, Noah Youcheff, and Maddie Trimmer

As Hilary Adams, Director of Artistic Programming prepares to stage, Babe, the Sheep-Pig, her very first show at DreamWrights, she reflects on the theme of the show and what she would like audiences to take away from it. Adams says, “I’d like people to feel uplifted by the central message of the show that you should not be limited by what the world thinks you can do. Trying new things, no matter your age, even if other people at first laugh at your attempts, is essential to continuing to grow as a person. Maybe, like Babe, you’ll discover a new talent or skill, or maybe you’ll make some new friends along the way.”

Discovering a new talent or skill? Making new friends along the way? Doing something you didn’t think was possible? This is what happens to people who enter the doors of DreamWrights. Babe, the Sheep-Pig reflects so many of the organization’s values.  Even the young actors recognize the life lessons that Babe teaches.  Thirteen year old Makaela Cooper and eleven year old Maddie Trimmer both play the part of sheep in the play. Makaela shares, “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like. You can be whoever you want and say it however you want and do whatever you want.  It is a message that both Babe and DreamWrights has taught me.”  Maddie agrees, “DreamWrights gives you opportunities that you never thought you could have. You can be a sheep one play and a princess the next one.” Noah Youcheff, 12, who plays the part of Babe says, “The show has taught me that you can be whatever you want to be if you try hard enough.”

People of all ages will find humor, excitement, and poignancy in the show. Adams invites audiences to come along on the adventure, “There are a lot of fun action scenes combined with touching moments of connection between the characters as we go with Babe on his journey from a new arrival on the farm, to his big day as the first pig to participate in the Grand Challenge Sheep-dog Trials.”

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As a special event, audiences are invited to visit with micro pigs, Dyna and Opal prior to many of the Babe performances.  Dyna is micro mini pig. At around 30lbs., she is on the smaller side as some of these pigs grow to be 150lbs. She loves kids and attention and snuggling with her humans. Opal is an 8 month old Juliana micro pig. She knows her name, walks on a leash, and knows some basic commands (sit, come , spin).

Come to the DreamWrights farm show, Babe the Sheep-Pig, which opens Friday, February 10 and runs February 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, and 25 at 6:30 pm and February 11, 12, 19, and 26 at 2:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 717-848-8623. Advance seats cost $10 for general, $14 for reserved. General admission seats at the door cost $12.

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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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.”

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A story Nora wrote about getting the call
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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!”

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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.”

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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

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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.

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“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.”

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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.

The Wizard of Oz is a Family Affair

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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.

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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!”

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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.

Never Too Old for Halloween

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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.”

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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?!

Learning More than Just Lines at DreamWrights

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Katy Newton in 2007

Twenty-four year old Katy Newton says that DreamWrights was her first artistic endeavor in life. “It taught me how to use art to impact the community. It showed me how a large group of people can come together and produce something fun and entertaining! It taught me teamwork skills and respect for hard work.” After studying theatre and English in college, Katy went on to pursue a few art internships and now works in the art world at Whitney Museum of American Art.

Katy’s interest for theatre began in 1999 when she came to see DreamWrights’ production of Miracle on 34th Street. She remembers, “I was in first grade and my first ever crush was in the show! It was cool because we got to go to different rooms and walk around. All of the Christmas shows are special because the whole community comes out to see them and it’s a magical time of year.”

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Katy Newton (front) in The Clumsy Custard in 2002

Katy’s DreamWrights “career” began in 2002 with The Clumsy Custard when she was just nine years old. But she credits M*A*S*H (2007) and Welcome to the Monkey House (2008) as her favorites. “With M*A*S*H, I got to learn a lot of history about the Vietnam War as well as a few swing dancing moves. ”

A departure from the more traditional DreamWrights programming, Katy enjoyed Welcome to the Monkey House because of its unique take on four Kurt Vonnegut stories, complete with subtle societal messages. “It was one of the first DreamWrights teen shows, and was great to see literature brought to life on stage. The director, Jay Schmuck, was a lot of fun and the whole cast was great to work with because we were all about the same age.”

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Katy Newton (center front ) in M*A*S*H in 2007

Art appreciation, philanthropy, history, literature, dance moves, and life skills like teamwork and respect were all learning opportunities for Katy at DreamWrights during her formative years. Now that she’s a young adult, she finds that these experiences have benefited her in life and in her career. “Being able to improvise and adapt to different roles and fields of study is invaluable. Being able to use art as a way to give back to the community was one of the most important things I learned and is something I still try to do in my current career.”

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Katy Newton’s head shot for Kurt Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House in 2008

As for advice she gives to rising DreamWrights kids, Katy says, “Take chances; don’t second-guess yourself. Put yourself out there. Remember there is no timeline or correct way to do things — everyone goes at their own pace. It’s okay if you don’t have an idea of what you want to do when you grow up — nobody really does! You make it up as you go.”

Designing Young Men

Sewing costumes in the theatre is not where you might expect to find boys. But eleven year old Daniel Perkins and thirteen year old Gianmarco Febres love the skills and experiences they are gaining while working on costume crew. Both of these bright and capable boys are putting their talents to work creating costumes for The Adventures of Peter Rabbit.

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Daniel Perkins (back) and Gianmarco Febres (front)

Gianmarco says he likes costumes equally to acting on stage. He was first on stage in 2013 for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow but he gave costuming a try earlier this year for Young King Arthur. He enjoyed it so much he’s doing it again now for The Adventures of Peter Rabbit. “I never thought about costumes that much until I actually got into costumes and then I realized it is really fun. Ironically I’m making a vest for my friend, and last time I made an apron thing for the same friend.”

This is Daniel’s first show in costumes but his second show at DreamWrights. He was previously on stage for The Secret Garden but now that he’s discovered how much fun costume crew is, he says he prefers it. “I would choose costumes over acting because actors have to memorize lines, blocking, and do quick costume changes. In costume crew you just have fun making the costumes.”

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Daniel sewing a costume

Daniel discloses that another reason he loves costume crew is because he likes being in charge of what the actors look like. “Even though many people think the actors are the best, the backstage crew honestly is. If it weren’t for the crew, the actors wouldn’t have anything. So that’s why I wanted to do costumes.”

Gianmarco says that thanks to his work in costumes he has discovered that he really likes to iron. “I like the heat of the iron best. I though t it was more complicated than it looks.” When asked about his favorite part of costume crew, Daniel emphatically answers, “Sewing! That is honestly my favorite part!” He credits DreamWrights and The Adventures of Peter Rabbit for teaching him this valuable skill. He explains, “Because now that I know how to sew, doors have opened up to me with opportunity. In school we had to make a costume for a project but now that I know how to sew it made it a lot easier.”

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Gianmarco working on the lining for his friend’s costume

Both boys agree that they enjoy theatre because it brings people together. Daniel says, “All these people you’ve never known before now you’re best friends.” Gianmarco adds, “What I like about it is that it connects the community. DreamWrights is a place that spawns more friendships than just in school and neighborhoods.”

Daniel recommends costume crew to anyone. “For someone who is hesitant about going into costumes, it might seem weird at first. But with all the skills you learn, later on you’ll appreciate that you learned them.”