John

Mar 072015
 

ECP wants you to reveal your inner artist!

Do you have artistic skills that are crying out for a unique outlet?

Do you want to share your talent with the ECP community?

Well, now is your chance!

ECP is reaching out to the many folks in Vermont who have supported our theater, and anyone who appreciates the value a vibrant community theater brings to people who care about the arts – and who might want to contribute their own artistic expression to our family.

ECP is in the process of updating our logo. To that end, we are opening the process up to the public. If you would like to take a crack at designing our new logo, please send your contribution to adamscunningham@hotmail.com. The winning design will be announced in mid-April.   The winner will win a free pass to all of ECP’s shows for the 2015-2016 season.

Requirements:

  1. The logo must represent the spirit of our theater (community, camaraderie, artistic expression, achievement, etc.); it doesn’t have to be literal, but it should capture our essence at a glance.
  2. It must contain the words “Essex Community Players” somewhere on the artwork.
  3. The acronym “ECP” can also be part of the logo, but the full name of our company must be included somewhere on the design (can be smaller than the acronym “ECP”).
  4. All wording must be in a legible font.
  5. In good taste.
  6. Simple. A “busy” logo (i.e., one that contains too much detail or too many images) is a logo that doesn’t do its job.
  7. Scalable – it should look good whether it’s at the top of a piece of stationery or on a huge banner.
  8. Versatile: As with scale, the logo should be impactful wherever it is to be placed – on a Web site, on a tee shirt, on a play’s program, etc.
  9. Memorable: The logo should capture the viewer’s attention and leave an impression.

The purpose of a logo is to communicate a lot with a minimum of complexity.  As Shakespeare said, “brevity is the soul of wit.” That is particularly true in the visual world of logos.

– – – – –

The second opportunity is for writers out there to script a holiday show to be performed in early December 2015. If you are a budding Hemingway – or just have a talent for writing sketches – this opportunity is for you.  The winner will win a free pass to all of ECP’s shows for the 2015-2016 season.

Our holiday shows strive to be family-oriented; to that end, we encourage roles for children, young adults and grown-ups of all ages.

Typically, we build the show around specific songs or sketches.

We try to be inclusive in our holiday shows, so, the majority of songs tend to be secular. However, so many of the traditional songs we love have a Christian focus, and we don’t want to ignore the heritage of many in our community. We do, however, strive to create balance that opens our celebration to those of all faiths.

Because our holiday show is built primarily around musical numbers, the scripted portion tends to be a series of scenes, sketches or dialogue that act as connective tissue, embedding the songs into a cohesive scenario or plot structure.

Additionally, since, like everybody else, performers tend to be busy at the holidays, we have found it useful to make our shows “modular” in nature – that is, cast members can rehearse their songs or sketches away from a formal rehearsal structure; the various pieces are assembled for a few final rehearsals.

Finally, the ideal scenario would be to have live accompaniment – whether that’s simply a piano or a small ensemble.

The script should:

  1. Be no longer than 90 minutes (not including intermission);
  2. Be family-friendly;
  3. Be fairly simple in terms of tech/set requirements;
  4. Contain somewhere around 15 musical numbers (assuming the average musical number is three minutes long):
    1. Because the selection of some songs may be determined by what occurs at auditions (both the people who show up and the numbers they propose to perform), some of these numbers, and the “connective tissue” of dialogue that embeds the music into the plot, can be loosely-structured. But a strong basic structure –a specific time/place/situational setting, a small cast of characters whose function is to create the connective tissue and some fundamental dialogue that propels the action – is required. The stronger the structure, the easier it will be to plug songs or sketches proposed by auditioners into the final show.
    2. At least half the songs should be proposed within the script, with the surrounding dialogue/set-up sketched out as specifically as possible.

That’s it! Send your submissions to adamscunningham@hotmail.com, and, in the subject line of the email, enter the words “holiday script submission.”

Good luck!

 

 Posted by at 10:41 PM
Feb 062015
 

On Friday, January 30, 2015, Essex Community Players of Essex, presented a donation to the organization Women Helping Battered Women of Burlington. The check for over $800 represented the donations collected by Essex Community Players during the two-week run of our fall musical, The Spitfire Grill. Through its “Essex Gives Back” program, ECP gives its patrons the opportunity to make donations to a local charitable organization to support their activities.

Thank you to all who made this possible!

More…

Oct 192014
 

Are you looking forward to another appearance by that grand old merry man in the red suit? Well, then, you’ll be happy to know that Santa himself is visiting ECP December 4 – 7 during our annual holiday variety show production.

Santa will be part of our home grown production featuring your friends and neighbors.  So take a break from the hectic pace of life, sit back for a spell, enjoy some songs and skits set to days gone by in a radio show and have some good cheer!  Get your tickets today!

Production Dates

Thursday, Dec. 4, 7:00 PM
Friday, Dec. 5, 7:00 PM
Saturday, Dec. 6, 2:00 PM
Saturday, Dec. 6, 7:00 PM
Sunday, Dec. 7, 2:00 PM

Production Team
Produced by Cindy MacKechnie
Directed by Amber M. Couture and Dana LaClair
Choreographed by Jennifer Corbiere

2014 Holiday Show Poster

Cast
Donna Boisselle
Ron Caldwell
Jen Corbiere
Roger Dodge
Amanda Dunbar
David Gaworecki
Billie Hall
Dick Hibbert
Chris Jarvis
Eli Jones
Roni Lesage
John Mauger
Kendall Moisan
Ted Posner
Susie Posner-Jones
Jasmine Roupe
Audrey Wilbur

 

Giving Back to the Community
HSCCLogoThe Essex Community Players supports the community through Essex Gives Back. During intermission, holiday jewelry, cards, ornaments and baked goods will be sold to support the Chittenden County Humane Society, which is this show’s Essex Gives Back recipient.
 Posted by at 11:04 AM
Oct 192014
 

It is late in the 15th century. The Italian city states are in turmoil. The king of Naples, Alonso, and his court are returning from the wedding of his daughter to an Algerian prince in Africa, when their ship crashes on an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Accompanying the king is his son Ferdinand, the king’s brother Sebastian, the present Duke of Milan Antonio, and various courtiers and sailors. On the island is Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, who has caused the shipwreck by his magical arts, and who 13 years earlier had been set adrift with his infant daughter Miranda by King Alonso and Antonio. Will Prospero exact revenge upon those who ruined his life?

“The Tempest” is a complex play full of mystery, passion, symbolism, humor, magic, and drama. All characters are fully realized and integral to the plot. In addition to the named roles, there will be a number of parts for island spirits who speak, taunt, sing, torment, and perform the “play within the play”; my hope is to incorporate middle school and high school students into these roles, but not necessarily to the exclusion of adults.

As part of the production, there will be two weekends of Shakespeare play camp prior to auditions. These are optional. It will be a fun way to learn about performing The Bard’s work, or just a chance to goof around if you already have Shakespearean experience.

Auditioners are advised to read the play (maybe even more than once). There are many good versions available that include notes, interpretations and analyses. Once the show is cast, it will be a mad wonderful dash forward with no looking back.

“How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in’t!”

The Tempest is being directed by Cheri Gagnon.

May 172014
 

This weekend is the final to see our production of “Our Town”.  As someone who worked behind the scenes and is in the production I can say, without hesitation, that it has been a wonderful experience to be in “Our Town”.  The cast and the crew have created one of those “once in a while something comes along that is truly special” productions.  Last night the audience was rising to their feet in applause before the lights were down.  Sunday’s “we are done” is going to need some hankies to wipe away the tears.

The show is (today) Saturday night at 7:30 and Sunday at 2:00.  There are just a few tickets left, so if you want to see it, now is a good time to get tickets!

Here are a few pictures from a rehearsal.  Enjoy!

The Stage Manager

 

Doc Gibbs, the Stage Manager, and George

 

Emily

 

Doc Gibbs and his wife Julia

 

Doc Gibbs and his wife Julia

 

Rebecca and her brother George

 

Mr. Webb, wife Myrtle, and George

 

 

Apr 062014
 

Well, Our Town has passed the halfway point in rehearsals, and the play is starting to lift itself off of the printed page and come alive. It is very exciting to see. The challenge with great plays is to be able to do them justice – to rise to the level the playwright set. The entire cast has shown a wonderful sense of commitment, and I think that Mr. Thornton Wilder would approve of our efforts.

Then again, I may be a tad biased.

Nevertheless, it is a joy to watch these rehearsals unfold. In many ways, community theater is out there on the front lines of the theater world – with no lavish budgets to cushion the experience, and with personnel both onstage and behind the scenes toiling at regular jobs at the same time their energies are tapped by the show’s ever-growing demands upon their time, it is a testament to these people’s dedication to creating these alternate worlds that productions get mounted at all – month after month and year after year. It’s a lot easier when one is well compensated for his or her contributions, and props or set pieces or costumes seem magically to appear, as in the world of the professional theater. Not so in our corner of the universe, in which a monumental effort is required to assemble all of the pieces that make a show. The effort is all the more impressive for this reason.

Our Town is an undertaking of significant proportions; the efforts of literally dozens of people have coalesced into a small army of volunteers, all pursuing the same goal: To put on the best production we can. This effort is repeated many times a year, and not just at the Essex Community Players – it extends across all of Vermont and the rest of the country – and beyond.

In today’s whirlwind of economic woes, an increasingly balkanized culture and uncertainty about the future, the fact that community theater is still so popular, and still attracts so many hardworking individuals from every walk of life who want no more than the satisfaction of knowing they contributed to the creation of something positive, it is a most life-affirming experience indeed to be a part of it.

Yes, I think Thornton Wilder would be pleased – not only of the final product we will proudly present to our audience, but of the entire undertaking. After all, Our Town is about appreciating the value of individual moments in our lives, and there have been so many such moments forged already in the mounting of this production that we can surely say we have paid homage to the spirit of this great play in the best way possible: In our humble way, we are living out its creed.

— Adam Cunningham, Director

 Posted by at 8:54 PM
Feb 182014
 

Here is the cast list for Our Town as it stands as of 02/16/2014. We’re still looking for three teenage boys (about 17) and three boys who look 11-12. If you know of anyone who fits the descriptions and wants to get involved, please let us know.

And now, without further ado . . .

Stage Manager J. Louis Reid
Mr. Webb Robert Ready
Mrs. Webb Lori Jean
Dr. Gibbs Frank Kehoe
Mrs. Gibbs Liz Heun
Emily Webb Claire Demarais
Wally Webb Samuel Armstrong
George Gibbs Gabriel Grant
Rebecca Gibbs Nathalie Stapleton
Howie Newsome John Murray
Sam Craig Drew Briggs
Mrs. Soames Louise Mueller
Joe Stoddard Ted Posner
Simon Stimson David Tilley
Professor Willard Ethan Alsruhe
Woman in the Balcony Louise Richmond
Man in the Auditorium John Maurger
Woman in the Box Mary Scripps
Constable Warren Bob Carmody
Joe Crowell, Jr. Isaak Olsen
Si Crowell TBD
Basbeball Players TBD
Farmer McCarty John Mauger
Townsperson Sharon Panitch
Dec 032013
 

Cemetery ClubAuditions for Essex Community Players upcoming production, The Cemetery Club, by Ivan Menchell, will be held on December 15 at 2pm and December 18 at 7pm at Essex Memorial Hall. There are roles for four women and one man, all stage ages late 50’s-early 60’s.

The Cemetery Club tells the story of three Jewish widows in Brooklyn who meet each month to visit the graves of their deceased spouses. Their friendship is challenged by a budding relationship between one of the group and the local butcher. It is a gentle and touching comedy with an opportunity for character actors to shine.

Production dates are scheduled for February 27-28, March 1-2 and 6-9, 2014.  A script for the play is available for review at the Essex Free Library.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the director, Dick Hibbert, via e-mail.

 

 Posted by at 1:30 AM
Dec 032013
 

Join us this Wednesday, December 4, at Brownell Library (near Five Corners) and be part of the  Essex Junction Train Hop!  We be there from 5:30 to 8:00 in the main reading room.  Mingle with us, enjoy some Christmas songs, and take in some readings of “A Visit from St. Nick”.  There will even be a bit of our upcoming Christmas Decorations production to see.

We hope to see you there!

 Posted by at 1:11 AM