04/29/15 5:00pm
04/29/2015 5:00 PM
Max Crean of Farmingdale plays Professor Harold Hill in "Music Man," a Bishop McGann-Mercy Theater Company production, directed by Bob Kelly. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Max Crean of Farmingdale plays Professor Harold Hill in “Music Man,” a Bishop McGann-Mercy Theater Company production, directed by Bob Kelly. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Meredith Willson’s classic musical “The Music Man” will be presented by the McGann-Mercy Theatre Company Thursday to Saturday, April 30 to May 2, at Bishop McGann-Mercy High School in Riverhead. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m.  (more…)

06/08/14 7:01am
06/08/2014 7:01 AM
Southold High School nominees are interviewed for MyLITV on Verizon Fios1. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Southold High School nominees are interviewed for MyLITV on Verizon Fios1. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

On the same day Broadway’s best headed to Radio City Music Hall to celebrate a year’s worth of achievement at the Tony Awards, the top performers in East End high school theater gathered at Longwood High School for a celebration of their own.  (more…)

03/31/14 3:58pm
03/31/2014 3:58 PM

The Greenport High School Drama Club will present “Bye Bye Birdie” on April 4, 5 and 6 in the district auditorium.

In the satirical musical, set in 1958, a small-town teenager is chosen to receive “one last kiss” from rock star Conrad Birdie — based on Elvis Presley — before he goes into the Army. The show is known for its songs “Put On a Happy Face” and “Kids.” (more…)

01/13/14 7:00am
01/13/2014 7:00 AM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Colin Palmer as King Richard at the Northeast Stage 30th anniversary party Friday.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Colin Palmer as King Richard at the Northeast Stage 30th anniversary party Friday.

“It went like a feather flying through the air — so fast.”

That’s how actress Peg Murray described the past three decades for local theater group Northeast Stage, which celebrated its 30th anniversary Friday night with a Masquerade Gala and fundraiser at Brecknock Hall in Greenport. (more…)

12/17/13 1:51pm

Southold High School Rent

The Southold High School Drama Club is preparing to stage a production of the popular musical “Rent” this spring, but the version you’ll see on the school stage will likely feel different than the one you might have seen on Broadway.

Southold Superintendent David Gamberg said Tuesday that the school will produce the “school edition” of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner, which tones down some of the adult elements of the script. The play follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians, some of whom are gay, struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS, according to a description of “Rent: School Edition.”

Mr. Gamberg said he expects that the production will appeal to the entire Southold community.

“What we did was we looked at the school script and we asked the teachers involved in it to really take a good look at it to make sure it’s fitting for the community,” Mr. Gamberg said. “It has a very strong and powerful message that we think is going to be very positive, but again this is based on the idea that we want to make sure that it’s very sensitive to the community as a whole. The three teachers involved are very responsible for that.”

Mr. Gamberg said it’s too early to say for sure what types of additional modifications the school might make for its production, but he did say the play was given the green light and will likely be performed in March.

Plans for the school performance led a pair of Southold residents to contact The Suffolk Times with concerns over the school’s handling of gay characters in the play. An anonymous letter writer said the play was inappropriate since it could “put students in the position to have to play gay/lesbian or drug addicted [characters.]”  One parent said her child believed the district was making changes that might offend gay students, including a decision to cast a female to play the role of the drag queen Angel, which is traditionally played by a male actor in school, community and professional productions.

When asked about a female student being cast to play Angel, Mr. Gamberg, who said he didn’t know if any casting decisions had been finalized yet, said, “I think that goes in line with being sensitive and making sure it’s appropriate for school. I don’t think it’s going to be written and spoken in a way that’s going to be seen as inappropriate. That’s the kind of sensitivity that [teachers are] looking at.”

The superintendent said he also received the letter from the concerned resident who felt the play is inappropriate for a school production and he said he believed that person would be OK with the finished product.

“I do not think that what was forecast or portrayed in that letter will in any way match the reality of the student experience or the audience experience,” he said. “[Students] will be very comfortable in whatever role that they do take.”

Mr. Gamberg said that more than 60 students auditioned for the eight-member cast, which he believes could be a school record. He said that speaks to the quality of the drama program at the school.

The decision by a school district in Trumbull, Conn. to cancel its upcoming production of “Rent” made national headlines this month. After a heavy backlash from the community, the school announced this week that the play is back on, according to the New York Times.

Mr. Gamberg said he was aware of the Trumbull controversy, but that it had no impact on Southold’s decision to schedule the play this spring.

“That came about after the go-ahead was made,” he said.

The teachers involved in the production did not return phone calls seeking comment for this story.

[email protected]

12/10/13 4:28pm
12/10/2013 4:28 PM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Northeast Stage company actors rehearse "Romeo and Juliet" in August 2011.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Northeast Stage company actors rehearse “Romeo and Juliet” in August 2011.

To commemorate three decades of bringing local theater to the North Fork, Northeast Stage will host a 30th Anniversary Masquerade Gala and Fundraiser at Brecknock Hall mansion in Greenport early next year.

The Jan. 10, 2014 gala will feature live music from George Cork Maul, dancing and performances by Northeast Stage company members, and local food, spirits and goods.

Company founder and Tony Award-winning actress Peg Murray will be the gala’s guest of honor.

The organization is soliciting locally-crafted masquerade masks to put up for public auction, as well as Chinese auction items. Masks can be contributed up through Jan. 4, 2014, with 50 percent of the proceeds benefiting the mask makers themselves.

Proceeds from the event will be used to fund productions in the company’s 2014 season and beyond, including the free summer Shakespeare in the Park productions at Greenport’s Mitchell Park, a theater spokesperson said in a press release.

The event is being sponsored by Brecknock Hall, First & South, Stop & Shop, J. Shields Fine Wines, IGA, JET’s Dream, Osprey’s Dominion, and the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets cost $30 in advance, $40 at the door, and are $15 for students with a valid student ID.

For more information, click here or call (631) 477-2972.