Jenkintown Music Theatre greatly appreciates the generosity and community involvement of our show sponsors. Without their support, JMT might have difficulty supporting the arts in Jenkintown and bringing such wonderful musical productions to our audience. From everyone at JMT – THANK YOU!
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Last year, Susquehanna donated nearly $3 million in time, talent and treasure to nonprofit organizations doing good work in our communities. Our Community Impact Report highlights some of the ways in which Team Susquehanna changed lives by “doing what counts” in 2012.
Susquehanna’s corporate giving program targets innovative programs and projects that are in alignment with our three main strategic priorities: Community and Economic Development, Youth and Education, and Access to the Arts. Health and human service organizations whose efforts target these priorities will also be considered. www.susquehanna.net
My first year volunteering with Jenkintown Music Theatre was 2002. You should understand that I just happened into the job of House Manager by chance, having just moved to the school district in July of 2001. My son had just started first grade at Jenkintown Elementary, and the Home & School Association had committee sign-up sheets at the first open house that September. On the advice of my husband, I signed up to volunteer with the “Jenkintown Music Theatre” committee, because he said Jenkintown was the kind of place where you really needed to build a network. So, while he volunteered with the local athletic league, I volunteered for JMT. My first contact was a phone call from Maria Lorenz, who managed our ticket sales so beautifully for many years. She gave me a list of positions they needed to fill, and I thought House Manager sounded like fun. Thus began a 12-year history with this storied group.
The show in 2002 was My Fair Lady, starring the late, great and awesomely talented Gary Gilbert. My Fair Lady was Gary’s first show with JMT, and I would eventually produce the next three shows in which Gary performed for JMT – Camelot in 2005, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in 2006, and My Favorite Year in 2007. Kathy Liebars was our Eliza Doolittle, and was a great match for Gary. Paul Pope was marvelous as Colonel Pickering. The cast was rounded out by the very funny Paul Mansfield as Zoltan Karpathy, Larry McLaughlin as Eliza’s father, and Jeff Cline as Freddie Eynsford-Hill. I was only on the periphery of the production back then, but those six shows were absolutely wonderful – such a talented cast and crew! My job entailed coordinatng usher, parking, and getting the lights on and off. There was most definitely a learning curve.
A particular challenge we had in 2002 that was, to a degree, fixed, was the lack of air conditioning. There was NO air conditioning in the high school building until 2006-07. On overly warm April days, we would run a giant fan in the high school lobby to suck all the hot air out of the auditorium and get some air flow going. In retrospect, we were lucky that more of our performers didn’t pass out from heat exhaustion back then. We were able to give many suggestions for auditorium improvements to the school district, a few of which were implemented over a series of years. I think we’ve come a long way since 2002 and we keep trying to improve a little each year, and I may have to interview some of our long-standing JMT volunteers who’ve been with the group for over 25 years. Thanks for reading and stay tuned!
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The Jenkintown Community Alliance is proud to support Jenkintown Music Theater. We believe that supporting the arts is key to maintaining a healthy and vibrant community. Please mark your calendars for our upcoming events:
The Hiway Theater is celebrating its 100th birthday, having opened in 1913 as the “Jenkintown Auditorium.” The theater is located at 212 Old York Road in Jenkintown, PA. We are nonprofit, community-based movie theater, specializing in independent, art, and foreign films. http://www.hiwaytheater.net/
Jenkintown Music Theatre has an almost 70-year history of supporting the Jenkintown schools through the production and performance of musical theatre. Started as a fund-raising committee of the Jenkintown Home & School Association, JMT’s first production in 1945 was a variety show format called “Stars from Our Own Skies”. The group transitioned to licensing Broadway musicals in 1949 with the production of “Where’s Bugsby?” We’ve come a long way from the days of Jeanette McDonald & Nelson Eddy, Sigmund Romberg, Gilbert & Sullivan, and all of those early musicals that you pretty much have to educate yourself about via the library, or via the web.
2014 markes JMT’s inaugural year as an incorporated, non-profit community theatre group. Our mission is to support the arts programs of the Jenkintown School District and to maintain a sustainable, Jenkintown-based, model to take JMT well into the future. Our first board of directors includes experts in accounting, marketing, education, archiving, database management, performing arts and community theatre start-ups. My hope is that this blog will give you some insight into JMT’s history and our exciting, direction for the future.
Given that the production team left Dolly’s house around midnight, or a bit later, after rigorously debating the cast for Hello, Dolly!, this inaugural post of The Producer’s Blog may not live up to the stellar standard which I had envisioned. That being said, I officially welcome you to what I hope is a glimpse behind the scenes of a JMT production. Choosing the show for 2014 took a bit longer than usual over the summer, but Hello, Dolly! eventually won out. The show is celebrating it’s 50th year since the first production in 1964 starring Carol Channing.
JMT will have some exciting improvements in 2014, including a more streamlined, Playbill-style program, and an online ticketing system. I expect the rehearsal schedule to be finalized sometime in the next two weeks. On behalf of everyone on the production team, we hope you enjoy this year’s excursion to Yonkers, NY and the bright, humorous world of Dolly Levi and company. Enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving Holiday!
Thank you to everyone who came to the Kuykendall Auditorium this weekend to audition for JMT’s 2014 production of Helly, Dolly! We are pleased to announce the our entire cast:
Dolly Gallagher Levi – Tara Dromgoole
Horace Vandergelder – Jack Sariego
Cornelius Hackl – Chris Seifert
Barnaby Tucker – Hudson Marsh
Irene Molloy – Lisa Starke
Minnie Fay – Rachel Goldberg
Ambrose Kemper – Thom Harmon
Ermengarde – Brianna Marsh
Ernestina Money – Angela Bleemer
Rudy – Rick Scache
Judge – Paul Pope
Ensemble: Bob Burger, Jackie Carroll, Jen Driesbach, Ryan Driesbach, Paul Ellis, Melissa Fernandez, Andrea Foulkes, Molly Hofstaedter, Alec Lempert, Kyra Lisse, Celia Markham, Erin Markham, Haley Marsh, Allen Metzger, Olivia Morris, David Perelman, Angelina Reilly, Elliot Rotman, Evan Schwartz, Oren Schwartz, Pam Walters, Austin Wamser, Anastasia Weggel, Loey Weggel, Bill Wendel, Fred Whittles
Dancers: Caitlyn Deviney, Nijah Famous, Emma McClain, Chris Mudge, Hannah Mudge, Michael Onori, Cindy Paul, Sue Roberts, Michael Sheketoff, Melissa Tierney, Monica Treacy, Anne VanMeter, Nancy Woehrle