The Little Theater That Could

A Theater Arts Newsletter - Winter, 2019

George W. Hewlett High School, Theater Arts, English Department

March is Theater in Our Schools Month!

The Educational Theater Association and the International Thespian Honor Society have partnered with the American Alliance for Theater and Education to sponsor Theater in Our Schools to raise public awareness of the impact of Theater education and draw attention to the need for more access to quality programs for all students.

The goal of TIOS month is to not only raise awareness inside the school walls, but beyond and into the community; to share the story of the importance of school theater with leaders, influencers, policymakers, and all community members.

It is a mission of our Theater program to raise awareness about the importance of Theater education as a valued part of our curriculum.

Studies have shown that high school students engaged in theater training develop a higher level of empathy and are better able to communicate and collaborate.

To celebrate, the Theater program will be holding the Day of Theater showcases on March 14th and our original, live children’s theater show on March 7th to bring awareness of the importance of theater education for all ages. Join us!

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Upcoming: In the Spotlight on March 7th

The International Thespian Society Presents

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Children’s Theater

An afternoon of original sketches based on the children’s stories of

Presented by high school Theater students

Thursday, March 7th at 4:00 pm in the George W. Hewlett High School

Little Theater

Tickets $5 / Tickets may be purchased at the door

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In 2019, the International Thespian Society marks the 90th anniversary of its founding with a yearlong celebration of the power of theater to instill confidence, empathy, and compassion to build better communities.
The ITS 90th anniversary celebration is a chance for all 135,000 current Thespians to show their pride in earning induction and joining a thriving theater community.
It’s also a shout-out for Thespian alums everywhere to re-engage with a special time in their lives that shaped them into the people they are today.
National, chapter, troupe, and alumni activities throughout the year will spotlight this major milestone.

Thespian Honor Society Inductions will take place on May 20th at 6pm in the Little Theater!

Theater Students Go to Broadway!

On November 28th, Theater students from all levels took a professional Stage Combat workshop and attended a performance of Broadway's The Play That Goes Wrong.
Actor Jonathan Fielding from The Play That Goes Wrong and professional combat directors answer student questions.
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Introducing our Introduction to Theater students!

In the early morning hours, Introduction to Theater classes rise and shine!

Alumni Corner

Theater alumnus, Ryan Egar, following his Off-Broadway debut last year in Romulus, taught dialect workshops in Theater classes on January 11th. He also coached cast members of the Theater Company's Pride & Prejudice who are learning the standard British RP accent.

Theater Workshops at Woodmere Middle School

On December 13th & 18th, high school theater students led workshops in improvisation and ensemble acting for grades 6, 7 & 8 at Woodmere Middle School.

Kindness Day at FECC!

Theater students wrote and performed an original show for Kindness Day at FECC on January 31st.
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Pride & Prejudice

The Hewlett Theater Company performed Kate Hamill's Pride and Prejudice (based on the novel by Jane Austen) on February 6-9.
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The Hewlett Theater Company Faculty

Director: Dawn DeMaio

Set Design and Construction: Jennifer Csorba

Producers: Marty Kilkenny and Ilene Gabel

Jane Austen first published her works under the discreet pseudonym, “A Lady” and financed the cost of her first publication herself. Kate Hamill, a young actress finding limited opportunities, decided to write vehicles for her own performance work by turning up the volume on female literary voices of the past. Along the way, she found power and poignancy in the works of the formerly-anonymous lady from long ago. Highlighting the humor, strength and modernity in Jane Austen’s works has become a mission for Kate Hamill who has adapted Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and plans to complete the entire Austen canon.

I’ve directed Jane Austen’s works before but this time I was thankful to find this unique adaptation, written in 2017, that encouraged us to view her work with a fresh, modern edge from a dramatist thoroughly versed in working on the stage. Our cast and crew learned a great deal about period style and dialect throughout rehearsals, but I think many were surprised to be able to relate to their character’s inner lives and the valuable lessons of this story.

In our heroine, Elizabeth Bennett (here called Lizzie), we see a loyal female character who is not afraid to defy societal expectations, who learns from her mistakes and who does not settle. In Mr. Darcy, who is a challenging match for Lizzie, we see a modest gentleman who may lack romantic charm but who shines brighter when his true integrity, sincerity and loyalty are illuminated. Pride and Prejudice reminds us that first impressions can be shallow, attraction may grow with respect, second chances do matter, and that love can and should sometimes be challenging.

Pride & Prejudice marks the 35th play production at George W. Hewlett High School for which I have served as director. Thankfully, I am still invigorated by this creative work space and by the students who devote so much of their time and energy to our productions. Butterflies still buzz in my stomach at each opening performance and I still get excited within the flux of choosing each new season. In my time here, I have chosen plays by William Shakespeare, Neil Simon, Anton Chekhov, Woody Allen, Oscar Wilde, Kaufman & Hart, & Tom Stoppard. I’ve also been mindful of including and valuing the works of female writers as often as possible and have directed works written by Agatha Christie, Mary Zimmerman, Julia Cho, Sarah Ruhl and Louisa May Alcott. It is a profound pleasure that my milestone be celebrated with the witty and astute voices of two female writers - Jane Austen and Kate Hamill.

-Dawn DeMaio

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Clue, on Stage April 11th-13th

The Hewlett Theater Company will present Clue, On Stage , a hilarious and new adaptation, on April 11th at 4pm, April 12th & 13th at 7pm in the Little Theater. Tickets are $10.50/$5.50 for Senior Citizens (if purchased in advance at starting on April 4th) and $15/$10 at the door. Based on the popular board game and adapted from the classic film, Clue is the comedy whodunit that will keep you guessing (and laughing) to the end. Join us!
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