Archive for the ‘Our Staff’ Category

The Paycheck

February 7, 2012

Anyone who has worked in theatre knows that the best thing about it is the experience you get to have with the people. For years, I worked with a more professional type of actor. I say professional because they got paid. But whether you’re getting paid or not, you never get paid enough. There is never enough money to compensate you for the late nights, the memorization, the time…Among the more professional set, there is a sense of mission. A sense that, despite the low wages, we were all doing something meaningful. And you got the sense that everyone felt a call to the work. But because jobs in the theatre are sparse, there was always a competitive undercurrent.

While there is a nobility and a generosity among professional theatre artists–(some of you are openly guffawing at my use of the word “nobility”)–there is an undefinable magic in community theatre volunteers. They volunteer their time, gas money, ideas, talents, all to creating a great show! And they all do it because of love. Some people might consider this naive. But I think they understand better than most what is truly valuable in life.

As I was perusing the cast member’s online pics for crazy pics I could use in these introductory blogs, I kept coming across the cast members with loved ones. Their expressions are of genuine joy and affection. They understand what it is to be a truly happy human being.

I love that I get to spend my nights (and some Saturdays) with these magical people.

 

This is Marc Reading and his beautiful wife. I’ve been friends with Marc since we were both at Bear River High School. He has always been the first one to volunteer to help. He would go from show to show, often doing two shows at the same time because everyone understood that if Marc was in your show, he would make it better than it ever could have been. When you come to see the show, you’ll note a very important scene. I had decided to direct this scene one way, but Marc kindly made a brilliant suggestion that would make it better. And it was!

This is Mike and Mindy Hardy with their niece on her wedding day. I love this pic because you can see Mindy’s beautiful smile–and I love that in the caption their niece said that these two were her favorite Aunt and Uncle. After working with Mike and Mindy, it is easy to see how they are her favorites.  Mindy comes to rehearsal with a warm smile for everyone. I love that she’s playing the mean old lady Mrs. Dubose. It’s just so funny to see this warm open person play this cantankerous biddy.

This is David Bowe with his little sister. I love this picture because in almost every picture you see of David, he’s got a grouchy smirk on his face. And in this picture, with his hand rested on his sister’s shoulder, he is open and smiling. David is a talented actor and it makes me happy that he volunteers his time to come and play with us at Midvale Main Street Theatre, though when I see this picture, I’m not surprised. He gets it.

And last but not least, here’s a picture of two of my favorite people. Annie Giardinelli and Kathryn Mungin. These two have been bright lights flitting around Midvale Main Street Theatre for as long as I have been there. It isn’t just the smile they bring to others’ outside of the theatre, but this is picture of the two of them in Hairspray! and it’s clear they’ve figured it out as well.

So maybe volunteer actors don’t make much money, but there is some intangible pay off that these volunteers embrace. And then share with loved ones and friends.

And unlike money, this love, this magic, this generosity–it never seems to run out. Or if it ever feels like it might, you can just come back to the theatre and get a refill.

For your own refill, come and see To Kill A Mockingbird at 7711 S. Main (700 W), Midvale. Visit www.midvaletheatre.com for tickets. Tickets are only $10. The show opens next Thursday, Feb 16th. Remember our showtimes are earlier than most (7pm)–because we have Qwik Wits every Friday and Saturday night at 10pm.

Posted by: Eve Speer

My Search For the Perfect Cast

February 2, 2012

When it comes to casting, sometimes it can be difficult to find the right group of people. I had to go to some exotic places to find these guys.

Joe Puente was touring as a roadie with the famous Garfunkel and Oats Comedy Duo. He and Miss Garfunkel had decided to open an amusement park for lamas when I swooped in and asked him to come and play the Judge in To Kill A Mockingbird. Of course, he agreed. Their dream of an amusement park where a furry animal can spit and ride on the ferris wheel at the same time is currently on hold.

I discovered Terence playing in a revival of Charlie’s Angels. He’s the good looking one.  When I asked him to come and play with us at Midvale Main Street Theatre, he was relieved to play something that had a little more substance and where people would appreciate him for more than just his pretty face. (In reality, my first introduction to Terence was when he played Martin Luther King Jr. with the above gentlemen in a production of The Meeting at The Grand–but it’s fun to imagine these three fighting crime together.)

 

Mike Hardy will be playing Boo Radley. At the beginning of the play, we discover that there’s nothing worse than killing a mockingbird because they’re innocent birds that just make music. And the character of Boo Radley needs to embody that idea. So when I saw Mike Hardy playing Tweety Bird in the latest Tyler Perry movie I Know I Saw That Putty Tat, I knew he would be the perfect Boo Radley.

Remember–the show opens in just two weeks! You can get your tickets online now. Visit www.midvaletheatre.com to purchase your tickets online, or pick them up at the door. They are only $10.

The show starts at 7pm. Thursday, Friday, Saturday. 7711 S Main Street (700 West), Midvale, Utah.

It opens Feb 16th and closes Feb. 25th.

Posted by Eve Speer

 

 

Famous Collaboration

January 30, 2012

As the director of To Kill A Mockingbird, I spent my weekend pondering how to introduce different cast members to our upcoming audiences–the show opens in just two weeks!! ACK!!! So exciting!!

I discovered that some of our cast members have worked with some really amazing people!

Here’s Lyn Dudley singing a duet with Stevie Wonder!

Lyn is playing Calpurnia in our production. She has an amazing voice and will also be singing and playing the guitar during different musical sequences we decided to put into the show. (Mainly because we have such talented musicians!)

Lyn was the choir director of the famous Genesis Group in Salt Lake City. She has performed in numerous productions throughout Utah…. mainly because she’s fun to hang out with. There are probably other reasons, (like talent…and work ethic…) But that just makes it really convenient for those of us using her for her personality.

 

 

This is Taylor Lawrence singing with Elvis Presley.  With Taylor’s singing chops and Elvis’s awesome moves, they make a good partnership. It’s sad that Elvis had to die a good decade before Taylor was born… Sad…

By day Taylor is a super hip barber, by night she is a super hero bringing smiles to all who meet her. She’s really pretty. She has an amazing voice. And she is playing our very own pretty little racist–Miss Stephanie.

  I tried to find a picture of Josh Hilst with someone famous. He is playing Atticus Finch… you know… the character that Gregory Peck made famous… (No pressure Josh)

But all I could find was this picture of his wife and daughter with Mickey Mouse.

Mickey Mouse is the the most famous person in the the world… (obviously)… And I think Josh took this picture. So that counts.

Josh’s talents include picture taking, having a beautiful family, knowing Mickey Mouse, and acting, singing, playing the banjo, and teaching English at UVU.

If you haven’t bought your tickets yet–they’re only $10! This is a classic American story. You will love it! Or at least you can enjoy Holly’s Sliders! Visit www.midvaletheatre.com for tickets today. The show plays Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 7pm from Feb 16th thru Feb 25th. That’s only 6 nights! Yikes!

Posted by: Eve Speer

 

Sliders

January 21, 2012

I’m supposed to be leaving for the theatre to teach Trisha a voice lesson. I’m sitting on my bed listening to the rain, imagining the poor people who flew to Utah to watch movies and ski at the Sundance Film Festival as they watch the rain wash away their precious powder… chuckling a little bit to myself.  I was born and bred in Utah but sliding towards my death in cold wet snow just never really appealed to me.

I’m thinking about how I am going to talk to set builder extraordinaire Johnny about Cassidy Ross’s set design for To Kill A Mockingbird today while I’m at the theatre.

And I’m smiling inside remembering the warm beautiful feeling I felt while I was at the theatre last night waiting for Qwik Wits to begin.

I was out in the lobby. People were pouring into see the show. Taylor was at the counter. Holly and Daxx were working away in the kitchen. And Taylor said these magical words that changed everything for me:

“Do you want to try Holly’s sliders? They’re only $3 for two.”

Something inside me compelled me to say, “Yes. Please.”

Taylor: “With cheese and onions?”

Again, led by a mysterious power I cannot explain, I nodded.

Taylor: “There’s cheddar cheese, but I like nacho–”

Me: “Cheddar! I hate nacho cheese!”

Holly called from the kitchen, “Do you want ketchup, mustard, and mayo?”

The question overwhelmed me. I was trying to imagine each flavor in my mouth and I couldn’t figure out what to say. Finally she rescued me and just promised to do all three. Again, I nodded.

Five minutes later I bit into the most delicious little slider. So fresh, flavorful. So warm and savory.

I know that you come to the theatre to see the shows…. but think about it… isn’t there a little part of you that PRETENDS to come to the theatre for the show because you’re too afraid to admit that the real reason you’re there is to eat Holly’s famous sliders?

You’ve got a great excuse to enjoy the sliders tonight at the Midvale Main Street Theatre! Showtime starts at 10pm! The comedians at Qwik Wits are in top form. Audiences were rolling last night. Come and see the show and enjoy some delicious food at the same time.

Posted by: Eve Speer

Enrollment…Dance, Sing, Act…

August 30, 2010

Hello Everyone! As we move into our new season we have gained the ability to take on more students at Guyz N Dollz. We are now located inside of the Midvale Main Street Theatre and have a lot of performing opportunities this year. We have new teachers, extra classes, and lots of fun on the horizon.

That said, we will be having another round of Enrollments on Thursday, September 2, 2010 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

For all of you who have played with us in the past, and all those who continue to support us…we so appreciate every moment we spend with you. If any of you are interested, or have friends who may be interested, or have friends who have children ages 4-adult who may be interested in singing, acting, or dance classes with Guyz N Dollz Performing Arts Academy, we would love it if you would send them our way!

Thank you,

Tammy Ross, Wendy Dahl-Smedshammer

A Big Thank You!

August 11, 2010

Performing Arts AcademyThank You, Community, For a Spectacular Benefit Show

Last night at the Midvale Main Street Theatre, we completed our First Annual Benefit program with a huge amount of success. We want to thank the myriad of participants who did everything from appearing to perform on stage, sing, act, dance, bake goods, donate gorgeous items for our silent auction, and leave donations. This event in all ways was over and above everything what we could have hoped for. Thank you to Kait Eckman and The Performer Studio for your generous participation, to Actor, Eric McGraw for his generous time and entertainment, and to the Valle family for showing us not only your amazing talents but also sharing such a beautiful piece of your heritage with all of us.

Thank you each and every one of you for the hours you donated caring about a family within our community and showing it in such a gracious way.

Thank you also for being so willing to play full-out! It was fun having community Karaoke as part of this event and seeing people jump right in and play. This gathering was fun, heart-felt, and because of every one of you, it certainly will continue throughout the years.

Tammy Ross, Dave & Wendy Smedshammer, and the entire crew of the Midvale Main Street Theatre and Guyz N Dollz Performing Arts Academy

Be A Star!

May 11, 2010

Guyz N Dollz

Spring Showcase!

Guyz N Dollz is featuring their performance teams at a Spring Recital at the Midvale Main Street Theatre! There will be two performances, each beginning at 7:00 p.m. on May 17 and May 18, 2010.

This is really fun, exciting entertainment and at only $1.00 per seat it is a terrific way to spend time with the entire family!

Sparkle is our youngest group with dancers ranging in age from 3-5 years old. They come to the theatre every Saturday morning and work on coordination, flexibility, and basic dance steps. They transform us back to the age of Disco with “Funky Town” & “We Are Family,” and what would this little group be without “Rockin’ Robin”?

The Dance Team Glitter is under the instruction of Alicia Dahl and has dancers that are ages 5-8. Most of them have some experience in dance and this is where they begin to add vocals to their dance performances. They will entertain us with “Boot Scootin’ Baby”, “Our Lips are Sealed” and “Reflection” from Mulan.

Attitudz is the elementary school, girls only, advanced group and is taught by Alicia Dahl and Gabriel Valle. This group of girls work very hard and are taught more advanced dance moves and vocals. Everyone in this group adds vocals to the performance. They will be delighting us with a Michael Jackson Medley along with a “Stars on 45” Medley. This group will be traveling and performing with us this summer on a cruise to Mexico!

Center Stage is another girls only group featuring our Junior High School Ladies. Their instructor, Danny Davis, works very hard and has this team reaching very high levels of achievement. Center Stage will also accompany us to Mexico with their Medleys, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and songs from the hit Broadway show Hairspray, including “You Can’t Stop the Beat.”

Spotlight is our combination group featuring young men and women ranging in age from 13-18. This is our most advanced group of students and are under the instruction of Mr. Danny Davis. He has worked with this group very hard to achieve their best and they have certainly succeeded. Their performance includes many songs from the new hit TV show Glee, including “Don’t Stop Believin”, “Jump”, “Walking on Sunshine”, and “Proud Mary”. Spotlight has been working all year on a Swing Medley and an amazing version of “Thriller” which they will perform on the Mexico cruise.

We invite you to come and enjoy these nights with us. If you or anyone you know may be interested in becoming involved with our Dance Teams, this would be the perfect shows to invite them to. We look forward to seeing all of you there!

We so appreciate your support!

Tammy Ross & Wendy Dahl-Smedshammer