Upcoming Events!!!

Hello Readers!!

As we wind down toward the end of another great season, we still have quite a few events coming to the theatre! This Saturday June 9 at 1pm Jason Huneke, juggler/comedian, will be performing on our stage. He was featured on America’s Got Talent. Tickets are $10. Also this Saturday following the 6pm performance of Xanadu will be our Cabaret Fundraiser. See a variety of acts from MBT Alum. This is a free event.

We will be hold our first ever talent show. Want to be a part of it? Auditions will take place on June 15 from 10am to 5pm. With a performance on July 21st at 7pm. Visit our website for audition forms and guidelines or click here.

It is also that time again for our Andes Awards Celebration! The ceremony will be held June 29th at 7pm with hors d’oeuvers being served prior to the event at 6:30.

And last but not least…don’t forget about Sister Robert Anne’s Cabaret Class July 12-15. Tickets are still available call our box office at 248.370.3300.

On behalf of the entire staff at Meadow Brook Theatre, I want to thank all of you who have helped us through the years! Your donations do not go unnoticed and no donation is too small. It is because of your generous support that we are able to produce such wonderful productions. Thank you and Stay Tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

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First Preview!

Hello Readers!

Well it is 1st Preview for Spreading it Around and the weather is going to be great! For those of you who don’t know the show takes place in Florida and today’s weather is going to be pretty similar! Thank you weather people for bringing us such great weather. If you didn’t get a chance to check out the cast and read their bios please visit mbtheatre.com. It is going to be a great show!

One of the most expensive gated communities in Florida.

Highest Current Price: $22.5 million

In addition to seven bedrooms, eight-and-a-half baths, an English pub room, a chef’s kitchen, entertainment center and elegant loggia, this waterfront Italianate villa also provides peace of mind. In addition to 24-hour gatefront security, homeowners enjoy round-the-clock roadside and ocean patrols. Listed with Carmen D’Angelo, Gerard Liguori and Joseph Liguori at Premier Estate Properties.

I am not really sure what I would do with a house that big. Maybe throw some big BBQ’s! It would be a lot to clean and let’s be honest, sometimes I just don’t feel like cleaning! What would you do with a house that big? Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

Welcome….

Hello Happy Readers!

Boy January 2012 is almost over. I can’t believe how fast this month has gone! It seems like yesterday we were ringing in the new year. Soon it will be February and Mary Stuart will open. By the way if you have not bought tickets yet for Mary Stuart you should! 🙂 It is going to be a fantastic show! You should buy the tickets because I am in the show! 🙂 (shameless plug?). Also if you have not yet bought tickets for Nunset Boulevard you need to, the show is closing this Sunday! Anyway onto what you all can here to read…We now meet Andrew Danner…

What is your name? What department are you interning in?
Andrew Danner, Acting/Administration

Are you from the area? If not, where?
My hometown is Rochester Hills.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. (You don’t have to write a novel)
I am a native Detroiter and grew up attending MBT performances.  I showed an early interest in acting, often reenacting Robin Williams’ scenes from Aladdin, so my parents encouraged me to get involved in local theatre.   In high school, I performed in theatre, but also was heavily involved in Spanish and social sciences.  Following that path, I initially enrolled at University of Michigan for pre-law.  However, I decided to follow my passions for performing to Point Park Conservatory in Pittsburgh.  While in Pittsburgh, I wet my feet in both theatre and film, as well as working with the opera and symphony.   I later transferred and graduated this spring from the BFA Musical Theatre program at Western Michigan University.  While at WMU, I gained experience in variety of musicals and even created a solo cabaret under the direction of the MT chair, Jay Berkow.  My recent pre-MBT credits include: “Drowsy Chaperone,” “The Music Man,” “My One and Only,” “Jekyll & Hyde,” and New World Stages in NYC.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Michigan? What about it is your favorite?
Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown district.  Their ingredients are some of the freshest in the state and the experience is not to be missed.  There’s something so exciting about waiting in the line that wraps around the building and ordering a freshly made sandwich.  They also offer a market, which has an incredibly wide selection.

What are some of your favorite things to do? When not being an intern.
In my free time I enjoy working out, a good college football game (Go Blue!), checking out museums, and boating.   I also enjoy indie films,  I recently went down to the Main Art in Royal Oak to see Lars von Trier’s Melancholia.

How did you find out about this internship? What did you do to apply for the job?
I was visiting my friend Renee in Astoria over the summer of 2010 and she told me she was going to Michigan to work for Meadow Brook Theatre.  I touched base with her over the course of the year and decided to apply.   I sent in a pretty standard submission, headshot, resume, cover letter and was thrilled to hear back.

What was the interview like?
I auditioned with a song and monologue, as well as completing an interview.  It was great experience, because it allowed me to see what MBT was about and witness the great rapport between the artistic staff.

What has been your favorite part about his season so far?
Although, it feels like it has just begun, but I have definitely learned a lot about working in regional theatre.  “A Christmas Carol” was extra special for me, as it was surreal to be performing in a show that had inspired me as a kid.  I also really enjoy watching the veteran actors perform and seeing their process evolve.
What has been the coolest thing you have done since you started your internship?
I would say the coolest thing that I have done is diversify my skills and with each new show, a new adventure.   I’ve also enjoyed seeing the wide range of patrons and their experiences at the theatre.  It makes the work extra fulfilling.

What are some things that you have learned so far? What else would you like to learn?
The many facets of working in regional theatre.  I look forward to the many new lessons the remainder of the season brings.

What is your favorite part about being an intern?
I get to see the whole process.  As an actor, I rarely get that, and it has expanded my worldview.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What do you want to do when your internship is over?
“I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.” – Albert Einstein.    I like to take each day as it comes and taking progressive steps toward my goals.

Thanks Andrew! So there you have it. I am going to have to try Zingerman’s Deli! Well stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

And today….

Hello Everyone,

Today we have another intern for you all to meet her name is Mary Gietzen. But before we meet her I wanted to put in the plug about Nunset Boulevard. This show is hilarious. I went and saw it on Friday last week and I couldn’t stop laughing. For those of you who don’t know this is the last installment of the Nunsense Series by Dan Goggin. The sister of Hoboken New Jersey travel to LA to play what they think is going to be the Hollywood Bowl, but when they arrive they find out they are playing at the Hollywood-Bowl-A-Rama. A Cabaret lounge and bowling alley! If you have not had a chance to see this show you must come and see it! Tickets are on sale at ticketmaster.com, or you can call the Box Office at 248.377.3300. So back to the task at hand, here is Mary Gietzen.

What is your name? What department are you interning in?

My name is Mary Gietzen and I am the Wardrobe intern.

Are you from the area? If not, where?

I am originally from Warren MI but currently live in Rochester Mi.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. (You don’t have to write a novel)

I recently graduated from Oakland University in Rochester, MI, where I was a Theatre Design and Technology Major. I worked in the theatre’s costume shop for five years, partaking in many of their productions whether in the capacity of design, construction or running shows. In the summer of 2009 I had the chance to work at the West Virginia Public Theatre where I was the Assistant Wardrobe Coordinator. I love working with people and clothing, which the costume area allows me to do both. I love designing, crewing and stitching and hopefully one day I can say that I have done them all professionally.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Michigan? What about it is your favorite?

My favorite place to eat at is Chipotle, simply because it is good food that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to fill you up.

What are some of your favorite things to do? When not being an intern.

When I am not at Meadowbrook doing my intern duties I enjoy being around my friends and family just hanging out, whether it’s doing karaoke, the movies or even the theatre, just having fun is what makes my time away from the theatre more special.

How did you find out about this internship? What did you do to apply for the job?

I found out about this internship while I attended Oakland University, I had heard about it not only from the friends I had that were interns themselves but from people at Meadow Brook. In order to apply for the job I had to send in my resume and a cover letter, once that was done I waited until I got an interview in which I showed my portfolio.  I knew they were adding the position of Wardrobe intern so I applied for both of the costume positions that were available.

What was the interview like?

The interview was at first a bit scary while I was waiting for my turn, but once I sat down to talk with Sarah Warren it wasn’t so bad. I showed her my portfolio and talked about the work I had done in my undergrad. She asked me a few questions and we talked about what the job was looking for and if I would be a good fit. It was an interesting process and in the end I am glad that I was able to do something that allowed me to receive a position.

What has been your favorite part about his season so far?

I love being able to spend time in my area and concentrating on being the best I can be has allowed me to learn more about it and expand. Being able to be efficient and helpful have always been important to me and learning how to do this on a new level is very satisfying. It is very rewarding to be able to help someone and make them feel like they are in good hands backstage. In addition I like knowing that an actor can concentrate on the show if they know that their costumes are taken care of. Theatre is truly a collaboration and the more you can work together the better each and every show will be, which is why I am truly glad that I have a great supervisor that I can learn from and eventually my experiences here will shape me into being a better supervisor in the future.

What has been the coolest thing you have done since you started your internship?

The coolest thing I have done so far in my internship was make new friends and be apart of memories that will last for a lifetime.

What are some things that you have learned so far? What else would you like to learn?

I have learned more about working with people and about tag teaming to make sure the job gets done. This goes for all areas of theatre because being part of a team makes the job ten times better than having to do it alone. I really want to learn as much as I can about the costume field, whether its about sewing or wardrobe, I just want to be the best I can be through out my costume career.

What is your favorite part about being an intern?

I don’t really have a favorite part simply because I am still learning and growing as a theatre artist and there are things that I haven’t experienced yet. I do enjoy getting to work in the different fields because in the end it will make me a stronger person.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What do you want to do when your internship is over?

In the next 5 years I see myself either in grad school or working on Broadway. When this internship is over I want to do something that will allow me to get closer to my goals, exactly what that is I am not sure yet.

Thanks Mary! I hope that you continue to follow your dreams! You will go far. Remember never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about! Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

Another Year…

Ho-Ho-Hollo Readers!

It has officially been a few weeks since I have posted anything! So, here is another year almost come to a close. Can you believe it, Christmas is just around the corner! It is weird to think that 2012 is almost here. So what is your New Years Resolution? Mine, I am going to go to the gym more often and get back into shape!

So for this week’s blog I have decided that I am going to share with you a little about the different Christmas traditions around the world. I don’t think we have time for everywhere around the world, so I am going to choose about 2 or 3 different countries.

Our first country is China. For the small number of Christians in China, Christmas is called Sheng Dan Jieh, which means Holy Birth Festival. People decorate their home with poster, bright paper chains, and evergreens. They put up the “tree of light,” or the Christmas Tree, they decorate it with flower, lanterns, and red paper chains that symbolize happiness.

Many Chinese people enjoy the fun and color of the Christmas season. The bigger cities in China are gaily decorated and many shops sell plastic trees and Christmas decorations. Believe it or not, Santa Claus is a popular good-luck figure, he is also called Lan Khoong-Khoong, “Nice Old Father.” There are many fireworks, jugglers (Yay!) and Acrobats that entertain. Also at this time of year, the people of Hong Kong celebrate Ta Chiu, a festival of peace and renewal, by making offerings to saints and reading the names of everyone who live in the area.

On Christmas Eve, Christian children in China hang up their stockings that are specially mad so Christmas Old Men or “Dun Che Lao Ren,” can fill them with wonderful gifts.

Our next visit takes us to Ethiopia, which is the one of the oldest nations in Africa. Because Ethiopians still follow the ancient Julian calendar they celebrate Christmas on January 7. This is called Ganna.

On “Ganna Eve,” people fast all day. On Ganna at dawn, most Ethiopians don a traditional shamma, a thin, white cotton wrap with brightly colored stripes across the ends. It is basically worn like a toga. Then they head to the early mass which starts at 4am.

The foods during the Ganna season include wat, a thick, spicy stew of meat, vegetables, and sometimes eggs as well. The wat is served on a injera, which is a flat sourdough bread.

Twelve day after Ganna, on January 19, Ethiopians begin the three-day celebration call Timkat, which commemorates the baptism of Christ. Ganna and Timkat are not occasions for giving gifts in Ethiopia. If a child receives any gift at all, it is usually a small gift of clothing. Religious observances, feasting, and games are the focus of the season.

Most other countries celebrate the Christmas we know. With presents and lots of good food. If you would like to read a little bit more about different traditions around the world please visit http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/christmas-traditions-around-the-world-ga.htm. So there you have it! What is the best and/or worst Christmas present you ever received? I have always received really great Christmas presents so I can’t just pick one.

Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

Celebrating 30 Years of A Christmas Carol!

Hello Readers!

Wow! It is almost Thanksgiving, and soon it will be Christmas! Where did the time go? I think it is crazy that every time I walk into Meijer or Walmart, or pretty much any other store for that matter, they have had Christmas things on the shelves since before Halloween. Anyway here we are at yet another Christmas Carol. The season has come upon us, the leaves are falling, the smell of frost in the air and snow soon to fall. Well this is the 30th year of our popular show. Families come from all over Michigan to see this show, it is family fun for everyone! I have with me a cast list from the very first production of this famous tale. I am going to share that with you. See how many people you remember.

Who do you remember as the very first miser? If you guessed Booth Colman you are correct!
Bob Cratchit was played by Thom Haneline
Fred was played by Andrew Barnicle
First Charity Man was played by Phillip Locker
Second Charity Man was played by Henson Keys
Jacob Marley was played by Wil Love
Spirit of Christmas Past was played by Grace Aiello
Scrooge as a Boy was played by Raphael Aiello
Fan was played by Mary Bruin
Fezziwig was played by  Phillip Locker
Mrs. Fezziwig was played by Jane MacIver
Scrooge as a Young Man was played by Terrence Sherman
Belle was played by Sara Morrison
Belle’s Husband was played by Carl Schurr
Spirit of Christmas Present was played by Graham Pollock
Mrs Cratchit was played by  Jane MacIver
Peter Cratchit was played by Eric Bruggemann
Martha Cratchit was played by Grace Aiello
Tiny Tim was played by Kevin Skiles
Belinda Cratchit was played by Mary Bruin
Matthew Cratchit was played by Raphael Aiello
Fred’s Wife was played by Sara Morrison
Spirit of Christmas Future was played by Carl Schurr
Old Joe was played by Henson Keys
Char Woman was played by Sara Morrison
Laundress was played by Grace Aiello
Undertaker was played by Phillip Locker
Turkey Boy was played by Joshua Dawson
Londoners were Judi Ammar-Parker, George Bufford, J. Luke Huber, Sarah Jayne Huber, Jane Shaffmaster, Jan Semelroth Elliott, Rebecca Watts.

The Director was Carl Schurr
Set Designer was Barry Griffith
Lighting Designer was and is currently Reid G. Johnson
Costumes Designed by Mary Lynn Crum
Musical Direction by Terrence Sherman
Stage Managers were (and one of them still is) Thomas Spence & Terry W. Carpenter.

So there you have it. The cast and crew of the 1982 production of A Christmas Carol. How many people do you remember? Were you in the cast that year? Please tell us your stories of the times you had backstage. On behalf of MBT I would like to thank the first cast and crew for making this production a holiday favorite! Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger



Check Out Spotlights

Hey everyone!

This weekend is the 21st annual juried outdoor fine art & gifts Spotlights Market in downtown Rochester. Spotlights is hosted by the Meadow Brook Theatre Guild and features more than 125 Fine Artists and Artisans from around the country. Friday, September 9 from 4:00-7:30pm, Saturday the 10th 10:00-7:30, and Sunday the 11th 10:00-5:00 at Walnut and fourth streets.

These wonderful art & gifts are from all over Michigan!! This was started by the Meadow Brook Theatre Guild. They have helped us immensely over the years and this event is one you shouldn’t miss.
Stay tuned next week for my first video blog!

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

“I”, I Don’t See It.

Have you walked into a theatre and noticed that the rows go from H to J? Have you wondered why there is no I? Well simply put, I looks like the number one.

Many theatres across the country have no row I, however some do have row I. In the Broadway and the Jacobs theatres there is a Row I in the orchestra section, but Row I is skipped in the mezzanine.

There are some theatres that skip other rows as well. Some skip Row Q and Row O. Due to the fact that Row O can be confused for a zero and Row Q can be confused for Row O. There are some that skip not just Row I, but they skip Row O, Q and I. For example, The Neil Simon theatre in New York skips Row I and Row Q.

Now in London theatres things get a little more confusing. Some skip Rows I, Q and N. Probably because N sound and looks like M. Some also skip Rows I, Q and V. Others have Row I, but skips Rows Q and U. Due to the fact that Row V and U look much alike. Now not only do theatres skip these rows, but Sports stadiums also skip rows. For example, the Yankees Stadium skips Rows I, O and Q.

So there you have it! Many of the letters look alike so simply theatres just leave them out. Who knows what other kinds of quirks happen with the theatres that go to the far ends of the alphabet to include AA-ZZ rows!

Stay tuned next week for…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger

Feet for Seats: A Reminder

With the 3rd annual ‘Feet for Seats 5K Fun Run/Walk‘ just a couple days away, I thought it might be a good idea to let everyone know where this idea came from!

Let’s start at the very beginning… (Julie Andrews taught me that this is always a good idea)  A few years ago when the economic downturn started to affect the whole nation, money became tight for families, businesses and Non-Profit Organizations.  While the theatre continued to produce Broadway quality productions under tight budgets, the audience was finding it hard to afford theatre.  We knew we needed to act quickly and to rethink our fundraising efforts as we knew that contributions would also be affected by the economy.  What was there to do?

Feet for Seats Chair Krista Reszewski with her sons Ethan and Alex

The administration of the theatre turned to the Board of Directors for guidance through what we knew would be a hard time and started brainstorming new ways to fundraise…  It was then that Krista Reszewski stepped up to the plate with a great idea…  an idea that had never been tried by the theatre…  an idea that just might work… a 5K fun run/walk.

Krista was not new to the theatre by any means.  She visited the theatre when she was a student in high school thanks to her long-time subscriber parents.  She again went to the theatre when she was in college attending Oakland University… AND she is the daughter of one of our Board Members.  She knew the power of the theatre to educate, entertain and to inspire all that comes through its doors.  What a great way to introduce people to the theatre by hosting a 5K and get the whole community involved… and that’s just what happened.

A committee was formed immediately to plan the first ever Feet for Seats event and volunteers started lining up to help.  Many long days/nights went into the planning and we could start to see by the community’s excitement that this was going to be a great event.  We knew that we needed to make this event something special… we needed to show of the arts and have a great time doing it.

Jill Jack performs at the first Feet for Seats and invites the children on stage

Well Jill Jack came to the rescue. For those of you not familiar with Jill, she is one of the foremost singer/songwriters that Michigan has to offer (click her name in the previous sentence to visit her website).   She donated a live performance and entertained all of the participants when they crossed the finish lines.  Tables were set up by the entertainment stage so that people would encouraged to spend sometime watching the concert and enjoy the community experience.  The Lion’s Club of Rochester donated a vending truck, GFS donated food and we served FREE food for the afternoon to all participants/volunteers.  Also as a perk on the day of the event… participants could purchase tickets to the new season that day (one month before they went on sale to the general public).

The Event Site

After all was said and done, the first ever Feet for Seats was a qualified success!  With approximately 80 volunteers and 300 Participants, corporate sponsorships and pledges from participants… the theatre raised around $18,000.

We were all very excited with the success of this new event and vowed that we would make it annual.  We have made some fabulous changes this year that we know you will love! The Mike Duncan Band will perform as well as

The Start of the Race

the Peanut Gallery Players.

The race this year will also be TIMED thanks to our friends at Hanson’s Running Shop

The committee is working feverishly to make this year’s event even better than last year’s…  Now all we need is YOU!!!

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP TO PARTICIPATE OR VOLUNTEER YET???

There is still time. The 2nd annual Feet for Seats 5k Fun Run/Walk will be held, rain or shine, on August 21, 2011 at 9:00 am. Registration begins at 8:00 am.  Come out and run/walk for the cause.  Pre -register online to participate or volunteer at our website www.mbtheatre.com today!  We want to make this year’s event even bigger than last year so tell all of your friends about it!

A donation of $25 will get you a commemorative race day  shirt and even better… as Meadow Brook Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization… your donation is tax-deductible!  Participants can also gather pledges for the race day by downloading your pledge form here.  There are also prize levels for participants who gather pledges. Free Tickets, Back Stage Tours, a Walk on Role in Christmas Carol and more can be yours.  (See all Prize Levels) Remember that while gathering pledges, you are an ambassabor of Meadow Brook Theatre. Be sure to thank them and tell everyone who donates that their donation is tax-deductible and that they are helping to ensure that Meadow Brook Theatre remains the cultural gem of Oakland County… most importantly thank YOU for helping us to remain Michigan’s largest producing professional theatre.

This year we are also proud to announce that Feet for Seats has also been endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports.  We can’t think of a better way to kick off our 45th Anniversary Season than a great community building event.

Bring the whole family and we’ll see you there!

~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director

Greek Theatre…

Starting to remove the carpet and the seats.

Wow it is really happening! On August 7, the seats started flying out of the theatre. A big work crew of about 10 people started tearing out seats and carpet. It was quite a sight to see! Things were coming out so fast that if you stood and watched it almost seemed liked they were moving in slow motion. When all the seats were gone it reminded me of the Delphi or Epidauros Theater in Greece. I felt like we could have done Oedipus the King and made Sophocles very proud!

It is really exciting to see things coming together here at MBT. I have a feeling

Workers making the dust fly!

that all the subscribers will be very happy with the new look of the theatre. All the renovations are set to be done in early September.

Renovations include: new seats, new carpet, finished concrete, and new hand rails. You too can be a part of MBT history, to help just give us a call! 248.370.3316 or email lkostur@mbtheatre.com. I know that we are proud and you will be too! If you want to see more pictures of the renovations please go to mbtheatre.com.

And then there were none!

The season is coming fast so don’t forget to watch for when the Box Office opens on September 19th at 10am. Also if you have not signed up for Feet for Seats please do so at mbtheatre.com!

Stay tuned next week for “I”, I don’t see it.”

The epoxy floor coating! It will be so much easier to clean!

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger