Tuesday, September 29, 2009

West Side Story Community Outreach

NCT applied for (and received!) an Arts & Audiences Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council (NCAC), seeking to engage new and diverse audience members through outreach activities to the Latino community in the Triangle area. We are thrilled to have the following outreach opportunities in place for West Side Story:

1. Learn the 'Mambo' at the North Carolina Theatre Conservatory - Friday, November 13, 6-7 PM!
NCT is offering a free master dance class taught by NCT Conservatory Dance Department Head & Broadway veteran, Tito Hernandez! Come learn the 'Mambo' from West Side Story - Tito will lead the class in Spanish with assistance by Conservatory student (& WSS cast member) Carly Jordan! The class is open to the first 75 people who enroll.

2. See West Side Story at a Discounted Price!
Calling ALL students & teachers of ANY age - come to Target Student Preview Night on Friday, October 16th at 7 PM and see the show for only $10! After the show, there will be a Q&A with the cast and crew with a translation in Spanish. We will also provide a study guide as well.

3. Attend the FREE dress rehearsal for West Side Story on Thursday, October 15th at 8 PM.
NCT is targeting young, Latino professionals (age 18-40) by opening up dress rehearsal to a limited amount of guests. This gives a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the NCT process - seeing the production during a rehearsal and then coming back for another performance!

We are excited about these opportunities and hope to have a good turn out!

Monday, September 28, 2009

2nd Annual BFA Showcase at the NC Theatre Conservatory

It’s amazing how much stress and anxiety can ooze from five teenagers in one room. This past weekend, five of NCT Conservatory’s top students performed in the BFA Showcase for three professors from top performing arts schools. Professors include Aubrey Berg from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Gayle Seaton from Florida State University and Mark Madama from theUniversity of Michigan.

Lydia Leggett, Jessica Koons, Logan Williamson, Carly Jordan & Meredith Davis were the lucky few who would be running through a mock audition with these professors.

First, they learned a new dance routine taught by Tito Hernandez. Then, they were given group feedback and changed to prepare for their individual audition. They sang one song and performed one monologue for the panel and were then critiqued individually. All of the professors had great criticism and the students each went away knowing what they needed to work on. While the overall mood was anxious and nervous, they all received priceless advice that will help them when they start auditioning for colleges.

This was the second year that the NCT Conservatory has provided a BFA Showcase and all the parents, students, and professors had nothing but positive things to say about the program!

If you are interested in learning more about this program, please click here for more details or call NCTC program director, Heather Patterson King, at 919-855-0015.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dinner on Stage Performers Announced!

Dinner on Stage with NCT is a very special event for our leading role donors*. This year's event will take place on Monday, October 19th on the stage of Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. Dinner on Stage is always on the dark Monday during our last show of the season, and our donors have cocktails, appetizers, dinner and delicious desert among the set on stage! It's a very unique event - and is a great excuse to get all dressed up to come to the theater for a special occasion.

For our 5th year - we are very fortunate to have three talented performers grace the stage for a fun-filled evening of entertainment. They are:

Ray Walker - NC Theatre Conservatory Artistic Director and Broadway veteran (Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease, Les Miserables)

Lauren Kennedy - Broadway Veteran (Sunset Boulevard, Side Show, Spamalot & Les Miserables)

John Arthur Greene - former NCT Kids on Broadway and main stage alum, now starring as Riff in Broadway's West Side Story

Stay tuned for pictures from the event - and if you want to be a part of this special evening or future Dinner on Stage events, please contact the Devlopment Department at 919-831-6941 x6948. Contributing to our Annual Fund at all different levels gives you a host of benefits at NCT! Click here for more details.

*Leading role donors give $1,500 or more to the Annual Fund.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

West Side Story & Romeo & Juliet

Past NCT production of West Side Story

WSS is the modern adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, written in the late 1590s by William Shakespeare. Where Romeo & Juliet were star-crossed lovers in Verona, Italy, Tony & Maria (of WSS) are star-crossed lovers in the violent streets of New York, doomed by social conditions they cannot control. Like Romeo & Juliet, Tony & Maria are from opposite groups and this poses major problems in their relationship.

WSS takes place over two days, with the song and dance pushing the plot along at a rapid pace. In Shakespeare's story the Capulets and Montagues are the feuding families, and in WSS the Jets (who consider themselves "American") and the Sharks (who are Hispanics, mainly of Puerto Rican ancestry) are two feuding neighborhood gangs. I won't give away the ending, but if you are aware of how Romeo & Juliet concludes, that should be some indication - this is a tragic love story.

Romeo & Juliet

Although WSS debuted on Broadway in the 1950s, it is still relevant today and is currently playing on Broadway, but with a new twist. Their version has some songs and dialog in Spanish, to make the story more authentic. However, they have recently changed some of these songs back to English so that the audience can better understand what is going on in the story.

Our version of WSS being produced for Triangle audiences only (running Oct. 17-25 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium) will be spectacular! Josh Bergasse, the director and choreographer, is going to bring a lot to the table to keep the story fresh and exciting, and showcase the Jerome Robbins choreography as well.

WSS director, Joshua Bergasse

Tickets are on sale now - call the NCT Box Office at 919-831-6941 x6944, Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or visit www.nctheatre.com for more information.

Friday, September 11, 2009

West Side Story Leads Announced

NC Theatre is thrilled to produce West Side Story! We held auditions in Raleigh and NYC and have assembled a very talented cast. Here are the leads in the show:

Josh Young - Tony

Catherine Cheng Jones - Maria

Catherine is known to NCT audiences from her experience in Miss Saigon (Mimi), Jesus Christ Superstar, Dreamgirls and Beauty and the Beast. She was also in Camelot at New York Philharmonic, The King & I in Broadway Asia.

Leo Ash Evens - Riff

Leo starred in The West End production of West Side Story as Riff. Off-Broadway, he was in Wanda's World, Signs of Life and I Prefer to Dream. He also starred as Riff in the National Tour of West Side Story and was in the National Tours of Disney's on the Record, 42nd Street and Casper The Musical.

Asmeret Ghebremichael - Anita

Asmeret was in the Broadway productions Legally Blonde, Spamalot, Wicked and Footloose. She was in the original company of In the Heights Off-Broadway and was in the World Premiere of A Little Princess.

Freddy Ramirez - Bernardo

Freddy was in Grease on Broadway, and in the National Tours of Grease, A Chorus Line, Peter Pan and Tangol. Regionally, he was in West Side Story (Bernardo/Action), Godspell (Lamar), Anything Goes (Billy), Cabaret (Victor) and others.

Rehesarsals start October 5th and the show runs October 17-25th in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. Full cast list to be posted soon - stay tuned!