During our run of Shrek in April, 2015, our website was hacked, resulting in the loss of several blog posts covering 2013-2014. Those posts are recreated as originally published below:
Staying With It, by Kevin Gallagher, Guest Blogger - Originally published April 8, 2014
It's a pleasure to sit and think about all my years connected to the community theater network. It is what I call my "therapy". As I tell the young folks who are interested in getting into community theater....where else can you meet 20 or so new friends, sing, dance and act in front of 200 people for 6 shows?....and you can do this every year!
For today's youth it is a great way to prepare for the stresses of the work world. I believe that those who participate are much more prepared to deal with all that each day throws at you. It develops your confidence and and allows you to comfortably stand in "front" and speak....in whatever you do.
I found over my 26 years with JMT / Community Theater that performing is great mediciine to cure your fears and a source of developing confidence in yourself. I've been associated with a few community groups but none for as long as I have been with JMT. I'm fond of JMT, as it resides in the neighborhood I went to grade school in and spent most of my teen years hanging out in. I was lucky enough to get a small role in my first JMT show - South Pacific (1988). It was there I met the friendliest, and what I thought were extremely talented people. I played the role of Buzz Adams (the pilot), and began what was to be a great bunch of relationships. Within the 26 years of performing I was lucky enough to nab many leading roles and also smaller parts in the annual productions. I can tell you that a lot of those contacts and friends that were made "still" exist today. They are truly family to me.
So anyway I won't bore you with every role I achieved, but will tel you that each one gave me something to move forward with in my life. Today I try and tell all of the younger set involved that being involved in theater at this level truly has its benefits - stay with it and watch yourself develop. Especially today with all of the social media tools, you find that young people don't communicate as well as they should (my opinion). I mean you'll never see anyone texting a line to someone on stage...it has to be face to face....hey! Communicating! I know it's not that extreme but you know what I mean.
About 5 year sago I started to get interested in the back stage part of the productions. It's true however that as you get older (and balder) that those leading roles don't appear that often. So I started helping with sets and doing stage crew. You should all try it sometime. I think you'll find as I did that that guy or girl moving that set is equally as important as the leading man or woman. As an actor you sometimes take that for granted but it is as speciric as a leading role. I also get to watch individuals grow each year and that is so cool to see. I could mention a ton of individuals but the list is too long. I will tell you that we have a present cast member who was just a baby when I began at JMT and now he is dancing, singing and acting on stage. He's not only developed as a performer but as a young man as well....and...his mom still does the show also. Pretty cool stuff, huh? That is a perfect example of not only JMT but community theater at its best!
Today I am on the board of another local community group called Willow Manor Players which provides quality community theater performed at Abington Jr. H/S. Many of the performers who do shows at JMT also participate in the WMP program. It's good to see the casts mix it up between the 2 groups. Folks can do a show in the spring and the fall which gives the community an opportunity to see close to and sometimes as good as off Broadway productions. Mayby I'm biased but the quality of the community theater in this area is second to none. All participants should take a bow!
I pretty much stick to the Producer role at WMP these days along with stage crew for JMT and also "announcing" at JMT. I always look forward to letting everyone know that they must "Unwrap All Hard Candy" at this time!
This year's production of "Hello, Dolly!" is as good as it gets! The sets, lights, dancing, acting, etc......it is extremely well done. It is just another example of people's committment to this trade. Our goal is to keep this train running, and with the participation of all of you who read this I believe we'll keep performing and we'll be buying tickets for a long, long time. This year is my 40th year being connected and involved in Community Theater, and I'm looking forward to many more! Hope you enjoyed the blog post! See you all on stage! - KEVIN
It's a Business - Originally publised March 31, 2014
Reminiscing - Camelot 2005 - Originally published March 16, 2014
Innovations, Change and Flexibiity - Originally published March 11, 2014
Reminisching - My Fair Lady 2002 - Originally published February 10, 2014
The Producer's Blog Intro - Originally published January 21, 2014
Welcome to Hello, Dolly! - Originally published November 26, 2013
Given theat 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 eeks. 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!