The Front Row Blog

Do Good Over Dinner: Chipotle Fundraiser 12/18

On Monday, December 18th, 2017 Encore Stage & Studio is partnering with the Lee Heights Chipotle Mexican Grill on 4520 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207! When you make a purchase at the Lee Heights Chipotle between 4-9 p.m. and mention Encore or show the flyer that’s below, 50% of the price of your purchase will be donated to Encore. The flyer is at the end of this blog post, on our Facebook page, and on our Instagram page.

And now, here are 5 Things That Happen When You Support Encore at Chipotle!

1) You Support Encore’s Scholarship Program
This spring, Encore is partnering with Arlington County’s Project Extra Step, the county’s office dedicated to meeting the educational needs of homeless children in Arlington, by offering full scholarships to Encore’s Spring Break Camp.

2) You Support Encore’s Productions
Not only are Encore’s productions fun for everyone, they are for everyone! Encore is one of the only theatre company for kids where no child has to pay to audition or participate! We believe that theatre is for everyone!

3) It’s a Chance to Catch Up with Your Encore Family!
When the class, camp, rehearsal, or show ends, it’s hard to plan time to get together. A quick bite to eat at Chipotle is a perfect opportunity to catch up!

4) Everyone Needs an Excuse to Pull Out an Encore T-Shirt
When was the last time you wore an Encore shirt around people who know what it means to be a part of Encore? Wear your Encore shirt and let people know what show or camp you’re proud to have been a part of. Share your dinner with your Encore fam on social media and use #RepYourEncore.

5) Hello, Burritos!!!!!
On top of all the wonderful things that come with supporting Encore through this fundraiser, you get to eat some delicious Chipotle! Get yourself a burrito, bowl, tacos, or a salad! Go crazy and get the guac!

As promised, here’s that flyer! We hope to see you at the Lee Heights Chipotle Mexican Grill on 4520 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207 between 4-9 p.m. Show your support of Encore and don’t worry about dishes for a night!

Meet Miss Clavel (Blue Cast), Amelia Williams

It takes two! With a three-weekend long run, we have two actors cast as Miss Clavel. We’re so delighted to introduce you to Amelia Williams, who plays Miss Clavel in the blue cast of Madeline’s Christmas!

Can you describe your first experience with theater? What sparked your interest?
Amelia:
My first experience with theater was when I was 4 years old, I saw the Nutcracker with my mom. I just remember seeing all of the pretty costumes and all the pieces of the play come together. The play really made me want to see more and more so that’s what started my theater experience.

What other roles have you played in Encore’s past productions? What is your most memorable one and why?
Amelia:
I have played Ermengarde in A Little Princess and Nyra in The Jungle Book. My most memorable performance would have to be Ermengarde because she was so funny and it was also my first play. I really connected with her by the end of the play I was actually really sad.

In your own words, how would you describe Miss Clavel?
Amelia:
Miss Clavel is a very kind and caring teacher. She takes care of her girls as if they were her own daughters and always pushes them to be the best they can be. She always tell them not to be afraid and to try new things.

What do you enjoy most about playing Miss Clavel?
Amelia:
I enjoy being able to develop her character more and more. I think Miss Clavel seems very simple on the surface but she is really a complex person. I hope i get to know more about her.

Do you find any fun challenges playing the role, and if so, what are they?
Amelia:
A challenge for me was memorizing my lines! Most of them were very proper and didn’t come in any specific order so i really had to memorize them quickly. The songs were also hard at first but after singing them a few times they got much easier.

What are some tips about being in the audience can you share for first- time theater goers coming to see the show?
Amelia:
Well when you are in the audience please be quiet, you don’t want to disturb other theater goers and the after can hear you on stage! If you find something funny go ahead and laugh! It’s the actors job to stop speaking if someone is laughing so that everyone can hear the performance. Last but not least, enjoy the show!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Amelia:
Thank you so much for letting me do this interview! I hope everyone has a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Photos by Larry McClemons and Aileen Pangan

Meet Miss Clavel (Yellow Cast), Ella McHugh of Madeline’s Christmas

We are excited to perform our final weekend of Madeline’s Christmas! To celebrate, we’re happy to introduce you to Ella McHugh, who plays Miss Clavel in the yellow cast of Madeline’s Christmas!

What other roles have you played in Encore’s past show productions? What is your most memorable one and why?
Ella:
My first role was as a unicorn and the prince’s lieutenant in Cinderella three years ago. I have also been the Magic Mirror in Snow White, one of Olivia’s friends in Twelfth Night, and Mrs. Carmichael in A Little Princess. My most memorable role is being a part of Godspell. It was lots of fun and I became really good friends with everyone in the cast.

I have also been on backstage or front of house crews for Cul de Sac, The Best Haunted House and The Jungle Book. It’s great being on crew. You get to build stuff and paint things. I’ll be on the crew for Sherlock Holmes, coming up in January.

What other classes and camps have your participated with Encore, do you have a favorite experience to share?
Ella:
Godspell was the performance for the Musical Theater Intensive last year. This was a class where the students learn all about being a part of a musical from auditions to the performance. I started taking after school enrichment classes with Encore in around 3rd grade and have taken classes or signed up with camps every year since then. For the past three summers, I have participated in Stage Door, a three week camp that puts on a musical. Last summer’s musical was The Little Mermaid.

In your own words, how would you describe Miss Clavel?
Ella:
She is a motherly figure towards the girls and tries to keep them all safe. She does her best to help them, as when they get sick. But it doesn’t always go as she wants. She reminds me of my kindergarten teacher because she is trying to teach all the kids to be respectful, but we were only kindergarteners so we didn’t always do what she said.

What do you enjoy most about playing Miss Clavel?
Ella:
I like working with Kelsey, the director, and the other kids in the show. It’s nice having the role double cast because you have someone else going through the process with you for moral support.

Do you find any fun challenges playing the role, and if so, what are they?
Ella:
Sometimes pronouncing the French is difficult. But now I can say, mes petite filles which means “my little girls”.

What are some tips about being in the audience can you share for first- time theater goers coming to see the show?
Ella:
Have fun and enjoy the show, but remember to be a respectful audience member.


Remaining shows:
Friday, December 1, 2017 at 7:30 pm (LIMITED SEATS LEFT)
Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 11 am (LIMITED SEATS LEFT)

Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 3 pm (SOLD OUT!)
Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 3 pm (SOLD OUT!)

Photos by Larry McClemons, Rosemarie O’Connor and Aileen Pangan

Meet Madeline (Blue Cast) Miranda Tonsetic of Madeline’s Christmas

Double the fun! With a three-weekend long run, we have two actors cast as Madeline. We’re so delighted to introduce you to Miranda Tonsetic, who plays Madeline in the blue cast of Madeline’s Christmas!

Can you describe your first experience with theater? What sparked your interest?
Miranda:
When I was little, my mom used to take me and my brother to shows at Glen Echo, and I would be like “Wow, that’s so cool, I want to do that!” My first experience was when I did a local theatre camp and we did the Rainbow Fish, and I was the Rainbow Fish’s Mom, as a 6 year old! I was so excited to perform the show!

What encouraged you to audition for Madeline’s Christmas?
Miranda:
What encouraged me was that I was like Madeline. I feel like I’ve heard that before, and then I remembered vaguely watching the movies and reading the books, and I thought it would be a really fun musical to do. Musicals are my favorite type of show to perform.

What other roles have you played in Encore’s past productions? What is your most memorable one and why?
Miranda:
In my first show Much Ado About Nothing I played Balthazar, and the Sexton. In Hansel and Gretel I played the baby troll, in Treasure Island I played Anne, (a female pirate), in the Best Haunted House Ever I played Madge (a cheerleader), in A Little Princess I played Jessie, and in Night At the Wax Museum I played Violet Sneed.

The most memorable one was probably Violet Sneed, because she was such a fun character to play (evil characters are the best) and also I lost my voice during that show so I had to just power through and do the best I could, but it was okay since I was surrounded by so many awesome people in that show.

What do you enjoy most about playing Madeline?
Miranda:
She is not afraid of anything and won’t let anyone or anything, no matter how big, get in her way.

What similarities or differences do you have with your character?
Miranda:
We’re both pretty independent, and want to help others that are struggling, and we’re both pretty adventurous. A difference that we have is she has a lot more energy than me, how she can take care of all her sick friends is something I could not do, I would be out like a light before i could help all of them.

To get our audience excited for the production, can you describe the show in one word?
Miranda:
Exciting!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Miranda:
If you are discouraged that you have not been cast yet, keep trying and see what you can improve on, I didn’t get cast on my first audition, but I kept trying and got cast!

Thank you Miranda for sharing your Encore experience! Break a leg!

Just two weekends left of Madeline’s Christmas! Don’t miss out on this charming production!


Remaining shows:
Friday, November 17 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 11 am
Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 3 pm
Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 3 pm
Friday, December 1, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 11 am
Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 3 pm
Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 3 pm (SOLD OUT!)

Click here to buy your tickets today.

Photos by Larry McClemons and Aileen Pangan

Meet Madeline (Yellow Cast), Maggie Donnelly of Madeline’s Christmas!

Hip hip hooray! This is our first ever production of Madeline’s Christmas and we’re so excited for a number of reasons: #1 three weekends of shows, #2 it’s the start of our 50th anniversary season, and lastly, #3 we have 2 actors cast as Madeline! Meet one of them–Maggie Donnelly and learn about her experience at Encore and throughout the production process!

Can you describe your first experience with theater? What sparked your interest?
Maggie:
My first experience in Theater was Encore Stage and Studio’s summer camp, It’s elementary. My family always saw how dramatic I was as a smaller child, and thought I should foster those talents, into better use by doing drama. So my parents signed me up for It’s elementary and I did it for 5 years, and loved it.

What encouraged you to audition for Madeline’s Christmas?
Maggie:
The fact that Madeline’s Christmas was a musical was definitely one of the main factors of my choice to audition. I read the Madeline stories as a younger girl and knew them well. I also knew that being a young girl that I might have had a chance at being in the show, considering there are 12 young girl parts!

What other roles have you played in Encore’s past productions? What is your most memorable one and why?
Maggie:
My most memorable show was my first (and only) show, Snow White. I was a squirrel and part of the animal choir. Although, I didn’t have any lines, I still had fun, and it was an amazing experience.

What do you enjoy most about playing Madeline?
Maggie:
Some of the things I enjoy about playing Madeline, are the cast. The cast in Madeline is already like my family. This is my first show with most of the people and I am already so comfortable around them, like I have known them for years. I also love the staff. The staff is so helpful and friendly, they teach me all sorts of cool stuff, yet they don’t seem like teachers to me (in a good way). I also enjoy coming to rehearsal. When I come to rehearsal, everybody understands me there. I feel like I leave all of the stress about school, friends, or family, at the door and don’t have to think about it anymore. Lastly, I love playing Madeline, because she is strong willed and she won’t anybody stand in her way, but she is sweet and loving, and caring about everyone, and everything.

What similarities or differences do you have with your character?
Maggie:
I see a lot of similarities between me and my character, she is strong and persistent and is always seeking adventure, even when she is specifically told not to. She isn’t afraid of much, but will take care of anyone that needs her help. That reminds me a little bit of me, sometimes.

Thanks Maggie for sharing your Encore story! Break a leg!

Just two weekends left of Madeline’s Christmas! Don’t miss out on this charming production!


Remaining shows:
Friday, November 17 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 11 am
Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 3 pm
Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 3 pm
Friday, December 1, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 11 am
Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 3 pm
Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 3 pm (SOLD OUT!)

Click here to buy your tickets today.

Photos by Larry McClemons

5 Favorites from the Amazing Costume Caper 5K!

Hi everyone! This is Rosemarie, the Development Associate at Encore and the coordinator of this year’s Costume Caper. Encore had a ghoulishly good time at the Costume Caper 5K! Thank you to our 123 runners and walkers and our spooktacular volunteers! Here are our 5 favorite things that made the 2017 Costume Caper 5K and Fun Run a magical morning!

1) The Costumes!
There were some fantastic costumes! From high-flying superheroes, to a super creative alien witch, beloved movie characters, and more, the entire group is going to look great trick-or-treating this Halloween.

2) The Volunteers!
All of our volunteers did an amazing job! Our teen volunteers were fantastic at running the games, face paint, and pumpkin decorating station! The teens even came up with a song to get people to come over to their station.

3) The Kids Fun Run!
Seeing all the joy on the kids’ faces as they were crossing the finish line was spectacular. There might have been some future Olympians at the race because those kids were quick!

4) Community Spirit!
One of the best parts of the morning was hearing the crowd cheer on their fellow runners. From our expert racers to our casual strollers, everyone was full of Halloween and team spirit! That’s what a good ensemble feels like in our classes, camps, and productions.

5) The Weather!
After last year’s almost freezing temperatures, this year felt like a summer run. Things may have started off a little on the chilly side, but we ended up with a beautiful, sunny, October day!

Thank you again to everyone who helped make this year’s Encore Costume Caper 5K possible and those who registered to join the fun! I can’t wait to see what next year’s run brings. You can see more pictures from the event on Encore’s Facebook page. Have a spooooooky Halloween and we hope to see you all at Madeline’s Christmas November 10-19 and December 1-3 at Gunston Arts Center and at the 50th Anniversary Bash April 28!

Photo Credit: Aimee Pangan

Five Reasons to Choose Encore for Your CFC Giving

We are celebrating our 50th Anniversary this year at Encore! We’ve done a lot in our time. Check out some quick facts about our 50 years and how you can help make the next 50 even better.

1) Encore has produced over 210 amazing shows by and for young people in our 50 years!

This year we are excited to produce Disney’s The Lion King Jr., Sherlock Holmes, Seussical, and more!

2) 8,500 students have brought our shows to life as cast and crew members, all while building valuable life skills.

From leadership skills, to empathy, to self-confidence, Encore brings out the best in each student that walks into to a class, camp, or production.

3) Our educational programs have inspired more than 20,000 students at camps and in our classes!

Encore classes start for children at 6 months old and go all the way through high school!

4) More than 357,000 children and their families have attended and Encore production!

Encore started with A Pocket of Preposterous Poems in Lubber Run Park in 1967. Now we produce at least six shows a year!

5) YOUR support of Encore through the Combined Federal Campaign this year will make a difference!

Our CFC Designation number is 69654. With you help, “theatre by kids, for kids” can continue on for another 50 years and beyond! Click here to choose Encore as your CFC giving today.

Get Pumped! Get Ready! For the Costume Caper 5K

The Costume Caper 5K and Fun Run is a month away! In order to get you ready for this morning of fun, we have some tips for race prep and race day from two of Board Members and the Chairs of the Event, Karol Boudreaux and Ken Woodrow!

Tips for Getting Ready:

1) If you’re new to running, add distance gradually – build up to that mileage over the next few weeks.

2) Stretch before and after your runs to help avoid injuries.

Tips for Running the Race

1) Try out running in your costume before the race – you don’t want a “wardrobe malfunction” during the race!

2) At the race, start slow and gradually build your pace.


3) New runners, line up at the back of the group to avoid going out too fast with the rabbits.

4) New runners, a run/walk combination can work well; for example, consider walking the turn-around.

5) Be positive – you can do great things when you set your mind to it!

The Costume Caper 5K and Fun Run is October 28th at Bluemont Park! Break out your Halloween costume and your running shoes for a morning of fun and fitness with the Encore family!

 

 

5 Reasons to Run in the 5K!

Hello Encore friends! The Costume Caper 5K is only six weeks away! Our annual 5K run/walk and 1k kids run takes place on October 28 at Bluemont Park in Arlington, VA on the scenic W&OD trail. Face painting and children’s games will be available throughout the morning. Need motivation to run? We’ve got you covered–times 5!

#1 – Who doesn’t love getting dressed up? Put your costume-making skills and creativity to work and show it off at the race! Let your superhero alter-ego shine, or dress up as your favorite literary character or favorite crayon.

#2 – You’ll feel better about eating the Halloween Candy! The race is a perfect way to get in the Halloween spirit while burning off some calories before that sugar-filled day.

#3 – You’ll feel more virtuous than all those lazy folks still in bed! Registration begins at 8am, so while others are still in bed, you’re starting the day in a productive and healthy way.

#4 – You’ll support an amazing organization! That’s right! Your registration supports “Theatre by Kids, for Kids” allowing Encore Stage & Studio to serve our youth and help them build life skills through the performing arts!

#5 – Lastly, there are PRIZES! Prizes will be awarded for the best costume and more.

There you have it–your 5 motivations to run the Costume Caper 5k! Now don’t wait another minute! Register your family now for the early bird price, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Are you a business owner looking to sponsor the event? Email rosemarie.oconnor@encorestage.org today!

Blog contributors: Ken Woodrow, Karol Boudreaux, Aileen Pangan

Puppet Playhouse Presents Jungle of Bungaloo | Sept. 21 – October 6, 2017

Characters come to life through the art of puppetry and rhyme!
Explore caves, lakes, and waterfalls on an adventure of a lifetime.
Discover the sounds and movements of the animals in the Bungaloo
–including a snake, a spider, and a bat too!
Meet our actors and play on the set,
this exciting performance will be your favorite yet!

We recommend this production for ages 1 and older.