- May 10, 2013
Joking about the sleep–we can’t tell you how excited we are to present Sleeping Beauty this June! Meet the fun and fabulous Meghan Smith, Director of the show, as she describes this beautiful fairytale story in her own words, shares with us the casting process, and her Encore experience.
Click here to view the full press release “An Unforgettable Birthday Gift.”
Meghan: The story of Sleeping Beauty tells us about Briar-Rose, the daughter of King Rudolph and Queen Eleanor, who has been cursed by the Bad Witch, Evilina. At a party to honor Briar-Rose’s birth, Evilina casts a terrible curse that Briar-Rose would prick her finger on a spinning wheel spindle on her sixteenth birthday and die. The Six Good Witches of the Kingdom of NeverNod spend sixteen years trying to undo or fix the curse and come up with a way to save Briar-Rose – if she pricks her finger, she won’t die but will fall into a deep sleep until she is saved by True Love’s Kiss! Enter Prince Alexander, to whom the Princess is betrothed. The story has action, comedy, drama, and a villain!
Encore: How was the casting process?
Meghan: The casting process was SO HARD! From the first auditions until the final cast was set, I have been consistently impressed with the talented kids and teens who came out for the show. We have twenty five actors in this production. Casting is a challenge because you’re really trying to create a balanced show: you want to play to a given actor’s strength, while still providing challenges to each performer, and figure out what pairings and groupings work best. Physical characteristics play into this – how tall or short an actor is, what his or her voice is like, etc – but it’s also about intangibles like “Presence” (you can be very small and still manage to be huge on stage!), and recognizing team players.
Encore: What can our audience look forward to in this production?
Meghan: The audience coming to Sleeping Beauty will be delighted by a classic fairy tale filled with their favorite Princess and Prince, some rascally animals, an evil witch, action, and lots of laughs! I like to find the humor in everything – the world is so much more engaging if you can laugh at it! So we have been finding ways for these characters to be fun and funny and silly, while still telling a classic and much-beloved fairy tale.
Encore: What other Encore productions have you been involved with?
Meghan: I began as a Technical Director for Encore when I was still in college (at GWU) in the fall of 2003. I don’t remember all of the productions I was involved with behind the scenes but there were LOTS! I’ve also been involved with Act III as a stage manager for Oklahoma, and then as a performer in High School Musical (Sharpay) in 2006 and Beauty and the Beast (Cogsworth) in 2009. I have worked as a teacher for Encore classes in after school programs as well as summer camps, and I directed Cinderella. I think this is such a great organization, and I’m always happy when I can find time to be involved.
What do you enjoy most about working with Encore?
Meghan: I love the kids of Encore! Really, getting to know so many bright, talented, and energetic kids and teenagers is such a joy for me. I grew up in a children’s theatre in Rhode Island and the values I learned there have carried through my life. I love that I can be involved in that experience for others. And, really, I just love getting to do some great theatre!
Performance Dates and Showtimes:
Friday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 8 at 11 a.m.
Saturday, June 8 at 3 p.m.
Sunday, June 9 at 3 p.m.
Friday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 15 at 11 a.m.
Saturday, June 15 at 3 p.m.
Sunday, June 16 at 3 p.m.
Ticket Prices: $12 adults, $10 children, students, and seniors (includes all box office fees)
- May 3, 2013
Last summer, we had the opportunity to hire a Community Outreach intern sponsored by ExxonMobil. Little did we know that we would have her new job title as Intern Extraordinare! Meet Candace Garnes, a current senior at The College of William and Mary with a major in Theatre and a minor in Marketing. From painting in the shop, to assisting as Camp Aide at It’s Elementary, reorganizing the main office to greeting patrons at box office, Candace went above and beyond as an intern for Encore’s busy summer of 2012!
Candace is a member of a number of organizations on campus, however she is most proud of her membership with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., College Partnership for Kids Tutoring Program and the Baptist Collegiate Ministries. This year, she just finished a production of The Pillowman and is currently completing the set construction of Sitayana, a play written by a faculty member based on the Ramayana.
Encore: How did you hear about Encore’s internship and what made you interested to apply?
I met Sara Duke at a William and Mary networking event in D.C. where current students were given the opportunity to meet, chat with, and learn from alumni of the theatre department. It was at this function that she handed me a flier about the internship and it sounded like a lot of fun. I added it to the rest of the notes and things I had been taking and told myself that I would look over later. I remember it being the day the application was due that I was going through some files on my desk and trying to reorganize things that I came across the flier. I remembered how much I enjoyed Sara’s company and personality. I sat down right then and there and submitted my application. So really it was that one, very brief, but lasting encounter with Sara that convinced me to apply.
This may sound cheesy but I really enjoyed meeting the people I met. I really think that it is the people that make and experience what it is and I met some amazing individuals this past summer. A favorite memory I have is of Aileen and I driving to find the storage unit so that we could pick up props for the County Fair. I remember driving with the windows down and it just being the most beautiful day, the radio playing, and us getting lost. And then when we finally made it to the storage unit I remember that place being very creepy. It was a fun time. My favorite thing that I did during the internship was organizing and cataloging all the scripts and cleaning up the upstairs office. That was such a fulfilling moment looking at that place and seeing how beautiful it all looked. Organization is the key to happiness.
Encore: What skills do you think helped you throughout your internship?
Being such a neat freak and lover of organizing really helped me with this internship. Also being able to think creatively was very important. There were many instances where things had to be presented or put together that having a creative mind was very useful. I’m specifically thinking about the study guides and the County Fair. Also being able to engage will people from different walks of life and different ages was very integral in my success at Encore. With my blog, presence at the box office and rehearsals, and my booth at the county fair I was always thinking about how I could reach and engage with people whether it be with my words or just a smile. But I suppose a Community Outreach intern should know how to reach out to the community.
Encore: What skill sets and experiences did you take away from your summer with Encore?
Encore was my first time working on a set. I had not yet taken the stagecraft course required of theatre majors at William and Mary so it was all very new to me. I learned some great skills on set construction and painting. I also gained a lot of knowledge on software that I had not really worked extensively with. But perhaps the biggest thing I learned is how a non-profit actually works and all of the things that go on in the background and everything that it takes to run a successful theatre organization.
Encore: What are your plans after college?
I am a senior and will graduate in just a few short days with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Theatre. I currently have a summer job awaiting me in Wellesley, Massachusetts where I will be the Office Manager for the Summer Exploration program which a summer camp for kids from all across the globe ages 9-17. At Explo students engage in a two or three week “camp” where they take classes in which ever area they choose and are encouraged to find their passions in life. After that I am looking for a job/internship/apprenticeship at a theatre company where I hope to learn what it is like to act at a theatre outside of college and I hope to take those lessons and apply them to theatre in London, England where I hope to move to within the next year or two before attending grad school.
Thanks again Candace for all your hard work and efforts last Summer, and setting the bar high for our future interns to come! Congratulations on graduating college and good luck on your endeavors!
April 26, 2013
It’s Princess Briar Rose’s birthday in the Kingdom of NeverNod, and you can join in on the birthday adventure! Encore Stage & Studio presents Sleeping Beauty this June, and you too can celebrate your birthday like a princess!
Encore Stage & Studio provides birthday party packages that includes a party room rental before the performance, and an exclusive backstage tour(for ages 8 and up) or cast and crew questions & answer session(for ages 7 and younger). In addition, your child’s birthday will be announced to the entire audience before the start of the show! Our birthday package is only $50. Click here for a birthday party reservation form. For a group of 10 or more, parties can take advantage of our group discount of $8 per ticket.
I highly recommend that you consider this for your next birthday celebration–you won’t be disappointed, I know I wasn’t!”
One parent shares her daughter’s Encore birthday experience:
“I was thrilled to have my daughter’s 8th birthday celebration with Encore Stage and Studio during their musical production of Honk, Jr. It was a fabulous experience from beginning to end because it was easy and so different, allowing the kids exposure to theater and turning the families invited on to a local children’s theater group that many did not know about. The party with Encore is simple to arrange and exciting because not only did we celebrate with cake and punch in the cafeteria area designated for our party space (you can decorate, use table cloths, have food, bring balloons, etc.) but the kids also got a backstage tour of the dressing room area, stage, props used, lighting and they were able to ask questions about theater in general and the show.
Encore provided a helper assigned to help get the kids to the back stage tour in a timely manner and directed us to the stage when it was time to end the party and go to show. Additionally you can add to your birthday celebration the cast to sing Happy Birthday to your child which is very special allowing the kids to see the actors in costume. I found the Birthday Party package to be reasonable and it was nice to receive a discount on the ticket price as I purchased a group of tickets. Encore has a wonderful staff to work with who made the birthday party easy and tons of fun. I highly recommend that you consider this for your next birthday celebration–you won’t be disappointed, I know I wasn’t!”
–Jane Mack, Parent
April 10, 2013
For the first time in three years, the weather had finally complemented our annual Sunny Side Up Benefit Breakfast, truly making it a “sunny” event. On Tuesday, April 9, 2013, friends and supporters celebrated Encore Stage & Studio’s 46 years of serving and inspiring children in the community. The breakfast was hosted by Helen Hayes Award-Winning Actress Erin Driscoll, with special remarks from Mark Longo, Chair, Arlington Commission for the Arts and Encore Stage & Studio participants.
Encore Stage & Studio also honored Rebecca Mann with the 2013 Celeste Groves Award recipient for outstanding volunteer. The Board of Directors established this annual award in honor of long-time Executive Producer Celeste Groves, whose “celestial” record of 30 plus years volunteering for our organization gives us all a high standard to live up to.
Nora Walls, who will be attending University of Virginia in the fall, shared with us her favorite Encore experiences and memories, including her favorite role in the production, The Little Mermaid. Nora started participating with Encore Stage & Studio at the age of 9.
“…Your donation today will make a world of difference to our organization and support students like me to achieve our dreams, both on and off stage.”
Thomas Schindler, a current Encore participant, shared with us the top 5 reasons to donate to Encore Stage & Studio’s mission. “The number one reason to give to Encore? Drumroll please… Because when I win a Tony award you’ll want me to remember you in my acceptance speech, right?” said Thomas jokingly. “Seriously, your donation today will make a world of difference to our organization and support students like me to achieve our dreams, both on and off stage.”
Members of Encore Stage & Studio’s Board of Directors attended the breakfast and welcomed friends and supporters. (From left to right, starting from back row) Sara Duke, Jerry Gidner, Renee McDonald, Jason Tate, Michael Rollin, Kate Thomas, Jennifer Reising, Betsy Lohmann, Josephine Diemond, Christine Hahn, and Gina Pelusi.
Guests at the breakfast enjoyed watching highlights of Encore’s 2012/2013 year.
View our photos on Flickr:
March 6, 2013
Tale of A Tiger is a vital hybrid of captivating storytelling and physical drama about the journey from childhood to adulthood. Created and performed by Rachel Hynes with an unconventional musical score by Ethan Foote, this fairytale tells the story of a solitary young girl who, abandoned by her mother and raised by her cold, embittered father, goes out into the forest and becomes a tiger. Recommended for ages 10 and older.
Also a teaching artist for Encore, Rachel Hynes is an actor, performance artist, director and cabaret artist based in Washington, D.C. Hynes trained in physical and devised theatre at the London International School of Performing Arts and creates storytelling shows, ritual-based, site-specific theatre experiences, performance art spectaculars; lyrical epic dramas; and “wicked little cabaret characters.”
Ethan Foote is a bassist and composer based in Washington, D.C. His original work and his career as a performer have encompassed jazz, folk, classical, and popular idioms, reflecting a breadth of musical interests and tastes. In Tale of a Tiger and Lit, his collaborations with Hynes, he has explored unconventional uses of music within the context of theatrical performance and visual media in an attempt to break new aesthetic ground for performed music, interdisciplinary art, and the double bass.