- April 17, 2014
Last Tuesday, April 8, 2014, friends and supporters celebrated together in honor of Encore Stage & Studio’s 47 years of Theatre by Kids, for Kids. With great food and good company in the beautiful ballroom of the Washington Golf & Country Club, benefactors enjoyed an entertaining program hosted by Encore Board of Directors Secretary, Ashby Rushing, while learning about Encore’s great accomplishments and vision.
During the program, high school seniors Walter Lohmann and Lauren Monsivaiz shared their Encore journey, reflecting on their personal growth from the impact of the organization.
“Every person at every step of the way has helped me get where I’m going in my journey…” stated Walter Lohmann.
“It opens up a world of opportunity: confidence, people skills and leadership…” stated Lauren Monsivaiz.
Followed by their testimonials was an exciting number performed by Encore’s Musical Theatre Intensive class, “New York, New York” from the musical, On The Town. This exciting and challenging program is offered to students grade 8 through 12 and is designed to put vocal and dance skills into action. Students work once a week with choreographer Kelsey Meiklejohn and Music Director Douglas Ullman, Jr. to sharpen their musical skills both in the classroom and onstage.
Encore Stage & Studio also honored Robin Baxter with the 2014 Celeste Award for outstanding volunteer. Robin Baxter served as Board President from 2006-2009 and as a Volunteer Executive Director 2009-2010, and is currently a member of Encore’s Programing Committee. Robin’s early life was enriched and formed by children’s theater participation, beginning with playing “Widget” the elf in The Elves and the Shoemaker in community children’s theater here in Northern Virginia. Through three other community and children’s theater productions, and then in high school (Madison, in Vienna) joining Thespians and playing Anne Frank (in The Diary of Anne Frank) and Puck (in Midsummer Night’s Dream), Robin learned all the great things that Encore provides its participants: teamwork, confidence, literacy, public speaking, history, culture… the list goes on.
During her time as President of the Encore Board, Robin and a great team of officers, board and staff members contributed in achieving the following accomplishments:
- Development/increased public support
- Educational opportunities for Board and Staff
- Moved Board towards Governing Board from Working Board
- Development of Strategic Planning
- Celebrated 40th Anniversary of Encore
- Procured & produced original drama, The Jamestown Adventure
- Modernized Bookkeeping & began process to hire professional bookkeeper
- Increased offerings of programs
- Result: Passed along a much healthier Encore to the next generation of leaders!
Ashby continued to share the accomplishments from Encore’s 2013/2014 season and the impact of donations for our programs:
-Since September: 9,179 people have seen an Encore production!
-Encore’s new partnership with Nauck Community Services Center in South Arlington, dedicated spaces for these students for camps and classes, as well as tickets for productions and a backstage tour
-Encore is on track to work with PTAs to donation 500 tickets to low income students at schools in Arlington this year alone–an approximate cost of $4,000.
-200 children and youth have participated in our productions this year – at no cost to them. Our productions typically cost about $30,000. Ticket sales only cover approximately 45% of this cost. We rely on donations to cover this gap.
Check out the video highlighting some of Encore’s 2014 seniors:
Meanwhile, our guests traveled back in time to our fall production of The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe with Encore participants Isabel Tate and Laura Wade as Lucy Pevensie and Mr.Tumnus, performing a short scene recognizing Encore’s programs and how to donate.
“Oh, Mr. Tumnus, I think all of Narnia will want to donate to an organization this great.” -Lucy
“You know, Lucy, I think even the White Witch might be convinced to get involved.” -Mr. Tumnus
Thank you for supporting Encore Stage & Studio. Click here to donate today.
View more photos from the 2014 breakfast:
Photos by Larry McClemons.
- April 4, 2014
Spring has finally sprung and we are more than thrilled for the upcoming sunshine! It’s also time for Encore Stage & Studio’s annual Sunny Side Up Benefit Breakfast! This Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at the Washington Golf & Country Club, Encore Stage & Studio will be celebrating 47 years of Theatre By Kids, For Kids! The Breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m., followed by a special program featuring Encore participants and a special performance by Encore’s Musical Theatre Intensive class. We’re pleased to present the Celeste Groves Award to Robin Baxter for outstanding volunteer. We’re excited to share with the community our latest programs and our great history!
Here are 5 reasons to donate to Encore Stage & Studio!
Can’t make it to the Breakfast this year? Share our organization with your friends and click here to make a meaningful donation.
Click here to read about last year’s breakfast, 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.
Thank you for supporting our programs and we hope to see you at the breakfast!
Photos taken by Larry McClemons.
- March 28, 2014
Stage Managers are responsible for assisting all production staff and is an essential link for the cast and crew. From beginning to end, the stage manager is involved in the entire production process. Meet one of our 2013 STAR Award recipients and stage manager from Encore’s most recent production, The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes: Olivia Hammermaster. Always with positive attitude, this high school sophomore shares the joy of stage managing and being apart of a home away from home.
Encore:Your first show with Encore Stage & Studio was Robin Hood (2011). Why did you decide to audition and what brings you back to Encore?
Olivia: I decided to audition for Robin Hood because I had a friend at the time who was very involved with Encore. He convinced me to audition, and soon with one show, I knew I wouldn’t be leaving any time soon. I signed for crew for the very next show, Darius the Dragon and Rap-Punzel.
Encore: Can you describe your experience as stage manager for The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes?
Olivia: It’s been a lot of fun stage managing Sherlock. Since this is my ninth show, I’ve done four on cast and four on crew, and it’s really cool to see a different side of Encore. I get the opportunity to work and bond with both cast and crew for the entire show.
Encore: What do you enjoy most about working on crew?
Olivia: I love being up in the booth during shows and being able to monitor the cast and crew. The headsets allow us to communicate with almost everyone and we get a great view during the show!
Encore: The show involves mystery and chaos, what do you like most about this show and do you yourself enjoy mysteries?
Olivia: I have always loved mysteries. As a kid, I would go to the library and check out about six Nancy Drew books to read during the week. My favorite part of Sherlock is seeing all the humor worked into the mystery. A lot of the characters have little quirks that they’ve all been playing up. It’s not only interesting because of the mystery, but hilarious because of the humor.
Encore: What was your favorite role to play and why?
Olivia I’ve really enjoyed all the characters I’ve played, but I think my favorite was Oin, a dwarf in The Hobbit. Even with a smaller role, I did the most acting I ever have. My director, Susan Keady, taught me so much and really helped me learn about my acting abilities. She taught me one of the most important lessons in theatre: the smaller roles are often more fun to play than the leads because you can develop your character to your heart’s content, since a lesser known role doesn’t have strict rules to abide by.
“Encore is like a second home to me…”
Encore: How has your involvement with Encore influenced you beyond the theatre?
Olivia: Encore has changed me as a person. As cheesy as it is, Encore is like a second home to me. I always joke about living in the basement of TJ. Tech week is my favorite part of the show and results in me being happier in general, not just tired and stressed out.
Encore: What is your most memorable experience with Encore?
Olivia: Actually, during the second Sherlock show, the sound system went out right in the middle of the first act. All of us up in the booth were leaning back and relaxing, just watching the show when all of a sudden we realized our headsets were dead silent. We soon found out not only our headsets but also the sound board were dead. One ASM ran upstairs to talk to us, but the sound ended up working after about five minutes anyway. It was probably the most stressful five minutes of my entire life.
Encore: Any advice for future stage managers?
Olivia: My only advice to future stage managers is to remain calm. I was told countless times that I would freak and be completely stressed out, but that never hit me. It’s important to know what’s going on, but to not let the pressure get to you. Let loose and enjoy the show!
Thanks Olivia for sharing your Encore experience! We hope you’ll continue your theater journey with us.
Interested in being a stage manager for the 2014/2015 season? Click here to learn more.
Olivia was involved in the following productions:
Photos by Larry McClemons