Nov 152012
 

Friday and Saturday will truly be “A Night of Greeks” on stage this week — the Groton-Dunstable Drama Guild proudly presents both Euripides” Medea and Sophocles” Antigone. The two plays, both written during the classical period, were each shortened to one act so they both fit into a two hour period. For the audience, this has the added benefit of being able to watch two Greek dramas for the price of one; more Greek for your buck.

In a new take on these old works, several elements of the production were updated to be more current than Greece in 430 BC — expect some changes in dialogue, music, and costuming. “It”s a bit more modern,” said Rachel Olson, the actor playing Antigone in the Greek tragedy. “It”s not entirely Greek.” These adaptations are more than their ancient Greek roots—as they are more modern, they are not exactly catered toward Mediterranean philosophers wearing billowing togas while seated in a stone amphitheater.

Both plays are directed by Allison Martell, the Theatre Arts teacher at the high school. She previously directed the GD Players in A Midsummer”s Night”s Dream, Godspell, and Amorous Quarrel. Several of the actors who performed in those plays are returning for “A Night of Greeks.”

The GD Players has not performed many classical dramas. When asked why they chose to put on such a unfamiliar type of play this year, Shannon Doherty-Keelan, the actor playing the character of Medea in Euripides” Medea, said, “There”s only so many Shakespeare plays we can do.” Branching out and exploring other types of drama, in addition to being quite the learning experience for actor and audience member alike, will broaden horizons all around.

This event will take place in the G-DRHS Black Box Theatre at 703 Chicopee Row. The curtain goes up at 7:00 p.m. on Friday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $12.00 for general admission; $10.00 for students and seniors; and $10.00 for the matinee.

The cast and crew have been diligently practicing these plays for weeks, and their hard work is sure to pay off in “A Night of Greeks.” For more information about the Drama Guild, GD Players productions, and other topics, visit http://gddramaguild.com.


Apr 272012
 

The Groton-Dunstable Regional High School Drama Guild”s production of Godspell opens this evening, Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m. and continues on Saturday, April 28 with two performances at 2 and 7 p.m. in the Groton-Dunstable Regional High School Black Box Theater.

Tickets are $12 for adults and students; and $8 for seniors and the matinée.

Conceived and originally directed by John Michael Tebelak, with music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, Godspell is one of the biggest off-Broadway and Broadway successes of all time. Based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew, and featuring a sparkling score by Stephen Schwartz, Godspell boasts a string of well-loved songs, led by the international hit, “Day By Day.” As the cast performs “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord,” “Learn Your Lessons Well,” “All For The Best,” “All Good Gifts,” “Turn Back, O Man” and “By My Side,” the parables of Jesus Christ come humanly and hearteningly to life. Drawing from various theatrical traditions, such as clowning, pantomime, charades, acrobatics and vaudeville, Godspell is a groundbreaking and unique reflection on the life of Jesus, with a message of kindness, tolerance and love.


Apr 032012
 

G-D Arts Booster's Spring Into The ArtsG-DARTS

G-D Arts Booster's Spring Into The Arts

Spring air is right around the corner, and with it comes the second annual Spring into the Arts fundraising gala! Join your community on Thursday, April 5, 2012, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Groton-Dunstable Regional High School (G-DRHS) in support of the high school”s superlative art, music, and drama programs. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for an auction preview.

This special evening features a silent auction and crowd-pleasing live auction. Attendees will also enjoy art exhibits by the talented G-DRHS student artists; music by the G-DRHS Chamber Choir, Chorus, Concert Band, and Jazz Band, as well as other talented student musicians; and theatrical vignettes from recent and upcoming Drama Guild productions, with a special sneak peek of the high school”s spring musical, Godspell. Dessert and coffee will be catered by the Main Street Café.

Spring into the Arts is hosted by G-D Arts Boosters, a parent-led nonprofit founded in 2010 to support G-DRHS arts programs. Tickets are available at the Main Street Café, Blackbird Café, Rose of Sharon, and online at www.gdarts.org. Prices are $10 for students, $20 for adults, and $30 for a pair of adults. All proceeds support the arts programs at G-DRHS across the disciplines of art, music, and drama.

Parents, community members, and area businesses are encouraged to buy tickets, spread the word, and consider making a donation to the silent or live auction. Auction donations may be submitted via the online submission form at www.gdarts.org. G-D Arts Boosters gratefully acknowledges the generous donations of Groton”s Main Street Café and Axford Photography, Maria”s Salon of Chelmsford, and Stonehedge Inn of Tyngsboro.

Joelle Graham is Chair of the Fundraising Committee. “The feedback we received from the over 200 attendees at last year”s inaugural Spring into the Arts event was phenomenal,” Graham says. “We”re looking forward to an even more exciting evening this year. This event is a terrific opportunity for the community to come sample the superlative work that students in the G-D arts programs have created.”

The effects of last year”s successful fundraiser were felt throughout the G-DRHS arts programs. G-D Arts Boosters was able to purchase a digital piano for the music and drama departments, supply professional display boards for 2D art, and purchase production rights for the high school”s spring musical as well as other important supplies and acquisitions.

The director of the award-winning music program, Timothy Savoy, was especially appreciative of the digital piano, which is used every day in classes and rehearsals for the chorus and chamber chorus. “Having an extra piano that is always in tune makes it possible for us to separate the choruses into multiple different rooms for teaching,” observes Savoy. “The jazz band and open mic events also enjoy using this new piano. Thank you, G-D Arts!”

Kathy Icenogle is a founder of the G-D Arts Boosters and member of the Spring into the Arts event committee. She feels strongly about helping to support the school”s creative programs, which help students develop right-brain skills and discover who they are. “Insufficient funding for our arts programs is a huge problem. Over 600 students are involved in these vital creative outlets, through classes and extracurricular programs.”

Maureen Green-Stevens, a teacher in the G-DRHS Art Department, speaks to the value of the high school”s arts offerings: “The arts help to produce creative thinkers who are comfortable with a variety of forms of expression. In the case of the visual arts, every student should be visually literate in order to cope with the demands of the 21st century. The ability to critically assess and evaluate visual information empowers students to participate in the larger culture.”

G-D Arts Boosters strives to include the broader community in fundraising efforts and arts events throughout the year. Icenogle notes, “In a small town where entertainment options are limited, the high school arts events provide a great opportunity for any arts enthusiasts to get out and enjoy themselves. I”m always amazed by the level of talent these kids display. The art compares to work I see in professional galleries, the music covers a wide variety of genres, and the plays are fun and engaging. People don”t know what they”re missing. Come and see the plays; see the art shows. It”s important for the adult community to get fired up about the creative efforts of the younger generation.”


Oct 262011
 

Jef Amirault

Jef Amirault

Hilary Anne Powell

Hilary Anne Powell


The Present Players troupe is pleased to announce that they will perform Dark of the Moon during the first two weekends in November at the Groton-Dunstable High School. The performance will benefit the Groton-Dunstable Regional High School Drama Guild and Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry in Devens.

Dark of the Moon is a dramatic stage play by Howard Richardson and William Berney that had a ten-month run on Broadway in 1945. Set in Appalachia in the 1940s, is the timeless story of star-crossed lovers who overcome their differences only to be pulled apart by the world around them. It is “Romeo and Juliet” in the Smoky Mountains, the folk song “Barbara Allen” come alive–a witch boy, a beautiful girl, superstitious townsfolk, and seductive witches.

Starring in the play are Groton resident Jef Amirault as John and Hudson”s Hilary Ann Powell as Barbara Allen. Beth Nolan Conners, from Bolton and Tom Powers, from Sudbury, play Barbara”s parents. Dark of the Moon is directed by Ed Knights, an actor and director who has been involved with community theater for 30 years (when he”s not being a primary care doctor with Acton Medical).

Also featured in the “Dark of the Moon” are Harvard residents and veteran actors Brian Schimph, David Kay, and Marie Mercurio; Emily Olson, from Groton; Frank Harrigan, from Acton; Kristen Brown, from Stow; Shahn Knights, from Boxborough; and Sandy Armstrong, from Chelmsford. Rounding out the cast is Shannon Doherty-Keelan, a student at Groton-Dunstable. Together, members of the cast have performed in over 100 shows!

The original play was written by Howard Richardson in 1939 as a dramatization of the centuries-old European folk song “The Ballad of Barbara Allen.” Jon Forsyth, who also appears in the play, is the music and dance director. With old time bluegrass music and a powerful Romeo & Juliet theme, this is one show you won”t want to miss.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on November 4, November 5, November 12 and November 13. There will also be a matinee on November 12 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for Adults, $15 for Students/Seniors and $12 for Children. Tickets may be purchased on-line at http://www.presentplayers.com/tickets.html. Tickets will also be available at the door but we cannot accept credit cards on the day of the performance, only checks or cash.

Founded by David Nanto in 2010, The Present Players drama troupe combines high-quality community theater and philanthropy. The net proceeds from the performance of “Dark of the Moon” will benefit the Groton-Dunstable Regional High School Drama Guild and Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, which serves families in Ayer, Devens, Groton, Harvard, Littleton and Shirley.


Oct 242011
 

Boston Gay Men's Chorus PerformanceMorgan J. Segal/ BGMC

Boston Gay Men's Chorus Performs in Groton October 29



“It took a long time, but I can finally now say that the students at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School will be joining those of Parker Charter School, Lawrence Academy, Groton School and North Middlesex Regional High School,” and they will benefit directly from the upcoming concert by the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus on November 6 said Donna Nowak, co-chair of the committee from First Parish Church that is organizing the event.

“Groton-Dunstable’s participation will be through the Drama Guild, led by their advisor, Kelly Cook. Their projected plan is to purchase a cast set of the play The Laramie Project and stage an annual reading of the play near the anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death. The play dramatizes the reaction to the 1998 murder of the University of Wyoming student in Laramie, Wyoming. It brought attention to homophobic behavior and the lack of hate crimes in many states. Profits from future readings will be equally split between local foundations preventing bullying of LGBT and the unfunded Drama Guild,” Nowak said.

The church will donate 100% of the profits from the concert to the Gay Straight Alliances and Drama Guild in the five schools to support their work creating a safe and supportive environment for gay and lesbian students and putting an end to bullying. Reasonably priced tickets are available at the Blackbird Café and Main Street Café in Groton and can be ordered online at www.mktix.com/fpcg. There is also a link through the church’s website, www.uugroton.org. Ticket prices are $20 for adults plus an optional $5 for a reception afterwards with members of the chorus; $15 for seniors plus an optional $5 for the reception and $10 for students with an optional $2 for the reception.

“It is the first time a Boston based musical group of this size has performed in Groton. The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, now in its 30th year, is noted for its outstanding musicianship, creative programming and ground breaking community outreach. And for our concert, we are excited to announce that the chorus will be singing the lullaby “Everything Possible” with the children’s choir of First Parish Church Groton. This was written at the request of a young couple who wanted a lullaby for their baby that says you can be anything in this world you want to.

“This concert marks the first time the issue of the need for tolerance and respect for gay and lesbian youth, along with the urgent need to stop bullying and its often tragic consequence of teen suicide, has been raised so publicly throughout this and neighboring towns,” she wrote in a press release.

“In an article published last January in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics that you will find in your press packet, Dr. Mark Hatzenbuehler found that lesbian, gay and bisexual youth were significantly more likely to attempt suicide as compared to heterosexuals. The ratios are 21.5% to 4.2%. A more supportive social environment was found to be the key to fewer suicide attempts. Gay Straight Alliances precisely fill the need for that supportive environment for teens in school. We are proud to support them. As socially conscious people of faith, we must take this action and we must be successful.”