Musicians Wanted!

Unplugged logoBy popular demand, CLP Unplugged is back!  Last year’s CLP Unplugged was very, very popular.  Our audiences were impressed by the level of talent on display by musicians from across the region.

We have two Unplugged performances left on August 1 and September 12, and there are a few open slots left to fill.  If you’d like to be on stage singing or playing an instrument for one of those performances, just phone Artistic Director Paul Seymour at (814) 242-3953.

Many Unplugged musicians have never performed on the CLP stage before. Our first Unplugged of the season was on June 27 and featured music from Frank Sinatra to Umphrey’s McGee to Broadway musicals to Prince.

The Wonder of Words: An Evening with Jennifer Haigh and FJ Hartland

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Join us on August 19 at 7:30 pm at CLP’s Barn theatre for a new and very exciting event, The Wonder of Words: An Evening with Jennifer Haigh and FJ Hartland. The evening will include readings by noted and celebrated author, Jennifer Haigh and playwright, FJ Hartland followed by a question and answer session with each. Prior to the 7:30 opening time, all patrons will be treated to an outdoor reception with light refreshments where they will be able to meet Ms. Haigh and Mr. Hartland. Jennifer will read from her highly acclaimed latest novel, HEAT AND LIGHT and FJ will read from his celebrated play, POSTCARDS FROM A DEAD DOG. Signed books will also be available for purchase.

BW dark haighJENNIFER HAIGH, a native of Northern Cambria, is the author of six novels, three of which – HEAT AND LIGHT, BAKER TOWERS and NEWS FROM HEAVEN — are set in a Pennsylvania town she calls Bakerton. Local readers will recognize it as a composite of several former coal towns in Cambria County. Her books have won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction, the PEN New England Award in Fiction and the Massachusetts Book Award, and have been published in sixteen languages. Her short stories have been published in The Atlantic, Granta, The Best American Short Stories and many other places.

The daughter of two local teachers, Jay Wasilko and Elizabeth Gavlak Wasilko, Jennifer is a graduate of Bishop Carroll High School, Dickinson College and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, where she earned an M.F.A. in fiction writing. As a teenager, she performed in a number of Cresson Lake productions. She now lives in Boston.

heat and light front cover finalHaigh’s latest book, the novel HEAT AND LIGHT, is set in a Pennsylvania town divided over natural gas drilling.  In a review for the New York Times, Janet Maslin writes, “Ms. Haigh is an expertly nuanced storyteller long overdue for major attention. Her work is gripping, real and totally immersive, akin to that of writers as different as Richard Price, Richard Ford and Richard Russo.”  The Washington Post writes, “Haigh’s achievement in this expansive, gripping novel is to delineate the ways in which we are all connected, for better and worse, by pipelines and electrical wires, coal dust and gas fumes. Bakerton is us, and we are Bakerton.”

FJ-Hartland-portraitFJ. HARTLAND is a graduate of Westminster College (New Wilmington PA) and earned an MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie-Mellon University where he was a Shubert fellow in Playwriting and twice won the prestigious Bud Yorkin Playwriting Award. At the age of 23, F.J. made his New York City debut when Ensemble Studio Theatre workshopped his play A Piano Player With Sad Brown Eyes. He has since had NYC productions at the Quaigh Theatre, 13th Street Theatre, Theatre of the Open Eye, Don’t Tell Mama, Lincoln Center Library, Emerging Artist Theatre and most recently this past October at the American Theatre of Actors where his play Be Our Guest had a limited engagement. F.J.’s plays have also been performed in Miami, Columbus, Wheeling, Washington DC, Philadelphia and in Pittsburgh at Bricolage, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Duquesne University, South Park Theatre, Gemini Theatre, Cup-a-Joe, Future Ten, Rage of the Stage, Pyramid Productions, and a record-setting sixteen times in the Pittsburgh New Works Festival.  In PNWF his plays have received seven nominations for Best Play winning four times (Postcards from a Dead Dog in 2005, Shaving Lessons and Half-Windsor Knots in 2010, Funeral in the Rain in 2012 and The Perhaps in 2013).  For his play Games of the Mind, F.J. won the Best Play Contest at Throughline Theatre in Pittsburgh.  Writers News Weekly named him one of the top playwrights in Pittsburgh in 2014.  This September his new one-act More Than Meets the Eye will debut in PNWF.  He has had plays published with Samuel French, United Stages, OriginalWorks.org and in The Louisville Review. In 2005 he was the recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Playwriting Fellowship.   Rust, a new full-length play commissioned by Duquesne University, will have its world premiere in 2017.

The event will be held at the Barn theatre at 279 Shapiro Road in Loretto, PA. Tickets for the event are $15 including all fees and are available online by clicking below, by calling 814-472-4333, or at the door. Book clubs are encouraged to attend. Contact the Cresson Lake Playhouse office at 814-472-4333 for more details.
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Looking for Mrs. Muller

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Eric Wolf, director for CLP’s production of “Doubt,” is searching for African-American actresses to audition for the role of Mrs. Muller, played by Viola Davis in the 2008 movie version.

Auditions for the role of Mrs. Muller will be Sunday, July 24, 6:30 p.m. at CLP’s Lantzy Rehearsal Hall, 527 S. Center Street in Ebensburg (across from Agway). Look for the CLP sign.

You should let Eric know in advance that you will be auditioning by phoning him at (814) 330-9184.

Background for the play and a plot synopsis can be found through this Wikipedia link.  While the 2004 play is somewhat different from the 2008 film, it is worth noting that all four actors in the movie version – Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Viola Davis, and Amy Adams – were nominated for Oscars.  These are all great roles for actors.

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Unplugged 2016

btickbtnUnplugged logoBy popular demand, CLP Unplugged is back!

Last year’s CLP Unplugged was very, very popular.  Our audiences were impressed by the level of talent on display.

On Monday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m., we will host another evening of entertainment for area music lovers at the barn theatre at 279 Shapiro Road in Loretto.  As you can see below, we have a line-up of talented musicians from across the region.

Musical selections range from Frank Sinatra to Umphrey’s McGee to Broadway musicals to Prince.  A complete list is below. Continue reading

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My Way: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra!

June 21 – July 2  | Featuring more than fifty Frank Sinatra songs, this musical revue will take you from his early beginnings as a crooner in 1940’s New York, to the bright lights of 1960’s Las Vegas with the Rat Pack, to his final performances in the 1990’s as the “Chairman of the Board.”

We’ve got four amazing singers to perform for you from Frank’s songbook.  Pictured below are Tony Malvoisin and Julie Hanlon (front row), Kelly Devitt and Rick Herbster (back row).

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Unlike many homage musicals that attempt to recreate the life of a person, this revue features two dynamic couples in a classy tribute to Frank’s style and to some of the most beautiful songs of the 20th century. “My Way” is a celebration just as Ol’ Blue Eyes would have wanted it – a few stories, a few drinks, and plenty of knockout tunes.

“The Spitfire Grill”

Cresson Lake Playhouse is pleased to announce the opening of The Spitfire Grill.  In this wonspitfire percy cookingderfully uplifting musical, a feisty parolee named Percy Talbott, follows her dreams based on a page from an old travel book, to a small town in Wisconsin. There she finds a place for herself working at crusty Hannah Ferguson’s Spitfire Grill. It’s for sale but there are no takers for the only eatery in the depressed town, so newcomer Percy suggests to Hannah that she raffle it off. Entry fees are one hundred dollars and the best essay on why they want the grill wins. Soon, mail is arriving by the wheelbarrow full, the town is turned upside down and things are definitely cooking at the Spitfire Grill.

The Spitfire Grill is directed by Steven Michael Guice and music directed by Paul Seymour. The cast includes Gabbi Lechak as Percy Talbott, Cspitfire ad with hannayLP Alum Wendy Stewart as crusty Hannah Ferguson, Altoona native Jordan Miller as Sheriff Joe Sutter, CLP’s Artistic Manager, Claire Houser, as busybody Effy Krayneck, and Scott Getz and Megan Jones as Caleb and Shelby Thorpe. Enjoy these strong performers as they bring to life this highly acclaimed, soul satisfying musical.

Performances for the general public will be held May 26-28, May 31 and June 1-4 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 29 at 2:00 pm. Tickets for these performances will be $12, $16 or $20 each (including all fees) and can be purchased online or by calling Cresson Lake Playhouse at 814-472-4333.

Auditions for “Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

Help us spread the word! Audition details below!Joseph web

Regular Auditions: June 5 & 6 @ 6:30 pm to be held at Cambria Dance Academy (427 S. Center Street, Ebensburg, PA 15931, below and behind Sunseekers – across the parking lot from the CLP Lantzy Rehearsal Hall: USE THE PINK DOOR)

Children’s Chorus Auditions: We are having separate auditions for the Children’s Chorus.  Click this link for more info.

Performances – July 26 – August 6
Director – Paul Seymour
Music Director – Paul Seymour (Tom Nagy will be music directing our Youth Choir)
Choreographer – Emily Volpe
Stage Manager – Claire Houser

One of the most enduring musicals of all time, Joseph is based on the Bible story of a Continue reading

Taking the Fear Out of Auditions

Last summer I had the privilege of music directing Little Shop of Horrors at CLP.  During the run of the show I had many conversations with patrons who expressed interest in auditioning for a show.  Some had done theater in the past but had fallen away from it and others had never tried it before.  I asked them what was holding them back and the answers were interesting and illuminating.  Many people questioned their talents and abilities while others were afraid of the audition, saying things like, “I don’t know what I would sing or what scene I would read.”

This is understandable.  Auditions CAN be intimidating, but they don’t have to be.  We have changed the format of our auditions at CLP so that they are less frightening and more “user friendly”.

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CLP Comedy Night – Grownups Only, Leave the Kids at Home

comedy night Cresson Lake Playhouse is kicking off the 2016 season with a night that is sure to tickle your funny bone – Comedy Night: Grownups Only, Leave the Kids at Home.

Guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser, the evening’s entertainment is made up of songs and sketches that are not exactly G-rated including musical numbers from A Chorus LineChicago, and Avenue Q. The performers include returning CLP alumni, Jonathan O’HarrowJoe Caroff, Davey Beyer, and the Volpe sisters – Rachel, Emily, and Gina – among others. The final number in Act 1 will be Anne Crusan returning to CLP after 30 years to perform “When You’re Good to Mama” from Chicago. Jonathan O’Harrow, last season’s director of Smokey Joe’s Café and Altoona Community Theatre’s very own Shrek, will host the evening as Master of Ceremonies.

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2nd Annual Mother/Daughter American Girl Doll and Friends Tea Party

Cresson Lake Playhouse is thrilled to announce the date for the 2nd Annual Mother/Daughter American Girl Doll and Friends Tea Party. The popular tea party event will be held on May 14, 2016 at the Noon-Collins Inn at 114 East High Street in Ebensburg. The tea party will once again be held in two sessions: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served, musical entertainment will perform, door prizes will be raffled off and participants will complete a craft. Door prize raffle tickets will be available for purchase at the tea party. Doll clothing/accessory vendors as well as jewelry vendors will also be present. Children are encouraged to bring their American Girl doll or favorite stuffed animal or doll to the tea party. Hair stylists will be available to style their doll’s hair.

Space is very limited. Reservations can be made by calling Cresson Lake Playhouse at 814-472-4333. Payment must be made at the time of the reservation and all sales are final. Costs are $30 for a mother and daughter and $15 for each additional child or adult. All proceeds benefit Cresson Lake Playhouse.