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NEWS
December 7, 1986 | By Laurie T. Conrad, Special to The Inquirer
The weather outside was cold, the ground soggy, but in the small theater of the Cheltenham Playhouse, there was a glow of anticipation as patrons, many well-dressed and of middle age, waited for the play to begin. "I don't have the faintest idea what this is about," one woman said as she and her husband settled into their seats at the Nov. 9 matinee of Quartermaine's Terms. "I like to be surprised. " The woman - a first-time subscriber to the playhouse - carefully read her playbill as the seats around her were filled.
NEWS
August 11, 1996 | By Deborah Kong, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Mike Makofsky, clad in a two-pronged jester's hat, red leotard, multicolored boxers, pointed shoes, and red-and-yellow tights, stood in front of the stage as piano chords echoed, floors were swept, and other cast members did splits. "I must say, you look worse than I do and I'm very happy," said one man, dressed in a red tunic and tights. Makofsky's daughter Lee, wearing a long, medieval-style dress, agreed. "Dad, you look funny," she said. But Makofsky was willing to endure it all. The rehearsal was for the newest production of the community theater group New Season Theatre Ensemble, Once Upon a Mattress, and he was playing a lead part as a jester.
NEWS
April 5, 1992 | By Arlene Martin, SPECIAL TO THE INQUIRER
When the Haddonfield Plays and Players' production of Lone Star placed first in the New Jersey Theatre League's 1992 Drama Festival on March 29, Jim Alexander, founder of the league, was in the audience cheering. Never mind that Alexander was also in the competition as director of the Village Playbox production of A Chance Meeting, the second-place winner. For the Haddon Heights resident, good theater is all that matters. "I'm pleased that the Village Playbox placed high, and I think it shows consistency in our performances," he said.
NEWS
March 4, 2016 | By Sally Friedman, For The Inquirer
It's a study in community theater. On the stage of Temple Adath Israel's auditorium in Merion Station, several actors are going through their paces. Others wait for their scenes to be called, and a rolling rack of costumes is making the rounds. Prompters toss out lines as needed. It's a Sunday afternoon rehearsal for Guys and Dolls . Lisa Litman looks on. She's the director. She also plays Adelaide, the female lead in the show, which won the Tony for best musical when it debuted on Broadway in 1950, with songs like "A Bushel and a Peck," "If I Were a Bell," and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat.
NEWS
January 10, 2008 | By Bonnie McMeans FOR THE INQUIRER
Bianca DiMaio of Avondale stood on the stage at Avon Grove Intermediate School, holding three small orange balls. As she waited for her cue, she took a deep breath and then smiled. Moments later, the 19-year-old brunette was juggling not only balls, but also giant rings and clubs to the music of "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles. When a club hit the floor, she flipped it back into the air with her foot and finished the routine like a pro. "I just love to juggle . . . and I'm a bit of a show-off," said DiMaio, a Temple student who has been juggling since she was 14. Hers was one of more than 20 acts Friday night at the annual community variety show and fund-raiser for A.C.T.
NEWS
May 13, 1999 | By Lewis Kamb, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
When the lights dim and the curtain rises tomorrow, actors will take the stage in a quaint community theater on the Delaware River for the first time, launching a performance of Man of la Mancha and its popular theme song "The Impossible Dream. " In a way, the tune has become an anthem for Morrisville and a project that has transformed an aging municipal garage into the 75-seat Center for the Performing Arts - the first step of a plan to revitalize a blighted waterworks complex and, ultimately, the image of this gritty river town.
NEWS
July 31, 1995 | By Eddie Olsen, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Debbie Mastroianni turned on the house lights as Frank Gohr sat down in a first-row seat. Barbara Wakemen took the cue. Strolling to center stage, Wakemen, 61, of Washington Township, took advantage of the moment, ogling the other two with a dramatic shrug. "Years ago, when I directed Dracula here, we created a small sensation by making the vampire disappear on stage before everyone's eyes," Wakemen recalled, gesturing with her hands. "No trap doors or fake smoke, either. "We did the illusion with timing, flair and old-fashioned ingenuity.
NEWS
October 23, 1995 | By Maureen Fitzgerald, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Ernie is the glue. He paints stage sets till 4 a.m. He and his father patch the leaky roof. He mastered a leading role in three days when the actor who had the part got a better-paying job shooting a sports car commercial. He even proposed to his wife on the marquee. Ernie Jewell, 27, is one of five founding partners of the Living Arts Repertory Theater, a fledgling community theater based in the old Westmont, a 70-year-old anchor on Haddon Avenue in Westmont. He and Bill Esher, 38, the artistic director, spend most of their waking hours at the theater doing everything from selecting, casting and rehearsing the plays to repairing the theater, rigging stage lights, answering phones and selling tickets.
NEWS
January 1, 2011 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Melissa Lynch, 27, a prolific stage actress who impressed Philadelphia critics in more than 17 productions, died Thursday, Dec. 30, of injuries from a car wreck. Ms. Lynch most recently appeared in the Lantern Theater Company's production of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya , a performance that Philadelphia Weekly described as "heartbreaking. " The show, which closed in November, capped off a year her colleagues said was the busiest and most successful of her burgeoning career. "She was booked straight from September 2010 through May 2011 - five or six shows," said Jared Delaney, associate artistic director of the Inis Nua Theatre Company.
NEWS
January 3, 2011 | By JOHN F. MORRISON, morrisj@phillynews.com 215-854-5573
MELISSA LYNCH was an actress with the knack of taking on the most diverse of roles and making them true. There was the delicate Sonya in Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya," in which she was attired in 19th-century Russian garb with severely pulled back hair. Then there were the tormented nun in "Agnes of God," the filthy young polio victim in "Bed Bound," the "dead-eyed hippie chick" in "When You Comin' Back Red Ryder. " She also donned the tights of Wonder Woman, played a cardinal's mistress in "The Duchess of Malfi," and a "foul-mouthed and seething" woman in the explosive "boom.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
March 6, 2016 | By John Timpane, Staff Writer
After almost 56 years of community theater, the Society Hill Playhouse is expected to close on April 1. It's putting on one last premiere - a two-night show Friday and Saturday - titled Liberty Radio Theatre , by Bill Arrowood. It's a show modeled after classic radio drama. "For an old-timey show like this, the Society Hill is the right room," Arrowood said. Deen Kogan, who cofounded the theater in 1959, is "a big noir buff," Arrowood said, "so I wrote the last episode of the play for her. " (On March 19, the theater will host "Noir at the Bar," a gala night of readings by noir authors in honor of the theater and its longtime role as host of NoirCon.)
NEWS
March 4, 2016 | By Sally Friedman, For The Inquirer
It's a study in community theater. On the stage of Temple Adath Israel's auditorium in Merion Station, several actors are going through their paces. Others wait for their scenes to be called, and a rolling rack of costumes is making the rounds. Prompters toss out lines as needed. It's a Sunday afternoon rehearsal for Guys and Dolls . Lisa Litman looks on. She's the director. She also plays Adelaide, the female lead in the show, which won the Tony for best musical when it debuted on Broadway in 1950, with songs like "A Bushel and a Peck," "If I Were a Bell," and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat.
NEWS
September 18, 2015 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
After 13 years on the road, the Moorestown Theater Company would like to build a home of its own. The nonprofit group dreams of building a new performing arts center on the site of the soon-to-be-demolished former Moorestown library. "I have not heard one person say it's a bad idea," declared company founder and promoter-in-chief Mark Morgan, whose troupe stages 14 to 16 Broadway musicals annually at churches, schools, and other venues around town. Although Moorestown contemplates using the library site for green space, parking, or additional municipal facilities, the theater company would like to lease the ground while trying to privately raise perhaps $10 million to build the performing arts center.
BUSINESS
March 19, 2013 | By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Columnist
Have you ever been in a shoe store and been struck by the similarities with theater? The precisely aimed lighting? The purposeful delivery of the salespeople? The shoes as props? I haven't, either. But to Benjamin Lovell, the parallels are as obvious as a well-buffed wingtip. That's why the footwear purveyor of 40 years, with five namesake stores in Philadelphia, Glen Mills, and Haddonfield, is as comfortable on stage as he is sizing someone for Allen Edmonds oxfords or Thierry Rabotin ballet flats.
NEWS
January 20, 2013 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Columnist
In the first minutes of a quick sitdown with Dustin Hoffman , the sprightly icon of 20th-century cinema - The Graduate , Marathon Man , Kramer vs. Kramer , All the President's Men , Midnight Cowboy , Rain Man , Tootsie (come on, this is ridiculous!) - manages to reference Ireland, James Joyce , Ulysses , waiting tables, Henri Cartier-Bresson , and tortoise- shell glasses. The publicist warns that you have only 10 or 15 minutes tops with Hoffman, who, at 75, has just directed his first feature.
NEWS
October 21, 2012 | By Vernon Clark, Inquirer Staff Writer
Charles Lawrence "Larry" Moses, 60, of Philadelphia, a program coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania who enjoyed directing, producing, and acting in community theater shows, died Sunday, Oct. 14, of complications of heart disease at Park Pleasant Nursing Home & Rehab Center in West Philadelphia. Mr. Moses worked in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at the university, a position he had held since 1996. Before coming to Penn, Mr. Moses worked in human services, holding positions at Cheyney University, the Glen Mills Schools, Devereaux, and Wordsworth Academy.
NEWS
June 11, 2012 | By Amy S. Rosenberg and INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Upstairs at the Plays & Players Theater on Delancey Street, just outside the room housing Quig's Pub, someone has bumped into Dennis Murphy, 71, at the happy-hour food table and knocked his plate of shrimp to the floor.   Meanwhile, in the black-box theater next to the bar, behind a thick black velvet curtain, the Plays & Players company is rehearsing a wordless staccato preamble to Tom Stoppard's Travesties, with Lenin and Joyce as characters and set 100 years ago, around the same time the theater itself was born.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 15, 2012 | Dear Abby
DEAR ABBY: I am a 16-year-old girl and I want to become famous. My mom says that's not a real job. I was in magazines when I was little, but now that I'm older, I want to be a singer or actress. What should I do? — Heading for Fame in Ohio DEAR HEADING: Listen to your mother. Fame, if one can achieve it, is usually accomplished after years of planning and hard work. If there is community theater in your area, volunteer and become involved. Plan to study music, drama and speech — as well as another subject so you can support yourself if it takes awhile for you to become famous.
NEWS
January 3, 2011 | By JOHN F. MORRISON, morrisj@phillynews.com 215-854-5573
MELISSA LYNCH was an actress with the knack of taking on the most diverse of roles and making them true. There was the delicate Sonya in Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya," in which she was attired in 19th-century Russian garb with severely pulled back hair. Then there were the tormented nun in "Agnes of God," the filthy young polio victim in "Bed Bound," the "dead-eyed hippie chick" in "When You Comin' Back Red Ryder. " She also donned the tights of Wonder Woman, played a cardinal's mistress in "The Duchess of Malfi," and a "foul-mouthed and seething" woman in the explosive "boom.
NEWS
January 1, 2011 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Melissa Lynch, 27, a prolific stage actress who impressed Philadelphia critics in more than 17 productions, died Thursday, Dec. 30, of injuries from a car wreck. Ms. Lynch most recently appeared in the Lantern Theater Company's production of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya , a performance that Philadelphia Weekly described as "heartbreaking. " The show, which closed in November, capped off a year her colleagues said was the busiest and most successful of her burgeoning career. "She was booked straight from September 2010 through May 2011 - five or six shows," said Jared Delaney, associate artistic director of the Inis Nua Theatre Company.
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