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2010-2011 in review
The Wellesley Players’ 2010-2011 season was jam-packed with high-quality theater, starting with our fundraiser, Thank You for the Music. This musical revue featured dozens of Wellesley Players performers past and present as they took audiences through Broadway’s best-beloved tunes. Directed by Celia Couture, musically directed by Chris Holownia, and choreographed by Kelly Murphy, the fundraiser contributed money to two worthy causes: Weston Drama Workshop, a summer theater program for youths; and The Children’s Room, a program that helps kids suffering from the recent loss of a parent. Thank You for the Music was a significant success, selling out two performances at the Wellesley Community Center.
From there, the Players went behind some padded walls with a striking production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Directed by JulieAnn Charest Govang, this show explored the sensitive themes of mental illness in a graceful and off-beat way as McMurphy leads the patients in uprising after uprising against the tyrannical Nurse Ratched. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was a tour de force in showcasing the dramatic talents of the Wellesley Players.
From the asylum to a distant land – The Wellesley Players’ next project was a Children’s Theatre production of Aladdin and Adora, directed by Barbara Tarlin and musically directed by Wil Breden. This production, geared toward a young audience, took children to Arabia and Anatolia with an adaptation of the classic Aladdin and the magical lamp story. Performed twice at Wellesley Middle School and interpreted for hard-of-hearing and deaf audience members, Aladdin and Adora was a successful return to Children’s Theatre for the Players.
At the same time, the cast of Steel Magnolias was gearing up for its performance at the next level of competition. After placing second at the EMACT drama competition in June 2010, the Players were privileged enough to send the cast to Concord, New Hampshire for the regional level of the competition. Though Steel Magnolias did not advance from the regional level, it was a most successful production, earning the Best Actress award for Tracy Nygard and Best Set award.
Following our trip to New Hampshire, we spent some time in NYC with our spring musical Annie. Directed by Rachel Fennell, musically directed by Chris Holownia, and choreographed by Liza Levy, Annie was a new and dynamic interpretation of the classic Charles Strouse musical. From the Hoovervilles to Daddy Warbucks’ mansion, the cast and crew of Annie delighted audience members with familiar and forgotten tunes. The show would be nominated for the EMACT DASH awards, Best Set Dressing, Best Youth Actress in a Musical, and Best Specialty Ensemble in a Musical.
With successes like these, the Wellesley Players are cementing their reputation as the preeminent community theater in MetroWest Boston.