Thanking a Sponsor, and ALMOST ready for next season’s announcement

It’s a good day today, friends! We’ve just received word that the Windsor Police Association has just approved ongoing sponsorship for Riverfront again this year. We are so grateful for their support over the past four years. Community sponsorship means a great deal from all our sponsors. There’s something especially encouraging, however, to know that our local police feel so strongly about encouraging our efforts with the youth in our community. As they state on their own website:

“In addition to the many countless hours that WPA members spend volunteering their time, the Association also donates thousands of dollars annually to charitable organizations.  The WPA is pleased to be associated with likeminded groups who work towards the betterment of the citizens of Windsor.”

WPA image

Our Executive Director is one of the WPA members volunteering her time with Riverfront. Having the backing of the rest of the Association means a lot.

In other happy news, we have just sent off our signed contract for next year’s spring musical, which is the last of our arrangements for next season’s productions! We anticipate an announcement by the end of the month – we’re just working on some design elements now!  So STAY TUNED!!  Exciting things lie ahead!

 

 

April 2018 Update & SPONSORSHIP REQUEST!

It looks like spring is finally starting to arrive, and I know we’re all more than ready for it!

Spring is a very busy time for Riverfront. Right now, we’re putting the final touches on Seussical! – which opens next month, May 25-27th at The Olde Walkerville Theatre. So that’s very exciting. Our set construction will begin soon, the costumes are nearly ready, we’ve got our Juniors back after their winter break and are incorporating them into the show, and things are ticking along there!  Posters are being picked up today so you’ll begin to see them around the city and county this weekend!

Tickets for Seussical are available through Eventbrite and at the The Olde Walkerville Theatre itself (as of next week). They will also be available at the box office one hour before each performance, or from any of your cast members. Lots of options to buy tickets!

In other news, we are looking for a sponsor to help us with an alternative storage plan – we will be letting one of our rented storage units go, and purchasing a large shed in which to house our larger set pieces, props and lumber.
Shed
In the long run, this will represent savings for us. In the short term, it’s a $2000 expense. Riverfront would be very keen to secure someone willing to help cover or assist with that purchase, which we will be making this month. Charitable tax receipts are issued to our sponsors. Please contact us (Riverfronttheatrecompany@gmail.com) if you would like to help RTC with this purchase, or sponsor us in any way! Donation buttons are also available here at our website and on our Facebook page if you would like to make individual, rather than corporate, donations.

Finally – although we aren’t quite ready for a public announcement of our plan yet, we have decided on our productions for next season. That announcement – and it’s a pretty exciting set of shows, we think – will be coming very soon, so stay tuned!

Anne’s Over – On to Seussical!

With the curtain having closed on Anne of Green Gables, we have barely had time to stop and reflect on how much of a lovely success it was, and how much fun, before diving right into the next show. Such is life at Riverfront – heck, we’re even busily making decisions about next season!

But let’s stop for a second. Anne of Green Gables was FABULOUS. We had so many people come out to see it – really wonderful attendance. Right around a thousand people saw it in one incredibly busy weekend.  And they were loving it – the audiences were laughing, and clapping, and the ripples of shock at key dramatic moments were so warming – we felt that everyone in the audience was so much on our side with this show. We had a very, very smooth weekend, and couldn’t be happier about how things turned out. Thank you, everyone – actors, crew, audiences, sponsors – there’s a lot to be proud of in what we accomplished together with Anne of Green Gables!


The simple fact of the matter, though, is that in theatre, you just can’t sit back and rest on your laurels. We were back in rehearsal on Saturday, March 3rd, and all our attention is turning back to Seussical. We’ve been working on it all year in tandem with Anne of Green Gables, but we had a bit of a tidying and a refresher on Saturday, ready to really move into high gear.

Our upcoming production is the last week in May (May 23-25th) at the Olde Walkerville Theatre. The kids are having a ball with this show, and the school performance sold out ridiculously early, so we think that our community is keen to see us perform it. We’ll be giving you plenty of sneak previews and updates in the next few months.

Here’s a link to a vocal review of one of our songs. We did it as a Facebook Live video, I’m afraid, so this is the only way I can share it!

If you’re wanting to dive right in and purchase tickets for Seussical, of course we’re glad to help you with that!  You can purchase them online already at Eventbrite. You can get them from cast members, and you can get them at the Box Office soon – and every day of show one hour before the performance.

New Seussical poster

Opening This Weekend!

This is tech week for Riverfront’s production of Anne of Green Gables!  We moved into the theatre on Sunday morning, and started rehearsals there with the kids on Monday afternoon. We’ve been there every night, and tonight is dress rehearsal!  Tomorrow morning, we perform to our sold-out school show at 10 a.m., and then continue on with our public shows, Friday and Saturday evening at 7, and Sunday afternoon at 2.

Calls have been flooding in every day about tickets, which are available online at Eventbrite, or at the box office every day an hour before each performance. Anne of Green Gables is iconic, a classic for every Canadian, and we are delighted to be bringing our fresh adaptation to the stage here in Windsor.

At our last rehearsal in our weekly rehearsal space, we interviewed our kids at large about their experiences with Anne. Please enjoy one of our small videos for your amusement. The kids are loving the experience of working on Anne.

See what our cast’s favourite lines are!

Nearly half our cast, 15 out of the 39 cast members, had no previous experience with Anne of Green Gables in any form – they’d never read it, seen the movie, or any other production – before we announced the show last season. That was surprising to us, but very satisfying, as well, because we know we’re in the business of introducing literature and educating our kids, too!  We had much the same experience with doing Pride and Prejudice in 2014, and as we’ve been introducing and expanding their understanding of Shakespeare every year as well with our productions and our annual field trips to Stratford.  This year, it’s Anne.  And of course, with over 400 students attending our school performances every time, and all our public shows, our reach extends far beyond our own company.  That’s something very important to Riverfront. We want to be family-friendly, but beyond that, we really do want to present shows with value to our audiences. Even our musicals, which are inherently lighter fare, we select with care for what our students and audiences can take away in a message.

Right now, we have Anne of Green Gables. In a way, both of our big plays this year are about finding the right balance between imagination and reality. Anne needs to be more grounded, and finds that balance as she matures. In Seussical, Jojo and Horton need to convince everyone around them that imagination and faith are essential components in life.

At Riverfront, we’re just more grateful than we can say for imagination and faith. Our students are showing us their capacity for imagination and creativity as they bring their characters to life on stage. And it extends to all of us. We have costumers, and set designers with that desire to work together to make something beautiful. And every one of us involved in RTC steps out in faith that in working as a team, we bring our various skills and frailties together to bring the audiences something we’re very proud of. We think we’ve done it again with Anne of Green Gables, and we hope that you will think so, too!

Anne is on her way to Green Gables. Are you?

Empty bench.jpg

Anne FINAL poster

Meet our Anne Shirleys!

Riverfront Theatre Company’s production of Anne of Green Gables will be opening in just one week at the Olde Walkerville Theatre! We thought this would be a good time to introduce you to our two actresses playing Anne Shirley, the title role.

Because the play, like the novel, spans a period of five years, we wanted to divide the role up between two different actresses. Alisa Whalen (11 years old, in her 2nd year with RTC) will be playing the role of younger Anne, from the time she arrives in Avonlea up until shortly after the dreadful incident of the raspberry cordial. When the time comes to start taking courses to prepare for Queen’s University, Grace Clarkson (age 14, in her 7th year with RTC) will take over for the remainder of the story.


We recently interviewed our young actresses to ask them about their experience with this production.

Q:  What excites you about playing Anne?

Alisa: This summer, I read the books, and I really liked Anne’s personality. I just thought the way she was so dramatic about everything that happened to her was so fun!

Grace: I’ve never played a lead before, and I really welcome the challenge of playing a character with this range of emotions.

 

Q:  What are you learning from this role?

Alisa: I’m learning a lot about blocking – I have a lot more movement than I had in last year’s plays. I’m learning even more about memorizing my lines. I’m also learning a lot about how to deliver those lines effectively, to keep them interesting.

Grace: It’s a challenging role, and there are a lot of lines to memorize. The vocabulary is a lot different from today’s, and the structure trips me up sometimes.

Q: Do you like playing Anne?

Alisa: Yes, because she gets to do a lot of different things. Also, she gets in trouble – a lot more trouble than I do, so I get to do strange things I never thought I’d do in my lifetime!

Grace: Yes, because it’s something that I can really work hard on, but also have fun with – there’s a lot of artistic freedom I can bring to putting Anne across to the audience.

Q:  Do you feel pressure about being Anne?

Alisa: Yes – the biggest pressure is about getting all the lines and the blocking right. I have one scene where I have almost a full page of uninterrupted talking, and it’s hard. I have to put a lot of thought into how to deliver different lines, and make it all seem natural, and give people the Anne they expect to see, with all her ups and downs in drama.

Grace: Sort of. I have a bit of pressure to be like Alisa, for continuity, but also pressure to be like Anne herself, more mature. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to live up to being like the actress who played Anne in the movie (Megan Follows), or from their own image of her from reading the books. She’s an iconic character, and people have their own visions of what Anne is supposed to be. So I have my ideas, traditional portrayals, what my directors are looking for, what people have always expected to see – and I have to merge that all together.

Q:  How are you and Anne Shirley alike, and how are you different?

Alisa: Anne is like me, because I can sometimes be a bit over-dramatic, and we both have a lot of attitude. But I think Anne can be a lot more mean than I am (to the other kids in her class, and to Gilbert), and I don’t do a lot of the impulsive things that she does.

Grace: Anne and I both talk a lot, and quickly, and get excited easily. We have different pasts, and of course are from very different times, so we express ourselves differently.  I feel like I’m glad to be playing older Anne, because she’s more emotionally restrained, which suits me more.

Q:  What’s your very favourite line in this show?

Alisa: I have so many that it’s hard to pick. The cast laughs the hardest, I think, when I apologise to Mrs. Lynde, but I think my favourite is the part where Diana’s getting drunk while I tell her about my daydream about her getting smallpox and me taking care of her, because I get to be so dramatic, and it’s pretty funny, when you think about it.

Grace: I actually like just running out onto the stage calling out “Merry Christmas” in the scene where I get the dress with puffed sleeves. I love Christmas, and it’s one of the brightest, happiest moments that older Anne has on the stage.

These two young women will bring their cast together February 23-25th at the Olde Walkerville. Tickets are available online, or through the box office one hour before each show. Don’t miss our fresh adaptation of Canada’s most-beloved classic.

Anne FINAL poster

January 2018 Updates

It’s hard to believe that we’re already into January – but with the Junior show behind us, I’m forced to believe us!

Our Juniors did a beautiful job in December with their production of Christmas Around the World. The show was well-attended, and the audience was delighted with our young performers. Many commented that although the voices were a bit too quiet the first night, the kids made a leap in their projection for the second show, really responding to the feedback. That’s something that they can only really grasp the importance of through gaining that experience, and we were pleased to see the shift as they gained confidence and read their audience reactions better.


Just before going on with our Christmas Around the World, we were delighted to get our season tshirts in. Many thanks to Tribal Printing for assisting us with the production of our tshirts. We held another blind contest with student art for the shirts this year, asking the kids to incorporate elements of both our shows. Meredith Garswood was this year’s winner, and we went with a red and white shirt this year to highlight the Seuss-ness of it all!

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At that point, tshirts happily enjoyed, a potluck lunch at our last rehearsal, and a wonderful production down, everyone at RTC settled back for a much-needed break. At that point, I thought I was essentially done, but I had a few key emails that are worth noting.

First of all, ridiculously early, we have sold out BOTH school shows for this year’s performances. Well, okay, we can probably squeeze one more class in for Anne of Green Gables, but no more. And Seussical’s school show is packed to the gills and we can’t take anyone else. We’re in negotiations to see if we’ll schedule another school performance for Seussical, but at this point it seems unlikely. There are plenty of seats available for public performances of both shows, however, and tickets are available from cast members or online HERE for Anne of Green Gables, and HERE, for Seussical.

Second of all, we received word of renewed sponsorship from our friends at Uniform Local 200, for which we are most grateful, and a hint about a NEW sponsorship from Convergint Technologies, as well!

At this point, we’re all happily engaged in working hard for the shows, which seem closer than ever. Anne of Green Gables opens in just another month and a half.

Also coming up soon, we have our 3rd annual Pancake Fundraiser at Applebee’s (2250 Division Road) coming up on Saturday, January 27th between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. All tickets must be purchased in advance from a cast or crew member; they are $14 each.  Funds raised will go toward supporting our operational needs for our current season.

Pancake Fundraiser

Lastly – plans and research are underway for next season’s productions. We hope to be able to announce next season’s production schedule at the opening of Anne of Green Gables. Stay tuned!

Juniors, Tumbling Monkeys and Things…

Somehow, it’s already November, and the season is whirling by!

Yesterday, we were delighted and grateful to have special guest artist Katie Lalonde come out to work on some gymnastic instruction with our Seussical characters (Thing One and Thing Two, and the Wickersham Brothers), with some really wonderful acrobatic moves. Katie donated her day to us, and we really appreciate that.


We know that these extra elements are going to add wonderful touches to our production of Seussical!
In other news, our Juniors will be taking the stage in just over a month at Paulin Memorial Church with their production of Christmas Around the World. This family-friendly Christmas musical will take place December 16th and 17th, with admission by donation. All funds will support RTC’s current season.  The performers are all between the ages of 6-10 years, and they’ve been working hard to learn some traditional carols and hymns (in several different languages!) and stories to go along with them.

Christmas Around the World Poster

Meanwhile, rehearsals are moving along at light-speed for Anne of Green Gables. The Senior show, which will be performed at The Olde Walkerville Theatre at the end of February, is well-underway. Blocking for the entire play is nearly completed now, with set design and construction, as well as costuming, ahead of schedule. We’re really pleased with how it’s shaping up, and trust that the community will be happy to celebrate the 110th Anniversary of the Canadian classic’s publication with this Riverfront original adaptation.

AGG poster draft

We are spending six hours together every Saturday, and countless hours outside of rehearsal, preparing to make this season something really special for our actors, our families, and our audiences. We’re proud of what we’re working on in our community, and we really look forward to showing it off!  Here’s hoping to see you for the first time in our audience, December 16th and 17th, for Christmas Around the World. 

 

 

We Have a Donation Button!

I’m so excited! Look over there on the sidebar! Look what we finally figured out how to do! We have a DONATION BUTTON!

Coding is not easy for me – this website is tough! But I did it! I can take donations here on Paypal! YAY!

SO, if anyone wants to donate to us for the Bowlathon, sponsor us, help us to buy some paint, some supplies, some costumes – we’ve made one more step in making it easier for you!

Next step? Online ticket sales!

Look, I’ll even tuck it here – it’s it beautiful?

Announcing our casts for Anne of Green Gables and Seussical!

All auditions having been completed, with callbacks and casting meetings all under our belt, RTC is proud to announce our casts for two of our three upcoming shows this season!

Anne of Green Gables (POSTER COMING SOON) – February 23-25, 2018 :

Young Anne – Alisa Whalen
Older Anne – Grace Clarkson
Marilla – Brooke Samms
Matthew – Julian David
Mrs. Rachel Lynde – Brinda Joseph Benher
Thomas Lynde – Matthew Hogan
Young Diana – Alanah O’Reilley
Older Diana – Sixuan Chen
Gilbert Blythe – Elijah David
Mrs. Barry – Audrey LePage
Mr. Phillips – Matthew Hogan
Prissy Andrews – Melanie Tennant
Minnie May Barry – Sydney Bondy
Mrs. Spencer – Hailey Chase
Josie Pye – Ayslin Downhill
Gertie Pye – Livia Downhill
Ruby Gillis – Bella Lavoie
Moody MacPherson – Isaiah Pinkowski
Charlie Sloane – Lex Young
Jane Andrews – Emma Longeuay
Miss Stacy – Kaylee Cabrera
Aunt Josephine Barry – Anne Garant
Mrs. Bluett – Qianyi Liu
Mrs. Allan – Serena David
Reverend Allan – Ruairi Porcellini
Sam Boulter – Ryan Nesbit
Station Master – Nathan Perry
Doctor – Adrianna Rota
Mr. Barry – Nathan Perry
Peddler – Ryan MacLean
Tilly Boulter – Natalia Dube
Minnie Andrews – Marissa Dodich
Sarah Gillis – Lilly Renaud
Julia Bell – Sarah Rogan
Ella May MacPherson – Abby Soulliere
Sophia Sloane – Mackenzie Ewen
Katie Boulter – Priya Dube
Lily Jones – Kendra Simone
Mrs. Hammond – Katie Hales
Mrs. Thomas – Mackenzie Ewen
Mary Jo – Faith Lamas
Little Anne – Rachel Tennant

Seussical evening Final.jpg


Cat in the Hat – Kaylee Cabrera
Horton – Elijah David
Gertrude – Abby Soulliere
Mayzie – Jenna LePage
JoJo – Marissa Dodich
The Sour Kangaroo – Allyson Johnston

The Bird Girls – Brinda Joseph Benher, Serena David, Meredith Garswood, Emma Longeuay


The Wickersham Brothers – Julian David, Audrey LePage, Ryan Nesbit, Lex Young


Yertle the Turtle – Ryan MacLean
Vlad Vladikoff – Katie Hales
Mr. Mayor – Nathan Perry
Mrs. Mayor – Adrianna Rota
Thing One – Grace Clarkson
Thing Two – Sarah Rogan
General Genghis Khan Schmitz – Matthew Hogan
The Grinch – Isaiah Pinkowski
Circus McGurkis – Sophie Atcheson
The Cat’s Fish – Elijah Lafontaine
Cindy Lou Who – Livia Downhill

Cadets:
Hailey Chase, Nick Lane, Qianyi Liu

Circus Performers:
Syndey Bondy, Ayslin Downhill, Brooke Samms, Kendra Simone, Alisa Whalen

Whos:
Sydney Bondy, Hailey Chase, Ayslin Downhill, Natalia Dube, Nick Lane, Bella Lavoie, Qianyi Liu, Alanah O’Reilley, Lilly Renaud, Brooke Samms, Alisa Whalen.

Jungle Animals:
Sixuan Chen, Priya Dube, Mackenzie Ewen, Anne Garant, Faith Lamas, Ruairi Porcellini, Kendra Simone, Melanie Tennant.

Junior Seussical roles to be announced in the new year.