Framing their show less around a story, and more around a showcase of local artistry, a directorial trio has set out to make the upcoming Cabaret a memorable experience from beginning to end.
Local directors Hannah Heimbuch, Jennifer Norton and Katelyn Wythe began planning for the annual “Spring Cabaret” for the Homer Council on the Arts in the late days of January. Since then, they said, the show has taken on a feel of it’s own.
“We started by sending all of our cast members the definition of cabaret,” said co-director Kaitlyn Wythe. “I think that set the tone well for what we were doing.”
Nancy Chastain directs four short plays for the last performance of the summer season at Pier One Theater on the Homer Spit. Ken Landfield will act as assistant director.
“Three of the plays in 4Play are from the best American short plays, 2010-2011 edited by William W. Demastes,” Chastain said. “I fell for each of these as soon as I read them. I love a good farce.”
“The Coyote Stratagem,” by G. Flores, involves a couple breaking up, but not really sure they want to. The play follows their thrashing from one kind of love to another. Thom Custer and Jessica Guttierez-Hahn star.
Peter Norton and Amy Huffman star in “Creatures,” by Janet Allard. An engaged couple, under a full moon at a drive-in movie, begin to suspect that the man is turning into a werewolf.
“Ah, love! Expect the unexpected,” Chastain said. “Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, here comes yet another surprise.”
Pier One Theatre’s youth/teen production of Peter Pan packed the theatre for all performances last weekend. Three more are scheduled for tomorrow through Saturday.
A cast of 14 newly trained young thespians staged the difficult play that has many settings; it’s a performance many consider relatively easy in movies, but nearly impossible on a little stage.
The character of Peter Pan, created by Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie, is a mischievous boy who can fly and never grows up.
Peter Pan, played by Galen Lyon, spends his never-ending childhood adventuring on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang, the Lost Boys.
Several well-known Homerites take the stage at Pier One Theatre this weekend to perform “The Odd Couple.” The 14-performance show runs July 4 through July 26.
Neurotic, neat-freak news writer Felix Ungar is thrown out by his wife, and moves in with his friend Oscar Madison, a slovenly sports writer.
The Pier One cast includes Peter Norton as Oscar and Brian Duffy as Felix; Jim Hornaday is Speed, Peter Sheppard is Murray, Dick Sanders is Roy, and Ken Landfield is Vinnie. Marcia Lynn takes on the role of Gwendolyn Pigeon, and Brett Glidden plays Cecily Pigeon.
“Broadway Babies” is a Homer cabaret project showcasing the diverse talents of an all-ages ensemble of local ladies. Think “Fiddler on the Roof” meets “Hairspray” meets “Legally Blonde.”
“The audience can expect a night full of songs that will lift their spirits, make them cry, leave them laughing and wow their senses,” said show producer Jessica Williams.
The cast includes women who have been performing for as long as they can remember, as well as those who are relatively new to the stage. The Broadway Babies are Nancy Chastain, Madilynne Elkington-Wood, Hannah Heimbuch, Maura Jones, Sabina Karwowski, Shenandoah Lush, Sydney Paulino, Chloe Pleznac, Margaret Quarton, Sierra Smith and Jessica Williams.
Nancy Chastain has been performing for audiences since 1985. She is also a playwright.
“Everything about theater inspires and sometimes terrifies me,” she said. “It’s all about working with other people to create an engaging story for an audience that both inspires and entertains them.”
Hannah Heimbuch’s first stage production was as a youth, during a time in her life when she was very shy.
“I was a mouse in the Homer Nutcracker Ballet and I think I hid in the bookshelf,” she said. “I seem to be making up for lost time by being loud and ostentatious now.”
Heimbuch was drawn to Broadway Babies because of the songs, the chance to collaborate with a group of women and the challenge.
They spin. They roll. They leap and they shine. This weekend, 46 community members will take to the Mariner Theatre stage to mesmerize audiences with their dance moves. Some are dancing for the first time, while others are seasoned performers. These are Homer’s Jazzline dancers.
Ranging in age from seven to over 50, 13 males and 33 females will dance, making this the largest performance ensemble in Jazzline’s 14-year history.
Homer community members are stepping out of their comfort zones and into the spotlight on the Mariner Theatre stage in an evening of artistic exploration with Homer Council on the Arts. And, while many have performed on stage before, others will perform in public for the first time. All of the performers, however, will be stretching beyond the familiar during this year’s production of “Stepping Out.”
“We encouraged artists to step out of their role in the community, their comfort zone and their usual performance and try something new, different and unexpected,” said Gail Edgerly, HCOA director.
When you get a group of creative youth together to form their own production, anything can happen.
When Jessica Anne Williams’ Coast Guard husband told her they were moving to Alaska, at first she thought he was kidding.
Jessica and Tristen Williams
“When Tristen called to tell me we were moving to Alaska, I was in Chicago, sitting outside on an 80-degree day, near the Trump Tower building and looking at the river,” she said. “At first I laughed because I thought he was joking, but when I realized he was serious, I imagined the trees and mountains and thought to myself how beautiful and refreshing it would be.”
This weekend, Homer Council on the Arts transforms Homer High School’s commons and gymnasium into a winter wonderland holiday bazaar. The annual Nutcracker Faire offers shoppers the opportunity to browse the aisles of local arts, crafts, educational items and food, as tiny ballerinas, mice, flowers and candy canes make their way through the hallways in between ballet performances.