A Note from Helen Heinig:
Thinking back on my senior year at Ohio Northern I have so much to be thankful for. Being on staff this previous season, I created cherished memories and experiences with Fendig. For my senior project to graduate, I spent time outside of the production coordinating grants and researching community engagement in Rensselaer.
I am thankful for the opportunity to learn about coordinating the areas of my degree with local community activities especially in my hometown. Working with a great production team, board and community has helped my education flourish.
In this Thanksgiving season, I wanted to extend my thanks to those of you who support this organization and took the time to vote for our Community Thrives submission. Although we didn't receive the grant, we increased awareness for our need and had many people become friends.
Becoming a Friend of Fendig will hopefully be a way to stay connected to an organization that has done so much for so many in the community of Rensselaer. Your time and support of Fendig and my project have been a true gift.
Rensselaer has supported Fendig for over forty years. Rensselaer cares about their children and the opportunities for them to grow. The research and your votes demonstrate a strong support of the arts. Rensselaer cares about their community.
Fendig has so much to be thankful for. We are thankful for the support and involvement of the community as we continue to advance theatre development for children.
Happy Thanksgiving. Wishing you all the best,
It's not too late to audition for the 2017 production Hello, Dolly!
We are accepting walk-in auditions today in the RCHS Lecture Hall until NOON today! Check out the audition materials on the website or just come on in!
Thanks for a great group of auditions!
HELLO, DOLLY!, the blockbuster Broadway hit is coming to Rensselaer! This classic musical bursts with humor, romance, high-energy dancing, and some of the greatest songs in musical theater history. The romantic and comic exploits of Dolly Gallagher-Levi, turn-of-the-century matchmaker and “woman who arranges things,” is certain to arrange something great this summer.
Dolly, the widowed matchmaker who loves arranging "furniture, daffodils, and lives" suddenly finds herself in love with a wealthy merchant, Horace Vandergelder as they travel to New York. The adventures of Dolly, Mr.Vandergelder, his two merchants, his niece and her beau are a romantic comedy that will one to remember.
The show’s memorable songs include “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” “Ribbons Down My Back,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Elegance,” and “It Only Takes a Moment.”
With over 20 speaking and singing roles for both girls and boys and more dance numbers and songs than you can count there is a spot for EVERYONE to shine onstage.
Want to strut your stuff in while dancing in amazing period costumes? We have a role for you! Want to march and sing in a full sized Parade on stage? We have a role for you! Want to be a fumbling waiter or a New York City Police officer? We have a role for you! The spotlight isn't your thing? Thats okay-with the large sets and many technical aspects required to put on a show this size -that’s right-We have a role for you too!
It has be 30 years since Fendig Summer Theatre for Children produced this iconic musical and we are bringing it back with a bang- using the magic that only Fendig can create! If you are interested in learning more about the story and have a Netflix account check out the movie!
We will see you all at auditions!
RUTH ANNE BONTREGER
Ruth Anne Bontreger has been involved in costuming for Fendig for about 20 years As a little girl she always played dress up and put on a play of some kind with her sisters and friends. Ruth Anne is able to enjoy that pleasure with the children during Fendig productions. She says with costumes, talent and music we can have a wonderful theatre experience. Ruth Anne enjoys working with directors and children encouraging them to develop their own gifts that bless themselves and others. She has had 8 grandchildren involved in Fendig over the years and is so grateful to give her time and talent for the stage. She is looking forward to another production this year with the kids.
Tricia Gastineau is a professional custom seamstress and operating Alamode Kabash Sewing Shop. Sewing “stylish” and “nonsense” alike. She learned to sew at a very early age and has always enjoyed creating & designing for the needs of others. Tricia has been sewing for the community since 1994 developing her craft and experience while raising her five children with husband, Jeff. Each of her children have participated in five productions each of Fendig.
Tricia has assisted her mother, Ruth Anne Bontreger, with Fendig costumes since 2000 and really enjoys being a part of this activity with her children helping to tell great stories on the stage. She thrives on the challenges to make extreme custom costumes for our actors which has given her so much more experience. Tricia looks forward to another exciting challenge for this years production.
Taylor is so very excited to be returning to Rensselaer to assist in the direction of this year's Fendig Summer Theatre for Children production. Taylor grew up in the community of Rensselaer and has been involved with Fendig for as long as she can remember. As a child she would come in to help her grandma with costumes and could not wait to be on the stage herself.
In 2005, she played a role in her first production of Fendig and all together participated in 5 productions with Fendig Summer Theatre along with several others in her high school years. Currently, Taylor is living in Kansas City, Missouri and is a sophomore at the International House of Prayer University studying music. She is also a teacher at a daycare working with kids ages 1-12.
Taylor absolutely loves the theater and is very excited to be the assistant director for the theatre program she has always loved. She is excited to work with talented and fun kids. She can't wait for this summer to begin!
Logan is very exciting to return to Fendig this summer! Logan started with Fendig as an actor in 2002 and has been involved in almost every production since, including assistant director and choreographer of Suessical, and director and choreographer of Singin' in the Rain and last summer's The Wizard of Oz!
As an actor, Logan has trained with the Interlochen Center for the Arts and holds his BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Wright State University. Some WSU credits include Grand Hotel, Spring Awakening (Ernst), Oklahoma!, Gypsy (Tulsa), Hot Mikado, Sondheim on Sondheim, and the regional premiere of The Magic Fire. Professional credits include Mary Poppins (Robertson Ay) with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, All Shook up and Mary Poppins with LaComedia Dinner Theatre and It's A Wonderful Life with Herschend Family Entertainment. Logan is a current resident of New York City where he is pursuing his professional acting career, but is always happy to return to Rensselaer to bring a touch of Broadway to the Bombers!
Helen is excited to be working with Fendig again this summer along side Logan! Helen started her acting with Fendig in 2006 through 2010. Previously she has volunteered for Fendig's productions of Aida and Suessical. She was the assistant director for our production of Mary Poppins in 2015.
Fendig is and always has been the root of her interest in the arts. Currently, Helen is pursuing a degree in Communications Studies with a focus in arts administration and public relations at Ohio Northern University. She has toured with Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps for three years, attended theatre workshops at Ohio Northern University and toured with the Ohio Northern Wind Orchestra internationally.
"Fendig has always been an essential aspect of what helped me start my career. It will be fun to give back to the community and see the children of Rensselaer get the amazing experience I did growing up. We can't wait to start working on the 2017 season!"
Thank you to everyone who submitted a video via our Facebook page for our grant submission to USA Today's Community Thrives Grant.
The video will be published on their site and available for voting starting on April 12.
Fendig applied for the grant to help fund programming for the upcoming production and secure funds for warehouse renovations. The warehouse is a crucial element to the success of Fendig Summer Theatre as it holds and stores their physical resources from season to season. Fendig loans out their resources and helps other organizations, but with recent building damage they need help storing resources. Storing these resources makes every production year a little less expensive and more efficient for the production.
While not all videos were used in our submission due to time constraints, we thought we would post them all in one place so we could thank each person for their time in helping our cause. ALL of your submissions were great.
It was so great to hear how Fendig makes a positive impact in the community of Rensselaer, Indiana.
Thank you again!
Fendig Summer Theater is a non-profit organization 501 (3)(c) for the advancement of theatre development in children.