Some of the production staff was hard at work a couple of nights ago, finalizing set logistics before we start construction soon! Over the rooftops, step in time! Expect to see rooftops, Cherry Tree Lane, and much more!
Mandatory Meeting for the Cast & Crew of Mary Poppins:
For EVERYONE involved in Mary Poppins (actors and technical crew), and at least one parent or guardian, in the RCHS gym from 5:00 to 6:00 PM tonight, May 19th.
The primary purpose of this meeting will be to get organized. We will announce parts, distribute scripts and rehearsal schedules, and outline our expectations for everyone involved. Everyone must attend this meeting. You should bring at least one parent or guardian who can stay for the entire meeting. If you are not at this meeting we may give your part to someone else. In addition, you and your parents/guardians should be sure that you have completed all of the forms that accompanied the audition packet (if you haven't already turned in the volunteer/measurement form do so at this meeting).
Thanks for sharing your time and talent with us. See you tonight!
"I'm really nervous... I don't want to audition...I don't want to be on stage...I'm not good enough... I can't dance!" These can't be the reasons why you don't participate in Mary Poppins this summer.
Auditions are nothing to be worried about. Here's what you should expect. Show up to your scheduled audition time 15 minutes early to learn a few dance moves before you go inside. Your audition group will learn these together, so don't fret. In the audition, you will sing a little bit, dance a little bit, and just be yourself. The production team will help you through it if you are nervous;remember to have fun! Everyone will get a part, so don't worry. If you don't want to be in the spotlight, we always need people to help behind the scenes. You can help build the sets, make props, run the lights and sound or help be stage manager. There is a job for everyone regardless of whether you want to be on stage under the lights or the person behind them! Auditions are the first time you get to show your stuff, smile, and get excited about this 40th anniversary production.
The production staff can't wait to meet you all!
If you didn't register for an audition time, that's alright. No worries. You can still audition.
A Note from Fendig Alumni
Claudia Earnest, Music Director
I am super excited to be able to work with the Fendig family again this year. Being music director for these kids helps to keep me young, well young at heart at least! I have worked with the summer children's theater program for several years. I started with the production of Barnum, directed by Kevin Moriarty in 1985. Then after the birth of twins the next year, I took a few years off. But, when I came back to the theater, I stayed for several productions and our children grew up in the pit and later on stage, singing every song and learning every line. Our family is only 1 phrase away from a musical lyric or song! I've had the privilege of working with several awesome directors, loving especially the seven year run with Susie Rayburn. We had extra amounts of fun!
When not in the pit for the summer, I work as a school counselor at DeMotte Elementary School. I am just finishing my 27th year there. Considering that I love working with 5-9 year olds during the school year, working with the Fendig youth is a nice change of pace. I am a church musician at Trinity United Methodist Church, playing in the handbell choir, playing piano for services, and directing the choir. I love playing special services for families with weddings or funerals. Sometimes I can be found behind the awesome new piano at Winamac high school.
I am looking forward to working with Pat Collins and learning from his experience. He has a wealth of knowledge and is very creative and I know the production will be superior. It's also great to have some young, energetic college adults with us too. I know the choreography will be exciting and fresh.
I appreciate Fendig Children's Theatre allowing me to be part of many productions. I think I learn more than the children. Fendig is a special opportunity for Rensselaer youth and I am humbled to have been a part of their rich 40 year history.
A thank you goes out to Rita Shuster for sending us a Rensselaer Republican clipping from earlier years of Fendig's History!
"Coming back to direct Fendig is coming home." --Pat Collins
Why Would he come Back to Rensselaer?
Rensselaer is essentially where I came of age. It is where many of my intellectual, artistic, professional and community-minded roots are. I was born and raised in Chicago but Rensselaer is where I learned to think, teach, direct and build community. I have lived in many places since leaving Rensselaer but I still come back often, and when Emily and I decided to get married this is where we came. At a very personal level, despite Tom Wolf, coming back to direct Fendig is coming home. Coming back is also clearly a professional and artistic homecoming. Without Fendig I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today. It is only because this community supported my work and allowed the children of Rensselaer to teach me how to direct that I have been doing this for the last forty years. Mary Poppins says: “Anything can happen if you let it”. That’s what Fendig is about and that’s what I am coming back to celebrate.
Helen Heinig, Assistant Director
Helen, being an alum of Fendig is very excited for the 40th Anniversary this year! Her original participation from 2006-2010 on the stage, lead to volunteering with the productions Aida and Seussical. While working on these productions, she did anything from working with the cast, set construction, props, costume fittings as well as assisting with publicity events. In high school, she continued performing on the stage and in the pit, as well as being assistant director for The Importance of Being Earnest and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. This year she is excited to be making her first formal directing debut. Some of her best memories of Fendig are from the friends she made and the start of a growing passion for performing arts and music.
Helen is currently a student at Ohio Northern University pursuing Communication Studies and Arts Administration. There she is involved in various music events including Wind Orchestra and Symphony. Her previous experiences in many performing arts groups, including Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps, Fendig Summer Theatre, dance and other programs have helped her develop many skills in her field. Her future plans are still in the works, but sharing the love of performing arts will be a part of her career. Helen is very excited for Fendig this year! Remember “anything can happen if you let it.”
Anything can happen if you let it!
Fendig Summer Theater is a non-profit organization 501 (c)(3) for the advancement of theatre development in children.