My Theatrical Year in Review

As we bid farewell to 2009, a look back at the funtivities that filled my days…

Our Town (Mrs. Soames/Woman in the Balcony) – Wright State University

Me backstage during Our Town.

One of my favorite parts of doing Our Town was when I got to sneak up into the balcony and sit with the audience just before doing my lines as the Woman in the Balcony.  I had a contemporary costume so the audience around me wouldn’t suspect, but it might have been a bit too realistic.  Whenever I’d enter, people in the audience would give me dirty looks or even shush me.  And when I started talking, they’d freak out!  They thought I was the worst theatre patron ever.  In a way, I guess I was, considering I left after watching five minutes of the show…

Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Asst. Director) – Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton

What I love about jobs like these – working with kids – the best part is seeing them become as excited about performing as I am/was at that age.  They remind me what I love about the theatre.  I had a lovely cast and I learned so much from them.  I wish them well.

Stu-Cab 2009 (Contributing Writer) – Wright State University

My class’s fundraiser for our upcoming NYC Showcase.  I don’t know how much money we made, but we sure had fun.  I still have the big Stu-Cab flag I made for the Lion King number.  And I got to stretch my legs as a lyricist…who knew so many things rhymed with BFA?

Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Scholarship Contest (Finalist) – Human Race Theatre Company

Me hamming it up singing "It's an Art" in the Loft Theatre.

Dear Kelsey: Would you like the chance to sing in front of one of your heroes? Yes, please.  Dear Kelsey: Would you like to share the stage with some of your buddies?  Even better.  Dear Kelsey:  Would the possibility of scholarship money enhance the experience for you? Um…yes.  Thanks.

What else do I have to say?  That night was AWESOME.

Student Playwright Festival (Actor/Writer/Director) – Wright State University

I’m so glad that Wright State revived their playwright festival.  I was so grateful to have the opportunity to see two of my scripts – Visiting Gargoyles and The Laundry Room – on their feet.   I also  directed Amy Geist’s Suspended and appeared in Charlie Mann’s A Visit.  Both scripts were beautiful and I’m so glad I got to work with these new writers!

ArtsGala 2009 (Performer) – Wright State University

ArtsGala hippies prepare to sing "Aquarius" from Hair.

When else will I get to be in Hair?  Let’s just say it’ll be awhile.  So this year’s Gala was extra exciting.

ArtsGala is Wright State’s major fundraiser for the theatre department.  But for the students who perform there, it’s prom night.  And it is delightful.

Reach (Director) – Jubilee Theatre

The cast of the world premiere of Reach.

Still can’t believe I was fortunate enough to be in the room for the creation of this piece.  I’d never been a part of a debut musical before.  And now I’m hooked.  I blame you,  Alex Horton, I blame you and your insanely good songs.

Crimes of the Heart (Babe) – Showboat Majestic

The Macgrath sisters aboard the Showboat Majestic.

I so enjoyed this role and this production.  I got to stretch some new acting muscles – and find out what it’s like to have sisters.

Plus it was on a BOAT!  My new pre-show routine involved watching boats go by from the deck outside my dressing room (which I definitely cannot repeat anywhere else…).  It’s a charming theatre and was a great way to spend my summer.

Quickie Festival (Writer) – Tip My Cup Productions

The cast and crew of "Same Time, Next Country" at the Quickie Festival in NYC, October 2009.

My New York City debut!  How’d I get to be so lucky?  It was crazy to go through the entire creative process – from concept to production – in 24 hours.  Fortunately, I had a great cast and director to back me up.   I’m so proud of my script and hopefully will get the chance to do it in Dayton soon.  In the meantime, NYC should get ready to see me again…

The Pajama Game (Mabel) – Wright State University

My favorite part of this show was dancing the ole soft shoe with my buddy Will Hutcheson during “I’ll Never Be Jealous Again”.  Sometimes our umbrellas would pop open accidentally, that just added to the hijinks.

Nerd Fun (Diva Extraordinaire) – Jubilee Theatre

My cabaret act.  My favorite part of doing this show was seeing the crazy friends and family who came out at midnight to watch me be a dork onstage.  (Incidentally, they can watch that just about any time I’m onstage…)  But I finally got to play Harold Hill, I threw forks Alice Ripley style, and killed some vampires.  It was a good time.

Fear Clinic (Librettist) – Wright State University

Composer Alex Horton with me before the big premiere of Fear Clinic the Musical.

Favorite moments of our workshop: A. Laura LaCara modeling different sizes of baby bumps until we found just the right one.  B. My high school drama teacher beaming with pride in the front row.  C. Watching Brandon Michael Fleming navigate the stage while covered in balloon animals.

This adventure is only just beginning.  But the workshop we did this November was a wonderful start.  I can’t wait to see where this piece goes.

Reception (Writer) – Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative

The cast of Reception take their bows.

I liked getting a reading of a script I’ve had around for awhile.  It was like visiting an old friend.  Funny to see how what was important to me a few years ago compares with what’s important to me now.  And it was great to see a new cast make it their own.

I guess I’ve been a busy girl.  I’ve been very lucky, and had some great opportunities.  Thanks to family, friends, and colleagues who helped along the way.  2009 was wonderful!

Things to come in 2010:

  • The Light in the Piazza
  • Student Playwright Festival 2010
  • NYC Senior Showcase

Happy New Year, friends!

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