Congratulation to Assistant Superintendent Mike Molnar for becoming the Amherst Rotary Club President for 2019-2020! Amherst School Board President Rex Engle was in attendance to assist with the official ceremony!
What is the MLS Theatre Company?
- Important Documents
- Student Officers & Contact Us
- Thespian of The Month
- Booster Officers
- Santa Camp
- Drama Camp
President: Sam Gargasz firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam is excited to close her high school experience as president. She is a five star honor bar thespian and has acted as the programs crewhead and stage manager. She looks forward to a year of opportunity Go Comets!
Vice President: Olivia Parson email@example.com
Olivia is returning as the Vice President, and she hopes that her senior year with MLS is the best one yet!
Secretary: Jacob Fennell firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacob Fennell is going into his junior year, and his first year on council. He also runs Imagination Players, our improv troupe. Jacob loves performing, and can be found on stage most of this time.
Business: Natalie Knight email@example.com
Natalie is going into her third year in the MLS Theatre Company. This year being even more special then before due to her position on council. She is looking forward to helping support the company she loves and making it as amazing as she can.
Publicity: Sam McQuate firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam is returning as the publicity chairperson for her senior year. She has been in the MLS Theatre Company for her entire high school career, and she has worked on tech for the majority of the time. She's a dedicated lights crewhead, and she hopes to make this year great for everybody!
Historian: John Clayton email@example.com
Johnny Clayton is excited to be your historian again for his senior year. He is a 9 star honor bar thespian who primarily acts in shows. He loves his cat Topaz, who is a gift to this world.
Social: Kalie Pratt firstname.lastname@example.org
Kalie Pratt is excited to close off her senior year as your social chairperson! She's an honor bar thespian and spends her time off stage working a variety of tech crews.
To nominate a thespian for Thespian of the Month one must do the following
- Write a letter explaining why the nominee, who must be a registered thespian, deserves the award. Letters must be at least one paragraph long.
- Send your letter to any council member via email, or place it in one of their mailboxes.
President: Bryan Goldthorpe
Vice President: Laura Liaskos
Recording Secretary: TBD (Contact us if you would like to be recording secretary)
Treasurer: Tammy Lacey
Corresponding Secretary: Lisa Cooper
Community Relations Committee: Joann Perkins & Sandy Wolf
Ways and Means Committee: Kristen Wilbert & TBD (Contact us if you would like to be co-chair)
Theatre Gear Committee: Brenda Goldthorpe & Tara Williams
Santa Camp is our newest fundraiser at MLS Theatre Company! Much like our Drama Camp, this one day event shows your child the ins and outs of theatre. Children will get to meet Santa and have a photo taken, as well as many other fun activities.
Drama Camp Information and Important Documents
Drama Camp is a fun, hands on experience for 2nd-8th graders interested in theatre. Taught by our very own theatre students, children will be immersed into the world of performing arts. They will not only learn about onstage performance such as acting and movement, but they will also experience the technical aspects of theatre such as costuming, set building, light and sound design, and all the other wonderful activities that go beyond acting.
Here are some notable Alumni of our theatre company, and where they are now in their careers.
I graduated from Steele and went to Ohio University where I majored in Journalism and minored in several things including Theater. I was really active in Theater there including running the student-run theater group Lost Flamingo Company and founding the improv group Black Sheep Inc. I graduated in 2006 after being named the Outstanding E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Senior in class of 2006.
I moved to NYC right after graduation to start a job with NBC's Page Program, which recently celebrated 80 years. I had several great assignments and then was hired full-time into the NBC News Specials unit and the NBC News Elections unit - both of which I still work in. My current job titles are Producer with the News Specials unit and Deputy Director of Elections.
I work primarily covering breaking news and big planned events. Over the years that has included events like the Royal Wedding, the Pope's Visit to the US, the Boston Bombing, numerous plane crashes, school shootings and terror attacks. It also includes politics - I've worked on multiple debates, conventions, Inaugurations and election nights. It never gets old!
For the past 10 years, Robert Savina has worked as a production designer for feature film. Film projects include: Burning Blue, Blowtorch, Fall To Rise and The Man On Her Mind (New York City), The Rig, Dark Circles and Jules Verne Mysterious Island, My Alien Mother, among others. His professional background has always revolved around the Arts. His formal training included 2 years in Houston as an assistant to scenic designer, Robert Howery. He received his BA/MA in Theater Arts from The State University of New York at Stony Brook and has taught theater at the University of Maine at Machias and University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
He was artistic director of Acadia Annex Theater Company in Maine where he staged Michael Dorn Moody’s The Shortchanged Review, The Fool, and SPILL. Robert also facilitated Liz Lerman’s Hallelujah Project that originated in Eastport, Maine for the millennium, Sarah Pearson and Patrik Widrig’s If Wishes Were Horses at the Portland Museum of Art, and Bates Dance Festival at Bates College. His produced plays include, Four Brothers, Wheels Over Indian Trails and Whiskeyville.
The New York Post called her a madcap mix of Ethel Merman, Lucille Ball and Bette Midler, her father called her a lazy piece of sh*t that would never amount to anything, you decide.
High paying jobs: WICKED, Madame Morrible, Tour; A Catered Affair, Broadway; Mamma Mia – Rosie, Las Vegas; 9 to5 – Roz, 1 st National Tour;
Low paying jobs: Into The Woods, Shakespeare in the Park/Delecort Theatre, NYC, Jack’s Mother; Old Jews Telling Jokes; Tales of the City, The Eugene O’Niell Developmental Program; Roadshow, the Public Theater; Shlemiel The First – Off B’way Skirball Center; Forbidden Broadway: Cleans Up It’s Act (Original Cast) and 20 th Anniversary (Original Cast); Splendora-Sue Ella Lightfoot, Chelsea Playhouse; I Will Come Back - Friend of Barbara, The Players Theater; An Evening with Joan Crawford - Ethel Merman; REGIONAL: Man of La Mancha – Housekeeper, Damn Yankees – Sister, Mae Peterson – Bye, Bye, Birdie all at Goodspeed Opera House; Nine, Papermill Playhouse, Schlemiel The First – Yenta Pesha, OKLAHOMA! - Aunt Eller; Hank Williams Lost Highway –Mamma Lilly; 101 Dalmatians - Cruella DeVil.
I’m paying jobs: Varla Jean Merman is The Bad Seedling - Christine (Lead) Tweed Prods.; Blood Orgy of the Carnival Queens; The Club – Bertie; Cabaret and one person shows: Jackie Hoffman & Kristine Zbornik Joe’s Pub; Holiday Hams Lead; Blow Up World; Ball of Confusion; Serving Mankind; Zbornik In A Trunk.
Created cabaret/one-woman shows for over 25 years throughout the universe.
Laurence graduated from MLS in 1975. Besides working on a few high school acting projects, he appeared in Sandstone Summer Theatre's Bye Bye Birdie and No, No Nanette. He went on to Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio, where he obtained a B.A. in theatre and developed his acting skills in several leading roles including the title roles in Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Tom Sawyer, as well as The Cowardly Lion in Wizard of Oz, El Gallo in The Fantasticks,Tom Wingfield in Glass Menagerie and Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple.
Moving on to grad school, Laurence was awarded a Bush Fellowship to attend the University of Minnesota where he received his M.F.A. and began his professional career with the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. Then he went to New York appearing on Broadway in Amadeus as well as off–Broadway with The New York Shakespeare Festival, Lincoln Center Institute, Equity Library Theatre, and the historic Provincetown Playhouse. He also performed in many regional theatres and on several television soap operas including All My Children, One Life to Live and
Loving. Eventually, he moved to Hollywood, California, and became executive producer of The Writer's Lab, working to develop quality scripts for the entertainment industry.
Laurence has been involved in arts education for over 25 years. He is also an internationally known poet and genealogist and the author of 10 books.
After a wonderful 4 years of theatre at MLS starting with Valerie Jenkins and later Dave Cotton, a show or two at Workshop Players, and 4 summers with Sandstone Summer Theatre, (approximately 18 shows).
I went on to Bowling Green State University my freshmen year as a theatre major. That year I broke the technical theatre professors heart when I told him I was more interested in acting than tech. He had big plans I think for me to go onto becoming a lighting director or a stage manager professionally. I loved both the actors life and that of technician which came from the necessity of having to do both in Amherst. It's always been such a disappointment that the community of my home town would never get behind a proper auditorium and arts complex. The only bright side of having to build a production from the ground up was exactly that...we learned how to create from scratch something that I now do daily in my work. It was at BGSU that I combined my love of theatre and photography and cinema together and put together a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Communication. The bulk of my television learning and experience came from working at the PBS station connected to the university. WBGU-57 (now channel 27) was truly where I learned the craft I make my living doing. I ended up taking more classes in theatre and photography than television because at that time the university's studio and equipment was ancient (alumni Tim Conway operated the cameras they had for us to use!) but the TV station was state of the art. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work for the best station in Ohio.
After graduation I worked in news for a short year, then at another PBS affiliate for another 5 years. After that I moved to Orlando where I began my life as a freelancer and started my company Summer Nights film and video. Next came the move to Michigan where I've lived now since 1992. This is where I call home but my career has not kept me home all that much.
My life on the road has been wonderful. I have been to Japan, Europe, all over North America. You name the subject, I have shot it, produced it or have worked on it in some way. I have worked with actors, athletes, politicians, animals, race cars, TV personalities. I have won an Emmy and numerous other awards. I have witnessed people at their best and worst. I am able to get the best performance out of CEOs, amateurs, professional actors and the man on the street because I have been on the other side of the lens. I am sought after for my ability to adapt, have the right camera and equipment, work with people on both large productions and two person crew where I light, shoot, direct and often do the makeup. That is where I guess not having had the ready made auditorium, creating the show from ground up turned out to be a good thing.
Through it all, I have my humble beginnings at MLS theatre to look back upon that gave me the wonder of the drama of life and the people who upon its stage. The world truly is a stage and we are but players.
Mark is a proud graduate of Marion L. Steele High School - class of 1987. Inducted into MLS Gallery of Success in 2015. NYU Graduate - class of 1991- BFA from Tisch School of the Arts Undergraduate Drama. Member of Actors Equity Association since 1991. He has worked as a professional stage manager for the past 25 years both on and off Broadway, at regional theatres, and on 2 National Tours. Mark is currently the Production Stage Manager of The Illusionists: Turn of the Century, which will begin performances at the Palace Theatre after Thanksgiving and of the upcoming Broadway production of Bandstand which is directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler (Tony Winner as Best Choreography for “Hamilton” and “In The Heights.”) due to open April 2017. Other Broadway productions include: The Illusionists: Live on Broadway (2015), Holler If Ya Hear Me, Machinal (Roundabout Theatre Company), End of the Rainbow, Mary Poppins, Ring of Fire, Thou Shalt Not (Lincoln Center Theater), Miss Saigon, and Phantom of the Opera. Off-Broadway: The Robber Bridegroom and Fiasco Theater’s production of “Into The Woods” at Roundabout Theatre Company. Found at Atlantic Theatre Company. Lincoln Center Theater: Four Baboons Adoring the Sun, In The Summer House. The Public Theatre: Woyzeck. National Tours: Phantom of the Opera, The Producers. Regional: Paper Mill Playhouse: The Bandstand, White Christmas. A Little More Alive (Barrington Stage), End of the Rainbow (The Guthrie Theatre & Center Theatre Group). Ring of Fire (Studio Arena Theatre). Bristol Valley Playhouse. Events: Stephen Sondheim’s 75th Birthday; Into The Woods (10th Anniversary).
Mark your calendars for the 2019-2020 Parent Information Nights hosted by the Amherst Schools! More information about each event will be shared once the school year begins!
On behalf of the Amherst Schools Staff, we wish our students and families a safe, fun, and relaxing summer!
Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, the Amherst Schools will utilize a new online student registration system called PowerSchool Enrollment. Please read for this very important information!
Interested in eSports? Join us on Thursday, May 23rd at 6:00 p.m. in the Steele Creative Learning Center to learn about the 2019-2020 Amherst eSports team! Hear from Jordan Zakrajsek, who won an eSports college scholarship!
The last day of school on Wednesday, May 29th will be a 2-hour early release for ALL students!
The Amherst Schools community is gearing up for a new elementary school and a year of expanded courses, transportation, and student care resources. Check out the 2018-2019 State of the Amherst Schools presentation!
Amherst Rotary is hosting a Pizza for Polio fundraiser on Thursday, May 16th at 5:00 p.m. in the Steele Cafetorium. Fight polio while enjoying ALL YOU CAN EAT pizza from Papa John's, Ziggy's, D'Tutanelli's, and more!
Save the date to attend Operation Street Smart on Wednesday, May 29th in the Steele Cafetorium. Registration and food trucks will be available from 5:00-6:00 p.m. and the program is from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Don't miss this program!
The Diary of Anne Frank is one of the most famous and haunting stories to emerge from the 20th Century. The memoirs of this young Jewish girl, forced to hide for nearly two years to escape Nazi persecution, are an essential part of how we remember one of the darkest periods of our human history. Wendy Kesselman’s adaptation of the original, Pulitzer Prize award-winning script by Goodrich and Hackett draws from previously unpublished parts of Anne Frank’s real-life diary, allowing the audience to experience Anne in a way that breathes life into this passionate, complex young woman, allowing us to share her relatable experience of adolescence as a familiarly modern teenager. For nearly two years, Anne, her father, mother, and sister, joined with the Van Daan family, to hide in a secret annex space above her father’s former office in Amsterdam, as the Nazis deported the Jews of Holland to their deaths. In her secret attic, Anne comes of age: she laughs, plays, fights with her mother, and falls in love for the first time. In spite of her oppressive circumstances and the horrors that surround her, Anne’s spirit transcends, as she voices her belief, “in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” Anne’s dynamism, her luminous spirit, and her story of resilience continue to resonate deeply, making her story as vital today as when her diary first was published.
Auditions for The Diary of Anne Frank will go from September 17-19 from 6-9 p.m. Students who wish to act in the show must attend all audition dates, and come prepared with water, comfortable clothing, and a 1-2 minute monologue. Any students who wish to work on the show, but do not want to act still must attend at least one day of auditions to fill out paperwork and to watch the audition process. Contact any council member with questions or concerns.
If you want to audition and need help with a monologue, you can come after school on Friday, September 19th for our Monologue Help
The Winter Festival of Plays is a fast-paced, energetic show that relies on audience participation! The audience will randomly choose the show to be performed next and it's up to the actors to make it possible!
This year, the MLS Theatre Company wants students to write the plays! They must be shorter than two minutes. If you have any questions or would like to submit a play, contact a council member.
Set against the dramatic background of an idyllic South Pacific island during WWII, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific intertwines the themes of romance, duty, and prejudice to create a story that is all at once hilarious, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. Based on the anecdotes of a real-life U.S. Navy commander who was stationed on an island, the musical follows two intercultural love stories: Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with Emile, a French plantation owner on the island who has two children from his late Polynesian wife; at the same time, U.S. Lieutenant Cable falls for a beautiful island native named Liat. Both Americans find themselves struggling to reconcile their own cultural prejudices with their amorous feelings, all the while under the dark cloud of a war that is coming ever closer to their island paradise.
South Pacific is provided by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Click here to check out their website!
- Auditions are from 6-9 p.m., from Tuesday February 4th to Thursday February 7th. Callbacks will be held on either Thursday or Friday of that week.
- Anybody hoping to be in tech must arrive to fill out forms on Tuesday.
- If you are interested in participating but cannot make it to one of the dates, please contact Farschman or the stage manager.
Auditioners must wear comfortable clothes, bring water, and have 16 measures of a song prepared with the necessary sheet music. A one to two minute monologue must also be memorized and performed.