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Streetcar Company marks 40th anniversary with new youth group

The Streetcar Company celebrates their 40th anniversary with a musical preview of numbers from shows like “Wicked,” “Rent” and “Les Miserables,” which they would like to perform in years to come. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
May 16, 2012
LACONIA — The Streetcar Company Community Theater Group has introduced a new youth theater group as part of its 40th Anniversary celebration, featuring "School House Rock Live! Jr." in the first act, followed by the "Fortieth Anniversary Spectacular."

J. Alward, group president and co-director for "School House Rock," said the group was proud to introduce local audiences to the new Streetcar Kids' and Youth Theater (SKYT), as they are the future of the group, and will represent Streetcar for the next 40 years.

Matt Demko, group vice president and producer, said they had always talked about starting a youth theater group, and thought the anniversary was a fitting occasion for SKYT's introduction. According to Demko, they had a cast of 21 youths from all around the Lakes Region, from Laconia and Gilford to Moultonborough and the Newfound area, ranging from kindergarten to ninth grade. Demko added that while some members of SKYT acted in past Streetcar productions, others had yet to work with the group.

"It's great to get kids from all over," said Demko. "We have lots of talented kids."

Becca Turmel from the Newfound area, who is in her second Streetcar production, said she really loves acting, and was thrilled by another opportunity to be on stage.

"It's a really fun experience," said Turmel, excited about her role in the upcoming "School House Rock" show.

Turmel said she was having fun playing her silly character, Dori.

"She is the goofy, ditsy one," said Turmel. "I get to be over exaggerated and extra-bubbly."

Kayla Zarella of Gilford, now in her fifth Streetcar production, said "School House Rock" was a fun show for theatre goers young and old alike because it was a fun, kid-friendly show, and the older audience would know all the songs.

"It took a lot of work, but we are here," said Zarella.

SKYT has also offered local youth the opportunity to learn from the adults by becoming production assistants. This gave Allie Dennis of Meredith the opportunity to be the assistant choreographer to Erin Lovett-Sherman. Dennis said her responsibilities included going through the steps and movements with the performers and filling in when necessary, and choreographing the steps for the "Great American Melting Pot" number.

Dennis said she plans on continuing her work in dance choreography at the University of the Arts to become a professional dance choreographer.

For the adult show, Director Erin Fitzmaurice said the group usually does a musical review of numbers from past shows. For the 40th anniversary, however, they wanted to do a musical preview of shows they would like to do in coming years.

"We have had far too much fun with this show. It has been great," said Fitzmaurice. "The cast has got along right from the start."

According to Fitzmaurice, the group tried to choose numbers from newer shows, even some currently on Broadway, that the audience may not have seen. Fitzmaurice said they will feature musical numbers from shows like "Wicked," "Rent" and "Les Miserables," along with classics from "Cats" and "Phantom of the Opera."

Fitzmaurice, a first-time director, said she hopes to be a part of these shows in the next 40 years, and hopes members of SKYT will continue up to the adult group.

Show dates are Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 20 at 2 p.m. at the Laconia High School auditorium. Tickets are $10 per person, and are available online at www.streetcarcompany.com or at the door.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
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