Posts Tagged ‘ Brittany Parsons ’

Summer Camps come to a close with “Sleeping Beauty”

Brittany Parsons
July 20, 2011

The Paramount Arts Center is wrapping up Summer Camps on Friday, July 22 with a final performance of “Sleeping Beauty,” directed by Amber Ferguson. The show is part of a two-week Summer Camp for children ages 6-18, where the children learn everything about bringing a play to life, including auditioning, learning the music and choreography, and designing costumes and props.

While most shows take months to produce, the children must learn “Sleeping Beauty” in just two weeks, working eight hours a day, which can be very demanding. A typical day usually starts with vocal warm-ups and the children later break into groups for scene rehearsal, choreography, stage design, or individual rehearsal. The kids also have breaks for snacks and theater games, and seem to enjoy the difficult schedule. Amber says that it is a very busy day but “at the end of the day the kids are still smiling.” Molly, 12, who plays the part of Maleficent, is “excited to take on the challenge.”

Molly is one of the more experienced campers and has been performing in plays since she was 7, when she played Gus in “Cinderella.” Although she has had a variety of roles, she enjoys playing the villain Maleficent. “I get to see the villain’s point of view and I get a whole new character.”
Another experienced actress is Zorada, 14, who has the lead role of Sleeping Beauty. This is her sixth show at the Paramount and her 2nd Production Camp; she was in last year’s production of “Alice in Wonderland.” “I feel at home on stage,” says Zorada, “when you hear the applause, you know it’s right for you.”

Many of the campers are not as experienced, but show the same enthusiasm as Molly and Zorada, and Amber says that all of the campers are a “joy to work with. They still have a wonder with music and want to show what they’re made of.” Amber has served as musical director for many other shows for the Paramount Arts Center, including “Hairspray,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and this summer’s “Footloose.” She also teaches at ACTC and is head of the Paramount’s Youth Chorus, which is open to children in grades 4-8.

The two-week camp allows the kids to grow and learn every aspect of producing a play. Joanna, assistant director, loves to “see it all come together” at the end of the two weeks. The show includes choreography by Katlyn Shaw and Aaron Pennington, with costumes and props designed by Michael Seagraves. Some of the props, costumes, and makeup will also be designed by other campers from the Stage Makeup and Costumes camp at the Paramount.
The final week of camps is July 18-22, offering Playwriting, Designing Diva, Discover Your Inner Artist, and more! The “Sleeping Beauty” finale is Friday, July 22nd at 7 p.m. and is free to the public, so come

Cut loose with the Paramount

June 28, 2011
Brittany Parsons

The Paramount is buzzing this week in preparation of the upcoming production of Footloose, based on the hit 1984 Kevin Bacon film. This onstage production includes songs “Footloose” and “Let’s Hear it for the Boy” from the original hit soundtrack as well as some new songs. For those of you who may not have seen the movie, the film tells the story of Ren, a teenager who just moved with his mom to a small, conservative town. Ren soon discovers the strict laws of the town, enforced by the town preacher, which, much to Ren’s dismay, outlaw rock music and dancing. After meeting the preacher’s rebellious daughter, he encourages his new classmates to fight the laws and bring dancing back to the town.

The R & H Theatricals production brings the film to life and hits the Paramount August 18-20 with showings on Thursday the 18th at 8 pm, Friday the 19th and 8 pm, and Saturday the 20th at 3 pm and 8 pm. Tickets are on sale now, just $20 for adults and $12 for kids. Call the box office and get yours today! 606.324.3175

Also, don’t forget we have summer camps going on now. A complete list of camps and registration forms can be found on our website paramountartscenter.com!

Jazz Alley tonight at PAC

Brittany Parsons
June 15, 2011

This Friday night the Paramount stage will be filled with the music of Marshall University’s Bluetrane. The jazz ensemble is made up of 6 members of Marshall’s faculty and is named in honor of the jazz legend John Coltrane. Bluetrane performs at various venues across the tri-state area. The group consists of Dr. Ed Bingham, James Steven Hall, Martin Saunders, Michael Stroeher, Sean Parsons (no relation), and Mark Zanter. Bluetrane is the Paramount’s second performance from our Jazz Alley Series.

Now for some bios…

Bingham, a founding member of Bluetrane, is Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies at Marshall University and director of Marshall’s Jazz Ensemble, which holds two jazz festivals each year. The university’s winter jazz festival just celebrated its 42nd anniversary, making it one of the longest-running in the country. Bingham also performs with the Huntington Symphony Orchestra. Hall, an Associate Professor in the Marshall University Music Department, is the groups percussionist. In the past he has played with LeAnn Rimes, Rray Charles, and Frank Sinatra Jr. Saunders is Associate Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Studies. Before working for Marshall University, Saunders played for the Air Force Band program. In addition to performing with Bluetrane, he is the feature soloist for Charleston’s Lippz Big Band. Stroeher, professor of low brass, plays trombone for the ensemble and has played with Arthur Fiedler, Dave Brubeck, Michel Legrand, Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald, the Sylistics and the Cab Calloway Orchestra. In addition to Bluetrane, Stroeher also performs with the Huntington Symphony. Parsons teaches various jazz classes at Marshall University and is the ensemble’s pianist and has performed with Clark Terry, James Moody, Jon Faddis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Randy Brecker, and Steve Turre. Zanter is Marshall’s associate professor of composition. He has appeared as a composer and performer on WILL, IPR, Second Sunday concerts, on WVPN In Touch With The Arts.

The show is this Friday June 17 at 8 pm. Tickets are still available, $25 for adults, $15 for students, so call the box office and get yours! 606.324.3175

Darius Rucker to take the stage

Brittany Parsons
May 16,2011

It’s May and summer’s almost here, which means it’s almost time for the Paramount’s annual Kentucky Music Trail. Kicking off our Kentucky Music Trail is South Carolina native Darius Rucker. The Paramount is just one of Rucker’s many stops on his summer tour promoting his sophomore solo album, Charleston, SC 1966. Although this is only his second solo album, Rucker has been making music since his band Hootie and the Blowfish formed in 1986. The band’s 1994 multi-platinum album Cracked Rear View featured the hits “Hold My Hand” and “Only Wanna Be With You.” In 2008, the band announced a temporary split so that Rucker could pursue a solo career.

Being a Hootie and the Blowfish fan, I was surprised to hear Darius Rucker was going country, but his solo work is not all that different from the band’s music, allowing him to draw fans of all genres. His first album, Learn to Live, was released in 2008 and featured 3 number 1 singles, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “It Won’t Be Like This for Long,” and “Alright.” Following the success of his first solo album, Rucker released Charleston, SC 1966 in October 2010. The album reached number 1 on the US Billboard Country charts and has so far had two number 1 singles, “Come Back Song” and “This,” which I’m sure won’t be the last hit singles to come from the album.

Opening for Rucker is Nashville native Greg Bates, who’s also hitting the road with Randy Travis later this summer. The Paramount is going to be filled with some great music this summer, so come join us for the first night of our Kentucky Music Trail on Thursday June 16 at 8 pm! There are just a few seats left, so get yours now! Tickets are $35, $45, $50 and $55.