Wednesday, May 29, 2013

One person at a time

GREAT blog post by David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

This example can be applied to every business.  We will do it during Godspell rehearsals at the end of every rehearsal.  Creating our "audience" by creating experiences and stories that they can relate to. TOLD BY THE PARTICIPANTS.  Good experiment for when we have a full season.

One of the best quotes in this short video is, "Building experiences and building relationships more than customers.  Building our business one diver at a time throughout the day".

When folks are happy they share.  Tweet, Facebook, Reef Cam.   Why not "Godspell Cam" or "Theatre Cam"? A genuine effort!

Apply this to any business. But especially the business of show.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

United Way's Broadway on the Beach

We did our 2nd (annual?) Broadway customized show for the United Way of Milford's fund raiser Friday and had such a blast.  The hit of the evening were our college interns and the Live Commercials that they wrote and performed for three of the bigger business sponsors of the event.

Broadway on the Beach featured Broadway performers,  Fred Rose, Bret Shuford, Gwendolyn Jones, and myself as well as Jerold Goldstein and our youth board (singing a featured "Freddy my love") and as singing waiters who raised almost $200 in tips for the United Way.

We also selected four of the Executive Directors of the non profits that the United Way benefits and had them go out individually with our Broadway pros to learn a short fun dance (ala Dancing with the Stars) and then come back in to dance to a Beach Boys tune.

So for instance, the Exec Dir of the YMCA, Charlie Clifford came up on stage, talked a bit about the Y and then went off stage with me for 5 min to learn a fun and athletic dance to the Beach Boy's tune "I get around".  While we were off learning the dance the rest of the show went on and when we came back on stage we did a lot of jumping jacks and things that went 'around'. Each of the Broadway folks had their own person to teach and then at the end we awarded prizes like "most athletic" or "best shimmy".

The Live commercials were about 2 min long (think Ed Sullivan)  and were the hit of the show.  Jake Oswell (one of my college kids) wrote them and Cori Stolburn and Stephanie Wasser, also from Univ of Hartford, were so adorable. Pictures below. One was for an Ice Cream place and had such humor to it.  Another was for an appliance store that had the owner crying he was laughing so hard!
                                               (pix of the commercials)
Cori, Steph and Jake
Cori and Stephanie

There were a lot of elements to coordinate on this one and I felt like I needed an assistant, but everyone pitched in and helped. Andy helped set up sound, Lisa Durkee made sandwiches for the stars, the college interns did all sorts of helpful things like running around looking for instruments for the audience to play in Under the Boardwalk.
Appliance store commercial

Fred Rose and audience member
It was a real team effort and the pictures show you how fun it was!

Charlie and me 

Kevin Durkee as the mix master
Gary Johnson the Exec. Director of The United Way 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Wanted to ask you to help me get the word out about our GODSPELL auditions June 8th.

I will post the flyer below.  The teen advisory board really wanted us to do some type of production for them this year, and while we are not a children's theatre, our mentoring aspect is so strong that I let them chose GODSPELL as a simpler show that we could present ala NPT youth.

That means it has to have our "branding" elements and I made that clear to Shelby and Shay (on our board) before I agreed to produce this.

1. We always have our mentoring aspects which are so much more involved than just "let's do a show".  This time it means that each of the kids who are cast will also be co-producers.  They will attend a pre production meeting, help decide on the "concept" (I already have a good idea but will encourage them to contribute), we will start a fan page, create blogs, tweet and start taking pix and videos.  At the end of every rehearsal we will have a 15 minute marketing session where they post, email and blog to create that "buzz" for our future audience.

Some of the Teens (it's ages 12-19) will be co-directors, co-choreographers, co-production, co co co etc..  They all buy into a piece of the show. They all create it with us.

2. We always have another Non Profit that we partner with. In this case it's St. Anthony's church in Fairfield, where the wonderful Father John is happy to be our host site as well as to be included in our marketing when I take the kids on Channel 8, 12 and to various events that we are singing this summer, because he would like churches and synagogues to become more involved in supporting the Arts.  And I love that.

3. We always outreach in a "service" way so we will be visiting senior homes in the area.  I will call those places and offer the same thing I did for the Bijou show. You bring at least 10 of your residents out to see the show and we will bring a troup of the kids in to perform for you. I know the past four senior centers that came to see our show during the Holidays will do it.

4. We always feature Broadway and Entertainment stars and they will abound in terms of master classes.

So spread the word about the upcoming auditions June 8th. Details below.


Date:  June 8th 11am - 2pm

Location: St. Anthony of Padua Church, 149 South Pine Creek Rd, Fairfield CT

Requirements:  You must be between the ages of 12 and 19.  Please be prepared to sing one or two musical theatre songs acapella for our Broadway pros.  Bring Headshot and resume if you have them. Be prepared to take direction/improv.

** This production will be co-produced by each cast member to teach leadership in: Production, Marketing, Service, Directing, Choreography as well as offering acting/voice with our Broadway pros.

The four week session will run from July 8 - Aug 4 with three performances Aug 2 - 4th.

Rehearsals will be Monday-Friday 10am - 3pm at St. Anthony of Padua Church.

There will be opportunities for participation in TV appearances, Broadway star master classes, Concerts with symphony in Norwalk, Auditioning for: Commercial & Film/TV master classes, Vocal instruction, as well as service/volunteer credits given for senior home visits.

Total cost:  $600 for the entire 4 weeks.

Call or email for audition appointment: Lynn Vetare at 203-858-4927 or

Co-Director: Kristin Huffman (Broadway: Company, Tours: Phantom, Professor at Univ of Hartford and WCSU)
Co-director: Jerold Goldstein (Broadway: Little Shop of Horrors; Tours: Funny Thing Happened on the way to the forum; How to Succeed in Business)

The New Paradigm Theatre is a (501 c 3) not for profit professional theatre company. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Humanity Now

Last night's gig for the non profit, Humanity Now featuring Broadway performers from The New Paradigm Theatre went well.  I performed with Fred Rose, Kate Chapman and Jerold Goldstein (as performer and accompanist) but also the four girls from the Youth Board.  Kelsey Llewellyn, Shaina Arsenault, Shay LaRusso and Shelby Vetare!

They were adorable in Freddy My Love (from Grease) and since one of the themes of Humanity Now is giving young people the chance to learn through service, I created another number that featured each of them in snippets showing how the Arts can also provide service.  Shaina danced on toe shoes to Waltz of the Flowers, Kelsey sang a bit of Think of Me classically and Shay sang a musical theatre number from Spelling Bee called, "I speak six languages".  They were a hit of course!

They also have their new NPT Youth T-shirts.  Below are some pix from the event that Nathan (also in our Youth Board, who was our "freddy" at the end of the girls' number) took from backstage.

This Friday we will feature them again for the United Way's Gala entitled "Broadway at the Beach" Fred, Gwendolyn, Bret, Jerold and I will be joined by the youth board's singing waiters as well as the Freddy My Love girls, and our college interns who will be presenting Live Commercials during the show for the three sponsors.

Jake Oswell wrote all the commercials. He's a creative student of mine at Hartt and he, Cori and Stepahnie will be acting in those "commercials".  So in addition to Beachy songs by the Broadway folks, we will have the live commercials, singing waiters, and a lot of audience participation.

See pix below of last night's event!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sunday Spotlight with Gwendolyn Jones

Our next Sunday Spotlight is May 5th, this sunday at 8pm with one of my dearest friends, Gwendolyn Jones.   She's also got the biggest belt of any woman I have ever met. It's got a zing on it that carries for miles and she has her own personal zing that carries just as far.

Tune in to hear her take on life as a character woman in the Entertainment industry.  A few of her roles have included Mrs. Claus for Radio City Music Hall, Mamma Morton in Chicago, Mrs Hannigan in Annie, and she just finished touring with Cindy Williams in Nunesense Boulevard.

Here is the link for our Virtual Master class with this class act:

Click on the link and it will let you sign up for the webinar.  Then it will send you an email with a link that you click on at the time of the webinar. That will let you tune in from your own computer for free.

Join us!  Check out Gwendoly's fun photos from shows below.