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Volume 1, Issue 6 October 2016



Linda Eder | Master Class Southern Fried Chicks iLuminate

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker Havana Cuba All-Stars

The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra Don't Tell Nonnie The Staff Spotlight

A Word From

Volume 1, Issue 6 | October 2016


Whitney Morse, Artistic Director, The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center

On Matinées and Rehearsal Process A common question we have come across since the announcement of The Studio Theatre is, "why do you have almost no matinées?" Well, the answer to that question lies in our rehearsal process and production calendar. In just three short weeks, we will be diving into our very first rehearsal process for The Studio with Next To Normal. The rehearsal process is a grueling one. For each Studio show we will have just two tight weeks to put the performance aspects of the show together. During this time we will be learning our lines, lyrics, blocking (the track of where actors move on stage) choreography, while simultaneously trying to get cozy with our respective characters. We start adding in technical elements in the last few days of the process in a time period called "tech week." This week is also lovingly termed, "hell week," as it usually consists of at least one (and sometimes up to four) "ten out of twelves." This title is derived from the amount of time the team will be required to be at the theater: across a 12 hour timespan, they will be working for 10 of those hours. Then, the show

will finally get an audience at the first of four "previews." Previews are special performances (usually sold at a discount) that happen before a show officially opens. These preview performances are integral to the process as it gives the creative team an idea of what works and what doesn't work in the production. Rehearsals are still underway during previews so the team can tweak things acoording to the feedback from the audience. Then finally after four previews the show is set and ready to open. Now, as our season continues, we will begin to rehearse the next production while the current production is running. In some cases, such as between Private Lives and The Last Five Years, we have just a matter of days between the opening and closing of the respective pieces. That means that our building is bustling! While Private Lives is having performances at night, The Last Five Years team is rehearsing during the day. And, that is why we have very few matinées…we just simply cannot fit them in the calendar!

The Sharon Schedule Backstage at The Sharon The Sharon Performing Arts Academy

NEXT TO NORMAL Side effects may include…dysfunction. Next To Normal explores how one suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness. Containing a thrilling contemporary score, Next to Normal is an emotional powerhouse of a musical about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other.

Opening: NOV18th | Closing: DEC17th



Tickets On Sale Now! $15 Previews | $30 Performances The Studio Theatre - Tierra del Sol 806 San Marino Drive, The Villages, FL 32159 | (352) 751-7799


NOVEMBER 2ND • 6PM • $25/Observer 3

MASTER CLASS If you weren't able to get a participant spot in Linda Eder's upcoming Master Class...have no fear! You can still observe the entire class from a seat on stage with Ms. Eder! Observers tickets are on sale now for $25! "She's simply one of the most spellbinding singers of our time." NY Daily News

"A voice like Linda Eder's is rare, the sensitivity to use it to its fullest rarer still." Daily Variety

"What do we mean when we use the word perfection? The question arises every time I watch the pop singer Linda Eder..." Stephen Holden, New York Times

Linda in 1988 when she won the $100,00 grand prize on Star Search!

Linda is a lover of animals and a huge supporter of Pets Alive, a no-kill animal shelter in Middletown, NY. She and her fans have raised over $30,000 for this charity.

Sonya White

Mia Jackson

Winner of the prestigious, American Comedy Award's "Comic of the Year." This Kentucky woman is a comedy icon, described as "Minnie Pearl with a migraine." Etta has been seen on Oprah, CMT, Showtime, Comic Strip Live, Comedy Stage plus many others. Etta May is an audience favorite of XM/Sirius Radio Comedy Channels and on the syndicated radio show "The Bob and Tom Show." She's a regular on CMT countdown shows and featured programming. CMT's Documentary Series that featured the "Blue Collar" boys and "Etta May" places her as one of the top southern comics in the business.

Sonya White, originally from Virginia, now calls Chicago home. She combines her southern charm with big city street smarts. Her comedy and dead on impersonations make her show unique and down right funny. You've seen Sonya on HBO, E! and Comedy Central. A favorite on Girls Behaving Badly, Comedy Spotlight and The U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, Sonya's sitcom credits include "Nightshift" on Fox, "Big Brother Jake" on The Family Channel and MTV's "Spring Break." Top that off with her cartoon voices for the Cartoon Network she's one funny versatile lady.

Mia Jackson is a bonafide Georgia peach, a self proclaimed know-it-all, and always wondered what would happen if she took her sense of humor to the stage. That’s exactly what she did! After graduating from the University of Georgia she hit the local comedy scene and has thrilled audiences since day one. To her credit she has appeared on Oxygen, TLC, NickMom's Night Out and was recently a featured semi-finalist on Season 9 of NBC's Last Comic Standing in 2015. Mia is a diverse comedian with an outspoken voice and unique perspective. Smart, funny, and versatile, Mia entertains all types of crowds.

NOVEMBER 17TH • 7PM • $20 - $35

Etta May


NOVEMBER 19TH • 7PM • $25-$60







en e S s

M nA



“This stunning light show is dazzling audiences daily.” “The amazing iLuminate…electrifying dance performance…fantastic.” Ellen DeGeneres, Ellen “The one-hour show of fast-paced dance, catchy music and aerial stunts is suitable for everyone, age 4 and up.” The New York Post “One of the best acts you can possibly see live.” Howie Mandel “iLuminate…is a favorite among choreographers and performers like the Black Eyed Peas, Chris Brown and David Guetta. It’s easy to see why everyone is clamoring to get a piece of iLuminate.” The Bergen Record

“Check out iLuminate--it’s so mesmerizing--a mix of computer science and dance. “We cannot wait.” “Spectacular performance.” George Stephanopoulos, Good Morning America

iLuminate isn’t just a dance show. It’s a company based on the fusion of technology and dance. iLuminate is quickly becoming a household name, in 2011 they were called “the best new act in America” during their run on America’s Got Talent. They aim to create a visual display unlike anything you’ve ever seen, using dancers in electrified glow-in-the-dark suits performing choreographed dances and illusions on a darkened stage. It’s an experience that’s completely unique to their brand and incomparable to any other dance show. iLuminate is the brainchild of Miral Kotb, a woman whose true passions in life are dance and software engineering, which is why you’ll see her both manning the keyboard and dancing on stage. In 2009, Miral combined her two passions to create their patented iLuminate technology, the tool that enables performers, choreographers, engineers, technicians, stylists and artistic directors to produce explosive performances with customized wireless lighting programs. The results are extraordinary lighting effects choreographed with phenomenal dance moves that take viewers on an exhilarating ride.

The iLuminate technology has been snapped up by A-listers in music, hitting the stage with Grammy-winning superstars such as Chris Brown, Christina Aguilera, The Black Eyed Peas, and David Guetta, among others. You can find them on other song & dance shows like Dancing with the Stars and the X-Factor, not to mention in a whole slew of music awards performances including the American Music Awards, MTV’s Video Music Awards, BET Awards, The Nickelodeon Awards, Billboard, and Latin Billboard Awards. You may have also seen them on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Wendy Williams Show, and Good Morning America. However, as popular as they may be, they do have one longstanding relationship – their show Artist of Light at New World Stages in New York. Six nights a week (and two afternoons!) iLuminate hits the stage for an hour-long story told with lights, dance, and at least one giant, man-eating serpent!


NOVEMBER 21ST • 4:30PM & 8PM • $30-$75 7

The ultimate holiday tradition for the youngest to the seniors in the family, seeing Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker creates holiday memories that last a lifetime. Moscow Ballet’s company of almost 40 dancers is the only internationally touring ballet group to perform to critical acclaim in over 75 North American cities annually. The renowned, award winning principal dancers and corps de ballet thrill audiences with their expertise, dramatic expression and stunning leaps, turns and drops. The production is known for its dedication to world peace naming Act II the “Land of Peace and Harmony” and featuring a cannon

that shoots roses and a stunning opening act the two dancer “Dove of Peace” with a 20’ wingspan. All ages feel the spirit of the season at Great Russian Nutcracker performances through the romantic costumes, shimmering backdrops with authentic splashes of Russian history and fanciful effects such as: life-sized Matrushka (Nesting) Dolls, and a 3 headed Rat King and a trip on a Troika Sleigh through the magical Snow Forest (with falling snow) escorted by Father Christmas and Snow Maiden.

“Technically supreme dancing, dazzling moments, authentically opulent and beautifully detailed costumes,” Calgary Herald, Stephan Bonfield “Great Russian Nutcracker is…filled with lots of spins, Macy’s-sized animals… marvelously precise dancing …beautiful costumes…strong dancers.” Sioux City Journal, Bruce R Miller “Real beauty…good, precise dancing… well-trained cast,” New York Times, Brian Seibert “Moscow Ballet’s…four-star performance…takes it up a notch…and…inspires awe,” Twin Cities Daily Planet, Gino Terrell


ALL-STARS Drawing their inspiration from traditional Cuban Song, Cuba’s greatest

musicians have created and maintained the songs and music of the rich culture of the Cuban people in the program, “Cuban Nights.” Staying true to an acoustic base, they have developed a fresh sound with inventive songwriting, and have preserved the traditions of the Cuban musical art form. The Cuban Nights program is representative of the extraordinary musical legacy of this wonderful country.

The Havana Cuba All-Stars is a band comprised of Cuba’s greatest and most prominent musicians, and is devoted to promoting the entire tapestry of Cuban music. The origin of the Havana Cuba All-Stars began when it was created to exemplify the great musical traditions of the Cuban people. This is the debut tour of Cuba’s greatest musicians in the United States and Canada.

The Havana Cuba All-Stars Fito Florian - Spanish Guitar, Tres & Chorus

Camilo Menjura - Chorus, Hand Percussion, Guitar

Alejandro Albar - Steel Guitar, Tres & Chorus

Andres V. Valdes - Chorus & Guitar

Juan Luis Alarcon - Bongos, Cowbell & Cajon

Yoan Sanchez - Timbales, Snare, Congas & Percussion

Vicente Arencibia - Lead Vocal & Congas

Eikel Venegas - 2nd Trumpet & Slide Trombone

David Echevarria - Lead Vocal, Bongos & Hand Percussion

Michel Padron - 1st Trumpet & Valve Trombone

Michel (Pata) Salazar - Bass & Chorus

NOVEMBER 29TH • 7PM • $25-$45



VPO • OCTOBER 10TH • $21 -$39

The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra is back at The Sharon for the 2016/2017 season! This professional orchestra will present musical masterpieces to our local community that will enlighten and entertain. Their purpose is to nourish the hearts, minds and souls of families with the glorious gift of music while inspiring the next generation to pursue this same noble tradition.

2016/17 Season Schedule Monday



Italian- American Celebration

Tuesday 11/22/2016 7pm Messiah Monday 12/19/2016 2pm Holiday Monday 12/19/2016 7pm Holiday Tuesday



Classical Concert

Wednesday 1/11/2017


Classical Concert




American Music




American Music




Classical Concert

Wednesday 3/15/2017


Classical Concert




Opera Celebration

Wednesday 4/5/2017


Opera Celebration

October 10, 2016 - April 5, 2017 | $21-$39 Series prices available at box office windows or call 352-750-5411

Come Sing With Us In November!

Whitney Morse is back! She will be hosting our November 28th event. Come one, come all! Whether you want to sing onstage or just take in the will surely be entertained in our lobby!


TICKETS: $15, includes one FREE drink TIME/DATE: Monday, November 28th Doors Open: 7pm, Show: 7:30pm – 10:30pm


HEATHER ARD Production Manager


Tell us about The Studio Theatre and what made you interested in joining the team?


Oscar Feliu recommended me as the Properties Master when The Sharon opened. Since The Sharon’s opening I have worked with the backstage production staff. I loved everyone on The Sharon team and always looked forward to working with them. When the Studio Theatre was announced, it provided a new job opportunity. Jason and Whitney interviewed me for the Production Manager of The Studio Theatre and I was thrilled they chose me. I grew up watching theater in an intimate setting and I love being close to the actors feeling the emotions in the room. I am so excited that this intimate theatrical experience is coming to The Villages® community and that I’m a part of it.

What is your role for The Studio? My title at The Studio is Production Manager. The Production Manager is responsible for all aspects of the production being completed within budget, according to the designer's, director's, and producer’s wishes in time for the first public performance. I oversee the planning of the production process by budgeting, holding production meetings, planning rehearsal schedules, contracting artists, and helping with any technical duties to get the show up and running. What is your background in Theatre and what got you started in it? My background in theater is very diverse. My mother was the business manager of The Alhambra Dinner Theatre in Jacksonville and I grew up watching professional theater. I also sang in church from a very young age and still do today at St. Timothy’s here in The Villages community. I loved theatre and my mom could tell I had the bug but she said I had to wait to audition until I was 18 and out of high school. So, the first show I could, I auditioned and was hired in my first Equity show as Liesel in The Sound of Music. During college I continued to work at The Alhambra which provided me with points toward my equity membership (Actor’s Equity Association- the Actor’s Union). While in school I worked as a performer, sound board operator, and technical help, doing anything from hanging lights to drilling in

the stage deck. I loved it all! My focus in college was psychology but my heart was in theater. When my husband and I were engaged he said, “You love theatre. Why don’t you do that instead?” I took his very generous offer to follow my dreams and never looked back. I had the opportunity to perform in regional theaters throughout the country. Soon, my husband Paul and I wanted to have children so we moved to Orlando to be closer to family. While based in Orlando I continued to work in regional theaters throughout Florida, as well as theme parks such as Disney, SeaWorld, and LEGOLAND. As our family grew I still wanted to have a career in theater but traveling to do shows wasn’t a good fit for me. I had worked as a performer for Bill Doherty (Central Florida Lyric Opera) for many years and he wanted to produce The Sound of Music and asked me to direct the show. I was pregnant with our third child at the time but was thrilled to have the opportunity to tell this story that I knew and loved. I found that I really enjoyed directing and then continued working on the production side of theater. I have now directed four shows for Central Florida Lyric Opera and have directed the Villages Charter High School’s spring musical the past 2 years. What are you most excited about for opening night at The Studio? Opening night at The Studio is going to be filled with energy! The patrons, the actors, the musicians, the production staff have all

been looking forward to the opening of The Studio. I have been involved with the opening of a new theater once before and opening night was amazing. Was the performance perfect? No. Did everything go as planned? Definitely not, but everyone there witnessed a new beginning. I anticipate our Opening Night will not be flawless but it will have that magical energy that only live theater can provide. What is the extent of your partnership with the Director of each play and how do you help carry their vision to the stage? My partnership with the director is mostly organizational. I organize production meetings so the director can share their vision with the design team. The design team includes our Set Designer, Kenneth Constant, Lighting Designers, Dan Hopper and Weston Corey, Sound Designer Eric Mielke, Costume Designer, Virginia McKinney and Musical Director, Gary Powell. I facilitate communication through emails, and sharing different design concepts until an agreement is reached. I assist in drafting the rehearsal schedule, and communicating any of the director's needs to the cast, prior to rehearsal. What has been your most memorable moment in theater? I have so many memorable moments in theater but my favorite is when I broke a light overhead singing. I sang just the right pitch to make the glass pop and I still have the light bulb base in my makeup case as a reminder. It’s really rare for that to happen.




The SharonÂŽ Supports

The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.


Sean Graham, Gloria Higens, Sue Saylor, and Kenneth Constant On Saturday, September 17th The SharonÂŽ was a sponsor at the 14th Annual Toys for Tots Golf Classic in The Villages, FL.

If you would like more information about making a donation please visit: 14

The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center has a mission to provide quality entertainment to The Villages® and its surrounding communities.

Our mission is to inspire the residents of Central Florida to examine relevant issues by elevating them through innovative and intimate storytelling. Think outside the box, inside the box at The Studio Theatre.

© 2016 Holding Company of The Villages, Inc., All Rights Reserved. © 2016 The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center. Prices and availability subject to change without notice.

THE SCOOP - Oct 2016  
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