Behind the Scenes Magazine | Summer Fall Issue 2022

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Behind the Scenes

MAGAZINE Summer/Fall 2022

SEE A SHOW TAKE A CLASS SUPPORT THE ARTS Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory • Summer/Fall 2022

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Behind the Scenes MAGAZINE

Summer/Fall 2022 Our Mission To ignite and nurture a passion for the performing arts in audiences and artists of today and tomorrow.

Inside Calendar of Upcoming Events...................................4 Laughter is the Best Medicine....................................6 Q&A with Tootsie’s Tony® Award Winner..................7 From Wicked to Mean Girls to THT..............................8 The Next Big Role..........................................................9 Bringing a Family Favorite to Life on Stage.............10 The Sun Will Come Out .............................................11 Watch & Learn: Field Trips at THTC...........................12 Diversity and the Dynamic Women Behind Hadestown.....................................................14 THT Rep Returns for 2022-2023...................................15 Mystifying Feats and Music That Rocks....................16 Get Greater Savings with Your Group.....................17 Spirits, Songs and Stories to Share This Season........18 A Treasured Piece of Cultural Heritage...................20 A Tour Through Our Dramatic History.......................21 Setting the Stage for Success...................................22 Editor: Lisa K. Condit Designer: Monica Wagner Elefterion Thank you to our many contributors: Sarah Garofalo, Sarah Hallowell, Lillian Irwin, Meghan Montaner, Kimberly Pheymannicie, Ashleigh Prince, Cris Rabines, Olivia Scanlon, Peyton Surprenant and the advancement team. Plan now to advertise in our spring 2023 issue. Contact Diane Pieciak, sales director, at 508.930.2424 or diane@thehanovertheatre.org. Cover image: Kevyn Morrow and Morgan Siobhan Green in the Hadestown North American Tour. Photo by T. Charles-Erickson. Published twice a year by The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts. All rights reserved. All images, unless otherwise noted, are provided by The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory. TheHanoverTheatre.org • 877.571.SHOW(7469)

Our Vision To be a dynamic downtown destination where all people can experience the transformative power of the performing arts.

“We discovered our love for The Hanover Theatre when we first attended The Nutcracker in 2016. After that wonderful experience, we were eager to keep coming back! Before we became loyal Broadway subscribers, we would travel quite a distance, but now we can see Broadway shows right in our very own backyard! It is truly a gem. In 2021, The Hanover Theatre selected an Indian cast to play the Cratchit family in their 14th annual production of A Christmas Carol. That was a big deal for me. To see my community represented both on stage and in the audience at The Hanover Theatre is something I’m hoping to see more of in the years to come! - Sanjay Shah Land Acknowledgement We, The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory, acknowledge the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Nipmuc Nation on which we are working and performing today in Worcester, MA. Both Indigenous people and the struggles they face are often talked about in the past tense. It is easier to deny Indigenous people their rights if we historicize their struggles and simply pretend they don’t exist. We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the systems of oppression that have dispossessed Indigenous people of their lands and denied their rights to self-determination. This sort of acknowledgement is essential to human rights work across the world. It is essential to our work of honoring stories that explore the human experience. Please note the following abbreviations: The Hanover Theatre (THT) The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory (THTC) The Hanover Theatre Repertory (THT Rep)


Jump for Joy! Exciting Entertainment Awaits August 12-13 August 19 September 1 September 6 September 10 September 11 September 28 Sept 29 - Oct 2 Sept 29 - Oct 15 October 4 October 6 October 9 October 11-16 October 21 October 22 October 27-29 October 29 November 3-6 November 6 November 9 November 10 November 11-12 November 25-27 December 2 December 3 December 4 December 7 December 8 December 17-23 December 29 January 9 January 20 January 21 January 22 February 23-26 March 21 March 26

Please understand that all shows, dates, times and pricing are subject to change. * This show may not be on sale at the time of printing but will be soon! ** Did you know? Six-show subscribers save up to 20% and FLEX package holders save up to 15% on four or more Broadway shows. page 4

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March 28 - Apr 2 April 23 April 27-30 May 11-14

The Hanover Theatre Youth Summer Program presents Footloose! Jazz at Sunset featuring Grace Kelly One Night of Queen performed by Gary Mullen and the Works Fall classes begin in the conservatory Jerry Seinfeld Auditions for The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol. Pre-registration required. Piff the Magic Dragon and Puddles Pity Party: Misery Loves Company Tour Tootsie sponsored by Country Bank** THT Rep presents Macbeth By William Shakespeare in the BrickBox Theater at the Jean McDonough Arts Center Śląsk Song and Dance Ensemble from Poland: Around the World in 80 Minutes Masters of Illusion Celebrate Don Phipps’ 90th birthday! Silent Film Shorts accompanied by Clark Wilson on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ* (See page 20 for more information) Mean Girls sponsored by Worcester State University** Peppa Pig* Titans of ‘80s Rock Tribute Show THT Rep presents The Edgar Allan Poe Double Header: The Tell-Tale Heart & The Cask of Amontillado in the BrickBox Theater at the Jean McDonough Arts Center* MANIA: The ABBA Tribute Disney’s Aladdin sponsored by Cornerstone Bank** Cookies and Tea with Clara from The Nutcracker* Warren Miller’s 73rd Film* Get the Led Out* Kevin James The Nutcracker sponsored by Berkshire Bank 2022 Boston Pops Holiday Tour Chelsea Handler: The Vaccinated and Horny Tour Pavlo in Concert “The Santorini Tour” sponsored by Infinity MedSpa We Three Kings: An Irish Tenors Christmas* Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox: A Very Postmodern Christmas 15th annual production of A Christmas Carol sponsored by Assumption University Hip Hop Nutcracker* Winter classes begin in the conservatory Llama Llama* Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: Scared Scriptless Matt Fraser America’s Top Psychic Medium Annie sponsored by The Club at Rockland Trust** Celtic Woman* THT Rep presents The Crucible By Arthur Miller, Staged Reading Featuring All-Female Cast in the BrickBox Theater at the Jean McDonough Arts Center* Hadestown sponsored locally by UniBank** Neil Berg’s Woodstock Revisited* Jesus Christ Superstar sponsored by Bay State Savings Bank** shows new he THT Rep presents The Marvelous Party Inspired by Noël Coward d n in the BrickBox Theater at the Jean McDonough Arts Center*


August 19 Jazz at Sunset featuring Grace Kelly

presented by 90.5 WICN Public Radio, Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District and The Hanover Theatre Tickets are $30 with limited VIP tables available for $175.

Grace Kelly. Photo Eran Shaysh

FREE EVENTS for members and subscribers, and just $10 for others:

August 17, October 19, November 8 Historic and Architectural Tours September 8, October 27 Wurlitzer Organ Concerts led by resident organist Dr. Jonathan Kleefield Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory • Summer/Fall 2022

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Laughter is the Best Medicine Take advantage of the limited opportunity to see comedian Jerry Seinfeld on Saturday, September 10 for two performances at 7 pm and 9:30 pm. Seinfeld is hailed for his uncanny ability to joke about the little things in life that relate to audiences everywhere and returns to The Hanover Theatre to perform his signature stand-up routine. Tickets range from $57-$177 depending on seat location. Limited tickets still available. The surly sleight-of-hander Piff the Magic Dragon, accompanied by his sidekick Mr. Piffles, the world’s only magic performing chihuahua, is a viral sensation. He and Puddles Pity Party, the sad, giant clown with the golden voice, have been pals since they first met ages ago at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Their collaboration was born when these satin-adorned downand-outers were offered the chance to tour as co-headliners. Not bad for two “losers” from America’s Got Talent! The Piff and Puddles: Misery Loves Company Tour comes to Worcester on September 28. Tickets start at $29.50 with limited VIP packages available! Laugh your heart out when comedy legend Kevin James returns to The Hanover Theatre for two performances November 11-12. James was the producer, co-writer and star of the hit comedies Paul Blart: Mall Cop 1 & 2, Zookeeper, Here Comes The Boom, Never Don’t Give Up on Netflix and the popular TV series The King of Queens! James also starred in and produced the sitcom Kevin Can Wait for Sony TV and CBS. Don’t miss his stand-up routine that is sure to have you laughing all night. Tickets start at $39. Comedian, television host, bestselling author and advocate Chelsea Handler brings her Vaccinated and Horny Tour to Worcester on December 3. Her best-selling books, including 2019’s Life Will Be the Death of Me, and critically acclaimed stand-up special Chelsea Handler: Evolution have made her an icon in the comedy industry. Don’t miss the opportunity to laugh along with one of the most celebrated voices in entertainment and pop culture! This is an 18+ show. Tickets start at $49. Prepare to laugh yourself senseless when Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood return with their Scared Scriptless Tour on January 21. Armed with only their wits, these Whose Line is it Anyway? stars make up original scenes, songs and more from whatever you, the fans, suggest! Don’t miss these improv comedy masterminds. Plan for a night of non-stop laughter for ages 12 and up! Tickets start at $28. page 6

TheHanoverTheatre.org • 877.571.SHOW(7469)


Q&A with Tootsie’s Tony Award® Winning Book Writer Robert Horn

TOOTSIE • Sept 29 - Oct 2 Sponsored by Country Bank Tickets on sale August 1 Jared David Michael Grant as Jeff Slater, Drew Becker as Michael Dorsey and Payton Reilly as Sandy Lester in the national tour of Tootsie. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

Q: How did the idea to adapt Tootsie for theater come about and what excited you about this idea? A: “Everything about theater excites me... and also gives me heartburn. The idea came from our prolific and wonderful producer, Scott Sanders, who had the rights to the movie. He had seen a workshop I had done for another musical, and when the legendary Larry Gelbart, who wrote the film and was adapting the musical, passed away, Scott went on a desperate search to find someone to fill Larry’s comedic shoes. Somehow, his GPS pointed towards me and I am forever grateful. “When he approached me about it, I got very nervous. I mean, it’s an iconic movie and comic masterpiece, but it also has content and plot points that I knew did not age well. I was terrified to take it on at first and passed on the offer. But then I sat down with the composer, David Yazbek, and we talked out all the ways we could make it our own, update it, go back to just the DNA of the story and rebuild it out from there. Use humor to tell the story in a theatrical and modern way. “For me, having been in show business for a while, I totally understand that ominous question we all eventually face: what happens when the time comes that no one wants you... when you’re told you can no longer do the one thing you love most in the world? How far would desperation take you? It’s something that haunts everyone in this business, no matter how

successful. To me, that was a story worth building on... since it feeds my neurosis constantly.” Q: What would you say are the greatest highlights of the show? A: “The real commerce of this show is its comedy, its tone and, of course, the clown car of actors that brings it to life every night. The comedy comes at you with such love, then there are these hysterical songs by David Yazbek that at once have you laughing and moments later thinking.” Q: Is there anything else you would like to add about creating the show, what makes it so wonderful or why people should go see it? A: “When I watch audiences watch the show and hear that tsunami of communal laughter that just builds and builds throughout the night and lifts the ceiling, I wish I could let audiences know that writing the show was that exact same experience. Constant laughter, community, self-reflection, joy, friendships and a love of this artform. “Also, supporting the arts SAFELY right now is a vital step in creating a new normal and getting back to our lives. And what better way to come out of the cave of isolation we’ve all been in, than with laughter!” Click to read the fabulous full interview with Robert Horn.

Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory • Summer/Fall 2022

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From Wicked to Mean Girls to THT

MEAN GIRLS • October 11-16 Sponsored by Worcester State University Tickets on sale August 9 Lindsay Heather Pearce (Janis Sarkisian) and the National Touring Company of Mean Girls. © 2022 Jenny Anderson.

Broadway performer Lindsay Heather Pearce caught up with her fans at THT to talk about her role as Janis Sarkisian in Mean Girls, her previous role as Elphaba in Wicked and more. THT: You are fresh off of Wicked and fans are just obsessed with your portrayal of Elphaba. What has that transition been like from Elphaba to Janis? Lindsay Heather Pearce (LHP): “We now call it the Elphaba-to-Janis pipeline because the Janis before me was the incredible Mary Kate Morrissey, who was Elphaba on the second national tour. I think that the characters are pretty similar in creed and energy. The only thing is, Elphaba would never trick her best friend into ruining someone else’s life—that’s a bit of a Glinda move. Besides that, they’re both outspoken, artistic, driven and loyal, maybe to a fault. They are great and just the best characters ever. “I think Elphaba is no stranger to being the art freak, and Janis is no stranger to being the froggy, ferny cabbage. I think she gets it. There’s a different kind of maturity in Elphaba that I don’t think Janis has reached yet, but that means Janis is just having the most fun all the time because all bets are off when that wig and those boots go on. It is the best.”

THT: Janis is such an iconic character. What is the Mean Girls story about? LHP: “Mean Girls is about a junior class of students in Chicago at a school called North Shore High. Our lead character is Cady Heron, and she is a transferred homeschool student. She was being homeschooled by her parents in Africa studying wildlife. It follows her journey of entering into the jungle that is high school without any social skills. She is befriended by two very quirky characters named Damian and Janis. Damian is the musical theater freak, Janis is the art freak and together they are art freaks. We then meet the Plastics, the group of the most popular girls in school led by the queen bee, Regina George. We find out that Janis and Regina have a dark past together. Eventually these two make an alliance with Cady and vow to take down Regina George. Mean Girls is about what happens when you dethrone a queen and another queen takes her place, how that happens and how quickly the hierarchy of high school can shift. “I have always loved the movie, which came out on my birthday in 2004. I have a distinct memory of going to see it, and I just loved Janis. I loved the hair in the film with her clips and her dark hair, her skirts, her Converse and her mesh-like gloves.” Click to read the full interview and see totally fetch enhanced content about Mean Girls.

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TheHanoverTheatre.org • 877.571.SHOW(7469)


The Next Big Role

Recent graduates Sydney Duby and Dakota Schantz reflect on next steps.

As we gear up for fall classes in the conservatory, we want to celebrate the many seniors who have graduated and will go on to pursue careers in the arts. We recently talked with graduates Sydney Duby and Dakota Schantz to discuss their experiences at the conservatory.

Congratulations Seniors! Sydney Duby Commercial Dance at Boston Conservatory at Berklee

Schantz was convinced at an early age that, “This is it. This is what I need to do with the rest of my life.” She shared how her training at THTC prepared her for college auditions, “The musical theatre and ballet training I took year-round made me so aware of everything that was being thrown at me during auditions.” Once considered more of an actress/ singer, Schantz now feels she can confidently add dancer to that list. “THTC has helped me realize that no matter when you start something, as long as you are dedicated, motivated and work really hard, you can accomplish anything.”

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We wish Duby, Schantz and all the THTC seniors the very best in this next chapter and hope to see them return to our stage someday.

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Duby started dancing as a toddler but joined the conservatory when it opened in 2017. “Once I decided to go from competitive dance to conservatory training is when I realized I wanted more than just the ‘show’ that dance can sometimes be. I wanted to dive into my training and discover how much I could push myself.” Duby credits Director of Dance Jennifer Agbay with supporting her decision to pursue a career in dance. “I started talking to her when I was a sophomore, and she was always there to help me with any questions that I had about going into this industry.” ll inte

Ginny Hilli Theatre at Quinsigamond Community College Aelic Lynch Theatre and Dance at Manhattanville College Simone Nelson-White Theatre at North Carolina A&T University Max Olivieri Acting at American Musical and Dramatic Academy NYC Olivia Rice Theatre Arts at DePaul University Madison Russo Acting in Film at Long Island University Nicole Sarmiento Anthropology & Pre-Law at College of the Holy Cross Dakota Schantz Musical Theatre at Nazareth College Will Sheerin Theatre at Quinsigamond Community College Gabe Tetreault Comedic Arts at Emerson College Ryan Tierney Theatre Education & Musical Theatre at University of New Hampshire Adriana Toruno Theatre at Hofstra University Ashley Vandenbrouck Writing for TV & Film at Ithaca College

Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory • Summer/Fall 2022

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Bringing a Classic Family Favorite to Life on Stage

DISNEY’S ALADDIN • November 3-6 Sponsored by Cornerstone Bank Tickets on sale August 16 Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway, Michael James Scott as Genie and Michael Maliakel as Aladdin. Photo by Matthew Murphy, Disney.

Early in the evolution of Aladdin, composer Alan Menken, book writer/lyricist Chad Beguelin and director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw got together to write a brand new song for the stage musical... a unique collaboration that could only happen on Broadway. “We needed to write a new song for the Genie, [for] when he’s going to free Aladdin from the dungeon in Act II,” recalls Menken. “And we wrote this song called ‘Somebody’s Got Your Back.’ It was just one of these old-fashioned theatre moments where you lock three people in a room. I run over to the piano and try an idea, Casey gets up and gets kind of a movement idea, Chad shouts out lyric ideas... and within a half an hour, we had the beginning of this song. And we’re very proud of it. The best part of the process is always the initial creativity, the initial writing, and that was a great moment.” It’s hard to imagine that the late, great lyricist Howard Ashman wouldn’t be ridiculously pleased with the success of his Disney-based collaborations with longtime songwriting partner Alan Menken. The duo’s iconic scores for the animated films The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast were given continued life as Broadway musicals seen by millions all over the country and the world. But what about the pair’s last Disney project, 1992’s Aladdin? Die-hard fans know Alan and Howard had written 11 songs for the film, only to have most of them cut from early drafts of the screenplay and production was later marred by Howard’s woefully early passing from AIDS-related complications in 1991. Did any of those original songs still exist? Could a reimagined Aladdin ever make it to Broadway? The answer, thankfully, is “yes” and the final product joins several of page 10

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Howard Ashman’s original ideas for the film with brandnew, wholly theatrical notions from the new musical’s blue-chip creative team. It started several years ago, when Tony®-nominated lyricist Chad Beguelin was asked to help put together a draft of a stage version of Aladdin. When Menken saw Beguelin’s initial draft, he realized the time was right to resurrect the film’s little-heard deleted songs and debut them to a new generation. “It’s been really a unique process,” Beguelin explains. “The task was to create Aladdin ‘the new stage musical,’ but also integrate these lost songs which are really wonderful. It’s been like putting together a musical puzzle.” While a host of new or previously-unheard songs takes flight, fans can expect all their favorites including the Menken/Tim Rice Oscar® winner “A Whole New World” and a totally swingin’ version of “Friend Like Me.” Bringing Aladdin to Broadway and now to audiences across North America has been a memorable experience, even for stage adaptation-maestro Menken. “Coming to the show is like opening up, in a sense, a treasure trove, or a ‘Cave of Wonders,’ if you will, of material that was intended for the animated movie,” he says. “And it’s now being brought to life on stage!” Ultimately, Nicholaw thinks audiences will hail the “new” tunes and the brand-new songs and fully embrace this fresh, joyful take on a classic. “It’s about keeping all the stuff that everyone loves from the movie and in order to get it on stage, give it a musicalcomedy heart.” By Courtney Potter Click to read about the inspiration for the Genie and to discover more about the magic behind Aladdin.


Introduce your loved ones to the best-loved musical of all time this February, with this brand-new production directed by Drama Desk nominee and former Annie cast member Jenn Thompson. Holding onto hope when times are tough can take an awful lot of determination and, sometimes, an awful lot of determination comes in a surprisingly small package. Little Orphan Annie has reminded generations of theatergoers that sunshine is always right around the corner, and now the best-loved musical of all time is set to return in a new production, just as you remember it and just when we need it most. Annie features the iconic score written by Tony Award® winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin. This celebration of family, optimism and the American spirit remains the ultimate cure for all the hard knocks life throws your way.

ANNIE • February 23-26 Sponsored by The Club at Rockland Trust Tickets on sale November 25

Annie Fun Facts:

Jenn Thompson, the director of the Annie national tour, stepped into the role of Pepper in the original 1977 Broadway production.

The show has been on Broadway three times since its premiere in 1977. It was revived on Broadway in 1997 and in 2012, as well as playing Madison Square Garden for five weeks in 2006.

Annie has been adapted into a movie three times. The first was in 1982, which starred Albert Finney, Aileen Quinn and Carol Burnett. Disney then adapted the show into a 1999 movie starring Victor Garber, Alicia Morton and Kathy Bates. In 2014, Jay-Z and Will Smith produced a movie version of Annie that starred Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis and Cameron Diaz. It was also adapted into a live NBC TV show with Harry Connick, Jr., Celina Smith and Taraji P. Henson.

Many of the child actresses who played Annie on Broadway have gone on to have illustrious acting careers. Former Annies include Sarah Jessica Parker (Hocus Pocus, Sex in the City), Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles), Lilla Crawford (Into the Woods) and Sadie Sink (Stranger Things).

According to The New York Times, there are 700-900 productions of Annie running every year in the United States alone.

A sequel to Annie, named Annie Warbucks, premiered off-Broadway in 1993 and ran for 200 performances.

“The fact that these gorgeous life-lessons reside in such a beautifully built and wonderfully entertaining show, only further makes the case for why Annie never disappoints and always inspires.” - Jenn Thompson, Director Click to read the full letter from Jenn Thompson.

Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory • Summer/Fall 2022

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Watch and Learn: Field Trips at THTC Since 2008, THTC has served nearly 200,000 students through student matinee programming. Student matinee coordinator, Kim Pheymannicie, is proud to announce the 2022-2023 season of student matinees and field trips. According to Pheymannicie, “This year’s Student Matinee Series serves curriculum standards in English language arts, social studies, science and social emotional learning for all age groups. I’m excited to share this season with teachers and students.” With titles like Macbeth, A Christmas Carol, The Magic School Bus: Lost in Space and The Lightning Thief, the education department hopes that this year’s series will enhance and expand what is being learned in the classroom. The student matinees will take place in both The Hanover Theatre and the BrickBox Theater, allowing them to serve both large and small groups, while also having more intimate and personalized show experiences. New this year, the education department also offers Letting Off STEAM: Arts Integration Workshops! These workshops create the opportunity for students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to real world scenarios while letting them experience the curriculum in a page 12

kinesthetic and relevant way. “The STEAM workshops aim to make deeper, meaningful curriculum connections, make the standards more ‘tangible’ through real world applications and experiences, and imbue subjects with social emotional learning,” says Kim Pheymannicie. The workshops combine standards from math, English language arts, science and social studies with dance, technical theatre design and drama, allowing students to immerse themselves in the way STEM and the humanities are naturally used throughout the performing arts. If you are interested in helping to fund field trip opportunities for local students or discovering more about the shows featured in the upcoming Student Matinee Series and STEAM workshops, please visit TheHanoverTheatre.org. There, you’ll find all the standards and resources that connect to each show and workshop, as well as pricing and booking instructions. Groups of any size are welcome, including homeschool groups. Student matinee tickets are subsidized and range from $12$17. Free chaperone tickets are included with every 25 student tickets purchased.

TheHanoverTheatre.org • 877.571.SHOW(7469)

2022-2023 Student Matinees Macbeth October 14 at 10 am Fences October 26 at 10 am Edgar Allan Poe Double Header October 28 at 10 am A Christmas Carol December 20-22 at 10 am African Folktales February 17 at 10:30 am The Stories of Hansel and Gretel & Peter and the Wolf March 6 at 10:30 am The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System April 6 at 10:30 am The Pout-Pout Fish May 5 at 10:30 am The Lightning Thief May 10 at 10 am

Learn more about student matinees, STEAM workshops and teacher resources available this season.


® Mike Nyman Photography

2022 Auditions

Sunday, September 11

Dancers ages 7+ are encouraged to audition.

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more

Performances: Nov 25-27

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Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory • Summer/Fall 2022

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Diversity and the Dynamic Women Behind Hadestown

HADESTOWN • March 28 - April 2 Sponsored locally by UniBank Tickets on sale November 25 Shea Renne, Bex Odorisio and Belén Moyano in the Hadestown North American Tour, photo T. Charles Erickson.

Hadestown demands that theater makes space for diverse voices. Its modern premise reflects the values of our changing culture through a transformative musical that reimagines Greek mythology. Beyond artistic excellence, Hadestown’s diversity cements the musical’s lasting influence. Rachel Chavkin, director, and Anaïs Mitchell, writer and composer, are the women behind Hadestown’s greatness, accentuating and deepening each other’s strengths. “We sought out the folks whose work we responded to most, and many of them were women,” Mitchell says. A Broadway production team led by women is rare, but the dynamic benefited Hadestown greatly. “It was an extraordinarily empowering experience working with so many women,” says Mitchell. Written by Mitchell in various forms years before Broadway, Hadestown would prove to need the influence of Chavkin in order to reach its fullest potential. Mitchell sought Chavkin’s talents to help develop Hadestown into a full-length musical, and the folk musical became a product of each artist’s best. After helping escort Hadestown to Broadway’s pinnacle, Chavkin was the only woman nominated for a 2019 Tony® in the Best Direction of a Musical category, which she won. “When you look at the small number of women directing on Broadway it is shocking and more than a little depressing,” wrote producer David Stone in 2005. Little has changed in 15 years, but Chavkin has page 14

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said publicly that she hopes her work can open doors for women and artists of color. When assembling teams for her productions, Chavkin draws from the best and selects the most talented artists. By intentionally embracing inclusivity, she builds a diverse company that understands the needs of a global audience. “I think a [diverse] room is far more interesting, just purely on a dramatic level. It’s so much better stylistically, emotionally to have varied voices. And so, with Hadestown specifically, we have reaffirmed time and again that racial diversity in particular is core to our vision of excellence.”

Anaïs Mitchell Photo Jay Sansone

“Theater depicts and celebrates humanity, and humanity is diverse,” Rachel Chavkin Photo Chad Batka asserts Mitchell. And so, thanks to the shared commitments of its creators, Hadestown strives for connection to every human experience, showing diversity to be colorful, productive and exciting. Imagine how the world could be. Click to read more enhanced content about Hadestown.


THT Rep Returns For 2022-2023 Born in response to the pandemic, THT Rep established itself as a new initiative of THTC with its 2020-2021 productions of The Edgar Allan Poe Double Header, A Christmas Carol: Reimagined and Julius Caesar on the Worcester Common. For the 2022-2023 season, THT Rep will return with performances at the BrickBox Theater in the Jean McDonough Arts Center on Franklin Street. The fall lineup includes a fully staged production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, followed by a limited run remount of The Edgar Allan Poe Double Header. The spring brings a staged reading of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible featuring an all-female cast and an immersive party-performance called The Marvelous Party, inspired by Noél Coward with popular numbers from the musical theatre canon and beyond. Plans for THT Rep’s 2022-2023 lineup have been in the works since the close of Julius Caesar. In that same time, THTC’s team reopened The Hanover Theatre itself, continued the robust programming of The Hanover Theatre Conservatory and brought the BrickBox Theater fully online. With all those moving parts, and with COVID continuing its unpredictable course, the progress made on THT Rep was methodical, if nonlinear. “We worked through at least six iterations of what THT Rep’s 2022-2023 season could look like,” explains Livy Scanlon, artistic director of THT Rep. “I’m thrilled with the lineup we’ve settled on. It affirms THT Rep’s commitment to creating dynamic theatrical events with a focus on classics and classics-inspired works.”

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THT Rep’s 2022-2023 season will be on sale soon, with all tickets ranging from $8-$110. We’ll see you downtown!

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Troy Siebels, THTC’s president and CEO, adds “THT Rep not only furthers the mission of The Hanover Theatre at large, but also helps manifest the vision of the BrickBox Theater as a home for professional plays in Worcester.”

Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory • Summer/Fall 2022

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Mystifying Feats and Music That Rocks

MAGIC Escape the ordinary and experience truly astounding magic with Masters of Illusion on October 6. Starring the world’s greatest award-winning magicians, this 21st century magic show is unlike anything you have seen before—filled with modern illusions and arts of deception, performed live on stage. As seen on the CW, Masters of Illusion is so jaw-dropping, you won’t believe your eyes! Tickets start at $29.

MUSIC Rock out with One Night of Queen performed by Gary Mullen and the Works when they return to Worcester on September 1. Performing all your favorite Queen songs, this show is one you will never forget. One Night of Queen is a spectacular live concert, recreating the look, sound, pomp and showmanship of arguably the greatest rock band of all time. This show will ROCK you! Tickets start at $39. Relive the excitement of the 1980s with Titans of ‘80s Rock Tribute Show on October 22. Featuring three outstanding tributes to iconic bands Def Leppard, Poison and Motley Crue, you can expect a big-time, arena-rock atmosphere complete with video show, stage props and special effects as the hit songs you love are delivered with attitude, sounding just like the original records. Tickets start at $20. Mania: The ABBA Tribute brings one of the greatest pop phenomena back to life in Worcester on October 29. Since its formation in 1999, this production has sold out theaters and concert halls across the globe, bringing the music of the beloved Swedish supergroup to 3 million people. Performing ABBA hits and recreating their look is a one-of-a-kind experience for both lifelong and the new generation of ABBA fans. This is one tribute show you won’t want to miss! Tickets start at $27.50.

AND MORE! Be amazed by Matt Fraser, America’s Top Psychic Medium, best-selling author and E! Entertainment star when he comes to The Hanover Theatre on January 22. His sold-out live events, television appearances and spiritual teachings have allowed him to bring healing, hope and laughter to audiences of fans and followers from all around the world. From heartfelt emotional readings to stunning revelations, Matt Fraser will have you on the edge of your seat with his outrageous personality and unique approach to mediumship. Tickets start at $39. Above: The Masters of Illusion. Right: Matt Fraser. page 16

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Get Greater Savings with Your Group Our 2022-2023 season is here and we have fabulous shows for every interest. Nothing compares to seeing live entertainment with your friends, family, colleagues or even a group of strangers who become friends. We are thrilled to share the experience and energy that only live theatre can provide. Getting ten people together for a show is easier than you think and booking tickets is simple. Groups can reserve seats before shows go on sale to the public, with no deposit and a 10% discount on single ticket prices. Groups also save on standard handling fees (typically $7-$10 per ticket) at only $1 per ticket. Take advantage of the flexibility to add or remove seats up until 30 days prior to the performance. “It’s absolutely amazing working with The Hanover Theatre. Everyone is thrilled when we offer trips to this theatre, and they know that it will be top-notch. They always provide us with the best theatre seats, and

the group sales department is #1. They really know what customer service is all about!” - Maria, First Choice Tours, Inc. Many Worcester area food establishments partner with The Hanover Theatre through the Gourmet Partner program. Call ahead to reserve a table for your group to include dinner and a show. Be sure to check our website for special restaurant discounts and offers. Our convenient location, easy parking and wonderful choice of Gourmet Partner restaurants to indulge your palate makes The Hanover Theatre a perfect destination for your group or tour. To book a group call Amy Osborn at 508.471.1689 or email amy@thehanovertheatre.org. Learn how easy it is to book a group of ten or more!

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Spirits, Songs and Stories to Share This Holiday Season December is a time for joyful songs and stories full of hope and redemption to lift everyone’s spirits and prepare us for the year ahead.

visit during their enchanted evening, this is a holiday tradition worth repeating! Tickets are on sale now, starting at $39.

Make special memories with family and friends this holiday season at The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory. Cookies and Tea with Clara from The Nutcracker on Sunday, November 6 whisks you away to a land of holiday magic and gets you into the spirit before The Nutcracker Thanksgiving weekend. Attendees enjoy tea served in china teacups with saucers at a personalized table setting, hear Clara read “The Nutcracker” story and take pictures to remember the day. Tickets are $20.

Sing along to your favorite carols and capture the magic of the Christmas season when Keith Lockhart returns with the 2022 Boston Pops Holiday Tour on December 2. In this beloved holiday concert, the Boston Pops perform both holiday classics and new arrangements of seasonal favorites, followed by the traditional Boston Pops Holiday sing-along to bring the special performance to a close. Tickets start at $59.

Our annual production of The Nutcracker, playing November 25-27 and sponsored by Berkshire Bank, has dazzling new lighting and scenery by Broadway designers. Kick off your holiday season with a spectacular treat for the whole family! This Thanksgiving weekend, enjoy live music and a talented cast of professional dancers alongside Worcester area dancers selected through a competitive audition process. From the party scene to all the magical places Clara and the Nutcracker page 18

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For one night only, the world renowned Pavlo is performing live in concert for a fundraiser to benefit Alzheimer’s research, sponsored by Infinity MedSpa. Pavlo in Concert “The Santorini Tour” graces The Hanover Theatre’s stage on December 4. Experience Pavlo as he warms your heart and takes you on an unforgettable Mediterranean escape. Enjoy the signature sounds of Pavlo, his talented guests and his band as they blend the styles of Greek, Spanish and Latin music for all ages. Tickets start at $30.


Photos top row: David Sitler*, Sriram Emani, Sri Chaitra Prasadula, Sanjay Manoharan, Alka Nayyar*, Alexis Anu Thakkallapalli, Simi Gandhi, Maya Harrington from A Christmas Carol © Erb-Dufault Photography. Pavlo in Concert. Bottom row: Clara from The Nutcracker and The Land of Snow from The Nutcracker © Mike Nyman photography. *Member of AEA.

We Three Kings: An Irish Tenors Christmas on December 7 combines an enchanting Irish repertoire with sweeping holiday selections into one joy-filled evening. From the title song through treasured sacred selections like “O! Holy Night,” segueing into secular favorites like “White Christmas” and diving head-long into “Jingle Bell Rock,” Christmas with the Irish Tenors is time well-spent creating musical memories, right here in Worcester. Tickets start at $49 and go on sale August 25. Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox: A Very Postmodern Christmas brings the timeless nostalgia of Christmas music to The Hanover Theatre on December 8. Remaking pop hits of today and classic holiday tunes, Postmodern Jukebox sweeps you away with their vintage sound. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of the incredible holiday experience that takes you back to yesteryear. Tickets start at $39. Warm your heart with the 15th annual production of Troy Siebels’ lavish and innovative adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol from December 17-23. Generously sponsored by Assumption University, A Christmas Carol thrills audiences with live music by

the timeless sounds of the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, special effects, sumptuous period costumes and a Broadway-quality set. This is a holiday tradition that has touched the lives of thousands and is unlike any you’ve ever seen before. Tickets start at $30. Make everlasting memories with the whole family when The Hip Hop Nutcracker returns to The Hanover Theatre on December 29. This re-mixed and re-imagined version of the classic holiday story features smashing hip hop dance and Tchaikovsky’s timeless music together, creating a heart-stirring and inspirational holiday event for all. Performed by a powerhouse cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ and a violinist, The Hip Hop Nutcracker takes you on a journey that celebrates love, community and the magic of the holiday season! Tickets start at $39.50 and go on sale August 25. For tickets to these holiday events and more, please visit TheHanoverTheatre.org/events or call our box office at 877.571.7469.

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A Treasured Piece of Cultural Heritage Celebrate Don Phipps’ 90th birthday! • October 9 Silent Film Shorts accompanied by Clark Wilson on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ

Don Phipps, donor and curator of The Hanover Theatre’s Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, is turning 90! Mark your calendar for a special silent film celebration to acknowledge his talent and immense generosity in donating this special instrument to the theatre. In addition to a silent film presentation, accompanied by the amazing organist Clark Wilson, the event includes some of Don’s favorite organ music, tributes, special guests and, don’t you worry... plenty of birthday cake! Phipps, an engineer and avid theatre fan, embarked on a passion project of restoring and assembling his own theatre organ which came to be The Mighty

Wurlitzer. Phipps assembled it out of thousands of parts rescued from Wurlitzer organs that were abandoned when movie palaces were razed starting in the mid20th century. It is estimated that the project took 10,000 hours of work over a period of six and a half years. The organ made its debut in March 2009 and performs as the “orchestra” for the theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. Since then, it has been used during silent film showings as well. Phipps calls the instrument his “magnum opus,” noting that it is the largest of its kind in New England. Phipps and his passion for restoring the Wurlitzer Organ follows in the footsteps of our theatre’s founders, with their vision of restoring a treasured piece of history and celebrating our cultural heritage. Join us for an upcoming Wurlitzer Organ Concert led by resident organist Dr. Jonathan Kleefield (free to members and subscribers!) See page 5 for dates.


A Tour Through Our Dramatic History From Franklin Square Theatre to movie palace to a stage for Broadway’s best, The Hanover Theatre has a lush history that many might not know. In 1904, Ransom Taylor built the Franklin Square Theatre, and it was bought by Sylvester Z. Poli in 1912. He renamed it the Grand Theatre, and later expanded the theatre to become Poli’s Palace. Poli’s Palace, designed by Thomas Lamb, opened in November of 1926 and began presenting vaudeville acts along with silent films and remained open under a few name changes until 1998. In 2000, Edward P. Madaus and Paul J. Demoga bought the shuttered theater and began to restore it with significant financial help from lead donors The Hanover Insurance Group and philanthropist Mary C. DeFeudis. In March 2008, after a long and elaborate restoration, The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts opened its doors to the city of Worcester once again. For those curious about the rich history of The Hanover Theatre, you can now go behind the scenes and learn all about our beloved establishment! We host tours of the theatre on select dates throughout the year. Some highlights of the tour include viewing the beautiful and ornate chandeliers (some of which date back to the mid1920s), standing on a stage that Sarah Bernhardt, Maya Angelou, Aretha Franklin, Ringo Starr and BB King (amongst many others) have performed on and getting an exclusive look behind the curtains and below the stage. This tour is run by our exceptional volunteer docents. “Conducting the tours is an opportunity to bring The Hanover Theatre’s rich history to life. The docent team also explains what goes on behind the scenes to create the magic we see on stage,” notes Marshall Tate. Judith Rothbard-Tate also says, “I love seeing how amazed people are when they discover the inner workings of the theatre, from the stage, lights and flyers to below the stage, dressing rooms and beyond, all that is invisible when they see a show! People are always sharing stories of how the theatre played a role in their lives: coming here to see movies as a kid, first dates with their now-spouses and, for a few visitors, working on the 2008 theatre restoration.” Tour docent John Riccio added, “I enjoy sharing the history and secrets of the theatre, whether I am working as an usher at an event or giving a tour. It is equally gratifying when people share their own memories of the theatre, sometimes as far back as their childhood. The theatre continues to bring awe and enjoyment to audiences even after all these years and their memories of today will be the script of tours in the decades to come.” This is certainly not an experience to miss! Tours are free for subscribers and members, and $10 for all others. Reserve tickets online. See page 5 or visit TheHanoverTheatre.org/events for upcoming dates and times of the tours.

Learn more about the history of our theatre in our virtual brochure, “From Poli’s Palace to The Hanover Theatre.”

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Setting the Stage for Success © Mainstage ©Kare Kumolu-Johnson.

The opening of The Hanover Theatre in 2008 and its continued success would not have been possible without this amazing community around us! What started as just an ambitious vision, came full circle thanks to the generosity of many individuals and organizations. That legacy of community giving continues today through our supporters. Community giving is at the crux of our organization. Our supporters are at the heart of everything we do, from our annual holiday productions of The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol to our Broadway Series on the mainstage, to our repertory, conservatory and engagement programs that serve thousands of young people a year. As a nonprofit organization, it would be particularly difficult to do this without your help. We rely on tax-deductible donations to maintain our historic theatre, underwrite our school and community engagement programs, provide needbased conservatory scholarships and even support our mainstage season, as ticket sales only cover on average 8% of the cost of these activities. Contributions from businesses, organizations and individuals like you play a vital role in bringing the best performances to Worcester, presenting the stories and sounds that reflect our community, and making the arts accessible to all. Donations at every level are truly meaningful and we are honored by the commitment of those who choose to invest in our work and our community. New initiatives are underway to produce more of our work locally, through THT Repertory at the BrickBox Theater and with our youth acting and ballet companies that study at our conservatory. In October, we will roll out a 15-month campaign to support our new producing initiatives in celebration of our 15th anniversary. Stay tuned for more information! We invite you to join us in our goal to make Worcester’s theatre district a vibrant destination with diverse and page 22

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robust offerings at The Hanover Theatre mainstage, the BrickBox Theater at the Jean McDonough Arts Center and on the new Bank of America outdoor stage on Francis R. Carroll Plaza, scheduled to open in spring 2023. Thank you to all the donors who made so much possible for the past 14 years!

Revenue from ticket sales is very important to us, but as a nonprofit organization we rely on contributions to make our work possible.

Approximately $ 47 of a $50 ticket goes directly to cover the cost of a performance.

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100% of your donation supports our school programs and community engagement activities, funds needbased conservatory scholarships, underwrites free and subsidized tickets for students, helps maintain our historic theatre and more.

Please consider making a donation or becoming a member today.


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Behind the Scenes at The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory • Summer/Fall 2022

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Experience Broadway, Music and More!

Worcester Center for Performing Arts is a registered not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, which owns and operates The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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