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Backstage with Watertown Children’s Theatre

1983 - 2009

Vol. 23 No. 1

Fall 2009

Thank You for 25 Stages of Success!

  This season, Watertown Children’s Theatre celebrated 25 years of dedication to children’s theatre excellence! Since 1983, WCT has grown in scope and popularity from a backyard venture to the resident children’s theatre at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, and through the involvement of children, parents, community members, board and staff, WCT continues to contribute to the vibrancy of Watertown, its surrounding areas, and the arts community at large.   On March 7, WCT’s headline event for the season - our 25th Anniversary Celebration – brought the community together to help commemorate the organization’s colorful history. The unforgettable evening transformed Watertown High School

and the



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Arika Cohen

Friday, June 12, 7 pm Saturday, June 13, 2 pm & 7 pm Sunday, June 14, 2 pm For tickets go to or call 1-800-838-3006

into a gala affair, complete with dinner, birthday cake, “scrapbook” slide shows, heartfelt speeches, and Stages! A Celebration of 25 Years - an original musical extravaganza, uniting staff, Board members, parents, alumni, and current participants on one stage to showcase the countless ways in which WCT has touched the lives of those in Watertown and beyond.   The evening’s significance was heightened by the momentous opportunity to honor WCT Founder, Dinah Lane, for her grand vision and dedication. For 25 years, Dinah has committed herself to the organization’s inclusive mission and high artistic standards, in order to assure continued growth for the sake of theatre arts, children, and families all over the region. Sharing in her vision for WCT, Peyton Pugmire has newly assumed his full time role and responsibilities of Producing Artistic Director, and Dinah has stepped back into her new role as Founding Artistic Director. Together, Peyton and Dinah, along with the WCT staff and Board, look forward to a future of boundless possibilities and the continued growth of the WCT community.

 Dates to Remember  

Thank You!

Beauty and the Beast


Summer Stage 2009 - Bound for Discovery!  Registration Deadline Postmarked by June 17

To the Watertown/Harvard/O’Neill Properties Community Enrichment Fund for supporting our Free Drama program in the Watertown Public Schools.


Early Bird Fall Registration   Deadline Postmarked by June 30

To the McGowan Scholarship Fund and the Cindy Waldron Cannon Fund donors.


To Rebecca Krieger and all of the generous donors who gave to WCT in honor of her Bat Mitzvah.

CBACT Children’s Theatre Festival   Saturday, July 18


To the WCT Visionary Fund donors, for helping to secure a bright future for the next 25 years and beyond.


  Performances June 12-14

Final Fall Registration   Deadline Postmarked by September 1

WCT and Arsenal Center for the Arts host the 2nd Annual

Fall Audition Orientations Begin   Christmas Carol, Saturday, September 12   Charlie Brown, Monday, September 21

CBACT Children’s Theatre Festival!

DLTA Special FREE performance   The Miracle Worker, Sunday, October 11 « WCT Mission Statement « « TO BE a cultural and educational resource for the

community by providing opportunities for all children to appreciate and participate in the performing arts.

« TO PROVIDE a range of theatre experiences for children of diverse cultures and different ages.

« TO FOSTER self-discovery, creativity, confidence, group responsibility, and pride in accomplishment, as well as the development of skills in an enjoyable, non-competitive atmosphere.

WCT Program Administrative Staff Peyton Pugmire, Producing Artistic Director Dinah Lane, Founding Artistic Director Kathi Tighe, Program Associate Deidre Purcell, Production/Publicity Manager

Saturday, July 18

Join WCT and Arsenal Center for the Arts on for the CBACT (Consortium of Boston Area Children’s Theatres) Children’s Theatre Festival – an action packed day of performances in the Mosesian Theater and interactive workshops for people of all ages! Participants: Arlington Children’s Theatre, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Concord Youth Theatre, Riverside Theatre Works, Un-Common Theatre Co., Watertown Children’s Theatre, and Wheelock Family Theatre. Festival Schedule: 9:30 am 10 am -11 am 11 am -12 pm 12 pm -1 pm 1 pm -1:30 pm 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Ticketing/Registration You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown Workshops A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Lunch Break 42nd Street Workshops The Taming of the Shrew Improv Soup

For more information visit or contact WCT Producing Artistic Director, Peyton Pugmire at or 617-926-ARTS (2787).

NEWS & Events

As the “Lion”

The Wizard of Oz

in WCT’s 2004 production of

Announcing WCT’s

High School Scholarship Award

Cindy Waldron Cannon Fund

2009-2010 Season! at the Arsenal Center for the Arts

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

The Phantom of the Opera

The Wiz Madelyn Herzog, 2009 recipient The Cindy Waldron Cannon Fund provides an annual scholarship for a graduating high school student who has shown extraordinary commitment to the arts.

Miss Nelson is Missing! Spring Musical TBA

What’s Snoopy Got to Do With It?


n a world where the grown-ups are always “offstage” and out of the picture, kids are center stage in Charles Schulz’ beloved comic strip Peanuts, on which You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, WCT’s fall musical for grades 3-5, is based. Eight and a half year old Charlie Brown is a young boy with a quirky group of friends, an inquisitive little sister, and a tendency to fall on his face. His lovable awkwardness has made him the star of holiday specials, films, musicals, and an enduring comic strip that continues to appear in reprints in newspapers across the country. Snoopy, the lovable beagle and his bird sidekick, Woodstock, have become recognizable around the world, not just as part of Peanuts but as part of U.S. culture. Charles Schulz’ comic strip contained a group of characters, who, though different, were able to create a community among themselves, even including children of different races, such as the African-American Franklin, long before society had taken that important step. Thoughtful Linus, ambitious Lucy, athletic Peppermint Patty and her bookish friend Marcie, joined Charlie Brown, Franklin

and many others in a world where differences made them more interesting. These are a few of the diverse characters who come to life on stage in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, a “day in the life” story told through song. The world of Peanuts and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is one of elementary school hopes, dreams and dramas. Teachers and parents, though present, are always on the periphery, because in this world it’s all about the kids! Songs about homework, baseball, and kite flying represent the ordinary events that can become larger than life. Snoopy’s daydreams, in which he becomes someone or something else, and even battles with the Red Baron, show the broad scope of places that our imaginations take us. Adversaries can appear in the form of the other baseball team, the kite-eating tree, or even our own fears, and friends can step in to support us at the most unlikely times. That, really, is the enduring message of Peanuts and WCT’s You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. No matter what happens in the days and weeks of travail and triumph throughout our lives, whether we are children, adults, or even beagles, in the end, it is happiness and friendship that make the story complete.

Fall 2009 Productions & programs You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown! Based on the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, this classic Broadway comedy will make its WCT debut! Join the lovable and colorful characters, including Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, and others, as they explore friendship, baseball, kite flying, book reports, choir singing, and so much more in this fun and upbeat musical!

Charlie Brown

Little Peanuts

Main Cast

Grades 3-5

Tuition: $225 (Early Bird $210) Location: Arsenal Center for the Arts

1st and 2nd graders will sing and dance alongside the main cast in all 3 performances. Students will also have fun with theatre games and creative movement in this very popular performance class.

Required Orientation: Monday, Sept. 21 • 3:00 - 6:00 pm Student Audition Orientation • 5:00 - 6:00 pm Parent Orientation

Grades 1 and 2

Tuition: $150 (Early Bird $135) Location: Arsenal Center, WCT Drama Space

Auditions: Wednesday, Sept. 23 & Friday, Sept. 25, 3:30 - 6:00 pm

Dates:Oct. 5 - Nov. 9 (No rehearsal October 12) Mondays, 3:30-4:30 pm or 4:30-5:30 pm

Rehearsal Dates and Times: October 2 - November 15 Wednesdays, Fridays 3:30 - 6:00 pm Sundays, 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Rehearsals with Main Cast: November 16, 18 & 19 Performances, Arsenal Center, Mosesian Theater:   Friday, November 20, 7:00 pm Saturday, November 21, 7:00 pm Sunday, November 22, 2:00 pm

Final Rehearsals: Nov. 16-19 (times TBA) Performances, Arsenal Center, Mosesian Theater: Friday, November 20, 7:00 pm; Saturday, November 21, 7:00 pm; Sunday, November 22, 2:00 pm

ur ntain o i a m o T tuition LOW


for Charlie Brown and Little Peanuts

For committee descriptions click on Show Bulletin Board at

Committees : Photo, Conce Archives, Cast Party, Cas Flowers/T-S ssions, Costumes, Fan M t hirts ail, Make-Up, Pro , Lighting, LoadIn/Strik e, d. Assistance , Pu R affle, Sets/P rops, Snack, blicit y, Tickets

WCT’s Play Factory Series The Play Factory, WCT’s black box theatre series, provides dedicated student actors the unique opportunity to gain advanced theatre skills while rehearsing and performing a literary-based, non-musical play with professionally designed costumes, scenery, and lighting. Actors will benefit from collaborating within a small cast and working together to develop a fully-staged production intended for the public and students from local schools.

Fall Play Factory: The Phantom of the Opera (non-musical version)

Enjoy the Halloween season on stage with WCT! Adapted from Gaston Leroux’s famous novel, which has inspired many movie and stage adaptations, this comedy thriller is sure to be another WCT Play Factory favorite! This spooky play will bring to life the mystery of the Paris Opera House, its resident Phantom, a series of bizarre occurrences, and the cast of characters who seek to survive the frightening happenings on and off the opera house stage.

Grades 6-9

Tuition: $175 (Early Bird $160) Location: Arsenal Center for the Arts Parent volunteers are required to assist with backstage, costumes, set load-in/strike, ticket table

* Students will be required to miss 1 morning of school on 10/30 in order to perform onsite for visiting school groups.

Rehearsal Dates and Times: September 15 - October 22, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 3:30 - 6:00 pm Additional Rehearsals: Saturday, 10/24, noon - 4 pm; 10/26 - 29, 3:30 - 6:30 pm Performances: Arsenal Center for the Arts, Black Box Theatre Friday 10/30, 10 am* and 7 pm; Saturday 10/31, 1 pm (NO Halloween night performance); Sunday 11/1, 1 pm

Fall 2009 Productions & programs Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol It’s Christmas Day! I haven’t missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can...! - Ebenezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol WCT is thrilled to be co-producing the fifth annual holiday musical Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with New Rep and arsenalARTS. Eight to ten students will be cast with professional actors. Auditions will include acting and singing; instrumental experience is a plus. The rehearsal and performance schedule is demanding and only for the most committed actors and families. The following orientation is a prerequisite* in order to audition for this exciting show.

Ages 5-13

Fee: $50* Location: Arsenal Center for the Arts, WCT Drama Space Orientation: • Saturday, Sept.12, 2-2:30 pm, parent/student orientation; 2:30 - 5 pm, workshop for auditioners. • Sunday, Sept. 13, 2-5 pm, final workshop for auditioners. Auditions: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2:30 - 5:30 pm, by appointment. Rehearsals begin: November 17 Performances: December 6-27 * NOTE: Previous Christmas Carol auditioners/cast members should contact WCT prior to enrolling about a separate orientation/tuition policy. Important Note:   Rehearsals for Christmas Carol and Charlie Brown overlap, as do the ages of the child participants. If your child will audition for Christmas Carol, we strongly recommend that you enroll your grade 3-5 child in Charlie Brown as well, to avoid disappointment if not cast in Christmas Carol.   If your child is cast in Christmas Carol, your tuition for Charlie Brown will be refunded.

REGISTRATION PROCEDURE: Mail registrations to PO Box 54, Watertown, MA 02471-0054 or hand-deliver to Program Associate Kathi Tighe at the WCT Drama Space, 2nd floor mezzanine, Arsenal Center for the Arts during office hours M-F 2:00-5:00 pm QUESTIONS? call 617-926-ARTS


Registrations accepted on a

FIRST come FIRST served basis

Early Bird Deadline - postmarked June 30 Final Registration Deadline - postmarked September 1 Page to Stage: Harold and the

Purple Crayon

Here’s your chance to create a show with your friends! In addition to playing theatre games and learning performance technique, students will have fun adapting the imaginative story of Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson, to the stage. Equipped with only one crayon, Harold’s adventures show just how far imagination can take you! The class will culminate in a final presentation, complete with costumes and scenery, on the Mosesian Theater stage for family and friends.

Grade K & 1

Tuition: $70 (Early Bird $55) Location: Arsenal Center for the Arts, WCT Drama Space Dates: October 17 – November 14 Saturdays, 10:00 am – 11:30 am Final presentation for family and friends: Saturday, November 14, 11:00 am, Mosesian Theater

Private Voice Lessons Strengthen your voice with WCT! Acquire the proper technique for healthy singing and learn to sing songs of your choice! Increase your performance opportunities and build vocal confidence in an enjoyable, supportive atmosphere.

Grades 4 – Adult

Tuition: $35/half-hour lesson, in a block of 9 lessons Location: Arsenal Center for the Arts, WCT Drama Space Dates: Sept. 14 - Dec. 7, Mondays/Tuesdays/Thursdays Contact WCT Program Associate Kathi Tighe for private lesson availability, and to receive a separate private voice lesson registration form.

Private Acting Coaching

with Producing Artistic Director, Peyton Pugmire Grades 4 – Adult Fee: $55/hour Contact Peyton at 617-926-ARTS (2787) or

Tale as Old as Time, Timeless in Design The Stained Glass World of Beauty and the Beast


hile exploring Belle’s potential as a strong character and role model for young girls, Beauty and the Beast director Erica Berman introduced an intriguing idea to the WCT team: What if Belle is not, in fact, a helpless prisoner of the Beast? Instead, what if Belle chooses to stay with him, enchanted by the magical allure of the castle in contrast with the stifling routine of her own provincial home? In order to support this idea as set designer I had to create two distinct worlds - a charming but utilitarian town and a fantastical castle. As part of my design research for Beauty and the Beast, I (happily) watched the Disney film several times, as well as exploring other film adaptations of the story. From there I found myself drawn to images of quaint little Tudor houses and to cavernous Baroque cathedrals, drawing inspiration from these images to create two contrasting aesthetics: the boxy geometry of the small village cottages, and the wild, soaring architecture of the castle. However, the question then became how to encompass these two worlds within the larger world of Beauty and the Beast. What unified the two worlds thematically?

During my research into cathedral architecture for the castle, I had come across a captivating array of stained glass picture windows. With the opening sequence of the Disney film fresh in my mind, I was newly intrigued by the use of glass as a visual metaphor. It is a material that is potentially cold, sharp, and dangerous but also nostalgic and gothically romantic. After taking stock of the materials we had available to create our set with, I discovered that all the scenic elements - both the geometric Tudor houses and the grand castle structures - could look like “stained glass” if constructed out of open wood frames with sheer fabric and colored cellophane sheets serving as glass. It was this realization that brought me to the final set design. For WCT’s Beauty and the Beast, we invite you into a fairytale stained glass world, a medieval picture window magically brought to life by our young performers.

Enjoy the show!

Dahlia Al-Habieli, WCT Set Designer/Builder/Painter

Hard Work on “The Farm”: WCT Explores a New Musical This spring, Watertown Children’s Theatre broke new ground in the field of play development! In another landmark event of its 25th anniversary season, WCT partnered with local writer/composer/director Steven Bergman to stage a reading of his new musical adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The entire process united WCT teen actors with other youth performers from Littleton and Brockton to rehearse and present a first time, staged reading of this new script on April 25th. The intimate presentation was followed by a discussion between actors, playwright and audience, in order for Bergman to gain insight and feedback as he continues developing his musical. It is WCT’s hope to make new play development a tradition as the company continues to grow over its next 25 years. Through such programming, WCT can help expand the children’s theatre repertoire and offer artists of all ages the opportunity to engage in its creative and rewarding process. WCT cast members: Elisabeth Brown, Adeline Cimino, Ezra Dulit-Greenberg, Adrianna Quintiliani, Michaela Reggio, Lily Steven, and Joel Tighe-Orloff

Fall 2009 Registration Form

Please use a separate form or copy for each additional child. Please print all information clearly.

Name_________________________________________ M  F  Grade____ School __________________________________ Street_________________________________________________ City______________________________ Zip______________ Parent or Guardian 1___________________________________ Parent or Guardian 2 ____________________________________ Phone (h) ______________________ (w) __________________ Email Address _________________________________________ Emergency Name/Phone_____________________________________________________________________________________ Please specify any medical conditions, including severe allergies or need for Epi-Pen _______________________________________ ______________________________________________________ Where did you hear about WCT?________________________ I DO  Do NOT  give WCT permission to use my child’s photo for Web site/publications I hereby absolve the WCT, including all employees, officers and trustees, from all liability, and will not hold them responsible for injury incurred to the above registered person. I hereby give my approval to the person’s participation in this activity. Parent/Guardian signature______________________________________________

Fall 2009 programS

Payment Options - Check one:


Charlie Brown (Grades 3-5) Little Peanuts (Grades 1&2)   choose one:  3:30 pm  4:30 pm Play Factory: Phantom (Grades 6-9) Purple Crayon (Grades K&1) Subtract $15 for registrations postmarked by 6/30 Subtract WCT Member’s discount ($5 per class) Subtotal Christmas Carol Audition (Ages 5-13) Add tax ded. cont. for WCT Scholarship Program

$225 $_______ $150 $_______ $175 $ 70

$ 50

total due

Postm ark D eadl E Final R arly Bird, June ines: egistrati 3 on, Sep 0 tember 1

 My check is enclosed, payable to   Watertown Children’s Theatre

$_______ $_______ $ -______ $ -______ $_______ $_______ $_______

    Mastercard    Visa Card Number ___________________________ 3-digit security code (from back of card): ________ Credit Card Billing Address: ______________________________________ Name as it appears on card: ______________________________________


Signature _________________Exp. date______

Mail to PO Box 54, Watertown, MA 02471-0054 or hand-deliver to WCT Drama Space, 2nd floor mezzanine, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown, MA


Registration Information


  All registrations accepted on a first come first served basis. Classes are limited in size and contingent on adequate en-

rollment. All registrations include a $25 non-refundable administrative fee. Refund requests for withdrawals will be honored ONLY if they are emailed to or called in to 617-926-ARTS (2787) before the second meeting (between the audition orientation and the first day of auditions for mainstage production).   NOTE: There is a separate withdrawal policy for short-term workshops and vacation programs — non-refundable tuition for Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol must be paid in full at the time of registration.   WCT makes reasonable accommodation for all ­children. However, parental assistance may be required in some medical and/or behavioral situations. It is expected that students enrolled in our programs take their commitment seriously. We ask that parents call 617-926-ARTS if a child is unable to attend a class or rehearsal, and that the child be absent only in the cases of emergencies or illness. More than two absences from show rehearsals may result in dismissal from a ­production. To be informed of weather cancellations, call 617-926-ARTS (Announcements, ext. 6).   Mail registrations to PO Box 54, Watertown, MA 02471-0054 or hand-deliver to Program Associate Kathi Tighe at the WCT drama space, second floor, Arsenal Center for the Arts during Office Hours, M-F, 2:00-5:00 pm. Make note of your class time and place at time of registration. Receipt of your child’s application will be confirmed. Confirmation of enrollment will be given after the Final Registration Deadline.    Limited scholarships are available for Fall 2009 WCT programs. To obtain a scholarship request form, necessary before registration, call 617-926-ARTS.

Note to Parents: Rehearsals: There may be times during the course of rehearsal when your child will not be actively engaged in rehearsing. The WCT assumes no responsibility for any child who leaves the rehearsal area. Classes/Lessons: We ask that parents not attend classes with their children. It is our experience that children do best if unaccompanied. All classes are participatory, and observation by non-participants can be inhibiting. Thank you for your cooperation.

This newsletter contains the registration for Fall 2009 Programs





B rlie ha ,C an M ore e... od d m Insid n a ls Go tai De




Watertown, MA 02471-0054 P.O. Box 54 Watertown Children’s Theatre

Become a Member!

Join or renew now and be a member for all of 2010.

« « « «

Your membership supports: Major children’s productions Innovative theatre classes Experienced and dedicated staff A cultural and educational community organization

« « « «

Benefits Include: Tuition discounts - Family and above * Subscription to the WCT newsletter Listing in performance programs Invitation to the WCT annual meeting

I (We) would like to become a member(s) of the WCT for 2010 at the Membership level below:

Senior Friend * Family

$ 10  $ 30  $ 50 

* Sponsor $ 75  * Donor $ 100  * Patron $ 150 

* Benefactor $ 250  * Star $ 500  * Angel $1000 

* Nova  $1500+ 


(as you wish to be listed in the program)

Address: ___________________________________________________________________ Email: _______________________Phone: (____)____________________Date:___/___/___

To become a member or renew your membership, complete this form. New and renewed memberships this Summer and Fall will receive benefits through the end of 2010. All 2009 memberships expire on December 31 and should be renewed by that date in order to receive continuous benefits. Your mailing label includes an expiration date if you are a current member. For more membership information, contact Kathi Tighe at 617-926-ARTS ext. 1.

MAIL TO: Watertown Children’s Theatre, P.O. Box 54, Watertown, MA 02471-0054

WCT Fall Newsletter  

This is The Watertown Children's Theatre Fall Newsletter discussing upcoming opportunities for children to get involved in performances.