In rehearsal, Zoe Kassay, Jamal Shuriah, Phil Smith, and Brittney Bertier
The Hartt School's Theatre Division presents Band Geeks! on Thursday, December 10, Friday, December 11, and Saturday, December 12 at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM, and Sunday, December 13, at 2:00 PM. Performances are in The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation Theater in the Mort and Irma Handel Performing Arts Center, 35 Westbourne Parkway, Hartford. Admission is free, but tickets are required. For tickets and information, call the University of Hartford Box Office at 860.768.4228 or 800.274.8587, or reserve tickets online at www.hartford.edu/hartt. Ticketed patrons must arrive early to ensure seating. Unclaimed seats will be released five minutes before curtain to those waiting in line for each performance.
Band Geeks! is a high-stepping tribute to high school marching bands and misfits everywhere. With just nine members and dwindling funds, the Cuyahoga High Marching Beavers are close to extinction. When a troubled athlete is relegated to their ranks, Elliott, the tuba-playing band captain and Laura, his best friend, must find a way to unite the band, overcome their pride and embrace their inner geek.
This, the first workshop production of Band Geeks!, marks yet another step in the The Hartt School Theatre Division's relationship with our Partner in Training, Goodspeed Musicals, who commissioned the work. In January 2009, the then senior Music Theatre students presented the first ever public staged reading of the show at the annual Goodspeed Festival of New Artists at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT. This was followed by a week-long workshop co-produced between Hartt and Goodspeed, hosted by Hartt at the Handel Performing Arts Center last May with the same cast. This year-long process has involved the creative team and three different classes of our Music Theatre students at every phase of the show's development. Henry Fonte, Professor of Theatre at Hartt, is the School's Director of New Play Development and liaison to Goodspeed Musicals. Alan Rust is the Director of the Theatre Division.
This high energy production is directed by guest artist Gordon Greenberg, with book by Tommy Newman and Gordon Greenberg, lyrics by Gaby Alter and Tommy Newman, music by Mark Allen, Gaby Alter and Tommy Newman, and concept by Tommy Newman. The Music Director is Mike Morris, Director of Music for the Theatre Division. The Choreographer is Ralph Perkins, Director of Dance for the Theatre Division.
Band Geeks! features current third and fourth year Music Theatre students who hail from locations across the northeast. Fourth year Music Theatre majors include: Phil Smith of Granby, CT as Elliott; Brittney Bertier of East Longmeadow, MA as Laura; Jamal Shuriah of Great Neck, NY as Jake; Alexandra Tripp of Plymouth, MA as Molly, and Alex Reitze of Rochester, NY as Mr. Hornesby. Third year Music Theatre majors include: Kevin Geiss of Carmel, CT as Stewart; Christiana Rodi of Cranston, RI as Natalia; Jeremy Sevelovitz of Yorktown Heights, NY as Spitz; JP Qualters of Waltham, MA as Alvin; Michael Millan of Bayshore, NY as Kyle.