10.30.2012

The Miracle Worker



Don't miss the chance to see The Miracle Worker, performed by Xanadu Road Productions this January!  Proceeds from the show will benefit the New Horizon Community Theatre and the Perkins Institute for the Blind.  

The Miracle Worker ~ Cast List

Directed by Donna Shute Provencher and produced by Amy Guinn McDow

Annie Sullivan: Emily Stephens
Helen Keller: Sophie McDow
Captain Keller: Mike Morehouse
Kate Keller: Bianca Alomar
James Keller: Corbin Hoats
Aunt Ev: Heather McWhorter
Anagnos: Skinner McLane

Doctor: Keith McDow

Viney: Abby Edmondson
Martha: Madelyn McWhorter / Jacey Wheeler
Percy: Jacob McWhorter / Fisher Brawner
Voices, James Keller u/s, Assistant Stage Manager: Meco Young
Voice of Jimmie: Becca McDow
Smallest Blind Girl: Graycen Daniel
Blind Children: Maggie Lehman
Campbell Vice
Kaylee Key
Alexcia Ramseur
Faith DeLee
Caitlyn Daniel
Breana Daniel
Lydia Brawner
Tasha Brawner
Hunter Brawner

10.24.2012

Meet the Staff, Part Two (Amy Guinn McDow)


Welcome to the “meet Amy” post.  Grab a cup of coffee and hang out for a bit.  These things can often be pretty boring, so here are some random facts about me that might amuse you.

·         I believe in the power of duct tape, nail glue and Sharpee markers.  I have even gone so far as to detail my kitchen with a Sharpee and create costumes held together with nothing but duct tape.
·         I have a metal rod in my arm and a screw in my head.
·         I grew up in Waco, Texas and no, I am not a Branch Davidian (and have never known anyone that was).
·         I bellydance and have been seen in public dressed as a pirate on more than one occasion.
·         I strongly believe that no ice cream is better than Blue Bell and that pork should never be considered barbecue.
·         I saw Vanilla Ice in concert well after he melted…late 90s.
·         I graduated “cum laude” from college, have had tons of student loans, and do absolutely nothing with my precious degree.
·         I was attacked by a group of Canadian geese while making out on a beach.
·         I went on a two-week bike-trip from Texas to Florida when I was a kid.
·         I live in the home where I met my husband, kissed him for the first time, and married him.
·         I believe that actions are far more powerful than words and that the people who shout the loudest are usually the ones whose actions you need to watch the closest.
·         I rarely think that an opinion is worth an argument.  Life is just too short…I’d rather go swing on my front porch.

Each day is full of chances and choices, but when dreams join the mix, the mundane life can become extraordinary.  Meeting Donna was a chance encounter and our choice to work together on this project, Xanadu Road Productions, is allowing us to make dreams happen.   In this venture, I am part of the “make it happen.”   As I see it, dream making is not a bad way to spend the day. 

I am in my third season of working with New Horizon Community Theatre.  It is an amazing treasure, full of some of the most wonderful people I have had the opportunity to meet.  Everyone there participates on a volunteer basis and they bring a level of excellence to the stage that is astounding.   The last show they produced was sold out with many people being turned away (even after adding two performances), due to lack of seating.  To see the theatre expand its auditorium is a dream of many NHCT players and crew.  Xanadu Road was created, in part, to help that dream become a reality. 

I am one of those eclectic artists that can’t stop creating and have a dozen different projects in progress at any given time.  My expertise and business is in photography and graphic arts.  However, I have dabbled in just about everything considered art and the theatre has always been a passion for me.   I also work with a number of charitable organizations and tend to be the “go to” person when things need to happen.  When the idea of creating a production company with the intent of supporting local theatres was presented, I could not jump on board fast enough.  Through my experience with local organizations and intense “Type A” personality, I will be working to make the dreams behind Xanadu Road Productions a reality.


10.17.2012

Meet the Staff, Part One (Donna Shute Provencher)



Just a brief introduction:


My name is Donna Shute Provencher, and I was born and bred twenty minutes outside of Washington, D.C. (in Silver Spring, Maryland, which is technically south of the Mason-Dixon line but don't ever tell a Maryland native that!). I have been in the theater since I was six and started directing when I was eighteen (first show I directed was Hamlet -- mostly because I am an overachiever who occasionally fancies myself to be Orson Welles), and graduated with a bachelor's degree in English (Christendom College, 2006) then moved to Atlanta for a year and a half and taught high school English and drama in Fayette County and did theater in Atlanta and Marietta. My high schoolers won some Georgia State High School Association awards for a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and I also directed and music-directed Guys and Dolls as well. I then moved back to D.C. for grad school and got a master's degree in English with a specialization in drama (Catholic University of America, 2010). I am, however, an English-Ph.D-dropout as I was one of five applicants in the country accepted to the M.F.A. in Directing program at the New School for Drama in New York in 2010, but unfortunately was unable to attend due to financial issues.

I have been heavily active in the D.C. theater circuit since I moved back to D.C. from Atlanta in 2007 (served on the Board at Kensington Arts Theatre and have worked on 23 shows in the last three and a half years at four or five theaters as director, actor, assistant director, stage manager, sound designer, or crew/techie)... I definitely consider myself primarily a director, however, and that will always be my first love in the theater. I won best production and the Cliff Smith directing award at the Maryland state one-acts competition (MCTFA) in January 2012 and the same show placed second at the Eastern States competition (ESTA) in April 2012. I'm also a writer (mostly nonfiction -- memoir, social commentary, psychopathology and neuroscience), a film junkie, a caffeine addict, a barefoot hippie bohemian, as well as (recent development!) an Army wife. I married the Boy this past August, turned 27 two days later, and left my entire life behind to move to the Columbus area in September because he is a captain in the Army who just got back from Afghanistan this year and is stationed at Fort Benning. I was fortunate enough to stumble into working on Little Mermaid at NHCT and from that transitioned to borrowing their space to forge our own production company. I am the Artistic Director of Xanadu Road Productions and will be the director of our first production.
Of course, I also say all this not because I'm trying to force my resume on anyone unasked, but because when you meet me for the first time I guarantee you will absolutely swear I am fifteen years old (I promise not to be offended... this is a regular occurrence), and I just want to assure you that I have been in this wonderful business we call show for 20 years and you will in fact be in capable hands! 


Tune in next time for an intro to our amazing Managing Director/Marketing Director and stage manager, Amy Guinn McDow!

Upcoming Auditions

We are currently holding auditions for an upcoming production.

Rehearsals begin on October 29th and opening night will be January 4th, 2013.

Proceeds will benefit New Horizon Community Theatre and the Perkins School for the Blind.

If you are interested in auditioning for one of the adult or children roles, please contact Donna Provencher at 301-512-2778 or donnashuteprovencher@gmail.com.

10.14.2012

Under the Sea...

With a cast of 81 children and six SOLD-OUT performances, we all agree that Disney's The Little Mermaid Jr, as performed by New Horizon Community Theatre, was a splashing success!!!!


The show opened on October 9th and ran through the 13th, under the Direction of Caitlin Nixon and Stage Management of Haley Hamer.  Our artistic Director, Donna Provencher, and Managing Director, Amy McDow, joined the production to assist backstage and behind the scenes.  From costume design to publicity, Xanadu Productions worked with the New Horizon Cast to make sure that the audiences received the best show possible.  


Sam Arnold played the role of Ariel and impressed us all with her talent and dedication as an actress.  Dameco Young was a charming Prince Eric and  a joy to work with.


 Bianca Alomar gave a stunning performance as Ursula.  Even in professional theatre, it is rare to find an actress with this amount of talent, poise, and command of the stage.  Her mother, Yvette DeJesus, also did a remarkable job on her costume, creating a unique look for this traditional villain.


What better way to make an impact on a crowd than by blowing up the stage!
Jamil Houston played the role of King Triton with flair and fire power.  


Collin Sanders as Sebastian, Emmie Rudd as Flounder and Jacey Wheeler as Scuttle were all exceptional in their roles and delighted the audiences nightly.  




 Creative costuming, vibrant sets and a dedicated cast and crew made this production a delightful experience for everyone onstage and off.  We were very proud to work with such an talented theatrical group.  

Even with six shows, NHCT was unable to provide seating for all those who hoped to see the show.  Because of their space limitations, the theatre is currently in a fundraising campaign to enlarge their seating capacity.  In order to help with this venture, Xanadu Road Productions will be providing a special production in January.

More details to come...