Atlanta Or Bust

We are just a day away from leaving Burnsville and making the short trek to Atlanta, GA with 13 students, a handful of parents, music Director Andrea Bailey, and me, Mary Katherine Smith-Gall the Parkway Playhouse’s  Education Coordinator.    When we get to Atlanta we will have three days of rehearsing, performing, attending workshops with leading industry professionals, attending performances, and then coming back to Burnsville on Monday.  The reason for our trip?  THE 2012 NATIONAL JUNIOR THEATRE FESTIVAL!!!!! 
The cast for Parkway Playhouse Jr’s 2011 National Junior Theatre Festival entry: Bugsy Malone

 Since September of 2011, a group of students have given up their Saturdays to rehearse for this event.  We took our production of Bugsy Malone- which is a satirical look at the noir-ish gangster stories of the 30’s/40’s- and not only did 2 performances right before Christmas at Mountain Heritage High School, but then cut the show down to a 15 minute “showcase” this past week.  It is this 15 minute piece that we will be taking to the National Junior Theatre Festival. 

This week our students worked heavily with Andrea Bailey (who just finished playing Mary in our recent production of Beautiful Star) who re-worked all of the songs and vocals until these kids sounded amazing.  I worked out the choreography and I have to say this cast has made it their own.  On Wednesday, Andrew Gall, the Producing Artistic Director, worked extensively with the cast as well and tweaked all of the comedic bits, timing, and character choices.  As Andrew finished rehearsal last night, the energy, excitement, and enthusiasm was palpable.  I am sure the nerves will set in as the next time we will be together as an ensemble will be right before we perform on Saturday morning. 

Tomorrow everyone hits the road.  We are all looking forward to our performance, the workshops, seeing other productions and the work of other students.  So thanks to the parents, the Parkway Playhouse Board,  and especially to Bruce Chuvala and Ami Pisano who makes what we do seem so easy.  Send us positive vibes and we will be attempting to send some “live” updates through this blog over the weekend!—Mary Katherine



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Parkway Playhouse, located in the Appalachian town of Burnsville, NC, is a haven of theatre talent. While people come to the mountains to get away, Parkway Playhouse is a natural gathering place to connect. Likewise, we are an extension of traditional mountain talents: singing, dancing, and, foremost, storytelling. By giving rise to energetic new voices and through a wide variety of plays and musicals, we invite our audience into experiences that are thought-provoking, adventurous, and entertaining. Together we reimagine the world in every live performance, creating dynamic conversations that last far beyond the curtain call. This blog is will feature stories, helpful information, insight and features about the performances.

3 thoughts on “Atlanta Or Bust”

  1. Wishing our young actors the very best and as they say”Break a leg”. Looking forward to hearing the final results and we will be thinking of you all on Saturday morning.

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