In 2013, lightning struck. The New Vintage Ensemble was born out of a love for taking the work – but not ourselves – seriously. And now, we’re at it again.
“Hamlet” opens next week and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. The countless hours, phone calls, and Google Drive documents (I’ll get to that in a minute!) have been worth it – and for so many reasons.
I have this sneaky feeling that lightning is going to strike again.
I’ve been lucky. As an ensemble member, I’m playing the roles of Francisco, Osric, and First Player. Behind the scenes, I’m supervising producer – i.e. keeper of the Google Drive. Budgets, marketing, contracts, and accounting are my shtick (and totally appeal to my type A tendencies).
We, as an ensemble, have also been lucky. The Mall at Steamtown and Amos Towers have generously offered us rehearsal space over the past few months.
We’ve had the opportunity to work with local theater organizations and small businesses like Taney’s Costume Shop (patronize them immediately), DIVA Productions, the University of Scranton, and others to bring our vision to life.
We’ve worked with amazingly talented people like our designer, Graham Campbell, and our photographer (and my beloved Mister), Brent Pennington.
You don’t get opportunities like this often, so when they do happen, you have to thank the stardust we’re all made of for it.
And those special people. You give oodles of thanks to them, too.
Being on both sides of the stage had given me a greater appreciation for the work that goes into making something like this happen. And I love having the chance to apply things I love doing (i.e. planning, marketing, performing) in an area I love so much.
But beyond my own selfish thrills, there’s more to this “Hamlet” than I would have ever thought possible.
Our Director Casey Thomas’s vision for “Hamlet” is brilliant. There isn’t another way I can say it. He’s fearless in his direction and from the first day, we knew that we’d be doing Shakespeare in a way that was completely unexpected.
As for the cast? I’m in awe of them every night. “Hamlet” is an emotional piece, demanding a lot of actors and audience alike. But the performances my fellow friends and castmates deliver have made the hairs on my arm stand on end, my eyes well with tears, and my ribs ache from laughing so hard. They are magic.
But one of the most exciting things about this “Hamlet” is our venue. The New Vintage Ensemble will be working with the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple to produce this show. They’ve graciously opened their doors to us and Shopland Hall will be home base for the next two weeks.
The minute I talked to the production team about where we’d be doing the show, I’ll be honest – I got choked up.
I never thought that I’d be doing some like this when I started acting. You know, actually producing and being in something of this magnitude. It’s humbling and makes my heart full.
I remember my first role, dressed in a purple leotard with plastic vines and flowers hot glued all over it. I was a fairy in a “Midsummer Night’s Dream” with one line. I still remember it.
But there was something about those musty curtains and bright lighting that made me come back. Again and again.
And now, here we are. We open a show in one week – in one of the most beautiful venues in Scranton. With some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. And we’re friends. And we get to do this. For real.
That is perhaps the greatest gift.
We get to do something we love and share it with you.
SHOW DATES & TIMES
- Friday, January 8 at 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, January 9 at 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
- Friday, January 15 at 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, January 16 at 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple
420 N. Washington Ave.
By Phone: During Box Office Hours 570.344.1111 and Ticketmaster Charge by Phone After Hours at 800.745.3000
In Person: Fidelity Box Office at the Scranton Cultural Center, 420 North Washington Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503
In Person: All Regional Ticketmaster Outlets, including Boscovs, Gallery of Sound and Select Walmart Locations