The Show Must Go On for North Shore Music Theatre’s Youth Performance Academy

For many of North Shore Music Theatre’s (NSMT) youth performers in the Summer Stages program, it was if their home was destroyed when a fire ripped through NSMT’s circular stage. However, the children performing in the upcoming Summer Stage productions of SEUSSICAL and DISNEY’S AIDA: SCHOOL EDITION know that the show must go on, and they are readily preparing for their opening nights. Somewhere in between their busy rehearsal schedules the children have also rallied together to help NSMT recover from its loss by turning the first performance of each show into a benefit for NSMT in the aftermath of the devastating fire.

Burgess Clark, NSMT’s Director of Education, was moved by the children’s dedication and determination. ‘North Shore Music Theatre isn’t just a building, it’s an institution,’ he said. ‘Even after a moment of great tragedy, seeing the children singing and rehearsing the very next day has really changed my perspective on the situation. These students are an inspiration for all of us.’

SEUSSICAL, a funny and clever musical, brings to life everyone’s favorite Dr. Seuss characters. Audiences of all ages will find joy in ‘the thinks you can think.’ Performances run Thurs. August 11th at 7pm (benefit performance), Sat. August 13th at 7pm, and Sun. August 14th at 2pm. For information and tickets, call 978-232-7200.

The cast features 35 young performers ranging in age from 13-18 and representing 28 different communities. Andover residents Corey Desjardins and Jackie Gladstein; Beverly resident Samantha Schulman; Boxford residents Melanie Dusel and Katy Rosin; Burlington resident Peter Romagna; Chelsea resident Ryan Finnegan; Danvers Emily Higgins and Kami Turgeon; Georgetown residents Christina Brown and Taylor Brown; Groveland resident Felicia Santos; Hamilton resident Davia Meader; Hammond, LA resident Lauren Todd; Ipswich resident Kerra Cerretani; Line Lexington, PA resident Darin Miller; Lynn resident Jay Pension; Lynnfield resident Jessica McDonough; Manchester resident Jessica Barstis; Marblehead resident Kristina Walker; Melrose resident David Lucey; Middleton resident Nicole Soriano; Newburyport resident Rory Pelsue; North Reading resident Alexandra Nader; Rowley resident Ashley-Michelle Cole; Sudbury residents Alex Bilbo and Jessica Tarr; S. Hamilton residents Sean Cournoyer and Ali Perkins; Rockport resident Molly Booth; Weare, NH resident Erin Carr; Wenham resident Chris Pitts; Westboro resident Carly Grayson; and Woburn resident Tim Lawton.

DISNEY’S AIDA: SCHOOL EDITION follows the classic tale of love, loss, and betrayal through the music and lyrics of Elton John and Tim Rice. NSMT’s production is the New England Premiere of this powerful piece. Performances run Fri. August 12th (benefit performance) at 7pm, Sat. August 13th at 2pm, and Sun. August 14th at 7pm.
For information and tickets, call 978-232-7200.

The cast will feature 28 young performers ages 13-18 representing 18 different North Shore communities. Andover residents Justin Colombo, Tina Leber, and Cara Lemire; Beverly resident Amy Klesert; Billerica resident Emily Burns; Boxford residents Melissa Jessel and Meghan O’Malley; Danvers residents Molly Hagerty and Meg Kazan; Georgetown residents Joe Berardi and Samantha Kalish; Lynn resident Presilah Nunez; Marblehead resident Kate Franklin; Middleton resident Gabby D’Amour; Nahant resident Evan Tarmy; Peabody resident Cara Duggan; Rowley resident Meghan Thomassen; Saugus resident Matthew Felix; South Hamilton resident James White; Swampscott residents Andy Jones and Justine Long; Topsfield residents Nina Bjornstad and John Newcomb; Winchester Jonathan Christopher, Nicholas Christopher, and Vanessa Christopher; and Winthrop resident Stephanie Moskal.

Summer Stages: Stage Four Performances of SEUSSICAL and AIDA: SCHOOL EDITION can now be purchased at the NSMT box office or at the door. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. However, the first performance of each show will be $25 for adults, with all money benefiting the NSMT. All performances will be held at the Mary Weld Pingree Center for the Performing Arts, 537 Highland St., South Hamilton, MA 01982. Summer Stages is sponsored in part by Target.

North Shore Music Theatre’s award-winning theatre arts and education programs and youth performances annually reach over 100,000 students. The Theatre’s Youth Performance Academy attracts thousands of students from 4 ‘ 18 years old who are interested in exploring the world of music, theatre and dance and honing their craft. In 2005, NSMT’s Youth Performance Academy received the Junior Theater Festival’s Outstanding Achievement in Musical Performance Award and the Outstanding Achievement in Choreography Award for its performance of Disney’s Cinderella Kids. With partnerships with Music Theatre International (MTI) and Disney Theatricals, NSMT has become the model for schools and organizations around the country and is one of the region’s leading providers of theatre arts and education programs.