Tag Archives: CNY Arts Center

Matthew Oldenburg and Maya Sprague rehearse the opening number in “Yes, Virginia...The Musical,” CNY Arts Center’s premiere holiday production set for Dec. 7-16.

Cast of ‘Yes, Virginia…The Musical’ begins rehearsals

Yes, Virginia...The Musical
Matthew Oldenburg and Maya Sprague rehearse the opening number in “Yes, Virginia…The Musical,” CNY Arts Center’s premiere holiday production set for Dec. 7-16.

A new stage and a new musical premiere welcomed the cast of “Yes, Virginia…The Musical” when CNY Arts Center began rehearsals for its first holiday production.

The holiday classic tale is being presented through special arrangement with Macy’s, who created the musical stage version of their animated TV classic. With toe-tapping dance numbers and a chorus of town folk, the story is brought to life with veteran actors alongside newcomers to the stage.

Nine year old Maya Sprague, an Oswego fourth grader, makes her theatrical debut in the title role of Virginia playing opposite Matthew Oldenburg as Virginia’s best friend Ollie. Oldenburg is an Oswego fifth grader seen onstage in the last three summers of Harborfest children’s musicals and as Kurt in the Oswego High School production of “Sound of Music.”

Virginia’s nemesis Charlotte is portrayed by Kaylee Foster, a 10-year-old Fulton homeschooler with extensive stage and performance experience. Foster competed in CNY Arts Center’s first Arts Fest on the River talent competition. Charlotte’s feline companion, Mrs. Whiskers, is played by newcomer Jasmine Criswell, a Fulton sixth grader.

Lovable Scraggly Santa is played by Mark Parry, opposite the cranky newspaper editor, Frank Church, portrayed by veteran actor Bobby Fontana. Marguerite Beebe portrays the Librarian as narrator and storyteller. All three were most recently seen in “Godspell,” CNY Arts Center’s debut production and are joined by Carly Farfaglia and Marlina Beebe, also from “Godspell.”

Dancing pigeons and Santas from around the world are joined by energetic Newsies doing leaps and bounds across the multi-level stage in sophisticated choreography by Amy Price.

Yann Taddei, a French foreign exchange student attending school in Fulton, joins the cast as a Newsie and will share his tap dancing talent in a featured dance break.

It runs Dec. 7-9 and 14-16 at CNY Arts Center’s facility in the State Street Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton.

CNY Arts Center to hold auditions for February romantic comedy

Although it may seem like months away, CNY Arts Center is already planning its first production in the New Year with auditions for “Skin Deep” Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 27 at 3 p.m.

The show will premiere Feb. 1 and run for two weekends as dessert theatre in the intimate setting of CNY Arts Center’s new theatre space in State St. United Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton, where auditions will also be held.

The play, written by Jon Lonoff, calls for two men and two women, in the age range of 40-55.

In “Skin Deep,” a large, lovable, lonely-heart named Maureen Mulligan gives romance one last shot on a blind-date with sweet awkward Joseph Spinelli. She’s learned to pepper her speech with jokes to hide insecurities about her weight and appearance, while he’s almost dangerously forthright, saying everything that comes to his mind.

They are set up on the date by Maureen’s sister, Sheila, and her husband, Squire, who are having problems of their own.

TalkinBroadway.com called the play a “Warm-hearted comedy…the laughter was literally show-stopping. A winning play, with enough good-humored laughs and sentiment to keep you smiling from beginning to end.”

Auditions will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Oct 23 and 3 to 4 p.m. Oct. 27.

Actors should prepare a one-minute monologue and plan to read from the script. Those seeking more information may visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 216-8790.


CNY Arts Center to present Christmas musical

The CNY Arts Center, located in the lower level of State Street Methodist Church, 35 State St., in Fulton, will present “Yes, Virginia…The Musical,” a new adaptation of the classic holiday story.

It will debut Dec. 7 and run through Dec. 16.

In 1897, eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon asked her father if there truly was a Santa Claus after her disturbing encounter with friends who claimed there was no such thing. Her father, Dr Phillip O’Hanlon, a Manhattan physician, suggested she write to The Sun, New York City’s prominent newspaper, assuring her an answer from The Sun would be a trustworthy reply.

One of the paper’s editors, Frank Church, took up the challenge and wrote an editorial that is today the most widely read and remembered editorial of all time. His response delivered a timeless message of hope, faith and belief that addresses a contemporary society as easily as the one that existed when the editorial was written.

“We’re excited to present this new version that has a light-hearted story, an eclectic assortment of characters and wonderful music,” said Nancy Fox, director. “‘Yes Virginia, The Musical’ was written by the creative team at MACY’S who wanted to bring their original animated ‘Yes, Virginia’ holiday special to the stage. This is a perfect cast size with suitable roles for all ages and the first opportunity for children to become involved onstage with us.”

Open auditions for the Christmas musical will be held Sept. 25 and 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. with auditions for children only set for Sept. 29th from 1 to 2 p.m.

There are four speaking roles for children and three speaking roles for adults with multiple singing and dancing opportunities for all others.

Those wanting to audition should plan to sing a song and tell a favorite story. Some reading from the script will also take place.  Those seeking more information on CNY Arts Center or the musical may visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 216-8790.

Shoppers enjoy the fall crafts at last year’s CNY Arts Center’s Arts Market. The event will be held again at the former Nestle parking lot Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Fulton.

Second annual Arts Market to be held next month

Shoppers enjoy the fall crafts at last year’s CNY Arts Center’s Arts Market. The event will be held again at the former Nestle parking lot Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Fulton.

The CNY Arts Center will hold its second annual Arts Market Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the former Nestle parking lot on Fay Street in Fulton.

Artists, crafters, antiques and food vendors may participate in the event.

“The Arts Market was a huge success last year with more than 40 vendors and a crowd of nearly 800 shoppers that stopped by throughout the day, which coincides with Fulton’s annual city-wide yard sale,” said event coordinator Kiley Casper.

“It’s a great way to wrap up a busy summer and give artists, crafters and other vendors one more chance to display their work to the general public. The large parking lot proved to be a popular location for this gathering with ample room for everyone. It is the one event from last year that people seem to remember the most!

“This is truly a market as opposed to an arts festival in the variety of vendors we’re accepting,” Casper continued. “We had several requests last year from independent consultants who work from home-selling commercial product lines. Because these small business owners can have a significant economic impact and need to reach a broader public, we’re accepting a limited number of vendors from this category along with hand-made original arts and crafts.

“We believe this will give shoppers a wide variety of items for every pocketbook,” she said. “In keeping with the theme of the city-wide yard sale, we’re also accepting a limited number of flea-market vendors.”

CNY Arts Center will also raffle a basket of goods donated from vendors participating in the event.

Activities for children will include sidewalk chalk art and bubble fun.

Food vendors will be on site at this year’s event, along with strolling minstrels Merry Mischief, who will make an encore appearance fresh from the Arts Fest held in Fulton’s War Memorial in June.

Those seeking more information may visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 216-8790 or 598-8812.

With a new stage in a new facility, the Godspell cast rehearses a scene from the pop song ‘Day by Day.’ Godspell is set to run Aug. 17-26 in CNY Arts Center’s new theatre at State St Methodist, 357 State St in Fulton.

CNY Arts Center sets box office hours

With a new stage in a new facility, the Godspell cast rehearses a scene from the pop song ‘Day by Day.’ Godspell is set to run Aug. 17-26 in CNY Arts Center’s new theatre at State St Methodist, 357 State St in Fulton.

With opening night only days away, CNY Arts Center has established box office hours to accommodate ticket sales for its first theatre production in its new facility located at the Park St entrance of State Street Methodist Church, 357 State St. in Fulton.

Open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday – Friday and one hour prior to performance on the weekends, the Box Office will provide a means to purchase event tickets, and also sign up for classes or children’s art camp, take a tour of the facility, register as a vendor, sign up to volunteer or gather information about the organization.

Tickets will be immediately on sale for Godspell.  The popular musical is the debut production on the brand new stage in the organization’s new facility. Opening Aug. 17 with an 8 p.m. performance, the production will continue Aug 18, 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. and Sundays Aug. 19 and 26 with 2 p.m. matinees.

Ticket prices are recuced for seniors and students. The non-profit arts group is also extending a pay-what-you-can invitation for the final dress rehearsal where the audience will choose what they would like to pay for their ticket.

“There is only one first production in our first facility and Godspell is a fitting choice for this occasion. It carries a message of community and personal strength and explores what can happen when people come together as one body,” said director Nancy Fox.

“CNY Arts Center’s basic goals are to inspire and motivate positive change in the region. Watching this very thing carried out live onstage is a powerful way to illustrate that change. That’s why we’re making this show widely accessible and sincerely hope everyone will come and celebrate the momentous first opening of our first production in our first facility.”

“With Box Office hours established, the public will know they can find us at the center during those hours,” Fox continued. “We are creating a stable presence in the community and we can finally begin to build those valuable relationships. “

Tickets and reservations are available online at www.CNYArtsCenter.com or by calling 216-8790 or 598-8812.

‘Godspell’ to be staged at new CNY Arts Center facility

The CNY Arts Center will present “Godspell” Aug. 17-26 in the group’s new location at the Park Street entrance of State Street Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton.

The hit musical enjoyed a Broadway revival last year with the 40th anniversary of the classic story. “Godspell” first opened when John-Michael Tebelak created the concept for his senior thesis directing project as a Carnegie Mellon University master of fine arts candidate.

After a two-week, 10-performance run at an experimental theatre club, two producers approached Tebelak with the opportunity to run the show Off Broadway.

Stephen Schwartz, a Carnegie Mellon theatre alum, joined the team to create a new score and the show opened off-Broadway in 1971to immediate success.

A few months later, “Godspell” moved to a larger theatre where it became one of the longest running Off Broadway musicals in history.

After five years of sold-out audiences Off Broadway, the show debuted on Broadway in 1976 and played another 527 performances.

In the 40 years since, “Godspell” has seen countless productions around the world in large and small theatre companies, schools and churches.

Several cast albums have been released creating popular familiarity among fans with such songs as “Day by Day,” which reached number 13 in the Billboard Top 100 chart in the summer of 1972, only a year after the musical opened.

Much like the show, Schwartz has gone on to critical acclaim as an Academy and Grammy Award winner and six time Tony Award nominee. Creator John-Michael Tebalak died of a heart attack in 1982 at the young age of 35.

“‘Godspell’ has a cult following around the world,” said Nancy Fox, director of the production. “It’s more than singing and dancing and storytelling of a familiar tale. There is a real transformation taking place in the cast that moves vicariously into the audience in unexpected ways.

“A group of disparate personalities come together as a new cast — strangers who spend weeks together exploring and expressing and building trust,” Fox added. “They learn to work together as one body that has its own energy and sense of purpose. That sense of belonging and shared group power and dynamics can be life-altering and affirming.”

Fox noted that the play is a fitting metaphor for the origin of CNY Arts Center as “strangers came together and built a body that now works with a common goal and purpose – to address the maladies that afflict the individual residents and tear away the quality of life which create despair for the whole.”

“When everyone works together in a positive context, as demonstrated by the actors working toward opening night, the possibilities for change and hope are increased exponentially,” Fox continued. “A fitting song near the end of ‘Godspell’ tells the audience when faith is shattered and trust is all but gone, we can come together and build a beautiful city as one body all working together regardless of religion, race, wealth, or party affiliations. What we do matters and this live production, this living art, is a vehicle to help us see that played out on stage. This makes ‘Godspell’ a perfect choice for our premiere production.”

Those seeking more information about production dates and times, tickets and reservations may visit the group’s web site at www. CNYArtsCenter.com or call 216-8790.


CNY Arts Center launches new arts camp

As Arty’s Day Camp approaches, preparations are underway to provide students with a comfortable and stimulating environment.

In their new location at the Park Street entrance of State Street Methodist Church in Fulton, CNY Arts Center is organizing five days of artistic enrichment from July 16-20.

Children ages seven to 18 years old may participate in writing, theatre, art, or dance during the brand new week long arts camp.

Jim Farfaglia and Karen Burke will teach “Sizzling Summer Sensations,” the writing track of Arty’s Day Camp.

The team will guide children through story, dialogue, and character development, while learning to capture the details all great writers must include.

The Art track will give students two instructors to work with — Marissa L. Hill and Bonnie McClellan, giving them a variety of technique.

Lesson plans include instruction in ink drawing, sketches, and sculpting Garbage Monsters while igniting their creative intuition.

Leading the Theatre track is CNY Arts Center Director Nancy Fox.  With her experience in theatre of more than 30 years, she will lead her students to develop stage presence and deliver believable characterizations.

Students will have five days of improvisation, fun with props and theatre exercises.

Dance teacher Jennica Vehrs will challenge students with a passion for dance and get students off their feet and on the dance floor with a schedule of ballet, lyrical and contemporary movements, and jazz routine.

Arty’s Day Camp, organized by CNY Arts Center, is the region’s newest summer camp experience for children and will include a three-hour morning class, Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon.  These classes will introduce children to techniques and art experiences in the art track they choose at the time of registration.

A free lunch will be provided for all students and community children ages seven to 18 from noon to 12:30 followed by an afternoon of fun art projects, which is free and open to any child 7-18, from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Students must pre-register whether attending full day or afternoon programming. Those seeking more information or to register may visit www.cnyartscenter.com or call 216-8790.


Art Day Camp to be held July 16-20

The CNY Arts Center, which recently opened a new facility in State Street Methodist Church in Fulton, is offering a week long Arty Day Camp July 16-20. Children will choose from art, writing, dance, and theater classes for a week of learning and hands-on projects.

Morning classes will be followed by lunch and an afternoon of fun art projects for all ages.

Art students will have the opportunity to work with two instructors as classes and the morning schedule are divided by ages 7-12 and 13-18.

Marissa Hill, a graduate of G. Ray Bodley High School with an Advanced Regents Diploma in Studio Art and SUNY Oswego, summa cum laude, with a bachelor’s of fine art in studio art – illustration has studied printmaking, illustration, book arts, sculpture, drawing, painting, and photography.

She will guide students to make their own sketchbook to start and follow through the week with plant drawings, sculpting garbage monsters, painting skies, and printmaking: monsters in nature.

Bonnie McClellan will alternate with Hill to teach color theory through the work of Paul Klee, abstracts, and watercolor paint on book pages.

She will also teach students to paint without brushes, learn ink drawings and sketches, drawing beyond the stick figure, and painting with acrylics on wood.

McClellan recently rediscovered a passion for art and has honed her skills with oil and watercolor among other mediums.

“Sizzling summer sensations Writing Classes” will also boast the talents of two writers to lead students to explore writing concepts such as capturing ideas on paper and then developing written pieces with strong characters, rich details, and strong leads and endings; as well as nurturing the love of writing.

The class’s hard work will result in a finished piece of writing to keep and share with others. Instructor Jim Farfaglia, Writing Program coordinator for CNY Arts Center, is the author of “Country Boy,” a collection of poems chronicling his childhood. His poems appear weekly in The Valley News.

Karen Burke, assisting in the writing classes, is a local writer and teacher.

Dance classes are available with Jennica Vehrs, who will provide students with the opportunity to experience lyrical and contemporary and jazz dancing. Throughout the course of the week, students will learn and participate in stretches to improve flexibility, across-the-floor exercises to improve technique, and both a lyrical/contemporary routine, as well as a jazz routine, to implement the components of these dance styles.

Vehrs is a graduate of SUNY Oswego with a bachelor’s degree in childhood education. She is  pursuing a master’s in literacy and a substitute teacher for the Fulton and Hannibal Central School Districts.

Drama, improv, theatre games and props will be the order of the day for students interested in theater classes.

Students will be led through exercises to expand awareness of the physical environment, learn the who, what, where and why of acting, polish stage presence and discover the tools to create believable characters.

Classes will be taught by Nancy Fox, president of CNY Arts Center, who brings 30 years experience in professional and community theater as director, stage manager, writer, designer, teacher, student, and briefly as an actor.

Students can register for half day or full day programs. Fees apply for half-day morning instruction in art, writing, dance and theater.

Registration is available online at www.CNYArtsCenter.com.

CNY Arts Center is also designated as a Summer Meal Site to offer free lunches to community children 18 and under during the week of Arty Day Camp. Children who attend the lunch will be included in afternoon art projects at no charge. Children in the afternoon program should also pre-register at www.CNYArtsCenter.com.