Summer Stage Theater To Present “Greatest Show On Earth”

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WESTFIELD—Just as song lyrics from “Barnum” invite everyone to “Just join the circus like you wanted to, when you were a kid.  Climb aboard before it moves on and you’ll thank your lucky stars you did,” so director Kenneth Horn hopes that aspiring actors, in grades 6 through 12, will join the cast of the Summer Stage Theater in the  2010 production of “Barnum” this July.

With 854 performances on Broadway, this award-winning musical, with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Michael Stewart and book by Mark Brambic, is based on the life of the infamous Phineas T. Barnum.  It traces his journey from sideshow huckster to his collaboration with James Bailey to form “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The plot explores the ups and downs of his life as he builds his entertainment empire, and the show entertains us with a myriad of circus acts and novelties.

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In an interview discussing his selection, Horn revealed, “When weighing possible show choices for the Summer Stage Theater’s third season, I wanted to choose a work that would speak to the ladies, the gentlemen and the children of all ages.  ‘Barnum’ is a show that accomplishes that, and more.” He continued, “I chose ‘Barnum’ because I am convinced that the show offers many opportunities to allow campers a chance at exploring and growing their performance skills, while allowing each camper  his/her ‘time in the spotlight.’”

The program will be held at Roosevelt Intermediate School, 301 Clark Street in Westfield, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. daily from June 29 until July 30.  The production is slated for afternoons and evenings of July 28 and 29. There is no audition needed to become part of the cast and enrollment is open to students from all communities.

In addition to Horn, who is on the staff of Edison Intermediate School in Westfield, Karen Romero, a staff member at Westfield’s Roosevelt Intermediate School, will serve as musical director.  Both educators have professional theatrical credits as performers and directors as well. Choreography will again be designed by dance instructor Irene Ulesky, a veteran member of the Westfield Summer Workshop who has choreographed many musicals for the WSW, among them the last two Summer Stage Theater productions of The Wiz and Little Shop of Horrors.

The Summer Stage Theater is part of the Westfield Summer Workshop, which offers courses in arts, crafts, music, dance, drama, musical theater and more for students from pre-kindergarten to grade 8. Courses are taught by degreed and/or certified teachers, experienced performers and professional artists.  A registered nurse is on staff during the morning program.

For more information on the Summer Stage Theater or the Westfield Summer Workshop, call 1-908-518-1551 or visit the NJWA studios at 150-152 East Broad Street, Westfield.  Log on to www.njworkshopforthearts.com for additional information.

Director Kenneth Horn and musical director Karen Romero take a break from directing duties while resting in the jaws of the carnivorous plant from last July’s Summer Stage Theater production of Little Shop of Horrors. Photo courtesy of NJWA.


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