Writer in Residence at Buker Elementary

Along with the Friends of Buker, we co-sponsored the Writer-in-Residence Program bringing New York Times best-selling author, George O'Connor to Buker Elementary, and it was a huge success! For students in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade, the week kicked off with a dynamic and energetic presentation on the Greek gods. Students learned about character development while watching George do live illustrations of several characters from his Olympians series.

Throughout the rest of the week, enthusiasm filled the classrooms as students participated in several workshops to create their own graphic novel/comic. Students learned the art of character design and how to create the groundwork for their own sequential story. With this knowledge and their own creativity, students really enjoyed the process of writing their very own graphic novel/comic. In addition to the excitement in the upper grades, all students in kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade enjoyed an interactive assembly with George. The students had a blast watching George draw several of the characters from his popular picture books and learned how everyday moments can inspire a great story.

Peter Pan - MRMS, January 2019

“Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning.” Congratulations to the cast and crew of Peter Pan, directed by Christine de Lima at Miles River Middle School this January. Months of good work came together, and the cast put on an exciting performance which engaged young and old audience members alike. Children were mesmerized by the magic of Peter Pan (played by Sophia Comparato), Captain Hook (played by Erin O’Bannon) and Tiger Lily (played by Ella Comparato), while adults were reminded of the very real struggle of growing up by the Darling children (played by Olivia Parrott, Isaac Toledo, and Sinclair Gordon.) There were lots of laughs for the fantastic humor of Mr. Darling (played by Quintin Appel), and the energy brought to the stage by the Lost Boys, Pirates, and Warrior Girls was palpable. The crew seamlessly transitioned from scene to scene, and the use of puppetry and lighting to simulate flying was well received. And who didn’t fall in love with Nana (skillfully played by Annabella Connell and puppet created by Jill Rogati!) More than 80 middle and high school students worked together to bring us the magic of Neverland. Bravo to all involved!

Peter Pan photos courtesy of Ian Drummond, Drum Drum Photo

Into the Woods - HWRHS, November 2018

The Cast and Crew of this year’s musical went "Into the Woods” in fine style!  Nora and Brett Burnett did a terrific job of directing and producing another knock out musical, continuing a fine tradition at the Regional.  The audience loved the weaving together of many fairy tales such as Cinderella (played by Helen Peppler), Little Red Riding Hood (Kate Rubel and the wonderful wolf played by Leo Kagen) and Jack and the Beanstalk (Ian Castracane).  The fantastical story takes our Baker and his Wife (Brendan Callahan and Lily Wainwright) as they navigate through the Woods to find the magical components of a potion to fulfill their wishes, with much musical and comedic accompaniment by the two Princes, played by Will Glovsky and Chris Tsouvalas, and the dramatic demands of a witch, played magically by Bryn Smith.  The Stephen Sondheim score was intricate and challenging, but the cast rose to the occasion and kept the audience engaged and amused the whole way through, ably brought along by narrator Domenic Brown.  

FOTA is proud to have supported the production by funding the mechanical cow Milky White (played by Clayton Harlamert) and created by Jill Rogati, the fog machines, and supporting the tremendous band, which was led by Katie Simko   Bravo to all!