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May 15, 2017

Theater Kids Rejoice at Screening of NJTV’s “I Can’t…I Have Rehearsal”

NJTV conducted a sneak-peek preview screening of the new documentary I Can’t… I Have Rehearsal at Vineland High School in New Jersey this past Saturday, May 13.

    EP Phil Alongi makes opening remarks as filmmaker Maddie Orton looks on

EP Phil Alongi makes opening remarks as filmmaker Maddie Orton looks on

The hour-long documentary tells the story of six very different high schools from across New Jersey as they rehearse, perform and compete for coveted Rising Star Awards with the very same show: Mary Poppins. Produced and directed by former NJTV News Arts Correspondent Maddie Orton, who is now a member of WLIW’s team, features the theater casts and crews from Franklin High School, Rahway High School, Somerville High School, Summit High School, Union High School and Vineland High School. The film follows ongoing show rehearsals and the off-and-on stage drama and camaraderie of its actors. I Can’t… I Have Rehearsal looks at the differences that budget, arts education offerings, and parental involvement make in the final product.

    Maddie Orton, Eileen Bosco, Musical Director, Melanie Anderson, Fine Arts Teacher and Director and Phil Alongi

Maddie Orton, Eileen Bosco, Musical Director, Melanie Anderson, Fine Arts Teacher and Director and Phil Alongi

Among those who attended the screening were Dr. Thomas McCann, the school’s principal, Melanie Anderson, Fine Arts Teacher and Director of Mary Poppins, Eileen Bosco, Musical Director for Mary Poppins and about 80 students, including former cast members from the musical production and staff.

Executive Producer Phil Alongi opened the screening with remarks about the importance of the arts to him and the network. Orton was on-hand to discuss the making of the film, participating in a talk-back with members of the show’s cast and music director.

During the Q&A, former cast member Thomas Burgess reacted to what it was like to be featured in the documentary: “It was cool to see that there are people all over the place that love theater just as much as we do and are all out there putting on the best show they can. It’s cool and rewarding to know theater kids are not alone, there are a lot of us and we are a force to be reckoned with.” Added his cast-mate Nastasi Mignott, “I was blown away by the fact we were recognized because, as we all know, it never happens here (in Vineland), we’re swept under the rug…this was our big break and we deserved it.”

    NJTV was well represented at the screening event…EP Phil Alongi, Communications Director Deb Falk and Filmmaker Maddie Orton work the table before and after the event.

NJTV was well represented at the screening event…EP Phil Alongi, Communications Director Deb Falk and Filmmaker Maddie Orton work the table before and after the event.

The Daily Journal wrote about the screening, which featured custom tee-shirts and students taking photos at NJTV’s step and repeat.

There will be a second screening at the Union Performing Arts Center tomorrow night, May 16 at 7pm. Guests from all five of the remaining schools featured in the film, will be in attendance. Want to attend? Admission is free, CLICK HERE for directions and parking.

I Can’t… I Have Rehearsal premieres on NJTV this Wednesday, May 17 at 8pm. Click here to watch a preview.

Top image: Post-screening talk-back with L-R Melanie Anderson, Fine Arts Teacher and Director of Mary Poppins at VHS, Maddie Orton, Thomas Burgess, Bert in Mary Poppins at VHS, Nastasi Mignott, Ensemble in Mary Poppins at VHS, Tori Darr, Stage Manager for Mary Poppins at VHS and Eileen Bosco, Musical Director for Mary Poppins at VHS

    Custom-printed I Can’t… I Have Rehearsal were on sale to benefit NJTV

Custom-printed I Can’t… I Have Rehearsal were on sale to benefit NJTV

    Students take photos at NJTV’s step and repeat after the screening

Students take photos at NJTV’s step and repeat after the screening

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