Burlington Free Press
When Lyric Theatre opens its production of the Broadway musical “The Prom” on Thursday, Nov. 9, it will mark the start of the 50th season for Vermont’s largest community theater organization.
Lyric did more than just start producing musicals in 1974; the company was integral in reviving a derelict Main Street movie theater that would become one of Burlington’s artistic jewels, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. That Art Deco structure, as it has for half a century, will host the next Lyric Theatre production, through Sunday, Nov. 12.
“The Prom” is inspired by the actual case of a school that canceled its prom when a lesbian couple planned to attend. The lighthearted musical with a message follows four narcissistic Broadway performers aiming to revive their careers by attaching themselves to a cause to make them look less self-centered, and they arrive in town to support the young couple. In the process, the students at the center of the controversy strive to change the minds of wary townspeople and maybe help those self-absorbed Broadway stars see the light themselves.
“The Prom” ran on Broadway in 2018 and 2019 at the Longacre Theatre on West 48th Street in Manhattan, directly across from the Walter Kerr Theatre where Anais Mitchell’s Vermont-conceived musical “Hadestown” opened during the run of “The Prom” in 2019. “Hadestown” would go on to win the Tony Award for Best Musical over four other contenders, including “The Prom.”
Fifty years for Lyric Theatre – that’s a big number. The Burlington Free Press reached out to Erin Evarts, Lyric’s executive director, asking her to share other numbers that help define the impact the theater troupe has had on Burlington, Chittenden County, and Vermont as a whole. Her emailed responses are below.
“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”
“’The Prom’ is Lyric’s 100th show on the Flynn Main Stage – we have however done well over 100 with past productions during First Night, cabarets and concerts throughout the community, our new Theatre for Young Audiences programs, two movies during the pandemic, etc.”
“We have done ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ ‘Guys and Dolls,’ ‘West Side Story,’ and ‘Annie’ all three times.”
“We don’t have a specific number but we recently calculated approximately 2,500 volunteers onstage and behind the scenes.”
“The limit does not exist, thousands upon millions ha-ha. All lovingly cared for by our volunteers.”
“We have sold about half a million tickets to our shows.”
“Actual Broadway credits: Kate Wetherhead, Liana Hunt, Merritt David Janes, Shaina Taub, Kerstin Anderson, Paul Miller, Michelle Dawson, Noa Saunders – dozens of others with Off-Broadway Credits and National Tours.”
WHAT: “The Prom” by Lyric Theatre
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9-Saturday, Nov. 11; 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11; 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12
WHERE: The Flynn, 153 Main St., Burlington
TICKET PRICES: $20-$49.
Contact Brent Hallenbeck at [email protected].
On Thursday, Nov. 10, Lyric Theatre Company kicks off its 49th season with Tony Award-winning show by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, “Into the Woods.” This magical tale is filled with storybook characters you may recognize, but be warned that things are not always as they seem.
“Into the Woods” weaves together the stories of princes and witches, the dangers that lurk in the darkness, and the mystery of the unknown. Follow the journey of a baker and his wife as they set out to break a witch’s curse that prevents them from having a child of their own. Hear Jack’s gripping account of giants who live in the sky and follow a spunky Little Red as she boldly embarks on her dangerous journey to Grandmother’s house. You’ll meet Cinderella and Rapunzel, but don’t expect the typical happily-ever-after.
Based on some of the most well-loved characters of Grimm’s Fairytales, this captivating dark comedy is made even more magical by the uniquely creative musical genius of the great Stephen Sondheim. With gorgeously designed set pieces by Jane Harissis and resplendent costumes by Kerry Farrell, this spellbinding show is a feast for the senses.
Leading the team for Lyric’s “Into the Woods” are Production Supervisor Serena Magnan O’Connell; Artistic Director Andrea Cronan; Music Director Cole Marino; Choreographers Jane Burchard and Rebecca Raskin; Stage Manager Sean Leach; and Assistant Stage Manager Cat Meyers. The enchanting ensemble cast showcases the talents of Connor Kendall as The Baker, Anneka Shepherd as Little Red, Laura Wolfsen as The Witch, Merrill Cameron as Cinderella, and presenting Eamon Lynch in his Lyric debut as The Narrator. Of the 20-person cast, nine will be performing in their first Lyric Main Stage Production.
During each production, Lyric shines the spotlight on another community nonprofit. Our nonprofit partner for “Into the Woods” is the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF,) whose mission is to inspire a love of reading and writing among low-income, at-risk, and rural children up to age 12 throughout New Hampshire and Vermont.
“Into the Woods” will be presented at the Flynn Nov. 10-13, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday, at 1 p.m. and evening performances Thursday through Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. The Saturday evening show will be ASL interpreted, and the Sunday matinee will be audio-described for patrons who are blind or visually impaired. For tickets, call 802-86-FLYNN, purchase online at flynnvt.org or visit the Flynn Box Office in downtown Burlington, open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from noon-3 p.m.
JORDAN ADAMS, Seven Days –
Fully costumed in school uniforms of short pants, knee socks, pleated skirts, ties and blazers, the young cast of Lyric Theatre‘s Matilda the Musical buzzed around the community theater group’s offices in South Burlington. Gathering for a Monday night rehearsal a couple of weeks ahead of the play’s April 7 opening at the Flynn Main Stage in Burlington, the kids created a cacophony of sound that bounced off the warehouse walls and floor. Unapologetically keyed up, they were kids being kids, rehearsing a show with themes that examine the resiliency of children.
Adapted from the 1988 Roald Dahl novel, Matilda centers on a young girl with burgeoning telekinesis who endures bullying from her abusive parents and domineering headmistress. The musical debuted on London’s West End in 2011. It hit Broadway two years later.
After vocal warm-ups, the players took their places for “When I Grow Up,” an ensemble number that utilizes four playground swings suspended from the 24-foot ceiling. Their long chains created broad arcs as the kids began to glide through the air, adding a dreamlike, nearly slow-motion quality to the scene. Similarly dreamy, the song’s lyrics describe hopes and wishes about what life might be like when its singers reach adulthood.https://www.youtube.com/embed/4wF-SPNKLu0
The children muse about, when they’re older, being “smart enough to answer all the questions that you need to know the answers to” and “strong enough to carry all the heavy things you have to haul around with you.” Watching from the corner as they sweetly harmonized, I fell down a mental rabbit hole about what the past two years must have felt like for kids. COVID-19 forced them all to grow up faster than they should. How many years (decades?) will elapse before the pandemic’s impact on their generation is fully understood? I had full-body chills.
Matilda was originally scheduled to open in April 2020. Like all Lyric shows, planning began about 18 months ahead of its original production date, meaning the musical is now more than three years in the making. In the past two years, the company has shown flexibility, endurance and creativity as it has adapted to the disrupted performing arts world. Matilda marks a return to normalcy and a triumph for the theater group.
Postponing Matilda was a first for Lyric and extremely painful, since rehearsals stopped only a few weeks before curtain. Never in its almost five decades had a show been canceled or delayed.
“There was no playbook,” the company’s executive director, Erin Evarts, said about shutting down production. A longtime member of Lyric serving in many capacities, Evarts took the top slot in March 2019.
“When I started talking to other arts executives and cultural leaders, we were all like, ‘Huh? What’s next?'” she continued. “Nobody had an answer.”
But that didn’t mean they would be idle, Evarts explained. The City of Burlington reached out to Lyric to see if the volunteer-run organization could help make masks. Utilizing hundreds of helping hands in its network of crafty folks, Lyric produced approximately 27,000 cloth masks, which were distributed all over the Queen City in the pandemic’s early days.
Though traditional indoor theater was out, Lyric found ways to stay busy and produce work. From fall 2020 through New Year’s Eve 2021, Lyric produced eight small-scale shows. They ranged from solo-heavy outdoor concerts such as “New Leaf,” performed in Stowe, South Hero, and Burlington in September and October 2020, to Looking for the Heart of Saturday Night, a dance musical performed live at Lyric headquarters in November 2021
Meanwhile, Matilda was, quite literally, waiting in the wings. Set pieces sat untouched, and its cast and crew patiently twiddled their thumbs. At no point did Evarts consider scrapping the show.
“When you have something that’s sitting there and ready to go, it felt wrong to move on and do something different,” she said. “I don’t think it was ever even an option for us to not do it. Or, at least, it wasn’t for me.”
The cast remained largely intact, though its youngest members shot up a few inches. Director Ian Ferris said that when rehearsals resumed in November 2021, he had to make sure the kids could still fit in their classroom desks, lest they need to be rebuilt.
Several adult cast members chose not to return, mainly because of pandemic-prompted life changes. Auditions were held again in January to replace the outgoing actors and add a few more.
Phoebe Raphael, 13, who plays Matilda, said she felt like a great deal of time had passed and that she’s “definitely changed a lot in that time.
“I kind of feel like a different person,” she continued. “I feel like [the show] is going to be 10 times better now.”
“She was great two years ago — she’s better now,” Ferris said of Raphael. “There’s just a little more texture to some of her work.”
Raphael said remembering everything about the show was challenging but not impossible.
“The blocking was completely gone,” she said. “But once we got comfortable, it became such a great experience.”
Ferris and Raphael pointed to one song, “Quiet,” as a part of the show that’s benefited from the time away. Ferris described it as Matilda’s emotional peak.
“[Matilda’s] been building up these emotions … It all kind of bursts, but in a calm way,” Raphael explained. “I feel like I can kind of relate to that song a little bit more than I could two years ago.”
Ferris said keeping morale high and the cast connected was paramount during the hiatus. A few months in, he organized and edited together a virtual choir rendition of “When I Grow Up,” with each cast member recording their part separately.https://www.youtube.com/embed/cwWFN9hiJFw
Ferris and Raphael stressed the importance of bonding between castmates. Raphael mentioned that her parents recently reminded her that, upon the show’s initial cancellation, she told them she wasn’t as sad about losing the role as losing her Lyric family.
Though he certainly had the opportunity, Ferris said he wasn’t tempted to retool the show, though it was hard to shut his brain off and let it lie.
“I could have redesigned the show six times in the downtime we had,” he said. “But I didn’t want to create a domino effect of changing all sorts of design stuff.”
For Evarts, the pandemic’s challenges tested her mettle in a role she’d been working toward for years. She quoted the show’s song “Revolting Children” as a metaphor for the company’s malleability. The song plays up the two meanings of the word “revolting”: one an adjective, the other a verb.
“[The line] keeps resonating,” Evarts said. “These are revolting times. And we got through it.”
RYAN ADDARIO –
So proud to add the Key to the City of Burlington to Lyric’s “ring of keys.” Lyric was honored today “for the exemplary service to the people of Burlington in the emergency response to COVID-19.” When we answered the call to help with mask making 472 days ago we didn’t know we would become a hub for volunteers and mask distribution, but in service to our mission and our community Lyric volunteers (and many more) helped craft 27,000 masks for those most in need. Proud to be a part of this amazing community. Thank you Mayor Miro Weinberger for this honor. We were thrilled to be one of 10 organizations honored today.
ALISON NOVAK – Last March, the cast of Lyric Theatre‘s production of Matilda was rehearsing up to 16 hours a week for an April run at the Flynn when the pandemic put an abrupt halt to the show.
Nearly 15 months later, the Roald Dahl-inspired musical is still on hold. But the South Burlington-based company is preparing to launch back into live performances with an entirely different show: A Year With Frog and Toad.
Based on the popular stories by Arnold Lobel, the 90-minute musical will be performed entirely outdoors in June at three venues — Shelburne Museum, Williston’s Dorothy Alling Memorial Library and Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library.
“It’s a really smart, witty show that parents will like, as well as kids,” said Lyric executive director Erin Evarts.
Frog and Toad is a Theatre for Young Audiences production, which means it is written specifically for children but is performed by adults, said Evarts. It’s a new format for Lyric and one she said she hopes to continue going forward.
Performances are free, thanks in part to the Vermont Department of Libraries, and the Children’s Literacy Foundation will also donate 100 Frog and Toad books per show.
It made sense to partner with libraries to present the show, given its subject matter and youth focus, Evarts added. There’s a strong connection between “the joy and the wonder of reading” and “the joy and the wonder of theater.”
Jayden Choquette, who’s appeared in many Lyric productions over the past nine years, was slated to play Mr. Wormwood in Matilda last spring. Now, he’s playing Toad. The return of live performances is “the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “Theater has always been my biggest passion in life.”
In college, Choquette directed a production of A Year With Frog and Toad with child actors, so he was already familiar with, and enamored by, the show.
In the lead-up to the performance, the five-person cast began rehearsing online. Choquette described it as “a very interesting process.” It was easy to get a handle on the acting and choreography via the internet, but singing was a different story. The majority of the songs include five-part harmonies, so trying to practice them with an audio lag and microphone issues was hard, he said. The cast eventually transitioned to in-person rehearsals, and Choquette says he’s grateful for the opportunity to rehearse in the same space as his fellow actors.
And Evarts is grateful that audiences will soon get to experience the joy of theatergoing again.
With more than a year without live performances, people have missed “the sense of camaraderie and a shared experience,” said Evarts. It’s something “you can’t replicate at home and on a Zoom, and I’m really excited to have people back in that setting.”
KYLIE HALPIN—As we navigate through a year of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty, we are about to enter a season characterized by change itself. We have seen a historic shift in a world facing a global pandemic, which has forced many of us to evolve our perspectives, loosen our expectations, and explore new ways to bring communities together despite the climate we face in 2020.
Throughout the year, Lyric has seen an overwhelming amount of support from local communities who are coming together to celebrate the passion of a common thread: the magical art of performance. The evocative beauty and truth set forth by the theatrical arts continues to speak to the human condition as it persists throughout our culture. It is a magic so profound that it exists just as strongly today as it does in the annals of our childhood memories. With change on our minds, we are so thrilled to be returning to the stage this fall with three upcoming shows. Outdoor performances, video production, and virtual rehearsals characterize Lyric’s Season of Change as we prepare to bring you three unique theatre experiences that tell the story of a world evolving with hope.
New Leaf: An Outdoor Musical Cabaret
Performing to outdoor locations throughout Vermont, New Leaf is a musical theatre cabaret that will feature four socially-distant performances in September and October. These free concerts, with themes of change, will highlight both traditional and contemporary musical pieces from the Broadway catalog. Directed by Vermont native Pearl Guerriere with music direction by Andriana Chobot, New Leaf presents a cast of both newcomers to Lyric as well as veterans that audiences will recognize from the Lyric Mainstage.
“The cast of New Leaf is absolutely spectacular. I feel very lucky to be working with such uniquely talented individuals. Their incredible voices are sure to fill the hills of Vermont with music once again! I’m so excited for local audiences to see this show and experience all the joys of live theatre.” Declares first time Lyric director but long time Lyric member and performer Pearl Guerriere.
September 26 & October 3 at 5:00 pm – Trapp Family Lodge Meadow
September 27 at 2:00 pm – Snow Farm Vineyard in South Hero
October 4 at 2:00 pm – Burlington City Hall Steps
Tickets to all of these concerts are free, but for Trapp Family Lodge and Snow Farm Vineyard concerts you will need to reserve a ticket in advance.
Songs for a New World
Songs for a New World is a contemporary song cycle written for the stage by Jason Robert Brown. This unique performance will be Lyric’s first full scale musical to be recorded for a virtual audience. With a streaming release date in November, we look forward to bringing our cast and crew together this fall for the rehearsal process and recording of this production both in the Lyric Creative Space and “on location”.
Directed by Lyric veteran Brita Down with music direction by Nate Venet, this spectacular performance will mark a new chapter of innovation and outward thinking for Lyric Theatre Company.
Sharing her vision for the show, Brita describes Songs for a New World as “a collection of stories that stand alone as glimpses into different lives and worlds but that are also joined by this common human experience.” She reveals the three themes that are woven into her interpretation of Brown’s writing, the first being our reality in the year 2020 and the historic things that are happening on a global level. The second theme tells the story of being part of a performing arts community without the usual outlets for creative expression that we’re accustomed to. The final theme highlights gratitude felt for the beautiful oasis of our Vermont home, the appreciation of which is paramount during times of cultural tension.
“Songs for a New World is about change – the pivots, the possibilities, the hurt and the growth, the ways that change and choice can bring us together or break us apart.”
Stay tuned for ticket information during the upcoming weeks as the cast and creative team prepare for the premier streaming of Songs for a New World!
Miracle on Green Tree Drive: A Lyric Family Christmas Special
Lyric has announced audition information for another recorded, streamed performance set to release just in time for the holidays.
Miracle on Green Tree Drive is a televised Christmas Special celebrating Lyric’s survival through these tough times and our unwavering commitment to ring in the holiday the only way we know how: through song and dance, and storytelling.
Directed by Mike Fidler, music direction by Ashley O’Brien, and cinematography by Ian Ferris, this exciting show will be entirely pre-recorded with an online streaming date in mid-December, as well as screenings via public access television. Fidler comments; “I can’t tell you how excited I am to be involved in this project. The TV format is going to be super-challenging for everyone involved and working in a studio is going to get us right out of our comfort zones technically. For performers it’s going to be a whole new world of cameras, marks on the floor and the opportunity to do it again! The script is fantastic – there are countless safe and creative opportunities for people to get involved, and the show as a whole is really going to capture a moment in time for Lyric Theatre. and the show as a whole is really going to capture a moment in time for Lyric Theatre. I think people will be looking back on this for many years.”
The vision of the creative team is to produce a completely original Lyric version of a 60’s Variety Christmas television show… think Lawrence Welk, except packed full of Lyric members doing Holiday songs and sketches with costumes, scenery, and special effects. A few songs, a few jokes, a few tears, a few memories, and a whole lot of fun. Want to get involved in this magical performance extravaganza? Check out the Miracle at Green Tree Dr. page for more information about how to get involved!
So our theme as we move into a new season is clear: the world is changing, and so are our stages. Yet our purpose remains the same. Through optimism and innovation and driven by the passion we share for the performing arts, Lyric is proud of the work being done at every level to bring the visions of our creative teams, crews, performers, and massive community of volunteers to a new stage. We can’t wait to once again share this magic with our friends and families and brighten the world with the hard work and community spirit on which we pride ourselves.
Lyric’s Safety Regulations During the COVID-19 Health Crisis
Lyric Theatre Company strictly follows the health and safety guidelines recommended by the CDC and the Vermont Department of Health. In addition to our performances being presented to remote or distanced audiences, we strongly enforce a number of precautions onsite to ensure the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and community.
If you have any questions or concerns about Lyric’s safety policies in response to the COVID 19 pandemic, please email Erin Evarts at [email protected]
EMMA JARVIS—Hello, Lyric Community! For those of you who do not know, I will be in the Lyric Theatre Company Creative Space this summer as an intern. I am elated to be working at Lyric with such passionate and driven co-workers. Although this summer is unique due to these turbulent times, I can’t wait to aid in promoting art and strengthening the community during my time here.
I feel lucky to be a South Burlington local, and to have grown up in an area where the arts are embraced and encouraged. I have been involved in theatre for around a decade, starting with my role as a chorus member in Tiger Lily’s tribe, in Orchard Elementary School’s production of Peter Pan. I was a painfully shy child who didn’t have many outlets, and barely had a handful of friends; finding my connection to the stage changed all of that. Theatre allowed me to find my voice, expand my boundaries, and develop a stronger emotional understanding of others and the world around me.
I started working with famed Lyric Theatre Alum, and fellow Lyric Link haver, Tim Maynes, once I entered Middle School. I learned a lot from Tim about stage presence, storytelling, and the difference between stage left and stage right. Under his direction, I played roles such as Mrs. Mayor in Seussical, and a Poppy in The Wizard of Oz.
At this point, members of my family saw my interest in theatre and started to take me to a plethora of Lyric shows. Since I saw my first Lyric Show, Hello, Dolly, I’ve been a fervent supporter. Some of my all time Lyric favorites are Titanic, Legally Blonde, Les Misérables, and White Christmas. I have always left the theatre so proud of the great art that my community was able to come together and create, and so motivated to continue to participate in theatre myself.
In 2015 I made my only official Lyric stage appearance as “The Baker” in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat through LyricKids. I was able to shine alongside my teva-clad cast, as we zeroed in our complete focus on putting together the best performance we could in only a week’s time. (Taking a healthy amount of breaks to play high energy theatre games along the way!) This gave me the chance to meet other kids from across the state who shared the same passion for performing. The talent and commitment to theatrical excellence was like nothing I had experienced before. This was a turning point for me, and it was electrifying to make serious and well orchestrated theatre with like minded peers. I continued on to participate in theatre at South Burlington High School and participated in The Flynn’s Show Choir as well as many Flynn Summer Youth Theatre Musicals, where I was able to create amazing art under the guidance of Ryan Addario, Lyric’s Development and Marketing Coordinator, and dance instructor extraordinaire! Getting to fill my time surrounded by talented and devoted creatives and peers, reassured me that I needed to pursue a career in which I could help others have these same opportunities.
I am now a rising senior at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, majoring in Business and Management with a concentration in Arts, Policy, and Nonprofits, with a minor in Theatre Studies. This is in pursuit of my goal to help create and foster spaces that concentrate on community placemaking and the performing arts. It was the growth that I saw in myself and my peers once I started to do theatre that motivated me to pursue a career path in which I could help spread and promote accessibility to the arts. Being that Lyric’s core motivations are community connection, theatrical expression, and education, it seems as though there couldn’t be a better place for me to be this summer.
Although I have not had a lot of experience working with Lyric theatrically, it feels as though I have always been a part of the Lyric family. So many of my mentors and role models have come up through Lyric or had some semblance of a hand in one or numerous Lyric Productions. Lyric has cultivated so many positive artists and creatives, that I owe nearly my entire theatrical knowledge to it. Even sitting as an enthusiastic audience member I feel as though I have gained so much from Lyric, as it is such a major staple of locally produced theatre in Vermont. Something I have always appreciated about the Vermont theatre scene as a whole, is that there is a sentiment of lifting each other up, and supporting each other in creative endeavors. There isn’t cut-throat competition, but rather a notion that we are here to collectively embrace any and all new art created by our peers—I believe that this has strengthened the bond we have as a community immensely. Lyric, in my opinion, is one of the champions of this positive theatrical support chain, as the key to Lyric seems to be that everyone and anyone who is interested can find some way to participate. And this makes Lyric an immensely important and strong organization that I am so proud to be working with.
Lyric Theatre Company is honored to have been cast in a new role—helping in the production of masks for essential workers in our community. At the behest of the Burlington Mayor’s Office and Burlington City Council, the Lyric Creative Space has been transformed in recent days, as we marshal our resources to help out.
We so appreciate all the interest in joining in the effort. In order to most efficiently manage the logistical undertaking this project involves for our army of volunteers, staff, and community partners, we ask that you carefully read the points below.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP SEW
Simply stop by the Lyric Creative Space at 7 Green Tree Drive between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. There is no need to call ahead or make arrangements prior to arriving, and we kindly ask that you refrain from doing so, as we have been inundated with many well-intentioned calls and emails, but have limited capacity to respond.
When you arrive at the Main Entrance, you will be greeted by a Lyric volunteer wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and maintaining compliance with social-distancing recommendations. We ask that you please follow suit, and not fully enter the building. The volunteer will provide you with a kit, containing all of the materials and directions necessary to make 15 masks. You may take as many as you feel you can finish, but please keep in mind you can come back as often and as many times as you would like.
When you are done, simply return the completed masks and any leftover materials back to us, and we will get them to the next stop on their journey.
The design, fabric, and process, has been prescribed by the City of Burlington, prior to our involvement. The masks in each kit vary in size, and are made using the provided bull denim, which will significantly reduce exposure for the wearer. They will ultimately be used by non-medical support staff performing a variety of essential functions in our community, and ensure that compliant medical masks are reserved for the healthcare workers who need them most.
After they are returned to Lyric, completed masks will be transported to Gadue’s Dry Cleaning, where they will be cleaned, and prepared for dissemination in the community at the direction of public health experts and local officials.
If you have already picked up a kit to help make masks, click here for a video with some helpful tips.
WE ARE NOT PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS
Lyric’s function in this process is as a hub for the distribution of materials and as a base of volunteer labor. If you have additional questions about the project, the masks, or related efforts, please contact the City of Burlington directly by calling (802) 755-7239 or via email at [email protected].
We are grateful and resolute, and can’t wait to see you at the theater.
From the bottom of our hearts—thank you!
THE SHOW MUST GO ON—In forty-six years of operation, Lyric Theatre Company has never cancelled a production—and we are fiercely determined to not abandon this sacred principle now, despite the extraordinary circumstances facing our community, nation, and world. However, with the health and safety of our beloved community in mind, we will be postponing our production of Matilda until we can do so with the unbridled joy that it deserves.
As we had promised, we are following the lead of national and state health officials, and actively working with our friends at the Flynn, as well as our incredible army of supporters and volunteers to reschedule. Details will be communicated via our website, social media accounts, and email in the coming weeks regarding timing and ticketing, but rest assured, you will see Lyric’s production of Matilda. We appreciate your patience as we work through the many moving pieces, and we will work tirelessly to provide you with logistical details as soon as they are determined.
Though we are in uncharted territory, there is no other community we would rather be serving and working alongside. We are grateful for your support and certain of our collective resilience.
As always, we will see you at the theater!
Tim Maynes – I love when various parts of my life connect – and that will happen in a big way this summer, when young artists perform The Lion King KIDS and Frozen KIDS as part of the LyricKids Camp.
I am currently living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where I am the Education Programs Manager at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. So you might be wondering: What connection do I have to a group of students putting on a show over 1,500 miles away from me?
To understand that, we must rewind to a cold morning early in 2003…
I am a senior at South Burlington High School attending auditions for the All State Music Festival when my phone rings and I get a call that will change the course of my life: I have been cast in Lyric Theatre’s production of The Secret Garden as Dickon Sowerby. That was the moment I became part of the Lyric Theatre family, and set off on an exciting path in the world of theater.
After debuting on stage with Lyric in 2003, I went on to perform in five Lyric productions (including Titanic, Hairspray, and The Full Monty) and direct two others (Peter Pan and Oliver!). Additionally, I served on the Board of Directors as Education Chair, and as the Artistic Director of the LyricKids program. Through all these various avenues of participation, I met and worked with incredible people who have become life-long friends. I saw what can be accomplished through the hard work of hundreds of volunteers. I taught—and learned from—young performers, whose joy and love of theatre kept me inspired. As I gained invaluable skills, my experiences as a part of the Lyric community propelled me to where I am today.
I have many fond memories of hot summer days spent inside the Williston Central School auditorium (where LyricKids camps used to be held) rehearsing shows alongside other Lyric artists, including Matilda production team members Nate Venet and Kim Nowlan Hathaway. I also had the privilege of working with the legendary Al Myers, whose spirit and approach to education I keep with me every day. Many of those LyricKids are all grown up now. Most have graduated college. (Some are even married!) But I hope they, like me, still look back on those days fondly. I love knowing that LyricKids continues on, and that each and every summer students are making new wonderful memories together.
In 2013, ten years after first joining Lyric, I enrolled in graduate school at Syracuse University, and then moved to New York City, where I worked in the Education department at Disney Theatrical Group. Part of my job there was to work on the line of shows designed expressly for middle and elementary school students—the Disney JR. and KIDS Collection. In this role, I was able to draw on my experiences directing LyricKids, where we had produced multiple shows from those very collections, including The Jungle Book KIDS, The Aristocats KIDS, and Alice in Wonderland JR. Because of this experience,I was able to bring the perspective of a teacher and director to the table to help guide the content of the shows and the supplemental materials (including lesson plans, blocking tips, and design ideas) that come with the shows to help other educators stage their own productions.
Here is where the parts of my life come fully together: Two of the shows I worked on while at Disney Theatrical group were—you guessed it—The Lion King KIDS and Frozen KIDS. I worked alongside many brilliant people who helped put those shows together, and I know the students in this summer’s LyricKids camp are in for a real treat!
Lyric Theatre is an incredible
company and an incredible family. It not only builds community and puts on high
quality productions, but it also provides opportunities to learn skills and
s on a scale that few people ever get. I know that
receiving that call as a high school senior all those years ago, and then being
welcomed into the incredible group that is Lyric, provided me with the
experiences that allowed me to discover my passion for arts education and
develop the skills necessary to allow me to succeed in pursing that passion.
As I write this from Florida, where each day in my current role I get to work on arts education programs for students, I remain thankful to Lyric for the path it set me on. While I’m not there day-to-day, and I may not get to see every show, Lyric remains a huge part of who I am.
No matter how many miles away my path takes me, I will always love my Lyric family—and will always be “Dickon with a Stickin” at heart.
If you are interested in camps – you can register here: Lyric Kids Summer Camp Registration 2020
Lyric Theatre Company: Our 50th Season!