Lyric Theatre Company: Our 49th Season!

07 Jun

The Lyric Link

Maria Mercieca — When I first moved to Vermont in 2003, I only knew a handful of people. I was eager to make friends in my new town, but since I worked from home full-time, my social opportunities were limited. Even though I hadn’t performed in a show since high school, I decided to audition for A Chorus Line in Stowe the summer of 2005. Following the three-week run, a few of my new friends convinced me to audition for Lyric’s fall production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. That was when a handful of friends turned into hundreds of new connections. That was when I met my people in Vermont.

Forum was followed by many more shows with Lyric, plus more productions with Stowe Theatre Guild, Essex Players, and the Lamoille County Players. I was drawn to shows that featured dance — ballet being my true passion. I was thrilled to be a twirling napkin in Beauty and the Beast, to try out my ballroom skills in West Side Story, and to once again hit the stage in the ultimate dance show when Lyric presented A Chorus Line in 2008.

Joining Lyric made me realize how much I missed dancing. I wanted more. But, first, life happened. A quick move to New York, an even faster move back to Shelburne, a wedding, a couple of children, and I found myself living the suburban Vermont dream. I spent less time on stage and more time in the audience at this point. It was at a performance of Lyric’s White Christmas that I first learned about Farm to Ballet. I was so impressed with the choreography, and particularly with the technique of one of the women in the show. At intermission, I read through the program and found out she had been a part of the Farm to Ballet Project’s inaugural season, and that Chatch Pregger (Ballet Vermont’s Artistic Director) had choreographed her beautiful dance duet.

Farm to Ballet is an adult dance company in Vermont that is welcoming to all dancers, regardless of age, size, or experience. They perform outdoors, on farms, and their shows double as fundraisers for the venues. It had never occurred to me that I might be able to perform in a full-length ballet again. I had not trained in ballet for nearly 25 years. My flexibility wasn’t what it used to be. My body had carried two children, and my stamina definitely needed a boost. Still, my passion and desire to perform again won the battle. I auditioned for the troupe that December. The following summer, I danced the Lead Bee.

This summer will be my fourth season as a Soloist with Ballet Vermont. Besides the Lead Bee and various other parts, I also originated the role of the Butterfly, which is now a part of Ballet Vermont’s second production, Bees and Friends. In the fall of 2018, I was thrilled when fellow Lyric member, Jane Burchard, joined Ballet Vermont in the role of the Butterfly. This summer, I’m very excited to share the stage with another longtime member of my Lyric crew, Kim Nowlan Hathaway. I will also be meeting newer members of Lyric who are dancing with us.

My heart has been so happy to find a home with Ballet Vermont and my Lyric family has been there, blankets spread on the grass, supporting me every step of the way. For now, I’m content to spend my offseason attending Lyric productions as an audience member. Still, I do hope to be back on the Flynn stage one of these years. After all, it must be fate that Lyric and Ballet Vermont rehearse on opposite days of the week.


30 May

“Getting to Know All About You”

As our new Executive Director reaches the one-month mark of her tenure, let’s get to know her a bit better with a little Proust-style Questionnaire.

What’s the word that best describes you?

Probably eccentric, and I think it has been the same since I was 4.

What’s the word that best describes Lyric Theatre?


What is a Lyric memory that makes you laugh or smile every time you think of it?

Something that can be published? That’s the trick! Really though, the standing ovation after the Saturday night performance of The Full Monty is one of the coolest moments I have ever experienced. The people at Manhattan Pizza said they could hear the ovation from the Flynn that night, and wondered if U2 had shown up or something. It was just so loud and joyful, and to experience that from Director’s Row as a first time producer for Lyric was unforgettable.   

What character from musical theatre do you most identify with and why?

Probably Patty Simcox from Grease. I think because she is so overly excited about everything she is doing and won’t shut up about it no matter how much other people would like her to be quiet.

What is your biggest indulgence?

Formerly it was Good Comida Cheesecake, but now it’s just the sheer amount of money I spend on ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s, of course.

What do you wish more people knew about Lyric Theatre?

How easy it is to get involved! Seriously, email me or just call. I’m a talker! (802) 658-1484

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Excited. Magic. Joy.

But I don’t think you can overuse joy. 

Which living person or persons do you most admire?

My nieces and nephews. They do exactly what they want, and only do things because it brings them joy. We could all do a bit more of that.

What sound or noise do you love?

I love the sound of an orchestra tuning before a show.

If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My mom’s chicken and rice bake. It’s very specific, but I just love it!

If you were reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be?

I would like to come back as my dog, Bennet, because he is living my same amazing life, but with zero responsibility.

What is your dream job?

I have it.

Well, until I take over the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in my retirement.

28 Mar

Lyric Theatre Announces New Executive Director

After a national search, the Board of Directors of Lyric Theatre is delighted to announce the hiring of Erin Evarts as Lyric’s next Executive Director. Erin has spent the past twelve years working in the Vermont non-profit sector, serving as the Executive Assistant to the CEO of Wake Robin since 2010. Erin also served as Development Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and is the Founder and Artistic Director of Neat, with a Twist. A native of Hinesburg, VT, Erin received a BFA in Theatrical Production and Stage Management from Emerson College.

Erin is well known in the Lyric community. Her Lyric membership dates back 20 years! She has served as the Production Supervisor of three Lyric shows: The Full Monty, RENT, and Hairspray. Erin was also the Director of Lyric’s sold-out production of White Christmas. Erin has worked in a variety of capacities for Lyric: hair, make-up, kid wrangling, costumes, promotions, and parties to name a few. In addition to her work with Lyric, she has worked with Vermont Stage Company, Stowe Theatre Guild, and has been an active member of the Junior League of the Champlain Valley.

Erin states, “Lyric Theatre Company has been a constant in Burlington for almost 50 years, providing high-quality entertainment and an outlet for creativity and cultivating local talent both on and off-stage. I will work tirelessly to preserve Lyric’s traditions while advancing its mission and helping it to expand as a non-profit artistic leader in our community. I’m thrilled to be able to step into this role with Lyric and look forward to fostering an empowering and collaborative environment for our volunteers, all while working in partnership with our Board and community partners to lead Lyric into an era of unparalleled success. On a personal level, I’m over the moon to be able to give back and help shape the future of an organization that has held a special place in my heart for many years.”

Erin will start her new position with Lyric Theatre on April 29, 2019, overlapping and training with Jose for approximately a month. Erin will also be working with and shadowing Jose during Lyric’s production of Mamma Mia! More information about Jose’s departure will be announced shortly. In the meantime, please join us in welcoming Erin!

24 Aug

Lyric Costume Sale – September 15th

Are you looking for that perfect Halloween costume or are you a local community theater looking to stock up your own collection? Then, we have the sale for you! Retro jewelry, past lyric costumes, hats, shoes, odds and ends!

When: September 15 at 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Where: Lyric Theatre Creative Space – 7 Green Tree Drive in South Burlington, VT.
Details: CASH ONLY, no checks or credit cards. Parking on site. No early birds.

Come see us!




19 Jan

I Feel the Snow… I Feel the Cold…I Feel the Air…

Happy New Year! Thank you to everyone who braved the bomb cyclone to audition for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and congratulations to our fabulous cast! A full cast list is included in this issue of The Spotlight, as is a ticket order form so you can join us when we bring the French Riviera to the Flynn Center in April. If you would like to be part of our upcoming production, there are still plenty of ways to be involved. I will be trying my hand at set decoration, but maybe building props or costumes is more to your taste? You can learn more about our many volunteer opportunities on the Lyric website.

As we say goodbye to the holiday season and look forward to the year ahead, there is no shortage of things to look forward to at Lyric Theatre Company. Later this month the Board of Directors and I have our annual retreat where we will strategize ways to strengthen Lyric’s mission as a community arts organization. With the recent opening of the Lyric Creative Space we opened the door to new opportunities for creating and enjoying theater; and we are all excited to discover what those opportunities are.

Speaking of enjoying theater, if you missed our classic Broadway Winter Cabaret at First Night Burlington, there will be a repeat performance at the 50-Plus and Baby Boomers Expo on Saturday, February 3, at the Hotel Burlington and Conference Room. Our traveling Savvy Seniors troupe will also be at the Expo with their unique brand of info-tainment, so come see us in February for a double dose of Lyric–we look forward to seeing you there!

19 Jan

Message from the Board Chair

As we welcome 2018, I wish all of you a very happy and healthy new year! Lyric’s year is off to a strong start, having auditioned and cast Dirty Rotten Scoundrels this week. Thank you and congratulations to the team, all who auditioned, and all involved. I encourage everyone to get their tickets for Lyric’s spring production (April 5-8) at I also recommend checking out the behind-the-scenes opportunities. Volunteering with Lyric is a blast, whether on stage, painting sets, working in the costume shop, creating props, or helping with hair and make-up. With the start of the new year, Lyric’s Board and committees are also hard at work planning for a successful and productive 2018. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions for Lyric.

18 Jan

Announcing the Cast for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Announcing the Cast for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Lawrence Jameson                                              Ryan Morra

Freddy Benson                                          Jayden Choquette

Andre Thibault                                   Don Patrick O’Connell

Christine Colgate                                            Sarah Connor

Muriel Eubanks                                                Chloë Fidler

Jolene Oakes                                                  Hayley Ryan*


Women’s Ensemble

Megan Beaucage    Kaitie Bessette    Jane Burchard

Merrill Cameron    Brita Down    Megan Fariel*

Kim Nowlan Hathaway    Tabitha Kittle*    Tara Mayhew

Elizabeth Pattison    Emma Tichner*    Pam Toof


Men’s Ensemble

Mike Brayton*    Evan Brown    Paul Carlile

Samuel Dickin    Bob Driver    Ian Ferris

Isaiah Gilbert     Chris Martens    Rob Parzych

Andy Whitaker

*denotes first time performing on the Lyric MainStage

Working Crews for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
With rehearsals now underway, there is also activity seven days a week at Lyric’s new Creative Facility. All crews welcome new and returning volunteers. Here are details for the crews which have regular work schedules.

Costumes: The costume construction crew is responsible for making or gathering all of the costumes seen on stage. Not only does this involve sewing, but also gluing, scrounging, cutting, dyeing and much more. The costume crew works together in the costume shop at Lyric’s new Creative Facility and/or volunteers may be asked to take projects home to complete. Working on this crew also gives you the opportunity to sign on as a dresser during the run of the show!

Crew Work Times: Wednesdays and Fridays 5:30-8:30, Sundays 1:00-5:00

Contact: Lyn Feinson, [email protected] or 802-363-6304; Debby Dot Decker, [email protected] or 802-598-3987

Lyric Theatre Company: Our 49th Season!