Lyric Theatre Company: Our 46th Season!

03 Apr

Lyric Lends A Hand

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 MASKS

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 recovery@burlingtonvt.gov. 

We are grateful and resolute, and can’t wait to see you at the theater.

From the bottom of our hearts—thank you!

13 Mar

Matilda

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!

05 Feb

The Lyric Link

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.

Tim at Oliver Kick-Off, as Harold Bride in Titanic, and as Corny Collins in Hairspray

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!

Tim and LyricKids alumna Noa Saunders backstage at Disney.

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 gain experiences 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.

-Tim

If you are interested in camps – you can register here: Lyric Kids Summer Camp Registration 2020

22 Jan

Meet the Production Team: The Magic Behind Matilda The Musical

Buy Tickets

It takes a lot more than a stellar cast to make the magic of performing arts come to life on stage. Through countless hours of planning, designing, building, restructuring, scoping, re-scoping, starting from scratch, and taking things to the next level, a production is born at the hands of an entire community of individuals working behind the scenes. The Lyric Volunteers!

As we kick off the new year with our Matilda The Musical cast and crew, we want to invite our friends, family, and audience to take a moment to get to know the production team behind the Matilda magic.

Ian Ferris

Artistic Director

Which Matilda character do you identify with most?
Bruce

Favorite show of all time?
Phantom of the Opera

Favorite subject/class in grade school?
Photography

What do you want to be when you grow up?
An Astronaut

Anything else the audience should know before coming to see Matilda this spring at Flynn Mainstage?
Tim Minchin wrote the Music and Lyrics. He is hilarious and if you’re not familiar with his work you should be.

Rob Parzych

Production Supervisor

Which Matilda character do you identify with most?
Rudolpho

Favorite show of all time?
To watch: Dear Evan Hansen. As a cast member: Hairspray & Grease

What do you want to be when you grow up?
The highest paid street sweeper in every Broadway show.

You’re the newest crayon color in the box. What is your name?
50 Shades of Beige

Anything else the audience should know before coming to see Matilda this spring at Flynn Mainstage?
My hope is that audiences come prepared to suspend their own reality for a few hours. And to experience the magic and wonder of a heartwarming story, lovingly brought to them by their friends and neighbors.

Nate Venet

Music Director


Which Matilda character do you identify with most?
Matilda

Favorite show of all time?
Into the Woods

Favorite subject/class in grade school?
All of it. Really. Maybe science? Reading?

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A philosopher

What are you most looking forward to in the next 3 months of preparing for show week?
Mixing the material from the score and the talent and dedication of the cast and turning it into magic.

Kim Nowlan Hathaway

Choreographer

Which Matilda character do you identify with most?
Lavender- even if you aren’t a genius with telekinetic powers, you can find your own small way of rebelling.

Favorite children’s book?
The Ramona series and Anne of Green Gables series

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I’m 40 and I’m still figuring that out.

You’re the newest crayon color in the box. What is your name?
Salsa red!

What are you most looking forward to in the next 3 months of preparing for show week?
Drilling everyone to perfection!

Freda Tutt

Stage Manager


Which Matilda character do you identify with most?
Lavender

Favorite subject/class in grade school?
Drama

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Now?….. Retired!  When I as a kid – a Broadway Stage Manager

You’re the newest crayon color in the box. What is your name?
Dreams Come Blue

Anything else the audience should know before coming to see Matilda this spring at Flynn Mainstage?
There will always be Trunchbulls in the world, but they rarely win. 

Andy Whitaker

Assistant Stage Manager


Which Matilda character do you identify with most?
Bruce Bogtrotter

Favorite children’s book?
James and the Giant Peach

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A princess

You’re the newest crayon color in the box. What is your name?
Rainbow Magic

What are you most looking forward to in the next 3 months of preparing for show week?
Seeing the cast grow and develop their characters

Jane Burchard

Assistant Choreographer

Which Matilda character do you identify with most?
Matilda when she decides to be “a little bit naughty”

Favorite children’s book?
There are so many!! But I did really enjoy The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Is it too late to be an astrophysicist? 😊

You’re the newest crayon color in the box. What is your name?
Starry Night Periwinkle Glitter

Anything else the audience should know before coming to see Matilda this spring at Flynn Mainstage?
Magic is coming!

Sadie Jones

Assistant Music Director

Favorite show of all time?
Mamma Mia!

Favorite children’s book?
Roald Dahl’s The Witches

Favorite subject/class in grade school?
Music

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A music teacher!

What are you most looking forward to in the next 3 months of preparing for show week?
Being able to see the show progress from the earliest stages to opening night at the Flynn! Since this is my first time on the other side of the curtain, I’m so excited to be able to watch the show from the house.


Subscribe to the Lyric newsletter below and follow @LyricTheatreVT to stay in the loop and follow along with the cast and crew as we prepare for the spring production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical!

Tickets are on sale now on the Flynn Website.

26 Jul

Lyric Goes Solar!

“Let the Sunshine In!”

Lyric Theatre Company is excited to announce that our friends at SunCommon are ready to open sales of memberships in the Lyric Community Solar Array. This is an important development, as we prepare for the installation of solar panels this fall on the Lyric Creative Space roof at 7 Green Tree Drive in South Burlington. This partnership uses our roof to generate clean, renewable solar energy for decades, and will help provide vital financial support to the Lyric organization.

Now that the project is making its way through permitting, SunCommon is opening up the opportunity to buy into the project to save you money on your Green Mountain Power bills, and own a piece of the Lyric Community Solar Array. The project will consist of over 300 modules for a total of about 115kW. That’s about 20 households worth of solar!

SunCommon’s Solar Project Consultant Mike McCarthy will work with folks who are interested in owning part of the project to figure out how many modules they need to offset their utility bills at home, and if financing or a cash discount makes sense for you. Member/owners will receive the solar tax credit benefits, and their portion of the array’s utility credits for 20 years or more. Contact Mike at mike@suncommon.com if you’d like to find out more about becoming a member/owner of the Lyric Community Solar Array. 


Owning Your Part of the Lyric CSA

  • Make it possible to produce clean, solar energy on Lyric’s roof.
  • Save money on your taxes and power bills. 
  • Support Lyric Theatre with a solar lease payment. 

Contact mike@suncommon.com to get started.

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.

Maria

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?

Community.

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!

Lyric Theatre Company: Our 46th Season!