The Demon Barber of the PPP

 The Demon Barber of the PPP

At first glance, Sweeney Todd appears to be a gruesome show. However, lying just below the surface is a world of forbidden romance, selfless sacrifice, and pure love. Ashleigh Williams, the director of the PPP’s upcoming spring musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, says defending someone you love is the consistent theme throughout the show.

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Behind the Curtains of Edwin Drood

A new year brings new mysteries to the Poplar Pike Playhouse. The Mystery of Edwin Drood offers not only a peculiar storyline for its audiences, but also offers the possibility of a different ending to the show every night. However, there is another show going on backstage as technical crews work hard to keep the magic of the show alive each night. While actors perform on stage, the tech crews are busy backstage placing props, giving cues, fixing costumes, and quite literally “turning” the set. 

Inspired by the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens, Rupert Holmes created the musical to complete the work begun by Dickens. The audience decides how the show will end each night, making it the first Broadway musical to have multiple endings. In addition to a different ending each night, the crew backstage at the PPP is prepared to impress audiences with beautiful costumes, incredibly well crafted props, remarkable wigs and makeup, and a brilliant revolving set. 

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is set in England during the 1800’s. Dialogue may help illustrate the time period but it’s the costumes that help transport the audience back in time. With this responsibility, the costume crew must take extra precaution to remain true to the era of the show. 

“Preparing costumes for the show is really an interesting experience,” says costume chairman Avery Moore, “There is so much historical content in every single costume piece and the fact that we help the actors by creating these appearances is so gratifying.”

Costumes are not the only thing the actors need in order to physically become their characters. The makeup and wig crews are working hard to create the various ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds of the characters. Every detail, no matter how fine, must help tell about the character.

“This musical has proven to be very challenging for hair and makeup,” says makeup chairman Mazzy Clements, “There are actors that are portraying completely different nationalities and it is our job to make them look believable.”

Another key element to enhancing the magic of the show is props. Although props may be as small as a cup or as large as a sword, they play an important part in the illusion of the show, especially since the show pertains to a specific time period. As a result, the props crew must work attentively to integrate the props into the show.

“Searching for and creating props centered around the 1800’s is very demanding due to the amount of detail and research required,” says props chairman Deborah Noel, “This show is especially challenging because we have to prepare for various endings each night.”

The props crew certainly pays a great deal of attention to their work, but there is another group of committed students who operate with extreme detail on a much larger scale. The student crew who is building the set have worked tirelessly in their efforts to create a unique backdrop for the musical. Not only is the set for The Mystery of Edwin Drood constructed to look like the time period, it also has an extraordinary characteristic about it. Almost the entire set has the ability to rotate, meaning the stage is able to house multiple “locations” at all times. 

“This is the most challenging and exciting set to build,” says master carpenter Naya Foster, “The sets at the PPP can slide around and change but I have never had the opportunity to construct a revolving one. The feeling of building something so complex is extremely satisfying.”

The Poplar Pike Playhouse will open its curtains for The Mystery of Edwin Drood beginning February 23 and will run through March 11. For more information or to reserve and buy tickets, call the Poplar Pike Playhouse Box Office at (901) 755-7775 or visit PPP.org. To keep with the latest news, follow the Playhouse on Facebook, Instagram (poplarpikeplayhouse), or Twitter (@ppptheatre). 

Mystery Surrounds the Poplar Pike Playhouse

The Poplar Pike Playhouse is preparing for the spring musical season with its upcoming production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. After first appearing on the PPP stage in 1988, the murder mystery broadway hit show proved itself to be a PPP classic.

    Derived from the unfinished novel written by Charles Dickens, the “show within a show” orders the actors to portray two characters, the actors and actresses from the Music Hall Royale and the characters they play in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The musical follows the story of Edwin Drood, a rich and popular young man portrayed by the famous male impersonator, Alice Nutting. Drood is set to be married to the beautiful Rosa Bud, portrayed by young actress Deirdre Peregrine; however, as the show progresses, other male admirers come to light creating turmoil for the two lovers. In the confusion among the characters, Drood disappears and is presumed to be dead presenting the audience with the question, “Who murdered Edwin Drood?” The answer to the murder mystery is decided by the audience, who will make numerous plot-altering decisions throughout the show.

    “The exciting thing about this musical is that each night the audience decides the ending of the show,” says director Ashleigh Williams. “The actors learn multiple endings making each show different and unique.”

    The mystery begins on the Poplar Pike Playhouse stage February 23rd and will run through March 11th. For more information, call the Poplar Pike Playhouse Box Office at (901) 755-7775 or visit PPP.org. To keep up with the latest news, follow the Playhouse on Facebook, Instagram (poplarpikeplayhouse), or Twitter (@ppptheatre).

    The cast of The Mystery of Edwin Drood includes: Alan Toney, Dinah Mitchell, Rodney McKinner, Rachel Christopherson, Mackenzie Kuykendoll, Elijah Bienz, Christian Powell, Sara Mayers, Kyle Bowers, Fred Garner, Andreas Williams, Caleb Suggs, Amber Allen, Kassie Kimble, Kennedy Harris, CJ Jamerson, Andrew Heady, Lundell Simmons, Hannah Everhart, Tia Glover, Dane Henderson, Reyna Katko, Alanna Lee, and Scarlett Simpson. The Mystery of Edwin Drood is directed by Ashleigh Siegfried Williams. Associate director is Kirie Taylor Walz. Matthew Hayner is the musical director. John Hagan is the conductor. 

    The Poplar Pike Playhouse is the theatre complex located on the campus of Germantown High School. The corporate sponsor is Landmark Community Bank.

Germantown Creative and Performing Arts Annual Night of Recognitions and Awards

           Parents, faculty members, administrators and other Germantown High School supporters gathered on May 6th, 2016 to recognize the talented and dedicated students of the GHS Creative and Performing Arts Department (CAPA) for another year of accomplishments.

            The annual Germantown High School Creative and Performing Arts Banquet, held this year at Woodland Hills Event Center, celebrated the end of another successful year and acknowledged the commitment and achievement of the department's hard-working students. CAPA Department chair Allison Rogers Long gave congratulatory remarks throughout the evening. Guests, while enjoying their food and friends, were entertained not only by the colorful student artwork displayed along the walls of the venue, but by a video montage featuring the high caliber musical productions, choral performances and concerts from the past year. The majority of the evening, however, was spent celebrating the CAPA students of GHS and their prestigious achievements in all areas of the arts: including visual arts, instrumental and vocal music, forensics, theatre and television.

            The most anticipated moment of the evening was the announcement of the CAPA scholarship winners for the 2015-2016 school year. Over the course of the evening, more than $30,000 in scholarships and service awards were presented to some of GHS' brightest and most talented students. Nineteen students were awarded scholarships to help further their creative and performing arts educations at the university level. In addition to the many scholarships, several CAPA faculty members and supporters presented service awards and other distinguished honors to deserving students.

        Since its inception in 1977, the Germantown High Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship Program has become a symbol of the hard work and dedication of GHS CAPA students. Numerous civic clubs, private donors and charitable organizations generously donate the awards each year.

            Thespian Troupe #912 faculty sponsor, Kirie Walz, made a special presentation at the banquet this year to announce the winner of the International Thespian Junior Scholarship. Each year the Troupe selects one thespian in the junior class to receive a $4,000 scholarship. This year Elijah Bienz won the award. The money is designated to send the winning student to a four-week summer acting camp at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

The Seth Matthew Rowan Sophomore Achievement Award is presented by the Thespian troupe to a sophomore in the production class who exhibited the greatest potential and leadership qualities; AJ Cocroft won this prestigious award.

            The final presentation of the evening was the announcement of the E. Frank Bluestein Fine Arts Student of the Year. The award is presented to a student who excels in at least two different arts areas. This year it was awarded to Hayley Walsh.

The following are the major scholarships that were announced at the ceremony:

The Germantown Fine Arts Foundation E. Frank Bluestein Fine Arts Scholarship was awarded to Hayley Walsh in the amount of $2,500.

The Germantown Rotary Club awarded Connor Sackett a scholarship in the amount of $2,500. Presented every year since 1976, the Germantown Rotary Club Fine Arts Scholarship is the oldest of all of the GHS fine arts awards. The winner of the award is honored each year at a Rotary Club weekly luncheon.

The Germantown Association, chaired by Paul Cardelli, Robert Lanier, Thane Smith, Jr. and George Walters, awarded one scholarship. The $1,500 Amelda Zent Scholarship was awarded to Elizabeth Rast.

The Seth Matthew Rowan Memorial Fine Arts Scholarship is donated by the Germantown Fine Arts Foundation in memory of Seth Matthew Rowan. The

Germantown High School fine arts student was tragically killed in a car/train accident in the fall of 1994. The scholarship, in the amount of $2,500, went to Raneem Imam. This scholarship, funded through the GFAF Seth Matthew Rowan Endowment Fund, is awarded to a theatre or television student who has made outstanding contributions to the

Creative and Performing Arts department.

A major music scholarship was presented at this year's banquet. The Germantown Band Boosters give an instrumental music scholarship every year. This year's scholarship was awarded to Jaleyn Pearson in the amount of $2,500.

The Germantown Fine Arts Foundation Theatre Arts Scholarship in the amount of $2,000 was presented to Damaris Diaz.

            The Poplar Pike Arts Guild Sara Savell Vocal Music Scholarship is awarded every year to an outstanding vocal music student. Amanda Dickenson received this scholarship in the amount of $1,000. Contributors for this award are the Poplar Pike Arts Guild and Sara Savell.

            Each year the Tri-M Music Honor Society at Germantown High School awards a scholarship to an outstanding member of the society. This year Tri-M has awarded two scholarships of $600 each to Amanda Dickenson and Megan Ware.

The Poplar Pike Arts Guild Jim and Carol Florow Dramatic Arts Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding drama student. The scholarship is named for the organization's long-time members and first co-presidents. This year's winner of the $1,500 scholarship was Jackie Kamin.        

The David Lilly Memorial Fine Arts Service Award is an endowed fund that was established by Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Bamett in memory of Mrs. Bamett’s son David Lilly, a 1994 graduate of Germantown High School. Lilly was highly involved in all aspects of the theatre and television programs at GHS and was himself a scholarship recipient. He passed away in February of 2000. Latavia Willaimsreceived this service award in the amount of $1,000.

            The Germantown Band Booster Service Awards were presented to Megan Ware in the amount of $1,000 and Jeffrey Lin in the amount of $500.

The Germantown Charity Horse Show Scholarship was awarded to Jasmine Saulsberry in the amount of $1,500.

The Douglas Ramsay GHS-TV Service Award is an endowed fund that was established by Bob Ramsay in memory of his father, a longtime supporter of the GHS Fine Arts Dept. Alex Turner received this service award in the amount of $500.

The Deputy Sheriff Ryan Sequin Scholarship was awarded to Rhomel Brown in the amount of $1,000.

The Poplar Pike Arts Guild PPP Service Awards were presented to Wesley Williams in the amount of $500, Trevor Hardin in the amount of $500, Linda Razany in the amount of $500, and Sunny Lane in the amount of $500.

The Choral Music service award was awarded to Lawrenisha Bledsoe in the amount of $500.

 

Other awards presented throughout the evening were as follows:

 Band Merit Awards:

OUTSTANDING FRESHMAN: Sideny Robinson; OUTSTANDING COLOR GUARD CAPTAIN: Trinity Neely; OUTSTANDING FIELD COMMANDER: Megan Ware; OUTSTANDING BAND LIBRARIANS: Jeffrey Lin, Jaleyn Pearson; LOUIS ARMSTRONG JAZZ AWARD: Anthony Towns; JOHN PHILIP SOUSA AWARD: Megan Ware; ALL-WEST BAND:Kendall Howard, Long Truong, Olivia Remak, Braxton Andersen, Obed Calix, Jeffrey Lin, Elizabeth Dang, Jordan Lin, Luis Micolta, Michael Cox, John Dinh

ALL-WEST SENIOR BAND: Daniel Meza; GHS BAND OUTSTANDING MUSICIANSHIP AWARD: Connor Cowan; ALL-STATE BAND: Kendall Howard, Long Truong, Jeffrey Lin, Elizabeth Dang, John Dinh

 

Vocal Merit Awards:

NATIONAL SCHOOL CHORAL AWARD: Evan Hoover

FOUR YEAR SERVICE AWARDS: Ellie Ballin, Callie Beckwith, Lawrenisha Bledsoe, Eric Dance Jr., Erin Dance, Amanda Dickenson, Briana Finch, Evan Hoover, Taylor James, Destiny Parson, Anne Wellford; MOST IMPROVED-CHAMBER CHOIR:Caleb Suggs; MOST IMPROVED-CHORALE: Nia Wells; MOST IMPROVED-WOMEN'S CHOIR: Jaeda Thomas; MOST IMPROVED-GHS CHORUS: Jessica Brimage; BEST HARD WORK/DETERMINATION: Chamber Choir: Tristan Long, Keith Mattix, Roderick Blaylock, D’era Shack; Chorale: Braxton Heard, Kassie Kimble, Taylor James; Women’s Chorus: Cindy Dinh, Makayla Davis, Erica Thomas; GHS Chorus: Kevon Mason and Kendall Woodard; MOST PROMISING FRESHMAN: Rodney McKinner and Abigail Davis; OUTSTANDING EFFORT: Chamber Choir: Carmen Walker, Callie Beckwith, Anne Wellford, and Caleb Suggs; Chorale: Elanis Kelley, Amanda Dickenson, Julie Sandridge; Women's Chorus: Victoria Tarver and Balqiss Al-Attiyat; GHS Chorus: Jackson Landry and Shahid Noordin; ALL SOUTHWEST HONOR CHOIR 2015: Abigail Davis, Trevor Davis, Amanda Dickenson, Evan Hoover, Rodney McKinner, D’era Shack, Caleb Suggs, and Carmen Walker; PARTICIPATION IN ALL-STATE HONOR CHOIR 2016: Amanda Dickenson and Evan Hoover; SENIOR 3 YEAR PARTICIPATION IN CHOIR: Keith Mattix, Mary Grace Payne, Julie Sandridge, Aryn Strickland; SENIOR 2 YEAR PARTICIPATION IN CHOIR: Cliniqué Baker, Diego Boggan, Carmen Walker.

 

Theatre Honors:

BEST ACTOR: Evan Hoover; BEST ACTRESS: Raneem Imam; BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jackie Kamin; BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Alan Toney; MOST IMPROVED ACTOR: Caleb Suggs; MOST IMPROVED ACTRESS: Sara Mayers; OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE MEMBER: Rhomel Brown; BEST NEWCOMER: Dinah Mitchell; OUTSTANDING TECHNICAL THEATRE ACHIEVEMENT: Damaris Diaz, Connor Sackett, Hayley Walsh, Trevor Hardin, Taylor Corpier, Jasmine Saulsberry, Latavia Williams; OUTSTANDING THEATRE MANAGEMENT: Raneem Imam, Damaris Diaz, Hayley Walsh, Connor Sackett, Jackie Kamin.

 

Television Honors:

BEST DIRECTOR: Hayley Walsh; BEST PRODUCER: Jasmine Saulsberry; BEST ACCESS PRODUCER: Latavia Williams; BEST SPECIALTY PRODUCER: Connor Sackett; BEST NEWS PRODUCER: Damaris Diaz; BEST SPORTS PRODUCER: Bryan Scott; BEST REPORTER: Sara Mayers; BEST ANCHOR: Raneem Imam; BEST TECHNICAL PRODUCER: Conor Sackett; BEST VIDEOGRAPHER: Hayley Walsh; BEST EDITOR: Maggie Lathem; MOST IMPROVED: Lundell Simmons; BEST PRODUCTION STAFF MEMBER: Naya Foster; BEST ALL-AROUND: Maggie Lathem; BEST NEWCOMER: AJ Cocroft; GHS-TV AWARDS OF ACHIEVEMENT: Mazzy Clements, Bryan Scott, Connor Sackett, Hayley Walsh, Alex Turner, Wolfgang Stoltz, Maggie Lathem.

 

GHS-TV Adds To Its Walls of Awards

     The Hamilton Eye Institute at the University of Tennessee held its 45th Annual Ophthalmology Alumni/Resident’s Day on Friday May 20th. At this event, GHS-TV Department Chair Allison Long was presented with the Hamilton Eye Institute’s Distinguished Service Award for the hard work of the student run news station. Over the past 18 months, GHS-TV students have worked with the Hamilton Eye Institute to tell their long and storied history with a unique access show called Mentors.

     As Mentors came to a close, the students of GHS-TV worked tirelessly to put the final touches on the show, which highlighted the legacy of The Hamilton Eye Institute. With the effort and the enthusiasm put forth by the students of GHS-TV, Chairman and Philip M. Lewis Professor of Ophthalmology, James Fleming; and Hamilton Professor of Ophthalmology, Barrett Haik awarded the news station with the Institutes very own service award. 

     Established in 1982, GHS-TV serves as the community television station for the city of Germantown. The station cablecasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week each month on Channel 19 and on ghstv.org. GHS-TV serves as a model facility that continues to produce original programming, inform citizens and educate young people interested in telecommunications careers. For more information on GHS-TV’s programming or to watch our live stream, visit ghstv.org. You also can follow the station on Facebook and Twitter.

     Allison Long is the executive producer for GHS-TV.  Leonid Mazor serves as the studio supervisor. Mallory Kenney is the senior producer. Mark Deal is the multimedia producer. Catherine Cohen is the business manager. Bobby Ramsay serves the station as broadcast engineer. The 2015-2016 General Managers are Connor Sackett and Hayley Walsh.

 

 

GHS-TV Adds To Its Collection

      Germantown High School’s award winning news station GHS-TV added to its vast collection of awards at the 14th Annual Midsouth Regional Student Television Production Awards. Senior Raneem Imam brought back the Emmy in the talent category for her on-air work at GHS-TV.

     GHS-TV was also nominated six other times including: Bryan Scott as talent; Anne Frank and Me, Bullying Prevention, and Sneakerheads news stories; GHS-TVs’very own newscast Wake Up Germantown; and Live Coverage of the 44th Annual Germantown Festival in the public affairs category.

      The ceremony took place at The John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University on Wednesday April 27 th . It is presented annually by the Nashville/Midsouth Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the same organization that presents television’s coveted Emmy awards.  GHS-TV also won two national awards before the national organization stopped giving student honors in 2009.

      Established in 1982, GHS-TV serves as the community television station for the city of Germantown. The station cablecasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week each month on Channel 19 and on ghstv.org. GHS-TV serves as a model facility that continues to produce original programming, inform citizens and educate young people interested in telecommunications careers. For more information on GHS-TV’s programming or to watch our live stream, visit ghstv.org. You also can follow the station on Facebook and Twitter.  

      Allison Long is the executive producer for GHS-TV. Leonid Mazor serves as the studio supervisor. Mallory Kenney is the senior producer. Mark Deal is the multimedia producer. Catherine Cohen is the business manager. Bobby Ramsay serves the station as broadcast engineer. The 2015-2016 General Managers are Connor Sackett and Hayley Walsh.

Fall Play - Anne Frank and Me

Fall Play - Anne Frank and Me

The play tells the story of a modern day teenager, Nicole Burns, who is transported back in time to 1942 France.  Nicole experiences the struggles and the hardships of a Jewish girl during the Holocaust.  The theatrical production encourages audience members and fears of both Anne Frank and Nicole Burns.

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