September 5, 2008
Contact David Applegate
(732) 528-3735 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Algonquin Arts to Head Theatre Programs for Two Asbury Park Schools
Algonquin Arts in Manasquan will be teaming up with the Asbury Park Schools to continue the successful Acting Studio at the High School and Stage Time at the Middle School to create exceptional after school theatre programs this fall and spring. Students involved in these programs will be instructed and directed by professional actors William Whitefield and Gary Kilmer.
Algonquin Arts has a long standing relationship with the city of Asbury Park, and these theatre sessions will aid in the continuation of outreach programs for the local youth. The programs were originally launched by freelance actor William Whitefield and ArtsCAP, a non profit group of artists in Asbury Park, to help fill a need in the high school and middle schools’ programs. It started out with a handful of students participating in improvisational-type exercises and blossomed in a year’s time to produce the exciting, full-scale musical You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown this past spring. After two successful years, the program will now be overseen by Algonquin Arts Theatre, which recently appointed William Whitefield as the Director of Arts Education. These theatre classes are designed to create safe and supportive after school programming opportunities for Asbury Park youth. Students will be taught creative, non-violent alternatives to confrontation and have the opportunity to increase creativity, presentation skills, and self esteem.
During the school year, the after school sessions for Stage Time will meet on Tuesdays at the Asbury Park Middle School. There will be a short play performed in either late November or early December 2008 and a spring play performed in late April of 2009 for the students at the Middle School during the school day.
The after school sessions for The Acting Studio will meet on Wednesdays at Asbury Park High School. The fall play, Voices From The High School written by Peter Dee, will be performed at the high school on Friday, November 21, 2008 and Saturday, November 22, 2008. On Monday, November 24, 2008 the play will also be performed at Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan, NJ. The play is about the trials and lessons that high-school-aged students face on a daily basis from bullying to peer pressure to drug abuse. The Spring Musical (to be announced at a later date) will be performed at the high school on Friday, April 24, 2009 and Saturday, April 25, 2009, and on Monday, April 27, 2009 at Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan, NJ.
The Director of Education for Algonquin Arts, William Whitefield is thrilled to be working with Asbury Park students on such a professional level. “I really want the high school students to have the full theatre experience. That’s why we will present one performance of the fall play and one performance of the spring musical at Algonquin Arts Theatre. Students will have the chance not only to perform a show at their own school, but also have a shot at performing at a professional theatre with a professional staff and crew.”
William Whitefield, who will be one of the instructors of these programs, is a respected director, composer, lyricist and performer from Asbury Park, NJ via NYC and Nashville. Recently, he composed music and lyrics along with Bill Castellino and Christopher McGovern for Crash Club, a new musical and NEA award recipient that played to sold-out houses at Cherry County Playhouse in Muskegon, Michigan. In the past, he collaborated with science fiction writer Ray Bradbury on the musical adaptation of The Day It Rained Forever, based on Mr. Bradbury’s short story of the same name. He also composed music for The 13 Hallucinations of Julio Rivera, a new play by Stephen Culp, which was originally performed at The Lark Theatre in New York City and recently played at David Mamet and Sam Shepherd’s Magic Theatre in San Francisco.
As an actor, William Whitefield has recently completed a run in the lead role of Giuseppe in The Gondoliers, the role of Bill Bobstay in H.M.S. Pinafore, and the role of a pirate in The Pirates of Penzance starring Hal Linden all at City Center in New York City. He was featured in The Presidents starring Rich Little, first at the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center then at TheatreFest in Monclaire. The show was later taped for TV at The Paris Theatre, Las Vegas and subsequently aired on PBS. Recently, he was appointed as Director of Arts Education at Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan, NJ.
Gary Kilmer, the other instructor of these programs, graduated from Millikin University with a BFA concentration in Musical Theatre and a Secondary Performance Minor in Dance. After college, Gary joined the National Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Donny Osmond, and while touring helped develop and teach the Being A Star Outside The Theatre educational outreach program that eventually toured with the production. He's performed in On The Town, The Secret Garden, South Pacific, Candide, The Boyfriend, Fiddler on the Roof, The Will Rodgers Follies, The Sound of Music, (just to name a few), and was most recently seen in the cast of both the National Tour and Broadway companies of Chicago: The Musical. Having moved to Asbury Park six years ago, Gary has been very involved in the arts community and serves on the Board of Directors for The Black Box Theatre of Asbury Park.
To find out more information about these theatre programs and future educational programs at the theatre, please contact William Whitefield, the Director of Education, at (732) 528-9266 or email@example.com. For general information about the theatre and future performances, please contact the box office at (732) 528-9211 or visit www.algonquinarts.org.
Algonquin Arts was founded in 1992 as a nonprofit corporation to provide cultural enrichment and educational enhancement of the highest quality for the residents of New Jersey’s central region. Programming of Algonquin Arts is made possible as a result of the continued philanthropic support of private citizens and organizations such as New Jersey State Council on the Arts, OceanFirst Foundation, New Jersey Cultural Trust, Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, PNC Foundation, Manasquan Savings Bank, Woman’s Club of Brielle, Bank of America, Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation, Investors Savings Bank Charitable Fund, Verizon Foundation, Plangere Foundation, as well as many generous individuals and local businesses.