New Artistic Director for the Greece Theatre Company

By on July 27, 2017
Janine Mercandetti

Janine Mercandetti

This past spring Janine Mercandetti was named the new Artistic Director of the Greece Theatre Company, a newly formed division of the Greece Performing Arts Society. “When Eric Vaughn Johnson was named the new President of the Greece Performing Arts Society he reached out to me with a request to breathe new life into the existing GPAS program in Greece. I am very excited about the challenge and to stand on the shoulders of the artistic directors that came before me. I am looking to bring a new face and edgier work to the organization,” Mercandetti says.

Janine Mercandetti grew up in upstate New York. She started dancing at the age of three years old. From that time on she was bitten by the performance bug and a flame was ignited. She continually participated in plays and musicals during grade, middle, high school and college. At the age of 15 Janine was given a full scholarship to study Classical Voice at The Eastman School of Music. She attended DePaul University’s The Theatre School and graduated with a BFA Acting with honors. For over ten years she worked as an actress in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.

About seven years ago Mercandetti decided to return to Rochester and make it her permanent home. “I had achieved some successes, but I wanted to live closer to family. I was looking for a stable life. I spent many years of working and not working and wanted to find some stability in my life,” she says. Since her return to the Rochester area she has worked extensively with the Blackfriars Theatre, JCC, Downstairs Cabaret Theatre and many other local theatre groups.

This Fall Mercandetti will be kicking off Greece Theatre Company’s inaugural production by directing the regional premiere of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Lyric Theatre, 440 East Avenue in Downtown Rochester. The Lyric Theatre is an architectural marvel with superior acoustics that is over 100 years old. It started life as the First Church of Christ. It was one of George Eastman’s major inspirations for the Eastman Theater as confirmed by its near identical Palladium ceiling and the fact that they also share the same red clay-tile roofs and four massive columns. It seats 900 people in the main theater.

The Fall production of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame showcases the music of Alan Menken with lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and is based on the Victor Hugo novel with upgrades from the new book by Peter Parnell. This production features new songs by Menken and Schwartz. It is Hugo’s epic story of love, acceptance  and what it means to be a hero. “This is the area premier of this new theatre version of the classic story. It is a little darker and raw and written with edgier adult themes and content. It is very relevant to what is happening today, the themes are tied together. I am very excited to take this new approach in directing the performance of the classic story of The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” Mercandetti says.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame performances are October 20-29, 2017. For more information and tickets visit www.greeceperformingarts.org.

Photos by Karen Fien

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