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Greece Arts Teaming-Up

By on October 26, 2017
Greece Choral Society

Greece Choral Society

The Arts in Greece are Teaming-Up for the Biggest Project…Yet

Earlier in 2017 The GreecePerforming Arts Society’s (GPAS) President, Eric Vaughn Johnson, announced the reopening of The Greece Theatre Company as part of the Next Chapter rebranding initiative.

The Greece Theatre Company will act as a vehicle of collaboration between The Greece Choral Society, Greece Concert Band, Greece Orchestras, Greece Jazz Band, and Greece Central Schools all while putting on high quality works of theatre for the community featuring actors of all ages.

The first of many projects is the Upstate New York regional premiere of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, made famous by the classic Disney animated film of the same name. The live stage show has premiered in Germany, Canada, and across the United States, but never performed in Upstate New York, until now. The cast is made up of 19 strong, local adult performers from around Monroe County, as well as several youth performers filling in the children’s roles. The cast performs alongside  many Greece performers as the result of new community partnerships. The most visible collaboration is with The Greece Choral Society that performs alongside the cast on stage. Half of the 70-person choral group acts as the church choir in the production, filling out the extravagant Alan Menken musical-score, while the other half volunteers in other roles behind the scenes.

For over 40 years the Greece Choral Society has performed for audiences both in Rochester and beyond, celebrating the choral art in various genres and capacities. Recently, members of the Choral Society, under the direction of Dr. Rollo Fisher, performed at Carnegie Hall in the Masterworks Series. The full ensemble meets weekly and performs all types of choral music.

The Greece Concert Band, Greece Orchestras, and Greece Jazz Band will also be participating in the project. Select members of each group will perform alongside Eastman School of Music students and other local musicians in the 20-piece orchestra.These Greece instrumental groups perform multiple concerts across Rochester each year, but this is their first chance to collaborate professionally.

Additionally, The Greece Central School District will be sending performing arts students in grades 9-12 to be involved in all elements of the production. Students will be working stage crew, spotlights, concession stands and more. This partnership, as well as the new Young Artists Competition in December, will be the first of many youth-based projects GPAS is initiating in their rebranding.

Johnson is no stranger to forming community partnerships.  In 2014 he worked with Facing Race, Embracing Equity for a benefit production of The Wiz at the Rochester Science Museum. In 2015 he brought RAPA and the Rochester Latino Theatre Company together to produce the first Rochester production of In the Heights for three weekends of sold-out performances. In 2017, Johnson continued his collaboration with the LGBT Giving Circle, the Gay Alliance and Broadway Cares to produce The Wild Party: The Musical, after originally forming the partnership in 2015 for Bare: A Pop Opera and in 2016 with Spring Awakening.

Johnson welcomed Janine Mercandetti as the new GPAS Artistic Director to lead the project. “The unique structure of GPAS provides a wonderful opportunity for the revived theatre leg of the organization,”said Mercandetti. “The theatre company allows all legs of the group to collaborate and grow together to give Rochester audiences an exciting theatre experience.”

The Hunchback of Notre Dame remaining performance dates are Thursday, October 26 at 7:30 pm; Friday, October 27 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, October 28 at 7:30 pm; and Sunday, October 29 at 6 pm at the Lyric Theatre, 440 East Avenue. Tickets are available online at www.GreecePerformingArts.org and at all area Wegmans. Tickets are $25 for adults and $22 for seniors and students. For more information visit www.GreecePerformingArts.org, follow GPAS on Facebook or call the GPAS Hotline at (585) 234-5636.

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