Methuen Students to Take the Stage at Stoneham Theatre ~ Winter Fest 2015

Stephen Zubricki

(Stoneham, MA) Two Methuen students will perform on stage at Stoneham Theatre as part of the young company Winter Festival 2015 from January 30–February 8, 2015. the young company offers year-round theatrical training and performing opportunities for children in grades 1–12. Divided into four ‘acts,’ the young company brings together students in grades 1–3 for overture, grades 4–6 for act 1, grades 7–9 for act 2, and grades 10–12 for act 3. The Winter Festival is one of two audition-only programs the young company offers. This year’s Winter Festival will showcase students in four musicals: Piggy Nation (overture + act 1), Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka (act 1 + act 2), Just So (act 2), and Carrie: The Musical (act 3). In each of the four shows, students develop performance skills, empathy, and personal responsibility through a rigorous and supportive process, based on a professional rehearsal model.

Out with Dad on “Piggy Patrol,” Sammy Hamhock spends a day handing out tickets for rude behavior in Piggy Nation. This delightful one-hour musical is an excellent introduction to live theatre for children in pre-school through second grade. Watch how Sammy learns about his own “piggy” behavior. Based on Richard Rosser’s children’s book Piggy Nation, students in overture and act 1 will bring to life this heart-warming tale, featuring songs written by the book’s author.

When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory in Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, it’s the chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets he’s always dreamed of. The five lucky winners discover that not everything is as it seems as they venture beyond the gates, down the sugary corridors, and into the halls filled with incredible, edible delights. Based on the classic book by Roald Dahl, act 1 and act 2 students tell Charlie Bucket’s story featuring songs from the original motion picture, as well as new songs that any audience is sure to love.

Rudyard Kipling’s popular fables “how the leopard got his spots,” “how the camel got his hump,” and other stories will come to life in Just So. This musical, set to a fun-loving score for the whole family, is great for students in grades 2–8. In Just So, act 2 students tell the story of The Elephant’s Child as she journeys through the jungle to stop the tyrannical Crab from wreaking havoc on them all.  

Autumn Blazon-Brown and Stephen Zubricki will perform in Carrie: The Musical. A high school girl is bullied at school and tormented at home. She silently holds a secret which can turn the tables in her favor. This edgy adaptation of Stephen King’s chilling novel is suitable for ages 13 and over. With a score by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford, Carrie: The Musical will be performed by act 3 students.

the young company Winter Festival 2015 takes place at Stoneham Theatre from January 30, 2015 through February 8, 2015. Tickets for adults are $15 and tickets for students are $10. For more information, please contact Stoneham Theatre’s Box Office at (781) 279-2200, or visit

Performances of Piggy Nation run February 7 + 8, 2015. The Student Matinee for Piggy Nation is on February 6, 2015 at 9:30am. 

Performances of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka run January 31–February 8, 2015. Student Matinees for Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka take place at 10am on January 29 + 30, 2015, and February 3 + 4, 2015, and at 11:30am on February 6, 2015.

Performances of Just So run January 31–February 8, 2015. Student Matinees for Just So take place at 10am on January 28, 2015, February 2, 2015, and February 5, 2015.

Performances of Carrie: The Musical run January 30–February 7, 2015. There are no Student Matinee performances for Carrie: The Musical.

Key Staff Members:

CAITLIN LOWANS (Associate Artistic Director) In her time at Stoneham, Caitlin has directed or co-directed 21 shows on the Mainstage: most recently, Meet Me in St. Louis. Favorite Stoneham productions include My Fair Lady, A Year with Frog and Toad, Picnic at Hanging Rock and the IRNE-nominated Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story. As the Director of Education, she directed 25 shows for the young company, including The House Theatre of Chicago’s Rose and the Rime and Brendan Kennelly’s translation of The Trojan Women. She recently helmed Jane Bowles’ In the Summerhouse for Fort Point, as well as the world premieres of Ryan Landry’s M at the Huntington Theatre Company and MJ Kaufman’s Outlaw Jean for Fresh Ink Theatre. This spring will find her directing for Fresh Ink again with the world premiere of A. Nora Long’s Clytemnestriad, as well as Walking the Tightrope starring Johnny Lee Davenport here at Stoneham. Caitlin is an alumna of Georgetown University, Harvard University’s Arts in Education program, and the Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

DORI A. ROBINSON (Education Manager) is an educator, director, dramaturg, and playwright. Dori holds a Masters from New York University Educational Theatre program, having focused on applied theatre and devised work with youth. Dori has worked at the University of Massachusetts, the New Victory Theatre, Steppenwolf, the Park Avenue Armory, the Theatre Development Fund, and the New York Student Shakespeare Festival. Directing credits include: The Merchant of Venice, Die Kleinen, The Lion in Winter, Extremities, Picnic, and Flight. Dori’s original work has been produced in New York, Chicago, and Jerusalem. She is the proud co-host of The Mousetrap, a Shakespeare podcast.

SOPHIE RICH (Director-Piggy Nation) is a drama educator, director, actress, and Boston native. Sophie graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University, where she concentrated on theatre for young audiences and directing and was awarded the Winifred Ward Award for creative drama. Sophie teaches at the Atrium School in Watertown and is the Education Director of Boston Theater Company. She also teaches at Wheelock Family Theater, Watertown Children’s Theatre, and The Freelance Players, and she works for The Accessible Theatre. Favorite directing credits include The Secret Garden, a community production with the youth of Somerville, A Year With Frog and Toad as part of Northwestern’s Imagine U Family Series and The Snow Queen, a collaboration between Northwestern and Haven Middle School. She can be seen performing on KidStage at the Boston Children’s Museum, and she is also a member of Theatre Espresso. Here at Stoneham Theatre, Sophie has taught Intro to Acting for act 1.

TYLER ROSATI (Director-Willy Wonka and Just So) is so excited to return to the young company. A graduate himself of the young company and a recent graduate of Clark University studying theatre arts and chemistry, Tyler is an aspiring Boston director and theatre educator. Previous directing credits include Starmites Lite and Phantom Tollbooth Jr. with the young company, as well as the world premiere of Disciples at Clark University. He has also spent the last two years teaching as part of the premiere theatre classes at Claremont Academy in Worcester.

CAIT ROBINSON (Director-Carrie the Musical) is delighted to return to the young company at Stoneham Theatre after directing last year’s production of Winesburg, Ohio. A freelance director, teaching artist, and dramaturg, her recent directing projects include The Singularity (Science Fiction Theater Company), 4.48 Psychosis (Portland Stage Company Studio series), The Julia Wars (Stonington Opera House), PINK! (PortFringe), and The Maids (Mad Horse Theatre Company and Lorem Ipsum). Favorite assistant directing credits include A Doll’s House at American Conservatory Theater and The Center of Gravity and The 39 Steps at Portland Stage Company. Cait is a graduate of Bowdoin College, the National Theater Institute, Directors Lab West, and American Conservatory Theater’s Fellowship Program. Up next: directing The Bacchae at the A.R.T. Institute and Gidion’s Knot at the Dramatic Repertory Company in Portland, Maine.

About Stoneham Theatre:

Now in its 15th season of live, professional theatre in Stoneham, MA, the mission of Stoneham Theatre is to keep the art of theatre and dramatic education thriving in the suburbs by providing the best in professional plays, musicals, and entertainment. Each season, we produce six Mainstage shows, present a series of concerts and special events, and run year-round classes, lessons, and fully staged productions through the young company for students in grades 1–12.

About the young company:

Our mission is that good theatre makes good people. Through the creation of inspiring live theatre, the young company at Stoneham Theatre helps the next generation of theatre practitioners become better artists, better audience members, and better humans. Stoneham Theatre’s education program develops confidence, self-discipline, and collaboration to prepare young actors for future success. the young company offers diverse year-round programs for students in grades 1–12 taught in a professional theatre environment. Introducing live theatre to young people is one of the most important things we do. the young company at Stoneham Theatre gives students the chance to explore the experience of performing in a friendly, fun environment. Throughout the year, students may participate in classes, rehearsals, and performances designed to develop important skills like teamwork and self-confidence. 

Box Office:  (781) 279-2200
Box Office Hours:  Mondays – Fridays, 11am to 6pm; Saturdays, 1pm to 6pm
Location: 395 Main Street, Stoneham, MA 02180

Flagship Season Sponsors:  StonehamBank and the Stoneham Savings/Salem Five Charitable Foundation

young company Winter Festival 2015 Sponsors: Boston Partners Financial Group, LLC.; Meld, Inc.; SBCEF; NCECP; Cummings Foundation; and the Robert C. Gilkison Family Trust.

Coming up in Season 15:

Press Opening: Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 3pm

Show runs: February 26–March 15, 2015 

Press Opening: Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 3pm

Show runs: April 9–26, 2015

Press Opening: Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 3pm

Show runs: May 14–June 7, 2015