YO Promo JW 1

We have exciting news, METsters!
Last April, MET premiered “The Young Olympians and the Most Amazingly Awesome Adventure Ever!”, an original musical created by company members Sarah Shulman and Thom Huenger and directed by Julie Herber.  It met with sold-out shows, great reviews, and an extension due to popular demand.The MET is pleased to announce that “Young Olympians” is going to the Capital Fringe Festival this July! Capital Fringe is a 3-week festival held in the heart of Washington, DC where 100+ performances occur at venues all around Chinatown and the convention center, ranging from classic plays to performance art to children’s theatre.

To help get our footing on this awesome opportunity, we’re raising funds through our IndieGogo page:

As of today, we have 37 days remaining to meet our goal of $3500, and YOU can lend us a hand by sending some funds our way!

Going to Fringe is an additional project that is outside the MET’s normal season budget, so your support is immensely appreciated!  Since MET is a registered nonprofit, all donations are tax-deductible and we have perks for those who donate up to a certain amount! For a sneak peek at what you’ll be supporting, check out our music video of one of the songs from the show:

Photos by Joe Williams, 2012
“It’s time to be BRAVE!” Make a tax-deductible donation today at
igg.me/at/YOCapFringe
Please share the above link with friends, on facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and help us get people excited!
Many thanks for your support and hope to see you at the MET!
[Young Olympians] is presented as a part of the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival, a program of the Washington, DC non-profit CapitalFringe.

Julie recently wrapped up a production of Bugsy Malone, Jr at The Carroll County Arts Center as part of our In-School Productions program.  Middle Schoolers from all over Carroll County performed in this jazz-era musical. Here is a sampling of photos from the production:

 

by Vanessa Strickland  |  This week I’ve taken on the task of creating some spiffy garlands four our Quinceañera-themed birthday party this Saturday. I picked up a box full of MET fliers, posters, programs & season brochures spanning from 1998-2012.  A colorful collage of the MET’s history.

Instantly my brain began racing to think of creative ways to display these pieces: do I group all the original productions together?  Do I add scrapbooking aspects, glitter?  Do I cut the photos out of old programs and juxtapose them against newer ones?  Maybe I was getting way ahead of myself, so I just started arranging them in chronological order: this is a birthday party, why not show the company’s growth?

But when I was about to make my first holepunch into the original program for “Finally Heard,” I felt wary… why?  It’s just a paper program; they probably have a bunch in a file in the theatre somewhere.  Yet looking at it, I felt this was something that needed to be preserved, kept intact as much as possible. I opened it up and began reading, pouring over bios, old photos, adspace for video cassette copying services and restaurants that no longer existed… and as I arranged all the materials, they began to take on the weight of historical artifacts to me.

So I stuck with simplicity by preserving each piece as a whole unit.  When I finished, seeing each season (which I hopefully got pretty close to correct chronologically, I’m still a company newbie), I noticed recurring themes, what kinds of shows the MET has gravitated towards, even design and color aspects that changed throughout the years: the evolution of the MET logo and URL, the composition, the appearances and departures of company members and guest artists, evidenced by their photographic presence as characters, the expansion of the ensemble, board member, and donor lists.

I came to the realization that I am a part of  the history of this Ensemble, this awesome collective of artists that continues to grow and gain momentum by producing exciting, thoughtful, entertaining, “gutsy” theatre, forging original works based on current events, story circles–even hallucinogenic fruit– and fostering new growth in the ensemble and among the very roots on which the MET was built: the Fun Company and, of course, the Comedy Pigs.

When you come to the party, involve yourself in these “artifacts,” page through them like a yearbook and I guarantee your memories will be sparked and your imaginations will be inspired by what we’re cooking up next and how much we always “hope to see you at the MET!”

Happy birthday, MET!

Rehearsals for our MET-X show, Robin Hood: Occupy Sherwood are revving up as we approach August!  MET-X helps produce and promote original work during the year, along with an annual summer outreach production that is open to the public.

Director Julie Herber*, in a rare non-kinetic moment of direction, arranges the inhabitants of Sherwood Forest for a musical number.

“No, no, no, we won’t go!” clamors the crowd.

Heck yeah, rehearsal’s fun!

The cast gets their next choreography steps.

Composer Thom Huenger* takes in the scene.

Guitarist Myles Vlachos plays live during rehearsal.

Robin & his merry men sing with the cast.

Dynamic choreography calls for a dynamic camera angle! :)

Robin Hood: Occupy Sherwoodruns Aug. 10 – 18 at Frederick Community College at FCC’s JBK Theatre, 7932 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, MD.

August 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 @ 7pm, August 12 @ 2pm • Tickets: $19.50 General Admission / $16.50 Students/Seniors – prices include a $1.50 service charge

BUY ONLINE NOW or call the MET box office at 301-694-4744

Photos taken by Vanessa Strickland*, 2012
* – indicates MET company member 

The blog is back!  We’ve been on summer vacation from the digital world, but behind the scenes at the theatre, several productions are already underway.  Up next at the MET is I Am (Not) My Mother, an original piece by Frederick Community College professor Suzanne Beal compiled from stories of over 90 women about their relationships with their mothers.  Today’s vlog reveals more about the process of how Suzanne put together the show:

I Am (Not) My Mother runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm and Sundays at 2pm from July 6 and runs through July 22 at the MET.  FYI there is no performance July 14th and the July 22nd performance will be at 7pm.  Tickets are available now through the box office: 301-694-4744 or online.

Heidi opened last weekend to a great house.  Didn’t catch the opening show?  Check out our trailer and come on down to the MET this Saturday, 5/26 at 2pm to see what the buzz is about!

Video shot & edited by MET company member Vanessa Strickland

Heidi runs from May 19th – June 10th, every Saturday at 2pm and Sunday 6/3 & 6/10 at 2pm.  For tickets, call the MET box office at 301-694-4744 or order online here!

Summer is rapidly approaching.  Although the official beginning of summer is not upon us yet, these past few days feel like the solstice has arrived.  And even though we still have a few weeks left of our Mainstage Season &  Fun Co Family Theatre Series left, we had our season wrap-up party (Hosted by Tad & Gene) this past weekend.  It’s always amazing to see how many great people have been a part of making our theatre happen throughout the year.

The Mainstage may be coming to a finale..but we have loads of great things coming up this summer!  Here are 10 things we can’t wait to work on, teach, watch grow, listen to & laugh at:

  1. Fun Camp Summer Theatre Camp- 3 Sessions throughout the summer for ages 7-16.  We can’t wait to see the talented young people and help them grow as artists as well as human beings.  Each group gets 2 jam-packed weeks of theatre fun!
  2. Yoni Gras- House Band for Hee Haw Silent Old Mtns and company member Thom Huenger are hosting 2 nights of music featuring an eclectic lineup that includes:  Silent Old Mtns., HoneyHound, Lucas and the Lovelys, Adrienne and the Merrylanders, Old Indian and more. June 15 & 16
  3. The Cast of Heidi will perform the show at The Carroll Arts Center in Westminster, MD as part of their summer matinee series on June 20.
  4. Pigapalooza Improv Festival- The Comedy Pigs have invited some friends (yes, they have friends) over to play in their yard, including Quatro Formaggio, Sistine Robot, Commonwealth, Just Moxie, Ponch, Jackie, Lekker, Talkative Babies, Season Six, Press Play and Waiting to be Called Over! June 22 & 23
  5. MET Open Season Auditions- Open auditions for our 15th Anniversary Season. June 24 & 25
  6. I Am(Not) My Mother- Suzanne Beal held a number of story circles to collect fantastic stories that she has turned into collage of stories, images and songs depicting the lovely and sometimes tumultuous relationships between mothers and daughters. Coming to MET in July!
  7. Laugh Station: Papaya- The lastest installment of the episodic craziness that is Laugh Station finds our heroes in a sticky situation, after the crew mistakenly ingests a batch of hallucinogenic space fruit, they are plunged into a surrealistic dream world. Meanwhile, the Federation High Council are on their way to visit the Laugh Station for a routine inspection. Little do they know, the crew is undergoing the ultimate trip…July 27 & 28
  8. MET’s 15th Anniversary Party- Help us blow out the candles (literally, there will be cake) to celebrate our first 15 years. We are raising a glass (or a can of PBR) to ourselves and it’s not a party without you. The musical entertainment might even include a tune from a recent Broadway smash that we will be announcing as part of our 15th Anniversary season. We are starting our Amazon wish list now so buy some wrapping paper and a bow. August 4
  9. Robin Hood: Occupy Sherwood- A World Premiere production by Sarah Shulman (Young Olympians and Don Q) featuring the original caped crusader and his band of “merry men” sticking it to the one-percenters. Produced as part of MET’s annual summer outreach program in partnership with The Ensemble School, Frederick Com- munity College and Hood College. August 10-18
  10. The Comedy Pigs 19th Anniversary- The reason Facebook was invented, so we can track down all the slippery little swine that got away and get them back on stage for a fun filled weekend featuring the best of the last 19 years of sketch and improv.

 

On Tuesday evening the rain held off as we held a special event for invited guests at VOLT Restaurant.  Nearly 100 patrons, supporters & sponsors were treated to a sneak peek of our upcoming season.  After mingling on the lovely patio, noshing on delectable hors d’oeuvres and sipping tasty libations, MET Ensemble Members entertained our guests with readings from a few select scenes to whet the appetite for our exciting upcoming offerings.

Season Subscriptions are on sale now for our exciting 15th Anniversary Season which includes:

  • The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow
  •  “Mystery Musical”  (We aren’t allowed to announce yet due to contractual obligations..but we ar VERY EXCITED ABOUT IT!!)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life-A Live Radio Play by Joe Landry
  • The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  • Finally Heard by Maryland Ensemble Theatre (return engagement of MET’s first show!)
  • Pickle My Monkey an original sketch comedy review

At the beginning of every month, the city of Frederick celebrates “First Saturday,” where local organizations, merchants, artists, and actors strut their stuff in the downtown streets of Frederick.  To see our shows coming up in May, and all the other downtown Frederick happenings, visit the Downtown Frederick Partnership website!

As always, the MET rallies it’s performers to promote the current or upcoming show by mingling around town with the community.  Last Saturday, we had the chance to take some shots of some of the cast of Heidi as they frolicked downtown, spreading the word about the show, which opens Saturday, May 19th.  Anyone who passed by the MET had the chance to get in on some exclusive ticket discounts and also get their face painted, too!

Click a thumbnail to enlarge the image
Photos by Bill Stitely

Heidi runs from May 19th – June 10th, every Saturday at 2pm and Sunday 6/3 & 6/10 at 2pm.  For tickets, call the MET box office at 301-694-4744 or order online here!

Really Rosie with a book and lyrics by Maurice Sendak and music by Carole King, is one of our most cherished productions. The musical is based on Sendak’s books Chicken Soup with RicePierreOne was JohnnyAlligators All Around (which comprise 1962’s The Nutshell Library), and The Sign on Rosie’s Door (1960). Sendak based the story on a demonstrative little girl who used to sing and dance on the stoop of her building, whom he observed while he was a little boy growing up in Brooklyn.  We loved performing it so much at the Wienberg Center the first year of our existence, that we brought it back when the Fun  Company joined forces with MET and produced it in our 2005 season!

We will miss you Maurice Sendak….
“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!”