Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The headline of the day at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre is the season-opening production of the exuberant Disney musical “Newsies,” which launches the theatre’s 2018-2019 season on Friday, Sept. 21, and continues its run through Sunday, Oct. 14.
Based on the true 1899 story of a scrappy group of newsboys in New York City who become unlikely heroes when they rally forces to fight an unscrupulous newspaper tycoon, this Tony Award-winning musical features rollicking dance numbers, a rousing musical score, and an inspirational, defy-all-odds story. Guest director Katherine Michelle Tanner of Sarasota, FL, guides a truly impressive cast, Andrew Parker of the Chattanooga Ballet literally elevates the ensemble with high-flying choreography, and Chattanooga’s Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Huseman leads the lively vocals.
Inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City, “Newsies” revolves around charismatic Jack Kelly (Normand Caissie in his CTC debut), a boy who sells newspapers on the streets — aka “newsie” — who is living among a group of other young newsies, most of them homeless or orphaned. Jack dreams of a better life far from the hardship of the streets.
Among his clan are disabled friend Crutchie (Austin Massey) and Davey (Will Lowery) and Davey’s young brother Les (Alex Champion), who have joined the group after their father becomes unable to work. When powerful publisher Joseph Pulitzer (Rodney Van Valkenburg) decides to raise the cost of the newspapers to the boys by a dime, Jack finds a cause to fight for and leads a young army to protest and eventually strike.
Caught up in the middle of all this is the spirited Katherine Plumber (Kimberly Rye), a reporter trying to build a career beyond the social pages. While covering the strike despite Pulitzer’s call for a media blackout of it, she takes a fancy to Jack.
Based on the Disney film written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White, “Newsies” features a book by Harvey Fierstein, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and music by legendary composer Alan Menken. Nominated for eight Tony Awards in 2012, it won two, for choreography and music.
While the story is inspirational in an idealistic David-and-Goliath way, the unbridled exuberance of the music and dance is what is bound to bring down the house. The vibrant music embodies the courage and idealism of the determined newsies, and the high-spirited dance is energetic, athletic, and acrobatic. Featuring local high school and college students and adults, the Theatre Centre has assembled some of the most talented dancers in the community. The show features more than 40 people in the all-volunteer cast.
Anticipating capacity crowds following the sold-out run of the 2017-2018 season-opener “The Wiz,” the Theatre Centre will present 15 performances only. Friday and Saturday night performances on Sept. 21-22, 28-29, Oct. 5-6, and Oct. 12-13 begin at 8 p.m. Thursday evening shows on Sept. 27 and Oct. 4 and Oct. 11 start at 7 p.m. Sunday matinees on Sept. 23, Sept. 30, Oct. 7, and Oct. 14 begin at 2:30 p.m.
Reservations are highly recommended. For tickets, visit the Theatre Centre box office at 400 River Street next to Coolidge Park, call the box office at (423) 267-8534, or purchase online at TheatreCentre.com.
Posted August 31, 2018
Student Matinees only:
October 16 & 17, 2018
Performances at 9:45 am and 11:30 am.
The Great War was the opening shot of the tumultuous 20th Century. As empires were built and rapidly fell, World War I ushered in a rush of technological advances and set in motion geo-political changes that are still felt today. The Chattanooga Theatre Centre, which has been educating and entertaining school-age audiences for over 30 years, brings you this entertaining, one-man show, featuring local military historian Louis Varnell who takes students through the causes of the war, the technological advances of the age, the realities of life in the trenches and the ultimate outcome of the “War to End All Wars.”
$5.00 per student (one chaperone free with every 10 students)
To reserve seats for your class
Contact the Box Office at
All seven productions of the 2017-2018 mainstage season, including four plays and three musicals, won honors at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s Miss Annie Awards on Saturday, August 25. The annual awards, Chattanooga’s answer to the Oscars, salute the volunteers onstage and off who have contributed their time and talent to the success of the theatre’s past season.
The recently closed “Hello Dolly,” the Broadway blockbuster that ended the theatre’s season, was recognized as Outstanding Musical of the Season and as Audience Favorite Musical of the Season. Audience Favorite awards are selected by a vote of season subscribers. In the title role of Dolly Levi, Beth McClary-Wolford was named Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical and Audience Favorite Actress in a Musical. Tanner Dean as “Ambrose Kemper” was honored as Outstanding Debut Actor in a Musical, and Ray Laliberte as “Rudolph” was recognized as Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical.
Singled out as Outstanding Play of the Season was “A Room with a View,” an Edwardian romantic comedy which also won honors for Jeremy Campbell as “George Emerson” as Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play, Gwynne Noel Jones as “Lucy Honeychurch” as Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play, Julie Van Valkenburg as “Charlotte Bartlett” as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play, Alexandra Feliciano as “Minnie Beebe” as Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, and Rodney Van Valkenburg as “Reverend Eager” as Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play.
As “Belle” in “Beauty and the Beast,” a Disney favorite that attracted the highest attendance of the season, Jordan Otis was recognized as Outstanding Debut Actress in a Musical. In a tie vote, James Cunha as “Gaston” and Jason Russell as “Lumiere” were recognized as Outstanding Supporting Actors in a Musical. Alexis Newson as “Babette” was named Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, and the cast was recognized as Outstanding Ensemble.
“Boeing Boeing,” a comic farce following the exploits of a swinging bachelor in the 1960’s, was honored as Audience Favorite Play of the Season. The show also won honors for Kitty Reel as “Berthe” as Audience Favorite Actress in a Play and Annie Collins as Best Supporting Actress in a Play. Jim Eernisse was recognized twice for his role as “Robert,” tying with Campbell as Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play and tying with Patrick Brady as “Hercule Poirot” in “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” as Audience Favorite Actor in a Play.
Other performances recognized were those by Darryl Wheeler as “Scarecrow” in “The Wiz” as both Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play and Audience Favorite Actor in a Play; Tiffany Williams as “Lion” in “The Wiz” as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical; Jacob Moore as “Jim” in “The Glass Menagerie” as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play; Evans Jarnefeldt as “Captain Hastings” in “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” as Outstanding Debut Actor in a Play; and Courtenay Cholovich as “Mrs. Cavendish” in “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” as Outstanding Debut Actress in a Play.
Lauren Rayhab of “Beauty and the Beast” and Jeff Hill of “Hello Dolly” were presented the traditional Gypsy Robes, which honor outstanding ensemble members in a musical. Joshua Harrell received the Star Turn Award.
In backstage roles, Angie Griffin was recognized as Outstanding Stage Manager, and Vincent Lemmons was honored as Outstanding Crew Member.
Other top awards went to Paula Henderson as recipient of the President’s Award, Becki Jordan as winner of the Producer’s Award, and Brad Cansler as Volunteer of the Year.
Other honorees: The Larson Family, Outstanding Front of House Volunteers; Kim Jackson, Outstanding Administrative Volunteer; Kitty Murakami, Outstanding Costume Shop Volunteer; Carina Miller, Outstanding Scene Shop Volunteer; and Marieke Lowery, Outstanding Contributions to the Youth Theatre.
Here’s the complete list of honorees:
Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical
Darryl Wheeler as “Scarecrow” in The Wiz
Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical
Beth McClary-Wolford as “Dolly Levi” in Hello Dolly
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical (tie)
James Cunha as “Gaston” in Beauty and the Beast
Jason Russell as “Lumiere” in Beauty and the Beast
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical
Tiffany Williams as “Lion” in The Wiz
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Ray Laliberte as “Rudolph” in Hello Dolly
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Alexis Newson as “Babette” in Beauty and the Beast
Outstanding Debut Actor in a Musical
Tanner Dean as “Ambrose Kemper” in Hello Dolly
Outstanding Debut Actress in a Musical
Jordan Otis as “Belle” in Beauty and the Beast
Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play (tie)
Jeremy Campbell as “George Emerson” in A Room With A View
Jim Eernisse as “Robert” in Boeing Boeing
Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play
Gwynne Noel Jones as “Lucy Honeychurch” in A Room With A View
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play
Jacob Moore as “Jim” in The Glass Menagerie
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play (tie)
Annie Collins as “Gretchen” in Boeing Boeing
Julie Van Valkenburg as “Charlotte Bartlett” in A Room With A View
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Rodney Van Valkenburg as “Reverend Eager” in A Room With A View
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Alexandra Feliciano as “Minnie Beebe” in A Room With A View
Outstanding Debut Actor in a Play
Evans Jarnefeldt as “Capt. Hastings” in The Mysterious Affair At Styles
Outstanding Debut Actress in a Play
Courtenay Gillean Cholovich as “Mrs. Cavendish” in The Mysterious Affair At Styles
The Cast of “Beauty and the Beast”
Outstanding Musical of the Season
Outstanding Play of the Season
“A Room with a View”
Audience Favorite Actor in a Musical
Darryl Wheeler as “Scarecrow” in The Wiz
Audience Favorite Actress in a Musical
Beth McClary-Wolford as “Dolly” in Hello Dolly
Audience Favorite Actor in a Play (tie)
Jim Eernisse as “Robert” in Boeing Boeing
Patrick Brady as “Hercule Poirot” in The Mysterious Affair At Styles
Audience Favorite Actress In A Play
Kitty Reel as “Berthe” in Boeing Boeing
Audience Favorite Musical of the Season
Audience Favorite Play of the Season
Lauren Rayhab in “Beauty and the Beast”
Jeff Hill in “Hello Dolly”
Outstanding Front of House Volunteer
The Larson Family
Outstanding Administrative Volunteer
Outstanding Costume Shop Volunteer
Outstanding Scene Shop Volunteer
Outstanding Crew Member
Outstanding Youth Theatre Contribution
Outstanding Stage Manager
Volunteer of the Year
Hello, fun! That’s what the Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s season-ending production of the Broadway blockbuster musical “Hello, Dolly!” promises to be when it hits the stage on Friday, July 13. The musical comedy, which boasts some of the greatest songs in musical theatre history, continues its run through Sunday, August 5.
“Hello, Dolly!”, which first opened on Broadway in 1964, is currently enjoying a hit revival in New York City, winning honors at last year’s Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical. Theatre Centre director Scott Dunlap is shaping an equally spectacular show, drawing from Thornton Wilder’s original play “The Matchmaker” on which the musical is based to make the CTC production as farcical, humorous and broadly comic as it can be.
“Hello, Dolly!” is the story of Dolly Levi, an enterprising and widowed matchmaker making her way in New York City at the turn of the century. Among her many gigs, she is brokering the match between lady milliner Irene Molloy and Yonkers-based animal feed merchant and miserly “half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder. Or so it would seem. Dolly actually plans to wed Horace herself so she can spread his money around “like manure.” She’ll have to make it seem like it was his idea first, though.
When Mr. Vandergelder leaves Yonkers for New York City to pay suit to the widowed Mrs. Molloy, his clerks, Cornelius and Barnaby, decide to take an unauthorized holiday themselves and seek adventure in the big city. Their mischief leads them to close encounters with Mr. Vandergelder and a double date at the most expensive restaurant in New York. It is there at the Harmonia Gardens where Dolly makes her grand entrance to a triumphant production number of the title song “Hello, Dolly.” An ensemble of dancing waiters, who perform with dazzling precision and breakneck speed, greet her, which invariably brings down the house.
Dolly’s meddlesome matchmaking and Mr. Vandergelder’s clerks’ comic attempts to avoid an encounter with their boss, while courting Mrs. Molloy and her young shop assistant themselves, result in madcap hilarity.
Back in Yonkers, a subdued and thoughtful Horace realizes that Dolly is the wonderful woman he wants to be his wife. Dolly convinces him to take Cornelius as his business partner, and then finally agrees to marry him—as she had intended all along.
Starring in the title role of Dolly is Theatre Centre favorite Beth McClary, who has showcased her comic sensibilities in several CTC musicals, most recently December’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Rob Inman, a versatile actor who has appeared in more than 30 Little Theatre/Theatre Centre productions since 1978, follows up a touching performance in the spring’s “The Glass Menagerie” with a turn as Horace Vandegelder in “Hello, Dolly!”
Other featured actors in the all-volunteer cast are Anne Barbieri (Irene Malloy), Jeremy Campbell (Cornelius Hackl), Tanner Dean (Ambrose Kemper), Joshua Harell (Barnaby Tucker), Ray Laliberte (Rudolph), Stefanie Oppenheimer (Ernestina Money), Genna Raborn (Ermengarde) and Kimberly Rye (Minnie Fay). A talented 20-person ensemble rounds out the cast.
Anticipating capacity crowds following popular productions of “The Wiz” and “Beauty and the Beast” earlier this season, the Theatre Centre has extended the run of “Hello, Dolly!” to four weekends in the mainstage theatre. Performances on July 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 and August 3-4 begin at 8 p.m. Shows on July 19, July 26 and August 2 begin at 7 p.m. Matinees on July 15, 22, 29 and August 5 begin at 2:30 p.m.
Reservations are highly recommended. For tickets, call the Theatre Centre box office at (423) 267-8534 or visit TheatreCentre.com.
The Chattanooga Theatre Centre seeks a Master Carpenter to start by July 1. Will report to Technical Director.
Build and install 7 shows plus assist on 4 Youth Theatre productions. Must have working knowledge of scenery construction methods, basic rigging experience, and shop safety practices. Welding a plus. Ideal for recent graduate. Must be a self-motivated team player and good collaborator. Candidates with lighting or sound experience a plus.
Full time, 40 hrs/wk plus health and benefits. High 20’s, negotiable.
Email cover letter and resume to Todd Olson, Executive Director at [email protected] Reviewing process will begin as materials arrive. No phone inquiries accepted.
The CHATTANOOGA THEATRE CENTRE seeks a Scenic Painter/Properties Master-Mistress to start by September 1. Paint/prop 7 shows plus assist on 4 Youth Theatre productions. Must be a self-motivated team player and good collaborator. Possibility to design. Additional lighting or sound experience a plus. Full time, 40 hrs/wk plus health and benefits. Salary low 30’s. Email cover letter and resume to Todd Olson, Executive Director at [email protected] Reviewing process will begin as materials arrive. No phone inquiries accepted.
A riotous farce that enjoyed hit revivals in London and New York, “Boeing Boeing” is touching down in Chattanooga as the groovy 1960’s comedy opens at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre on Friday, June 8, and runs through Sunday, June 24.
A 1960’s farce by French playwright Marc Camoletti translated for English-speaking audiences by Beverly Cross and Francis Evans, the revival of “Boeing Boeing” opened on Broadway in 2012 and earned a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play and several other nominations.
Under the helm of guest director Rodney Van Valkenburg, “Boeing Boeing” will take audiences back to a time of stewardesses – not flight attendants – and mod dresses, go-go boots and infectious dance music.
The classic physical comedy is designed for laughs. It’s the 1960s, and swinging bachelor Bernard couldn’t be happier: an apartment in Paris and three gorgeous stewardesses, all from competing airlines and all engaged to him without knowing about the other. One is American, one is Italian, one is German, and they’re all head-over-heels for lovable Bernard.
Ingeniously, he’s arranged it so that their layovers don’t overlap, keeping each woman on a perfect rotation in and out of his life. Until, that is, the airlines begin employing the speedy Boeing aircraft, cutting down travel times and creating a nightmare scenario in which all three are in town at the same time.
In the calm before the storm, Bernard’s friend Robert comes to town and is thrust into the position of helping housekeeper Berthe cover for Bernard. Until, of course, the ruse comes crashing down. So fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
The ensemble includes Katie Campassi, Annie Collins, Jim Eernisse, Kelseigh Garrett, Chase Parker and Kitty Reel. Adam Miecielica is the guest set designer, and Lisa Eash is the guest costume designer. Gary May provides sound design, and Sean Stewart and Alex Miller-Long join CTC production manager Sarah Miecielica as guest lighting designers. Jill Burgess is the stage manager.
Performances on June 8-9, June 15-16, and June 22-23 begin at 8 p.m. Shows on June 14 and June 21 begin at 7 p.m. Matinees on June 10, June 17 and June 24 begin at 2:30 p.m. The June 16 audience is invited to stay after the show and watch Riverbend fireworks from the theatre’s riverfront veranda and lawn.
The show will be presented in the Circle Theatre with limited seating. Reservations are recommended. For tickets, call the Theatre Centre box office at (423) 267-8534 or visit TheatreCentre.com.
The Chattanooga Theatre Centre has appointed two new members to its board of directors, each of whom brings valuable professional and personal skills to the non-profit organization’s governing board.
Newly elected to the board are Angela Griffin, a capital administrator of Tennessee American Water, and Darian Scott, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.
In her professional role, Griffin’s responsibilities include coordination between departments to deliver Tennessee American Water’s capital budget each year. She started her career with the American Water company in 2005 and has served in a variety of roles.Griffin has earned several IT industry certifications, including Project+ and Security+. Additionally, she is a certified Cisco Networking Associate.
She is also active in her community as a mentor for tnAchieves, the partnering organization to the TN Promise Scholarship, which works to increase higher education opportunities for Tennessee high school students by providing last-dollar scholarships with mentor guidance. She is also an active volunteer at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre.
In his role at the Chamber, Scott works with the talent development team to help prepare Chattanooga’s youth for the challenges of entering the workforce by organizing and delivering career readiness programs to Hamilton County School students in grades 8 through 12. He also works with businesses in the community by organizing job and career fairs and helping to connect local employers to potential workers.
Scott is the founder of Minority Connection, a networking group aimed at connecting and encouraging business‐to‐business relationships in the African American community. He also serves on the committee for Youth Leadership Chattanooga and on the Board of Directors for SoundCorps, a nonprofit dedicated to growing the music industry economy in the region.
Founded in 1923, the Chattanooga Theatre Centre is one of the oldest and largest community theatres in the Southeast and produces high-caliber theatrical productions and provides volunteer and educational opportunities for people of all ages.
The Theatre Centre will host a new event, DOGS & KIDS DO THE CATWALK, on Friday, May 11. This fun, furry and fashion-centered event is a joint fundraiser for our Youth Theatre and McKamey Animal Center.
Local models wearing fashions from local shops will walk the runway with dogs for adoption from McKamey. The talented young people from our youth program will provide entertainment. Following the show, there will be a reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres by Lee Towery.
Guests will enjoy fashions from Yacoubian Tailors, K Boutique, Embellish Collection, Leafy Street, and Bruce Baird among others, while models will walk McKamey dogs that are available for adoption. After the show, the Youth Theatre will provide more entertainment in the lobby, and there will be opportunities to meet and greet the dogs.
The chair for the event is The Purple Lady, Sonia Young, with co-chairs Finette Winer and Jacqueline Marshack. Models are woman from throughout the community.
The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Parking is free. Reservations must be made by May 5.