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“Her Song”


Bullying in our schools has become a nationwide epidemic and a topic of discussion for all Boards of Education.

STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT  is addressing this frightening issue with a new PSA musical,  “HER SONG”.   The musical will highlight the severity of bullying while it educates and entertains our audience.  A primary goal is to educate adults on what to look for: Is your child being bullied? Could your child be the bully? What do I do?  Who do I go to?

The group has been rehearsing once a week since Jan 22.  At the first rehearsal (with a cast of 30) Colin Sheehan asked “How many of you have been bullied”?  28 raised their hands.  Two had to change schools, and one of the adults in the cast still has scars from being bullied in 6th grade and having to change schools!  One student actor shared:

“As I stepped into the audition I felt an immediate connection with all the other kids and adults around me. I felt that we were all here for the same reason- to help change lives of other people. I too was a victim of a bullying, and just to do this show is an amazing way for me to express myself and my feelings towards this epidemic. Don’t be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others. I would like to thank my family for their continuous support, Michelle Natalino, Nick Fradiani Sr., Colin Sheehan and most importantly Jill Nesi. Music is such a huge outlet for kids to express themselves and be who they are! “Stay strong, because things will get better. It may be stormy now, but won’t rain forever”

Another participant added:

“We’re all in this together, and using our pain or misunderstanding to hurt others is not the answer.  This life is more fun when we got through it side by side.  Everyone has been bullied, and at times, been the bully.  I had to leave the public school when I was in 6th grade because of bullying. Being a part of HER SONG has been very special.  Watching these young kids share their experiences and create a space for everyone to exist in freely is wonderful.  Bullying is scarier than ever, especially in this social media age. People don’t need to hurt the way they do and I want to be a part of the solution, or at least the conversation.”

PRODUCER: JILL NESI – 4 time Emmy Nominated Songwriter

DIRECTOR: COLIN SHEEHAN – Events, Benefits, & Theatre Producer/Director
Les Miserables, “The Wendy Williams Show”, “The Rosie O’Donnell Show”, R Family Vacations & Seaview Productions



School performances:

Thursday May 11th       10:00am & 12:30pm
Friday May 12th             10:00am & 12:30pm

Public performances – tickets $15 all ages:

Saturday May 13th         11:00am & 2:00pm
Sunday  May 14th           7:00pm

For more information about these shows at the Ivoryton Playhouse, follow this link.

If you would like to know more information or become involved in Stand Up and Speak Out please email

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Interesting article in the Washington Post with a mention of one of our Playhouse family members – David Pittsinger.


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24 foot trees, over 40 orbs, CT’s largest living Christmas tree, over 350,000 lights dancing to music!

Looking for a different way to celebrate Christmas?  Ivoryton lights up the holiday with over 350,000 lights throughout the village!

The Illuminations will shine brightly through January 5th and visitors can tune their car radios to 101.5FM and watch as the lights dance to the music!

This event is supported entirely by volunteers and sponsors including Essex Lions, Essex Savings Bank, Valley Courier, Riggio & Sons General Contractors, Wilcox Tree Service and Westbrook Elks.









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Women Playwright’s Initiative at the Ivoryton Playhouse 

Ivoryton, CT:  In February 2016, Laura Copland, Director of Play Development, and Jacqui Hubbard, Executive/Artistic Director of The Ivoryton Playhouse, began talks about creating a safe environment for women playwrights to workshop their plays with professional actors and directors. The Ivoryton Playhouse is excited to announce the 2017 inaugural festival of the Women Playwright’s Initiative. The workshopping festival runs from February 26 to March 4, 2017. Staged readings of the winning scripts will take place on Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4, 2017 at The Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT, followed by discussions with playwrights, actors and directors.

A call for one act plays went out on the League of Professional Theatre Women’s website and was picked up across the country. By the submission deadline of September 15, the Initiative received 183 scripts. The scripts hailed from all over the United States and Canada, even Israel.

For Ms. Copland, who read all of the plays, this experience has been humbling and inspiring. “All these women!  All these women expressing in dialogue and conflict, their passion, intelligence, yearning, anger, hurt, love, and humor. Women are a force! It has been my honor to read their work.”

The time constraints of one week rehearsal and two nights of staged readings permitted no more than two hour-long plays, and two shorter plays. After wrenching deliberation, thirteen plays were under consideration. Many fascinating plays with potential had to be eliminated. The small committee included Ms. Copland, Ms. Hubbard, Susan McCann, Box Office Manager at The Ivoryton Playhouse, Margaret McGlone Jennings, director, teacher and actor and Brooks Appelbaum, director and theatre critic.

Four terrific plays were selected. The committee is proud of the choices and looks forward to working with the playwrights, cast, and directors in what we hope will be a smashingly successful inaugural season of the Ivoryton Playhouse’s Women Playwright’s Initiative.

The Playhouse is now seeking submissions from local directors. The deadline for resume submissions is November 30, 2016. Please submit to Laura Copland at (Calls for local actors will be in January, 2017.)

For more information about the Women’s Playwright Initiative, please contact Jacqueline Hubbard, Executive Director, The Ivoryton Playhouse, 860-767-9520 x 202 or email

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icrv_preferred_rgb_150iCRaVe Music Fest is on…at the Ivoryton Playhouse!!!

iCRV Radio is thrilled to present the iCRaVe Music Fest on November 25 and 26 on the incredible stage of the Ivoryton Playhouse.  Be part of this community celebration as five bands grace this hallowed stage each of two nights.  Open seating, bistro tables, a dance area, some vendors, and a cash bar. Advance tickets for each night only $22.00 and you get a re-entry bracelet that you can show to participating area merchants for special deals.  Doors open at 6p…Music starts at 630p.

Be part of it all…each night with a different musical vibe:



Friday, November 25:  Roots and Americana…with Rivers….the CarLeans….Ron Anthony and Denny Collin…then Ramblin’ Dan Stevens and the Fiery Band…all capped off with Plywood Cowboy. Get tickets here….




Saturday, November 26: Rock and Jazz and Funk….with DizzyFish…Andrew Biagiarelli…The Grays…Cosmos Sunshine and the Butterfly Effect…and the great Michael Cleary Band capping it off… Tickets available…here…


Proceeds will benefit Team Avery

Avery Rose was a mere two years old hen she was diagnosed with a rare mutation of CDKL5. CDKL5 mirrors Rhett’s syndrome and there is currently no cure… It causes a punishing array of challenges… seizures everyday…difficulty doing the easiest of activities.

Only about 150 girls in the world have this rare disease.

Now eight years old, Avery, thanks to the caring family and friends…and community supporters along the Shoreline…and the great help from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County…is able to get to doctors and community activities with her new van…but she needs a proper lift so that her wheelchair can get in and out safely.

Proceeds of the Second Annual iCRaVe Music Fest will go to help Team Avery get that wheelchair lift for her van.  If you want more information…stop by Bill’s Seafood in Westbrook and ask for Mark…he will be happy to tell you more on the struggle and the great sense of community support he feels everyday. Go Team Avery!!!

icrave-music-back-fnl icrave-music-front-fnl

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And a perfect gift, too!
Have you ever wanted to be on stage at the Ivoryton Playhouse?  Do you know someone who has always harbored dreams of being in the spotlight?  Well, now is the chance to make dreams come true!
We are auctioning off a walk on part in our holiday production of The Bells of Dublin Part III:  A New York Fairytale.
The performance dates available are:

Thursday         December 8                 7:30pm
Friday              December 9                 7:30pm
Saturday          December 10               2:00pm
Sunday            December 11               2:00pm
Wednesday      December 14               2:00pm
Wednesday      December 14               7:30pm
Saturday          December 17               2:00pm
Saturday          December 17               7:30pm

 For a $100 donation, you will get:  
        **  The chance to be in the show with a walk on part and spoken lines
**  Your name will be printed in Playbill (if desired)
             ** 2 x seats for the night of your show

Join stars like Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando and Alan Alda and become a part of the amazing history of the Ivoryton Playhouse!

It’s not a big commitment – just one meeting and one rehearsal.

This is a limited opportunity – first come, first served. 
Please call Krista May at (860) 767 9520 x 205 if you would like to buy a walk on part in our December production or email with your preferred date.

It’s your chance to be a star……..will you take it????

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The Ivoryton Players are presenting a fully staged reading at the Deep River Town Hall Theater.  The play is See How They Run by Philip King.  Directed by Joyce Beauvais.  The dates and times are: Friday, November 19, 2016 at 7PM and Saturday, November 20, 2016 at 2PM.  Parking at Walgreens, Bank, School and Adams.

See How They Run is a zany, hilarious farce set in a British country vicarage just post WW II.  The hilarity begins when an American Soldier dons a Vicar suit to see “Private Lives” outside of his jurisdiction.  Soon we have many vicars, a Russian Spy, Bobbys, a squiffy church lady and more!  Philip King wrote his play as an homage to Noel Coward.  It is crazy funny!!


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“…richly satisfying and deeply moving”  – Review by Zander Opper


kim-in-blue-satin Connecticut Premier of new musical play

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical
at the Ivoryton Playhouse
October 26th – November 13th, 2016

Ivoryton – Based on the life of Rosemary Clooney, American’s favorite girl singer comes to life on stage in this exhilarating and inspiring musical biography. Tenderly is not a typical “juke-box musical.” It offers a fresh, remarkably personal, and poignant picture of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend.  With her signature songs woven in and out, we learn both the story of her successes on film, radio, and TV, as well as her struggles in her personal life.

michael-and-kim-singing-together“I’d call myself a sweet singer with a big band sensibility,” Rosemary once wrote. She  came to prominence in the early 1950s with the novelty hit “Come On-a My House”, which was followed by other pop numbers such as “Mambo Italiano”, “Tenderly”, “Half as Much”, “Hey There” and “This Ole House.” Clooney’s career languished in the 1960s, partly due to problems related to depression and drug addiction, but revived in 1977, when her “White Christmas” co-star Bing Crosby asked her to appear with him at a show marking his 50th anniversary in show business. She continued recording until her death in 2002.

michael-with-folderThis production was developed and premiered by The Human Race Theatre Company and produced at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Michael Marotta* will be revisiting the role of the Doctor that he helped develop and Kim Rachelle Harris* will be making her debut as Rosemary Clooney. The production is directed by Brian Feehan, musical directed by Dan Brandl, set design by William Stark, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Rebecca Welles.

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on October 26th and runs through November 13th, 2016. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

Members of the press are welcome at any performance after October 28th.  Please call ahead for tickets.

Generously sponsored by Hamilton Connections and Comcast

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jacqui-with-hands-in-the-air-cropThank you to all hosts/hostesses and all guests who made Saturday’s celebration such an amazing success.  Photos will be posted here soon.

Thank you also to Sally Mayer, Kate Brashears and Donnelee Genaro for their tireless hard work to make the day and evening events so spectacular.



A Madhatters Tea Party and a Mirror Ball
A Celebration of Artistic Director, Jacqui Hubbard, and her Quarter Century at the Ivoryton Playhouse

jacq-in-pinkIvoryton:  The Ivoryton Playhouse is celebrating 25 years of laughter and drama, new shingles and seats, and more and more music and romance and applause than ever before. This year marks the 25th year of Artistic Director, Jacqui Hubbard’s involvement with The Ivoryton Playhouse. Beginning as a Board member in 1991, she became Board President and in 1999 she was hired as Artistic/Executive Director and oversees all aspects of this small, historic gem of a theatre.

On October 15th, the theatre will celebrate with a Wonderland Tea Party from 10-noon at the Ivoryton Farmer’s Market. Free activities for children will include A Pink Flamingo Croquet Game, Madhatters Tea Party, Queen of Hearts Story Time, glitter tattoos and face painting and musical fun with Sunny Train.

In the evening, the theatre will host a red carpet gala. The Mirror Ball: Reflections on 25 years through the Looking Glass will feature cocktails and fine foods catered by Coffee’s Market; a musical retrospective of the past 25 years with performances by some of our favorite artists; champagne toasts and dancing till midnight to the fabulous music of Long Island Sound.

Celebrating the past 25 years is important to Hubbard, as the continued growth of the Playhouse is near and dear to her heart. “I have watched the theatre and the community that surrounds it change and grow so much over this past quarter century. It has been an eventful 25 years with its fair share of highs and lows but the one thing that has remained constant throughout those years is the support we receive from the people of this area. The Playhouse has a great family of actors and donors, musicians and members, sponsors, local businesses and community partners and I am so proud of what we have accomplished in bringing people together and encouraging growth in the village of Ivoryton. It’s been an exhilarating ride and I am looking forward to the next 25!”

Built in 1911 as a recreation hall for the workers of the Comstock-Cheney factory, the Ivoryton Playhouse has been an important part of Connecticut’s cultural landscape for every one of its 100 years. Traveling vaudeville shows and silent movies entertained residents of the shoreline area in its early years until Milton Stiefel turned into a summer theatre in 1930 and attracted stars like Katharine Hepburn, Norma Terris, Marlon Brando and Tallulah Bankhead.

In recent years the theater has continued to win critical praise: Connecticut Critic Circle Awards, a Shoreline Arts Alliance Bravo award for Best Theatre and the Shoreline Times Readers Poll Best Theatre award as well as Connecticut Magazine’s Best Place to see Live Theatre.

Tickets for the Mirror Ball are $125 each.  For more information, to purchase tickets to the Mirror Ball, the 2017 season, and all things Ivoryton Playhouse, please call 860.767.9520 or visit our website at

Photograph by Peter M. Weber





























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Our thanks to Outthink for producing another great video clip for us!

Actress Talia Thiesfield explains that the importance of Aldonza from Man of La Mancha is on a par with the roles of Fantine from Les Misérables and Evita’s Evita Perón.

Thiesfield, who plays Aldonza in the Ivoryton Playhouse’s production of Man of La Mancha, says that “these women’s (Aldonza, Fantine and Evita) stories need to be told because they live through harrowing struggles in a graceful and powerful way.” The musical includes scenes in which Aldonza finds herself in terrible, abusive situations. “But,” Thiesfield says, “the close connections formed by the cast made her feel empowered and energized to tell the story of a woman who goes through those situations and comes out knowing herself even better in the end.”

One of the world’s most popular musicals and winner of five Tony Awards, Man of La Mancha, the “Impossible Dream” is based on Cervantes’ masterpiece Don Quixote, which itself is considered by many to be one of the greatest literary works of fiction ever published. The musical is a play within a play that follows the story of aging nobleman Alonso Quijana who, as Talia says, “to the public looks like he is losing his mind, but who really may be the sanest of us all.” Backed by his trusty squire Pancho Sanchez, Alonso renames himself Don Quixote and goes off in pursuit of the perfect dream. His adventures and misadventures include dueling windmills and defending his perfect lady.

A poignant musical, Man of La Mancha is moving, thought provoking and highly entertaining. It will warm the heart of everyone who has ever been inspired by the prospect of victory by the underdog against all the odds.

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