FULTON, NY – After more than a year of events, meetings and fundraising with a goal to serve all arts for all ages, CNY Arts Center is finally set to open its first stage production with an impressive cast of 12 and a brand new stage.
The popular musical Godspell will open Aug 17 at 8 p.m. and continue Aug 18, 24 and 25 at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Aug 19 and 26 in the organization’s new home at State Street Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton.
“We have an exciting new multi-level stage built for versatility that will allow us to do a variety of plays and musicals in the coming months,” said Nancy Fox director of the production. “Designer Steve Beebe brought his experience designing sets and stages for several theatre companies and venues in the area including Encore Presentations and Glen Loch Restaurant to name a few. With a volunteer crew the stage was up in a few afternoons and now our artists will begin the transformation from plywood and 2x4s to artistic interpretation of the environment of our first production, Godspell. With a strong directorial team and an amazing multi-generational cast of actors, it is very exciting to finally add theatre to our programming with this popular show.”
The talented cast is led by Fox, an experienced director with more than 25 years of professional and community theatre experience, most recently as director of Port City Theatre which closed after only three years at the untimely death of her husband.
Fox is joined by well-known music director Dan Williams and Choreographer Amy Price.
Williams is returning to work with Fox having first appeared as Jesus in Godspell for Port City Theatre, followed by the role of Michael in I Do! I Do!
He is also a cast member of the John, His Story Tour Company for CNY Arts Center.
Comfortable both offstage and on, he is well-known in professional and community theatres around central New York having worked with Oswego Players, Oswego Opera Theatre, Fulton Community Theatre, Jordan-Elbridge Community Theatre, Wit’s End Players, Appleseed Productions, Rarely Done Productions, Red House Arts Center and Syracuse Opera.
He is on the board of Oswego Opera Company.
Choreographer Price is new to Central New York and served as dance instructor and/or director at studios in Ohio, South Carolina and Georgia before coming to New York where she is employed at the Oswego YMCA and serving at Camp Hollis for the summer.
She has choreographed or directed many of the major musicals including Godspell, Guys and Dolls, The Music Man, Once Upon a Mattress, Cinderella, Bye Bye Birdie, Annie and Grease to name a few.
Godspell brings a wide range of experience from relative newcomer to seasoned professional with faces familiar to local audiences that include Nick Pike, a graduate of G. Ray Bodley High School in the role of Jesus. Nick is a senior theatre major at SUNY Oswego whose theatre credits cover a wide variety of roles from Shakespeare to comedy in well-known titles such as West Side Story, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Little Shop of Horrors, Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, Once Upon a Mattress, War of the Worlds, Much Ado About Nothing and more.
Richard Mosher who portrays Judas is a member of the multi-talented and theatrical Mosher family, founders of Oswego Children’s Theater.
Mosher has appeared in multiple productions at Oswego Players and Oswego Children’s Theater, and in the Port City Theatre production In His Steps. He is a director, designer and gifted actor well known to the Oswego community.
Veterans Robert Fontana and Kristin Cook return to reprise their roles from the 2007 production of Godspell presented by Port City Theatre.
Cook is one of the original cast members of John, His Story which debuted in 2007 at Port City Theatre and continues to tour for CNY Arts Center.
Fontana has appeared in more than 35 productions with many different theater companies including Port City Theatre, Oswego Players, Oswego Opera Company, Oswego Children’s Theater and Fulton Community Theater. He has directed often for the Oswego Players, and toured with John, His Story since 2008.
Veteran actor Marguerite Beebe has been in many productions in Syracuse and Onondaga County, most recently seen in Church Basement Ladies for Encore Presentations and Queen of Bingo for Fulton Community Theatre. She has extensive performance and production credits for a variety of theatre and film companies throughout Central New York.
Marlina Beebe began performing at Salt City Center for the Performing Arts when she was 6 years old. She was seen recently in Encore Prensentation’s production of Church Basement Ladies and has performed in many area shows including benefit concerts for Encore Presentations, Salt City Playhouse II, and Appleseed and can be seen in the upcoming Cindy Martens film Fallen Angels and in Half Dead as a zombie by Matt Peters and Mark Peek.
Relative newcomers Joseph Pauldine and Brenda Semararo, join the cast of Godspell with distinctive talents. Pauldine is a local business man, Insurance and Real Estate Broker with a background of vocal training in opera. Semararo comes fresh from her most recent roles as the Wizard and the Nightingale for Once Upon a Mattress (Oswego Players). She is also the District Treasurer for the Cato-Meridian Central School District.
Carly Farfaglia, a native Fultonian brings experience to the stage with performances in The Secret Garden, Large Fears, Little Demons, and dual roles in The Wizard of Oz.
She is also an All County/All State Chorus alumni. Her dad, Jim Farfaglia, is CNY Arts Center’s writing program coordinator.
Taylor Hamer, Ryan Smith, and Mark Parry round out the cast of Godspell as the youngest members of the cast each with active involvement in the local theatre scene. Taylor and Ryan just completed summer performances in Once Upon a Mattress at Oswego Players, and the Children’s Harborfest musical Traders on the Border. Both have extensive dance training and perform with the Oswego High School Theatre department. Mark comes from G. Ray Bodley High School as a junior having been seen in Beauty and the Beast and Damn Yankees.
“Personally it’s a momentous occasion to be back at work directing with a brand new stage in a brand new facility and an incredible array of talented people,” Fox said. “I couldn’t be more excited and it’s just the first of many great productions to come.”
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors 62 and older and students grade school through college (with a college ID).
CNY Arts Center also offers a family package of $34 for two adults and two children and $5 for each additional child in the same family.
Tickets and reservations are available online at www.CNYArtsCenter.com or by calling 315-216-8790 or 598-8812.
The theatre is located at the Park Street entrance in the State Street Methodist Church at 357 State St. in Fulton.