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October 15, 2018

Return of the Summer Family Musical


FULTON – A story is told of a little girl whose father was a preacher.

Her mother had left behind the privileges of wealth and class in the early 1900s to serve beside her husband in the church.

Nancy Fox and Anthony Pecora run lights and sound during the first CNY Arts Center production in 2012. Fox returns to directing with the premiere of Pollyanna.

Nancy Fox and Anthony Pecora run lights and sound during the first CNY Arts Center production in 2012. Fox returns to directing with the premiere of Pollyanna.

Tragically both parents died, first the mother, then the father.

The frightened child tried to remember all her father taught her about finding joy in the face of her sadness while she was cared for by church ladies.

Orphaned at age 11 she was finally sent to live with her curmudgeonly old aunt, who made her sleep in the attic and live by strict rules.

But always, her heart and soul housed an eager spirit and in her innocence she transformed the lives of those around her.

Never complaining, she disarmed everyone by always finding something to be glad about, no matter the circumstances.

We recognize the story of Pollyanna the orphan girl who teaches an entire town to be glad in the face of adversity.

Her father taught it to her as the Glad Game.

A nostalgic return to happier times is on the summer schedule at CNY Arts Center who will produce the musical premiere of Pollyanna, based on the 1913 novel by Eleanor Porter and produced by special arrangement with Lifehouse Theater.

“This story begs to be told,” said Nancy Fox, director. “So we can consider what makes a Glad Town and ask how we can find the good in our everyday lives. These are scary, uncertain times and seeing the joy in life through the eyes of an innocent child, with problems of her own as an orphan, I hope will be a welcome reminder of all we have to be grateful for in spite of our circumstances.”

Auditions for the musical, which has never been produced locally, will be held May 17 and 18 from 6-9 p.m. and May 21 from noon – 3 p.m. at the Arts Center on the Cayuga College Fulton Campus.

All ages are welcome to audition.

A song and a one-minute memorized monologue or scripture for lead roles is all that is needed.

“I’m looking for all kinds from a fire and brimstone preacher to cranky old coots and just the right Pollyanna with innocence and sincerity,” Fox said.

The production set in 1909 also calls for a large cast of townsfolk and families are invited to audition together.

“We’re bringing back the summer family musical that enjoyed great popularity in the ’90s in Fulton started by the Fulton Community Theatre under the leadership of Tom Briggs,” Fox said. “Many folks have great memories of summers spent singing and dancing, learning lines and building sets for classic musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof, Once upon A Mattress, Music Man, and more. We applaud their efforts and invite a new generation of families to try this fun summer family activity, dress-up, pretend, singing and dancing! What fun we will have!”

For those not interested in being onstage, Fox is also recruiting painters, builders, costume people and stage help.

More information about auditions is available at www.CNYArtsCenter.com/Pollyanna or call 598-ARTS (2787).

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