STP Summer Exploration – Ready, Set, Go!

By Lizabeth Jenkins-Dale   With Little Mermaid, Jr. rehearsals in full swing (performances Friday, April 28 to Sunday, April 30), The Soo Theatre Project is looking onward to summer. STP summer exploration is ready for you with a varied list of options! How about Art Camp? Or maybe Beginning Strings Camp? Band and Orchestra Camp? There’s a Vocal and Opera Workshop Camp, too. Elementary Arts Exploration Camp allows students to be exposed to multiple kinds of art. And, the Pre-school Music, Art, and Play Camp. If the extended rehearsal schedule of Little Mermaid, Jr. didn’t work with your child’s spring schedule, then a summer camp or two will be a good fit. How about The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White? Or, Winnie The Pooh Kids? These are only two of nine summer camps at The Soo Theatre Project. If your child wants to participate in theatre, but hasn’t previously or has little experience, The Soo Theatre Project has the perfect solution. Allow the older students to be role models for the younger ones. The Soo Theatre Project has been offering theatre opportunities since 2003 and has many students who have performed for years now. Their experience is truly valuable for the younger ones “coming on up.” One such opportunity is the one-week Elementary Musical Theatre Camp June 19-23 which joins the two-week Middle School/High School Musical Theatre Camp June 12-16 and June 19-23. All these students will perform The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White. The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White is a fun spoof on the original story of Snow White: “…New characters and comedic twists come to life as a modern mom reads the Brothers Grimm tale to her restless children. In addition to the well-known cast of the kind princess, evil queen, multiple dwarfs and the morally conflicted huntsman, this musical introduces us to some fresh new faces such as rhyme-happy ladies-in-waiting and a stick-in-the-mud governmental representative out to ruin everyone’s good time. This family musical is fused with a rousing mixture of hip-hop, rock and roll, doo wop and more! With its tongue-in-cheek humor and catchy songs, The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White is a fairy tale for the whole family!” Elementary, middle, and high school students enjoy the thrills of theatre production while learning from each other the art of performance. It’s a win-win situation! Enroll your child today. An additional Elementary Musical Theatre Camp, performing Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS in a camp July 17-21, is another wonderful opportunity for the younger theatre students to “get their feet wet” on stage. “Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS is a delightful show based on the beloved characters of A.A. Milne and the 2011 Disney animated feature film. Featuring favorite songs from the film, as well as new hits by the Academy Award-winning Robert and Kristen Lopez (Frozen), this honey-filled delight is as sweet as it is fun....

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Soo Theatre Faculty to Perform at St. Mary’s on Sunday

Instructors at the Soo Theatre have been gearing up for their faculty performance tomorrow afternoon. The concert will take place at 4 o’clock in the afternoon on Sunday, March 18 at St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral on Portage Street in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The program will feature a variety of instruments including violin, voice, organ, flute, clarinet, and a string quartet.  One highlight of the program will be a movement from a Mendelssohn String Quartet performed by Benjamin Gulder and Anya Mallinger on violin, Dottie Case on viola, and Maggie Twining on cello.  Mallinger, concertmaster of the Sault Symphony Orchestra and instructor at The Algoma Conservatory joins the Soo Theatre faculty members as a guest artist.  She has also been the concertmaster for many Soo Opera performances at the Soo Theatre and recently collaborated in the annual Festival Orchestra concert with Case and Twining. The three teachers worked together to combine their student orchestras for an entertaining and educational experience for all.  “Ain’t It A Pretty Night” by Carlisle Floyd will be performed by lyric soprano Karen Hughes Beacom, with Kristin Beckman accompanying.     Beacom will also perform some gospel selections with well known Soo Theatre performer Lola Kennedy from their recent recital at Central. Kennedy has been working with Beacom on “The Little Mermaid Jr.” coaching young singers in their acting roles in the show. The organ at St. Mary’s will also play a role in Sunday’s performance. Organist and pianist Betty Struble will showcase this beautiful instrument with some Bach, Handel and a delightful Spanish number. Woodwinds will also be on the scene with a duet performed by Meg Boucher on flute and Dottie Case on clarinet.   Maggie Twining and Benjamin Gulder will also make solo appearances on the concert. Please join us for a relaxing afternoon of music. Admission is by donation. Proceeds will go towards our newly formed student scholarship fund. Consider a gift to the Soo Theatre...

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Soo Theatre to participate in “Bach in the Subways”

Bach in the Subways? As in, a train station? Though Sault Sainte Marie, MI, does not have a train station that would be suitable for this type of event, we do have many locations around the EUP that can house Bach’s music! So what is Bach in the Subways? In 2010, a nation-wide movement began with Dale Henderson, a sole cellist playing Bach Cello Suites in a subway train station in New York City. His goal was to celebrate J.S. Bach’s music near his birth date with an event that has since been titled “Bach in the Subways.” The idea behind the movement is to get musicians to play Bach’s music in the subway or other public places (for free to all listeners) during the weekend closest to Bach’s birthday. The reason? To share the joy and love of Classical Music with people who otherwise might not have the opportunity to hear it; and hopefully, in turn, creating a love for Classical music.  This spring, several of our performing groups at the Soo Theatre Project and STARS, directed by Dottie Case and Maggie Twining, the Algoma Conservatory of Music Violin Ensembles, directed by Anya Mallinger, and individual students and faculty will be joining Bach in the Subways with performances of his music around the EUP Friday, March 18 through Tuesday, March 21st. March 21st celebrates 326 years since Bach’s birth! And the music we have heard through the ages is glorious! Though the idea of Bach in the Subways is for music to spring up spontaneously and in random public places, because the Soo Theatre values their students participating in this event, we are publishing these dates and locations so that all can hear Bach free of charge, and support our young people learning from Bach’s music. Here are the times and locations that Bach will be springing up in the Eastern Upper Peninsula this week. Friday, March 17th, 4:00-5:30pm, Bayliss Public Library (though not an official “Bach in the Subways” date, we will be playing Bach during this event) Saturday, March 18th, 10:00-11:30am, Bayliss Public Library Sunday, March 19th, 1:00-2:00pm, Station Mall, Sault, Ontario Monday, March 20th, 10:00-11:00am, LSSU Arts Center Monday, March 20th, 11:00am-12:30pm, LSSU Cisler Center, Quarterdeck Monday, March 20th, 4:30-5:30pm, LSSU Cisler Center, Quarterdeck Sunday, March 26th, 2:30-3:30, Public Library, Sault, Ontario In addition to these public performances of Bach’s music, many of the EUP schools have allowed students and/or faculty to come and play Bach music either at the beginning or end of the school day or during lunch. Schools we will be visiting for Bach in the Subways include: Sault High School, Washington Elementary, St. Mary’s, Soo Township Elementary, Brimley, Les Cheneaux, Rudyard Area Schools, and Rudyard Christian School. As if that isn’t enough music for one weekend, the Soo Theatre Faculty will also be performing a Faculty Recital on Sunday, March 19th...

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Singing in the Sault: EUP Festival of Voice, Music at Central, Soo Theatre Faculty Recital and STARS Youth Chorus

Karen Hughes Beacom / March 4, 2017   Singing abounds in the month of March in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan with voice festivals, recitals and performances and a new opportunity for kids to sing.  The EUP Festival of Voice will hold its 5th Annual Vocal Festival on March 15 at Lake Superior State University. This local event was started by Sault Area Schools choir director Lisa Justin and local soprano Karen Hughes Beacom.  The adjudicated event is open to local choirs of all ages and soloists who wish to receive feedback on their individual vocal selections. Choirs prepare two pieces in contrasting styles and perform for the adjudicator. While not a competition in nature, the event is judged by a highly qualified professional brought in to give feedback and work with each group to improve their performances.  This annual event provides a great opportunity to work with professional singers right here in the Soo.  As an adjunct professor of music at LSSU, Hughes Beacom is thrilled to have the event in the Arts Center again, giving her University ensembles a chance to perform their own stage.  Soprano Sarah Gartshore from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario will be adjudicating. Participating choirs are from Rudyard, Cedarville, Sault Ste. Marie and LSSU.  New this year will be a joint piece that will be performed by all of the participating choirs.  The event is open to the public and the performance schedule will be available on the Soo Theatre website and Facebook page the week of the event.  A few days ahead of the Festival of Voice, sopranos Lola Kennedy and Karen Hughes Beacom will perform on the Music at Central Concert Series on Sunday, March 12 at 3pm.  The duo will perform Broadway hits from “My Fair Lady,” “Carousel,” and “Hamilton,” to opera arias from Handel’s Rinaldo, “Lascia ch’io pianga” to the more modern work “Ain’t it a Pretty Night” by Floyd. Also on the program are duets, including “Down to the River to Pray” and “Amazing Grace.” The performance will be accompanied by pianist Kristin Beckman.  One week later, Beacom will sing as a member of the Soo Theatre faculty. This spring recital will be held on Sunday, March 19 at St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral at 4 o’clock.   To begin this month of singing, the Soo Theatre is offering another session of Youth Chorus to singers from age 8-18. The chorus, last seen at A Laker Christmas, will prepare selections for Music in the Park in June.  Rehearsals will take place on Mondays from 4-4:45 starting on March 6 under the direction of Karen Hughes Beacom.  You can catch all of this great singing right here in Sault Ste. Marie this...

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Rockin’ 2017 Summer STP Camps!

by Lizabeth Jenkins-Dale / Feb. 25, 2017 While winter decides if it is a’staying or a’going, it is time to look forward to warmer times ahead…and that includes The Soo Theatre Project’s awesome summer camps! This year, two camps have been planned so far: The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White for the two-week camp for high school, middle school, and elementary school aged students and Winnie the Pooh Kids for the one-week camp for just elementary school students. Obviously, The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White, is an adaptation to the original story, Snow White, which always makes for an interesting show. The audience will love the changes and unexpected action. “This fresh and funny adaptation will make even the most jaded among us laugh out loud.  New characters and comedic twists come to life as a modern mom reads the Brothers Grimm tale to her restless children. In addition to the well-known cast of the kind princess, evil queen, multiple dwarfs and the morally conflicted huntsman, this musical introduces us to some fresh new faces such as rhyme-happy ladies-in-waiting and a stick-in-the-mud governmental representative out to ruin everyone’s good time. This family musical is fused with a rousing mixture of hip-hop, rock and roll, doo wop and more! With its tongue-in-cheek humor and catchy songs The Rockin’ Tale of Snow White is a fairy tale for the whole family!” The magic of this two-week camp comes from the older students sharing their love of and experience in theatre with the younger kids. Many Soo Theatre Project students have been in multiple productions in the last ten plus years and have a great deal to share with the up-and-coming students. The one-week camp, Winnie The Pooh Kids, is especially designed for introducing theatre to younger actors and actresses in a fun environment. For those new to theatre or just beginning an interest in theatre, this camp is a perfect fit. “Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS is a delightful show based on the beloved characters of A.A. Milne and the 2011 Disney animated feature film. Featuring favorite songs from the film, as well as new hits by the Academy Award-winning Robert and Kristen Lopez (Frozen), this honey-filled delight is as sweet as it is fun. “Welcome to the Hundred Acre Wood, where Winnie the Pooh is once again in search of honey. Along the way, he meets his pals, Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit and Owl, but soon discovers that Christopher Robin has been captured by the mysterious Backson! As they prepare for a rescue operation, the animals learn about teamwork, friendship and, of course… sharing snacks. “Filled with all of their favorite characters, Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS is a favorite for children to perform. There is ample opportunity for adding a large ensemble and filling your stage with as many creatures of the Hundred Acre Wood as possible.” Stay tuned to Soo Theatre Project’s...

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STP Has It All: A Hot Breakfast and Robin Hood!

by Lizabeth Jenkins-Dale / Feb. 18, 2017 Robin Hood Auditions! Auditions for The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood, to be performed June 16, 17, and 18, are Sunday and next Wednesday. Tomorrow’s auditions are from 1-4 pm for those adults wanting a major part. (See list of characters below.) Wednesday’s audition time is 6-8 pm for high schoolers to adults. Director Lisa Dunn explains the auditioning process: Those auditioning will be asked to read a short scene from the play. Audition scenes will be available for perusal before auditions. Everything about The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood is humorous! Even the title hints at humor. The list of available characters reveals even more wittiness: Robin Hood: Dashing hero with a large ego Lady Marian: Lovely damsel in distress Prince John: The head bad guy Sheriff of Nottingham: Prince John’s cohort in crime Towns guy: The local yokel Lady in waiting: Lady Marian’s attendant Friar Tuck: Holy relic Will Scarlet: The wise guy Little John: Big character with an IQ of six Allan Adale: Slightly brighter than Little John Fawning Ladies: Ladies who ” fawn” over Prince John Guards: Those who protect the castle Rich man Poor lady with a baby For more information and for a summary of The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood, please go to www.sootheatre.org and look under the auditions tab. Hungry? How does thick sausage gravy over hot biscuits, freshly made scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, sizzling sausage, and sizable hot cakes sound to you? That was the excellent breakfast served at Moloney’s Alley Irish Restaurant Saturday, February 4 before the I-500 snowmobile race. Over 100 happy breakfast eaters were served a plateful of morning goodness for only $8. Proceeds went to The Soo Theatre Project. Many thanks to Abby Baker, manager of Moloney’s Alley Irish Restaurant, for organizing this event. “People were really hungry and quite thankful for the delicious, quick meal before heading to the racetrack,” said breakfast server Lizabeth Jenkins-Dale. “The staff was friendly and Abby was so helpful answering our questions of ‘how things work’ the day of the race. We returned Saturday morning for the Bloody Mary bar and mimosas. Amazing spread of fixings for sure! Also, there was a breakfast being served to benefit the Soo Theatre. It was great to see the community supporting their local downtown. We attended the race and returned to Moloney’s at the end. It was a great crowd, great music and the staff was still amazing after, what I am sure, was a long and busy day! Can’t wait to return and experience more of what the Soo has to offer!” -Emily Rose, a satisfied customer. The breakfast before the I-500 race will be an annual event at Moloney’s Alley Irish Restaurant so put it on your calendar for next year! At the Soo Theatre Project, there is always something for...

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Soo Theatre to hold auditions FEBRUARY 19 & 22 for The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood.

Do you love humorous shows? Do you enjoy spoofs on original stories? If you do, then the exciting summertime play The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood is for you! “Have you ever wondered what would happen if Monty Python met up with Mel Brooks to tell their version of Robin Hood? Well…um…poor Sherwood Forest will never be the same again.” The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood is being performed this June 16, 17, and 18, at the Soo Theatre. Although this is quite a few months from now, preparations are taking place now. Director Lisa Dunn has scheduled auditions Sunday, February 19 from 1-4 as well as Wednesday, February 22 from 6-8 pm. Not quite sure what The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood is about? Here is a synopsis: ‘It sure is hard to be humble when you’re a swashbuckling, egocentric super-hero. But our gallant guy-in-green tries his best as he swaggers through The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood, a Monty Pythonesque retelling of the classic.’ ‘This time around, the legendary legend, in his never-ending quest to aid the needy, encounters a lovely damsel-in-distress (oddly obsessed with skin conditions); an ever-scheming sheriff who would rather bowl a strike than hit a bull’s-eye; a gold-hoarding, bad-guy monarch wannabe; and a good-natured “Town’s Guy” who manages to make his way into every scene, whether he belongs there or not. ‘Combine them with a band of spoon-wielding Merry Men whose collective IQs equal six, and you’ve got an irreverent jaunt though Sherwood Forest you won’t soon forget!’ The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood reads like a fun performance to see and a fun performance to be in! Want to be involved? Director Lisa Dunn is casting adults in leading roles and adults and high school students in chorus roles. Those auditioning will be asked to read a short scene from the play. Audition scenes will be available for perusal before auditions. Even the descriptions of the cast of characters begins to tell the humorous story: Robin Hood: Dashing hero with a large ego Lady Marian: Lovely damsel in distress Prince John: The head bad guy Sheriff of Nottingham: Prince John’s cohort in crime Towns guy: The local yokel Lady in waiting: Lady Marian’s attendant Friar Tuck: Holy relic Will Scarlet: The wise guy Little John: Big character with an IQ of six Allan Adale: Slightly brighter than Little John Fawning Ladies: Ladies who ” fawn” over Prince John Guards: Those who protect the castle Rich man Poor lady with a baby Remember, auditions are Sunday, February 19th from 1-4 p.m. and Wednesday, February 22nd from 6-8 p.m. Performance dates are: June 16, 17, and 18. Give it a try and who knows? Perhaps the performance star in you will shine brightly on The Soo Theatre Project’s historic stage this June! At the Soo Theatre Project, there is...

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New Classes Start This Week!

Cabin fever got you wishing you had something new and exciting to do? You’re in luck! Soo Theatre Project/STARS is starting a new session of winter classes. These classes are short-term and designed to give students, young and old alike, an opportunity to try something new for a short period of time. Birth through age 5 For our youngest musicians, “Music Together” is for birth through age 5 and their parent or caregiver. A new session started in January and another will start in March, for 8 weeks each. Music Together encourages parents to make music with their children during the class and participants receive a songbook and CD so they can make music together all week long. Watch our website and facebook page for details on the March class. Want to do a demo class to see what Music Together is about? Call our office and ask to be put on the interest list. If we have interest, we will run one demo class (45 minutes) at no charge to you so you can see why Music Together is such a wonderful program! Ages 5-9 “First Steps in Music” is a class for 5-8 year olds and parents are also encoura ged to participate in this class. Held on Saturdays from 2:30-3:15, for 10 weeks, this curriculum uses singing, finger play, movement, and rhythm instruments to get your youngster moving and singing songs you’re sure to love. First Steps is taught by new faculty member Meg Boucher, who is also available to teach private flute lessons. Beginning Violin will be offered for 6-9 year olds. This class will move at a pace that these young students will be able to handle, but before you know it, they’ll be “twinkling STARS” (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star is the first song they will learn)! Saturdays from 3:30-4:15, 10 weeks. Instrument rental is required for this class. Call the office for instrument rental information. Ages 8-18 Is your child a little older? Youth chorus is for 8-18 years of age. Students will learn proper vocal technique, diction, and musicality in a variety of genres. Singing is a great way to get rid of cabin fever blues! Why not sign up your student with a friend? Ages 13-adult Maybe you have a ukulele hanging on your wall collecting dust. February is a great time to get the ukulele down and strum, strum, strum your way to feeling as though you are on a Hawaiian island! In this class, taught by Ronda McGreevy, you will learn all the basics including tuning, strumming patterns, and chords. This class is for ages 13 through adult, runs 10 weeks, and includes folk, pop, and rock genres. Grades 3-5 Beginning strings classes are taking place at several area schools. Students can choose the violin or the cello. Held directly after school, these classes run 10 weeks are done...

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MCACA Grant Award Moves STP Forward Toward Renovation Reality

Ever have something in your life that you’ve wanted for a VERY long time and it finally comes into sight? Like the long road to finishing a degree? Or the desire for a first car? Or the achievement of a personal sports goal? Well…this is happening to The Soo Theatre Project! After ten plus years, The Soo Theatre’s vision of a completely renovated theatre is coming into sight.   With the generous assistance from MCACA, or Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, STP is moving forward toward its renovation reality. And, what a celebration it will be for everyone in the Upper Eastern Peninsula to have a dry, heated, year-round theatre with additional rooms for classes, a sink in the painting room, and an elevator to carry large musical instruments and music stands to the second floor among other beneficial aspects of a renovated theatre. The MCACA peer review process allows for each grant application to be competitively considered by a panel of in-state and out-of-state arts and cultural professionals. This ensures the taxpayers, who support this project through legislative appropriations, and all other visitors or residents in Michigan will have access to the highest quality arts and cultural experiences. The Soo Theatre Project has been awarded two grants totaling $65,000 from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). The grants were awarded through the MCACA peer review process and were two of 559 applications to compete for MCACA fiscal year 2016 funding. The first grant is for $15,000 for operations, the second, in the amount of $50,000 is for capital improvements to begin fixing the theatre’s roof. Here’s the catch…Organizations receiving a MCACA grant award are required to match those funds with other public and private dollars.  But don’t worry. The Soo Theatre Project is already on it, but it does need your help. Please read more. Local support of the operations project includes STP’s “Belong to Something Big” campaign, which annually raises funds for operations.  Local support for the capital improvements grant include the STP “Raise the Roof” campaign, created and produced by Abby Baker, manager of Moloney’s Alley Irish Pub.  The sponsors of the popular “Raise the Roof” campaign are: Soo Co-Op Credit Union, War Memorial Hospital, Moloney’s Alley Irish Pub, Lynn Napa Auto Parts, A Cut Above The Rest Hair Salon, Cup of the Day Cafe, The Ojibway Ramada Hotel, Ryan’s Jewelry, Second Childhood & Adults, Too, Soo Brewing Company, The Palace Restaurant, Cooper Dental and all of the folks who attended the “Raise the Roof” concert series in 2016. Have you heard the good news? This coming “Raise The Roof” Concert series is already being planned and Ben Daniels’ Band (Actor Jeff Daniels’ son) will be here April 22 and The Go Arounds band will be here June 29. Not only was MCACA generous with The Soo Theatre Project,...

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Why The Arts?

By Lizabeth Jenkins-Dale Anyone who has participated in any of the performances, classes, camps, or events at The Soo Theatre Project has experienced not only the magic of STP, but the magic of the arts. It’s more than just painting, singing, acting, and drawing. “Art is a necessity – an essential part of our enlightenment process. We cannot, as a civilized society, regard ourselves as being enlightened without the arts.”  -Ken Danby, painter This past week was an opportunity to allow the arts into your life as auditions for Little Mermaid, Jr. took place for students aged 8 to 18. As a parent, what exhilaration it will be to see your child explore the arts on stage! The confidence gained knows no boundaries and could be a wonderful stepping stone in your child’s life. It’s a win-win situation. “Art is important. We tend to think it a luxury, but it gives people deep pleasure because beauty is the personification of hope that something grander is at work.” –Gil Dellinger, painter Just what grander experience may happen with participation in the Little Mermaid, Jr? Come see the magic happen before your eyes at performances April 28, 29, and 30. One inquiry call to The Soo Theatre Project’s office can be the start of something beautiful…cello choir? Harp lessons? Bring out melodic sounds from your voice? Violin lessons? Just call and allow the friendly, helpful folks at STP help make it a reality. Beginning in February and every first Monday through April will be local artist Randy Krause’s well-known Arty Parties at 7 pm.  Yes, you will be seated in front of a blank canvas, and with Randy’s gentle and kind guidance, you’ll create art. It’ll be something grander at work. You’ll walk out enriched. You’ll walk out expanded. And, yes, you’ll walk out with your finished piece of art! Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Music Together classes began January 5, but you can still join the musical fun on Thursdays at 10 am. Music Together is a nationally recognized program promoting music for children aged newborn to five years old. Care takers, parents, and/or relatives experience the music side-by-side with their young one. It’s delightful, and it’s one of those you-have-to-experience-the-joy-yourself to understand. Sarah Gartshore is the teacher for Music Together. She is an accomplished soprano, has a private voice studio at the Algoma Conservatory of Music, will be a featured soloist with our local Sault Symphony Orchestra in February, and also will be the adjudicator (evaluator) for the Eastern Upper Peninsula Festival of Voice in March. “Art has the role of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else.” –Sydney Gurewitz Clemens, educator. Contact The Soo Theatre Project today to create a grander version of yourself and your child and to help your child’s individual personality shine through! This is why we say… At the Soo Theatre...

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ART SPACE designated for First Mondays of the Month at Soo Theatre Project

This first Monday of each month will be alive and hopping with art classes and art events at the Soo Theatre. Offered in our downtown studio space at the theatre, local artist and beloved instructor Randy Krause will begin offering an evening of art on the first Monday of each month starting on February 6. Well-known for her Arty Parties at the Soo Theatre, Krause will be offering courses and workshops on February 6, March 6, April 3, and May 1. All art events will begin at 7pm. The selected painting or activity for each class will be published on the Soo Theatre website and on our facebook events page. The first class painting will be featured soon. Stay tuned for more details about ART on the first Monday of the month at Soo Theatre. MUSIC TOGETHER is in now session on Thursdays at 10am and new registrations are still being taken. Immerse yourself in the enjoyment of music and expression with your child ages 0-5. Caretaker and child participate together in this nationally acclaimed program taught by instructor Sarah Gartshore. Gartshore’s passion for teaching early childhood music came directly from her desire to expose her own children to the enjoyment and experience of music in a dynamic and engaging group setting. In addition to teaching Music Together for the Soo Theatre, Gartshore maintains a private voice studio at the Algoma Conservatory of Music as well as maintaining a professional career as an operatic soprano. In late February, Gartshore will be the featured soloist with our local Sault Symphony Orchestra. She will also return to adjudicate the Eastern Upper Peninsula Festival of Voice on March 15 that will be held at Lake Superior State University. For complete biographies of these two art and music teachers, please visit our Faculty page on the Soo Theatre website at www.sootheatre.org. And come sing and paint with us! Call 906-632-1930 for more details and to register...

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STARS Youth Theatre to hold auditions for “The Little Mermaid Jr.”!

The Soo Theatre Project and STARS is proud to announce their selection for the Spring musical production of the STARS YOUTH THEATRE.  “The Little Mermaid Jr.” was chosen as the all youth musical for 2017 to be performed on April 28, 29, and 30.   Two rounds of auditions will be held divided by age groups: 12-18 and 12 and under. Principal auditions for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr. for ages 12 – 18 will be held on Monday, January 16 beginning at 7pm. This night is for auditionees who are trying out for one of the show leads and have a solo piece prepared to sing for the directors.  Singers will be heard in small groups and will be scheduled in twenty minute blocks. One verse of a song with piano accompaniment is all that is required.  Pieces must be memorized.   A capella (voice only without piano) excerpts will be accepted if you are not sure how to obtain sheet music in advance of the auditions.  The theatre company will have printed music for all of the songs from the stage version if singers wish to use the materials available from the production.   Auditionees will also be asked to read lines from the show and may be called back to read with other potential cast members at a later date.    All kids 12 and under are invited to attend a group audition on Friday, January 20 from 6pm – 8pm. Those interested in being in the chorus only from this age group will audition as a group from 6pm-7pm.  This is a good idea for first timers or those who prefer to sing with other singers.   Additional leads may be chosen from the group auditions from the 12 and under group. Kids 12 and under who do wish to try for a solo part or a featured chorus role will be asked to stay for the additional hour from 7pm-8pm.  During this time the kids may sing a prepared solo or sing an excerpt from the group session.   Callbacks will take place if necessary on Saturday, January 21 time TBA.   The STARS YOUTH THEATRE program was created at the Soo Theatre to provide kids from ages 8-18 an opportunity to star in their very own production with the youth from the Soo Theatre programs taking the lead in performing and producing their own show.   Director Karen Hughes Beacom first had the idea to do an all kids version of “Annie” for the students in her private voice studio.  Initially the thought was to do highlights and possibly act out some parts of the full stage production.  To open it up to others, they decided to go ahead and hold an audition just to see if there was interest out there.   And STARS Youth Theatre was born.  What began as a...

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Explaining The Soo Theatre Project – What Is This Place?

Have you ever wondered what exactly goes on in the building that houses the Soo Theatre Project? The Eastern Upper Peninsula’s only non-profit community arts center is a diverse and encompassing enterprise serving students and the community at large in many ways, some of which may surprise you! In addition to a full spring, summer, and fall performance schedule which includes a straight play, two musicals, an opera, and specially themed events such as the annual Mike Dempsey Show, The Soo Theatre Project offers a wide range of class offerings. These classes are what is known as the STARS part of STP. The classes are the training ground for performances, with performance skills being developed all year long. The school part of STP (STARS) creates performers! Just what can you, your children, or your grandchildren learn at STARS? Lots! Violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, voice, harp, clarinet, flute, and ukulele are all available. If there is an instrument not listed above, we can find a teacher for you. There are classes all year round, as well as group lessons in piano, voice, strings, dance, art and theatre. And this January some new dance classes are being added to the lineup! Big and Little Ballet and Big and Little Hip Hop will take place at the theatre on Wednesdays beginning in January. New STARS dance instructor Ashley Burger will teach beginning ballet and hip hop in this unique and fun format. “Big” refers to any older student, teen or adult, who would participate in the class with their “little,” child, sister, niece, nephew…you get the idea. Come be a part of a unique experience with a young one that is special in your life with the joy of learning dance together. Music Together, the nationally acclaimed music program taught at Soo Theatre by Sault, Ontario’s own operatic soprano and performer Sarah Gartshore, returns in January for another session. Music Together was created for a parent or caretaker to do with their child from birth all the way to age five. Children delight in their first experiences with music in this renowned early music program. And parents have a great activity to do indoors, sheltered from the winter weather on Thursday mornings. In addition to performances and classes, the Theatre hosts concerts, too! Last year, five popular bands performed on the historic stage including The Accidentals and The Organgrinders. The first concert for next year’s series, the Ben Daniels Band, is booked for April 22! Ben Daniels is the son of the U.P.’s own Jeff Daniels and has an awesome band that is coming to our own theater. The Soo Theatre Project also provides ample space for community events such as the annual FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) fundraiser concert and the annual War Memorial Hospital meeting. Just last week, the theatre was proud to host the community Festival of Trees....

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Holiday Celebrations at STP Continue and Gift Ideas

After the successful Holiday Home Tour and Tea and the LSSU/STARS holiday concert last weekend, The Soo Theatre Project is continuing its holiday celebrations with a STARS Strings concert on Monday, December 19 at 6:30 pm at the New Hope Community Church in Kinross. This concert will have eight different groups performing: STARS Youth Orchestras (Early, Intermediate, and Advanced), New Horizons Adult Orchestras (3 levels), Soo Cello Crew, and Cantus Celli. New Hope is located at 66 Cedar Grove Drive. The SYO has three levels of performers These groups have grown considerably in the last year. Each group will play a selection by themselves and finally combine for a Medley of four Christmas Carols. The early group will play “King William’s March” and then be joined by the intermediate group for “Carol of the Bells.” The advanced group will play select movements of Corelli’s Christmas Concerto. Soo Cello Crew will perform “She’s Like the Swallow,” a Canadian Folk Song and will then be joined by Cantus Celli to play the Pastorale movement from Corelli’s Christmas Concerto and “Away in a Manger” arranged by Steven Sharp Nelson from the Piano Guys. The New Horizons Strings is an adult orchestra made up of adults who either played when they were young and have picked it up again or have never played before and started new as an adult. New Horizons is always looking for more adults who are eager to learn and periodically has new classes start for beginners. If you are an interested adult, please call the Soo Theatre office and ask to be put on the New Horizons interest list. When we have enough people interested, we will start a new class! The first level of New Horizons will be playing “Jingle Bells” and “Good King Wenceslas” accompanied by the more advanced New Horizons members. The second level will be playing “Come Ye Shepherds” and “I Wonder As I Wander.” The more advanced New Horizons group will be joining forces with our SYO Intermediate and Advanced groups to bring you “A Dickens Christmas.” Narrated by Mr. Leon Bennett, this piece tells the timeless story of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, all accompanied by string orchestra and percussion. The combination of the spoken and musical narration brings this classic to life in a new and exciting way, that can be enjoyed by audiences of any age. With the snow finally falling and Christmas just around the corner, it’ll be New Year’s Eve before we know it so it’s time to continue thinking of music lessons, exploring different arts avenues, and learning some dance moves. The Soo Theatre Project offers it all! Lessons will resume at the start of January. A new session of classes will begin in January and February February eight and ten-week periods. Watch the website for a listing of...

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Soo Theatre Swing Dancing Night

A night of Swing Dancing will be held on Friday, December 16 at the historic Soo Theatre Project in Sault Ste, Marie from 8-10pm.  The Soo Theatre is located at 534 Ashmun Street. This one night event will be led by Soo Theatre’s newest dance instructor Ashley Burger. Burger recently coached many of the Dancing with the Stars teams for their annual fundraiser for Hospice. Burger is excited to share her love of dance, and particularly swing, with participants of all ages and experience levels. Come on out to learn the basic steps of swing dance from scratch or to hone your previous skills. In addition to this one night event, Burger will be teaching an 8 week session of swing on Tuesday nights beginning in January and plans to continue into other styles of ballroom dancing. This drop in event is $10 per person. LSSU students are invited to participate for a special student rate of $5. Call SOO THEATRE (906) 632-1930 or email sootheatre@gmail.com to register or to get more information. www.sootheatre.org  ...

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Christmas at the Soo Theatre Project

At the Soo Theatre Project, there is always something for everyone all year long, and at Christmas time, it is definitely true! Soo Theatre Project has much in the way of musical celebrations throughout the holiday season. There are plenty of options for everyone and everyone’s musical tastes. STARS STUDENT RECITALS Come hear STP’s rising musicians perform holiday music Friday, December 9 at 5pm and 7pm. The two recitals featuring primarily soloists of all ages and levels will be held at Central Methodist Church. Donations will be accepted at the door. A LAKER CHRISTMAS Saturday, December 10 is the date to fully get into the holiday spirit helped by the various STP musical groups: STARS orchestras, Soo Cello Crew, LSSU Band and Chorus, and STARS kids as they perform traditional holiday favorites including a carol sing. They even invite you to join with them in the singing of “The Hallelujah Chorus.” Holiday spirit abounds at this annual event! You’ll walk out with a smile and a song in your heart that’ll last you the whole holiday season. 7pm at Arts Center at LSSU. Admission is by donation. SOO THEATRE TOUR OF HOMES AND TEA The Annual Holiday Home Tour is Sunday, December 11! Get your tickets beginning today at the STP office on Ashmun Street as well as A Cut Above Hair Salon. Beginning this coming week on Monday, December 5 for five days, The Soo Evening News will print a complete description of each home: the Landis Home at 506 North Ravine Street, the Schuurhuis home at 501 Sheridan Drive, the Dale home at 324 East Spruce Street, the Miller home at 805 East Spruce Street, and the Morley home at 105 Arlington Street. You definitely will want to see these homes because there’s always more to see than the descriptions! Join with this annual holiday event on Sunday, December 11 from 1-5pm. You can see the homes from 1-4 pm and enjoy the tea at Faith Lutheran Church from 2-5 pm with door prizes being selected and the silent auction ending at 5 pm. Tickets ($20) are available today, December 3, at Soo Theatre Project and A Cut Above. Every year many people from the community love attending this special holiday event with friends and family. SOO CELLO CREW & CANTUS CELLI The wonderful sound of the cello will be shared this holiday season on Wednesday, December 14 at Avery Square. Avery Square prepares a delicious Christmas meal for their residents and the Soo Cello Crew plays carols for the residents while they dine. This is one of many outreach performances that will be put on over the holiday season for our local residents. NEW HORIZONS STRINGS Another opportunity to hear not only cellos, but the rest of the string section, too! Thursday, December 15 at 1:30pm at Avery Square join the New Horizons as they perform...

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STP Thankful for Raise The Roof Business Donors

The Soo Theatre Project on 534 Ashmun Street downtown Sault Sainte Marie, MI not only has arts classes all year long as well as performances April through September, but STP has special events such as the upcoming Holiday Tour of Homes and Tea on Sunday, December 11th. One special event that happened this past summer was the first annual “RaiseThe Roof Concert Series” organized by STP Board Member and Moloney’s Alley Irish Pub Manager Abby Baker. The Organgrinders, the Detroit Rock City KISS Tribute Band, Dragon Wagon, The Accidentals, and Billy Strings were all part of this fabulous event that raised over $20,000 for the roof repairs at The Soo Theatre Project. A huge special event such as the “Raise The Roof Concert Series” only happens with community support. This includes those who purchase tickets and attend, as well as the business supporters. The Soo Theatre Project would like to thank Soo Co-Op Credit Union, War Memorial Hospital, Moloney’s Alley Irish Pub, Lynn Napa Auto Parts, A Cut Above The Rest Hair Salon, Cup of the Day Cafe, The Ojibway Ramada Hotel, Ryan’s Jewelry, Second Childhood & Adults, Too, Soo Brewing Company, The Palace Restaurant, and Cooper Dental for supporting the Raise The Roof Concert Series fundraiser! The roof repair project is estimated to cost around $200,000. With the MACACA $50,000 matching grant that was recently awarded to STP and the Raise The Roof Concert Series funds, The Soo Theatre Project’s roof repair dreams are coming closer to reality. Much planning, organizing, and cooperating among many parts of this community helped to create the “Raise The Roof Concert Series” and for this, much gratitude is expressed by The Soo Theatre Project. Another big thank you to these businesses: Soo Co-Op Credit Union, War Memorial Hospital, Moloney’s Alley Irish Pub, Lynn Napa Auto Parts, A Cut Above The Rest Hair Salon, Cup of the Day Cafe, The Ojibway Ramada Hotel, Ryan’s Jewelry, Second Childhood & Adults, Too, Soo Brewing Company, The Palace Restaurant, and Cooper Dental. Even though plans for the second annual Raise The Roof Concert Series in 2017 are just in the beginning stages, a band has already been booked. The Ben Daniels Band is set for April 22! Mark your calendars now. Plans for the Holiday Tour of Homes and Tea on Sunday, December 11th are well underway. In 15 days, you are invited to tour fabulous homes that have been prepared for your viewing decorated with special floral designs by Co-Ed Flowers on Ashmun Street. There will be musical entertainment, door prizes, a silent auction, and super delicious refreshments at Faith Lutheran Church. This year the homes on the tour are: Jackie and Rob Landis’ home at 506 North Ravine Street, the Schuurhuis’ home at 501 Sheridan Drive, Lizabeth and Jeff Dale’s home at 324 East Spruce Street, Laurie and Scott Morley’s home at 105 Arlington...

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Honoring STP Supporters, Teachers, and Staff in Season of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and in this season of gratitude, The Soo Theatre Project, the downtown arts center for Sault Sainte Marie, MI and its surrounding communities of the Eastern Peninsula, would like to highlight its supporters, teachers, and staff. The Soo Theatre Project depends on donations of all sizes. Tuition pays for a fraction of the costs that comes with operating a historic theatre, an arts school called STARS, multiple performances, and other events all year long.  This week STP would like to thank it’s BENEFACTORS — Arfstrom Pharmacy, Arbic Construction, Barish’s Footwear and Apparel, Chippewa County Credit Union, Edward Jones, Lake Street Studio, Leisa Mansfield State Farm, McKinley Manor, Old Mission Bank, Parker Ace Hardware, Pro Sports, Soo Co-Op Credit Union, Smith & Company Real Estate, Soo Motors, War Memorial Hospital, and Carol S. Andary Attorney at Law. The sponsors ensure that the arts school is full of students and has very talented teachers. One such teacher is International vocalist, harpist, and pianist Karen Hughes Beacom whose voice majestically fills the theatre with goosebump-making melody. Betty Struble loves teaching others to play the piano. She began playing the piano at age six. Her genuine warmth makes a clear path for success for her students. Not only does Ronda McGreevy teach piano and voice, but she also plays guitar and ukulele. Ronda has much talent in many areas. Dottie Case teaches violin, viola, piano, and clarinet. Dottie directs the STARS Youth Orchestra and the adult orchestra, The New Horizons Strings. Her friendliness creates a “can do” atmosphere of achievement. Maggie Twining moved to Sault Ste. Marie a few years ago and quickly created a musical home at STP. Her talent is stringed instruments for she began playing cello at age 10. Join her cello choir at STP. Benjamin Gulder Benjamin loves teaching students of all ages how to play the violin. He can often be found playing on Sundays at the Farmer’s Market in Hessel and around the area with singer songwriter Marty Feldhake. Randy Krause’s patient gentleness is ever present when she teaches art. Using acrylics and water colors, Randy’s love for painting is quite obvious. Sarah Gartshore, opera singer and Canadian voice teacher, brings her extraordinary talents to STP once a week for her Music Together classes.  Sarah’s talent and warmth shine through to children from zero to five years old through this nationally acclaimed early music learning program offered right here in the Soo. The sponsors ensure that The Soo Theatre Project office is staffed with helpful, friendly people who have a passion for arts education, performance, and community events. Ann Kessinger, bookkeeper, can often be seen at the front office performing tasks other than bookkeeping. Her bright smile welcomes all who enter the STP doors. Bev Marble, cleaner extraordinaire, keeps STP’s house looking lovely. She works incredibly like a behind-the-scenes cleaning warrior...

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Gratitude Continues at The Soo Theatre Project

When many parents, students, volunteers, teachers, board members, donors, and friends of The Soo Theatre Project enter the STP doors on a daily basis, there is much reason for gratitude. Opening its doors in 2005, it is thrilling to be living out the dream of being the regional arts center of Sault Sainte Marie and the surrounding communities. When STP has an event, such as the recent Speakeasy in September, where many local restaurants donate food for the event, there is much reason for gratitude. When The Soo Theatre Project performs on stage and hundreds of people attend and enjoy the performance, there is much reason for gratitude. When STP board member Abby Baker launches the first “Raise The Roof” Concert Series and it is well received by interested music lovers, there is much reason for gratitude. When parents enroll their children in the many summer camps and attend those summer camp performances, there is much reason for gratitude. When over a hundred young performers, third grade and higher, enjoy being in a spring show like last April’s “Beauty and the Beast” and learn the nuances of performance, there is much reason for gratitude. When over thirty young adults, adults  and seniors join together to play in their instruments in The New Horizons  Group, a stringed instrument ensemble, there is much reason for gratitude.   When MCACA, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, awards The Soo Theatre Project $15,000 for operations and $50,000 in a matching grant for the building, there is much reason for gratitude. When the EUP community at large responds to STP’s annual fundraiser “Belong To Something Big” with donations from large to small to support the operation of running a multifaceted facility that sponsors music education, performance and entertainment options to people all ages, there is much reason for gratitude. Sustained donations are essential to the continued success of The Soo Theatre Project. All donations of any amount all add to the greater good of arts education for our town. This week it’s our turn to thank our STAR and GUARDIAN Sponsors! Thank you STAR Sponsors: Don Wilson Insurance Agency, D. Beacom and Sons Insurance, Kristin L. Fairbanks, D.D.S., Pickford Dental, Orthodontist Craig Flickinger and Tom Robinson, Sault Vision Clinic, and Soo Brewing Company. Thank you GUARDIAN Sponsors: Edward Jones – Brent Osterhout, Bunker Manufacturing, C.S.Mulder Funeral Home, Clark Bailey Newhouse Funeral Home, Law Offices of Wm. Dyke Justin, P.C., Eco Hair Salon, Edgerly’s Sewing Machines and Vacuums, Leitz Sports Center, Lock City Home Center, Mark L. Dobias, P.C., Northern Life Studio for Healing Arts, Plaza Motor Motel, Rodenroth Motors, Smith and Co. Realtor, and Watson’s Shoe Store. For all of our sponsors, there is much reason for gratitude. Why does STP need donations? Tuition and ticket sales cover a mere fraction of operating costs at The Soo Theatre.  The majority of operating costs...

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The Soo Theatre Project is a Family: A Thank You to Our Community

By Lizabeth Jenkins-Dale / November 6, 2016 After the Haunted Theatre last weekend, the square dancing event at Northern Life Studio, and as our 2016 season of performances comes to a close, The Soo Theatre Project has much to be thankful for and wishes to express this gratitude to you, our community. Just as families provide shelter, warmth, and love, so does The Soo Theatre Project for our community. Families provide secure places to grow, learn, blunder, and become more than thought possible. Every day kids from all ages (2-90!) enter the STP doors to find a loving environment in which to develop, study, make mistakes, and to acquire new knowledge. Yes, The Soo Theatre Project is a family. Have you been inside the STP doors lately? When was the last time you saw a performance on the historic stage? Or saw a movie on the large screen? Or learned something new in one of the studios? Piano, dance, stringed instruments, voice, or art? The Soo Theatre Project family offers something for everyone all year long. And, just how does this happen? The Soo Theatre Project is very grateful to the annual sponsors who generously give in support of this wonderful arts center in the heart of Sault Sainte Marie. There are so many supporters who STP most graciously acknowledges. Every bit of donation is very much appreciated from the five dollar donations at donation-only events to the $5,000 individual donations. Everyone’s donations are important. Every penny makes the creative, artsy, and musical magic happen at The Soo Theatre Project all year long. This year, Kewadin, Precision Edge, and Thinking of You Gift Shop are STP’s Executive and Partner sponsors. Thank you very much for not only your donation, but your commitment to arts exploration in our community because it’s all important: hunting, sports, education, tourism, health, and a vibrant arts center in Sault Sainte Marie. To have a well-rounded community, it all is important. We have had several families grow up in The Soo Theatre Project family. Their children began taking lessons years ago, their children performed on stage too many times to count, their children experienced arts exploration and grew to become more than thought possible. How thrilling! A big thank you to those families who have been inside the STP doors, to those who see performances on the historic stage routinely, to those enjoying the movies on the large screen, and to those taking lessons. For they know the love, the kindness, and the secure place to grow and learn that exists at STP. You are invited to do two things before the end of the year: 1. Step inside the doors of The Soo Theatre Project. See what the hype is all about. Take a class. See a movie. Experience the STP magic! And, 2. Make a donation of any amount. Donate in someone’s honor....

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