New Rep Model a Success

The Who's Tommy, 2014
Photo by Brenda Ahearn

The dust has finally settled after ATP’s whirlwind 10th Anniversary Season. As part of the new ATP 2.0 business plan, all three productions - Guys & Dolls, Big River, & The Who’s Tommy - ran in a rotating repertory schedule. This gave patrons more options when scheduling their attendance. The new schedule required the ATP’s Summer Company of 32 professionals, 3 Technical Interns, and 5 Acting Apprentices to work on all productions simultaneously. While the logistics of presenting three productions in rotating repertory possessed challenges, the new format was an absolute success.

As hoped, the new rep format gave patrons more options to attend performances and encouraged repeat attendance. ATP’s per-night-average increased by 30% over the previous schedule with several nights selling out completely. ATP also had hoped that the new format would make it easier for non-residents to attend performances. Non-resident attendance increased 22% over the previous format, and 10% of the summer audience consisted of first-time patrons.

In short, ATP achieved exactly what it had hoped to achieve, thanks to the new repertory schedule. Plans are being made to continue this new format in 2015. Stay tuned to the 2015 Summer Season announcement this December!

 

Cover photo: Nicholas Ward in Big River. Photo by Brenda Ahearn

ATP Alum Premieres New Television Drama on CBS

In more news from ATP alumnus, Mickey Fisher (The Full Monty, 2008 and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, 2010), is making an impressive mark as a scriptwriter. He created a science fiction story that caught the eye of Steven Spielberg, who acquired the rights to it. With Halle Berry cast as the lead character, the project found itself at the center of a heated bidding war between broadcast networks and cable networks, with CBS ultimately proving triumphant by committing to a 13-episode straight-to-series order - something almost unheard of in television.

Mickey Fisher in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - 2009 Photo by Jessica Lowry

Mickey Fisher in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - 2009
Photo by Jessica Lowry

The show, Extant, is a futuristic thriller about a female astronaut trying to reconnect with her family when she returns after a year in outer space. The character's experiences lead to events that ultimately change the course of human history.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote that “the casting coup of Berry is as much a commentary on the strength of the spec script as it is on the state of the film business,  particularly for actresses over 40.”

The show has just completed its first season on CBS, and we couldn’t be prouder of Mickey. In addition, he has become a regular donor to ATP’s programs, calling himself an “ATP Superfan.”


Where the Creation of Art Meets the Creation of Life

Kevin Vortmann in Guys & Dolls this summer
Photo by Brenda Ahearn

We all know that actors and technicians come to Whitefish each summer for the purpose of participating in Broadway level shows—but one actor and his wife came for another reason as well: to have their first baby!

In late winter, Artistic Director, Betsi Morrison, invited Kevin Vortmann, Broadway veteran known to ATP audiences for his rich and exciting tenor voice in She Loves Me and last year’s Some Enchanted Evening: Broadway’s Golden Age, to participate in the 2014 summer season as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, Captain Walker in The Who’s Tommy, and The King in Big River. Kevin replied that he would love to take the gig, but that he and his wife, Amanda, were expecting their first baby in early June. Disappointed, Morrison put the roles she hoped he would play back on the list for New York auditions.

During those auditions in New York City, Vortmann stopped by and said that, after talking it over, he and Amanda had decided to come to Whitefish in late spring and have their baby delivered at North Valley Hospital. So in May, the pair became temporary citizens of Whitefish.  Kevin & Amanda’s son, Colin, was born in June and despite the ragged schedule of a new father, Kevin still put in 3 captivating performances this summer!

Over 130 Local Students Show Up for AKTP: Peter Pan

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ATP’s popular educational outreach program began its 7th Fall session with auditions for Peter Pan. This year, over 130 students in grades 1-8 from 17 different Valley schools came to auditions on September 3 at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center.

After the enthusiastic (and nervous) students poured into the auditorium, they were taught part of the song “Crow” from the Broadway musical. Students in Grades 1-4 were then brought up in groups of 10 to introduce themselves and sing the song as a group. ATP Artistic Director, Betsi Morrison walked down the line of students, listening to each one. Next, students in grades 5-8 were brought up on stage in groups of 10, but each student had to sing the song individually.

The support in the room from parents, the ATP staff, and fellow students, made even the most nervous auditioners overcome their fears and belt out a tune.

As is the philosophy of the AKTP program, two casts were created and all students were accepted and given part assignments. However, the casting of this program was decidedly more difficult this time around due to the fact that so many students have improved over the years!

Rehearsals began on September 10 and performances will be held on October 25 & 26 at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center.

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