Merrily Talbott, Paonia Players, director, attended the Broadway Teacher's Workshop in New York the week of July 15. Industry professionals lead workshops on a variety of topics, including playwriting with Tony award nominee John Cariani, directing with Broadway director John Rando, dancing with Heather Tepe from the cast of "Matilda," musical theatre song interpretation, audition skills, stage management, scenic design, teaching and acting Shakespeare, working with young actors and more.
As part of the workshop, Talbott attended four shows and participated in post-show discussions with the cast and crew.
"As a director of children's theatre in the North Fork Valley, I'm particularly excited to see 'Matilda,' Rogers & Hammerstein's 'Cinderella' and 'Newsies,' possible productions we could put on here with our talented kids," Talbott said. "Having performed in two different productions of 'Pippin' as a young adult, I'm also thrilled to get to see this year's production, which won the Tony for best revival of a musical."
Erica Ochs, a graduate of Hotchkiss High School and CMU's Theatre Performance program, will also attend the workshop. Ochs has performed in several Paonia Players productions, most notably as Sandy in the 2009 production of "Grease!" and recently as Mary Hatch Bailey in last Christmas's production of "It's a Wonderful Life."
Talbott started Paonia Players in 2000, with a production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." Since then, Paonia Players has served hundreds of children and performers and produced community theatre and children's after-school and summer programs in the North Fork Valley.
This year, Talbott directed Paonia High School's spring play and founded the school's improvisation troupe, Eagle Improv.