Due to circumstances beyond his control, Broadway performer Adam Pascal will be unable to come to Pittsburg on Friday. Plans were for him to conduct master classes with PHS Theatre students and cast members of the All-State Show “Bring It On,” and to perform in a public concert with students that night.
PHS Theatre and Memorial Auditorium, which were partnering to host the event, will ensure that each ticket-buyer receives a full refund as soon as possible.
“We’re grateful for the support shown over the past several weeks by area businesses and individuals who wanted to help make this event possible,” said Director Greg Shaw. “It means a lot that so many people were on board with us. We’re of course sad that it’s not going to happen, but wish Adam all the best."
Shaw said planning for this event had opened up doors for other opportunities for students to work with high-calibre performers, and that it was something PHS Theatre would pursue in the future.
OK so this is big.
PHS Performing Arts students as well as theatre enthusiasts from throughout the region will have an incredible opportunity on Feb. 1: they’ll get to spend some time on stage with a Tony Award-winning Broadway performer and film star.
Having learned about the recent successes of the PHS Theatre program, Adam Pascal’s agent contacted PHS Theatre Director Greg Shaw to inquire about conducting private and public master classes and performing in a concert with students.
Pascal starred as Roger in the original Broadway production “Rent,” starred as Radames in the original Broadway version of Disney’s “Aida,” and portrayed Roger in “Rent,” the film, as well. He played the Emcee in the revival of “Cabaret,” and most recently played Most recently, he played William Shakespeare in the Tony Award-winning musical “Something Rotten.” He recently was chosen to step into the lead role of Edward Lewis in the Broadway show, “Pretty Woman.”
Pascal will conduct a private master class with PHS students the morning of Feb. 1 at Memorial Auditorium and Convention Center in Pittsburg. Then, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., he’ll conduct a master class there with some of the state’s best theatre students from not just Pittsburg, but other schools, as well. Ticket holders for the evening’s “Student Showcase” concert at Memorial may observe the master class at no additional charge.
The “Student Showcase” concert will feature solo numbers by Pascal as well as cabaret numbers by master class students and group numbers by the casts of “Aida” and the upcoming production of “Footloose.” The concert will start at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for balcony seating, $35 for reserved main floor and center balcony seating, and $100 for a VIP package, which includes seating in the first three rows in the center section of the main floor, a 30-minute meet-and-greet reception with Pascal prior to the show, and professional photos taken with Pascal available online for download. Nearly all of the VIP packages have sold. Group rates for reserved seating are available.
The event is being co-hosted by Memorial Auditorium and by Friends of PHS Performing Arts. Proceeds will benefit the PHS Theatre program, which last weekend won a statewide competition and was chosen to perform at the International Thespian Festival in June.
“For a performer of this notoriety and caliber to come to Pittsburg to work with students and perform for the public, especially at this price point, is an incredible opportunity,” said PHS Theatre Director Greg Shaw. “We’re anticipating people driving in from as far away as Kansas City and Wichita to attend.”
This isn’t the first time his students have gotten to work with a Broadway star; in 2017, actress Janine Davita, who played the lead role in “Urinetown,” the musical, worked with the cast of PHS’s production of “Urinetown” as well as individual students in a master class. That show would go on to be chosen for State and for Nationals.
Buy tickets at www.memorialauditorium.org, at the box office at 503 N. Pine, or by calling 620-231-7827.
Twelve Pittsburg High School Theatre students have qualified to perform at the national level after winning accolades at the state level in Wichita.
For the first time, PHS competed in the One-Act Play category at the Kansas Thespian Festival, a state-wide event held in Wichita Jan. 3-5.
The show, “Dog Sees God,” was directed by junior McKenna Shaw and acted by eight students: Julian Archuleta, Franchesca Brownhanney, Hannah Casper, Griffin Cooper, Aidan Harries, Jazmin Havens, Maddy Shawn, and Dominic Stefanoni. The play reimagines characters from the popular comic strip Peanuts as degenerate teens and covers issues like drug use, suicide, eating disorders, rebellion, and sexual identity, and packs an emotional punch.
Their first-place win qualifies them to perform at the International Thespian Festival, held each June at the University of Lincoln-Nebraska.
Additionally, sophomore Sarah Stebbins qualified to perform in the National Individual Event Showcase at the ITF by earning three “Superior” scores on her musical theatre vocal audition.
And, three students — Gabe Anderson, Emma NooNoo, and McKenna Shaw — were part of the cast of the Kansas All-State Show, “Bring It On,” which was chosen to be performed at the ITF. Shaw was in the lead female role, while Anderson was in the ensemble and NooNoo served on the technical crew.
PHS Theatre Director Greg Shaw was production manager for the show, and Jason Huffman, technical director at Memorial Auditorium who has been a frequent contributor to PHS shows, served as sound director.
This is the second year in a row that PHS has qualified in Individual Events and a performance at the ITF; last year, “Urinetown,” the musical, earned the right to perform at the ITF after having been chosen as a main stage production at State.
Fundraising efforts led by Friends of PHS Performing Arts raised money to send all 50 cast, crew, and band members to Lincoln to perform at the week-long festival, which attracts several thousand students from the 4,700 schools that have chapters of the International Thespian Society.
Fundraising efforts will begin soon to send the 12 PHS students chosen for the honor this year.
“It’s thrilling that our students will once again represent the very best work in high school theatre across the country,” said Greg Shaw. “In the one-act competition, for it to be our first time to enter and for us to have won with it being 100-percent student-driven is phenomenal. Having three of our students representing Pittsburg in the All-State Show, as part of nearly 50 students from 24 districts across the state, is something we can all be proud of, as is having a sophomore qualify in an I.E.”
“This program is now consistently qualifying students at the state and national level, and we’re very excited about where our program is headed,” Shaw said.
PHS also earned Gold Troupe recognition at the Kansas Thespian Festival, based on their body of work during the previous year and their community service, and Shaw was named Teacher of the Year for Region 4.