Monday, November 28, 2011

The Toys Take Over Christmas

Welcome to the premier posting of the Greensburg Civic Theatre Insider, GCT's very own blog.  This blog is not a replacement for Greensburg Civic Theatre's (GCT's) newsletter, "In the Wings".  Instead we hope to use this blog to provide a forum for patrons and volunteers to learn more about the inner workings of GCT and to highlight our present productions. This posting is hosted by Margaret Ryan.  I have been on the GCT board of directors for 10 years and have been involved with GCT in many capacities including acting, costuming, set building, and marketing.  I plan to have guest hosts for future posts, so that we can present the "community" in community theatre.  I do hope you find this blog informative and entertaining. In this issue: "The Toys Take Over Christmas" presented by GCT's children's theatre, the Greasepaint Players.

"The Toys Take Over Christmas", by Patricia Clapp, is the perfect family show to get audiences in the holiday spirit.  The show will be presented Friday December 9, 2011 at 7pm and Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 1pm and 4pm at the Greensburg Garden and Civic Center in Greensburg PA.  This show tells the story of the hard-hearted toymaker who won't sell his magically life-like dolls.  The toys crave fun with real children.  So, the dolls, clown, and gallant wooden soldiers revolt and find the toymaker a Christmas heart! Directed by Kat Shaffer the cast includes Rob MacIntyre of Irwin as the toymaker, Megan Datsko of Latrobe, Adella and Katie Hillebrecht of Latrobe, McKenzie Powell of Pleasant Unity, Dan Shaffer of Latrobe, Mike Crosby of Greensburg, and Tania Kinsel of Murrysville, as the magical toys and Patricia Cortese of Penn Hills as the old woman/Christmas Fairy, and Nate Newell of Greensburg as Santa.

The cast has been in rehearsal for several weeks and is excited to be getting closer to opening night.  I spoke with several cast members during rehearsal to get their thoughts on the show. Megan Datsko, who plays the rag doll Sunny, has appeared in several GCT shows.  She noted that "The Toys Take Over Christmas" is a warm family show with a great cast.  Pat Cortese, who plays multiple roles, is in her first Greasepaint Players show. She decided to audition for this show because it seemed like a light, fun, play with interesting roles.  She is having a fun time with this cast. Mckenzie Powell, a 9th grader at Greater Latrobe High School has has appeared in several school musicals.  She found out about auditions for "The Toys Take Over Christmas" on GCT's website and decided to audition.  She is now appearing in her first show with the Greasepaint Players.  She is having a lot of fun in rehearsals and is so glad that the cast and crew have been so welcoming.  Director Kat Shaffer has directed many shows for GCT.  She enjoys directing children's shows.  However, it has been a few years since she has directed a Greasepaint Players Show.  She was drawn to this play because it is based on a European folk tale.  She is incorporating some European elements into the costuming and overall look of the show to give it some "old world" charm.

There is much that goes on behind the scenes to get a show on its feet. The Greasepaint Players are pleased to have Paulette Myers working her usual magic, costuming the actors.  Paulette volunteers many hours finding costumes, fitting costumes and sometimes making them to ensure all the characters look the part.  GPP is also pleased to have Laura Wurzell working with the cast on stage movement.  She has done some great work getting the "toys" to "move like toys." Many others volunteer to build sets, run lights and sound, sell tickets and perform many other tasks all needed to bring a show together.  We can always use help with load-in on Sunday December 4, form 9am to 3pm.  We will be building the set, painting and setting up the dressing rooms and the stage lights.  If interested in helping out, send us at email at

In conjunction with this production  of "The Toys Take over Christmas", GCT is hosting their first Toys for Tots toy drive!  We thought this show is perfectly themed to tie in with such a great community outreach program as Toys for Tots.  When you come to see "The Toys Take Over Christmas," bring along a new, unopened toy to donate to the Toys for Tots organization.  With your help, we can all make Christmas a little merrier this year for needy children in the area.

Bring the family to the Greensburg Garden and Civic Center for a great show and a great cause. To order tickets and for other ticketing information, visit

We welcome your comments and suggestions for this blog.  If you have questions about GCT, or what is involved in producing a show, or just want to leave us some feedback, please respond--we'd love to hear from you!

Next Issue: GCT Logo Contest

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