CCC’s FPAC programming future plans?

By Mike Guilford

Staff Writer

Since 1995, the Frank Guaracini Fine and Performing Arts Center has entertained the community with dazzling shows in its mission to bring quality performances to Cumberland.

At the end of August 2017, that mission could be in jeopardy as non-academic performances for the 2017-2018 year have been placed on indefinite hiatus. The future for the Luciano Theater is unknown.
All is not lost, Deborah Bradshaw’s stellar sellout offerings will continue as academic programming would not be impacted. Scheduled for a November debut, Bradshaw’s production of Godspell is sure to dazzle audiences, with its messages of kindness, love and peace and a parade of hits like “Day by Day” and “Learn Your Lessons Well.”
However, she will do so without support of Assistant Director of Theater Programming, Christopher Totora, who served as Technical Director since 2004. Totora will continue his career as Technical Director at the Mandell Theater in Philadelphia. The decision to place future programs on hiatus was made in conjunction with Totora’s departure by campus administrators, however, the program has been in jeopardy for several years now as programming failed to make a profit. Continual decline in enrollment, annual shortfalls in budget for the performing arts, lack of awareness; the program was already primed for the chopping block. Running a skeleton crew of volunteers and part-time staff the program was left with no fat to trim to stay afloat, despite departures from the box office manager and Totora.
Things have changed since the program’s inception 20 years ago. Competition from renovated theaters such as the Levoy in Millville, 8 miles from the Luciano, as well as the renewal of Landis Theater in downtown Vineland act as stiff competition for a theater situated almost equidistant from two rivals.
Also, down the road from the Luciano Theater, is the Cumberland Players, within a short 10 mile radius of the Luciano theater are three competitors vying for limited patron’s attention with similar content.
In a perfect world, an oversaturation of the arts would be seen as a boon and business would be booming, unfortunately things don’t always work out the way they should. As theater managers at Luciano reported difficulty even giving tickets away to patrons.
It’s tough to point toward a single cause for the discontinuation of programming but the lack of public interest could point toward one culprit: limited marketing.
Given limited amount of public attendance and the success of other programs in the area, it would be reasonable to speculate that awareness of the programs existence was limited at best.
The original mission of the theater was to attract people with quality programming who wouldn’t normally visit. Volunteers, working for the theater act as advocates, bringing visitors to campus promoting CCC.
Children were bussed in frequently from schools to experience the wonder of theater. Director of theater programming at the Luciano Theater, Beatrice Hughes, remarked on the impressions of children coming to the theater for the first time; “The doors opened and their expressions were just WOW! before the show even began.”
Hughes mentions how she will miss seeing their cute faces on campus. The program was a great tool to attract younger generations of students to CCC. It showed what they’d have available as they grew, promoting college accessibility through the arts.
The college plans to reevaluate the future of the FPAC program during the 2017-2018 year, to see if there is a new direction it could take.
Without private funders to help buttress the program; as other theater programs in the county have access to, it may be difficult for the college to shoulder the burden of operating the theater alone, leaving the future of the College’s theater program unknown.

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Prepare Ye for CCC’s Godspell

By CODY HIGINBOTHAM

Staff Writer
GODSPELL FORMATTED.jpg

Prepare Ye, The Way of the Play. This year at Cumberland County College, the drama club will be performing the Stephen Schwartz musical Godspell. This broadway classic, follows God’s holy son Jesus as he takes followers on a journey through many biblical events, while putting a 70s disco spin on it.
The show is directed by Broadway-veteran Deborah Bradshaw. “When I was choosing the fall musical, I thought Godspell would be a nice way to bring people together during the tumultuous time in our country, through its message of peace, love and community,” Bradshaw said.
The plot of the musical includes various passages from the Holy Bible, ranging from the story of the Prodigal Son to the journey of Noah and the flood. “The story is based on the book of Matthew in the Bible and the stories are told through familiar parables. The first acts focuses on the formation of a community of followers of Jesus. Act II follows the Passion Story, through stories of the interrogation of Jesus by the Pharisees, the Last Super, interspersed with stories and teachings of Jesus,” Bradshaw stated, regarding the musical itself. Originally, CCC has only done musicals in the winter or spring season, as most schools typically hold them around that time. It wasn’t until recent years, that the school started doing fall musicals.
Bradshaw shared, “We began doing a fall musical and spring play to accommodate different personnel schedules. I actually like doing them this way!” Last year’s fall musical was the interactive puppet production Avenue Q, making this years musical an interesting change since the previous year.
The musical features some of the most catchy and entertaining songs from a musical including the ballet “Day by Day” and the upbeat-rhythmic “We Beseech Thee”. Regarding her favorite song, Bradshaw replied, “It is hard to choose but I love the song By My Side.  It is a beautiful commitment to Jesus and the harmonies are full and lush”
While the musical only has three named characters that drive the plot, being Jesus, Judas Iscariot, & John the Baptist, the show can include a number of cast members as possible in the ensemble, with some shows casting as few as 10 actors to others casting an incredible 70 actors. Since most of the songs don’t specify who has to sing that song, this gives ensemble members a chance to sing for the audience.
Bradshaw is also no stranger to acting in the play either, “I did this show as a performer many, many years ago. I am still in touch with my cast mates. When I posted that I was going to direct this production on Facebook many of them immediately contacted me with wonderful memories. (1979)”
The performances will be November 16-19, at 3pm on the 19th, 8pm on 16th & 17th and 2pm & 8pm on the 18th. The admission prices ranges from $12 to $17. Be sure to come and see this spectacular production, because “It’s All For the Best.”

Fall 2017 Must-see Movies

By CODY HIGINBOTHAM
Staff Writer

Lights, Camera, Action. 2017 has had many events and headlines, but one of the things that stand out, have been the movies. The year has been full of critically and commercially successful films in the past few months. In late February, actor director Jordan Peele, introduced the world with his horror thriller directorial debut film Get Out, about a young African-American who takes a visit to the family of his caucasian girlfriends, however once he arrives, he soon realizes that he shouldn’t have come at all. The film earned a 99% on Rotten-Tomatoes, and is a strong contender for awards season. In mid-March, Disney released a live-action adaptation of their 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast. The film has since become the years highest grossing film.
SUPERHERO MOVIES
The year has been called the superhero movie year, as the year has at total of 8 movies related to superheroes. One of the most popular films that have already been released is Logan, the 10th film in the X-Men film series. The film follows an elder Logan/Wolverine, as he and a sick Professor X discover a young mutant named Laura, who turns out to be Logan’s genetically cloned daughter; however, the trio soon find themselves having to go on the run from dark forces who are planning on capturing Laura. The film was a major success with audiences and critics, stating it to be the best X-Men movie yet. The summertime also had two successful superhero films for both Marvel and DC. First was Spider-Man Homecoming, where Tom Holland’s Spider-Man finds himself up against the Volture (played by Michael Keaton). This film was praised for it’s light tone, visuals, and acting; specifically Tom Holland. CCC student Adam Clark commented on the film, “Spider-Man: Homecoming blew me away. I loved it” The next film was Wonder Woman, which showed the titular hero’s rise to heroism and battle in WWII. The film became DC Extended Universe’s most successful film and the it’s director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gabot were praised for brining the character successfully to film.
MOVIES COMING SOON
In the weeks to come, more anticipated films are still on their way. The most anticipated among fans is Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi. Premiering on December 18th, the 8th film in the Star Wars franchise will follow Rey as she continues her Jedi training. Another film to come is The Disaster Artist, a film about the making of the 2003 film The Room, which is considered to be so bad it’s good. staring James Franco as Tommy Wiseau.
OSCAR BUZZ
With the many successful films and anticipated films to come, there’s been a lot of buzz for the Oscars. This event awards the best in cinema and this year has some films that have been constantly considered “Oscar Worthy”. Whether it’s for a category like Best Actor, Best Director, or even Best Picture, the predictions just keep flowing. One summer blockbuster that’s a high contender is Christopher Nolan’s war drama Dunkirk, most viewers say it could be the film that earns Nolan his well deserved Best Director Oscar. Other contenders include, Kathryn Bieglow’s Detroit and the previously mentioned Get Out.

CCC’s FPAC programming future plans?

fpac-formatted.jpg

By Michael Guilford

Staff Writer

Since 1995, the Frank Guaracini Fine and Performing Arts Center has entertained the community with dazzling shows in its mission to bring quality performances to Cumberland.
At the end of August 2017, that mission could be in jeopardy as non-academic performances for the 2017-2018 year have been placed on indefinite hiatus. The future for the Luciano Theater is unknown.
All is not lost, Deborah Bradshaw’s stellar sellout offerings will continue as academic programming would not be impacted. Scheduled for a November debut, Bradshaw’s production of Godspell is sure to dazzle audiences, with its messages of kindness, love and peace and a parade of hits like “Day by Day” and “Learn Your Lessons Well.”
However, she will do so without support of Assistant Director of Theater Programming, Christopher Totora, who served as Technical Director since 2004. Totora will continue his career as Technical Director at the Mandell Theater in Philadelphia.

The decision to place future programs on hiatus was made in conjunction with Totora’s departure by campus administrators, however, the program has been in jeopardy for several years now as programming failed to make a profit. Continual decline in enrollment, annual shortfalls in budget for the performing arts, lack of awareness; the program was already primed for the chopping block. Running a skeleton crew of volunteers and part-time staff the program was left with no fat to trim to stay afloat, despite departures from the box office manager and Totora.
Things have changed since the program’s inception 20 years ago. Competition from renovated theaters such as the Levoy in Millville, 8 miles from the Luciano, as well as the renewal of Landis Theater in downtown Vineland act as stiff competition for a theater situated almost equidistant from two rivals.
Also, down the road from the Luciano Theater, is the Cumberland Players, within a short 10 mile radius of the Luciano theater are three competitors vying for limited patron’s attention with similar content.
In a perfect world, an over saturation of the arts would be seen as a boon and business would be booming, unfortunately things don’t always work out the way they should. As theater managers at Luciano reported difficulty even giving tickets away to patrons.
It’s tough to point toward a single cause for the discontinuation of programming but the lack of public interest could point toward one culprit: limited marketing.
Given limited amount of public attendance and the success of other programs in the area, it would be reasonable to speculate that awareness of the programs existence was limited at best.
The original mission of the theater was to attract people with quality programming who wouldn’t normally visit. Volunteers, working for the theater act as advocates, bringing visitors to campus promoting CCC.
Children were bussed in frequently from schools to experience the wonder of theater. Director of theater programming at the Luciano Theater, Beatrice Hughes, remarked on the impressions of children coming to the theater for the first time; “The doors opened and their expressions were just WOW! before the show even began.”
Hughes mentions how she will miss seeing their cute faces on campus. The program was a great tool to attract younger generations of students to CCC. It showed what they’d have available as they grew, promoting college accessibility through the arts.
The college plans to reevaluate the future of the FPAC program during the 2017-2018 year, to see if there is a new direction it could take.
Without private funders to help buttress the program; as other theater programs in the county have access to, it may be difficult for the college to shoulder the burden of operating the theater alone, leaving the future of the College’s theater program unknown.

Get your hands dirty at Pottery Boot Camp

By KYLEE BAGLEY

For anyone who is interested in honing in on their crafting skills, it’s not too late to sign up for spring classes at CCC’s Clay College! Located on High Street in Millville, the Clay College offers noncredit classes to anyone interested, student or not. Annual pottery classes of multiple levels are offered in the spring including: Intro to Pottery, Advanced Pottery for Adults, and Intro to Pottery Wheel. Pottery Boot Camp will be available for the first time this spring. Whatever your skill level is, you will be able to find your niche at the Clay College.

Intro to Pottery classes run from May 23 to June 27 on Monday evenings, 6-9 PM. It costs $135 to register with no previous experience needed. According to flyers advertising the courses, “[Intro to Pottery] explores hand-building techniques such as pinch, coil and slab, and throwing on the pottery wheel. Glaze, firings, and studio access are including in this six-week class.” This class is best for people that want to begin learning the craft or are just looking for a creative activity to try.

Advanced Pottery for Adults begins on May 18 and winds down on June 29. Classes are from 6-9 PM on Wednesdays and costs $190 total. “It is a seven-week course is for the more advanced student who already has some knowledge of creating pottery. Ceramic processes and techniques will be covered while developing student’s individual work.” Clay College will provide some of the necessary materials, but TBD materials will be up to the students to obtain themselves.

Intro to Pottery Wheel is another beginner’s class, but this one focuses solely on pottery made on a wheel rather than hand crafted items. This class runs from May 31 to June 28 on Tuesday’s from 6-9 PM. Classes cost $135. As advertised, “students will learn through weekly demonstrations and hands-on instruction how to make basic forms on the wheel.”

Pottery Boot Camp is the Clay College’s newest class. It is a four-week intensive class that teaches beginning hand-building techniques and a quick lesson on the wheel. This class is ideal for people who don’t have the time to commit to a regular class. However, it is limited to 10 available spots for prospective students. This class takes place on Saturday’s from 1-4 PM between April 30 and May 21. It is the least expensive of the classes, costing only $125.

As an added bonus, participants will receive two months of studio time during the months of July and August for absolutely free, along with their purchase of any of the classes provided. To gain more information or sign up for a class, visit http://www.claycollege.com.

Riker’s Island: Gaining freedom through self-expression

By KYLEE BAGLEY

Staff Writer

Riker’s Island is most known for being New York’s main jail complex and one of the world’s largest correctional institutions. Motherjones.com, a nonprofit news outlet, reports it as being one of America’s top ten worst prisons, but now, Riker’s Island is getting attention set in a whole new light. According to an interview with The New York Times, Miles Hodges, a spoken word poet and ambassador for the New York Public Library, has been developing a spoken word program at Riker’s over the past few months.

Hodges is currently working on two programs. The first being a spoken-word writing workshop for young women in their late teens and early twenties located in the Rose M. Singer Center, one of Riker’s nine functioning jails. The latter being performing his own hard hitting poems to inmates of the Eric M. Taylor Center, a male only jail.

You might be wondering what Hodges was thinking when implicating these workshops into the Riker’s Island culture, and it’s safe to say the inmates were too. After the initial indifference and lack of desire to attend, the male inmates were left with a new appreciation for the artistic medium.

Before beginning Hodges told inmates, “I’m a firm believer in the power of storytelling. I believe in its ability to change people’s minds. And I believe in being honest and speaking from a true and honest place.” Hodges’ goal in partnering with the New York Public Library is to create programs that entice the millennial generation to find and cultivate their voice in the form of creative outlet.

In an interview afterwards with The New York Times, Anthony Hernandez, an inmate serving several months for drug possession, said he had been reluctant to attend the program; he had expected it to be boring and stodgy. But he concluded, ‘It hit more like where you are from, a more different poetry.’”

At this specific visit that Hernandez attended, Hodges performed “Harlem,” arguably his best and most well known poem. In this poem, he describes the streets of Harlem as having, “Roached blunts and roached joints…scattered around the purple, pink, and black chalked R.I.P. signs as if whispering from the Concrete Jungle, ‘I’m resting in peace and high.’” These words resonate immensely with the inmates, most of whom spent their lives in the projects of New York before being incarcerated, and are used to the poverty, gang violence, and self-reliance that line the streets of so many urban cities across America.

Where some people make the mistake of dismissing poetry as being frilly and not relatable, Hodges reveals to inmates that poetry, specifically slam poetry, can be very raw and very real. In his collaborative poem, “Strive,” that he co-wrote and performs with Carvens Lissaint, Hodges makes his message to the Riker’s Island inmates clear: “Strive- Like you know prisons are man-made but minds are God-made.”

Welcome to the 60’s! Hairspray is coming to CCC

By RUSSELL GARVEY, JR.

Staff Writer

The eight-time Tony Award winning musical will be gracing the Luciano Theatre at the Fine and Performing Arts Center from November 19 to the 22.

Based on the 1988 John Waters film of the same name, Hairspray is set in Baltimore, 1962 as a young Tracy Turnblad, an obese high school student, dreams of making it on the very popular after-school dance program, The Corny Collins Show. When she gains the popularity to win a place on the show, upsetting many of the popular students already on the show, she uses this opportunity to help bring change and equality to Baltimore with the assistance of some of her new Corny Collins Show friends.

Perry Award winner Deborah Bradshaw will be directing her cast with the help from musical director Rosalind Metcalf and choreographer Mariah Frost. Having been involved with over 30 productions at CCC, Deborah comes from an impressive theater background that most recently includes Les Misérables and the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Hairspray will be her 20th musical production at the college – including 28 dance numbers!

When discussing the musical message Bradshaw states, “It’s about racism, prejudice, acceptance; it is a ‘coming of age’ of this young girl and people taking a sort of confidence in what is right, following their heart as opposed to what the popular thing might be. They accept this girl for who she is and don’t judge her, it is all about that, it’s great and the students need to hear about that… and we talk a lot about it at rehearsal.”

In her first starring role on the Luciano stage, Melissa Haddock will be bringing the character of Tracy Turnblad to life with her amazing high energy. A secondary education major in her sophomore year, Haddock is no stranger to the stage having performed as Mrs. Potts in the Beauty and the Beast and in Shrek: The Musical. In CCC’s last musical, Little Shop of Horrors, she played one of the urchins.

Tracy Turnblad is the role Haddock has always wanted to play since first seeing Nikki Blonsky in the 2007 musical adaptation. “It’s going to be a really great show. It’s going to be very high energy, it’s a lot of dancing, and we’re all going to bring it together very smoothly,” said Haddock.

Original - Hairspray

Georgia Salvaryn/Staff Photographer

Chrissie Capece, Steven Calakos, and Melissa Haddock rehearsing for Hairspray.

The rest of the cast brings every character to life. Link Larkin will be performed by Steven Calakos, Chrissie Capece is playing Amber Von Tussle and in the drag role of Edna Turnblad, Tracy’s mother, is Kevin Kolva.

The Broadway musical production was adapted into a film in 2007 with John Travolta in the drag role of Edna, Michelle Pfeiffer as Velma Von Tussle and in her first film role, Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad.

Hairspray, in its original Broadway production, won eight Tony awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor for Edna Turnblad, Best Performance by a Leading Actress and Best Costume Design.

Tickets are available now for $10.00 – $15.00 at the Luciano Theater box office, call 856-692-8499, or in person, Box Office Hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Fri 10 am – 2 pm, Wednesday 4 pm – 7 pm.   Students can show their college ID at the box office for a discounted price of $5.00. Also available online at http://www.click4tix.com/gpac