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    January 2018

    Gesa Power House Theatre will screen the documentary film “Big Sonia” on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. Representatives from Congregation Beth Israel of Walla Walla (Pat Henry, Richard Middleton-Kaplan, James Winchell) will introduce the film and host a short Q&A discussion following the screening.

    Standing tall at 4’8″, Sonia is one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors in Kansas City and one of the only survivors there who speaks publicly about her wartime experience. Sonia’s enormous personality and fragile frame mask the horrors she endured. At 15 she watched her mother disappear behind gas chamber doors. Sonia’s teenage years were a blur of concentration camps and death marches. On liberation day, she was accidentally shot through the chest, yet again miraculously survived. Sonia is the ultimate survivor, a bridge between cultures and generations. Her story must never be forgotten.

    For years, Sonia Warshawski (91) has been an inspirational public speaker at schools and prisons, where her stories of surviving the Holocaust as a teenager have inspired countless people who once felt their own traumas would leave them broken forever. But when Sonia is served an eviction notice for her iconic tailor shop (in a dead mall), she’s confronted with an agonizing decision: either open up a new shop, or retire. Ironically, Sonia’s shop is the last open business in an otherwise desolate Kansas City mall, but it contains enough color and liveliness to make up for the entire empty complex. For a woman who admits she stays busy “to keep the dark parts away”, facing retirement dredges up fears she’d long forgot she had, and her horrific past resurfaces.

    “Big Sonia” explores what it means to be a survivor and how inter-generational trauma affects families and generations. Will you let your trauma define you? Or will your past make you stronger?

    Reserved seating tickets ($15 Adults, $10 Students) are available online or by calling the box office at 509-529-6500.

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    February 2018

    The Live Cinema Series continues with a screening of the current production of Rigoletto by The Royal Opera on Wednesday, February 7 at 6:00 p.m. This production is filmed live in London and rebroadcast internationally to select screens.

    The corruption of innocence is at the heart of Giuseppe Verdi’s potent tragedy in David McVicar’s production for The Royal Opera.

    Rigoletto, court jester to the libertine Duke of Mantua, is cursed by the father of one of the Duke’s victims for his irreverent laughter. When the Duke seduces Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda, it seems the curse is taking effect.

    David McVicar’s production highlights the cruelty at the heart of the court of Mantua. Richly dressed courtiers engage in orgies and revelries to Verdi’s heady, spirited dances. The opera’s many musical highlights include the ebullient ‘La donna è mobile’, in which the Duke boasts of his disregard for women; Gilda’s exquisite, plangent duets with Rigoletto and the Duke; and the gorgeous Act III quartet that beautifully weaves the voices together as the story quickens to its shattering conclusion.

    Giuseppe Verdi wrote in 1855 that Rigoletto was his ‘best opera’. He had had to overcome state censorship to stage it – the censors objected to its depiction of an immoral ruler – but he was vindicated by the premiere’s huge success in 1851. Rigoletto was performed 250 times in the next 10 years and has remained one of the most popular of all operas.

    This screening runs approximately 2 hours 45 minutes including one interval and an onscreen introduction. Beer, wine, and snacks will be available for purchase.

    NOTE: “Rigoletto” is sung in Italian with English surtitles. 

    Reserved seating tickets ($15 Adults, $10 Students/Youth) are available online or by calling the box office at 509-529-6500.

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    Gesa Power House Theatre will host “Auditioning (from A to Z)” a workshop by Tyson Kaup and ReNae Davis on Saturday, February 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    This workshop is intended to demystify the audition process and will cover the basics of auditioning for traditional and musical theater – everything from how to format a headshot and resume; to the business of acting and agents; to managing nerves and what to expect if you are called back. Participants (ages 8 and up) are asked to bring one prepared audition piece – a song or monologue that is less than one minute in length.

    This workshop will be great preparation for any actors planning to audition on March 9 for the upcoming Walla Walla Summer Stage productions (Annie and 9 to 5). 

    Tickets ($25) are available online or by calling the box office at 509-529-6500. Questions? Email artisticdirector@phtww.com.

    Participating actors will also have the opportunity to sign up for headshots taken by a professional photographer during the lunch break for an additional fee of $25 (cash only).

    10:00-11:00 a.m.: Headshots and the business of acting
    11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Round 1 – auditions, notes, and coaching
    1:00-2:00 p.m.: Lunch break / headshots
    2:00-2:30 p.m.: Personal rehearsal time / headshots
    1:303:30 p.m.: Bring backs – Round 2 – auditions and coaching
    3:30-4:30 p.m.: Callbacks and cold reading
    4:30-5:00 p.m.: Wrap and questions

    Tyson Kaup is a Seattle-based actor, director, and producer as well as Artistic Director of the Gesa Power House Theatre Summer Stage. His recent directing credits include “The Rocky Horror Show,” “The Last Five Years,” and “Cabaret.” Tyson’s producing credits include the NYC world premiere of “Turtleback High” by Kevin Dedes, the feature films “March!,” “Solitary Child,” and “My Last Day with You”, as well as many music videos and commercial productions. As an actor, Tyson has performed on film, television, Off-Broadway, and many regional theaters around the country. He holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied with the Atlantic Theater Company.

    ReNae Davis is a singer, pianist, lyricist and composer with more than 30 years of teaching and performing experience. Favorite Los Angeles stage credits include: Lola in “Damn Yankees,” Cassie in “A Chorus Line,” Sonia in “They’re Playing our Song” and Margarita in “Evita.” She has also performed with many famed musical actors and musicians, including The Pointer Sisters, Bonnie Raitt, Julie Andrews, Dixie Carter, Kevin Bacon, and Sean Penn. ReNae holds a BFA in Music and Drama from BYU.

    Aaron Grubb is a Walla Walla area photographer, writer, and musician. He has experience photographing weddings, portraits (corporate and high school seniors), real estate, landscape, and events as well as videography.

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    Gesa Power House Theatre presents Michael Kaeshammer in concert on Friday, February 23, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

    Michael Kaeshammer is a prolific Vancouver Island-based singer/songwriter/pianist/producer who has earned a loyal international following as a triple threat. He’s a piano virtuoso with a technical mastery of many different styles, an eloquent singer/songwriter, and a charming and engaging performer.

    Kaeshammer first made his own mark as a young piano prodigy. Growing up in Offenburg, Germany, he studied classical piano for seven years prior to falling in love at 13 with the boogie-woogie and stride piano stylings of such greats as Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, and Meade Lux Lewis. A quick study, Michael soon became skilled enough in this style to perform it in clubs, concerts and festivals through Germany and beyond. When his parents moved the family to British Columbia, Canada, Kaeshammer quickly attracted a following there, becoming popular on the jazz and blues festivals circuit.

    With his recording career now spanning two full decades, Michael Kaeshammer has emerged as a truly original artist at the very top of his game and one in love with the creative process. He last performed at Gesa Power House Theatre in 2013.

    Reserved seating tickets ($45-$40) will be available to Members on Friday, November 24, to email subscribers on Monday, November 27, and to the public on Friday, December 1 – online or by calling the box office at 509-529-6500.

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    The Choral Society, conducted by new Artistic Director Gary Hemenway, presents a “Songs of Cole Porter” concert at Gesa Power House Theatre on Monday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m.

    When speaking about great American composers, Cole Porter stands among the greatest. His music has influenced generations and has made its way into the performance libraries of some of the world’s greatest vocalists. We look forward to honoring Cole’s art and sharing it with you. 

    Guest instrumentalists for this concert include: Michael Agidius (sax), Dick Counsell (trombone), Gary Gemberling (trumpet), Nate Miller (trumpet), Doug Morasch (upright bass), and Wil Spears (drums).

    Reserved seating tickets ($17 adults; $12 youth 17 and under) are available online or by calling the Gesa Power House Theatre box office at 509-529-6500. The Choral Society’s 2017 Holiday Concert sold out in advance, so don’t wait to purchase your tickets!

    The Walla Walla Choral Society, a non-profit volunteer organization, promotes and performs accessible quality choral music for the Walla Walla Valley and collaborates with other artistic groups, enriching the community’s cultural life.

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    The Live Cinema Series continues with a screening of the current production of Tosca by The Royal Opera on Wednesday, February 28 at 6:00 p.m. This production is filmed live in London and rebroadcast internationally to select screens.

    Tosca is one of the great evenings of opera, and from its strident opening chords conjures up a world of political instability and menace.

    Jonathan Kent’s production of Tosca for The Royal Opera captures the dangerous political turbulence of Rome in 1800. The Chief of Police, Scarpia – one of the most malevolent villains in opera – ruthlessly pursues and tortures enemies of the state. His dark, demonic music contrasts with the expansive melodies of the idealistic lovers, Tosca and Cavaradossi, who express their passion in sublime arias, including ‘Vissi d’arte’ and ‘E lucevan le stelle’. Giacomo Puccini’s dramatic work was a hit with audiences on its 1900 premiere and it remains one of the most performed of all operas – with its gripping plot and glorious music, it’s easy to see why.

    A candle-lit church, Scarpia’s gloomy study with its hidden torture chamber and the false optimism of a Roman dawn: this handsome production throws into relief the ruthlessly taut drama, as the tension is wound up towards a fateful conclusion. Puccini’s meticulously researched score is infused with the same authentic detail, from distant cannon fire during the Act I Te Deum to tolling church bells and the sounds of a firing squad.

    Simon Shibambu – Cesare Angelotti
    Jeremy White – Sacristan
    Joseph Calleja – Mario Cavaradossi
    Adianne Pieczonka – Floria Tosca
    Gerald Finley – Baron Scarpia
    Aled Hall – Spoletta
    Jihoon Kim – Sciarrone
    Edward Hyde – Shepard Boy
    John Morrissey – Gaoler

    This screening runs approximately 3 hours including two intervals and an onscreen introduction. Beer, wine, and snacks will be available for purchase.

    NOTE: “Tosca” is sung in Italian with English surtitles. 

    Reserved seating tickets ($15 Adults, $10 Students/Youth) are available online or by calling the box office at 509-529-6500.

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    March 2018

    Just Us Girls Sharing (J.U.G.S.) presents Mandy Harvey in concert on Monday, March 5, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

    Mandy Harvey is a deaf American singer-songwriter. She was Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer Winner in the most recent season of “America’s Got Talent”. Mandy lost her residual hearing due to a connective tissue disorder at age eighteen. She left the Vocal Music Education program at Colorado State University, and pursued several career options, including education, but returned to music in 2008. She quickly became a regular performer at Jay’s Bistro in Fort Collins and then branched out to having regular concerts at Dazzle Jazz Lounge in Denver (Top 100 Jazz venues in the world).

    Mandy Harvey’s Golden Buzzer moment on “America’s Got Talent” has over 25 million views, CNN’s Great Big Story captured over 10 million hits on social media, Burt’s Bees signed her up for their “Remarkable Women” campaign, NBC Nightly News profiled her, and she has started performing at the world’s most prestigious clubs, concert stages and festivals.

    “From the first note, Mandy Harvey tames her audience into stunned appreciation as she glides pitch-perfect from breathy jazz standard to growling blues…. At show’s end the audience is on its feet. Some know the secret. Harvey has not heard any of it – not the applause, not the talent of the musicians who shared the stage, not her own incredible voice.” – Los Angeles Times

    A limited number of VIP tables ($100/seat) are available and include side-stage and side-balcony table seating, a souvenir CD, and a private meet-and-greet with the performer. Reserved seating tickets ($65-$50) are available online or by calling the box office at 509-529-6500.

    Since 2009, Just Us Girls Sharing (J.U.G.S.) has been making a difference in the lives of cancer survivors and their families in the Walla Walla Valley and beyond. The locally-formed and operated cancer survivor support network raises funds to directly benefit cancer survivors through cash assistance, the purchase of household items and appliances—basically, those things not covered by insurance.

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    The Live Cinema Series continues with a screening of the current production of Twelfth Night by The Royal Shakespeare Company on Wednesday, March 14 at 6:00 p.m. This production is filmed live in Stratford-Upon-Avon and rebroadcast internationally to select screens. A portion of each ticket sale will benefit Shakespeare Walla Walla. 

    Twelfth Night is a tale of unrequited love – hilarious and heartbreaking. Two twins are separated in a shipwreck, and forced to fend for themselves in a strange land. The first twin, Viola, falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on OIivia, who falls for Viola but is idolised by Malvolio. Enter Sebastian, who is the spitting image of his twin sister…

    Christopher Luscombe, Director of the ‘glorious’ (Daily Telegraph) Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing (2014 and 2016), returns to the Royal Shakespeare Company to tackle Shakespeare’s greatest comedy, a brilliantly bittersweet account of “the whirligig of time”.

    Reserved seating tickets ($15 Adults, $10 Students) are available online or by calling the box office at 509-529-6500. Beer, wine, and snacks will be available for purchase. 

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    Gesa Power House Theatre presents The Phat Pack on Friday, March 16, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

    Four Broadway stars join together to perform some of the best music of Broadway and create an intimate, funny, and entertaining evening. These actors have performed in some of Broadway’s most popular shows; Jean Valjean in Les Misèrables (Randal Keith), The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera (Kevan Patriquin), and Jinx in Forever Plaid (Bruce Ewing) Together with Philip Fortenberry (Award winning Broadway & National Tour pianist), they are “The Phat Pack.”  This extraordinary group met while performing in PHANTOM: The Las Vegas Spectacular and together formed their own highly-acclaimed spectacle that continues to thrill audiences wherever it tours.

    The Phat Pack opened in the fall of 2012 in Las Vegas to rave reviews, and standing ovations. The show headlined for almost a year at The Plaza Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas, followed by a highly successful run in the Windows Showroom at Bally’s Hotel And Casino, overlooking the world famous Las Vegas Strip.

    “Fabulous beyond words! Together, they create skin-tingling harmonies. Separately, they lead us on journeys through their offstage lives and onstage loves, punctuated by music and photos. As much as you can initiate friendships with performers over the course of a show, you can here.”
    – Steve Bornfeld, Vegas Seven Magazine

    “The Phat Pack is a wonderful show. Be sure to see it.” 

    Voted “Best of Vegas – Best All-Around Performers” (Las Vegas Review Journal)

    The Phat Pack is appropriate for all ages.

    Reserved seating tickets ($55-$50) will go on sale to Members on Friday, November 24, to email subscribers on Monday, November 27, and to the public on Friday, December 1 – online or by calling the box office at 509-529-6500.

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    Gesa Power House Theatre will hold auditions in March for the new Walla Walla Summer Stage Series, with two musicals scheduled for Summer 2018 (Annie and 9 to 5). Both plays will be directed by former New York director and Walla Walla native Tyson Kaup (Rocky Horror, The Last Five Years, Cabaret). All principal and ensemble roles are open.

    Walla Walla auditions will be held at Gesa Power House Theatre on Friday, March 9 between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. with callbacks on Saturday and Sunday, between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Additional auditions will be held in Seattle on March 17 (by appointment). Video submissions will be accepted; however, preference will be given to those that audition in person.
    Performers are asked to prepare an audition of no more than 3 minutes in length – either one song, one song and one monologue, or two contrasting songs. Headshots and resumes are welcome but not required. If performers are called back they will be asked to sing from the score and read from the script. Some actors will be asked to attend a dance call at callbacks. All actors will be considered for both productions unless noted otherwise on their audition form. Performers of all types (ethnicity, race, gender, or disability) are encouraged to audition.
    Annie will be in rehearsals July 7-26 (nights and weekends) with eight performances between July 27 and August 5. The following roles are available for Annie:
    ANNIE: Female (10-12) Orphan. Tough, smart, and vulnerable with a boldly generous spirit. Vocal range: Mezzo. [Paid – $600]
    MISS HANNIGAN: Female (35-55) A disillusioned former beauty who drowns her self-pity in hooch and hot baths. Resentful and abusive towards the Orphans. Vocal range: Mezzo. [Paid – $600]
    OLIVER WARBUCKS: Male (40-60) A self-made businessman. Intentional and precise with undeniable passion. As big-hearted as he is severe. Vocal range: Baritone. [Paid – $600]
    GRACE FARRELL: Female (20-40) Mr. Warbucks’ secretary. Open and warm with a strong maternal impulse. Develops romantic feelings for Warbucks. Vocal range: Soprano. [Paid – $400]
    ROOSTER HANNIGAN: Male (20-40) A charming professional criminal. Miss Hannigan’s brother. Vocal range: Baritone. [Paid – $400]
    LILY: Female (20-40) Rooster’s girlfriend and partner in crime. Vocal range: Soprano. [Paid – $400]
    THE ORPHANS: Female (6-13) MOLLY, PEPPER, KATE, DUFFY, TESSIE, JULY. Street-smart kids with unique backgrounds and personalities. [Paid – $300 each]
    ENSEMBLE: (20-60) All must move well. [Paid – $300 each] The ensemble will cover the following roles:
    BUNDLES: A loveable laundryman
    FDR: The President
    DRAKE: Warbucks’ butler
    LT. WARD: A policeman
    BERT HEALY: A radio personality
    LOUISE HOWE: Aide to FDR
    STAR TO BE: Aspiring actress with a big voice
    BOYLAN SISTERS: Trio of singing sisters
    9 to 5 will be in rehearsals July 27-August 16 (nights and weekends) with eight performances between August 17-26. The following roles are available for 9 to 5:
    VIOLET: Female (30-50) Company secretary and Mr. Hart’s assistant. Single mother struggling to keep it all together. Ambitious. No BS. Must move well. Vocal range: Mezzo. [Paid – $1500]
    DORALEE: Female (20-40) A natural beauty with a spitfire personality. Authentic and wildly charming. Southern accent. Must move well. Vocal range: Mezzo. [Paid – $1500]
    JUDY: Female (30-50) The new girl at the office. Recently separated from her husband. Naive at times yet determined to win at life. Must move well. Vocal range: Mezzo. [Paid – $1500]
    FRANKLIN HART: Male (35-55) The boss. Devilishly charming. A notorious and unapologetic chauvinist. Vocal range: Baritone. [Paid – $1000]
    ROZ: Female (35-55) Office know-it-all and brown-noser. Mr. Hart’s eyes and ears – though she longs to be so much more. Great comedic timing. Vocal range: Mezzo. [Paid – $500]
    JOE: Male (30-45) A young office accountant and a good guy. Has romantic feelings for Violet. Vocal range: Baritone [Paid – $500]
    ENSEMBLE: (20-60) All must move very well. [Paid – $300 each] The ensemble will cover the following roles:
    DWAYNE: Doralee’s husband
    JOSH: Violet’s son
    DICK: Judy’s ex-husband
    TINSWORTHY: The chairman of the board
    MISSY: Franklin Hart’s wife
    MARIA: A sweet secretary
    KATHY: A secretary and office gossip
    MARGARET: A secretary and office lush
    Questions and video auditions may be e-mailed to artisticdirector@phtww.com.

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