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Set the music free at Andystock

  • Andy’s Summer Playhouse participant Siraj Husainy, 16, of Amherst and Michael Poisson,18, of Amherst, perform during last year’s “Andystock,” to fundraise for the children’s theater’s summer programs and announce their upcoming season. Courtesy photo

  • Andy’s Summer Playhouse participants and staff perform during last year’s “Andystock,” to fundraise for the children’s theater’s summer programs and announce their upcoming season. —Courtesy photo

  • Andy’s Summer Playhouse participants and staff perform during last year’s “Andystock,” to fundraise for the children’s theater’s summer programs and announce their upcoming season. —Courtesy photo

  • Andy’s Summer Playhouse participants and staff perform during last year’s “Andystock,” to fundraise for the children’s theater’s summer programs and announce their upcoming season. —Courtesy photo

  • Andy’s Summer Playhouse participants and staff perform during last year’s “Andystock,” to fundraise for the children’s theater’s summer programs and announce their upcoming season. —Courtesy photo



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Andy’s Summer Playhouse is dedicated to letting kids express themselves on stage – usually, though, that’s through their acting.

On Friday, Andy’s will hold its second annual “Andystock” to let its participants free on a different kind of stage: A musical one.

Andy’s Summer Playhouse is a children’s theater program in Wilton, which produces original works performed by actors aged 8 to 18, with direction and works produced by professionals in the industry. 

Andystock is the brainchild of Siraj Husainy, 16, of Amherst, an Andy’s performer, said Jared Mezzocchi, Andy’s Summer Playhouse’s producing artistic director. Last year, the playhouse was looking to plan an event every month that they were off from their summer program, said Mezzocchi, and Husainy was interested in doing a music performance. 

“I just think that as we’re moving through these new ideas and events, it’s always the best situation when an Andy’s kid comes up with it,” said Mezzocchi, who said that the event last year was such a success that he knew immediately it would become an annual event. “Some of the most exciting ideas come from them, when we’re not imposing something on them from the outside.”

Mezzochi, a Hollis native now living in Washington D.C., knows that from experience. He himself was once an Andy’s kid.

While Mezzocchi called Husainy the “ringleader” of the event, the core Andy’s participants quickly rallied around the idea, and this year there will be at least 15 performances by Andy’s kids and staff performing either solo or in groups or duets – sometimes even full bands. 

“It’s growing by the minute,” he said.

And it’s also an important milestone for Andy’s Summer Playhouse – in between the musical performances, the kids and staff will announce it’s upcoming summer performances, all centered around the theme of “Legacy.”

Usually, Andy’s has three originally written performances, one of which is a musical. This year, there will be four, said Mezzocchi, with topics ranging from family, travel, immigration and myth. 

Andy’s will also continue a revised rubric for their workshops, which include writing and directing workshops, so that families that are interested, but can’t devote the time to a full performance, can still participate. Last year, two-hour short workshops were held weekly, and Andy’s also offered three longer, three-day workshops throughout the season. The playhouse offered options to buy packages for a single workshop, up to all of them. 

The topics of the workshops will also be introduced at Andystock, along with the titles and themes of the productions. 

“Andystock” will be held at the Second Congregational Church in downtown Wilton tomorrow (Friday) opening at 7 p.m. and running to 9:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about Andy’s Summer Playhouse, their upcoming season, or who would like to enjoy the music. Refreshments are available.

For more information about Andy’s Summer Playhouse, or to donate to the program, visit www.andyssummerplayhouse.org.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.