Gretna Theatre is an artistic treasure in Central Pennsylvania. Dedicated to bringing quality theatre to both the adult and youth communities, the staff is tireless in its efforts serve and enhance the community through its broadway-quality stage performances. I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact that Gretna Theatre, and its Producing Director, Larry Frenock, have had on audience members, interns, actors, and staff. Supporting this organization makes great things happen in the community!
Experiences define our lives. Spectacular experiences define our beings. Mount Gretna Theatre is a spectacular experience! My name is Lesley Mueller. I am the proud and grateful parent of Meigan Mueller. Meigan is ten years old and aspires to make live theatre a primary part of her life. She embodies a focused desire to make fantasy reality, and receives a meaningful gratification from performing for a live audience. This summer Meigan was blessed to have the opportunity to be cast in Mount Gretnas' production of The King and I. She played the part of Princess Yang Yaowlak. The moment that Meigan auditioned for this production we both knew this would be an exceptional experience. Larry Frenock, Producing Director, and Christian Saint-Girard, Casting Director, both have a unique sense of professionalism. They present with great clarification the expectations and commitment that is necessary for both the acting cast and families involved with a production. Supporting family members and cast were treated with an attitude of immediate inclusion. There were no doubts that this would be a life-changing event. Mount Gretna Theatre is a gift to the community at large, and the acting community. Children and parents learn all aspects of production. The staff teaches children with encouragement, patience, and respect. They receive the finest dramatic and musical instruction possible. Children learn how important a sense of responsibility is in theatre. They learn what true teamwork can accomplish. Meigan had the ability to interact with a superior cast of actors, actresses, and dancers. They were all willing to share their experience. They presented excellent role models. In addition, Meigan learned about stage management, costuming, and technical aspects of theatre. She learned from the best! Meigan spent a month of her life at Mount Gretna Theatre, and it bestowed her with a lifetime of memories that have changed her forever. In her own words, "It was the best time of my life. I will always cherish my wonderful experience at Mount Gretna Theatre." As a parent, I cannot imagine a better environment to see children learn, or a better professional staff to teach them. It is our hope that Mount Gretna Theatre will have more programs to teach aspiring actors and actresses their craft during the school year as well as the summer. We would be very grateful to see this wonderful community resource expand its programs. We would be honored to have Meigan be part of any program or production at the historic and treasured Mount Gretna Theatre.
Working in the performing arts field is a goal I have had for as long as I can remember. It seems daunting to find a career in such a prestigious field as the arts. However, Gretna Theatre has given me the opporutnity to realize my dreams and understand that they are not as far off as I had once thought. During the 2008 summer season I had the most delightful opportunity to work with Gretna Theatre in a variety of aspects. My official titles include: management intern, house manager, and volunteer coordinator. Each title came with different responsibilities. These responsibilities ranged from calling volunteers, to preparting the theatre for each performance, to listening in on management conversations, to hob-knobbing with some of Broadway's greatest performers. The work was challenging and rewarding as I was allowed into the fast-paced world of summer stock theatre. Under the supervision of Larry Frenock, producing director, I received an inside peek at the innermost workings of the theatre company. This is an opporutnity that very few individuals have and I am beyond grateful to Larry for such an amazing experience. During this time I was able to see my education at work. I was finally able to see all of the theoretical material I learned in the classroom being practiced in a real world situation. For me this was total validation that my education is not only practical, but has, indeed, set me up to take on a successful career post-college. Without a doubt, my summer spent at Greta Theatre has not only allowed me to exercise the education I have already received but has also prepared me for my future in the performing arts management sector in ways I cannot express on paper. I am forever indebted to Gretna Theatre for presenting me a once-in-a-lifetime experience and send them the biggest thanks for it.
This summer of 2008, my ten-year-old son, Ryan Sullivan, had the wonderful opportunity to perform in The King and I as Louis Leonowens at the Gretna Theatre. Ryan has been performing in community productions for two years. When he decided he wanted to audition for a regional theatre, he knew it would be a greater challenge for him. From the first moment he met Christian Saint-Girard, Larry Frenock, and Renee Krizan, he knew he had made the right decision. As a parent, you hope your child will find a passion in something. Ryan has found this passion in the theatre. However, passion is just the beginning. Ryan needed training, critique, practice, and encouragement. All of these things he received while rehearsing and performing at the Gretna Theatre. The cast and crew were supportive, skilled and patient. Ryan received the help he needed in a positive way, and because of this experience he has now auditioned for another regional theatre for the lead role in Oliver! He would not have had the confidence to do so without the amazing experience he had at Gretna. Performing was a fun learning experience and I hope Ryan will have many more opportunities to do so at Gretna.