Williamsport — Since closing its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Theatre League has been innovating virtual outlets for local theatre performers. Almost immediately, they launched the CTL at Home series on their Facebook page, allowing members of the CTL family to submit videos to be featured.
In early April, Executive Director Seth Sponhouse turned the series into an online concert series on Friday evenings at 7:30, hosted by Sponhouse and his wife Marisa, and streamed live on the Community Theatre League Facebook page.
“To date, these concerts have featured our local performers who have been seen on our stages,” Sponhouse says, “however this week we decided to focus on a special group of performers. This Friday’s concert will feature performers from high school productions who had their productions postponed or canceled to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Community Theatre League hosts the annual Ray of Light Awards for Excellence in High School Theatre, which celebrate and honor drama and musical programs for schools in a 40-mile radius from Williamsport.
This area of more than 5,000 square miles within Pennsylvania sees over a thousand local students participating in their school’s drama programs each year, and with more than half of the 13 schools who had intended to compete in the Ray of Light Awards unable to perform, Sponhouse felt like this was a natural step for CTL.
“Administrations and schools have handled this truly unprecedented problem amazingly, but due to circumstances, shows that these students and staffs have worked on over the past months were not able to be seen by audiences, family members, and friends,” said Sponhouse, “We are honored to give those students a chance to sing for a virtual audience! Theatre, music and the arts in schools provides a beautiful and necessary outlet and opportunity for so many students that we at CTL will continue to do anything we can to provide opportunities to our community, now more than ever.”
This week’s CTL at Home Concert will feature:
- Maxwell Ferguson - Jersey Shore Area High School - Godspell
- Rachel Kern - Milton Area High School - The Addams Family
- Destiny Lopez - Shikellamy High School - Once on This Island
- Spencer Millay - Loyalsock Township High School - Pippin
- Rylee Peterson - South Williamsport Area High School - Into the Woods
- Quahmé Powell - Williamsport Area High School - Beauty and the Beast
- Abby Shoemaker - Montoursville Area High School - Bye Bye Birdie
- Katherine Worrall - Hughsville Area High School - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- Autumn Ziegler - Midd-West High School - Bye Bye Birdie
This free virtual concert will be held on Friday, April 17 at 7:30pm - online at www.facebook.com/ctlshows - CTL’s Facebook page. This event is free, but donations will be accepted, going to the Andree P. Phillips Leadership in the Arts Award, a scholarship fund established to honor high school seniors who have gone above and beyond in the arts in their schools.