If you have the chance to watch a play presented by the Theater Collaborative of South Jersey/Gateway Playhouse, don’t miss the opportunity.

The Gateway Playhouse in Somers Point is simply wonderful. We wrote a comprehensive article about The Gateway Playhouse last week. Here is a link:

Read More: Somers Point, NJ Gateway Playhouse Presenting Young Star Quality

Margie and I, along with numerous other family members and friends went to this past weekend’s “Chicago High School Edition.”

Each of the four performances were sold out. With so many negative things going on in American society today, this is one example of everything that is good and right about our humanity as a civilization.

The camaraderie of the actors was wonderful to watch. They were so supportive of each other. The atmosphere and energy level in the theater was electric.

I was long scheduled to attend the Friday, 1:00 p.m. show. I loved it so much that I came back the next night for the Saturday, 6:00 p.m. show.

Going into the weekend, I had no intentions of attending a second show.

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The lead roles were played by different young actors for the Friday and Saturday shows; each getting two performances.

This spread the wealth and if you attended a show on both days, you had the opportunity to see a slightly different take, as portrayed by the different lead actors.

I was so pleased to see the last performance of Chicago this past Saturday night. At the end of the show, it was beautiful to witness how happy the young actors were.

They celebrated and hugged each other. It was the culmination of a summer Gateway to the Arts camp, which took place at Gateway Playhouse Theater.

More than 100 children from Atlantic and Cape May Counties participated in the intensive six-week camp to prepare for these command performances.

Harry Hurley
Harry Hurley

Now, the younger actors, (ages 9 to 13) will take to the stage when they will present Bye Bye Birdie on
Saturday and Sunday, August 13 & 14, 2022. Show times are 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

All 4 shows are sold out.

I have had the opportunity to get to know Phil Pallitto and Katie Calvi, who are The Chair and Vice Chair of the Theater Collaborative of South Jersey/Gateway Playhouse.

They work very hard and it all appears to be so rewarding.

Here are the adults who have worked in key roles with the student actors this summer as follows:

  • Phil Pallitto - Director for both Chicago and Bye Bye Birdie.
  • Karen Cleighton-choreographer
  • Claire Collins - vocal coach.
  • Kevin McCafferty - technical director.
  • Kathy Ford - musical director for Bye Bye Birdie.
  • Debbie Rolland - musical director for Chicago.

Pallitto said to us in response to our personal delight about the Gateway Playhouse:

“I’m so happy you got to experience the magic of our theater,” said Pallitto.
“Our goal of Gateway to the Arts is to empower students to recognize how the role of art, theater, and other related activities can help them to become better citizens in the ever-changing world around them,” said Pallitto.
“I grew up on the gateway stage, so it's a true honor to share "my home away from home" with so many,” said Pallitto.
”We can all agree that our community is a better place because of unique programs like this,” said Pallitto.

SOURCE: Phil Pallitto, Chair & Katie Calvi, Vice Chair, Theater Collaborative of South Jersey/Gateway Playhouse.

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