Community theater returns with its first musical in nine years

MILLERSPORT – Although married couple Brenton LeuVoy and Johanna Whetstone-LeuVoy were able to perform during the pandemic, they have decided this year to focus on a local show.

The move is one they felt the Millersport and Fairfield County community deserved, and honors the Whetstone-LeuVoy family’s past with the local cast of actors.

A graduate of Millersport High School and a third generation member of the Millersport Community Theater, Whetstone LeuVoy said a performance this spring was perfect after a year-long hiatus.

MCT will present the musical interpretation of “Wedding Singer”, the popular romantic comedy of the same name from 1998.

LeuVoy will direct the show while his wife will be the musical director. They said they wanted to come back on stage with a light track, especially after all of the “gloom” of 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic.

“We wanted something fun, especially after last year, something light. It was great to be in it, to see and hear everyone’s performance so far. We had been considering a few other shows, but the ‘Wedding Singer’ just seemed adept at bringing the theater back after the pandemic, “LeuVoy said.” We’re here to help people have a good time, and that’s also what we’re trying to do. do for ourselves. “

The group were able to enter the Millersport Elementary School auditorium during the first week of July, when they began preparing them for performances on July 16, 17 and 18.

Whetstone-LeuVoy said most of the cast also had crew member roles, working on props, sets, costumes and lighting.

Deryn Kraner adds details to an accessory salmon serving on July 6 for the Millersport Community Theater production of The Wedding Singer.  The show will take place July 16-18.

“We’re really a tight-knit group. When you do these shows, you spend a lot of time together in and out of the theater production. It is no exaggeration to think that at the end of the show, the cast and crew are all like family, ”she said. “When you work together for so long to put on a show, all kinds of bonds form. That’s where Brenton and I met, and a lot of our friends’ relationships started in the theater.”

“It’s something special happening to you. Some of the links are temporary, but many are not.”

During the pandemic, the couple said they acted with groups in the greater Columbus area, so they saw the full transition of COVID-19 precautions during shows with fewer restrictions. While they were prepared to observe some of these restrictions for the MCT show, LeuVoy and Whetstone-LeuVoy said it was not necessary now, but that they were always ready just in case.

“At first our cast size was limited, but we were able to safely increase it. We also managed to increase the capacity of the crowd,” said LeuVoy.

For Whetstone-LeuVoy, being able to help run a show with a band that means a lot to their family is very meaningful. His grandparents were members of MCT before the band started making musicals, and his first role was in MCT’s production of “Oklahoma!” when she was four years old.

Stephen Warner walks across the stage at Millersport Elementary Auditorium on July 6 as he helps set up the lighting for the Millersport Community Theater production of The Wedding Singer.  The show will take place July 16-18.

“Most of my family was in this show. My grandmother played in the orchestra pit, my dad had a judge role and my siblings were there. The Millersport Community Theater has always been a family affair,” she declared. “When we were playing with a band in New Albany, we recognized there was a need at Millersport. And while my grandparents are both deceased, it’s great to give back like they did. “

“Being able to use our donation in a community that appreciates us is wonderful. “

LeuVoy agreed it was cool to be able to go back to his wife’s acting roots. And although he has already helped produce shows, this is his first time as a director.

“Being at the helm is a very different experience. I’m having a blast so far, enjoying every minute of the work we were able to do. And now that we’re in the auditorium, not just rehearsing elsewhere, this starts to feel real, ”he said. “It’s gratifying, and the way everyone has worked so far, there are no words to describe the feeling of seeing this show come together.”

There will be three in-person shows of the musical, with the option to also watch a stream of the show.

“It’s kind of a Renaissance after COVID, there are all of these changes that came out of something so horrible,” Whetstone-LeuVoy said. “People will be able to show their families the show that cannot make it to Millersport. Actors will be able to see the performance, which is rare due to the rules regarding recordings.”

“Streaming may cost more than individual tickets, but that’s because when they set the price, they assumed more than one person would watch the show.”

Ryan Bernstein, left, and Ryan Burkhart work on a set as Celeste Anderson paints a set on July 6 for the Millersport Community Theater production of The Wedding Singer.  The show will take place July 16-18.

Tickets are available online at the MCT website for $ 15 each. LeuVoy added that it would be reserved seats, so the earlier tickets are ordered the better. He also said the musical is a pretty accurate adaptation of the film – it will be rated PG-13, so parents should consider letting their kids watch the series.

“I remember shows in the past were sold out, but I understand that we are still in a time where people may not be ready to go out just yet. The community support that we got from Millersport is phenomenal. The village always comes together, whether it’s on a clear day or a dark day, “Whetstone-LeuVoy said.” It’s almost more support than we saw that when we were playing around Columbus, it was almost like everyone only supported what they were active in. But here everyone is helping everyone. It’s awesome.”

“Ticket sales are still early, but we’ve had a great response so far.”

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