'Come together and collaborate': York theater groups put on Broadway musical performance

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

It's been a long and difficult year for York County's theater groups.

But this weekend will be the first time many actors return to the spotlight as York's theaters — simultaneously with other groups across the country — collaborate on a revue of iconic Broadway hits for one weekend only.

“I'm excited to have us back in an actual theater with a live audience," said Vicki Schneider. "Part of the point of this is a fundraiser to help keep these theaters alive that have really taken a hit.”

Schneider — along with Gayle Eubank, who also serves as The York Dispatch's managing editor for digital — is co-directing "All Together Now," a new show supplemented with royalty-free music via license-holder Music Theatre International, as a fundraiser to support community theater through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of Broadway's most iconic music featured in the production will include songs from "Annie," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Guys and Dolls."

The show, one of several using the rights-free music, brings together roughly 20 cast and crew members from Theater Arts for Everyone, Orangemite Studios and Upstart Arts.

Live theater has been a challenge for entertainment troupes since the beginning of the pandemic.

Brainstorming and innovation brought Zoom plays and livestreamed musicals for 2020, though nothing could compare to the energy of live theater and an audience, Schneider said.

“Everyone's still kind of struggling to stay afloat, despite the fact that we did some amazing things," Schneider said. "It just wasn’t the same.”

Nancy Orf-Davis of Theatre Arts For Everyone and Paula Rineer of Upstart Arts, left, perform during a rehearsal for "All Together Now" at Aldersgate Church Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. The musical revue, showcasing talent from local theater groups, will feature songs from popular Broadway shows. The production is provided globally by Musical Theatre International as a way to support community theaters during the pandemic. The showtimes are 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the church Sunday, Nov. 14. Bill Kalina photo

So when Theater Arts for Everyone Executive Director Shama Mir found out about what Music Theater International had planned, she jumped at the opportunity. Planning and rehearsals have been going on since September.

“The idea is to come together and collaborate," Schneider said. “Theaters just need help to get themselves back to a place where we can continue to provide that sense of community and storytelling that we’re here for.”

"All Together Now" will have 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows Sunday at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 397 Tyler Run Road.

Tickets for each live performance are $20, with a livestream option for $10. Tickets can be purchased by visiting https://tafepa.org/all-together.

Masks will be required for those attending a live show.

Other local theater groups putting on productions using the rights-free "All Together Now" global event include:

  • Central York Performing Arts, with shows planned for 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. It's at Central York High School, 601 Mundis Mill Road, Springettsbury Township. More information and tickets, starting at $8, are available at https://www.cyperformingarts.com/all-together-now.html
  • Gettysburg Community Theatre, with virtual shows planned at 7 p.m. every night between Friday and Monday with 2 p.m. live in-person shows on Saturday and Sunday. More information and tickets, starting at $15, are available at https://www.gettysburgcommunitytheatre.org/2021-season.html

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at  @tina_locurto. Please consider subscribing to support local journalism.