ETC marks a moment in past, looks ahead
PLYMOUTH —The Educational Theatre Collaborative's production of the original musical "Marking the Moment," which honored the 250th anniversary of the Town of Plymouth, N.H., was named the 2013 overall winner of the Moss Hart Memorial Award by the New England Theatre Conference this past fall.
Each year winners are chosen in categories including professional, community, children's and college theater and one of the four winners is chosen as the overall winner.
ETC is in its 20th year of producing intergenerational programs with casts from across the region. It is a partnership of the Plymouth State University College of Graduate Studies, Plymouth Elementary School and Friends of the Arts.
"Marking the Moment," written by Professor Trish Lindberg, artistic director of ETC, and PSU Professor Emeritus of History Manuel Marquez-Sterling, captured illustrative vignettes from Plymouth's history in song and dance. The idea is rooted in history; in 1913, community members staged tableaux around town to mark the town's 150th anniversary, according to Lindberg.
The award was a reflection of an undertaking that involves moving more than 100 people on and off stage, while tackling costumes, makeup, lighting, music and special effects.
Will Ogmundson of Sutton wrote the music. Ogmundson says he tried to have the music for this production match the time period it represents. "Babe Ruth's song is ragtime, the 1950's song harkens back to Jerry Lee Lewis, and the 1930's era piece is a Charleston, to give a few examples, so the style is constantly shifting," the composer said.
The cast included 120 people ages eight to 77 from 20 towns. Everyone from a local doctor, a lawyer, a contractor, the university president, provost, dean and director of athletics, the founder of the Common Man family of restaurants, members of Pemigewasset Chorale Society as well as community members and children from area schools and students from Plymouth State helped to mark moments in Plymouth history.For a related story, see Page 2 of today's NH Weekend for details about ETC's latest production, the stage classic "Oliver."