Community News

Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre Wins Three International Music and Entertainment Awards

Sponsor: Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre
Author: Thomas Urquhart, 215-860-1584, nvmt@verizon.net

Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre’s spring 2017 production of Hello, Dolly! won three awards from the International Music and Entertainment Association. The awards were announced at a ceremony on June 16 at the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, Kentucky. The three recipients are Jackie Laurence of Quakertown for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical, Kyle Rodgers of Telford (Montgomery County) for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical, and George Kinsley of Langhorne for Outstanding Scenic Design of a Musical.

The awards are presented annually by the International Music and Entertainment Association (IMEA). IMEA is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and serving as an advocate to individuals and organizations within the performing arts and entertainment industries. The IMEA Awards were developed to honor and recognize the best in independent music and entertainment, worldwide.

Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre’s (NVMT) Hello, Dolly! received nominations in all nine 2018 IMEA musical theater categories.

 “We are incredibly proud of our three NVMT colleagues who received IMEA Awards this year,” stated Tom Urquhart, president of the organization, “as well as the other six nominations we received for our production of Hello, Dolly! It is gratifying to have this level of national recognition from our peers and fellow artists.”

Jackie Laurence’s IMEA win recognized her portrayal of the title character in Hello, Dolly!, Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi. Through her good-intentioned “meddling” and matchmaking, the widowed but brassy Dolly stirs up romance and adventure while scheming to create a new life for herself in mid-1890’s New York City with her goal to marry the “half-a-millionaire” curmudgeon Horace Vandergelder. Laurence has performed in a number of roles with NVMT over the years, most recently as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes! in 2014, for which she also received an Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical Award from IMEA.

Kyle Rodgers’ IMEA award recognized his work as Cornelius Hackl, Horace Vandergelder’s meek clerk who, after encouragement from Dolly, is ready to take on the world and to finally kiss a girl. Rodgers has been a frequent cast member in NVMT productions, having appeared recently in leading roles in Nice Work If You Can Get It, Anything Goes!, and Curtains. He also choreographed the 2016 production of The Music Man.

George Kinsley is a long-time member of NVMT, joining the organization for his first production in 1964, designing and supervising construction of the company’s sets for most of those years, as well as performing on stage and serving as a member and past president of the board. Kinsley also received national recognition in 2004, winning the American Association of Community Theatre’s (AACT) “Spotlight Award” that year for meritorious service in community theater.

In addition to Laurence’s prior win in 2014, NVMT has received two other IMEA Awards in the past, as well as numerous nominations, including Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical for Ken Marblestone’s 2016 portrayal of Harold Hill in The Music Man (total of seven nominations) and Outstanding Direction of a Musical for Sam Frenkel’s work on NVMT’s 2015 production of Nice Work If You Can Get It (total of ten nominations). Anything Goes! received a total of six nominations.

Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre (NVMT) is a nonprofit scholarship organization offering competitive grants since its founding in 1956 to students graduating from the Neshaminy School District and planning to study the fine and performing arts in college. The organization mounts an annual musical, this past spring presenting Young Frankenstein, the proceeds from which go into a scholarship fund. Generous donors have also contributed to build the fund. To date NVMT has awarded over $150,000 in scholarships.

For 2018, the IMEA presented 58 awards in music categories including classical, jazz, folk, rock, Latin, R&B, Hip Hop, and country music genres, and ten awards in theater and musical theater categories.

NVMT recently announced the selection of its spring 2019 production, My Fair Lady. The musical is based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pyglamion with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a London Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a  phoneticist, so that she may pass as a lady. The original Broadway and London productions starred Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews, and a revival of the musical is currently running on Broadway.

Auditions will be held in November with performances scheduled for early April.

For more information on Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre, its 2019 production, and its scholarship program, visit nvmt.org, or email nvmt@verizon.net or call 267-733-8876.

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About NVMT:

The Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre was established in 1956 as a not-for-profit, scholarship grant organization presenting a spectacular Broadway-type musical stage show each spring at the Neshaminy High School. For the past 62 years over $150,000 in scholarships has been awarded to talented local high school seniors who plan to pursue their education in the fine or performing arts.  This group of non-professional volunteers takes pride in producing professional-level stage musicals as well as servicing the community through its scholarship grant program.  NVMT welcomes all interested community members to join them in a fun and rewarding experience.  Whether you like to sing, dance or act, there are many ways to participate in this vibrant community theatre.  The group is always looking for artists and craftspeople to build sets, paint scenery and make costumes.  All ages and levels of experience are welcome.  Even a total novice will find this a great way to meet people and test their secret dream “to be a star.” For further interest on the next production call (215) 860-1584 or visit www.nvmt.org.


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