Stepping Out

 

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Show programme for Stepping Out April 2015

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Greater Manchester Drama Federation The Greater Manchester Drama Federation (GMDF) is recognised as one of the leading associations representing amateur theatre in the North West of England. The GMDF's affiliated network alone makes it one of the largest regional organisations of its type and it's Full Length Festival, is probably the largest drama festival to be held in Europe. Entries into this Festival are adjudicated by four adjudicators throughout the season and their awards across various categories of drama are announced at our prestigious Awards Evening during the summer. We also hold a long established, annual, high quality, week long, One Act Play Festival which, next year, will be held at Altrincham Little Theatre. Details are on our website. GMDF aims include:    To provide a central organisation through which the membership can take co-operative and concerted action in all matters which concern non-professional theatre. To involve and encourage at all times, in every facet of the theatre, the youth drama movement in the Greater Manchester area . To promote 'live theatre' to the general public in, thus providing a cultural activity of acknowledged value in this modern era of increased leisure time . www.gmdf.org NATIONAL OPERATIC and DRAMATIC ASSOCIATION Serving Amateur Theatre since 1899 Inspiring theatre Our vision is that amateur theatre is successful and sustainable, providing a range of opportunities for people to develop their skills and enjoy taking part, at all levels. Mission We are here to support the education and information needs of individuals and organisations with high quality services and products that contribute to the success of amateur theatre, as well as encouraging appreciation of the sector by participants and audiences alike. We aim to:    Help amateur societies and individuals achieve the highest standards of best practice and performance Give a shared voice to the amateur theatre sector. Provide leadership and advice to enable the amateur theatre sector to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. www.noda.org.uk

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Chairman’s address Welcome once again to Woodford Community Players. Since we last met at Celebration, we have had two very successful Theatre Supper Evenings when we presented two hilarious comedies, “Pastiche” and “The Worst Day of My Life”, both of which have been entered into one act play festivals later this year. I am delighted to announce that Sue Mooney (our director for tonight) won the award for Best Actress in a Drama at the North West Area 1. NODA Awards Night Ceremony in January for her portrayal of Rhoda in our last November production Celebration. We also had nominations in several other categories, of which we are justly proud. Also since we last met, we have started using TicketSource for our ticketing, seating and Box Office arrangements. If you have found any problems due to teething troubles, please let us know and we will try to rectify them but hopefully all will have been well! We have recently, in collaboration with The Woodford War Memorial Community Centre Committee invested in a new state of the art sound system which I am sure you will feel the benefit of tonight. Tonight we have for your entertainment a delightful comedy about a group of amateur dancers who are preparing for a show. We follow the group of ladies and one man as they progress form “passable” to “near professional “ in their dancing standard. We are delighted to welcome some newcomers to Woodford stage and I am sure that you will recognise some familiar faces too. This play has been an exacting one for the dancers and even more exacting for our Director Sue Mooney and our Choreographer Carol Ackers. They have had to juggle rehearsal times between drama and dancing since both disciplines are required in this play. I think that you will find that they have succeeded admirably! Please sit back and enjoy “STEPPING OUT”. Dr Derek Snowdon Chairman By kind permission of Samuel French Ltd Woodford Community Players are members of Greater Manchester Drama Federation www.gmdf.org and National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA—serving amateur theatre since 1899) www.woodfordplayers.co.uk Woodford Community Players Registered Charity no: 1110155

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Tap Dance A style of dance in which a dancer wearing shoes fitted with heel and toe taps sounds out audible beats by rhythmically striking the floor or any other hard surface. Tap originated in the United States through the fusion of several ethnic percussive dances, primarily African tribal dances and Scottish, Irish, and English clog dances hornpipes, and jigs. Until the last few decades of the 20th century, it was believed that African slaves and Irish indentured servants had observed each other’s dances on Southern plantations and that tap dancing was born from this contact. In the late 20th century, however, researchers suggested that tap instead was nurtured in such urban environments as the Five Points District in New York City, where a variety of ethnic groups lived side by side under crowded conditions and in constant contact with the distinctly urban rhythms and syncopations of the machine age. In the mid- to late 1800s, dance competitions were a common form of entertainment. Later called “cutting contests,” these intense challenges between dancers were an excellent breeding ground for new talent. (One of the earliest recorded such challenges took place in 1844 between black dancer William Henry Lane, known as Master Juba, and Irish dancer John Diamond.) Dancers matured by learning each other’s techniques and rhythmic innovations. The primary showcase for tap of this era was the minstrel show, which was at its peak from approximately 1850 to 1870. During the following decades, styles of tap dancing evolved and merged. Among the ingredients that went into the mix were buck dancing (a dance similar to but older than the clog dance), softshoe dancing (a relaxed, graceful dance done in soft-soled shoes and made popular in vaudeville), and buck and wing dancing (a fast and flashy dance usually done in wooden-soled shoes and combining Irish clogging styles, high kicks, and complex African rhythms and steps such as the shuffle and slide; it is the forerunner of rhythm tap). Tap dance as it is known today did not emerge until roughly the 1920s, when “taps,” nailed or screwed onto shoe soles at the toes and heels, became popular. During this time entire chorus lines in shows such as Shuffle Along (1921) first appeared on stage with “tap shoes,” and the dance they did became known as tap dancing. Woodford Community Players gratefully acknowledges the vital support of the following: Christ Church Woodford for rehearsal facilities Mark Wilkinson for help erecting the raked seating All our advertisers and those who have assisted with our publicity. Fancy having a go at treading the boards or some backstage work? We’re a friendly bunch and you would be made more than welcome. admin@woodfordplayers.co.uk

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Heather Braddock ~ Mrs Fraser This play marks Heather’s 65th appearance with Woodford Players. When in 1954 she first appeared as “Sally” in Quiet Weekend. at the tender age of 13. Heather counts “Lady Airlie” in Crown Matrimonial as one of her favourite roles as well as the haughty and scheming “Lady Steerforth” in David Copperfield together with “Miss Maple” in Death By Fatal Murder. Heather has thoroughly enjoyed stamping her mark on the redoubtable “Mrs Fraser” and hopes you enjoy the show tonight. Sylvia Arnold ~ Mavis Sylvia has trodden Woodford’s boards several times with most recent roles being the long suffering “Ginnie” in Outside Edge and Cora in Calendar Girls. She also appeared at The Lowry Theatre in October 2014 in Threads and is delighted to be playing “Mavis” for Woodford Community Players in this wonderful, challenging play by Richard Harris. Sylvia hopes that you will all be inspired to taking up tap dancing after seeing Stepping Out—and yes that applies to the fellas, there can be no excuses after seeing Geoffrey in action! And it’s five, six, seven, eight…….. Carol Ackers ~ Vera Carol has been a member of Woodford Players for a good number of years and has played a wide variety of roles for them, her favourite to date being that of "Annie Clark" in Calendar Girls for which she received the NODA North West Regional Award for Best Actress in a Drama. She is the Players Social Secretary and along with her team enjoys organising the very successful Theatre Supper Evening each year. Carol is a dance teacher and taught an Adult Tap Class for a number of years and this experience has helped with the task of choreographing the various routines for this play. She would like to thank each and everyone of the cast for their hard work and dedication in learning the tap numbers and hopes that you will enjoy their efforts. Tracey Hepburn ~ Sylvia This is Tracey’s first appearance on Woodford Players’ stage, in fact it’s her first appearance on any stage!. It’s probably also fair to point out that Tracey was taught to “tap” by Carol several years ago so when the call came saying, “Tracey, we need a Sylvia and you are just the girl to do it”, (further discussion was not an option) how could she have refused? She has thoroughly enjoyed the rehearsal experience and is now looking forward to the stage experience and bringing “Sylvia” to life. She wants to thank her fellow cast members and Director for making her feel so welcome and for the many words of advice and encouragement she has received. Vicky Williams ~ Andy Vicky's interest in the arts began at an early age when she started to learn Ballet and Tap Dancing. She has been on stage with her dance school many times over the years and during that time she has performed in the Ballets, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. Following a short break her love of dance led her to the Brookdale where she has been a Chorus member for several musicals. Her most memorable role was as a dancing stilt walker in "Barnum" and she also enjoyed getting back into Tap Dancing in their production of 42nd Street last year. This is Vicky's first time treading the boards at Woodford and she would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome she has received. Derek Manton ~ Stage Manager Whilst Derek is literally our Stage Manager tonight, he is also our “on-stage” stage Manager! And who said men can’t multi-task?

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David Carlile ~ Geoffrey Whilst David is strictly speaking not a newbie to Woodford Players, it is however, his first time “on stage” for Woodford. David has previously directed plays for Woodford and will indeed be directing our next play, Season’s Greetings. David has acted and directed in most of the area ’s local theatres, for now though, David brings the hapless (but ever reasonable) Geoffrey to life as the only male in Mavis’ equally hapless group of would-be tap dancers. Denise Geary ~ Dorothy Denise is another new member of Woodford Players but not new to performing. She has sung for a number of years in two choirs where the highlight of the year is the Carol Concert at the Bridgewater Hall in aid of St Ann's Hospice. Denise is thoroughly enjoying both the additional challenge of learning the tap dancing routines and bonding with other members of the cast. Denise is just hoping that she doesn’t end up repeating certain elements of “Dorothy’s” speech patterns after the show is over! Pay attention now folks….. Nikki Baker ~ Maxine This is Nikki’s second appearance for Woodford. Her first being the sluttish Margo in our November production of Celebration. Poor Margo, she really wasn’t the best turned out soul but happily for Nikki, Maxine is much more together and up-market, so no sloppy old slippers this time! Nikki has loved getting to grips with the tap routines and bring to life the somewhat complex character of Maxine. She very much hopes you all enjoy the show. Nichole Welch ~ Lynne Nichole started in amateur theatre eight years ago as a chorus member in Me and My Girl. Nichole has appeared on Brookdale Theatre’s stage many times but this is her first play at Woodford Players and she is delighted to be playing Lynne. She hopes you enjoy the performance as much as she has enjoyed the rehearsals. Sarah Priestly ~ Rose Sarah is no stranger to the amateur stage but along with, Nichole, Vicky, Tracey and Denise, this is a “first time” on Woodford’s stage. Sarah has had great fun rehearsing the part of the larger than life, Rose and putting her tap dancing skills into use. Sarah is enjoying the rehearsals and new friendships and hopes you all enjoy the show. Claire Sweeney ~ Piano Arrangements. Claire has been playing the piano for as long as she can remember. She has worked for many years as an accompanist for soloists, both vocal and instrumental and is Musical Director for Romiley and Stockport Operatic Societies. She recently established ClaireSweeneyMusic.com, specialising in teaching singing and piano and also in establishing choirs in the community or workplace. Claire is delighted to have stepped in to Stepping Out and it reminds her of her early years as rehearsal pianist playing for dance rehearsals. www.clairesweeneymusic.com

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. Director’s Notes Take a handful of uncoordinated women; add one man and mix together, once a week, in an old church hall. Add an ex-chorus girl, who now teaches tap, a cantankerous old pianist and you have all the ingredients for mayhem and fun. This warm, humorous look at life was made famous by the musical version starring Liza Minnelli. Our production is not a musical but a play with tap dancing. The majority of our performers had little or no tap dancing experience before joining the production and I am indebted to our choreographer, Carol Ackers, who not only had to learn her lines as Vera, but has spent 4 months teaching our cast to tap dance and create the routines that you will see tonight. I am delighted to welcome Sarah, Nichole, Vicky, Tracey and Denise to Woodford and hope that this will be the first of many times they will tread our boards. As ever, no show “just happens”. An army of set builders, lighting and sound techies, props and wardrobe folk work tirelessly to make getting “on stage” possible and I thank them all for their dedication and many hours of toil. This production has been a true team effort and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with “Mavis Turners Tappers”. I hope you have as much fun watching tonight’s performance as we have all had in rehearsals. Best wishes Sue Mooney

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Stepping Out Cast Mavis Sylvia Arnold Sylvia Vera Lynne Maxine Rose Dorothy Geoffrey Andy Mrs Fraser Tracey Hepburn Carol Ackers Nichole Welch Nikki Baker Sarah Priestly Denise Geary David Carlile Vicky Williams Heather Braddock Stepping Out Production Team Director Piano arrangements by Choreographer Technical Director and Lighting Design Stage Manager Assistant Stage Manager Production Managers Continuity Set Design Set Construction Team and Stage Crew Sound Engineer Properties Wardrobe Publicity Programme Design Photography Front of House Team Refreshments Sue Mooney Claire Sweeney Carol Ackers Trevor McKelvey Derek Manton Derek Snowdon Pat Snowdon, Tom Dawson Janet Mullen Sue Mooney Tom Dawson, Derek & Carolyn Manton, Graham Ackers, James Cawley, Trevor McKelvey, Derek Snowdon, Pat Snowdon, Jude Craig Graham Scurfield Carolyn Manton and Pat Helicon Jude Craig Tom Dawson and Jude Craig Jude Craig Ian M Butterfield and Derek Manton Graham Ackers, Tom Helicon, Bill Cross, John Lomax, Barbara Bennett, Monica Wickham, Margaret Roberts, Alan and Lindsay Statham, Teresa and Tom Dawson

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Page 15 Complete_Layout 1 16/04/2015 13:13 Page 1 Tickets for our plays can be booked at www.woodfordplayers.ticketsource.co.uk or telephone 0333 666 3366 S S TOCK PORT O PERA TIC S OCIE TY Music & Lyrics by Cole Porter Bella & Samuel B Spewack Book by (an amateur production by arrangement with MusicScope and Stage Musicals Ltd of New York) T HE P LAZA , M ERSEY S QUARE , S TOCK PORT Tues 27th Oct to Sat 31st Oct 2015 Evenings at 7.15pm Saturday Mat 2.15pm Website: www.stockportoperaticsociety.co.uk All Enquiries to the Ticket Secretary on 0161 427 7121 THE PLAZA STOCKPORT’S SUPER CINEMA & VARIETY THEATRE

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