Pictures coming soon of the work being done in the Pleasantdale Sanctuary

by members of

Pleasant Valley Productions

Pleasant Valley Productions is returning to its home as the Theatre-in-Residence at Pleasantdale Presbyterian Church. PVP will produce "The Secret Garden" the last two weekends in March) March 21-22, March 27-28. The show will be directed by lifelong resident Camille Vecchio-DiLorenzo along with music director Ilene Greenbaum and producer Howie Tilkin. With book and lyrics by Marsha Norman and music by Lucy Simon, the musical, which premiered on Broadway in 1991, tells the story of Mary Lennox, a young English girl born and raised in the British Raj in the early years of the 20th century. Mary is orphaned by a cholera outbreak when she is eleven years old and sent away from to Yorkshire, England, to live with relatives whom she has never met. Her own personality blossoms as she and a young gardener bring new life to a neglected garden, as well as to her sickly cousin and furelorn uncle.

Formed in 2012 as a West Orange based independent and not-for-profit community theatre company by Vecchio-DiLorenzo, Greenbaum, and Tilkin, PVP quickly formed a partnership with Roosevelt Middle School. While producing a large-scale musical at the school each year, PVP offered a free after-school Musical Theatre Enrichment program for the students. The program provided 7th and 8th graders an opportunity to experience the world of live theatre from auditions through rehearsals and culminating in a performance for family and friends. The program tripled in size over three years. Starting this fall, PVP is expanding this education program by partnering with Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School by offering a similar program for students of all ages.

Returning to the Pleasantdale means changes, for both PVP and PPC. While a church house is no stranger to drama - both liturgical and "melo" - the chancel of a Neoclassical-style, St. Martin-in-the-fields-type sanctuary is not an ideal space for producing musicals

Pleasant Valley

presents

Productions

that were born on the Great White Way. However, the team assembled by PVP is loaded with creativity, a great love of theatre, and a deep respect for sacred space. Work is currently underway to reconfigure the Chancel of the church's sanctuary - the space that will become the stage upon which The Secret Garden is played. Pipes for stage lighting have been added. Both the pulpit and lectern, along with the rail walls that accompany them, have been cut away - the pieces in tact and mobile - to create an open view without restricted sightlines. Pulpit and lectern return to their respective places for worship services at PPC and the look achieved would have one believe that no work of any kind had ever been done to them. An extension piece will also be constructed and put into place to continue the line of the church's existing proscenium and cleanly deliniate the stage space. The challenges are many and great to bring Misselthwaite Manor with its many rooms and gardens into the sanctuary of Pleasantdale Presbyterian Church, but PVP seems more than up to the task.

March 21-28, 2015

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The renewed partnership between Pleasant Valley Productions and Pleasantdale Presbyterian Church is also producing imaginitive ways of thinking for the church. As Pleasantdale prepares to undergo the discernment process known as "New Beginnings," the church leadership and its members are aware that this journey must be aabout discovering how to be a congregation serving Christ while understanding that simply "being church" the way we've always done it before simply isn't going to cut it. One thing seems clear at the start: nothing is off limits. In other words, mere "outside the box" thinking is "So 1970's."

"The mission of PVP is to create a professional theatre experience for local area performers, audience members, students and volunteers while providing a broad range of musical theatre works with the highest possible production value." For more information, please visit them at www.PleasantValleyProductions.org.

JAZZ & POETRY

PCUSA Constitution Ammended

NEW BEGINNINGS

Want to start next week on a beautiful note? Come to Jazz & Poetry. On the First Sunday of the month from October thru May, we gather to intentionally seek and experience beauty, artistry, and Divine Creativity in an evening of poetry readings and an ecclectic mix of jazz styles. The admission and the invitation are free to everyone.

NEW BEGINNINGS

Pleasantdale is taking part in the New Beginnings initiative - a partnership venture with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and The United Church of Christ. On this journey, we seek to discern not only who we are but who our neighbors truly areand who God would have us truly be. Check here for information on the program and PPC's progress.

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