Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

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“Springing” into the Music Industry

July 7, 2011

By Audrey Yeager, Marketing & PR Intern

When I was younger, I used to work as a camp counselor. I always found it interesting to ask children what they wanted to be when they grew up, mostly because the question elicited so many original (and occasionally comical) responses: an ice cream man, a rock star, a princess, a doctor, a teacher, a painter, an actor. I was amazed by the amount of responses I received that dealt with professions in the arts. Take a “rock star,” for instance. I know many teens that have followed their passions and started their own bands, practicing out of their garages and booking local gigs. I think it is fabulous that teens today are so involved with music.

I wonder if Rick Springfield knew how successful he was going to be when he formed his first band named “Icy Blues” in high school in 1964. At that time, he was 15 years old. Now seeing the sensation that Springfield has become in his career, it is easy to forget about the fact that he was once a kid too, starting off in music the same way thousands of rock star hopefuls do today. After all, it was only two years earlier, at age 13, that Springfield had received his first guitar as a birthday present. Nevertheless, Springfield’s talent for music was unquestionable. After leaving high school, everything began to fall into place. Pete Watson asked the young Springfield to join Rock House, and the emerging musician accepted. While with the band, which changed its name from Rock House to MPD, Ltd in 1968, Springfield got the opportunity to play gigs in Vietnam. After returning, Springfield formed his own band, Wickedy Wak, but then decided to join the Australian band Zoot in 1969. (Did you know Springfield was born in Australia?)

It was clear that Springfield’s musical career had taken off by the time he recorded and released “Speak to the Sky.” At this point in his life, Springfield had moved to the United States. “Speak to the Sky” was his debut single at age 22; it became a hit. We all know what happened from there: Springfield went on to write and record more and more music that topped the charts. Springfield has released 17 top 40 singles throughout his music career. In 1982, he won a Grammy for Best Male Vocal Performance for the song “Jessie’s Girl.” Other hits include “Affair of the Heart,” “Love Somebody,” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers.” Springfield also branched out into acting and appeared in General Hospital. He most recently made appearances on Californication and Hawaii Five-0.

See Rick Springfield live on Sunday, July 10 at 7pm.

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Get ready to Rock & Roll in July!

April 25, 2011

By Kayla Steinbach, PR & Marketing Intern

The month of July brings sunshine, pool parties, and Rock & Roll to New Brunswick. We have four rockin’ acts set between July 10-23 including four Grammy® Award-winners!

On Sunday, July 10 at 7pm come out to the State Theatre for Grammy® Award-winning singer/songwriter, Rick Springfield. He has had 17 top 40 singles, including the smash hits “Jessie’s Girl,” “Don’t Talk To Strangers,” “Affair of the Heart,” “Love Somebody,” “Celebrate Youth,” and “Rock of Life.” Springfield is also a TV actor starring in General Hospital and Californication.

Huey Lewis and the News are set to perform on Tuesday, July 12 at 8pm. For one night only, the Grammy® Award-winning band will pay tribute to Memphis soul with the Soulsville Tour including songs like “Respect Yourself” and “Got to Get You Off My Mind. But don’t worry, the band will also play all those classic Huey Lewis and the News songs you know and love— like smash-hits “The Power of Love,” “If This is It,” “Doing It All For My Baby,” “(Too) Hip to be Square,” “Workin’ For A Livin’,” and “Back In Time.”

That weekend on Saturday, July 16 at 8pm, Shawn Colvin & Loudon Wainwright III will take the stage. In her 19-year career, singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin, best known for her Top 10 hit “Sunny Came Home,” has won three Grammy® Awards and released eight albums. Grammy® Award-winning folk singer Loudon Wainwright III has recorded over 20 albums. His songs include “Dead Skunk,” “Needless to Say,” and “My Girl” with John Hiatt. Wainwright has also appeared on the TVshow M*A*S*H as the singing surgeon, Capt. Calvin Spaulding.

To close out the month, Glen Burtnik & Friends are back at the State Theatre on Saturday, July 23 at 8pm for their fifth annual Beatles Bash. Marking the 45th anniversary of Revolver, Glen and friends are to perform the Beatles album note-for-note! Songs include “Eleanor Rigby,” “Got to Get You into My Life,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “I Want to Tell You,” and “Taxman.”

For tickets and more information please visit http://www.StateTheatreNJ.org.

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Spring Awakening – One of the Best Musicals Out There

March 30, 2011

by Kelly Blithe, Director of Public Relations

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Spring Awakening on Broadway with the original cast, many of whom are now well known including Lea Michele, who is now in the TV show, Glee; and Johnny Gallagher Jr. who won a Tony® for his portrayal of Moritz, and went on to star in the Green Day musical American Idiot. Since that night, I have had nothing but admiration for this show. From its catchy tunes to the powerful messages within the storylines (some very obvious, others not as much), it has become one of my favorite musicals of the last 10 years. The story is something that many people can relate to, growing up and the pains that come with being a teenager—peer pressure, seeking your parents/friends approval, and the general feeling of just wanting to be accepted. The storylines combined with the music provide such a strong backbone for the actors that when they perform the song “The Bitch of Living,” everything just clicks right into place. And even though it has been a few years, this CD still makes regular appearances on my playlists (especially, “Don’t Do Sadness/Blue Wind” “The Song of Purple Summer,” and of course “The Bitch of Living”) and I can’t say that for every musical that comes out these days. So, I look forward to seeing the national tour performance of Spring Awakening this Saturday, April 2 because as much as I love my soundtrack, nothing beats live theater, don’t you agree? For tickets or more information on the April 2 performances of Spring Awakening, visit: http://www.statetheatrenj.org/spring_awakening

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ONE SINGULAR SENSATION — Come see A Chorus Line!

February 24, 2011

By: Katie Stoppiello, Marketing and PR Intern

Desperate for a job, wondering if you’ll make the cut, hoping for a chance, dreaming for a future… We’ve all been there. It’s the reason why A Chorus Line is a timeless classic. Winner of 9 Tony ® Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and the fourth longest running Broadway show, A Chorus Line tells the stories of 17 dancers hoping to be cast in the newest Broadway production. They open up about their dreams, their life, and the decisions they made to get where they are. A Chorus Line is not your typical musical. It is more than just song and dance or smoke and mirrors; it’s based on the true stories of real dancers.

The musical was formed from several taped workshop sessions with Broadway dancers, known as “gypsies,” including eight who eventually appeared in the original cast. The two dancers running the sessions hoped that they would form a professional dance company to make workshops for Broadway dancers. Instead, their workshops quickly developed into one of the most well known musicals of all time. With book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante, lyrics by Edward Kleban, and music by Marvin Hamlisch, A Chorus Line has been playing around the world for the last three decades.
 
A Chorus Line, will be presented ONE NIGHT ONLY, on Thursday, March 10th at the State Theatre. Visit StateTheatreNJ.org for more information.
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The Poetry of Coming Home

February 4, 2011

Glenis Redmond

With all the snowstorms, it is hard to believe that Spring is just around the corner and so is my return to New Brunswick, NJ, where I will be working at the State Theatre. I will be Poet-in-Residence for the month of March. Since this is my third return visit, I now think of NJ as my home away from home. Last year I enjoyed working in the schools, senior citizen homes, vocational centers, corporations, and several halfway homes. The great joy last year was culminating with a community reading at the theater with the participants that took my workshop. They were people from all walks of life. The joy in the room that night made me an even more fervent believer that poetry is a great equalizer.

This year, as every year, I am taking my lead from what is weighing on my heart: Place. I will be facilitating workshop participants to reflect and discover their own Sense of Place. It is my belief there are two types of landscapes: the external and the internal, when we reflect and go deep we make connections and find the nexus between the two and what generally surfaces is poetry. I look forward to returning to my 2nd home and having great conversations and classes that will lead to powerful expressions.

Yours-n-Verse,

Glenis Redmond

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DrumLine Live – From the Football Fields to the Theatrical Stage

January 26, 2011

By Katie Smith, Marketing & PR Intern

People ordinarily anticipate football games for the general thrill and excitement of the game, the hype surrounding the players, and whether or not they will make plays in high pressure situations. However, there are many people who anticipate football games for an entirely different reason; the halftime show. At halftime, a show transpires that may often trump what occurs during quarters, and is put on by the athletes of the marching band who exhibit tremendous skills, well equivalent to their football playing peers. While dancing and “stepping” these individuals, play instruments to put on a memorable, high energy performance…and thus Drumline Live was born!

Drumline Live offers audiences a quick look into a popular tradition at America’s top Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The musical team responsible for hit movie Drumline offered their creative talents for this theatrical production, which includes modern hip hop and R&B, classic Motown, brass section highlights featuring the music of Earth, Wind, and Fire, and a vast array of other instruments. The combination of passion and skill exhibited by this 39 member cast brings audiences alive and leaves them inspired.

If you are looking for a good time and a great show, Drumline Live will not disappoint, afterall, “It’s a marching band extravaganza that parades out of the football stadium onto the stage with explosive percussion, resounding brass and dazzling choreography,” said one audience member. What’s not to enjoy?! Tickets start at $32 and are sure to sell fast so visit the http://statetheatrenj.com/drumline_live for more ticketing information, and http://www.drumlinelive.com/ for information about the show!

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State Theatre Marketing and PR Internship Reflection

September 8, 2010

By State Theatre Marketing and PR intern, Matt Lipsky

Every summer thousands of college students from around the country emerge from the safety of their dorm rooms and lecture halls and return home. They trade their cargo shorts and hoodies for slacks and ties and for some inexplicable reason, subject themselves to the internship process. As a student, especially a business student, this tradition of unpaid employment is inescapable. “If you want to get a job when you graduate,” we are told, “you have to have a strong resume of internships first.” Moreover, as useful as a college degree is, much of what one needs to know to work in an office is overlooked by professors and theory textbooks. As a student looking for an internship, it is difficult to know what to expect. Every employer says the same thing—something along the lines of, “you will have to do some filing or data entry, but I promise you will learn a lot here too.” It is hard to know when selecting an internship where on the continuum it falls – will this one be more filing and less learning, or more learning and less filing?

In the case of the State Theatre Marketing and PR internship, the scale is tipped heavily towards the learning end. Although not every task was exciting work, I was never asked to do anything that is not marketing related. Admittedly, many of the projects I worked on earlier in the summer were centered around the slow process of posting State Theatre events all over the internet, even this task was fundamentally the leg work of the theater’s online marketing strategy. As the summer progressed, my list of tasks quickly shifted away from mind-numbing website postings toward the writing of press releases, researching and contacting organizations with which to cross-promote and planning the promotion of the NJ Blues & Jazz Festival featuring Sugar Blue, Eddie Palmieri, Maria Muldaur, and Regina Carter (hey, I’m in marketing). Working in a theater, especially one with such a diverse season, proved to be a great experience. Instead of spending all day, every day promoting the same product to the same potential clients, this venue offers an opportunity to experience the promotion of very different events to very different groups. Marketing strategies for such exciting upcoming shows as Michael Feinsten: Sinatra Project and Leo Lionni’s Swimmy, Frederick and Inch by Inch (what, did you think the shameless marketing would stop?) differ immensely.

Of course, as anyone who works in an office knows, much of what makes a job enjoyable or not is the people you work with. In that respect, the State Theatre certainly has not disappointed. The staff is fun, extremely good at what they do, and most of all dedicated. The fact that everyone here likes what they do is certainly reflected in the quality of the product they provide – excellent shows year after year. As an intern, I have learned as much about what it takes to enjoy office life as I have about marketing and PR.

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My First Radio Experience

August 27, 2010

A guest blog by Marketing & PR Intern Whitney Zrebiec

It’s simple, every college student has to start at the bottom and work their way up. I am just getting my feet wet in the world or PR and Marketing, and it is safe to say it is a very tough industry. Over the past few months I have been interning for the State Theatre in PR and marketing and also at a radio station in their promotions department; these are both unpaid internships, and for the radio station it requires a good amount of traveling up and down the Garden State Parkway on a weekly basis. However, despite all of that I can say it is one of the best experiences I have ever had.

I have seen the ins and outs of how promoting a radio station really works, we are given responsibilities to make sure everything goes smoothly, and it really makes you feel like you are making a difference. From live broadcasts, to appearances at carnivals, baseball games, and fairs, the detail that goes into every event is extraordinary.

Many people are very skeptical when I discuss all of my unpaid jobs for the summer, but they simply just don’t understand. I mean what type of job allows you to spend the day at the Jersey shore, interacting and playing games with everyone on the boardwalk? What type of job allows you to spend the day at Six Flags: Great Adventure to see well known radio hosts broadcast their show? I think it’s safe to say there aren’t many, I’ve found something worth trying to persue in the future.

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Tessitura Conference Blog = Day 1 and 2

August 10, 2010

By Dan Grossman, Vice President of Marketing
(background note: Tessitura is the State Theatre’s Ticketing Software, there are 324 other organizations who also use Tessitura, including Carnegie Hall, Kimmel Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Day 1 (Sunday 8/8/10 – 2pm): I woke up at 6am to the wonderful sounds of my 2 year-old daughter saying, “Daddy, I feel sick.” This actually means, “I’m ready to play.” I had a nice morning with my wife and two kids, who kindly dropped me off at the Trenton, NJ, train station. I got on the train and I joined Leah Anglum (Development Associate) and Don McKim (Ticket Office Manager) on our journey to DC. We went through Philadelphia, PA; Wilmington, DE; Baltimore, MD; and finally Washington DC. We hopped in a cab and feared for our lives for about 15 minutes until we arrived safely at the Gaylord National Hotel. As I was in line to check in, I saw a nice gentleman who works at the hotel. We got to chatting and it turns out that we went to the same high school and I graduated with his sister. Well, lucky me. I got upgraded to a three room corner suite on the 19th floor. AWESOME. We went over to the conference area to check in and bumped into Joe Rodriguez (Staff Accountant) and a few people from the Network that we see every year. Now I am going to unpack, unwind and get ready for a night of networking with fellow Tessiturians. This is going to be one great conference!

Day 2 (Monday 8/9/10 – 8am): Let the networking begin! Last night we gathered together as a large group to kick off the conference at the NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORKING AT THE POTOMAC. We represent groups from all of the world—Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Great Britain, and U.S.A. Don Youngberg, the VP and MC of Tessitura calls it the United Nations of Tessitura. We kicked the event off in one big room and then we split into Block Parties. Block Party 1 was by organization type (performing arts centers) and Block Party 2 was by job type (Marketing). So, we ate and got to meet some cool people who all share similar trials and tribulations. Then, we all got back together at the end to wrap up and hear the Tessitura Chorus unveil the new network mission. After the dinner it was off to the huge atrium at the Gaylord Hotel for drinks and more networking. I conversed with my co-workers and Claire from Tampa Bay Florida (who uses Tessitura as a registrar software for a conservatory), Jeremy from San Francisco (who is a union Box Office Manager with the Symphony out there), and a half dozen other people from around the Globe. Well, today should be great! I’m off to two sessions about social media and Tessitura 360 in the morning and then will hit a reporting class in the afternoon. Finally, we will have a big dinner at the Kennedy Center – I am really looking forward to visiting that venue for the first time.

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NEW LEADERSHIP AT THE STATE THEATRE

July 26, 2010

We recently announced a new Executive Committee, two new Trustees, as well as the appointment of an Interim Chief Operating Officer.

The new Executive Committee elected at the June annual meeting of the Board of Trustees includes Warren R. Zimmerman, Chairman; Efrem B. Dlugacz, Vice Chairman; Douglas M. Garback, Secretary; and Frederick P. Pierce, Treasurer.

We are also happy to announce the addition of two new Trustees, Susan Podlogar, Worldwide VP Compensation Resources & Productivity at Johnson & Johnson, and a resident of New Brunswick; and Raj Singh, Managing Director and Head of the Recapitalization & Restructuring Investment Banking Group for Raymond James and Associates from New York City.

“It is truly my pleasure to serve as the new Chairman of this great historic State Theatre,” recently stated Zimmerman. “I am committed to the patrons, staff, and the Board of Trustees in providing the leadership and support to continue to build the best theatre we can. With our strong capable staff and committed Board of Trustees, I have no doubt we will continue to maintain and improve the level of quality and service our patrons deserve. I am excited about the future of the State Theatre and I look forward to seeing everyone there!”

As our search for a new State Theatre President & CEO continues, following the June retirement of former President & CEO Wes Brustad, we have announced that Marion Combs, Senior Vice President for Development, will assume responsibility as Interim Chief Operating Officer. Combs will act as Interim COO until a successor for Brustad is hired later in the fall.

“The State Theatre staff is really excited about our upcoming 2010-2011 lineup of performances and festivals! We’ve got something for everybody, including great performing arts experiences for school children. Working with the Board of Trustees and its dynamic leadership team, we will continue to focus on artistic excellence and financial stability,” commented Marion Combs.

Chairman Warren R. Zimmerman, a resident of Piscataway, is an AVP in Information Technology at Chubb & Son. Vice Chairman Efrem B. Dlugacz of Princeton is Vice President of Worldwide Benefits for Johnson & Johnson; Secretary Douglas M. Garback, a resident of North Brunswick, is the owner/premiere agent of The Garback Agency; and Treasurer Frederick P. Pierce, a resident of Basking Ridge, is a Senior Vice President of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

The continuing Board members are Ann H. Asbaty of Randolph; Sam Boraie of New Brunswick; Elizabeth Hance of New Brunswick; Bill Herman of Clifton; Patricia Howard of Manalapan; Joe Light of Somerset; Andrew J. Markey of Basking Ridge; Sherard Murphy of Piscataway; and Robin Suydam of Somerset.