New portraits and pictures of Bright Invention!

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White Pines has entered into an agreement with Kim Carson Photography, in which Kim gets to use our space at no charge as an indoor studio, and in exchange takes pictures of White Pines events and Bright Invention shows and rehearsals.

Here's what one happy client said about working with Kim: "Taking photos with Kim is a joy. She immediately makes you feel at ease from the moment she says hello, making the experience comfortable and laid back. I didn't even feel like she was taking my picture, which is a feat considering how nerve-wracking being in front of a camera can be." - Luigi Sottile: actor. We couldn’t agree more!

Kim came to rehearsal January 22nd and took pictures of Bright Invention. Check them out! 

Twelfth Night - coming this summer!

Malvolio with his cross-garters, in front of the lady Olivia, and her maid Maria. 

Malvolio with his cross-garters, in front of the lady Olivia, and her maid Maria. 

Adam Corbett, Bradley Moore, Gavin Whitt and Jeffery Barg as the Lords of Love's Labor's Lost last summer. 

Adam Corbett, Bradley Moore, Gavin Whitt and Jeffery Barg as the Lords of Love's Labor's Lost last summer. 

Our company of dancing hounds rehearse under the guidance of Chrissie Leech last summer!

Our company of dancing hounds rehearse under the guidance of Chrissie Leech last summer!

ABINGTON ART CENTER, PULLEY & BUTTONHOLE THEATRE COMPANY, and WHITE PINES PRODUCTIONS announce the return of Shakespeare in the Summer with a production of Twelfth Night to be presented August 6, 7, 8 & 9 2018 at 7pm on the lawn of Alverthorpe Manor at the Abington Art Center. The three arts organizations are excited to once again bring an opportunity for audiences of all ages to experience the beauty of Shakespeare’s language in the beauty of the great outdoors. Instead of a fixed ticket price this year, the performances this year are “Pay What You Will,” in the hopes that this will encourage more people to give outdoor Shakespeare a try.

Shakespeare in the Summer works within the Original Practices style of presenting Shakespeare, meant to simulate the way Shakespeare's own company prepared his plays, and to rediscover a spontaneity, joy, and immediacy in performance. The show is cast, scripts distributed, and lines are learned without rehearsal. The actors will gather weekly to play games, study the play, learn techniques, and create an ensemble.  As Benjamin Lloyd, Executive Director of White Pines says, "we are attempting to imitate the way Shakespeare's actors prepared his plays for performance. It can be scary at first, but brings an unmatched spontaneity to performances." Every performance is a new experience for the audience and the ensemble.

In addition, local musician Alex Bartlett is creating original music and  Chrissie Leech of JENKINTOWN DANCE ARTS will once again work with a children’s corps to create a dance interlude. Bridget Reilly Beauchamp, Artistic Director of Pulley & Buttonhole says, "we adore collaborating with Chrissie--her ideas are fun and challenging. She encourages the children—and the adults—to have physical fun with Shakespeare.”

Abington Art Center is looking forward to once again hosting this band of motley players. Beth Lawing, Live Arts Coordinator of AAC says, "this is the sort of thing we love here. Being able to come together with other local arts organizations to give our neighbors a chance to experience something exciting is what we're here for.”

In Twelfth Night, no one is quite what they seem, and the play asks insightful questions about identity, perception and the meaning of true love, all while inviting us to laugh—and love—along. So bring a blanket, a picnic, and some bug spray and get ready to enjoy an evening of spontaneous Shakespeare under the stars!

Twelfth Night: August 6, 7, 8 and 9 at 7pm (gates open at 6) at Abington Art Center, 515 Meetinghouse Road, Jenkintown PA 19046. For information:

www.shakespeareinthesummer.wordpress.com

The audience enjoys the show as the day turns into night! 

The audience enjoys the show as the day turns into night! 

Welcome our new board members!

We are excited to welcome four new members of the board of directors of White Pines Productions! They represent students in our classes, parents of campers, and the Philadelphia performing arts community. They each share a passion for the transformative power of the arts, and a dedication to sustaining White Pines as it grows its programs and audiences. 

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Peter Andrew Danzig, Founder and Movement Coach at Theatrical Trainer; Certified Personal Trainer, Wellness and Life-Coach, Wellness Integration Specialist.

Peter acquired his B.A. in Theater Arts with a focus on Acting through Temple University. Shortly after graduation, he began working nationally as an actor, model and vocalist. In addition, he began his foray into television appearing on One Life to Live, PAN AM and others, soon becoming a member of SAG- AFTRA. In 2012, Peter was awarded a full scholarship to Villanova University as their Acting Scholar, where he went on to attain his M.A. in Theater with a focus on Acting, Directing and Dramaturgy. While in graduate school, he realized his passion for wellness and its integration with theater education, fight choreography and physical theater practice and began to develop his company THEATRICAL TRAINER, an active health collective that furthers research and practice in wellness opportunities for the creative individual. With multiple certifications in personal training, kinesiology, movement coaching and life-coaching he hopes to inform the landscape of theater practice to further include a stronger connection to the body. In his free time, Peter continues to choreograph, perform and collaborates as a teaching artist and professor with organizations such as Drexel University, University of the Arts, Arden Theater Company, SAG-AFTRA, and Philadelphia Young Playwrights.

"I am drawn now to research the ways in which the therapy that people find through the interdisciplinary approach to the arts can be paralleled in clinical approach to result in resolution, healing expression, comfort and community. What happens when you use stage-combat as a means of exploring aggression? Can photography with a worded statement allow people to find the voice and words they can’t bear to utter aloud? Can dance allow someone to be present with their body and escape anxiety and fear? These are the questions that have been fueling my research and passion."

  • Certified American Council on Exercise Master Trainer.

  • Certification in High Intensity Integration Movement.

  • Certified in Health and Wellness Integration.

  • CPR/AED Certifie.

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Benjamin L. Jerner, Esquire. Benjamin L. Jerner is the managing partner and a founder of Jerner & Palmer, P.C., a law firm located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. He has practiced law for over 20 years, concentrating his practice on estate planning, probate and estate administration, adoption and legal issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender clients. 

Ben is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the National LGBT Bar Association, the National LGBT Bar Association’s Family Law Institute, and the Mazzoni Center’s Legal Advisory Board. Additionally, he has served on the boards of directors of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Committee on the Legal Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men, the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia and the National LGBT Bar Association.

Ben and his wife live in Elkins Park. Their two children are looking forward to attending another season at the White Pines Young Artist Camp.

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Dr. Patricia Gerrity presently serves as Associate Dean for Community Programs at Drexel University’s College of Nursing & Health Professions. She focused her career on providing access to health care for underserved populations through the advancement of nurse-managed health centers. Nationally known for her work in promoting health in diverse urban communities, she received more than $15 million in grants from local, state and federal sources, including HRSA, the PA State Department of Health, the Independence Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts. She also serves as the director of the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University, a nurse managed, federally qualified health center in North Philadelphia. In addition to improving the health status of community residents, the center serves as a site for research, education and practice for the college’s faculty and students.  
 
Dr. Gerrity completed a prestigious three-year fellowship through the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Program where she conducted a leadership project to expand the health center into a healthy living center with a strong community-based health promotion component. From 1998-2000 she served as a fellow at the International Center for Health Leadership Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she explored the redirection of health professions education and health services through academic- community partnerships for health.

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Jada Jackson is Forest Legacy Program Manager for the Northeastern Area of the USDA Forest Service. A NASA Fellow Scholarship winner, Jada explains that her fascination with biology and agriculture began with her parents, and she persisted in professional success from vet school to biotech and into forestry. Along the way, she earned a BS degree in Biology from Tuskegee University and a MS in Forest Resources from the University of Minnesota. In her reflections about diversity and inclusion, Jada thinks about the talents of her father and many others who have been excluded from using their talents but if they had been given a seat at the table could have solved many of the problems we live and die with today. Jada served as Clerk of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, the Religious Society of Friends, from 2008 - 2014. 

Improv is the Future of Theater: a panel discussion

White Pines is excited to announce . . .

A Special Event for Theatre Philadelphia’s Theater Week

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Benjamin Lloyd, Artistic Director Bright Invention

Benjamin Lloyd, Artistic Director Bright Invention


 “The impact this ephemeral art form has had on popular entertainment is undeniable. Improv has replaced jazz as America’s most popular art.”   Sam Wasson, author of Improv Nation

An exceptional panel of Philadelphia theater artists will gather for brunch and a spirited panel discussion about improvised and scripted theater, and how improv uniquely satisfies our need for communal artistic experience. The event will shed light on the many genres of unscripted theater available to Philadelphia theater-goers. The panel will include Q&A with the audience and open dialogue. 

Bobbi Block, Artistic Director Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theatre

Bobbi Block, Artistic Director Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theatre

The idea for the panel came from Bright Invention Artistic Director Benjamin Lloyd. “I have been thinking for a long time about the future of theater in America – scripted and unscripted,” he says. “I created White Pines with Bright Invention at its center as a new paradigm for American theater, based on the skills of the improviser. When I saw the invitation from Theatre Philadelphia to create events for Philly Theatre Week, I called Bobbi Block of Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater and we got to work creating this panel. She will be joined by Philly actor Scott Greer, and Dave Jadico of Comedy Sportz among others!”

Bagels provided by The Bagel Place! Check them out at www.TheBagelPlace.com

Bagels provided by The Bagel Place! Check them out at www.TheBagelPlace.com

•    Date: Saturday February 17, 2018
•    Location: Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad and Lombard Streets
•    Doors open 11am — brunch and mingle
•    Panel discussion:  11:30 - 12:30 (or longer, if the discussion warrants!)          
•    Bagels provided; mimosas and other beverages available at the cash bar.

Panelists:

Scott Greer, Philadelphia actor

Scott Greer, Philadelphia actor

¥    Benjamin Lloyd, Artistic Director, Bright Invention: The White Pines Ensemble
¥    Bobbi Block, Producing Artistic Director, Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater, Co-founder, ComedySportz Philadelphia
¥    Scott Greer, Veteran Philly actor, former ComedySportz company member; recently performed the one-man hybrid scripted/improvised play Every Brilliant Thing at Arden Theater.
¥    Dave Jadico, Artistic Director, ComedySportz Philadelphia, Actor/Writer and External Relations Director, 1812 Productions
¥    Tara Demmy, Instructor, Philly Improv Theater, Company member, Tribe of Fools
¥    Nick Gillette, Instructor, Philly Improv Theater, Co-Founde, Almanac Dance Circus Theater 

Moderator:   Mark Cofta, Theater Critic, Broad Street Review

 

Free event, registration required:

White Pines completes another residency with senior citizens

A short movie of our work with residents at Saligman House!

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On December 5th, several residents of Saligman House on Roosevelt Boulevard were joined by Bright Invention members Leah Holleran and Kiersten Adams. Under the direction of Jerry Perna, White Pines' Director of Senior Theater, they presented an open class of their work.

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Jerry and his team had been meeting with these residents for 12 weeks through our Senior Theater Initiative, a program supported by the Henrietta Tower Wurts memorial at the Philadelphia Foundation. Beginning with simple games and exercises, Jerry then moves the group into a collective creative process in which they are creating "structured improvisations" based on their own lives, experiences and memories. Later, they are joined by members of our professional improv ensemble Bright Invention to further develop these scenarios. This was the second consecutive residency at Saligman House, a site operated by Federation Housing, Inc. White Pines has done work at other FHI sites since 2014. 

After the completion of this residency, we received the following letter from Barry Jacobs, a resident of Saligman House and a participant of both the residencies we offered there. We are publishing it here with his permission:

Dear Mr. Lloyd

Words alone cannot convey the extent, depth and intensity of my appreciation, gratitude and thanks for your God-given work. As a resident of Saligman House, I am so appreciative for the opportunity to interact with others and to express myself through Jerry Perna's direction. 

I have never before had the occasion to participate in any activity such as [the Senior Theater Initiative.] I hope that White Pines Productions will be a permanent fixture in the lives of so many others, as well as in my own life.

Especially when we are living through such difficult and complex current events, White Pines reinforces the meaning of the arts, and is as crucial as ever.

I hope and pray that you will be continuing, and that you find permanent funding, so that you can continue your work - preferably to Saligman! 

May God bless all of you connected to White Pines!

Sincerely, Barry Jacobs. 

Barry, you have our word that - supported by foundations, and our donors and patrons - we will be back to make more magic with you, and with others!