SPARTA, NJ – The new theater group chose their name carefully. North Star Theater is looking to remain focused on the goal of providing a positive theatrical experience for participants. Board member and Sparta High School Band Director Deborah Gianuzzi said they have worked hard before “opening for business” to create a structure to ensure long term success. The non-profit has a foundation built on strong ethical beliefs, she said.
“We just want to produce good theater,” Gianuzzi said. “We went to great lengths to build this with integrity.”
Their mission statement captures it well. “We strive to uphold a respectful and professional atmosphere for our audience and all participants.”
The board is comprised of people from throughout the county with a range of skills. The board includes Jim Berkheiser, Phil Cocilovo, Bill Fell, Donna Fell, Chrissy Fulmer, Gianuzzi, Danielle Van Kampen-Minutillo and Allision Ognibene. They will also call on the expertise of others to put the shows together and do outreach throughout the county. Part of the plan is to “put a kid next to a professional,” to allow the children to learn how the job gets done. They will work on every aspect of theater; costume, make up, lighting and sound, choreography, staging, scenic design and more.
“As we go through our first year, we’re going to learn a lot,” Gianuzzi said.
Nearly half of the board members are current or former educators. Education is going to be a focus of what they do. They are hoping to offer coursework as well, “fostering talents of all participants at every age and level of experience,” according to Gianuzzi and their mission statement.
North Star Theater currently calls Cornerstone Playhouse in Sussex their home. Gianuzi said their partnership has been helpful in getting North Star up and running. North Star is a 501(c)3.
North Star Theater held auditions for their first show, William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, and so it begins. They are scheduled to audition Dancing Fairies on Tuesday, February 10 at 7 p.m. at the Cornerstone Playhouse. Dancers are asked to prepare one minute of a ballet, lyrical or contemporary movement for the audition.
Gianuzzi said they intend to do something for the holidays and then plan the rest of the season. There will be something for everyone, children and adults alike.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Vicky Minardi, will be performed October 18 – 20 and October 25 – 27. The curtain rises at 8 p.m. on Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays.