BURRILLVILLE – Assembly Theatre Executive Producer Holly Dumaine- Picard wants to help the community shake off the winter doldrums this weekend, with a chance to wake up and rock out for a great cause.

Rock dance band Mad Hatter will play a benefit concert at the venue on Saturday, Feb. 8, with proceeds to go toward the production of a children’s musical scheduled for spring.

The theater’s in house team will produce Junie B Jones Jr. in May, a full-scale musical with a cast of some 20-30 local kids of all experience levels. It’s a chance for young thespians to gain theater experience, and “find their light and shine,” at some nine hours a week of rehearsal.

And the rights alone for such a performance cost around $3,000.

“In general, a children’s musical can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $9,000 to produce,” said Dumaine-Picard.

The fledging theater company – known as Assembly ACT – must also acquire costumes and sets, and traditionally provide a stipend for experienced staff bringing skills such as choreography, sound and lights to the show. Dumaine-Picard is co-directing the show with Dee Simpkins.

“We are taking on a lot of the roles to help with the expense,” she said.

It’s an ambitious project the small, volunteer staff, working to rejuvenate the Burrillville-based venue and provide opportunities for local talent. Dumaine-Picard is working with officials from Burrillville High School in hopes to eventually create a fine arts career pathway utilizing the theater. The program, she notes, could help attract and retain local students who might otherwise attend an arts school like nearby Beacon Charter School – at a cost to the district.

“There’s not many towns that have this beautiful theater to utilize,” Dumaine-Picard said, noting she hopes to help cultivate a love for theater in kids as young as 8-years-old.

The director, who also serves as the theater’s executive chairperson, has a child involved in theater, and wants to see the district become a viable option for other future stars.

Saturday’s show will include music from the 1960’s through today, with a set that aims to get concert-goers on their feet.

Mad Hatter performed at 354-seat venue over the summer and offered to do a benefit.

“They love the venue, and they love the idea of getting the community involved,” said Dumaine-Picard. “They are fantastic. It’s something for everybody.”

An experienced act that frequently plays at local venues including casinos, the band promises to entertain crowds of all ages.

“Who doesn’t like a rock concert in the winter?” asked Dumaine-Picard. “We just kind of want to kind of wake up the community.”

Mad Hatter will perform at the Assembly Theatre at 26 East Ave. on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets for the concert cost $10 and can be purchased in advance here on Eventbrite or at the door.

Dumaine-Picard will also sell tickets at the Lunch & Learn event on Thursday, Feb. 6.

All proceeds will support the upcoming production of Junie B, and future fine arts programming for the community.

Read about casting for Junie B here.

For more information contact AssemblyACT@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sandy Seoane is the founder, publisher, and editor of Northern Rhode Island News On the Web.
A reporter for nearly a decade with experience in both print and online news, Seoane aims to bring a new source of information to the region. She began with the town of Burrillville and has since added coverage in North Smithfield, using her experience in conventional media to bring light to local issues.
A SUNY Albany graduate with much experience covering news in the Blackstone Valley, Seoane previously worked for The Valley Breeze and Woonsocket Patch.