BURRILLVILLE – Over the past year, a little theater on East Avenue has gained some notoriety, bringing in exciting new acts, and drawing in crowds for quality entertainment.
And on August 23, the venue will mark the start of an exciting new endeavor, welcoming a local celebrity for the launch of a production company that aims to shine a light on talent from Burrillville and beyond.
Emily Luther, a Woonsocket-born songstress who gained national acclaim following appearances on The Ellen Degeneres Show and The Voice will be among the cast in A Ticket to Broadway, a musical put on by AssemblyACT.
“This is our first in-house production,” explained Holly Dumaine-Picard, the chairperson of a volunteer group that supports the theater, Patrons of the Assembly, and now, theatrical producer for the new company. “It’s fantastic.”
Luther, a national performer whose first moments in the spotlight came as a star in community theatre on stages throughout northern Rhode Island, including the Assembly, placed in the top 20 with Team Adam on the popular NBC singing competition The Voice in 2017. A graduate from Berklee College of Music, Luther’s professional singing career has brought her numerous television appearances and a dedicated fan base.
Currently, she serves as the creative arts director for Mount Saint Charles Academy in Woonsocket.
And on Friday, Aug. 23, she will be part of a 20-act original performance back on the Assembly stage.
Described as a “cabaret-style musical adventure,” the show brings together a 30-member cast of local youth and adult talent for a journey to Broadway. The story is loosely based on a Broadway musical, but Dumaine-Picard has created a unique, travel-themed story, which is set on a train.
The emcee of the performance will serve as conductor, and piles of suitcases will adorn the stage.
“They represent either journeying through time, journeying through life, or taking an actual journey,” said Dumaine-Picard of the props. Through the use of more neutral costumes and scenes, the first-time producer has worked to recreate the excitement and anticipation that comes with the start of a career in Broadway.
“The travelers are transforming into performers before your eyes,” she said.
The show marks an exciting venture for a theater enthusiast who until recently, had only dabbled in the art. A local mom who gained theatrical experience as a volunteer at Woonsocket’s Stadium Theatre when her daughter performed, Dumaine-Picard has taken on her own ongoing creative project with AssemblyACT.
“I have never undertaken producing and directing a production like this,” she said. “This is certainly an adventure for me.”
The experience, she says, has been both challenging and rewarding.
“I have always been a creative person and I am thrilled to bring this production to life,” said Dumaine Picard.
She said the production company is also planning a Christmas production, and hopes to put on a full-blown musical next spring.
“We have a cast of amazingly talented individuals who have worked extremely hard to create a truly memorable journey,” she noted of A Ticket.
The show, she says, is full of surprises, including an appearance by competitive dancers from Woonsocket-based studio Lyrics in Motion.
“I have a great production team to work with,” said Dumaine Picard. “We are ready to entertain our audience with over 20 memorable acts. The community can look forward to something special.”
Tickets for the performance, set for Friday, Aug. 23 starting at 7 p.m., cost $15 and can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/
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