BURRILLVILLE – The Assembly Theatre in Harrisville recently launched a new community performing group called AssemGlee, which has attracted 30 local singing enthusiasts ranging in age from 10 to 70-something, according to Holly Dumaine Picard, the theatre’s executive director.
“For a while, we were thinking of forming a group or club for the community for people of all ages who enjoy singing. We took inspiration from glee clubs,’ Picard said.
With a club, “more people can participate but not have to commit to a long schedule,” she added.
Two auditions in February attracted “a good range of people,” Picard said, most of whom have had some involvement in musical theatre.
The group plans cabaret-style performances two to four times a year with different themes. They hope the first performance will be in June, Picard said.
The first show will have a Broadway musical theme, said Director of AssemGlee JJ Govani, 23, of Chepachet.
“The Broadway style will showcase our members. Everyone will have speaking lines,” Govani said. “It will be a lot of fun and show off everyone’s talents.”
“We have 30 members and they’re all very, very good quality,” added Music Director Justin Boyoyer, 23, of Chepachet. “Everyone is outstanding, and it’s exciting.”
One of those new members of AssemGlee is Courtney Ludovici, 23, a Burrillville resident who by day is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Rhode Island.
Though Ludovici had experience in high school and college performing live, she had taken a hiatus during the pandemic, she said.
She caught a show at The Assembly Theatre and was inspired.
“I knew I wanted to do a show again,” she said.
Even with her past involvement with musical theatre, Ludovici admitted she was nervous to perform.
“It’s definitely not at all an easy thing for me, but it’s an easy way to do music with other people,” she said. “It’s worth the pain.”
She said she’s not sure what she will be performing yet, but she hopes to duet with her friend Boynoyer, or collaborate with her boyfriend and his mom, who also auditioned for AssemGlee.
“I’m open to anything,” she said.
Picard said they will group the participants together based on age and ability.
“We will work with everyone to create an interesting show,” Picard said. “Our guiding principle is we all have a love of music and theatre.”
If you missed the auditions, but are interested in participating, Picard said you haven’t missed the opportunity.
“We have been so lucky to have so many people come out and audition for the Assembly Theatre’s first ever glee club,” added Picard. “If you missed auditions and are still interested, we’ll be having rolling virtual auditions with our next round of in-person auditions occurring this summer after our first large performance as a group.”
To audition virtually, email email@example.com.