Abbey Players Open Family Weekend With "A Hawk's Life"

"A Hawk's Life" Family Weekend Show 2015

Lights, camera, action! It is that time of year for the annual Family Weekend Show, “A Hawk’s Life.” This weekend, the Anselmian Abbey Players will perform this student-run show about life at Saint Anselm.

"A Hawk's Life" Family Weekend Show 2015The Family Weekend show, featuring 43 students, is a sequence of nine vignettes about the experiences of college life. “A Hawk’s Life” follows the year of a freshman as he experiences events such as orientation, roommate conflicts, the gingerbread competition, finals, senior graduation, and leaving for the summer.

Photo Gallery: "A Hawk's Life"

Students auditioned during the second week of September and have been practicing four days a week, three hours a day since. However, without the leadership and guidance of the show’s creative team, this would not have been possible. The creative team includes Kaity Beaumont ’16 (writer; director), Ginger Gates ’17 (music director) Marialena Bazzano ’16 (choreographer), Katie Corbett ’16 (producer, choreographer), and Morgan Turnbull ’17 (producer).

The writing of “A Hawk’s Life” began back in the spring semester of last year. Kaity Beaumont created the plot and major events for the show around re-written Saint A’s oriented song lyrics. She chose a creative team for running the show and presented her script to the Abbey Players, having it selected at the end of April.

The show includes traditional Broadway, Disney, pop, and rock songs. Beaumont tried to select songs and events that are relative to a wide audience in order to connect with both students and parents.

“I chose to incorporate things that everyone goes through in college, and also things specific to Saint A’s. I wanted to include snippet of life here to show how unique and special our school is and paint an accurate picture of college life,” says Beaumont.

One of the scenes included is the annual gingerbread competition, featuring an all boys musical number. The sequence shows the boys arguing over what to make for the competition through the popular Backstreet Boys’ song “I Want it that Way.”

Over the summer, Beaumont sent multiple drafts of the script to her team and the process has been ongoing. Ginger Gates reviewed the songs chosen for the show and began recruitment for the student pit band. Meanwhile, Marialena Bazzano and Katie Corbett began the choreography; each creating four dances independently while collaborating on the opening number.

“[I] had to keep in mind that everyone’s dancing levels were different, as they varied from experienced to beginner,” said Corbett.

“But I believe that the choreography for the show is able to showcase everyone and their talents, as well as be simple enough that everyone, regardless of their dancing skills, would be able to enjoy.”

Besides co-choreographing the show, Corbett, along with Morgan Turnbull, serves as co-producers for the production. Both of them are in charge of communicating with the cast when it comes to detailing out weekly rehearsal schedules as well as keeping track of the progress of the show. Furthermore, as stage managers, they make sure the scenes will run smoothly.

Although putting on the show takes a lot of time and effort, it is worth the hard work. Beaumont expressed, “The experience has been so wonderful! It has been a lot to juggle, but every second has been worth it. It is surreal to see something that you created come to fruition.”

Corbett adds, “I have enjoyed watching the show itself grow into an amazing production.”

The Abbey Players will perform two productions of “A Hawk’s Life”: Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. in the Dana Center. Tickets are $8.

Saint A’s Got Talent A Huge Success

Saint A's Got Talent 2012

Saint Anselm students are book smart, hard workers, and dedicated to service, but as the 2nd annual Saint A’s Got Talent show proved Tuesday night, they’re also gifted artists and performers. Fifteen acts showcased students’ wide range of talents, from tap dancing to piano playing to singing, in front of a packed crowd at the Dana Center.

In a fast-paced style borrowing cues from shows like America’s Got Talent and The X Factor, contestants were judged by a panel made up of Benjamin Martinez, the college’s new assistant athletic director, Kristin Nolan, resident director of Joan of Arc and Baroody Halls, and Dr. Joe Catanese, director of the Academic Resource Center.

The event was kept lighthearted and fun by emcees Peter O’Connell ’16 and Hilary Gorgol ’14, last year’s winner.

India Barrows ’16 started off the show with a boom, singing a powerful version of “Out Here on my Own” from the musical Fame that left the crowd with goose bumps.

Sophomores Tony Campione and Tommy Pomella performed an original song with guitar and harmonica. Outfitted in denim jeans, plaid, and Timberland boots, they sang about being young and just having a good time, with plenty of soul and foot-tapping to match.

Dao Le ’15 played a rollicking rendition of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme on the piano. Benjamin Martinez said “it was one of the best live piano performances I’ve ever seen”, while Dr. Cat called it “swashbuckling” and told Dao “there’s Mozart, Beethoven, and then you.”

Zachary Camenker ’16 channeled Frank Sinatra as he serenaded the crowd with a crooning and charismatic performance of “New York, New York”, looking the part in a dapper blue suit and tie.

And then there was Transelm—an eclectic trio made up of seniors Matt Robbins, Nate Chartier, and Matt Pendergast. After hooking up a myriad of amps and equipment, the three took their places: Matt and Matt decked out beatnik-style in black berets and guitars with Nate sitting coolly in an orange beanie between them with a keyboard on his lap. Borrowing from the trance style of electronic dance music (hence their band name), the trio gave a freeform, unconventional performance that was equal parts comedy and musical talent—a Benedictine Blue Man Group.

First place was awarded to Andrew Sterling ’14 for his original song, “Moving On Song”. With a voice reminiscent of John Mayer and twangy, upbeat guitar playing that called to mind summer road trips, Sterling got everyone humming along. Dr. Cat called it “good old coffeehouse music.” Sterling won a $30 gift certificate to the Airport Diner and four free tickets to the upcoming Abbey Players production, The Laramie Project.

Said Sterling, “It’s an honor to win. Everyone involved was so good; it’s a real pleasure to be involved. It’s an excellent event for St. A’s.”

Second place went to Katelyn Morreale ’13, who gave an earnest performance of the Johnny Gallagher song “That Time You Fell” on the piano. She received a $20 gift certificate to the Red Arrow Diner and free tickets to the Laramie Project.

Third place went to Michael Szuciak ’13 for his energetic piano medley that drew cheers from the crowd. He received a $10 gift certificate to Mr. Mac’s and a free ticket to The Laramie Project.

Audience member Aaron Baker ’15 said, “The show was very nice. They were all astounding performances. I enjoyed the sense of community, too.”

“I really enjoyed it,” said Joan Lawrence, a mother of one of the contestants and a crowd member at last year’s show. “The judges were sincere. In this community environment, everyone’s very supportive.”

Matt Hurd ’13, a member of the board of directors of the Abbey Players, was excited about the idea of Saint A’s Got Talent becoming an Anselmian tradition of its own. “We learned a lot from last year’s show,” he said, referencing the show’s change in venue from the North Lounge in the Cushing Center to the larger and more production-minded Dana Center. “It’s an amazing space, and we had a great audience. It’s definitely going to continue being an annual thing.”

Editor's note: Video by Luke Robbins '16.

Family Weekend Show: "We Are Young"

Members of the Family Weekend Show cast

Families are in for a treat this weekend as the Anselmian Abbey Players present "We Are Young," the 2012 Family Weekend Show. Featuring a student cast and creative team, "We Are Young" is a musical with a twist — giving audiences a window into college life through parody versions of well-known songs, dance numbers, and engaging characters.

Written and directed by Matt Hurd '13, the show follows a group of students through the course of a year on the Hilltop. From the nervous anticipation of move-in day, to the frayed nerves and delirious coffee-riddled exam period, through the conclusion of one cast member's college experience, Anselmians (students and parents) are sure to find the story a familiar one.

Music, directed by Ethan Lawrence '13 features songs such as I Just Can't Wait To Be King (The Lion King); A.B.C. (The Jackson 5); and the title track We Are Young (Fun). For the first time ever, this years' Family Weekend Show also features an original song written and orchestrated by the creative team.

If You Go

When: Friday, October 19 (8 p.m.) & Saturday, October 20 (2 p.m.)

Where: Dana Center

Tickets: $8

Creative Team

  • Written and Directed by Matt Hurd
  • Musical Direction by Ethan Lawrence
  • Choreography by Hilary Gorgol
  • Lyrics by Ethan Lawrence and Kristina Solomini
  • Produced by Katelyn Morreale and Kristina Solomini

Family Weekend Schedule

The Family Weekend Show is part of a full weekend schedule of events as parents are invited to join their Anselmians on the Hilltop for Family Weekend 2012. Review the full schedule of events on the Family Weekend website.


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