Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Jared Grimes to Perform During World Premiere of Ted Nash’s Transformation

Jared Grimes

The piece will be presented at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2020

Jared Grimes, a 2001 Donna Reed national scholarship recipient in dance, will debut a new dance piece during the world premiere of Ted Nash’s Transformation at Jazz at Lincoln Center January 30–February 1, 2020.

Tony-winning star of stage and screen Glenn Close will read aloud several works.

Grimes made his choreography debut in Cirque Du Soleil's, Banana Shpeel off-broadway. He has choreographed the musical Holler If You Hear Me with Kenny Leon, 42nd Street at Drury Lane Chicago with Michael Heitzman, and The Scottsboro Boys with Joe Calarco at the Signature Theater in DC.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

‘Spirit Riding Free’ Christmas Special Teased in Delightful New Trailer

Kari Wahlgren

Kari Walgren voices part of Aunt Cora

DreamWorks Animation unveiled the heartwarming trailer for the holiday special of its Emmy Award-winning series Spirit Riding Free titled, DreamWorks Spirit of Christmas. In this episode, Kari Walgren (DreamWorks Archibald’s Next Big Thing) voices the parts of Aunt Cora.

Spirit Riding Free is a computer-animated series, produced by DreamWorks Animation Television and distributed by Netflix, based on the 2002 Oscar-nominated traditionally-animated film, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. The series was first released on Netflix on May 5, 2017.

Walgren, a University of Kansas graduate from Hoisington, KS, was a 1995 Donna Reed Scholarship recipient in Acting and Vocal.
Read the article and watch the trailer

Scholarship alumna appears in Pasadena Playhouse production

Sarah Utterback

2000 Donna Reed Foundation National Scholar in Musical Theatre

Sarah Utterback, a native of New Hampton, Ia, recently appeared in a Pasadena Playhouse production of A Kid Named Jake. The play addresses a couple’s struggle with their four-year-old son's gender identity when they realize he might be transgender. Alex and Greg struggle to figure out what's best for their son as they apply for him to go to a private kindergarten in New York City.

Utterback is most notable for her role as Nurse Olivia Harper on ABC's medical drama series Grey's Anatomy. She is also a film and theater producer.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Casting Announced for BLISS at The 5th Avenue Theatre

Jose Luaces

Includes Donna Reed Scholarship alumnus

Jose Luaces, a 2003 Donna Reed Finalist in Musical Theater and a native of Miami, FL, has been cast as a member of the ensemble for the upcoming production of BLISS at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle.

Bliss is an electrifying new musical that tears up the rules on happy endings. In this fractured fairytale with an addictive pop-rock score, created at The 5th, four wildly distinctive royal sisters sneak out of their castle and discover an intoxicating world of fancy balls and dreamy princes-and a burning desire to be at the center of it all. In a world that demands they fit in, it will take a sister's love to remind them to stand out. Together they discover that chasing their bliss means leaving expectations behind.

Seneca Falls Celebrates "It's a Wonderful Life" Festival

December 13-15, 2019

December 13-15, 2019

Seneca Falls, NY has been taken over by the classic Christmas movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”! The annual festival has a long list of themed events all weekend. But what most people look forward to is meeting the actors from the movie themselves!

Four actors from the film — Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu), Jimmy Hawkins (Tommy), Jeanine Ann Roose (Violet), and Carol Coombs (Janie) — have come to town to sign autographs and meet fans. Six actors from the 1946 film are still living; five were child actors at the time.
Visit the festival site

Jackie Schmillen appearing in Des Moines Playhouse production

Jackie Schmillen

1998 Donna Reed Iowa Scholarship Recipient in Acting

Jackie Schmillen, CW Iowa (KCWI) morning show host, is back on stage at the Des Moines Playhouse in the family holiday classic, A Christmas Story: The Musical, playing the role of Ralphie Parker’s mother.

Set in the 1940s in Hohman, IN, the musical follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest for the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts: an Official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Rebuffed at every turn with a similar echoing response ("You'll shoot your eye out!"), Ralphie plots numerous schemes to achieve his desperate desire for the coveted BB gun. All the iconic scenes from the movie are here: Ralphie's friend, Flick, getting his tongue stuck to the flagpole; his brother, Randy, getting dressed in his snowsuit; the bullies, Farkus and Dill; the leg lamp award; the bunny suit; the Bumpus hounds; and many others. We triple dog dare you to see this show!
Read a review

Friday, December 13, 2019

“Show Business, The Foy Way: Memoir of a Hollywood Casting Director”

Give a gift written by the casting director of The Donna Reed Show

In this candid autobiography, Eddie Foy III, grandson of Vaudevillian icon and son of a Broadway legend, takes you through the heartache and triumphs of his life. His illustrious career as a Hollywood casting director spanned more than four decades, which he honestly recounts with his behind the scenes anecdotes and humorous insight. No topic is off-topic as Eddie covers his relationships with the Hollywood elite and divulges his own pains, both personally and professionally. "Show Business, The Foy Way: Memoir of a Hollywood Casting Director" illustrates one man's journey: at times dark and gritty and other times joyous and magical.

Contact the Donna Reed Foundation for information

Ben Giroux appearing in Pasadena Playhouse Holiday Production

John O’Hurley and Ben Giroux 

Phoenix native was 2003 Donna Reed Foundation National Acting Award Recipient

Ben Giroux has been charming Pasadena Playhouse audiences in the current production of PETER PAN AND TINKER BELL: A PIRATES' CHRISTMAS. Cast as Smee, Captain Hook’s right-hand man, he adlibs, interacts with the audience and connects with jokes obviously meant for adults.

What sets this production apart from others is that “Peter Pan & Tinker Bell” is a “panto,” an English tradition that usually starts with a familiar fairy tale or a children’s story, then adds music, humor, contemporary references, and audience participation where booing the villain and cheering the hero is encouraged. Filled with big laughs, magic, dancers and contemporary songs by everyone from Taylor Swift to The Bee Gees, this family show has a little bit of something for everyone.
View the Laguna Beach Independent article and photos

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Watch “Come From Away” NPR Tiny Desk Concert

De'Lon Grant

Broadway cast includes Donna Reed Scholar

De’Lon Grant, a 2002 scholarship finalist in acting from Duluth, MN, recently appeared with the cast of the Broadway hit, “Come From Away” as they took part in NPR's Tiny Desk concert series and performed a 17-minute excerpt of their show. Set against the backdrop of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the show follows what happens when 38 planes and 6,579 passengers are forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, doubling the population of "one small town on the edge of the world."

Sunday, November 17, 2019

"Soft Power" Closes off Broadway after two extensions

Kristen Faith Oei

Cast includes Donna Reed Scholarship alumna

Off-Broadway's Public Theater concluded its limited off-Broadway engagement of Soft Power on November 17 after two extensions. Soft Power is set following the 2016 election. It centers on a Chinese executive who is visiting America and falls in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader as the power balance between their two countries shifts.

The cast included Kristen Faith Oei, a Fremont, Calif. native and 1999 Donna Reed Foundation National Award recipient in Dance. Most recently she appeared in the Broadway production of Spiderman:Turn Off The Dark, understudying chorus and dance roles.  She served as dance captain in the sit-down company of Wicked in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Other credits include Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida first national tour (Amneris cover); We Will Rock You Las Vegas; West Side Story European tour; Fame - The Musical national tour; The Suite Life on Deck; and the Country Music Awards with the Dixie Chicks.

Bedlam’s “The Crucible” Begins Off-Broadway

Zuzanna Szadkowski
Performances began November 8 in the Connelly Theater for Bedlam's production of The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Inspired by the Salem witch trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the early 1690s, Miller wrote The Crucible in 1953 as a comment on McCarthyism, a moment in U.S. history when the government persecuted people accused of being communists. The cast includes Fort Wayne, Indiana native Zuzanna Szadkowski, who was the 1997 Donna Reed Foundation National Scholar in Acting. She is known for her role as Dorota Kishlovsky on the CW teen drama series Gossip Girl. Szadkowski also appeared on The Sopranos, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Guiding Light.

Saycon Sengbloh cast in Aretha Franklin biopic

Saycon Sengbloh
Donna Reed National Scholarship Winner
The forthcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson as the Queen of Soul, will include Tony Award winner Saycon Sengbloh who was a 2001 Donna Reed Foundation national scholarship winner in Acting and Musical Theatre.

The biopic will follow the singer’s rise to superstardom, from her childhood singing gospel in her father’s church to her emergence as one of the most powerful and influential voices in soul and R&B. The movie will also examine Franklin’s impact on civil rights and women’s movements.

Sengbloh has starred in a number of Broadway musicals. Her breakthrough came in 2015, when she was cast in Eclipsed, a play about five Liberian women and their tale of survival near the end of the Second Liberian Civil War. It became the first play with an all-black and female creative cast and team to premiere on Broadway. Her performance received positive reviews from critics. She won Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for original Off-Broadway production, and Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play nomination for Broadway production.

Frozen II arrives in theaters worldwide November 22.

Santino Fontana

Voiceover cast includes 2000 Donna Reed Festival scholarship finalist

The gang from the original Frozen film will embark on a new journey that goes beyond their homeland of Arendelle, and this time Anna will be joining Elsa on the adventure. The cast will include Tony winner Santino Fontana (Tootsie) providing the voice of Hans.

Fontana, from Richland, Washington, was a 2000 Donna Reed Festival scholarship finalist in acting.

Brandon Victor Dixon to star in Kennedy Center’s “Next to Normal”

 Brandon Victor Dixon

Donna Reed Foundation Scholarship Award Alumnus

Tony-nominated actor Brandon Victor Dixon (Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, Shuffle Along…) will join the previously announced Rachel Bay Jones (Dear Evan Hansen) in the Kennedy Center's Broadway Center Stage production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal.

Michael Greif, who directed the original Broadway production of the hit musical, will stage the D.C. engagement, which runs January 29–February 3, 2020, in the Eisenhower Theater. Tony winner Jones will play Diana, the role created on Broadway by Tony winner Alice Ripley, with Dixon as her husband Dan. 

Dixon, from Gaithersburg, Maryland, was a 1999 Donna Reed scholarship finalist in musical theatre.

Jared Grimes cast in “A Soldier’s Play”

Jared Grimes

Donna Reed Foundation Scholarship Alumnus

The Roundabout Theatre Company has announced it complete cast for the revival of Charles Fuller’s acclaimed A Soldier’s Play.  The Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which debuted Off-Broadway in 1981, will receive a new production directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon. Included in the cast is Jared Grimes who is cast as “Private Tony Smalls.”

Grimes was a 2001 Donna Reed national scholarship recipient in dance. He went on to become an Astaire Award-winning dancer and tap and hip-hop/street jazz choreographer, performing alongside legends such as Wynton Marsalis and Gregory Hines.

Grimes made his choreography debut in Cirque Du Soleil's, Banana Shpeel off-broadway, He has choreographed the musical Holler If You Hear Me with Kenny Leon, 42nd Street at Drury Lane Chicago with Michael Heitzman, and The Scottsboro Boys with Joe Calarco at the Signature Theater in DC. 

Blumhouse to release Remake of Black Christmas this December on Friday the 13th

Sophia Takal

Directed by Donna Reed Scholarship finalist in Acting

From director Sophia Takal (Always Shine) and from the script she wrote with April Wolfe (Widower), comes a bold new take on the 1974 slasher classic Black Christmas. It’s a cult horror classic as a campus killer comes to face a formidable group of friends in sisterhood.

Sophia Takal is an American actress, writer and director perhaps best known for her work in independent features such as All the Light in the Sky, Supporting Characters and Gabi on the Roof in July. Filmmaker magazine named Takal one of the "25 New Faces of Film" in 2011.

Takal, from Montclair, NJ, was a 2003 National Donna Reed Scholarship finalist in Acting.

Zach Villa - Master of All

Zach Villa

2005 Iowa Donna Reed scholarship recipient in musical theatre

Zach Villa has acquired considerable acclaim as an actor, musician, vocalist, dancer & songwriter. A 'jack of all trades, Zach appeared on Broadway and at Carnegie Hall before relocating to the West coast, only to appear with the LA Philharmonic in the world premiere of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels.

You've recently seen Zach starring as a series regular on FX's acclaimed "American Horror Story." In film, he has appeared along side Nicole Kidman in Karyn Kusama's "Destroyer." His three episode arc on Showtime's "Shameless" premiered this spring, and he has recently had the pleasure of appearing on SyFy's, "The Expanse."

Villa is from Clinton, Iowa and a graduate of the Juilliard School and Interlochen Arts Academy.

Read his bio


Santino Fontana

Film stars 2000 Donna Reed Festival acting scholarship finalist

Tony Award winner Santino Fontana (Tootsie, Disney's Frozen) leads the cast in the psychological thriller Impossible Monsters. Dr. Rich Freeman (Fontana), an ambitious and well-liked psychology professor, pursues a sleep study with a focus on nightmares, dreams, and sleep paralysis - the success of which would result in a lucrative grant. As the line between dreams and reality blur, a member of the study is murdered, and everything begins to unravel, leaving Dr. Freeman fighting to make things right.

The cast also includes Natalie Knepp, Devika Bhise (The Man Who Knew Infinity), Donall O Healai, Geoffrey Owens (The Cosby Show), Dennis Boutsikaris (Better Call Saul), and Laila Robins (Homeland).

Written and directed by Nathan Catucci, Impossible Monsters will have its UK Premiere at the Cine-Excess Film Festival.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Preston Truman Boyd to Lead National Tour of Les Misérables

Preston Truman Boyd

2004 Donna Reed National Scholarship recipient

Preston Truman Boyd, a Moorhead, MN native, is joining the touring production of the Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon Les Misérables as Inspector Javert. The production opens December 10 at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY.

Boyd’s Broadway credits include Kiss Me, Kate, The Play That Goes Wrong, Sunset Boulevard, She Loves Me, One the Twentieth Century, Bullets Over Broadway and Big Fish. He was a 2004 Donna Reed National Scholarship recipient in both Vocal Music and Musical Theatre.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Ben Giroux Goes 'Back to the '80s' in Viral Video Sequel

Ben Giroux and Jensen Reed

Phoenix native was 2003 Donna Reed Foundation National Acting Award Recipient

Ben Giroux and Jensen Reed took the internet by storm with their music video “Back to the '90s” in 2017.

Now the duo has gone back even farther. Their sequel, “Back to the '80s,” takes viewers on a trip to the decade of tight pants and crazy hairstyles. The video involves numerous movie sets and took nearly two years to complete. It was released last week.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Jared Grimes puts a spin on the classic ’42nd Street’

Jared Grimes

Choreographer is Donna Reed scholarship alumnus

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, Minn. is staging a reinvented version of the Broadway classic “42nd Street.” This Ordway Original production with choreography by Jared Grimes was previously produced at Chicago's Drury Lane Theatre and garnered rave reviews. Performances begin on July 23 and continue for 24 performances through Aug. 11.

Grimes was a 2001 Donna Reed national scholarship recipient in dance. He went on to become an Astaire Award-winning dancer and tap and hip-hop/street jazz choreographer, performing alongside legends such as Wynton Marsalis and Gregory Hines.

Grimes has extensive stage experience including such Broadway productions as “After Midnight” and “Holler If You Hear Me” and the Radio City Music Hall production of “The New York Spring Spectacular.”

Friday, June 28, 2019

Zachary Levi, Jeff Tomsic, Teaming On New Line’s ‘Spy Guys’

Jeff Tomsic, Cedar Rapids, Ia.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa native to direct

New Line Cinema has lined up Zachary Levi to star in Spy Guys, and it has just set Jeff Tomsic to direct the script by Adam Sztykiel. That puts the action comedy on a fast track to get the movie made before Levi reprises in the Shazam! sequel, which New Line is also percolating.

Tomsic made his directorial debut last year on the New Line comedy Tag, and cut his teeth on the Comedy Central series Broad City and Idiotsitter, on which he is executive producer.

Tomsic was a 1995 Iowa Donna Reed Scholarship recipient in film.

Ben Gunderson appearing in “Blackbeard”

Ben Gunderson, Moorhead, MN

World premiere commissioned by Signature Theatre

Ben Gunderson, a 2005 Donna Reed Foundation National Award Recipient in Musical Theater, is part of a hilarious, wildly original, and immersively staged production of a fresh musical salute to the Seven Seas.

Gunderson, who plays the role of Gerrick/Maynard, is one of ten people in the cast who play about 60 roles between them.

Gunderson's previous productions include Grand Hotel (Signature), Anything Goes (Arena Stage), Camelot (Shakespeare Theatre Company), The Pajama Game (Arena Stage), Still Life with Rocket (Theater Alliance), Les Miserables (Broadway), Les Miserables (25th Anniversary Tour), A Time For Singing (York Theatre) and Fiddler on the Roof (Engman Theater).
Read the Washington Post review

Donna Reed Scholarship alumnus appearing in Regional Production

Jose Luaces

Jose Luaces as Emilio Estefan in ON YOUR FEET!

“On Your Feet!,” a musical based on the life and music of the seven-time Grammy-winning Latin pop sensation Gloria Estefan and her producer-musician husband Emilio Estefan, opened May 30 at Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford, NY. 

Luaces was most recently seen nationally in A Christmas Story Live. His New York City credits include: A Christmas Story (Broadway), Bliss (workshop), Big Fish (Workshop), All That Glitters (Workshop), Plaid Tidings (York Theatre), Venus Flytrap, and I Am Harvey Milk. Tours include 101 Dalmatians, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Fiddler on the Roof, Reel to Real (China, Edinburgh). Luaces' favorite regional appearances include: Rudy in Cuba Libre (A.R.T.) Sparky in Forever Plaid (New Theatre), Seussical (The Muny), Chino in West Side Story (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Jacob in La Cage Aux Folles (Forestburgh Playhouse) and Spamalot and Altar Boyz (Actors Playhouse).

Luaces was a 2003 Donna Reed National Scholarship finalist in musical theatre from Miami, FL.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

“Saving Brinton” to play at the Donna Reed Theatre

Mike Zahs, Washington, Iowa

Film is an endearing, affectionate documentary

When an eccentric small-town collector discovers the showreels of the man who brought moving pictures to the Heartland, he begins a journey to restore the legacy of America’s greatest barnstorming movieman and save these irreplaceable cinematic treasures from turning to dust.

Director/editor Tommy Haines, director/producer Andrew Sherburne and director of photography John Richard set themselves to chronicling Mike Zah’s discoveries. Their efforts became the film, “Saving Brinton.”

Join Zahs and Sherburne for the screening of “Saving Brinton” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, at the Donna Reed Theatre in Denison. Tickets are $5.

Read the LA Times review

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Donna Reed Scholarship Alumnus accepted to prestigious SITI workshop

Sean Naughton
Sean Naughton, a graduate teaching assistant in the theater department at Ohio State University, has been accepted to the Saratoga International Theater Institute Company Summer Intensive with Anne Bogart and her company.

Sixty artists are invited to take part in an intensive workshop that includes rigorous, physical work, theoretical research, and the generation and performance of new work by each participant. The program’s objective is to develop courageous theater artists who are able to integrate new influences from many disciplines into their work. The curriculum is designed for pre-professional and professional artists.

The Saratoga International Theater Institute (also known as SITI) is an ensemble-based theater company whose three ongoing components are the creation of new work, the training of young theater artists, and a commitment to international collaboration.

Naughton is a 2000 Donna Reed Scholarship Acting Award recipient.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

It Takes a Whole Comic Store to Bring Up a Robin

Ben Giroux

Donna Reed Acting Award alumnus in new film

Ben Giroux is the new voice of Robin, Damian Wayne, in the new Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. He has previously voiced roles in Nickelodeon’s Bunsen is a Beast, Loud House, The Adventures of Kid Danger, and Amazon’s Rocky and Bullwinkle.

He grew up Phoenix, spending time in the comic store owned by his parents, Alan and Marsha Giroux, All About Books and Comics, at Central Avenue and Camelback Road, a comic store still going strong and still run by his folks.

Giroux is a 2003 Donna Reed National Acting Award recipient.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Amanda Seales Touring in Smart, Funny and Black

Amanda Seales

Game Show Creator is Donna Reed Scholarship Alumna

Frustrated with the constant negative images of black people in media, unchecked appropriation, and the overall lack of education in African American history, (I mean, how did we not know about the, “Hidden Figures” women!?), Amanda Seales decided to use her humor, her Master’s degree in African American Studies, from Columbia University, and her love of games and music, to create a game show that serves as a safe space for the Black voice, and celebrates the many contributions Black Americans have made to history, pop culture and more!

Seales was a 1999 recipient of a Donna Reed National Scholarship in acting.

Blumhouse Is Remaking Black Christmas

Sophia Takal

Director is a Donna Reed Scholarship alumna In the past year, many classic horror projects, such as IT, Suspiria and Pet Sematary, have been remade by Hollywood, and this trend doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Next week, Child’s Play will get the same treatment and it’s now been announced that Blumhouse Productions have answered the call to reimagine of the 1974 cult-classic Black Christmas. The new Black Christmas will be directed by Sophia Takal, who previously helmed the 2016 thriller Always Shine and a segment of Hulu’s Into the Dark series titled New Year, New You. Takal co-wrote the script with April Wolfe, per Slash Film. Takel was a Donna Reed National Scholarship finalist in acting in 2003.

New Musical Adaptation of The Secret Life of Bees Opens Off-Broadway

Saycon Sengbloh

World-premiere musical features Donna Reed Scholarship alumna 

The Atlantic Theater Company’s world-premiere musical adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd’s best-selling novel The Secret Life of Bees officially opens Off-Broadway June 13 following previews that began May 12. The production will run through Sunday, July 21, at the Linda Gross Theater.

The production stars Donna Reed Scholarship alumna and Tony nominee Saycon Sengbloh (Eclipsed, Hair) as Rosaleen and Elizabeth Teeter (The Audience, The Crucible) as Lily.

Set against the backdrop of 1960s South Carolina, the story follows the journey of Rosaleen, a Black caregiver who is beaten and jailed for asserting her right to vote, and the young Lily, a restless teenager haunted by her mother's death.

Sengbloh was the 1996 recipient of a Donna Reed Acting and Musical Theatre scholarship.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Donna Reed Festival alumnus wins Tony Award

Santino Fontana as Tootsie

Recipient was 2000 Donna Reed Festival scholarship finalist

Santino Fontana has won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role in Tootsie. He received the award June 9.

Tootsie is a musical comedy that tells the story of a talented but volatile actor whose reputation for being difficult forces him to adopt a new identity as a woman in order to land a job. Rolling Stone magazine called Fontana’s role “one of the best performances ever seen on a musical stage.”

Fontana was nominated for the same award in 2013 for his role as Prince Topher in Broadway’s Cinderella. Beyond Broadway, Fontana voiced the role of Prince Hans in the Walt Disney movie Frozen and played Greg Serrano in the hit television series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Fontana is a graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program, a partnership with the world-renowned Guthrie Theater.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Musical Theatre Registration Forms Now Available

Children's Musical Theatre Workshop
17 - 22 June 2019

This fun-filled week is designed to teach the basics of musical theatre to kids in grades K-8 who love singing, dancing, and challenges. The workshop concludes with a performance on Saturday, June 22 of the popular musical, Willy Wonka KIDS.

Grades K-2 with parent/guardian
June 17-21: 9:30-11:30 am
June 22: performance on Saturday at 2:30 pm
Tuition: $60 (fee increases to $70 after June 1)
Includes free production t-shirt and two performance tickets

Grades 3-8
June 17-21: 9:30-12:30 am
June 22: performance on Saturday at 2:30 pm
Tuition: $100 (fee increases to $110 after June 1)
Includes free production t-shirt and two performance tickets

Get a registration form.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A Workshop Opportunity for kids

Children's Musical Theatre Workshop
17 - 22 June 2019
Laurel Olsen - Denison Community Schools

This fun-filled week is designed to teach the basics of musical theatre to kids in grades K-8 who love singing, dancing, and challenges. The workshop runs from June 17-21, 2019, and concludes with a performance on Saturday, June 22. All events will take place at the Denison High School, 819 North 16th Street in Denison, Iowa. This year's production is the popular musical, Willy Wonka KIDS.

Since its meager beginning in 2004, this popular workshop has developed a strong tradition of educational fun for all involved. Even local grandparents have discovered a wonderful benefit. They can spend a week of quality time with their grandchildren by inviting them for a visit and enrolling them in the workshop.

The workshop will be under the direction of Laurel Olsen, a language arts instructor at Denison Community High School. She has produced/directed plays and musicals in Denison for the past 15 years including the community musicals Annie, Shrek, and The Wizard of Oz. She has also taught dance, judged speech and theatre competitions, and served as technical director and choreographer for past Children's Musical Theatre Workshops sponsored by the Donna Reed Foundation.

Grades K-2 with parent/guardian:
June 17-21: 9:30-11:30 am
June 22: performance on Saturday at 2:30 pm
Tuition: $60 (fee increases to $70 after June 1)
Includes free production t-shirt and two performance tickets

Grades 3-8
June 17-21: 9:30-12:30 am
June 22: performance on Saturday at 2:30 pm
Tuition: $100 (fee increases to $110 after June 1)
Includes free production t-shirt and two performance tickets

Additional workshop information and release forms can be found on our online registration form (English), online registration form (Spanish) or by calling 712.263.3334 or by stopping at the Donna Reed Foundation office, 1305 Broadway, Denison, Iowa

Friday, March 1, 2019

Save The Date

We've picked the production!

Children's Musical Theatre Workshop
Grades K - 8
June 17 - 22, 2019
Denison, Iowa

Mark your calendar for a scrumdidilyumptious musical workshop guaranteed to delight everyone's acting sweet tooth.

Sponsored by The Donna Reed Foundation

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Fox goes Bohemian with premiere of RENT LIVE January 27

Brandon Victor Dixon

Cast includes Donna Reed Alumnus

Brandon Victor Dixon, a 1999 Donna Reed scholarship finalist in musical theater, will appear in the role of Tom Collins on FOX's live television adaptation of “Rent” which airs January 27, 2019 at 10/9c.

Dixon, who played Tom Collins in the 2011 Off-Broadway revival of “Rent,” is best known for his performances in the original Broadway companies of The Color Purple, Motown, and Shuffle Along, and as the first Aaron Burr replacement in Broadway’s Hamilton. Earlier this year, TV audiences discovered just how talented he is when he turned in an Emmy-nominated performance as Judas Iscariot in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, alongside Sara Bareilles and John Legend.

The groundbreaking, Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical is a re-imagining of Puccini's "La Boheme," and set in New York City's gritty East Village. "Rent" tells the unforgettable story of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Jared Grimes joins cast of NBC series "Manifest"

Jared Grimes as Adrian

Recurring role as Adrian

Jared Grimes, 2001 Donna Reed Foundation national scholarship recipient in dance, has joined the cast of the NBC series “Manifest” in a recurring role.

His first appearance was in last week’s mid-season premiere, “Crosswinds,” and he will next appear in the Feb. 4 episode. He plays Adrian, an entrepreneur whose life was disrupted by the events that set the series in motion. Now, he is trying to make sense of things. The show revolves around the crew and passengers of a plane that disappeared under mysterious circumstances for five years.

Grimes has previously appeared on such shows as “Boardwalk Empire” and “Fringe,” and has extensive stage experience including such Broadway productions as “After Midnight” and “Holler If You Hear Me” and the Radio City Music Hall production of “The New York Spring Spectacular.”