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Friday, April 24, 2015

H-G takes second at regional contest; Iseri wins excellence in acting award

Linda Iseri took the excellence in acting award at ESTAFest. She is shown with Noyes Lawton who plays her son Jimmy in a scene from “Miracle” involving a toaster.
Hamilton-Gibson Productions took second place at the Eastern States Theatre Association Festival, the regional community theater competition held April 17-19 in La Plata, Maryland.
As the second place finisher, H-G will not go on to compete at the American Association of Community Theatre’s national contest. This year, that competition is being held June 23-28 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, according to Thomas Putnam. He is the artistic director of Hamilton-Gibson Productions, a community performing arts group based in Wellsboro. “Only the first place winners at each of the 10 regional events go on to compete at the national level,” he said.

At ESTAFest, Linda Iseri, who played Clara in H-G’s 57-minute version of Tom Dudzick’s “Miracle on South Division Street,” earned the “excellence in acting” award. According to the criteria, she interpreted her character well, made her character believable and was technically skillful.

“Miracle” is a comedy about a Roman Catholic Polish-American family that has maintained a shrine for 70 years. Clara is the daughter of the man who built the shrine. Noyes Lawton, Johna Neal and Kerry Miller played Clara’s three grown children, Jimmy, Ruth and Bev respectively. Miller earned the excellence in acting award at the state contest.

ESTAFest hosted eight plays selected at community theatre competitions held in Delaware, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.

“The whole ESTAFest experience was very gratifying and educational...and a lot of fun,” said Putnam.

“Just like PACTFest, the judges gave us their thoughts about our show immediately following our performance. The adjudication was extremely helpful; not just for our production of ‘Miracle’ but also for other productions we will be doing in the future.

“Right now we have no plans to enter in 2016. It’s a lot of work, effort and expense so we don’t jump into it lightly,” he noted.

Ten H-G people attended ESTAFest. “We left at different times for Maryland on Thursday, April 16. Our technical rehearsal was Friday, April 17 at 1 p.m. and our performance was at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 18. We were told Sunday, April 19, during the awards brunch that we had taken second place and Linda had won the excellence in acting award,” Putnam concluded.

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