(January 15, 2009) The kids of Mamaroneck Avenue School
are featured in "School Play," a new documentary film from one
of the co-creators of the "Dora the Explorer" TV series, MAS
dad (and professional filmmaker) Rick Velleu.
After party: Cafe Mozart after 7:00 show.
Free glass of wine with your ticket stub. 25% of dinner proceeds
go to MAS Theater
Tickets may be purchased at:
Café Mozart- 308 Mamk Ave
Main Hosiery & Lingerie- 263 Mamk Ave.
The Quilt Cottage- 414 Mamk Ave.
Mamaroneck Avenue School
Mamaroneck Playhouse (show day only)
To Donate Send Checks to:
M.A.S.T. – "SCHOOL PLAY Screening"
Mamaroneck Avenue School
850 Mamaroneck Avenue
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
Checks should be made out to MASPTA (with a notation that the donation
is for M.A.S.T.)
"School Play" will make its hometown debut January
22 at the Clearview Mamaroneck Playhouse Cinema at 243 Mamaroneck Avenue.
Children featured in the film are expected to appear in person at the
3:30 and 7 pm screenings and at the reception to follow at Café
Mozart, about a block from the Playhouse.
Proceeds from the screenings and reception will benefit
the Mamaroneck Avenue School theater program. The funds will go towards
scholarships for kids who want to be in the school play and pay for sets,
costumes and other production expenses. The next production is Oklahoma
which “premieres” in late April.
Why A Film About a Kid's Play?
The film treats audiences to a unique
view of life, as seen through the eyes of children who are no longer
"little kids," but aren't quite teenagers yet, explained
“I was inspired to make the film after years
of helping play director Laurie Gage by building sets for the annual
MAS musicals,” said Mr. Velleu. "I was amazed at the
level of commitment and work going into these productions, he added.
"There were big, dramatic journeys happening: these kids were
really putting themselves out there right at the exact moment that
they were going through complex, emotional changes in their lives.
I realized that the story of the play was a good chance to capture
a little bit of art that was happening right in my own backyard."
So Mr. Velleu convinced his business partner, Eddie
Rosenstein, to join him in Mamaroneck for three, intense months
of filming (they shot more than 200 hours of video to make the 70-minute
production). The two selected five children who they thought had
interesting stories, and followed them around in all aspects of
their lives. The five featured students are Joey Angilletta, Isabel
Azevedo, Elizabeth Gale, Jeffrey Slater and Nick Viagas.
"We were there for breakfasts, lunches, dinners,
bedtime stories-- we even went to the dentist with a couple of kids,"
said Mr. Velleu. "We spent enough time with the kids and their
families to earn their trust, allowing them to feel comfortable
to open up to us and the cameras."
The film captures many scenes of typical life in Mamaroneck
Village in the autumn, including the high school football team, Sal's
Pizza, and kids playing at Harbor Island. Though the focus is the five
child actors, dozens of Mamaroneck kids (and adults) speak, perform and
are seen in the movie.
“And of course the cameras were there for all the
ups and downs of the play. The result is a film that ranges from laugh-out-loud
funny to sweet and nostalgic-- a look back at childhood that can bring
a tear to your eye,” concluded Mr. Velleu.
Catherine Ryan and Robert Viagas have children who participated in the
Mamaroneck Avenue School productions.