Western Nevada College Foundation: Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company thankful for support

“If you reach for the stars, all you get are the stars, but we’ve found a whole new spin.

If you reach for the heavens, you get the stars rolled in.”

These lyrics from the song “Anything Can Happen if You Let It,” written by George Stiles and Anthony Drew for the Broadway production of “Mary Poppins,” capture the spirit of the Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company, making it the perfect theme song for our 25th anniversary. We’re celebrating with our production of “Mary Poppins,” which is playing weekends through Nov. 22. Tickets may be purchased at WNMTC.com.

So many times — when reaching for goals that certainly seemed beyond our grasp, including our productions of “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Misérables” or even this challenging project of “Mary Poppins” — we found ourselves reaching for the heavens and grasping the stars.

From the vocal work to the dramatic work to the choreography to the stage management, technical advances, set designs, construction, costuming and orchestration — we as a collective group decided we would grow to meet the challenges.

And the challenge that usually buckles companies, funding it all, fell to you, our audiences. You applauded us, sent us notes of much-needed encouragement, and sometimes even sent donations. So, yes, you’re an indispensable part of this company, and we cherish you.

“Anything can happen, it’s a marvel. You can be a butterfly or just stay larval.”

What started as a simple children’s production of “Cinderella” in the multi-purpose room of Western Nevada College in 1990 has blossomed into a thriving regional theatre company, drawing audiences from 23 states, sometimes bringing more than 7,000 people to a single production in our state capital.

“Broaden your horizons, open different doors. You may find a you there that you never knew was yours.”

As I look back on our 25 years, I’m deeply grateful. I’m grateful to the performers who grew up on our stage and have either moved away to spread our stars in other heavens or have stayed to add their light to ours. I’m grateful for the performers who committed themselves to our company as well as to the new talent who came to us — we could not grow without you.

I’m grateful to the hard-working, rarely recognized, talented people behind the scenes who made props, built the sets (thank you, WNC Construction Department!), made the costumes, ran rapid-fire scene changes, accompanied rehearsals, trained singers, ran sound and light boards and managed lobbies.

I’m grateful for WNC, which gave us the freedom to extend our grasp.

I’m grateful for extraordinary co-directors who are true artists: Kevin Murphy, who helps to make the orchestra magic, and Gina Kaskie-Davis, who choreographs dazzling routines. I’m grateful to my supportive math professor husband, Rich Arrigotti, who learned how to be an extraordinary sound technician so he could share this world with us.

And I am grateful, truly blessed, to have had the opportunity to work with all of you to stretch my mind, to broaden my horizons, to reach for the heavens, and to find there beauty, love and magic.

Stephanie Arrigotti is Professor of Music at Western Nevada College and Producer and Director of the Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company. Donations to the company may be made through the WNC Foundation at wnc.edu/foundation.


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