If you have children and they aren’t already enrolled in Gemini Theater Company’s summer camp or you haven’t caught one of the company’s shows just yet at their new home at the Father Ryan Arts Center (FRAC), you’ll have a chance to say hello to one of McKees Rocks’ newest businesses at this year’s FEASTival on August 6.
Actors from Gemini, an interactive children’s theater, will be performing a show called “Pirates of the Mon” with a special twist about Sto Rox and FEASTival in the Kid’s Corner of the event, our annual celebration of food, music and art.
“We hope to soon meet many of the families in the neighborhood. Being the “new kid” on the block can be tough, but we are so happy to be here,” said Gemini Theater Company Executive Director Jill Jeffrey.
Before the company was formed in 1996, founders Lani Cerveris Cataldi and Dennis Palko performed mini shows for Cataldi’s party business. The shows were so popular that they became available through Gemini and by 2003, the company added on an outreach program to provide arts experiences for children from all neighborhoods. The theater company eventually started offering a summer camp, school visits and travel shows.
Looking to expand their programs in 2012, the company started to search for larger space and ended up touring the FRAC with the help of MRCDC’s Executive Director Taris Vrcek. Then, in 2014, the company was unable to renew their lease at their former location in Point Breeze. The company re-visited the FRAC in 2014 and moved in late December 2015.
“Taris was an important resource for us as we continued our search in 2014,” said Jeffrey. “His friendship and support have meant a lot to the Gemini, and I look forward to working on more projects with MRCDC.”
Jeffrey said that Gemini loves the pride in the people of McKees Rocks.
“We love the support the families have for their community,” she said. “We felt it was important that the children and families had a theater in their neighborhood that could offer programs and opportunities right in their own backyard.”
Gemini’s Summer Theater Camp runs from June 13 through August 19 and has a number of scholarships available.
The 2016-2017 season, which will include original, interactive musicals, kicks off at the end of August. Tickets typically cost $10 and discounted and free ticketing can be arranged through Tickets for Kids® Charities. Auditions for these shows will occur at the end of July; adults and children 10 and older can audition.
“A lot of people say coming to visit us is like seeing “Gemini Magic.” I know that for me, that magic is watching children participate in our programs—seeing their faces and hearing their voices as they become part of the show,” said Jeffrey.
“I hope we can bring all of that love to McKees Rocks.”