New Castle News

April 25, 2012

Photo Gallery, Story: Portersville Christian School presents ‘Annie’

Renee Gendreau
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Courtney Ingram invited bad guys to her house – to dance.

For the Portersville Christian School’s musical director, theater is a family affair, and helping a bunch of thugs with their choreography is just part of the job.

This year’s production of “Annie” features not only Ingram and her husband, Ryan, as directors, but also her daughters — first-grader Tobie and fifth-grader Tealey — as orphans and the family’s pug, Fezziwig, as Sandy.

“Well, he is the right color, and any dog can be a runaway,” Ingram explained, noting that Fezziwig was doing well, aside from stealing performers’ snacks while they’re rehearsing.

Both Ingrams hold degrees in theater, so when a family friend mentioned a few years ago that Portersville needed a musical director, Ryan applied. Gradually, as Ryan’s job with US Investigation Services in Grove City allowed him less time to direct and choreograph, Courtney, who works at the Maridon Museum in Butler, began to assume more duties. By then, the couple had fallen so in love with the school, they enrolled their daughters and, in January, moved from Chicora to Slippery Rock to be closer to it.

Once “Annie” wraps up, the Ingrams may actually find time to unpack, but until then, life’s a stage. Specifically, it’s the one being constructed by Portersville students, parents and staff in the high school gymnasium.

“We’re a really small school, but we’re blessed because a lot of kids want to participate and help out. Maybe they don’t want to be on stage, but they’ll help with painting or something else behind the scenes,” Ingram said.

Calling the rehearsals “controlled chaos,” Ingram added, “One of the great things that we’ve noticed here is that the older kids genuinely want to help the younger kids.”

This year’s 46-member cast includes lots of younger students. Comprising the chorus of orphans are 16 elementary-age girls.

A more experienced cast member is sophomore James Mangiapane of Ellwood City, who has been participating in musicals both at Portersville and the New Castle Playhouse since fifth grade.

“It’s always fun to be involved with the (Portersville) musicals because the product comes out so good,” explained Mangiapane, who portrays Rooster, a con artist who poses as Annie’s father. “This year was especially fun because I got to be the bad guy.”

Also enjoying her role as Grace Farrell, Oliver Warbuck’s secretary, is Brittney Kelosky, a sophomore from Fombell.

“Grace is feminine, elegant and sophisticated and it’s fun to portray that on stage,” she said.

Meg Tipton, an eighth-grader from New Wilmington playing the orphan Mary, found “Annie” to be educational, showing what the economics were like during the Depression.

“Everyone’s doing great,” Ingram noted. “They’re excited and trying hard and we’re trying to help them develop professional skills whether they’re on stage or building sets.

“We know a lot of them won’t do anything more with theater once they leave here, but we want them to learn the proper way of doing things.”


Annie: Victoria Hogg

Oliver Warbucks: Elijah Fisher

Grace Farrell: Brittney Kelosky

Miss Hannigan: Mary McDonald

Rooster/Fred: James Mangiapane

Lily Saint Regis: Rachel Hunter

Pepper: Ashley Hoban

Tessie: Hannah Slaboda

July: Michelle Slater

Duffy: Makayla Mercier

Kate: Chelsea Thokar

Molly: Claire Woods

Lt. Ward: Cole Woods

Bundles McCloskey/Ickes: Aaron Zajac

Drake: Stephan Graham

Mrs. Pugh: Heather Johnston

Mrs. Greer/Apple Seller: Hannah Dunmire

Bert Heley/Artie: Nicholas Merrill

Connie Boylan/Star to Be/Cecille: Britney Yauger

Bonnie Boylan/Perkins: Hannah Sloboda

Ronnie Boylan: Larissa Kennedy

McCracken/Hull/Annette: Lily Russell

Roosevelt: Andrew Sloboda

Howe/Ira: Justin Harbinson

Morgenthau: Robin Mussig

Sophie: Tera Tyson

Mary: Meaghan Tipton

Jane: Jessica Schaming

Orphans: Maria Graham, Abby Green, Katie Hamilton, Leah Hoffer, Olivia Hunt, Tealey Ingram, Tobie Ingram, Alexis Konar, Lydia Lowery, Julia Mangiapane, Amy Miller, Lauren Nagg, Sofia Salgado, Jayme Santoro, Julia Schaming, Grey Tunstall

The Crew

Stage manager/student director: Christine Oesterling

Assistant stage manager: Ben McDonald

Stage manager in training: Jennie Mangiapane

Choreographer: Courtney Ingram

Student choreographers: Michelle Slater, Makayla Mercier, Ashley Hoban, Tealey Ingram

Vocal coach: Ryan Ingram

Piano accompaniment: Hannah Winkle

Extra accompaniment: Craig Carnahan

Percussion: Tyler Kison

Producer: Sheila Powers

House manager: Ed Oliver

Advertising: Anita Slater, Jill Allshouse

Program production: B.J. Russell, Mark Russell, Lily Russell

Set manager: Eric Slater

Set builders: Craig Adams, Craig Carnahan, Ryan Ingram, Steve Kennedy, Tom Powers, Mark Russell, Jim Yauger

Costume design: Ryan Ingram

Sound: Lou Anschuetz, Joel Sloat

Lights: Nathaniel Oesterling

Make up: Kiara Oesterling, Melanie Kennedy

Stage crew: Andrew Niederlander, Kaylee Faull, Wade Henderson, Andrew VanGent, Calvin Dunmire, Jewel Lewis, Kristen Addessi, Shaley Bream, Emily Painter

Painting: Laurie Hallberg, Emily Painter, Shaley Bream, Jennie Mangiapane, Bailey Bennet, Abby Smith, The Green Family