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Crane Acting Troupe

About the Crane Acting Troupe

The Crane Acting Troupe was organized after two successful seasons of summer musical productions at Ichabod Crane.  The Troupe is a self-supporting co-curricular activity open to students in grades 7 through 12 under the advisement of music and theatre teacher Gail Nadeem Helfer.   Each year students in the Acting Troupe have the opportunity to attend workshops on auditioning skills, costuming, make-up, and stage crafts.  Members of the Crane Acting Troupe are not only performers, but also technical staff and crew members interested in the many tasks associated with theatre, both onstage and backstage.  The first musical produced by the summer theatre group was Oklahoma! in 1994.  The cast size was approximately 40 students with limited crew assistance.  Over the years, cast and crew membership has increased.  The 1996 production, South Pacific, included 45 students, teachers and administrators; 50 members produced Grease in 1997; involvement jumped to 65 in Guys and Dolls in 1998; 65 students and adults were in Oklahoma! in 1999; and in 2000, the production of Wizard of Oz utilized a cast of more than 75, including 30 second grade students. Cinderella was presented in 2001 through the efforts of a cast of 60 with a technical crew of 30.  The Acting Troupe performed Hello Dolly to sold-out performances and featured more than 80 people, including 16 seniors, 3 administrators, 2 faculty members and 3 alumni. Other productions include Beauty and the Beast in 2005, Fiddler on the Roof in 2006, 42nd Street in 2007, Anything Goes in 2008, and Grease in 2009. More recent productions include Peter Pan (2014), Shrek Jr. (2015), Mary Poppins (2016) and 42nd Street (2017).

Community assistance is welcome and has been growing over the years, which provides an opportunity for the expertise of adults to be shared with the students.The International Theatre Festival has nominated the Crane Acting Troupe to represent New York State at the Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland at the summer competition in 2003.  Seniors have received the New York State Theatre Education Association's 'Certificates of Excellence' in theatre.  Several seniors have served as interns at the New York State Theatre Institute.  Alumni of the Crane Acting Troupe have continued their studies in theatre, musical theatre, dance, arts administration, stage management, technical theatre, and scenic design.  Recent graduates of these programs have obtained employment as scenic painter for the Barter Theatre, stage manager for a national tour of Ragtime, stage manager for the Goodspeed Opera House, and ensemble member in the national tour of Ragtime.

Crane Acting Troupe 2017-18 Officers


Left to right: Susanna Dolan and Shelby Kline, Liasons;
Amanda Calvin, President; Julianne LaGrassa, Secretary;
Makenzie Scheutig, Treasurer; Bailey Lapo-McDermott, Vice President

White Christmas poster

Crane Acting Troupe Puts on 'White Christmas'

The Crane Acting Troupe's production of 'White Christmas 'was held March 22, 23 & 24, 2018.

Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin | Based Upon the Paramount Pictures Film Written For the Screen by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama and Melvin Frank | Book by David Ives and Paul Blake

Based on the beloved, timeless film, this heartwarming musical adaptation features 17 Irving Berlin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil's former army commander. The dazzling score features well known standards including Blue Skies, I Love A Piano, How Deep Is the Ocean and the perennial favorite, White Christmas. WHITE CHRISTMAS is an uplifting musical worthy of year-round productions.

View the cast list

Contact Information

Gail Helfer

Previous Productions