Spotlight shines on longtime BHS theater director

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BRUNSWICK — Thinking back on high school memories can be nostalgic, but a number of Brunswick High School alumni will get to physically relive their glory days this weekend. 

On Saturday, June 30, the Brunswick High School Players will be hosting The Pamela Mutty Performing Arts Scholarship Benefit Gala & Concert at 7 p.m. at Crooker Theater. Tickets will be $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors. 

All proceeds from the show, silent auction and refreshments sold will go towards establishing a performing arts scholarship in honor of longtime teacher and director of the theater group, Pamela Mutty. Mutty retired last year after 23 years of directing.

In a departure from the typical play or musical format of Brunswick High performances, the benefit concert will comprise songs from a range of shows Mutty directed over more than two decades.

Another unique element of the show is the ages of the performers, which range from current students to alumni from as far back as 18 years ago. 

Megan Bosarge, Mutty’s daughter, said the show will feature a song from nearly all 17 musicals directed by Mutty.

“There were a couple shows like ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ and ‘West Side Story’ that she did more than once, so you might have two numbers from those shows,” Bosarge said. “You’ll see alumni, some of them performing in roles that they actually originated, and other people we put in a show that they weren’t necessarily in.”

Bosarge said she created a Facebook page for the event earlier this year seeking alumni interested in performing. 

“It’s pretty cool; we got a lot of people to come back,” she said. “Unfortunately, there were a lot of alumni that couldn’t make it, but we have pretty good representation of the last 20 years.”

Bosarge and her sister will also be performing the song “For Good” from the musical “Wicked” in honor of their mother. She said the piece is about “touching people’s lives.”

The finale in the show will be a medley, during which any alumni that ever participated in Brunswick High theater is invited to come up on stage and sing. The lyrics will be provided on the back of the program.

Mutty said once the scholarship is created, the money will go to a student who has participated in the Brunswick High theater program and intends to continue in performing arts in some capacity. That could mean either majoring or minoring in the subject in college. 

Establishing a scholarship is necessary, she added, because “there’s not much out there” for helping students finance their performing arts education.

Elliott Nagler, a recent Brunswick High graduate who will study musical theater at the University of Hartford’s conservatory The Hartt School this fall, echoed that sentiment.

Nagler said though “a lot” of theater scholarships are partially based on academics, student grades do not factor as heavily.

“With a lot of theater companies and a lot of schools, there isn’t a lot of knowledge known about that whole process – how to get in, how the audition process works, (and) how money will work after that,” he said. “A lot of that I had to do on my own or with help from people here.”

The goal with Saturday evening’s event is to raise $10,000 to put into the fund, which organizers said would make it possible for the Brunswick Area Student Aid Fund to run the scholarship in future years.

Corey Perrault, fundraising coordinator for the show, said initially the goal was to raise $20,000 for the scholarship through the benefit show.

However, when the BHS Players found out they were invited to perform in the American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, next summer, attention was also turned to fundraising for that effort.

Perrault said making the trip will require raising between $50,000 and $70,000 over the course of the next year through multiple shows, fundraisers, and a winter theater camp.

Although she is retired, Mutty will direct the BHS Players’ yet-to-be-determined fall production, which is the show they will bring to Scotland.

In addition to the performance, the benefit concert Saturday will also have a silent auction, which, Perrault said, several local companies have donated to. A membership to the Brunswick Golf Course is among the items up for auction. Wild Oats Bakery & Café and Wildflours Gluten-Free Bakery are also donating some refreshments to be sold.

Carla Selberg, a costumer for the BHS Players, remarked on how the performance will highlight the past and Mutty’s legacy while also looking ahead.

“Not only is this family and friends and students and history, but it’s also looking forward because the whole purpose is to do a scholarship for those who want to keep going in the performing arts,” she said. “So it’s really for the future BHS Players as well.”

Elizabeth Clemente can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or eclemente@theforecaster.net. Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @epclemente.

Pam Mutty, who acted as director of the Brunswick High School Players for 23 years, stands beneath a wall of posters for all 39 shows she directed at the school. 

Organizers and performers of The Pamela Mutty Performing Arts Benefit & Gala, which will be held June 29 at 7 p.m., stand beneath posters displaying all 39 shows Mutty directed at Brunswick High School.

Organizers and performers of The Pamela Mutty Performing Arts Benefit & Gala, from left: music director Ashley Albert; performers Elliott Nagler, Wyeth Tovey and Hannah Perrault; Mutty, her daughter Megan Bosarge and Borsage’s son, Wesley Bosarge.

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