Spring 2023: STAND UP & SPEAK OUT! The Musical
STAND UP & SPEAK OUT! The Musical was a live performance offered at the Kate. This musical highlighted the severity of bullying that many children face today through entertainment and education. It addressed the effects of exclusion and negativity on our youth and informed students about ways to Stand UP against the cycle of insensitivity. The show featured inspired songs, dialogues and dance with an important message for all ages meant to create a chain reaction of kindness!
Over 500 students as from grades 2 to grade 7 from schools in Madison, Norwich, and Old Saybrook attended the complimentary (funded by grants) daytime performances. Members of our State Legislature and State Department of Education also enjoyed the show.
Producer: Jill Nesi, Four-time Emmy Nominated Songwriter
Director: Nick Rapuano, Award Winning Writer, Director of Stage and Film
Choreographer: Tracy Tolisano, Owner/Creative Director Limelite Dance Studio
Music Composed by: Jill Nesi, Nick Fradiani, Sr., and Mike Song
Fall 2022: Martha Redbone
Martha Redbone is a singer, songwriter who performed at the Kate. Her music is inspired by her family lineage in the Appalachian Mountains and her African American and Native American Roots. As part of her Bone Hill Project, she performed to local middle and high school students sharing information through song and dance about cultural preservation, indigenous rights, and cultural identity. Martha’s interactive approach engaged the students around racial identity and diversity in both a historical and personal context. She visited with students from Old Saybrook Middle School and Westbrook High School and shared her message through song and dance.
Fall 2022: Harlem on My Mind
In the Fall of 2022, the Kate presented a special school-time streaming program of “Harlem on My Mind” with approximately 200 students in attendance and hundreds of others able to experience the presentation via virtual stream.
“Harlem on My Mind” is a dynamic musical journey through the Harlem Renaissance conceived and performed by New York artist Julia Breanetta Simpson. The 45-minute program features a jazz trio and lively choreography as Simpson portrays artists and writers who were prominent during the development of Harlem as a Black cultural mecca. Experience the poetry of Langston Hughes, the larger than life personalities of Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters and Josephine Baker while celebrating the music of “Duke” Ellington, Thomas “Fats” Waller and more. The performance was followed by a question and answer session.