On the evening of September 7, just before the season’s first show — “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” — Playhouse Merced celebrated the opening of its 2019-20 season, “Some Folks Dream of the Wonders They’ll Do,” with a champagne toast led by its Artistic Director, Alyse Neubert.
The Toast included appetizers, such as prawns, and a delicious strawberry-adorned dessert catered by Essence 41504.
As guests raised their glasses in the lobby, Neubert thanked them for the many ways in which they contribute to the theater.
She said, “Without the generosity, support and commitment to the Playhouse you and others in the community provide, we could not do what we do. Thank you for not only your support for what is on stage, but also for your continued leadership throughout the community as patrons of the arts.”
She also thanked Grey B. Roberts, who was standing next to her, for sponsoring the Toast to the Season.
Later, Neubert commented that every play in the season has a sponsor, and that the sponsor of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is St. Paul School.
A lighthearted atmosphere prevailed at the Toast event. Just before the sipping of the champagne, Neubert, who was said to be incredibly superstitious when it comes to toasts, made eye contact with everyone in the lobby in a comical way by purposefully staring.
By way of background, Artistic Director Neubert, who was introduced at the Playhouse on Feb. 27, was born in Colorado. She holds dual Bachelor’s degrees in Performance and Directing, as well as double minors in Voice and Technical Theatre. She also holds a Master’s degree in Fine Arts in Physical and Devised Theatre from Accademia dell’Arte of Arezzo, Italy, with residencies in Berlin, Torino, and Czech Republic. In connection with that degree, she went to Circus School in Torino, Italy.
In the past, Neubert was a university professor of Dance and Theatre Studies, and before moving to Merced she worked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the internationally acclaimed company, Pig Iron.