Ke ep up with all things theatre--Winter 2018
Welcome to our Quarterly Newsletter!

Executive Director Susan Fenley
From the Executive Director 
OK, it's the dead of winter. It can be cold and gloomy--or not. However, Sundog Theatre is far from hibernating. 
Already this year, Sundog has staged radio play readings, complete with sound effects, on four Tuesday evenings in January, streamed live from (More below.)
We are full-steam ahead on a host of school-based programs - ranging from photography instruction, theatre, chorus, and dance, to art, 3-D Literacy, and Newspaper Club.
We are gearing up for our signature series, "Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry 2018," as well as our popular touring show on immigration, "Ellis Island: Gateway to a Dream".
There are meetings to attend, newsletters to be prepared, and school visits to be made.
There is much going on. I hope you'll take a few minutes to read this Winter edition of our quarterly newsletter. And, as always, we welcome your participation in any number of areas. Just contact us with your interest.
Be well - and with flu season upon us - I mean that literally.
Susan Fenley
Musical Theatre Kids will present this musical
Kids are acting out


What child hasn't been fully enchanted by gifted author Roald Dahl's wonderful tales - from James and the Giant Peach to Matilda, which recently closed on Broadway?
This spring, marvelous Melissa (Tierney), a teaching artist with Sundog Theatre, plans to "take a page" out of one of Dahl's most beloved stories, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," when she and her students in Musical Theatre Kids tackle Willy Wonka KIDS.
Twenty-nine students are enrolled.  Classes meet at the Staten Island Zoo auditorium in West Brighton on Saturdays. The series closes out with Dahl's popular musical.
"I chose Willy Wonka KIDS because it's great to give the children a chance to perform a familiar story with a strong literacy base. Most kids know (and love) the story and now they will have an opportunity to bring their 'world of pure imagination' to life in the unique characters of the play!" said Mrs. Tierney.
Mrs. Tierney has over 10 years of experience in educational theatre with numerous credits as actor, director and teacher.
Theatre Kids class for Spring is also full. Students in this series meet at the Staten Island Children's Museum on Saturdays, starting in March. Each class is 90 minutes long. Youngsters ages 9 to 14 learn a range of acting techniques, plus stage a performance at the end. This year's "fractured fairy tale-style" play is The Trial of Hansel and Gretel by Bruce Berger.
"The Trial of Hansel and Gretel allows students to take familiar fairytale characters out of the story everyone knows, and ask the question 'What if?' The play lets students act out a courtroom trial and the audience gets to choose the ending. Guilty? Or not guilty? It's a lot of fun and full of surprise," said teacher Nikki Lauren.
Ms. Lauren is a member of Actors Equity Association, who has numerous stage, TV, and film credits.
For more about either of these programs, visit and click on the "Classes" tab. Or call 718-816-5453.
Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry 2018
"Scenes" set to return
It won't be long before Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry 2018 docks again at New Dorp Moravian Church Theatre.
Let's face it: This signature Sundog Theatre series could last a lifetime. Some 23.9 million people stepped onto those bright orange ferry boats in 2016 (a record), according to, and every one of those people harbors within them a story or two - or 10.
Each year, since 2002, Sundog Theatre has invited playwrights from around the world to conjure some of those personal tales and work them into a one-act play. 
Sundog has selected six brand new stories for your viewing pleasure, and this year, they will be staged in April.
These plays are a one-of-a-kind presentation that always draws an appreciative audience. After all, any Staten Islander worth his or her salt knows that anything can happen aboard The Boat. That means anything can happen on the stage (family-friendly, that is.)
Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry 2018 will be performed five times at New Dorp Moravian Church Theatre: Saturday, April 14, 8 p.m.; Sunday, April 15, 3 p.m.; Friday, April 20, 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 21, 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 22, 3 p.m.
Make your way to Sundog's website - - for more information, or to order tickets today.
That's right. Six scenes. Five days. All six plays happening all five shows. 
Questions? Call Sundog's office at  718-816-5453.
Ellis Island Cast - 2016
A celebration of immigrants
Given the national news, it couldn't be more timely - a performance about immigration.
Sundog Theatre has been touring Ellis Island: Gateway to a Dream for several years - and 2018 is no exception. 
If you've never seen this production, you've missed a transformative experience. There are six fine actor/singers, memorable songs, and an engaging story line that really appeals to children. 
"Ellis is really fun for me because I get to play seven different characters each with a very specific accent. It's a really endearing piece that immerses the audience into what it was like to immigrate to the US at the turn of the twentieth century," said actor John Scamardella.
"This show is a wonderful way to transport students to another time and educate them about immigration in a way that is entertaining and memorable. That is the beauty and effectiveness of using the arts in education," states Susan Fenley, Sundog's executive director.
Ellis Island will be staged at various locations around the tri-state area between March 20 and April 26. It is not open to the general public, but rather aimed primarily at school students from the ages of 6 through 13.
It will travel to the Berrie Center in Ramapo, N.J., and the Mayo Center in Morristown, N.J. In Connecticut, it will be staged at the Ridgefield Playhouse. Ellis also will perform at United Nations International School in Queens, the College of Staten Island, and three elementary schools on Staten Island.
Interested in booking the show? Call Sundog Theatre at  718-816-5453 .
Photo by Josephine Borgognone, PS 55 student
Councilman visits club he funds
(Siara, 10, is a reporter in P.S. 55's Newspaper Club.)

City Councilman Joseph C. Borelli temporarily joined the Newspaper Club at P.S. 55 on Jan. 30 earlier this year. He didn't stay for the entire class, but he got an idea of what goes on before the presses roll.
Mr. Borelli wanted to see for himself how the Newspaper Club works because he paid about $20,000 to fund the program.
Sundog Theatre developed the Newspaper Club program. It is known as a CASA - or Cultural After-School Adventures. During the 16-week program, students research and write stories, they learn to illustrate newspaper stories, and they learn how to take pictures for newspaper stories.
At the end of Newspaper Club, students produce a newspaper that is 28 pages long, and everyone in the school gets a copy. The name of P.S. 55's newspaper is "The Scoop." This is the second year he has funded the program at P.S. 55.
When asked why he funds arts programs in schools, Mr. Borelli said, "I think you are learning without realizing that you are learning. You're having fun, but there's also educational value."
Executive Director of Sundog Theatre Susan Fenley accompanied the Councilman on his visit. She thought Mr. Borelli was "impressed" when he visited. "Councilman Borelli sees the educational and potential career value this program has for students," she said.
Mr. Borelli represents 170,000 residents on the South Shore of Staten Island. P.S. 55 is in his district.
"I represent more people than live in the city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida," Mr. Borelli told the group.
According to his official website, "Joe Borelli was elected to serve the constituents of the 51st Council District in a special election held on Nov. 3, 2015."
Before he entered City Council, he represented the South Shore in the New York State Assembly, said his website.
The website continues: "Joe served as chief of staff for Councilman Vincent Ignizio since 2007, formerly serving in the same role for Ignizio in the state Assembly since 2005."
Mr. Borelli has a wife named Rachel, and a son named Joseph. He also has an English bulldog named Luna.
To find more information about Joseph Borelli, you can go to .
Radio Plays January, 2018
Listeners plugged into plays from comfort of home
In January, Sundog took to the air-waves to "stage" its annual play-reading series, The Originals. The readings took place at MakerPark Radio, based at MakerSpace in Stapleton.
This year's line-up included the following plays: The Last Prejudice, by Jeffrey Strausser, directed by Ken Tirado; Upside Down, Downside Up, a comedy by Dean A. Benjamin, directed by Paul Smith; Jungle Dining, a comedic romp by Chip Bolcik, directed by Melissa Tierney, and The Hag, a serio-comedy by Thomas J. Misuraca, directed by Mickey Tennenbaum.
The readings, which featured works sent to Sundog from across the nation, streamed on Tuesday evenings, starting Jan. 2 and closing out on Jan. 23.
Gary J. Moore served as Sundog's Foley sound effects artist. The on-site engineer at the station is Tom Ferrie.
MakerPark Radio serves up plenty of programming - everything from cultural offerings to rock 'n roll. It can be live-streamed by tuning into , or through MakerPark Radio's Facebook page. 
Susan Fenley, Executive Director
Victoria Colella, Arts-in-Education Manager
Steve Fehr, Technical Director
Jeannine Otis, Arts-In-Education Specialist
Brooke Haramija, Administrative Coordinator
Charlie Siedenburg, Press Representitive

Jason Walters, Board Chair
Kelly Augustine
Kara Criscitiello
Susan Fenley
Bronwyn Fugate
Marjorie Hack
Jonathan B. Lipschitz
Holly Olivieri
Amanda Straniere
Pablo Vengoechea
Marjorie Hack, Editor
Brooke Haramija, Designer
Susan Fenley, Executive Director
The significance of 'Sundog'
Sundogs are not commonplace; nor is the reason we identify with this atmospheric phenomenon.
Here's why the name is appropriate:
When the sun shines through ice crystals in the sky, a sundog appears.
Sundogs generally appear in pairs, like parentheses,
bookending the sun like companions - or dogs.
Just as sundogs reflect the sun's light, it is an artist's job to reflect humankind.
Look for our next newsletter in the Spring!
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