Easton Middle School’s Presentation of “Peter Pan” Supports the Mission of Talbot Humane Once Again!
Stage and Screen Star to Appear in Easton Middle School’s Production of Peter Pan
This year Easton Middle School will be presenting the musical Peter Pan under the direction of Richard A. Vitanovec. Vitanovec, who has a BA in Acting, a BA in Directing, and his teaching certificate from Lycoming College and his Master’s Degree in Theatre Production from Central Washington University, has always strived to give the students at Easton Middle School the most professional, top-notch theatre experience possible. He has created a theatre community where not only middle school students can participate, but also elementary and high school students. This production of Peter Pan includes over 40 students as well as Talbot County Public School faculty.
Last year, NBC aired a production of PETER PAN LIVE that starred Allison Williams as Pan and Christopher Walkin as Hook. For the first time ever, a real dog was used to play the role of “Nana”, the Darling’s dog-nurse. Typically, this role is played by an actor in a dog costume. Bill Berloni, known for being one of the best dog trainers for Broadway and Hollywood, trained his rescue dog, Bowdie to play the role. Wanting his students to have as much of a professional experience as possible, Vitanovec contacted Mr. Berloni in hopes that he could help him with “Nana” for the Easton Middle School production. Berloni has trained dogs for years for Broadway and Hollywood. He provided one of his canine actors, Mikey, for last year’s EMS production of Annie. Mr. Berloni graciously agreed to bring Bowdie to reprise his role as “Nana Darling” in Easton Middle School’s production at the end of January. Although only the second time a real dog has played Nana in the musical, this will be the first time that a real dog has done it live on stage for an audience.
Bill Berloni found Bowdie in 2014 when his family could no longer keep this smart, energetic dog. He began training to be Winn Dixie in a production of BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE THE MUSICAL at the Delaware Theatre Company in the spring of 2015. Along the way, he was cast as the first dog to ever play “Nana” in PETER PAN LIVE on NBC. After performing in Delaware, Bowdie was cast in a music video and several television shows.
Mr. Berloni is a 2011 Tony Honoree for Excellence in Theatre and 2014 Outer Critics Circle award for Special Achievement. Broadway: THE AUDIENCE with Dame Helen Mirren; LIVING ON LOVE; BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, LADY DAY AT THE EMERSON BAR AND GRILL; ANNIE (original and all revivals), A CHRISTMAS STORY THE MUSICAL, LEGALLY BLONDE, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE, CAMELOT, FRANKENSTEIN, THE FIRST, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, OLIVER!, ANYTHING GOES, NICK AND NORA, THE WIZ, (20th Anniversary revival and City Center 2009) THE WIZARD OF OZ, DINNER AT EIGHT, DOUBLE FEATURE (NYCB), THE WOMAN IN WHITE, AWAKE AND SING and THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE.
Mr. Berloni is the Animal Director of the new musical BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE with music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Nell Benjamin. He has trained animals for hundreds of Off-Broadway, regional theatre, tours, television and movies. Recent films include Sandy in the new movie of ANNIE starring Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. Other television includes POWER, BILLIONS and MR ROBOT. Mr. Berloni and his family are the subjects of a new docu-series entitled WAGS TO RICHES WITH BILL BERLONI on the Discovery Family Channel that premiered in August 2015. He is the author of BROADWAY TAILS, DOGA and SANDY THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A STAR. He is also Director of Animal Behavior at the Humane Society of New York.
It is an amazing opportunity and experience these students will have working with someone so highly accredited in the professional theatrical world. Sharing the stage with an experienced canine theatre star is something these students won’t forget for a long time.
Come see stage and screen star Bowdie as “Nana” in Easton Middle School’s production of Peter Pan. Performances are January 22, 23, 29, 30 at 7:00 pm and January 24 at 2:00 pm.
“NANA’S PANTRY”- Bring 4+ cans of cat or dog food or a bag of cat or dog food to the show and you will be entered in a raffle for a special prize. The cat and dog food will be donated to Talbot Humane to help all the rescued animals that find their way there.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at Easton Middle School, Crackerjacks, Little Rascals Consignment Shop, Reesers’ Pharmacy, and Rise Up Coffee Roasters on Dover St.