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Lightning House Players to Present Streamed Reading of Original Show THE GLASSBLOWER'S DAUGHTER

THE GLASSBLOWER'S DAUGHTER features book by Zareh Artinian, Jr and music and lyrics by Kelvyn Koning.

Lightning House Players to Present Streamed Reading of Original Show THE GLASSBLOWER'S DAUGHTER

Lightning House Players, a newly formed local theatre company in Quincy, Mass., has announced plans to stream a reading with music of an original show this October. This represents an ambitious undertaking as they switch plans away from a live theatrical premiere in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In retrospect, it seems that Lightning House Players choose the wrong year to launch our inaugural production," said Lightning House founder and playwright, Zareh Artinian, Jr. "However, we are committed to bringing this inspiring tale to our audience, and the streamed reading is a great opportunity for people to be introduced to this new work."

The new work is an original, two-act musical entitled "The Glassblower's Daughter," for which Zareh wrote the book, with music and lyrics by local composer and musician Kelvyn Koning, a graduate of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee School of Music.

The musical's story is "about fighting adversity," Kelvyn says. "It's an inspiring story, especially for people who feel they are up against insurmountable odds."

To reduce the likelihood of technical glitches, such as connection delays or disconnections, that may come up during a live streamed event, Lightning House Players plans to record and edit all dialogue and music in advance.

"We have a cast of 20 performers, and it would be impossible to have them all singing in unison live while each streams from their remote locations," Zareh said. "In some ways, it's more like producing a movie than a stage show."

In order to produce and stream the show, Lightning House Players reached out to Jay Psaros, owner and operator of PB and Jay Records of Scituate.

"The pandemic has certainly been one of the biggest challenges of my career," says Jay. "The studio is a relatively new venture for us, but in a way, has proven to be a saving grace as so much of the market has moved to streaming and online content. As challenging as it has been, there have certainly been many upsides to it as well. We have developed an in-house ability to run professionally shot and recorded streams and expanded our role into media not related to music."

Kelyvn adds that they also had to figure out "how to rehearse and record group songs virtually, how to perform and record in a safe manner. We've decided to rehearse songs online with smaller groups, and record as individuals or socially distant pairs, cleaning the space and equipment between recording sessions."

Most of the cast members are either students or recent graduates of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music. One of Lightning House Players' mission goals is to provide a space for new and emerging talent to apply their skills.

Lightning House Players is not only responding to the pandemic, but also to recent calls for more inclusion of members of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community in theatre. Zareh has downloaded and read the BIPOC Demands for White American Theatre released by the We See You White American Theatre collective. As a start-up theatre company, many of the demands regarding financial arrangements and assumptions of having a robust production staff don't necessarily apply. However, where they do apply, Zareh is committed to doing what he can.

"From its onset, our mission has focused on producing works of theatre for social justice that uplift and inspire people," Zareh says. "I've been thinking of the phrase 'beyond color-blind casting' as a guiding principle. Casting a person of color as Tevye in 'Fiddler on the Roof' might help a particular actor get a role and be included in a production they might not otherwise be, which is good, but it does little to actually bring new voices and perspectives into theatre at different levels of a show's production."

Kelvyn's goal is "to foster empathy, healing, and social justice for individuals and communities through music." "The Glassblower's Daughter," with its message about finding and using one's voice to speak out against injustice, is the perfect show to demonstrate Lightning House Player's main mission.

Lightning House Players has been posting updates about their production online. You can follow their activities at, as well as on Facebook.




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