SNL's Kate McKinnon to Return to North Shore High School for Anniversary Gala, 6/15

SNL's Kate McKinnon to Return to North Shore High School for Anniversary Gala, 6/15

The North Shore Arts Angels are pleased to announce that "Saturday Night Live" cast member Kate McKinnon will be appearing in the upcoming "," a one night only fund raising event celebrating one half a century of her school's drama troupe. McKinnon will be joining over 140 other alumni from North Shore High School on stage to celebrate five decades of Masquers history and raise funds to revive the district's now defunct Summer Theater Workshop on June 15.

"North Shore's Arts Programs gave me not only a great foundation in the arts but lifelong friendships and a place to call home" say McKinnon who is best known best for her uncanny impersonation of Ellen Degeneres on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." McKinnon is a 2002 graduate of North Shore High School where in addition to initiating the school's first improvisation group, she delighted audiences in roles ranging from the troubled chanteuse Cherie in "Bus Stop" to the sassy octogenarian Berthe in "Pippin" before launching on a career that would take her from the stages of New York's renowned Upright Citizen's Brigade to the small screen in LOGO's "Big Gay Sketch Show" before joining the ranks of fellow North Shore Masquers alumnus Michael McKean as a cast member of NBC's legendary sketch show.

As a student, Kate was and continues to be held in the highest esteem by her drama teacher; Masquers director emeritus Jordan Hornstein, who fondly remembers McKinnon as "a young woman of tremendous modesty whose humane outlook and maturity held great promise."

A cast member of "Saturday Night Live" since April 2012, Kate McKinnon has entertained viewers with her notable impressions of Ann Romney, Ellen Degeneres and Penelope Cruz as well as her standout Weekend Update turns as artist Cecilia Giminez and Russian meteor witness Olga Povlatsky. McKinnon's work on "SNL" landed her on Forbes' "30 Under 30" list for 2012.

Prior to "SNL," McKinnon performed with numerous Harold and Maude Teams at New York's Upright Citizens' Brigade Theatre, becoming beloved by the New York comedy community for the three one-woman shows she wrote and performed at the UCB, "Disenchanted," "Best Actress" and "Kate McKinnon On Ice." A native of Sea Cliff, Long Island, McKinnon studied theatre at Columbia University.

Performed concert-style with an onstage orchestra, the "Viking Masquers 50th Anniversary Gala" will honor Masquers founders Bruce Mooney, Robert Hooban and Bennett Lentczner, a renowned music educator who will conduct an orchestra of former students for one of the show's three acts. The event marks the 50th anniversary of the Masquers first independent musical "The Boy Friend" in 1963. The director will be current Viking Masquers advisor Michael Kleba. North Shore bandleader David Soto and former band director Jeremy Kempton will also conduct, and retired vocal music director Stephen Goldstein and current vocal director Michael Kerschner will prepare the vocalists. Over 140 alumni from the past five decades have reunited this spring working together on-stage and behind the scenes to create an unforgettable night of music and memories celebrating over a half century of Masquers history. This unprecedented fundraising event will benefit a special fund dedicated to reviving the now defunct North Shore Summer Theater Workshop, a program responsible fostering the education of numerous professionals working in television, film, theater and music today.

The Summer Theater Workshop ran for 42 before being cut a decade ago due to budget constraints. Losing the workshop during that austerity period was partly what inspired the formation of Arts Angels, the North Shore district's booster club for the arts. "The Summer Theater Workshop was a terrific resource for the community and we are thrilled to join alumni in attempting to revive it. Students will benefit from having additional opportunities to learn all aspects of dramatic arts and the community will benefit from having local high-quality summer Theater Productions to attend."?said Rick Bloom, Arts Angels president and co-founder. The huge effort to behind raising the $35,000 needed to revive the Summer Theater Workshop demonstrates how hard it can be to replace programs once they are lost.

TICKETS - range in price from $20 to $100 with VIP level seating and tax-deductible sponsorship levels available can be purchased online by visiting

NORTH SHORE ARTS ANGELS - Is a fund raising and grant making organization established in 2004 by a small group of parents in the North Shore Central School District to enhance opportunities for students in the fine and performing arts. Arts Angels provides grants to teachers in the music, fine arts and theater departments to fund equipment, services and program support not covered in the school district budget. Members also volunteer their time and expertise to enrich our school arts program. Since its founding, membership has grown to include over 80 families and professionals who share the belief that education in the arts is essential for education.

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