SLOC Musical Theater | 427 Franklin Street, Schenectady, NY 12305 | Tickets: 518-730-7370
Every month SLOC likes to recognize a volunteer in their community who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. These volunteers can be anyone from actors to set construction volunteers to ushers! We value every person that sets foot in SLOC and offers their time and talent to making the theater a great place to be.
Beth Swallow has worn many hats over her years at SLOC. She is someone who is always willing and able to jump in whenever and wherever she is needed, and we are so grateful to be able to count on her as one of our most versatile volunteers. She served as co-stage manager for our Marh production of The Wedding Singer, as well as attending almost every set build to help with construction, painting, and clean up. She quickly jumped into A Little Night Music and Violet during tech week to help with lights. She was backstage for last season’s production of Merrily We Roll Along. She has run the spotlight, served as props master and, prior to our shutdown, helped to manage the company’s extensive prop collection. While you may not see her face onstage, you can see her work in so many of our productions. We so appreciate her generous giving spirit and constant support of the company.
Mani Velvet McCalmon started her journey with SLOC when she was cast as Babette in our 2015 youth production of Beauty and the Beast. Since then she has been an active member of the SLOC community and given of her time and efforts in a variety of different ways. Whether she is serving as an actor, dancer, choreographer, usher or stepping in to help with a production’s hair and makeup, we are so lucky to have her be a part of our SLOC family. Most recently Mani has become a valued member of SLOC’s IDEA committee, continuously working towards making SLOC a more accessible and equitable space for all of its members. Mani is such a hard working part of our community, and we look forward to working with her for many years to come.
Julie Phillips is one of SLOC’s most supportive cheerleaders. She is producing our final show of the season, It Shoulda Been You, and produced last season’s, Merrily We Roll Along. She has served on our Board of Directors and helped to coordinate several virtual events during our 18-month shutdown. She has been our Sunshine Committee Coordinator and member of the Education Committee. Over the summer, she, along with her nieces and nephew who were visiting from out of state, held their annual lemonade stand and donated 50% of the profit (over $250!) to SLOC (with the other 50% going to Sandy Hook Promises). This is just one example of Julie’s giving and generous spirit. She is the first to volunteer when we need an emergency usher, lends her eagle eyes to proof reading the playbill, and brings her caring, positive energy and light whenever she is here. We are so grateful to have Julie as part of our SLOC family.
Nell Burrows is someone who’s face you may not recognize, as you won’t find her on stage, but who works every day to help keep SLOC’s doors open and the company operational. Nell is our Business Manager, a job which involves making bank deposits, paying bills, handling all rental requests, negotiating our insurance policies, keeping track of all our investment funds, and attending all Finance Committee, Leadership, and Board meetings. Nell was the first-ever appointed Community Board member in 2011 and became the Business Manager in 212. She was then elected to a Board seat in 2014, and went on to serve the maximum of 8 years. She seems to know everyone in the Schenectady community, and has helped us develop and maintain many valuable relationships and partnerships. Recently, she worked with Schenectady County to procure a donation of over two thousand COVID tests for our casts and crews. It is because of Nell and volunteers like her that we can continue doing what we love, and we couldn’t be more thanksful for her.
J.J. Paul has been involved at SLOC for the last six years, starting with our production of Urinetown, and brought with her a wealth of experience in a variety of capacities. She is always the first to arrive and last to leave, and willing to do any job that is asked of her, and even those that she is not asked to do! She currently is not only the Stage Manager and the Properties Designer, but also will be running the light board for the production of A Little Night Music.
J.J. tirelessly completes any and all tasks that help to put on a show, however when not working behind the scenes, she can be seen on stage at any local theater company. If she is not backstage, or on stage, she is present in supporting everyone around her. We are incredibly grateful, not only for her dedication, but her tenacity and unwavering support. Millions of tiny hand claps for J.J. Paul.
Brian Clemente has been part of SLOC since he made his directorial debut with The Wild Party in 2019. He then directed The Glorious Ones in the fall of 2021 and put together the successful and beautifully staged and performed fundraiser production of DOG SEES GOD last summer. He graciously agreed to serve as SLOC’s interim Artistic Director last Winter and Spring, while Trish Scott-Dembling was on maternity leave.
What you may not have seen is the newly redecorated Gwen Fraser Cabaret Room in the Education Building. Brian has put many hours into looking through SLOC memorabilia in our Archive Room, and he has found the best mementos, photos, and artwork from our past, and has arranged them beautifully for display. We thank him for continually volunteering to share his time and talents with us and are grateful to have him as part of our SLOC family.
Lui Levanti is part of the amazing team that painted the SLOC mural on our campus. We are grateful to Lui for being one of the volunteers we can count on to help with whatever is needed. In addition to being seen on stage during our 2018 production of Jesus Christ Superstar, Lui was part of the cast of 2020’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, as well as helping with the painting of that production’s set. They stepped in to help backstage when Merrily We Roll Along put out a call for crew members last season. Lui is also a longtime member of the Colonial Little Theater family, and we are so glad they have shared their time and talents with SLOC.
Rory Alexa has been part of the SLOC family since first appearing onstage in the 2017 production of Cabaret. After performing in Jesus Christ Superstar, Curtains, and In the Heights, Rory joined the other side of the table as costume designer for The Addams Family (doing double duty as a cast member), Ordinary Days, and most recently Once (as well as designing hair and make-up.) Rory is currently serving as scenic artist for this production of First Date. One of most lasting impacts at SLOC is the mural that Rory designed and painted that can be seen as soon as you step on to our campus. Depicting images from our 95-year history, Rory designed this work of art and incorporated the names of our telethon fundraiser donors as a thank you for their contributions to the company. We cannot thank Rory enough for creating this visual reminder of where we have come from and who has helped us to be here today. It truly takes a village, and we are so glad Rory is part of ours.
Katie Fitzmorris has been part of the SLOC family since 2016. Her work as a sound designer and assistant is often thankless. With long hours, sound designers are often the last to leave the theater at night, staying long after others have left to organize, put away and change batteries on microphones. Kate goes above and beyond, attending rehearsals far in advance of the traditional “tech week”. With the additional challenges of COVID and rehearsing in masks, Katie has worked even harder to ensure the cast can be mic’ed early on, helping the process go more smoothly. She has done even more with our current production of Once, a show in which every actor doubles as an instrumentalist. Kate has researched, collaborated, and figured out how to balance the sounds of the vocals as well as multiple instruments per cast member, making it all come together seamlessly. We continue to be ever grateful to have her at SLOC, and we can’t wait to see her back as our sound designer for First Date.
Molly Waters was last seen at SLOC as Grandma in the September 2019 production of The Addams Family. We are so glad to have her back, this time working behind the scenes on our season opener, Once. Molly has worn multiple hats in the production, serving not only as Stage Manager, but as Set Designer and Property Designer, as well. She has volunteered many hours to assist with load-in, set building, and painting. She is often at the theater first thing int he morning to work on the set and is also there at the end of the night when rehearsal has finished. We are grateful for her dedication, commitment, and willingness to jump in wherever is needed to make sure the cast and crew has a great experience.