Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Summoners Ensemble
in association with
Merchant's House Museum

At the Merchant's House

20 Characters, 1 Actor, 1 Hour
Adapted by John Kevin Jones 
& Rhonda Dodd
from Charles Dickens' classic

Performed by John Kevin Jones 
Directed by Rhonda Dodd

John Kevin Jones recreates his outstanding solo performance of A Christmas Carol, directed by Dr. Rhonda Dodd in the intimate Greek revival double parlor of the landmark 1832 Merchant’s House Museum (29 East 4th Street).

John Kevin Jones brings A Christmas Carol’s ghosts, graveyards, greed, and redemption to life in the manner of Charles Dickens himself. Based on Dickens’ personal performance text of A Christmas Carol, Jones and Dodd have crafted a work of captivating storytelling that highlights Dickens’ stunning narrative imagery and wry humor. Like Dickens’ readings, Jones’ performance is “. . . like an entire theatre company . . . under one hat” (author and historian Thomas Carlyle after seeing one of Dickens’ readings).

The Merchant’s House Museum’s elegant and authentic double parlor, complete with original d├ęcor, including gas chandeliers, period paintings, and marble fireplace, will be decked with period decorations of the season, providing the perfect setting for this inspired telling of Dickens’ classic tale. Called “Manhattan’s most haunted house,” by The New York Times, A Christmas Carol’s ghosts could call no better place home.

Come celebrate the season with this unique retelling of a holiday classic, glimpsed through the lens of Old New York. "God bless us, every one."

Ticket Information:

Tickets are available by clicking on the brown paper ticket icon above and to the right or by calling at 1 (800) 838-3066.

Regular performances: $37.50.

Benefit performance, December 12: $100, $150.
$100 for performance and holiday reception, A Dickens of a Party.
$150 for performance, holiday reception, A Dickens of a Party, and one-year membership to the Merchant’s House Museum.

Performance Schedule:

Tuesday, December 3 – Friday, December 6
Wednesday, December 11 – Saturday, December 14
Tuesday, December 17 – Friday, December 20

Regular performances:   7:30pm curtain 
Benefit performance, December 12:  7:00pm curtain

This is a strictly limited engagement and seating is limited.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Maxine Carol Martin Launches CD Fragments and Colors of Me With Benefit Concert November 1, 2013

"...definitely an album where she reveals herself and her great playing and vocals as well..."
Ken Laster of WHUS 91.7-Storrs, CT
Clarinetist and Tenor Saxophonist Maxine Carol Martin will launch her new CD, Fragments and Colors of Me, with a live concert, presented by Summoners Ensemble Theatre, November 1, 2013 at Smash Studios, (307 West 36th Street - 18th Floor) from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.  Maxine brings her original, heartfelt music to the stage with guest, jazz guitarist Sinan Bakir.  Proceeds will benefit Summoners Ensemble Theatre.

Fragments and Colors of Me blends jazz, R&B, and Latin styles.  As well as performing on both clarinet and tenor saxophone, Maxine also provides the vocals on some of her inspiring, unique compositions. Along with guitarist Sinan Bakir, she's joined on stage by drummer Joe Palmer and bassist Matt Dwonszyk.

Tickets may be reserved by donation.
Suggested minimum donation:  $35.00 online - $40.00 at the door

Maxine Carol Martin is a Hartford, CT. resident.  Maxine lived and worked in New York for over 20 years where she performed at many venues including Bar 55, CBGB's, The Bitter End, The Nuyorican Poet's Cafe, Smalls, and St. Nicholas Pub. She has performed throughout Connecticut and with other musicians such as percussionist Abu Alvin Carter, Sr., banjoist and guitarist Jim Mercik, singers Margaux Hayes and Nicki Mathis, drummer Michael Augeri, and bassist Paul Fuller. Maxine has also performed in many International Women in Jazz events with bassists Carline Ray, Miriam Sullivan, and Kim Clarke; pianists Linda Presgrave and Patrizia Scascitelli; drummer Bernice Brooks, and other artists.
Having studied with saxophonists Charles Davis and Kenny Rogers at JazzMobile in New York and with a B.A. in music from The University of South Florida, Maxine was also a music education major at Hartt School of Music where she audited classes with saxophonists Jackie McLean and Paul Jeffries. She is currently a private music instructor in Hartford, CT.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On tour with A Christmas Carol

Here are a few shots we wanted to share from A Christmas Carol's performances in the tri-state and mid-south!

Kevin  and Charles at the Frankel's party in Westchester enjoying a post-performance chat.

Joey and Kevin thanking Ruth for her hospitality. We're so glad she had us back for a second year.
Do we hear a third? 

Guests just after the performance in Hartford give a round of applause for A Christmas Carol!

At the Evergreen Theatre in Memphis, TN, Kevin  talks with Sandy after the first performance.

A Christmas Carol in The Studio Theatre at Theatre Row featured in The Wall Street Journal!

We are so pleased at the success we had presenting A Christmas Carol in the Studio Theatre at Theatre Row on 42nd Street. It was a great kick off to the holiday season!

Our poster in the lobby of Theatre Row!

Wrap a New Present In Fables of the Past
The Wall Street Journal - by PIA CATTON

Going deeper into the characters of "A Christmas Carol" is the mission on another Theatre Row stage, though John Kevin Jones's interpretation is a straight from the text, solo retelling of "A Christmas Carol," presented by Summoners Ensemble Theatre at the Studio Theatre from Wednesday to Saturday.

For Mr. Jones, Ebenezer Scrooge is more than a curmudgeon who changes his life out of a sense of guilt—it's more important that he's motivated by a new desire to do good. "I wanted to see him with his own humanity and experiences," he said. "It's about thinking, 'I haven't done anything to help anyone else and I haven't reached out.'"
His approach is pared down to a set comprising just a table and chair. The props are mimed, and Mr. Jones wears a simple costume that only approximates a period look. In many of the productions he's seen, he said, "there was something about the overblown production quality that took away from what Dickens was trying to say to us."

Keeping things simple also helps illustrate that "A Christmas Carol," though written 169 Christmases ago, offers enduring themes of struggle, generosity and forgiveness. "During the last Gilded Age there was such disparity between rich and poor," Mr. Jones said. "This businessman is all out for himself."

Scrooge can be a businessman, a comedian or a bodega owner, but the moral still works. And if it's a little different every year, all the better.
To read this article in its entirety, click the link below

Sharing success! Rhonda, Kevin, Joey and Sonya enjoying some post-performance glow!

A Christmas Carol makes big impact for some adorable little ones!

Duncan Regional Hospital presented A CHRISTMAS CAROL on December 23, 2012 and the evening was a great success. Proceeds benefited their outpatient Pediatric Rehab program. Here's a few snaps from the evening! 

Emma Harper says merry Christmas! - she was a guest of Duncan Regional Hospital that evening and one of the recipients of the proceeds of the event 

Kevin talks with the audience at the wine and cheese before the show!

The lobby full of festive folks and the holiday spirit!

Caught with his mouth open.... No one is surprised!

The beautiful lobby of the Duncan Regional Hospital's Pavilion.
DRH raised $2,900 which will help them to purchase toys and blankets for the children.

Here are two of the children that will benefit along with their therapists and the Foundation chair - Betty Apple. We're so proud our show could be a part of their mission!

Friday, November 23, 2012

A CHRISTMAS CAROL - Dec. 12-15, 2012

Summoners Ensemble Theatre is thrilled to present John Kevin Jones in his solo performance of A Christmas Carol directed by Dr. Rhonda Dodd. A Christmas Carol will play four performances only December 12-15 at The Studio Theatre in Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street ).

Starting with Dickens’ own performing version of A Christmas Carol, John Kevin Jones and Rhonda Dodd have crafted a work of storytelling that highlights Dickens’ beautiful imagery and wry humor. Summoners Ensemble brings A Christmas Carol’s ghosts, graveyards, goodness and redemption to life with one actor and over 15 characters. A performance and story that is sure to resonate with you and your family long after this holiday season is past.

Click this link to watch our trailer:

Ticket Information:
Tickets are available by calling Telecharge at (212)239-6200, online at or at the Theatre Row box office (410 West 42nd Street). Ticket price is $18.00.

Performance Schedule:
A Christmas Carol plays Wednesday, December 12 at 7:00pm, Thursday and Friday, December 13 and 14 at 7:30pm and Saturday, December 15 at 2:00pm.

John Kevin Jones is a member of Actors’ Equity, The Dramatist Guild of America and is an Artistic Associate of Summoners Ensemble Theatre. New York credits include Jeffrey (opposite Bryan Batt) at Lincoln Center, The Winter’s Tale and The Caucasian Chalk Circle both with the Hipgnosis Theatre Company. Regional: American Stage in St. Pete, Florida (The Pavilion), Arkansas Rep. (Othello), Kentucky Rep (The RivalsAll My Sons, Comedy of Errors), Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, Tennessee (Angels in America, Last Night of BallyhooGross Indecency). Directing credits include A Lie Of The Mind at Theatre Memphis, Revenge of the Space Pandas at Texas Shakespeare Festival and Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Playhouse on the Square. 

Rhonda Dodd (Collaborative Director) is the Artistic Director of Summoners Ensemble Theatre. On, above and behind the boards, Rhonda is an award winning actor, technician and director.  Arriving in New York with over 150 shows under her belt, she made her Off-Broadway acting debut in 1994 with Terese Hayden’s Workshop in Tennessee Williams’ Period of Adjustment. Since that time, besides finishing her Ph.D., she has worked both as an actor and director as part of the New York Independent Theatre scene.  For almost ten years as Associate Director of Circle in the Square Theatre School Dr. Dodd helped young actors at the beginning of their careers both with advice and acting expertise. Still acting in and around New York, Rhonda has also worked regionally including shows with the New Harmony Theater in Indiana and the Hamptons Shakespeare Festival.

Summoners Ensemble Theatre Through development of new works, new productions of older works, and strategic collaborations, Summoners Ensemble strives to nurture and entertain theatre audiences.

Follow Summoners Ensemble Theatre on Twitter: @Summoners and on Facebook.
Follow A Christmas Carol with John Kevin Jones on on Facebook. High-res publicity photos available for download here.