St. John’s Conservatory Theater (SJCT) will present their all-original musical THE ORCHARD OF HIDE & SEEK at the newly renovated million dollar Ogdensburg Free Academy Auditorium this coming June.

“This is a perfect opportunity,” explains SJCT’s Artistic Director Richard O’Donnell, “As our productions already showcase a predominantly school-aged cast. In that regard, performing at the OFA Auditorium accomplishes our goal to create educational, inspirational, and professional opportunities for local talent by expanding that experience tenfold.”

THE ORCHARD OF HIDE & SEEK, with a book, music and lyrics by O’Donnell, is a family-friendly comedy about Queen Gossamer and her eclectic tribe of fairies and pixies that inhabit the old apple orchard overlooking the St. Lawrence Sea. As they prepare for their spectacular seasonal celebration, the children from the area are also planning their annual game of hide and seek. However, trouble ensues as Capt. Jean-Pierre Beunet, his malevolent pirates and Ophelia, Delia, and Vermilia, the evil Witches of Hubbub, plot to take over the entire Orchard for themselves.

This is The Wizard of Oz meets Peter Pan Tim Burton-style,” says Musical Director Angela Conzone Dwyer, “And the OFA state-of-the-art facility will allow us to present the musical in all its technical splendor.  It’s a rather large cast, too, about 30 actors, dancers, and singers, so that adds up to a lot of flashy costumes, splashy production numbers, and toe-tapping musical numbers. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”

SJCT’s 4th Season at the OFA Auditorium will open with THE ORCHARD OF HIDE & SEEK June 16 for a two-week run. KREEPY HOLLOW, based on Washington Irving’s classic Sleepy Hollow will open in October and then their adaptation of the Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol returns in December.

“After Mike Myers, who is on the OFA School Board, made the original pitch to us,” explains technical director Christopher Dwyer, “And once the Board and Superintendent Mr. Timothy M. Vernsey gave the greenlight, it’s been quite an amazing journey. As the theater was renovated to serve the needs of the community and the OFA students, adding our theater company into their already stellar mix is a more than perfect fit.”

SJCT principal creative staff includes Producing Artistic Director Mr. O’Donnell, Musical Director and Choreographer Angela Conzone Dwyer, Arranger and Orchestrator OFA Senior Ryan C. McNally, Scenic and Prop Designer Stephen Chambers, Costume and Makeup Designer Karen Fischbeck (Heuvelton), additional Costumes by Ann Losurdo (Oswego) and Heron Hetzler (Potsdam), Technical Director and Production Coordinator Christopher Dwyer, Stage Manager Shelly Murdock, and Props Master Tonya Ott. Collectively they have over five decades of professional theatrical and academic experience including regional, stock, bus and truck, off-off-Broadway, off-Broadway, and Broadway stages.

Other vital SJCT personnel includes Host Michael O’Donnell, House Manager Sheila LaMere, General Manager Bill LaMere, assistant Technical Director Ryan Woodard, assistant Props Emma Murray, and assistant Costumer Hannah Gardner.

Tickets go on sale in mid-May and will be available electronically at for $10.00 (under ST. JOHN’S CONSERVATORY THEATER) or at the door the night of the performances for a suggested donation of $15. For more information, please visit St. John’s Conservatory Theater’s Facebook page:

Photo (L-R) General Manager Bill LaMere, Costume & Make-up Designer Karen Fischbeck, Producing Artistic Director Richard O’Donnell, Arranger Ryan C. McNally, Sponsorship Director Ryan C. Woodard, Technical Director/Production Coordinator Christopher Dwyer, Executive Music Director/Choreographer Angela Conzone Dwyer, and Set & Prop Designer Stephen Chambers (not shown Michael O’Donnell, Shelly Murdock, Sheila LaMere, and Tonya Ott.)


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