‘Duets’ concert a fundraiser for Batavia Players
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‘Duets’ concert a fundraiser for Batavia Players

Sep 25, 2015

BATAVIA — Batavia Players’ fall fundraiser at Harvester 56 Theater will be an entirely new endeavor this year.

A cast of 14 performers will take the stage Friday and Saturday to perform an evening of duets, appropriately called “Duets.”

Amanda M. Taylor of Amherst is making her directorial debut, as well as singing a duet with a good friend, Drew Stebbins-Williams of Rochester.

The two met six years ago when they both auditioned for the Batavia Rotary production of “OIiver.” She had heard about the Rotary show while working for Freed-Maxic. At the time, Oliver’s director was Patrick Burk, who founded Harvester 56 Theater and encouraged Taylor to check it out. She has been involved ever since.

She and Stebbins-Williams will sing “Too Much Love to Care” and “I’d Give it All for You” in the weekend concert.

Sarah Lawson and James Barcomb will be singing a song from Batavia Players’ next show, “Into the Woods.”

One of Taylor’s favorite parts in the show is a duet by 11-year-old girls, Murphy McDermott of Appleton and Leah Kania of Albion.

“What’s nice about this show is you will hear a lot of music which hasn’t been heard in this theater before,” Stebbins-Williams said. “It’s a good show which lasts an hour and a half, leaving people time to do something else if they wish.”

The show is not just straight singing, Taylor said.

“We have choreographed dances, several scenes acted out and staging with each song,” she said.

Taylor loves to sing and she loves being part of Batavia Players.

“This is a great group to work with,” she said. “This really is family. You can call on anybody here and they will be there to help you.”

She said how important it is to include children in their shows.

“They are our next generation,” she said. “We have adults in our shows who started here as kids. You don’t get that in most theaters.”

She also praised Burk for allowing her to step in and direct.

“That’s something you wouldn’t get an opportunity to do in any other theaters,” she said.

Stebbins-Williams will get his opportunity to direct a show in the spring.

Kathy White of Batavia is accompanist for Batavia Players and will be at the piano for “Duets.”

Batavia Players holds a fundraising performance every fall, and this one was scheduled earlier than previous fundraisers, because last year’s nearly had to be canceled due to a November snowstorm. Taylor is also in charge of the fundraising committee, and proceeds from “Duets” will benefit their capital improvement fund and an upcoming project to film “Macbeth.”

Performances will start at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door for cash or check.

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