with Elise, Stephen, and Rebecca


January, 2009

Dear Ones,

It’s hard to believe that yet another year has gone by (but to be honest – it’s actually already February!).

We began 2008 with a bit of a scare when Rebecca came home from her semester in India feeling quite a bit under the weather.  She had a battery of tests that nearly drained her of all her remaining blood – but ultimately everything came back clear and we managed to nurse her back to health with lots of rest and a steady diet of bagels and cream cheese.  Once she recovered, we bundled her back off to Berkeley to finish her Junior year in her new home – the co-op Kingman Hall.  The Berkeley co-ops are a brilliant alternative to regular dorms: the housemates do all the work to run the building, in return for which they pay about half the cost of the dorm.  Kingman Hall is like a blast from the past – when you walk into the communal kitchen you would swear you were in a 1960’s hippy commune!  The perfect place for a girl who spends her time either dancing the Lindy, or chaining herself to buildings in protest.

Stephen and Elise hosted another fabulous Gourmet Club meal (CLICK HERE for more details), and Elise did another run of NINE MONTHS (no, really?) at Carl’s theatre in Copake, New York.  Several performances were snowed out, giving Elise and Carl an excuse to hang out in his beautiful lake-front home.

In March, ANMT got a visit from the “rock star” of musical theatre – the brilliant Stephen Sondheim.  To say that this was a “coup” is the understatement of the millenium.  When tickets went on sale six months prior to the event, the website nearly crashed and the hall was sold-out in less than three minutes.  The event was moved to a larger hall – and was still sold-out.  Elise got to be in the car that picked Mr. Sondheim up from his hotel, and drove him back after the event, AND got to sit on stage with him and ask him questions.  What a thrill!  That same month, ANMT launched a new website – anmt.tv – which features short musicals written for the web – including ANMT’s new series of “Guerrilla Musicals” – which are musicals which happen “unexpectedly” in public settings.  Click on the spinning globe in the picture below to check out “The Customer is Always Right” (almost 5000 views on YouTube!) and “I Quit!” – both of which were directed by Elise.

It was, altogether, another busy year for ANMT with the second BIZ OF THE BIZ Conference, the launch of a Concert Reading Series at the Colony Theatre, and much more!

Rebecca spent a busy summer studying in Portugal, while Elise joined the cast of ANMT’s annual 15 Minute Musicals and played five different roles in five brand new short musicals, followed by an outing in a concert reading of the new musical NOW AND THEN A HERO at the Colony Theatre.

As a welcome home present for Rebecca, Elise made a bedspread out of some of Rebecca’s beautiful Indian suits (from Rebecca’s own design), and when Rebecca headed back up to Berkeley to begin her Senior year, she installed the unique bedspread in her new co-op room.  Rebecca was also thrilled to finally land one of the coveted spots in Berkeley’s Jazz Chorale.

The fall brought a visit from the entire Dewsberry clan (Grandma June, Grandpa Art, siblings Bruce, Elise and Fred and their spouses Peggy, Stephen, and Sandra, and the four cousins Rebecca, Adrienne, Lisa, and Cara) and a trip to the beautiful gardens of the Huntington Library; as well as a visit from Stephen’s sister Ellen and her beau Issa.  Also, in November, Elise reprised her performance as “Apostrophe” in the song cycle DER STRUNKWHITENLIEDER, which was written (by Scott Guy) for Elise’s 50th birthday (a while back…).  November was Scott’s 50th – so Scott and Elise performed the piece (check below for a short audio/video excerpt.)

2009 is already off to a busy and happy start – and we wish you all a fabulous year that is already so full of hope and new directions!

Much love,

Elise, Stephen, and Rebecca

Rebecca's blood tests

Gourmet Club hosts

Snowed-in at Copake Lake

Kingman Hall - Rebecca's Co-op

The Co-op Common Room

The communal Dining Hall

Rebecca's Co-op Room (2nd half of Junior Year)

Rebecca chained to a building ...

and dancing the Lindy with friend BZ

Rebecca enjoying Portugal!

A bedspread Elise made from Rebecca's Indian clothing

A room surrounded by windows!

Rebecca's new room in the co-op - with her Indian bedspread!

(Notice how HIGH the bed is!)

The Cal Jazz Choir

Above: Five Faces of Elise ; Right: scenes from 'RED V. BLUE' ; (Click player control at right to view a moment from 'Bone Appetit' as the dogs decide the fate of the cats!)

The 2008 BIZ OF THE MUSICAL THEATRE BIZ Conference; Above: Tony nominated 'Color Purple' composer Allee Willis and Tony winner Jeff Marx (Avenue Q); Below: the ANMT staff demonstrate a feedback session

Above: the Concert Reading of 'Daughter of Beijing' - directed by Elise. Below: an excerpt from 'Der Strunkenwhitenlieder'.

The musical theatre 'god' Stephen Sondheim visits ANMT

The Dewsberry Clan gathers in Southern California! (Back row: Stephen, Elise, Adrienne, Arthur, Fred, Bruce, Peggy, Sandra; Front row: Rebecca, June, Cara, Lisa)

Elise, Arthur, June, Fred, Bruce

G'ma and G'pa with Adrienne, Rebecca, Cara, and Lisa

Cousins incognito

Cousins having tea

The Chinese Garden

The Japanese Garden

Rebecca and her grandparents in Hollywood

A visit from Ellen and Issa

Rebecca and friends head out to celebrate New Year's Eve

So long!