There are big things happening at the Edwin Porter Theater in the Connellsville Community Center.
This winter season, a local man, who recently established his own production company, will be presenting a “Christmas Extravaganza” in the remodeled theater.
Charles Lowery, owner of Charles Lowery Productions, will present the Christmas special Dec. 6 through 8 during “It's a Connellsville Christmas.”
“This show is serving as a benefit event for the historic, recently renovated theatre. I am absolutely in love with this theatre and will continually support the theatre and the center,” Lowery said.
Lowery said auditions for the show are set for Aug. 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 724-562-4585 to make appointments. If unable to make the Aug. 3 date, call to set up another appointment.
Lowery is encouraging local dancers, singers and other performers to audition. Dancers are to come prepared with a choreographed routine with their music.
Singers are to come prepared with a Christmas song with a backtrack via CD.
Lowery has a musical background. He has performed in various productions, including California University of Pennsylvania's “The Nutcracker” from second grade until 2009, its last year in production. He also performed in California University's ballet productions of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Cinderella,” all under the direction of Donna Marovic.
“Reflecting back on my history with Charles, I am very proud of the young man and artist he has become. Charles was always dedicated and hardworking with a charming and gracious personality,” Marovic said.
Lowery was cast as a supporting lead in all three of Connellsville Area High School's musicals during his high school years, 2009, 2010 and 2011. All of the musicals were directed and produced by Henry Molinaro.
Lowery's sister Rebecca Taylor will serve as an artistic choreographer with the Christmas production.
“I am beyond thrilled to have dance back in my life as well as helping my little brother in making his dreams come true,” Taylor said.
“I believe that overall, dance is my strongest suit. My mother exposed me to the dance world when I was 2 years old by putting me in my very first dance class Guys Gym at Kids and Company in Connellsville under the direction of Melissa Shipley. Little did my mom know that I would fall completely in love with dance. Each year started with adding another class. I competed and won the prestigious dance title Mr. Starquest of Lancaster,” he said.
Lowery continued his dance education at Premier Dance Center in Connellsville under the direction of co-owners Rachael Addis and Kayley Blackstone, where he is now a teacher and choreographer.
“Charles always brightens up my day, as well as the classroom. I am happy to have him in my life as a friend and as an employee of our dance studio, as he is a great attribute to our dance family,” Addis said.
”I have always known Charles to be someone who had big dreams and wasn't afraid of chasing those dreams. It brings such joy to my heart to see him going after his dreams. We at Premier Dance Center support him 110 percent in all of his creative ventures and know his full heart is in it. I could not be more proud of Charles, and I am so excited to be assisting him in seeing his dreams come true,” Blackstone said.
California University of Pennsylvania is donating backdrops for the “Christmas Extravaganza.”
Lowery recently opened his own production company.
“As a lifelong resident of the area, it is only fitting for me to open my business here in Connellsville. Dancing, singing and acting have always been my passion, so what better way to share my love for the arts than by opening a production company?” Lowery said.
His studio is located at 121 N. Pittsburgh St., Suite B.
“Most would say that a 20-year-old opening a business is too young, but I am all about getting the arts out and exposing the surrounding areas to theatrical arts,” Lowery said. “My plans are to do ballets, dance galas, musicals and plays.”
His parents are Roy and Beverly Lowery of Dunbar Township.
“I knew the day Charles was born he had star quality in his eyes and would have a bright future ahead of him. I heartily stand behind him in his new journey,” Beverly Lowery said.
Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.
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