SNAP Musical Theatre is an innovative and creative summer program open to all students entering grades 6 through 10 in Greece and surrounding school districts. In just three rehearsal weeks, students put on a full musical production. Students will learn acting, singing, and dancing skills related to the show. All students who register are in the cast!
With 26 years of middle school musical theater experience, Karl-Erik Jansson wondered whether a summer theater program could be possible in Greece. There was a good chance of interest between the four local middle schools and surrounding districts.
After several years of discussion and with particular support from Chris Sloane (Olympia Principal), Barbara Tomasso (Greece Central School District Assistant Superintendent), and most notably his wife, KayLee, Mr. Jansson and his team launched SNAP Musical Theater in 2014. SNAP was made possible through the generous support of Ed Gartz and his non-profit organization, Seeing Necessary Alternatives Photographically (S.N.A.P.) Foundation. S.N.A.P. was the umbrella organization that allowed SNAP Musical Theatre to sprout. Also instrumental was the Greece Performing Arts Society which permitted SNAP to initially access the Greece District facilities.
The core purpose of SNAP Musical Theatre is to provide a positive and educational musical theater experience to students in and around Greece. This happens through strengthening their skill sets, nurturing their love of the stage, and creating a network of unifying friendships and relationships.
SNAP Musical Theatre is unique among community theater groups in the area. First is its production team. They are hand-picked for their love of working with young people, their creativity, and their vision of putting together a full musical in… well, a snap!!! Next was the diverse range of cast members from many surrounding districts and schools who would come in various ages and with various strengths. Enrollment would happen on a “first come first serve basis,” so anyone could join regardless of experience or ability. A third special facet of SNAP would be returning profits by providing scholarships for families who could not afford the full cost.
2019 Year six began with a search for new digs. The good people at Derech Hatorah and Spencerport kindly accommodated us. Frozen Jr. set all-time records for a single performance and for total weekend sales. This year saw the sad farewell to Jennifer Button as Co-Producer and Board member. Bethany Kryger was elected tot he board and as SNAP's Vice President.
2018 Year five started out with the online expansion of all forms and dedicated email and PO Box addresses. Eric Johnson stepped down as artistic director due to the increasing demands of his job at RAPA. Courtney Larkin was hired as the new artistic director with Valerie Ayers taking over the position of choreographer. Additionally, online ticket sales were made available to the general public. The show was Legally Blonde Jr.
2017 Year four saw the unveiling of a new website. Financial assistance and volunteer applications were streamlined online. Over a thousand dollars was committed towards registration assistance. Most importantly, SNAP Musical Theatre became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The show was Hairspray Jr. at Odyssey Academy. The cast consisted of 80 students (hitting the enrollment cap) and there was a waiting list. Nicole Gabriel and Christian Drew were hired as directors’ assistants.
2016 Year three started a new tradition: the launch party. Many cast members returned along with new families for an informational meeting and to watch the Shrek Jr. video in February. The third show was Disney’s The Little Mermaid at Olympia School. The cast consisted of 73 students and things really took off from there. Jennifer Ward was hired as a production assistant, Collin Hurley and Cayton Heintzelman as interns and Katelind Kuhn as set painter.
2015 Next came Shrek Jr. at Arcadia High School. Although the cast was about the same size as the first year, the production values increased significantly and word started to spread. Maddy Bowen was hired as an intern.
2014 Karl-Erik Jansson (Co-Producer/Vocal Director), Jennifer Button (CoProducer), Eric Vaughn Johnson (Artistic Director), Courtney Larkin (Choreographer), Stephanie Schmidt (Costumer), and Rick Rizzo (Technical Director) made up the original staff. Mike Gaesser volunteered as sound engineer and Jennifer Ward as production assistant. SNAP Musical Theatre began in July with Disney’s High School Musical at the Athena Performing Arts Center. The cast consisted of 35 students.