DERBY LINE/STANSTEAD, QUE. - QNEK Productions, the international theater company in residence at the Haskell Opera House, kicks off its 2012 season with the production of "Ruthless! The Musical," an off-Broadway production. This show has won the New York Outer Critics Circle Award for the best off-Broadway musical of 1993.
Lynn Leimer, founder and artistic director of QNEK, says "Ruthless! is to die for" and she promises that this “clever musical” features upbeat songs and an intriguing plot with twists and turns guaranteed to keep you guessing. “Absolutely no one will be seated during the final 11 minutes of the show.”
Twelve-year-old April Streeter of Barton, a rising star, makes her debut with QNEK. Streeter began acting at the age of five with Vermont Family Theatre where she performed every season. Some of her favorite performances to date with the theater group are "Annie" and "The Wizard of Oz," she said.
She and her mom Michele Streeter always enjoy the QNEK annual productions and Michele Streeter has starred in some of the productions, such as "Bingle Jells," the annual holiday show. April Streeter was impressed with QNEK and dreamed of performing with the group. She tried out for the role of 12- year-old Tina Denmark, a lead character in the production of "Ruthless!" and won the role after capturing the heart of Leimer.
Leimer is also April Streeter’s vocal teacher. “She can really sing,” Leimer said.
Michele Streeter also stars in "Ruthless!" where she plays more than one role. “It’s really cool to spend time together doing what we enjoy,” Michele Streeter said of acting with her daughter.
The two took a class together to learn how to audio describe. This technique involves narrating what is happening over head phones for the blind to enjoy the shows as well.
April Streeter says she gets a bit nervous when she's about to go out on stage but absolutely loves acting and she says she has no trouble remembering her lines, perhaps due to her young age, she said. Tina, April Streeter's character, is a psychopath. When asked what she thought of playing a role of this type, she said she finds it fun.
This musical production is under the direction of Susan Lynn Johns and features music by Marvin Laird, with book and lyrics by Joel Paley. The musical is presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., NYC, NY.
The production also stars Anita Morin of Derby Line and Eileen Kennedy of Newport. Supporting ensemble includes Sally Rivard of Jay, Chloe Bouchard of North Hatley, Que., and a special appearance by Lynn Leimer. Accompanying music is with Janice Gluck on piano, Stephen Laurie on bass, and percussionist Shawn McAllister.
The show opens July 13, 7:30 p.m. and continues, July 14, 20, 21 at 7:30 with the matinee July 15 at 2 p.m. and is audio described by the VT Council for the Blind.
For tickets or more information, call, 802-873-3022 (x205), 819-876-2471(x205), QNEK Box Office 802-334-2216, catamountarts.org, or visit < www.haskellopera.com  and www.qnek.com  >.