THANKS Giving Week 2!

Here's the summary of THANKS Giving Week 2!  Send these amazing folks your love and be sure to say hi next time you see them!  (If you want to keep up every day, take a minute to "like" us on Facebook for regular shows of gratitude!)

Denise Sao Pedro
- When Denise loves you, you are always aware of it.  Her giant heart and bounding enthusiasm are a constant source of encouragement to all of us.  Since Nikki worked on her first project with Monkeyhouse over six years ago we have loved having her mom as part of the Monkeyhouse family.  She is an eager and articulate participant at SKORTs, an engaged audience member, and fabulous volunteer. Thank you for being such a rockstar, Denise!
Susan Warnick - I’m guessing Susan is asked to host or emcee more events than any one person could ever do, so Monkeyhouse was thrilled and honored when she agreed to be a judge for the Your Just Desserts Bake Off last year.  Hailing from Natick herself, Susan is constantly giving her support to causes, groups and organizations that are doing good in the Natick area.  She has a giant heart and we thank her for sharing some of it with Monkeyhouse!  Next time you see her around town send her some love from Monkeyhouse!

Seven's Not Enough - Nicole has been working for Natick High School almost as long as she has been part of Monkeyhouse.  She has loved watching her students grow and take on new challenges over the years.  When they started a student run a capella group a few years back she was excited to find ways that Monkeyhouse could help the group find new opportunities.  In the past few years they have performed at events and even collaborated with another youth company in town (TAProject) to create a whole new piece for Against the Odds.  Seven’s Not Enough has allowed for a whole new generation of young artists to create and show work and they never shied away from cross disciplinary challenges.  This exceptional group of performers has been an inspiration to Monkeyhouse and the other groups they’ve worked with.  Thanks for sharing your art with us!

David Makransky - David joined NHS Drama his freshman year as an eager, excited young actor, ready to take on the world.  As he progressed through the program his enthusiasm only grew and he was always willing to take on any challenge Nicole threw his way.  When she came up with the idea of creating a work/study internship for young actors looking to expand their dance education, David was one of the first students she thought of.  During his time as an intern David was an active contributor to the newsletters and blog, volunteered at events and took the lead on collaborations with Seven’s Not Enough, the student run a cappella group at his school, and TAProject for Against the Odds.  Thank you, David, for being a part of Monkeyhouse!  We love you!

Gail Fine (by JK Photo)
Gail Fine - Better known as “Auntie Gail”, Gail has been a cheerleader for the members of Monkeyhouse (and her favorite niece (Don’t tell my cousins!), Nicole) since the early days.  She has shared her Thanksgiving table with Amelia, was on the committee for Your Just Desserts both years and helped arrange the reception after services for the Krolak family last summer.  She’s a great example of how Monkeyhouse helps to build community.  Her investment goes beyond the organization to support the individual members she has gotten to know over the past decade.  Thank you, Gail!  Monkeyhouse Loves You!

Mara Blumenfeld - Mara once transformed Karen into a killer chicken using only a few silk rags, a sports bra, and a kickass mask. (Oh, yes, somewhere there are incriminating photos.) Admit it, that alone is a great reason for Monkeyhouse to love her. As it turns out, though, she is also the reason that Karen purchased the iconic Princess Pamplemousse hat. It was originally intended for a Lookingglass Production called The Zoo King when Karen was Mara’s assistant costume designer. Oddly enough, Mara is also responsible for getting Karen hired at Impulse Dance Center. When LuAnn Pagella noticed a crushed lilac chapeau meandering around in the hallway, she stepped out of class and introduced herself to Karen. Without that birthday gift from Mara, LuAnn would never have offered the crazy lady a job. Mara is a member of the Tony Award winning Lookingglass Theater Company and somehow still finds time to bounce around designing for productions in Chicago, Portland, Boston, Princeton, Berkeley, New York, Italy, England, and Japan (I think that is just where she is going this year!).  We  love you Mara,  wherever you are!

Courtney Wagner (by Al Cripps)
Courtney WagnerI first saw Courtney at the Boston Dance Alliance’s Open Call Auditions but I didn’t know she belonged at Monkeyhouse until 86 seconds in to her first Musing with the company in the courtyard outside the Multicultural Arts Center. That is when the convicts in the Cambridge jail started shouting colorful advice about how she could make the improvisation more exciting for them. (Ask Nikki Sao Pedro for some of the specific suggestions those men shouted.) Even though Courtney could have dropped that bottle off of her head, easily darted over to Lechmere station, and avoided ever seeing us again, she did not break her concentration. She didn’t start laughing or dissolve into a puddle of tears. She just kept dancing. In that moment, I realized that she was uniquely qualified to pick up glass shards with tweezers while being tied to Nikki for the inaugural Dance in the Fells festival. Witnessing her resolve under pressure, I know she will be a fabulous Physician’s Assistant when she finishes her degree this spring. We are so fortunate that she is part of Monkeyhouse and our lives! Thanks, Courtney!

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