HOPE HIGH “The Cast Part 1” Episode 3

Bregamos Community Theater’s creative process with new youth theater program, The Warehouse Ensemble and original production, HOPE HIGH Class of 84′.

To debut at The Long Wharf Theatre this May.
May 10, 11, & 12, 2013.

Click this link for tickets!: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5918960771/es2005/?rank=1


HOPE HIGH “Testing” Episode 2

Bregamos Community Theater’s creative process with new youth theater program, The Warehouse Ensemble and original production, HOPE HIGH Class of 84′.

To debut at The Long Wharf Theatre this May.
May 10, 11, & 12, 2013.

Click this link for tickets!: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5918960771/es2005/?rank=1

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HOPE HIGH “Play Preparations” Episode 1

Bregamos Community Theater’s creative process with new youth theater program, The Warehouse Ensemble and original production, HOPE HIGH Class of 84′.

To debut at The Long Wharf Theatre this May.
May 10, 11, & 12, 2013.

Click this link for tickets!: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5918960771/es2005/?rank=1

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Levels of Tension

We’re 6 weeks away from opening night and things are really starting to tighten up with the cast of Hope High: Class of ’84. Last Sunday, we had an all-cast rehearsal so we could see how we’re looking as far as the timing of the show and everyone’s performance. If I do say so myself, we’re looking pretty good!

Sharece has introduced a new theater technique to the teens by working on Levels of Tension, a form of Neutral Mask Training. This exercise is about stage presence and showing emotion. This is an exercise done many different ways and called many different things, but the end result is the same. There are 7 levels, or stages, starting with Asleep, where there is no tension in the body and moving or speaking is a real effort. The exercise ends with Stage 7 which is Frozen, the height of tension where emotions are so high that you’re almost literally frozen and petrified by them. The exercise is complex and will take some more time for everyone to feel truly comfortable with it, but I can already see the cast responding positively to this. It’s given the teens a point of reference to call back to while working on a scene.


Director Sharece Sellem Harlem Shakes off some tension with the rest of the cast.

I think we’ve given the cast so many exercises over the course of our rehearsals that they don’t always understand. I’ve taken acting classes at different points of my life since I was in middle school and some of these things get a little…weird. I remember starting each class pretending to be a bee that moos like a cow in 8th grade, or reciting tongue twisters ad nauseum before rehearsals in 10th grade, elaborate stretches where we identify each others’ vertebrae in a college acting class. I often wondered, “what the heck does this have to do with our play?” I never want our cast to feel that way, so Sharece and I do our best to explain why we have them do certain things. They all enhance your presence on stage or provide more training as an actor.

Seeing the cast perform after going over the Levels of Tension was like seeing a light switch go off in their heads. Their performances were kicked up about ten notches and they were so much more comfortable on stage. We didn’t even have to explain the “point” of this exercise because it was clear that they got it. Another piece of the puzzle is coming together!

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HOPE HIGH, Class of 84′ to debut at Long Wharf Theatre!

HOPE HIGH, Class of 84'

Taken from March 18, 2013 Press Release…



Hope High: Class of ’84 will have three shows taking place on Long Wharf Theatre’s Stage II; Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 7:00pm and a matinee on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 2:00pm.

This work is a stage play production written and directed by New Haven playwright, Sharece M.  Sellem. It will be the first production put on by Bregamos Community Theater’s new Warehouse Ensemble; New Haven’s only youth theater program for teens ages 12-19.

Hope High: Class of ’84 tells the story of the students of Cedar City High; an inner-city high school falling deeper and deeper into ruin. The story centers around the school and at Uncle Kang’s Diner, the backbone of their community. This play focuses on love, teen social groups, bullying, mental illness, problems within the public education system and community enrichment. “I’m excited to work with the Warehouse Ensemble to bring my play to life!” Sellem says, “I’ve lived in Cedar City’s world for over 5 years and I can’t wait to bring everyone else into it.”

Sharece M. Sellem is a writer, choreographer and actor. Her most recent projects include being a choreographer in the 2012 production of The Wiz at the Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford and her work as Artistic Director of Writer’s Block Ink Community Arts Center in New London, CT. She was a featured guest on the Colin McEnroe show in March 2013 to discuss her work blending the art of mime with dance.

Established in 2002, Bregamos Community Theater has brought over 15 plays and many workshops to the Greater New Haven area with the mission of providing a space where community members from all walks of life, all ages and all backgrounds can participate in different facets of the theater. In 2008, they made their European debut at the International Community Arts Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

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If you’d like more information about Bregamos Community Theater, please call Rafael Ramos at

(203) 303-7300. For more information on The Warehouse Ensemble, Hope High: Class of ’84, or to schedule an interview with Sharece M. Sellem, please call Tianna Glass at (860) 916-4095 or email her at warehousebct@gmail.com.

Hope High Class of ’84 Promo Video

Check out our first promo video for the May 2013 production of Hope High: Class of ’84!

Written and Directed by Sharece Sellem
Produced by Bregamos Community Theater
Video Directed and Edited by Ali Robins

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The Warehouse Ensemble starts 2013 Off Right!

"The Belles" practice their cheers at Cedar City High on Stage #1

The Belles practice their cheers at Cedar City High on Stage #1

Happy New Year! Since the Warehouse Ensemble started this past October, we’ve had a few minor lows but a ton of amazing highs! Our talented youth cast is improving by the day and since our adult cast started joining us at rehearsals at the beginning of January, they haven’t missed a beat.

On Monday, February 4th, we kicked off the month with a really productive rehearsal. The Ensemble is gaining so much confidence as we go along and I’ve seen some of our cast go from nervous and fidgety to confident and comfortable in just a few short weeks. I’m grateful for all the time that our cast has together to build and learn. Our director, Sharece, has so much to teach these teens that will stay with them throughout the rest of their acting careers and even off stage.

"Jaqi" runs through her checklist on Stage #2

Jaqi runs through her checklist in her bedroom on Stage #2

One of the benefits to rehearsing in a real theater like Bregamos is that the space can be whatever we want. We usually rehearse on one stage in the front of the theater, which works just fine, but requires a lot of maneuvering and imagination after a while. When we arrived at February 4th’s rehearsal, the space was still set up from a previous event held at Bregamos over the weekend. That particular day, there were three stages set up which was perfect since there are three basic scenes we’ll use in the play that will take up the entire stage. The cast really liked it because it gave us all a chance to visualize what this will be like when we’re performing at the theater in May.

D-Roc and Sylvia chat it up in Uncle Kang's Diner

D-Roc and Sylvia chat it up in Uncle Kang’s Diner on Stage #3

We set up some props to work around in the scenes and I noticed our actors really starting to come alive once they saw our set take shape. Afterwards, we were all in agreement that we’d like to keep that set up for the future!

After our main rehearsal, we had some extra rehearsal time with three of our newest cast members playing Cook, D-Roc and Taco along with Bregamos Theater Director Rafael Ramos as Uncle Kang. Their excitement to rehearse was contagious and I think by the end of this thing we’re all going to be saying, “let’s do it again!” like those four kept saying last week!

The following week brought the powerful blizzard that pretty much shut down the state. We ended up missing both of the rehearsals for the second week of the moth. But we dove back in head first on Monday, the 18th rested and ready, a great start as we begin the second half of our journey! The excitement continues!

CASTING CALL: Adults/Teens to fill in diner scenes…Sunday, February 24, 2013 3:00pm

Sunday February 24, 2013 3:00pm
Come down and apply. Stick around for rehearsal to get a sense of the
play. Families encouraged to apply.

Bregamos Community Theater
315 Peck Place. New Haven CT 06510
(491 Blatchley Ave. New Haven CT 06510)

HOPE HIGH, Class of 84′
Play to take stage May 10, 11, & 12 2013

(Adults & Teens)
The Warehouse Ensemble
Local actors
Writer & Director: Sharece M. Sellem
Assistant Director: Tianna Glass
Owner and Operator of Bregamos Community Theater: Rafael Ramos

Hope High: Class of 1984 is based at
Cedar City High; an inner-city high school falling deeper and deeper
into ruin. But the spirit of its student body is thriving within the
walls of the school and the backbone of the neighborhood, Uncle Kang’s
Diner. Throughout the 1983-1984 school year, we see misfits, cliques,
wannabes and those struggling to keep their inner demons in the dark.
But when tragedy hits, they’re all forced to work together for the
greater good of the community. From the first day of school to
graduation, the students of Cedar City High grow in ways they never
imagine.  Their story is about learning to find beauty in the worst of
situations, as well as accepting the unfortunate reality that life has
an ugly side.



The Warehouse Ensemble is newly formed teen theater group with Bregamos Community Theater. We’ve been rehearsing since November and have recently welcomed the adult cast members of HOPE HIGH, Class of 84,’ our upcoming production set for MAY 10, 11, and 12, 2013. We are excited to be performing at Long Warf Theater this spring! To date, we’ve learned warm-up techniques to get our bodies ready for practice, drama exercises that help us develop our characters, we’ve exchanged gifts for secret santa, got our Warehouse T-Shirts, and went to see Shrek! The Musical at Shubert theater. Now its full rehearsal time. We’re switching gears and moving into rehearsals with the adult cast members.

CASTING CALL: We have 5 spots for teenage boys (13-19) to play small roles in HOPE HIGH, Class of 84.’ Please call 860.840.2877 or email Sharece: smsmime@gmail.com to schedule an audition.

BREGAMOS COMMUNITY THEATER ADDRESS: 491 Blatchley Ave. New Haven, CT 06515 REAR (319 Peck Place New Haven Ct 06515)

Cast of HOPE HIGH Class of 84' Photoshoot!

CAST OF HOPE HIGH, Class of 84.’

Cast of HOPE HIGH Class of 84′ Photoshoot!



“Hope High / Bregamos Theater Randallized – Chris Randall”

“I Love Bregamos. Bregamos Community Theater is a labor of love that was started by Rafael Ramos in Erector Square, and Bregamos produces amazing performances which feature New Haven youth. The theater is all volunteer with no budget or funding, yet it provides a super positive activity for kids here in New Haven that also fosters creative expression/development.

“Hope High – Class of ’84” is a play set in a New Jersey high school during 1984, which was written by New Haven’s own Sharece Sellem, and is set to debut in the Spring of 2013. Stay tuned for that!

Here are some photos of the cast that I took while spending time with them this weekend. They are all a great group people. (The names listed in the photos are the actor’s names, not the characters)”

Elvin (17 years old)
Bianca (13 years old)
Diamond (13 years old) 
Nielsen (13 years old)
Ariana (14 years old, left) Angelica (13 years old, right) 
Cinequa Baily (26 years old) 
Jaznelle (*almost 14)
Rafael Ramos
Sharece Sellem
Tianna (29 years old)
Ja’Quann (22 years old)
(left to right) Jaznelle, Madelyn, Ariana, Danka, Angelica, Elvin (front) 
make up by Sharece’s sister, Lanea Sellem
Entire Cast of Hope High