--- Issued April 27

The Erie Housing Authority's  theatrical veteran, Kemoni Farmer, starred April 24 and 25 as one of Joseph's brothers in "Joseph and the Amazing Tecnicolar Dreamcoat" presented at the Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, below, center.


Farmer is not new to "The Boards."

In May, 2009, he was one of 23 performers from the John E. Horan Garden Apartments and the Erie Heights/Pineview YMCA Kids Club who performed in “Who Me? Yes you!” series of life skill skits at the Erie Playhouse.

Farmer was one of the the performers from the YMCA Kids Club Theatre Group.  He was among those who designed their own costumes and sets.

Shown below is Farmer, at left, and Vaqarrie McQueen, right, performing in that show.

In 2008, The Erie Housing Authority received a NAHRO (National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials) Award of Merit in Housing and Community Development for its YMCA Theatre Arts Program. That program began in 2005. The youths involved learn the basics of developing, setting up, and performing in live theatrical productions. Productions have included a summer talent show, The Grinch who Stole Christmas and Sideways Stories from Wayside School.

On May 28, 2008,children from the John E. Horan Garden Apartments YMCA Kids Club performed Lights, Camera, Action! at the Erie Playhouse. That production was a live mix of music, theater and dance. The five acts included a duet of the Beatles "Let It Be" by Tamar Jones and Farmer.

The show closed with skit entitled A Million Cats. The photo below is from A Million Cats with  Farmer as the old man, Marchorshiniq Davidson as the old woman, and Jazlynn Lucas as the cat.


 The cast of that show included 18 youths ages 6-12 from the John E. Horan Garden Apartments YMCA Kids Club.

In August of 2008, the YMCA Theatre Arts Program was a recipient of a Grant from the Arts Council of Erie.

"We truly believe in exposing our kids to the arts to open their eyes to the larger community," said Authority Executive Director John E. Horan.  "It gives them opportunities to express themselves in positive ways. They not only learn how to act, and experience the thrill of that, but they become comfortable in front of people and even learn to sew and make their own costumes.

"I Think Kemonie's continued success into the present exemplifies how our theater program can shape our children as they grow.  I'm sure Kemoni will be successful in whatever he chooses to do in life, whether that includes acting or not."