Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater in Middletown has announced its winter 2019 programs in the arts for young people ages 6-20. Programs begin in early January and range from classes in theater, music, and visual arts to mainstage theater and circus productions.
Oddfellows has been offering fun and challenging theater and circus experiences to central Connecticut young people since 1975, and has consistently been recognized by Connecticut Magazine as the State’s “Best Children’s Theater”.
This winter the Playhouse will be offering young people of all ages opportunities to create, train and perform. Programs for teenagers include the Middletown Teen Talent Search, the Teen Repertory Company and Circophony Teen Circus.
The Middletown Teen Talent Search will be held on Saturday, January 19 and is open to Middletown young people ages 12 – 19. The event will be hosted by Connecticut State Troubadour Nekita Waller and the top act will win a cash prize of $500.
The Teen Repertory Company, the Playhouse’s senior company for ages 14 -20, is developing an original, ensemble-created performance piece with music and dance this winter and spring. This Is Important: An Ensemble Creation Experience, offers five winter workshops in which students will develop text, movement and music based on their own experiences of navigating contemporary life as a teenager. The work will be developed into an original, mainstage show which will have auditions in March and be performed in May.
Circophony Teen Circus, open to ages 12 – 19, is a collaboration between ARTFARM and Oddfellows Playhouse and will be mounting a mainstage production this winter called Circus Botanicus. Auditions are January 8 & 9 and performances will be March 21-23. Circophony is open to all teens, regardless of circus experience, though a background in gymnastics, dance, theater, parkour, improvisation or any physical discipline may be helpful.
Middle School students and home schoolers are served by the Junior Repertory Company (ages 12-14), which will be producing the classic Italian comedy The Servant of Two Masters. A feast of slapstick, disguises, mistaken identity, misguided romance, rebellious teens and clueless parents, auditions are January 10 and the show will hit the main stage March 14 – 16.
Ages 12 – 14 may also join our weekly Improv Jam, held on Saturday mornings starting January 19 and run by Carmine Lavieri.
Young people ages 6 – 11 are offered a host of classes in the after-school hours Monday through Thursday. Classes for ages 6 – 8 include Stories from the Middle East, Junior Circus, Creating Characters and Slapstick & Clowning. For ages 9 -11 there is Circus Arts, a visual arts class called Beads, Baubles, Boxes and Beans, Scene Study, and a Mini-production (which rehearses two afternoons per week) called Fairytale Fantasy. All classes and the mini-production begin the week of January 14.
Middletown Public School students ages 6 – 14 can sign up for Oddbridge, an extended-day program in which students take the bus directly from school to Oddfellows and participate in an hour of Arts Programming before formal classes start at 4:30pm. Oddbridge is designed to take you from the school bus to performing arts classes, while preparing you for successful class and production experiences.
The winter program at the Playhouse also features Le Petit Studio, conceived and directed by Congolese theater artist Toto Kisaku. This unique theater experience is for kids ages 8 – 14 and their families. The class will be from 10 am to noon on Saturdays January 26th, February 9th and February 23rd; students may sign up for one Saturday or all three.
Oddfellows programs are tuition based, but the Playhouse is committed to making these experiences available to every young person, regardless of ability to pay. Please refer to the website for financial aid information.
For details about any of the above programs and more, including tuition and financial aid, or to register, go to www.oddfellows.org or contact Oddfellows at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (860) 347-6143.
Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street in downtown Middletown. Oddfellows Playhouse is Connecticut’s oldest and largest youth theater, founded in 1975 with the mission to promote the growth of young people – in skills, knowledge and self-confidence – through the performing arts. Playhouse programs are made possible due to generous support from the United Way of Middlesex County, Middletown Commission on the Arts, Fund for Greater Hartford, Community Foundation of Middlesex County, Liberty Bank Foundation, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, Middletown Youth Services Bureau, Connecticut Office of the Arts, the Atkins Fund, and the Stare Fund.