Theater Opportunities for Children of All Ages

Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater is pleased to announce its second Fall 2012 Session will begin the week of October 29.

Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater is pleased to announce its second Fall 2012 Session will begin the week of October 29.  The youth theater, which provides afterschool and weekend theatrical programming, is excited about the overhaul in program offerings and expansion of the second fall session.  Oddfellows’ programs use theatre as a vehicle to build essential life skills, while exploring highly educational and artistic themes and plays. 

“We asked our families and students for input on what Oddfellows was offering them and what they wanted to see added.  We have classes offered nearly every day of the week and all morning on Saturdays in order to provide an opportunity to fit into a family’s busy schedule,” said Executive Director Matt Pugliese.   Classes are offered Monday through Thursday from 4-7pm and Saturdays for students K-8. 

There are also more classes that explore areas outside of traditional acting.  New class offerings focus on musical theater, improvisation, circus skills, audition coaching, directing, technical theater, and playwrighting.  

Classes for the Little Fellows (ages 3-4) include Magic Suitcase Adventures and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt!  First Act (Grades K-1) offers Creative Drama courses themed around children’s books and adventures such as Dinosaur Adventures,  Angelina Ballerina, and Goodnight, Gorilla.  Story Starters (Grades 2-3) encourage creative expression and promote confidence, self-esteem, and communication.  Once a week classes focus on skill building, while classes that meet twice a week short productions put those skills into action.  Short productions include Alice in Wonderland, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Kids Company (Grades 4-5) is the stage that students begin to focus more on skills and techniques.  These courses help develop the next set of vocal, physical and emotional skills.  Short productions of The Polar Express  and The Nutcracker!  Sweet! will be offered.  A class in the Fundamentals of Musical Theater is offered on Saturdays.

The Junior Repertory Company (grades 6-8) offers skill based workshops throughout the week. A musical theater dance class on Wednesdays helps students build around dance and acting as storytelling devices.  Musical Theater Cabaret will put together select complete numbers on Saturdays.  More skill based classes for the aspiring young thespian such as Classic Scene Study and Improve Your Audition Skills are offered as well. 

The Teen Repertory Company (grades 9-12) is an opportunity for adventurous, committed teenagers to experience cutting-edge theater in a supportive, challenging and non-competitive environment.  The company takes on mature, thought-provoking work with bold energy and high artistic standards.  Skill building classes and private coaching are available as well.  Courses in directing and playwrighting are featured this fall. 

A full list of program offerings and public performances can be found online at www.oddfellows.org.

Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street, Middletown.   For more than 35 years Oddfellows Playhouse has been more than just a performing arts program.  It aims to make a positive difference in the lives of 1,500 young people each year by using the arts as tools to build self-confidence, communication skills, a sense of responsibility, and an appreciation for the richness and diversity of the world in which we live. 

Oddfellows programming is made possible through the generous support of the the City of Middletown CDBG Scholarship Program, the CT Department of Economic and Community Development, the CT Department of Education, CT Humanities, Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Fund, Elizabeth Carse Foundation, the Fund for Greater Hartford, the George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, the Irving Kohn Foundation, the J. Walton Bissell Foundation, Liberty Bank Foundation, Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Middlesex County Community Foundation, Middlesex United Way, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, Middletown YSB, the National Endowment for the Arts, Northern Middlesex Cable Advisory Council, Pratt & Whitney—Middletown, Price Chopper Golub Foundation, the Stare Fund, Stop and Shop Foundation, Thomas J. Atkins Foundation, Triple Frog and WESU (88.1FM).

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