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media articles, reviews, press releases for ArtReach plays
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WINTER HAVEN: SHAKESPEARE TO GO!
A Play for
Young Audiences by Kathryn Schultz Miller
An ensemble of teens
performing for their peers at local middle and high schools!
PUBLIC PERFORMANCE: SHAKESPEARE
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
at 6:30 pm
LOCATION: Theatre Winter Haven
TICKETS: $5 General Admission
Co-produced by The George W.
Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Foundation
Please stop by the Box Office
to purchase your tickets!
Presents The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Childrens Theatre Workshop
The Widener Childrens
Theatre Workshop (CTW) performed The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the famed ghost story originally penned
by Washington Irving, on November 3, 4, and 6. Unlike Washington
Irvings or Tim Burtons version of the story, this was
specifically written for a younger audience.
The story still follows the
same basic plot: a middle-aged school teacher named Ichabod Crane
(Brian Harrington) comes to the town of Sleepy Hollow to take a job
as the new school teacher. Ichabod falls for the young Katrina Van
Tassel (Kara Gilbert), a woman whom Brom Bones (Jon Owens) has
already spoken for. Brom wastes no time in telling Ichabod of the
Headless Horseman (Dan Cronin), the ghost who haunts the bridge in
the town. This version deviates the most from the others in the
plays climax when Ichabod meets his demise at the hands of the
Headless Horseman. Unlike other adaptations, CTWs production
contains more comic relief and less scares.
The play, however, was meant
specifically for children and in that regard was a success. The
children in the audience were very receptive, both during and after
the show. "I would ask rhetorical questions and they would
answer, Harrington said of his performance. "Theyre
a lot more receptive. Cronin offered a similar sentiment.
"With adult theater, people are more subdued. What makes it
special for [children] is knowing it played for them. During
the show, many of the children offered more audible cues than simply
laughter or screaming. If there was a plot point, for example, that a
child didnt understand, he would express that aloud.
As a 20-year-old writer,
its difficult to put myself in the mindset of a child and enjoy
it in that manner. However, I agree with the performers that the
children in attendance found it extremely enjoyable. As a college
student, I didnt find the conclusion frightening, but if I were
in grade school, I probably would have. During the shows
confrontation between Ichabod and the Horseman, the audience reacted
the most, both with laughter and screams.
Unlike traditional theater,
this production took full advantage of the building in which it was
being performed. Most theater creates a separation between the
audience and the performers; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow instead
tried to build a gap between the two. During the climax, Ichabod is
chased by the Horseman not just on the stage, but through the isles
and the seats, which allowed the audience to react even more
strongly. To further solidify the union between the performers and
the audience, after the performance the cast took questions from the audience.
To be sure, the response I got
from the cast was that it was equally as fun for them as it was for
the children. "I got a real kick out of making six hundred kids
scream, said a smiling Cronin. Lisa Eckley Cocchiarale, the
director of the play, described it as being an intelligent play made
specifically for kids. If the reactions of the children were any
indication, the play was a success.
Survivor Honored by A Thousand Cranes Cast Members
Post (NC) - March 8, 2014, JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST
Leonard said, "the play means more. Art is not just about
applause. It has a history. Theres a lot of good things in it.
Sadako, and shes Sadako, too.
"It was kind of
like a connection between me and her. Im Sadako, and shes
Sadako, too, says Bayleigh Grace Miller, who plays one of
the parts of main character Sadako in the production of A Thousand Cranes.
Piedmont Players Theatres
"A Thousand Cranes
is the story of a young girl growing up in the shadow of Hiroshima.
But to the young cast members, its become much more than
that. Theyve had the opportunity to meet Yoshiko Otey,
who survived the bombing of Hiroshima.
And in between shows for the
countys fourth-graders this week at the Norvell Theatre, they
were folding 1,000 cranes for her.
When Otey was diagnosed with
lymphoma a few years ago, their daughter sent her a box of tiny
cranes. It meant more to Otey than any words her daughter
The cast decided to do the
same to wish her well.
In the play, the girl, Sadako,
becomes ill 10 years after the bombing of Hiroshima. She wanted
to fold 1,000 cranes, based on the legend that doing so would restore
her to health. She only made 644 before her death, but her classmates
finished for her, making an additional 356 cranes. Today, a
statue in her honor can be found in Hiroshima a cry for peace
JON C. LAKEY /
SALISBURY POST: Fleming Otey helps Vivien Rudisell with her costume.
the part of the grandmother in the Norvell Children's Theater production
At 9 a.m., theyd
performed for a house full of students, all sitting in hushed
excitement, eager to see the 30-minute, one-act play.
Their admission ticket? A
There were already hundreds of
colorful cranes decorating the lobby. Director Reid Leonard
said the lobby would be full of cranes by the end of the week.
Theoretically, he said, the cast could give three people 1,000 cranes
each in addition to the 1,000 they were making for Otey.
"Were in the healing business now, Leonard said.
"Its one of the things this cast never expected.
You never know exactly where a
show will go, Leonard noted. "You just launch it and
hope. Each cast member dropped a completed crane into his
or her own small, plastic laundry basket. The Oteys stood nearby,
looking on with gentle smiles.
Pastor Otey has seen the play
more than once. "Its just as strong each time,
Seeing the play for Yoshiko
Otey has been emotional but healing, she said. "Its been
such a long time. Its like waking up from a dream.
Following treatment, Otey is doing well.
Great Review for A Thousand Cranes
Childsplay, Tempe Center for the Arts
By David Appleford, Phoenix AZ
Sadako was just three years
old when the United States dropped the atomic bomb in 1945. Her
home was little more than a mile from where it fell. Years
later, while training for a foot race with her friend Kenji Sadako
feels a pain which causes her to stumble. Doctors diagnose
leukemia, a direct result of the fall of the atomic bomb.
Sadako is still too young to understand why shes become
affected by something that happened several years ago but her mother
tells her "Radiation doesnt always show up straight away.
When Kenji visits the ailing
Sadako by her bedside he offers her a folded crane as a gift and
explains why. Japanese legend has it that if a sick person
makes a thousand paper cranes then the gods will grant her wish of
health again. Inspired by Kenjis story, Sadako attempts
to reach that number.
Told in just under forty-five
minutes with no intermission, director Dwayne Hartfords
production presents its story with grace, poise and theatrical
precision. Holly Windingstands wonderful looking scenic
design is based on Noh, a form of historical Japanese theatre which
originates back as early as the fourteenth century. Here we
have a raised floor backed by the traditional painted design of a
pine tree all under a raised roof. Stage right stands a sound
station where actors produce sound effects and play drums throughout,
highlighting moments of action and movement and underlining the drama.
Its amazing that in such
a short amount of time, some important themes, issues and traditions
are explored in a manner that cant help but inspire young minds
to want to learn more. In addition to the more obvious themes
of war, the atomic bomb and radiation, there are also examples of
respect for traditions, discipline at home, love of family and pin of
eventual loss, not to mention that many, A Thousand Cranes may even
be a childs initial introduction to the fun of origami.
Like everything throughout the
play, the moment when the bomb drops is handled with taste, style
and, in keeping with the traditions of Noh Japanese theatre, even
elegance. Theres a flash of light followed by a boom of
sound. "The thunderbolt Sadakos father
begins. "It took our friends, it took our home. It
took your grandmother.
Today a statue of Sadako
stands in Japans Hiroshima Peace Park. Once a year
theres a holiday called Obon Day. This is where the
country remembers the spirits of ancestors and close family members
who have passed on. Each year, on Obon Day, Japan plays tribute
to the young girl and other children who died from the radiation
effects of the bomb by leaving thousands of paper cranes by the
statue. Childsplays A Thousand cranes shows why.
is Our Cry - This is Our Prayer..."
Following the play, audiences
are treated to both an Origami family activity plus a brief Q&A
session with the cast. This not only gives audiences a chance
to ask questions regarding Sadako but also about theatre in
general. At the performance this reviewer attended a child
asked Michelle a question regarding D. Daniel Hollingsheads eye
catching costume designs, particularly Sadakos kimono.
Michelle mentioned how long it would normally take someone from Japan
to properly attire themselves of such a complicated outfit, then
proceeded to unsnap Hollingheads clever all-in-one design
illustrating how performers can effectively change costumes in an instant.
If excited comments overheard
in the lobby after the show are anything to go by, this single simple
moment of theatrical reveal was just as inspiring to some as the play
itself. Thank about it. How priceless is that?
-- David Appleford, Phoenix AZ
Day of Theatre for Children and Young People
Uniting theatres, organizations and individuals throughout the world
Did you know that
Childrens Theatre has its own worldwide advocacy
origination? Its called ASSITEJ which stands for
International Association of Theatre
for Children and Young People. They sponsor a global event
entitled The World Day of Theatre for Children and young people, an
ASSITEJ campaign, promoted and celebrated through the message
Take a Child to the Theatre Today.
"World Day campaign
enables National Centres, individual members, companies, arts
organisations, academics, teachers, artists, practitioners and others
interested in theatre for young audiences to connect with the idea of
World Day and make the case for childrens
entitlement to theatre and the arts. Individuals from across the
world are invited to promote the World Day messages and consider
additional activity large or small. Each year ASSITEJ Centres
around the globe deliver activities ranging from conferences,
performances, workshops and special media events, connected to #takeachildtothetheatre.
Learn more at ASSITEJ website: http://www.assitej-international.org/en/
Christmas Wish from Lewis Carroll
To All Child
Readers of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll, 1871
At Christmas-time a few
grave words are not quite out of place, I hope, even at the end of a
book of nonsense - and I want to take this opportunity of thanking
the thousands of children who have read Alice's Adventures in
Wonderland, for the kindly interest they have taken in my little dream-child.
Golfshore Playhouse, FL -
Brandenburg Elementary School, Irving, TX
The thought of the many
English firesides where happy faces have smiled her a welcome, and of
the many English children to whom she has brought an hour of (I
trust) innocent amusement, is one of the brightest and pleasantest
thoughts of my life. I have a host of young friends already, whose
names and faces I know - but I cannot help feeling as if, through
"Alice's Adventures" I had made friends with many other
dear children, whose faces I shall never see.
To all my little friends,
known and unknown, I wish with all my heart, "A Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year". May God bless you, dear children, and
make each Christmas-tide, as it comes round to you, more bright and
beautiful than the last - bright with the presence of that unseen
Friend, who once on earth blessed little children - and beautiful
with memories of a loving life, which has sought and found the truest
kind of happiness, the only kind that is really worth the having, the
happiness of making others happy too!
Your affectionate Friend,
December 25, 1871
JUNGLE BOOK PREMIERES AT MHCC
Mount Hood Community Theatre,
November 12, 2017
Jungle Book," a play adapted for children by playwright
Kathryn Schultz Miller, is being performed by MHCC theatre arts
students for local children to enjoy and be drawn to, making it a
great event for families with young ones.
Borrowing from the book by
Rudyard Kipling published in 1894, the Children's Theatre Workshop
show is about a boy, Mowgli, who is raised by wolves when he is
forced to leave his jungle home in India because of a vicious tiger
who threatens him.
This sends Mowgli on a journey
with a sensible panther named Bagheera, and a humorous bear, Baloo.
He meets many different animals throughout his adventure as they come
together and form one big team and embrace their wild lifestyle.
The MHCC audience will get
taken on an adventure while the Mt. Hood actors transform themselves
into wild animals from the story. The cast seems to maintain strong
focus despite having to account for 400 young children, and the
actors aren't afraid to go beyond the stage as they chase Mowgli
around the auditorium.
Jump With Excitement"
Kaa, Mount Hood's Production
of ArtReach's THE JUNGLE BOOK
Joining in a game of
hide-and-seek, children in the audience will be sure to shout out and
give away any of the hiding actors to the others, making it fun and
interactive. The costumes are colorful and creative as one of the
actors is transformed into a devious python who hypnotizes the other
animals. The set captures the essence of the deep jungles of Madhya
Pradesh in India, with its moving vines, bushes, and shrubs -
something that looks like the theatre students had a lot of fun designing.
There are really fun effects
with lighting that make the walls appear to move with a glow. There's
also a vulture who swarms the audience, making kids jump with excitement.
The show is long enough to
cover the original story, yet short enough to maintain everyone's
attention. The actors seem to bring the better-known jungle animals
to the stage, so no one's favorite animal gets left out. The
porcupine's costume makes the audience gasp as the character appears
on stage showing off its prickly back, and the elephants inspire a
unique costume idea for Halloween next year.
While several weekday morning
performances in the College Theatre are reserved for area school
groups (note: MHCC students and staff are invited to slip into empty
seats), there's one showing for the general public at 2 p.m. on
Saturday, Nov. 18. At the MHCC Performing Arts office, Room
AC2134 on the Gresham campus.
Making of the Jungle Book Poster at Mt. Hood Community College
Mount Hood's Production: Poster Art
Published on Nov 17, 2017
At Mt. Hood Community College,
our Academic programs find unique and creative ways to collaborate.
For example, when the MHCC Theatre program needed some posters for
its fall production of the Jungle
Book, it looked to the graphic design students of the
colleges Integrated Media program. Check out the results for
summer theatre programs marks 13th year
Report, June 24, Grand Rapids Herald Review
of 'Aladdin, Jr.' and 'Kid
Frankenstein' to come to the Reif June 29 and 30
Grand Rapids Players would like to invite the community to their
Summer Theatre Camp productions of "Aladdin, Jr." and
"Kid Frankenstein," June 29 and 30 at the Reif Center.
This year marks the 13th year for the youth summer camp, with 50
campers in the morning session and 30 in the afternoon. This year's
performances are directed by Sharon Marty, Jean Goad, Alese Pomplun
and Chelsey Johnson. This year, in addition to the core (adult)
directors, the Players have welcomed a handful of veteran youth
performers to take on a number of leadership roles behind the
scenes. "These veteran performers are so hooked on theatre
that they pack a lunch and stay all day with us," explained Marty.
on the role of Assistant Directors are Kayla Witherill and Glen Key;
while choreographers include Charli Seelye, Morgan Tinquist, Lydia
Mariano and KelliJo Chandler; and backstage technicians include Mila
Adams and Chaz Adamson. "This camp is fast and furious
music theatre," explained Marty.
camp is fast and furious music theatre."
Frankenstein plays Grand Rapids
40 hours, productions will evolve from script to stage, including
everything in between such as line memorization, blocking,
singing, dancing, character development, costumes, props and scenery.
Included in the three-week intensive are a variety of theatre
experiences in costume design, set construction/design,
improvisation, pantomime, focus, freeze, community-building and
more. "In and amongst all of these theatre education
opportunities, the kids also acquire some great life skills that
include responsibility, accountability, teamwork, self-confidence,
character building and making friends," added Marty.
year, the program includes performances of "Aladdin, Jr."
and "Kid Frankenstein."
Jr." is the story of the beloved Disney classic, of the
penniless Aladdin (Isaac Palacek), who falls in love with the
Princess of Agrabah, Princess Jasmine (Kiira Halvorson), who lives in
the palace with her doting father, the Sultan (Paul Davis).
School Science Fair is coming soon and Frankie (Autumn Brisbee) and
her friend Irving (Bradley Hewitt) are working innocently on their
project in Frankie's basement la-bore-atory. One day, a package
arrives from Transylvania, containing a book by Dr. Frankenstein:
"How I Did It!" Frankie now has the blueprint to create
life from an inanimate object.
day, a package arrives from Transylvania..."
Rapids Players invite the community to their Summer Theatre Camp
performance of Kid Frankenstein
they show up for school the next day, they learn that their teacher,
Mrs. Newton (Evie Adamson) has a surprise for Frankie and his
classmates. Two citizens of Snoozeville are coming to make a
contribution to the science lab: Mr. Spots (Asa Dockter) from the
local zoo is bringing a monkey's brain specimen and Mrs. Magillicutty
(Tori Gunderson) has pickled the brain of her dog, Fluffy.
Newton assigns Helga (Lucy Adamson) to join Frankie and Irving's
group, and the three of them go to work in Frankie's lab to create
life from his dumpster-dive treasures. After foiling the burglary of
the brains of Einstein the monkey, the three put all their found
pieces together, including the brain of Fluffy, flip the switch, and
wait. Nothing happens.
they all head to Irving's house for mac and cheese and, while they
are away, the monster (Andrew Kottke) comes to life and begins
terrorizing the town. Will Frankie be able to tame the monster and
get him to the Science Fair in time?
for youth theater productions will be held Friday, June 29 at 6:30
p.m., and Saturday, June 30 at 2 p.m., at the Reif Performing Arts
Center in Grand Rapids. General admission tickets are $7 and are
available one-hour prior to each performance. "Aladdin, Jr."
is produced with permission from MTI, Music Theatre International,
NY, N.Y. "Kid Frankenstein"
is produced with permission from ArtReach Children's Theatre Plays,
The Thousand Paper Cranes @ Riverside
The Boys and Girls Club of East
February 2 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Teens
from Rumford Dance Theater will tell the story of a young Japanese
girl who becomes ill and attempts to follow an ancient legend of
folding a thousand paper cranes in order to get well. Kids will
make their own paper cranes at the end of the performance.
This Saturday - Take Your Child to the Library
Day! Search the Children's Room at either the Weaver or
Riverside Library to find the ever-elusive Waldo and his pals. Each
participant will receive a small prize. Also, at 1:00, teens
from Rumford Dance Theatre will present the play "Sadako
and the Thousand Paper Cranes" at the Riverside Library.
Kids will make their own paper cranes at the end of the performance.
This is for families with children ages 5+.
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