May 24, 2007


Oddfellows Playhouse Traveling Circus, now in its fourth season, presents two special performances of its current show, Seven Suitcases, a Trunk and an Egg, on June 1 at 7 and 9 pm. The 7 pm show is a benefit to help Traveling Circus members attend the American Youth Circus Festival in Normal, IL in August 2007.

Seven Suitcases, a Trunk and an Egg is the story of 7 eccentric clown characters on a journey which starts with the birth of a clown and goes all the way to circus paradise. Along the way this motley and diverse crew finds romance, adventure, conflict, and, ultimately, joy. The 45-minute show, which is appropriate for all ages, features juggling, contortion, unicycling, acrobatics, stilt-dancing, and loads of side-splitting character comedy and slapstick.

Under the direction of Dic Wheeler, assisted by Amy Richmond-Prchal, the 6 members of this season’s Traveling Circus ensemble are all between the ages of 13 and 19 and are veterans of the Children’s Circus of Middletown. These young performers exhibit a professional level of circus skills that will astonish audience members unfamiliar with top-tier youth circus.

Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street in Middletown. Tickets for the 7 pm benefit show are $50 for Ringmaster seats, $25 for Sponsor seats, and $10 for general admission. Ringmasters and Sponsors will get reserved seats and a listing in the program. Tickets for the 9 pm “Roustabout” performance are all $5. For reservations or more information, call Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143.

May 21, 2007


There are still a few places left in Oddfellows Playhouse Summer Shakespeare Academy, an intensive 4-week Shakespeare-in-Performance program for high school students. The program runs from July 2-28, 2007 and culminates in 3 mainstage double-bill performances of Othello and Much Ado About Nothing. Directed by Playhouse artistic director Jeffery Allen, the Summer Shakespeare Academy offers a challenging, fun experience for teenagers throughout central Connecticut.

Oddfellows Playhouse is Connecticut’s oldest and largest youth theater with a 32-year history of artistic excellence. The Summer Shakespeare Academy meets weekdays, 9 am to 3:30 pm, starting Monday, July 2 and combines rigorous actor training directly connected to the performance of full-length Shakespeare plays. The first week will focus on acting and movement, stage combat, text analysis, and understanding Shakespeare’s historical and cultural background. At the end of week one, students will be cast into parts for Othello and Much Ado About Nothing. Each participants will get a substantial role in one of the productions. Weeks 2 and 3 will be split: mornings will feature additional training and special rehearsals to support the production and afternoons will be dedicated to rehearsals. Week 4 will start with technical and dress rehearsals, followed by a 3-show run on July 26-28.

The Academy is open to anyone ages 14 to 18 who has completed 9th grade. Enrollment is by application and audition. Auditions are by appointment. To audition, students should prepare a short Shakespeare monologue from 12-20 lines. It must be memorized.

The Summer Shakespeare Academy will take place at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown. Enrollment is limited to 20.

For more information or to receive an application form and schedule an audition, call Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143 or email

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