Dec 11, 2008

REGISTER NOW FOR ODDFELLOWS WINTER ACTING CLASSES

Oddfellows Playhouse is registering now for winter performing arts classes, and there are still a few spaces available in Complete Actor classes for ages 6-14. Winter classes begin the week of January 5 and run for 8 weeks, ending with a Share Day on February 28.

“The Complete Actor” is the entry class at the first three age levels in Oddfellows’ program and presents a curriculum of age-appropriate basic acting, voice, and movement training at each level. This assures that every young performer at Oddfellows is being trained in the same set of fundamental skills. Complete Actor One is for ages 6-8; Complete Actor Two for ages 9-11; and Complete Actor Three for ages 12-14. Complete Actor classes meet one day per week and are prerequisite to taking more advanced classes or being in a play.

Preaudition workshops for the Teen Repertory Company (ages 14-18) are January 12-15, and auditions for spring mainstage productions are January 20, 21 or 22.

Tuition for Complete Actor classes ranges from $110 to $120 for 8 sessions. Preaudition workshops are free but tuition for participating in a mainstage productions is $200. Oddfellows’ generous financial aid policy offers assistance with tuition to all who qualify.

Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street, Middletown. More than just a performing arts program, Oddfellows aims to make a positive difference in the lives of young people 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. So whether you’re 6 or 18, there’s an open door for you at the Playhouse. For more information or to reserve a spot in a winter class, call (860) 347-6143.

Nov 20, 2008

ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS /THE THREEPENNY OPERA

Oddfellows Playhouse Teen Repertory Company presents a mainstage production of /The Threepenny Opera/, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s ground-breaking work of musical theater on December 4-20. Directed by Missy Burmeister, a cast of 20 talented teens from throughout central Connecticut tells the legendary tale of the notorious criminal and gentleman, Mack the Knife. A pit band under the direction of Joseph Getter recreates Weill’s innovative music and memorable songs.

A milestone of 20th-century musical theater, /The Threepenny Opera/ was first presented in Berlin in 1928 and transformed old-fashioned operetta forms with a sharp political perspective and the sound of Berlin cabarets. Oddfellows Teen Repertory Company skillfully interprets Bertolt Brecht’s biting text and Kurt Weill’s acid harmonies in this opera “by and for beggars” that captures the contradictions of man’s existence—love, treachery, betrayal, redemption and improbable forgiveness.

A “can-can” preview of /The Threepenny Opera/ will be performed on December 4 at 7 pm. All tickets are “pay-what-you-can,” and audience members are asked to bring a canned or nonperishable food item for the Amazing Grace food pantry. Additional performances are on December 5 & 6, 12 & 13, and 19 & 20 at 7:30 pm. All performances are at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, in Middletown, CT. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. For more information or reservations, please call (860) 347-6143.

Major support for Oddfellows’ 2008-2009 season comes from the State Department of Education, CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, Middlesex United Way, Middletown Commission on the Arts, The Stare Fund, The J. Walton Bissell Foundation, and the Middletown Foundation for the Arts.




Nov 6, 2008

*ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE NAMES NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR*

After an extensive search, Oddfellows Playhouse Board of Directors has named Matthew J. Pugliese as the organization’s new Managing Director. Pugliese succeeds Dominick Grant, who is leaving to pursue long-standing interests in environmental preservation, clean energy, and sustainable business practices.

“I am particularly excited that Matt Pugliese--a seasoned Oddfellows teaching artist, who has worked extensively with the Teen Rep and Neighborhood Troupes -- will take up the torch and work with the board, staff, parents, students and many community partners to build and grow an even stronger Oddfellows,” said Grant. “Matt’s commitment to Oddfellows’ mission and his leadership skills makes him a great fit for this position.”

A Middletown native, Pugliese has a long history of working with Oddfellows, where he has been a director, a teaching artist, and a leader of one of Oddfellows’ Neighborhood Troupes, a free weekly program serving children from low-income housing areas. He directed last season’s Teen Repertory Company mainstage production of /The Grapes of Wrath/ and previously directed /Nuevo California /and /The Dining Room/. Pugliese led the Chatham Court Tiny Troupe (ages 5-7) for two years and worked closed with the Maplewood Terrace and Chatham Court Senior Troupes on the mainstage production of /Spoon River Anthology/. Pugliese has also served as the Lead Teaching Artist for Oddfellows’ satellite programs in the schools and as an instructor for the Summer Shakespeare Academy.

For the past three years, Pugliese has served as Production Manager and Director of Educational Programming at Ivoryton Playhouse. During this time, the Ivoryton Playhouse received 6 nominations and 2 awards from the Connecticut Critics Circle and brought challenging adaptations of Shakespeare's /Romeo & Juliet/ and /Julius Caesar/ to the stage for area high schools. In addition to managing production budgets and staff, Pugliese successfully implemented a number of fundraising initiatives, including the first annual appeal drive for Ivoryton.

An alum of Xavier High School, Pugliese graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Theatre Studies from UCONN and completed an artistic internship at Hartford Stage Company. He is a founding member of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Arts and Creative Industry Council. He will complete a graduate certificate in Non-Profit Management through UCONN's Master's in Public Administration program in the spring.

Pugliese will work with Oddfellows’ present Managing Director Dominick Grant during November and December to insure a smooth transition and will assume full responsibility for the position on January 1, 2009.

For more information about Oddfellows Playhouse and its programs, call (860) 347-6143.



Sep 25, 2008

*ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS BENEFIT PERFORMANCES OF /HAMLET/*

Oddfellows Playhouse presents two performances of /Hamlet/, William Shakespeare’s most famous play, on October 3 & 4 at 7 pm. This timeless tragedy of revenge and madness features Oddfellows’ Producing Artistic Director Jeffery Allen in the title role and an all-star adult cast including Carolyn Kirsch, Jackie Coleman, Robert Resnikoff, David McCamish, Richard Kamins, Tony Palmieri, John Hall, and a special appearance by Middletown’s Mayor Sebastian Giuliano.

These performances are a benefit for Oddfellows Playhouse. Oddfellows was founded in 1975 as a community-based, multicultural theater program designed to include children from all backgrounds. Today it is Connecticut's largest and most active year-round youth theater, an independent, not-for-profit organization that annually serves nearly 2,000 young people, ages 2-20, with an innovative program designed for positive youth development. More than classes and productions, Oddfellows is concerned with the education and character development of young people, nurturing their skills in the performing arts and challenging them to grow as individuals in a supportive, noncompetitive environment. The young people are then able to use these skills to facilitate success in other aspects of their lives.

All performances of /Hamlet/ will be at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown. The suggested donation is $15. For reservations or more information call Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143.//

Aug 13, 2008

Composers and Improvisers Festival September 27th

Sixth Annual Composers and Improvisers Festival.
September 27th , Odd Fellows Play House 128 Washington St. Middletown Ct.
Tel No. 860 347 5134

Contact Joe Fonda 860 841 6141
Photos available by request via return email

7.00 pm - Ilse Pfeifer –Dancer, Singer, Performance Artist.
George Schuller – Composer –Percussionist.

8.00 pm – Napoleon Maddox – Composer, Beat Boxer, Rapper.
Claire Daly – Composer –Saxophonist

9.00 pm – Mark Helias – Composer, Bassist

10.00 pm- Conference Call, With Michael Jefry Stevens, Composer Pianist, George Schuler, Composer, Percussionist, Gerhard Ullmann , Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Joe Fonda Bass

Ilse Pfeifer has worked and danced with Zero Moving Dance Company for five years. She later became a performing artist and Choreographer. Isle danced in choreographer Kevin O Days performance of Storage Space, Helmut Rothschild’s Frogs and Karen Baronets Salon Evenings. She is currently teaching Fitzmaurice Voice work and movement at the Actors Movement Studio in New York City.

George Schuler Composer, Percussionist has released several recordings as a leader including the latest entitled Hell-bent on plays cape records, He has performed and recorded with Joe Lozano, Ran Blake, Tom Varner, Günter Schuler, Lee Knits, George Adams. George has received several composition awards including a Massachusetts Artist Foundation Fellowship for music composition.

Napoleon Maddox, Beat Boxer, Rapper and singer is well known as the leader of the Hip Hop group Is What. He has collaborated with many well known jazz artists such as Oliver Lake, Humid Drake, Roy Nathan son, Archie Sheep, Comfortable in both jazz and hip hop idioms, Napoleon is truly one of the connectors of jazz and hip hop music. He never fails to captivate an audience with his unique vocal ability.

Claire Daly, composer, Saxophonist, has performed with Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Joe Williams, and Rosemary Clooney. Her mission in life has been to be an in demand baritone saxophonist. Five-time winner of the Down Beat Critics Poll “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” Claire travels worldwide performing as a bandleader and a side person.

Mark Helias, Composer, Bassist, and Studied with Homer Munch at Rutgers University and Yale school of Music. Mark embarked on an international performance career with the Anthony Braxton quartet in 1977. Since then Mark has enjoyed long musical associations with Ed Blackwell, Dewey Redman, Ray Anderson. Don Cherry. A prolific composer, he has composed music for two feature films as well as chamber pieces and works for large ensemble and big band.

Conference Call is a new quartet project featuring the exciting German woodwind virtuoso Gerhard Ullmann, the established piano/bass collaboration of Michael Stevens and Joe Fonda and the highly individual percussion styling of drummer George Schuler.

Jul 21, 2008

*ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE SEEKS NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR*

After 20 years as an Oddfellows kid, staff member, and leader, Dominick Grant is leaving Oddfellows Playhouse, and the Playhouse Board of Directors is beginning a search for a new Managing Director. Grant has been Managing Director for the past 3 years and, together with Artistic Director Jeffery Allen, has been providing dynamic leadership for the organization. He is responsible for Oddfellows’ financial and administrative operations, was one of the founding members of Creative Juice, the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce’s new council for people in the arts and creative industries, and has been active in expanding Oddfellows’ role in the community.

A Playhouse alum who began his association with Oddfellows as a child and later as a member of the Teen Repertory Company, Grant has a long history of advocating for children, education, and social justice. This past season he led the Chatham Court Junior Troupe, one of Oddfellows Neighborhood Troupes, a program of free, after-school arts classes for at-risk youth. Grant served as the Playhouse’s Associate Managing Director and Program Manager before becoming Managing Director and has produced all of the Playhouse’s mainstage productions for the past 5 seasons. He is also an accomplished musician and served as Musical Director for Oddfellows’ 30^th Birthday revival of /Middletown Fantasia/ in 2005.

Grant is leaving his position at the Playhouse to pursue graduate studies but will remain in his capacity as Managing Director until the end of the calendar year. Jeffery Allen, Oddfellows’ Artistic Director, has been appointed Producing Artistic Director by the Board of Directors and will assume new responsibilities for producing Oddfellows’ plays. “I’ve been honored to serve such a great organization that touches the lives of so many different children of all ages in Middletown and beyond,” said Grant. “I’m confident that Oddfellows will continue to grow and thrive under a new leadership team.”

Oddfellows was founded in 1975 as a community-based, multicultural theater program designed to include children from all backgrounds. Today it is Connecticut’s oldest and largest youth theater, annually serving over 2,000 young people, ages 2-20. Oddfellows hopes to hire a new Managing Director by mid-October in order to have a transition period before Grant leaves. For more information, visit www.oddfellows.org.

*THE CHILDREN’S CIRCUS OF MIDDLETOWN PRESENTS “CIRCUS OUT OF THIS WORLD” *

Oddfellows Playhouse and the Middletown Commission on the Arts present “Circus Out of This World,” the spectacular final performance of the 20th annual Children’s Circus of Middletown. This one-time-only show will be presented on Friday, August 1 at 5 pm at Spencer Elementary School.

“Circus Out of This World,” under the direction of Jake Weinstein, tells the tale of a birthday party gone awry, a stolen birthday cake, and a quest to round up all the missing pieces. The show features over 200 young stilters, jugglers, clowns, unicyclists, dancers, and acrobats. Live music is performed by a 15-piece Circus Band, led by well-known local musician Dirck Westervelt.

The Children’s Circus of Middletown is a 5-week half-day program of training in circus skills for young people ages 8 to 14. This is the eighth year of a challenging full-day Advanced Circus Program for 40 veteran circus participants, ages 12-15, to help them take their skills to the next level. The Children’s Circus is part of the City of Middletown’s Kids Arts ‘08, with additional funding from the Middlesex United Way.

Bring a blanket or lawn chair and come and enjoy a gala spectacle that has become a summer tradition. “Circus Out of This World” begins at 5 pm. at Spencer Elementary School, 207 Westfield Street in Middletown. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. Rain date for the performance is Saturday, August 2 at 12 noon.

For more information, call (860) 250-5894 or 347-6143.

*ODDFELLOWS** PLAYHOUSE SUMMER SHAKESPEARE ACADEMY** PRESENTS /MEASURE FOR MEASURE /AND /THE TAMING OF THE SHREW/*

**Oddfellows Playhouse Summer Shakespeare Academy presents mainstage performances of the intriguing problem play, /Measure for Measure/, and the romantic comedy, /The Taming of the Shrew/, two of William Shakespeare’s best –loved works, on July 23-26. These productions are the culmination of an intensive 4-week Shakespeare-in-Performance program for high school students and feature 18 talented teenagers from throughout central Connecticut.

/The Taming of the Shrew/, directed by Mariah Sage, and /Measure for Measure/, directed by Jeffery Allen, contrast the brilliance of one of the Bard’s earliest comedies with that of his last. Both deal with issues of power and male dominance in a comic fashion, but with radically different approaches. /The Taming of the Shrew/ presents the volatile courtship and married life of Kate and Petruchio, a play which lampoons chauvinistic behavior while simultaneously reaffirming its social validity. /Measure for Measure/, on the other hand, is a studied satire on the corruption of power, as the novitiate Isabella is faced with an unbearable choice to save her brother’s life.

Oddfellows’ Summer Shakespeare Academy, led by Jeffery Allen, combines training and production for students ages 14-18. Meeting daily from June 30-July 25, the challenging and fun program offers training in acting and movement, stage combat, text analysis, voice, diction, improvisation, and understanding Shakespeare’s historical and cultural background. The last three weeks of the program also include individual coaching and intensive rehearsals.

All performances will be at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown. /Measure for Measure /will be performed on July 23 and 25at 7:30 pm; /The Taming of the Shrew/ will be on July 24 and 26 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Group rates available. For reservations or more information call Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143.//

Jun 12, 2008

*ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE SEEKS MUSICIANS FOR CHILDREN’S CIRCUS BAND*

The Children’s Circus of Middletown, run by Oddfellows Playhouse as part of the Middletown Commission on the Arts’ Kids Arts program, is, once again, looking for musicians to play in its circus band. The band is open to all adult and teenage musicians willing to make the commitment to rehearsals and the performance on Friday, August 1, at 5:00 pm. Band director is well-known local musician, Dirck Westervelt.

Percussion, horns, woodwinds, strings (electric or acoustic) are all needed. There will be an organizational meeting on Tuesday, June 24 from 6-9 pm at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown. Rehearsals will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-9 pm throughout the month of July. Although attendance at all rehearsals is not compulsory, band members are expected to have consistent attendance and must be available for the dress rehearsal on July 31 and the performance at Spencer School in Middletown on August 1. Professional or highly experienced musicians are often able to “sit in” by coming to a few rehearsals before the show.

This is the 20th annual Children’s Circus, a 5-week program for Middletown youngsters ages 8 to 14. Over 200 young people learn such skills as juggling, stilt-walking, clowning, unicycling, acrobatics, and dance and present the results in a stupendous outdoor show, accompanied by live music by the circus band. The show annually attracts an audience of about 1,000.

To sign up for the circus band, please call Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143.

May 15, 2008

ODDFELLOWS TRAVELING CIRCUS PERFORMS THE CHEST OF TWO WORLDS

Oddfellows Traveling Circus presents its new show, /The Chest of Two Worlds/, on May 30 at 7 pm and May 31 at 2 and 7 pm. In this story, a magic chest invites two best friends into an enchanted world where they go on a life-changing journey. This fast-paced, 45-minute show is appropriate for all ages and features lots of juggling, unicycling, clowning, stilting, and acrobatics.

Oddfellows Traveling Circus is under the direction of Amy Richmond-Prchal and is made up of veterans of The Children’s Circus of Middletown. This is the first season for this new 12-member ensemble of 12-15 year olds. These young performers exhibit a high level of circus skills that will astonish and delight audience members.

Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street in Middletown. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. For reservations or more information, call Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143.

May 13, 2008

*ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE SECOND STAGE PLAYERS PRESENT*

Oddfellows Playhouse Second Stage Players present a mini-production of “A Thousand Cranes,” the inspiring account of a young girl’s courage in the face of personal tragedy. Under the direction of Jane Harris, a cast of 17 talented young actors, ages 9-11, from throughout central Connecticut tells the story of Sadako and how the paper crane became an international symbol of peace.

Sadako was just 2 years when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and at age 11, she was diagnosed with leukemia, known as the “atom bomb disease.” An ancient Japanese legend says that the gods grant a wish to anyone who can fold 1,000 paper cranes. Sadako’s legacy is that her paper cranes still remind young people to strive for their dreams. During rehearsals for this play, the cast learned to fold the origami paper cranes, and their goal is to fold 1,000 cranes in honor of Sadako and all other brave children who face life-threatening illnesses.

This production is appropriate for all ages. The show runs Friday, May 23 at 7 pm and Saturday, May 24 at 11 am at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. For more information or reservations, call (860) 347-6143.

*ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE SECOND STAGE PLAYERS PRESENT*

Oddfellows Playhouse Second Stage Players present a mini-production of “A Thousand Cranes,” the inspiring account of a young girl’s courage in the face of personal tragedy. Under the direction of Jane Harris, a cast of 17 talented young actors, ages 9-11, from throughout central Connecticut tells the story of Sadako and how the paper crane became an international symbol of peace.

Sadako was just 2 years when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and at age 11, she was diagnosed with leukemia, known as the “atom bomb disease.” An ancient Japanese legend says that the gods grant a wish to anyone who can fold 1,000 paper cranes. Sadako’s legacy is that her paper cranes still remind young people to strive for their dreams. During rehearsals for this play, the cast learned to fold the origami paper cranes, and their goal is to fold 1,000 cranes in honor of Sadako and all other brave children who face life-threatening illnesses.

This production is appropriate for all ages. The show runs Friday, May 23 at 7 pm and Saturday, May 24 at 11 am at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. For more information or reservations, call (860) 347-6143.

*ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE RECEIVES $18,000 ARTS GRANT*

Oddfellows Playhouse has received one of five statewide pilot grants from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism to offer creative, nonschool arts experiences to underserved youth. With this $18,000 grant, Oddfellows, in partnership with the Middletown Youth Services Bureau, will launch an innovative, 9-month Arts Explorers program that will introduce 24 middle-school students to the visual, literary and performing arts and help them develop a public presentation or performance. The new program will also facilitate their transition from middle school to high school.

Arts Explorers is designed to help middle school students, particularly low-income and minority youth, experience the arts under the mentorship of a professional artist. Middletown Youth Services will spearhead the effort to recruit Middletown students, ages 12-14, in September 2008. From October to December, the young people will try various art forms with Oddfellows artists William A. Foster III, Renee Soares, and Jaime Guite. Then, in January, students will focus intensively on one of the arts to prepare for a public presentation in May. Visual arts will include painting, sculpture, and a variety of mixed media; literary could be a poetry slam, playwriting, a journal or magazine; performing projects will range from dance to music to a play.

Arts Explorers will take place at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, in Middletown, but students will also take field trips to museum exhibitions, galleries, and theater performances. Middletown Youth Services “Dragons in Action” high school students will serve as teaching assistants for the program. “Through the combined leadership of Oddfellows and the Youth Services Bureau, we are very pleased to be able to bring this innovative arts initiative to the Middletown community,” said Dominick Grant, the Playhouse’s Managing Director.

Oddfellows received this state grant from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism through a competitive process. The Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism brings together tourism, film, history, and the arts to preserve and promote Connecticut’s cultural and tourism assets in order to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of the state. Funds for the five pilot grants to benefit underserved youth were made available by Governor M. Jodi Rell and the state legislature.

For more information about the Arts Explorers program, please call Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143.

*ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE 2008 SUMMER SHAKESPEARE ACADEMY*

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 June 30-July 26, 2008 and culminates in fully staged mainstage performances of /The Taming of the Shrew/ and /Measure for Measure/. 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 33-year history of artistic excellence. The Summer Shakespeare Academy meets weekdays, 9 am to 3:30 pm, starting Monday, June 30 and combines rigorous actor training directly connected to the performance of full-length Shakespeare plays. The first week will focus on understanding the historical and cultural background of Shakespeare’s world, text analysis, and casting of the plays. Each participant will be cast in a significant role in either /The Taming of the Shrew/ or /Measure for Measure/ and a supporting role in the other production. Students who wish to participate but do not want the responsibility of a major role will be cast in both plays in a supporting role. Weeks 2 and 3 will focus on voice and movement, stage combat, and character work in the mornings and rehearsals in the afternoons. Week 4 will start with technical and dress rehearsals, followed by 4 performances on July 23-26..

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

The Summer Shakespeare Academy will take place at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown. Enrollment is limited to 25. Tuition is $650 for the entire program; limited financial aid is available

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

*SALTAMONTES PUPPET THEATER PERFORMS AT ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE *

*Saltamontes Puppet Theater *is hopping across the ocean to Middletown, Connecticut with its award-winning show, */Babui/*. See the show on *Sunday, May 4 at 3 p.m. at* *Oddfellows Playhouse. *Saltamontes invites children and adults of all ages to enjoy this inventive, mostly nonverbal show.

Actors, puppets, movement, and music tell this story about love, care and cooperation. The puppeteer/actors arrive a bit late carrying a big box of puppets. The box is opened, but it is practically empty except for a book, an egg and old newspaper. The puppeteers are astonished and worried. This is the wrong box, but THE SHOW MUST GO ON! Using the book as a guide, the two actors work together to create a new show on the spot. The newspaper is turned into puppets and props, and the egg becomes the focus of each puppet. What could be in that egg and how to hatch it?

Saltamontes Puppet Theater was founded in 1994 in Bogotá (Colombia). In July 1998, the Theater moved to Connecticut and worked there until mid-2004. Since August 2004, Saltamontes Puppet Theater finds its home in Cham, Bavaria, Germany. /Babui/ premiered in April 2006 and has continued to delight audiences since then. This is /Babui/'s first tour of the United States.


Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street (Route 66) in Middletown. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children, but no one is turned away for financial reasons. For more information, contact Amy Weinstein at (860) 645-9532 or email weinstein@puppets-on-demand.de.

ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS THE LARAMIE PROJECT

Oddfellows Playhouse Teen Repertory Company presents a mainstage production of /The Laramie Project/ by Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Company from May 1-10. Missy Waryas directs a cast of 19 talented teens from across central Connecticut in this powerful story of brutal murder and great revelations—about our nation, our ideas, and ourselves.

On October 7, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old, openly gay, University of Wyoming student was kidnapped, driven to a remote area, tied to a fence, brutally beaten, and left to die. For five days, he fought to hold onto life, but on October 12, just 50 days short of his 22nd birthday, Matthew Shepard died. Four weeks later, Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie. The company subsequently visited the town six times and interviewed hundreds of people. /The Laramie Project/ presents the culmination of these interviews, and at its core, the play spreads a message of peace and illustrates how a town deals with and recovers from tragedy.


Support for Oddfellows Playhouse 2007-08 season comes from the CT State Department of Education, the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, Middlesex United Way, the J. Walton Bissell Foundation, The Stare Fund, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, and the Middletown Foundation for the Arts.

/The Laramie Project/ previews at Oddfellows Playhouse at 128 Washington Street in Middletown on Thursday, May 1 at 7 pm, with a “can-can” performance (pay-what-you-can and bring a can for the Amazing Grace food pantry). Additional performances are on May 2, 3, 9, and 10 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 adults and $7 students and seniors. For more information or to reserve tickets, call (860) 347-6143.

ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS THE LARAMIE PROJECT

Oddfellows Playhouse Teen Repertory Company presents a mainstage production of /The Laramie Project/ by Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Company from May 1-10. Missy Waryas directs a cast of 19 talented teens from across central Connecticut in this powerful story of brutal murder and great revelations—about our nation, our ideas, and ourselves.

On October 7, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old, openly gay, University of Wyoming student was kidnapped, driven to a remote area, tied to a fence, brutally beaten, and left to die. For five days, he fought to hold onto life, but on October 12, just 50 days short of his 22nd birthday, Matthew Shepard died. Four weeks later, Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie. The company subsequently visited the town six times and interviewed hundreds of people. /The Laramie Project/ presents the culmination of these interviews, and at its core, the play spreads a message of peace and illustrates how a town deals with and recovers from tragedy.


Support for Oddfellows Playhouse 2007-08 season comes from the CT State Department of Education, the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, Middlesex United Way, the J. Walton Bissell Foundation, The Stare Fund, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, and the Middletown Foundation for the Arts.

/The Laramie Project/ previews at Oddfellows Playhouse at 128 Washington Street in Middletown on Thursday, May 1 at 7 pm, with a “can-can” performance (pay-what-you-can and bring a can for the Amazing Grace food pantry). Additional performances are on May 2, 3, 9, and 10 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 adults and $7 students and seniors. For more information or to reserve tickets, call (860) 347-6143.

*ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS /ANON(YMOUS)/*

Oddfellows Playhouse Teen Repertory Company presents a mainstage production of /Anon(ymous)/, Naomi Iizuka’s modern retelling of Homer’s /Odyssey/, from April 10-19. Artistic Director Jeffery Allen directs a cast of 18 talented teens from across central Connecticut in this extraordinary new work that traces the journey of a nameless hero seeking to return home.

Anon, a teen immigrant with no name, washes up on the shores of the United States and begins a quest that leads him through the sometimes harsh landscape that is modern-day America. Along the way he survives encounters with greedy politicians, ghosts, a cannibalistic Cyclops, and other dangers of mythological proportions. Guided by a goddess, Anon is trying to get back to the mother he lost. She is “home,” and she turns out to be much closer than our hero believes.

/Anon(ymous)/ was first performed in April 2006 by The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis and continues Oddfellows’ dedication to bringing the best of modern theater to Middletown. This show is most suitable for those ages 8 and up.

Support for Oddfellows Playhouse 2007-08 season comes from the CT State Department of Education, the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, Middlesex United Way, the J. Walton Bissell Foundation, The Stare Fund, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, and the Middletown Foundation for the Arts.

/Anon(ymous)/ previews at Oddfellows Playhouse at 128 Washington Street in Middletown on Thursday, April 10 at 7 pm, with a “can-can” performance (pay-what-you-can and bring a can for the Amazing Grace food pantry). Additional performances are on April 11, 12, 18, and 19 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 adults and $7 students and seniors. For more information or to reserve tickets, call (860) 347-6143.

Mar 13, 2008

*SPACES AVAILABLE IN ODDFELLOWS SPRING ACTING CLASSES*

Registration is open for Oddfellows Playhouse spring performing arts classes, and there are still spaces available in Complete Actor classes for ages 6-14. Spring classes begin April 1 and run for 8 weeks.

“The Complete Actor” is the entry class at the first three age levels in Oddfellows’ program and presents a curriculum of age-appropriate basic acting, voice, and movement training at each level. This assures that every young performer at Oddfellows is being trained in the same set of fundamental skills. Complete Actor classes meet one day per week and are prerequisite to taking more advanced classes or being in a play.

Complete Actor One, for ages 6-8, offers an introduction to theater through games, stories, skits, and creative exercises. Complete Actor Two develops the skills of young actors, ages 9-11, through games and exercises, improvisation, story dramatization, and scene work. Complete Actor Three prepares 12-14 year olds for mainstage performance through character, concentration, movement, voice and text work, physical theater, and improvisation.

Tuition for these classes ranges from $110 to $120 for 8 sessions. Oddfellows’ generous financial aid policy offers assistance with tuition to all who qualify.

Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street, Middletown. More than just a performing arts program, Oddfellows aims to make a positive difference in the lives of young people 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. For more information or to reserve a spot in a spring class, call (860) 347-6143.

Feb 26, 2008

*ODDFELLOWS** JUNIOR REPERTORY COMPANY PRESENTS TREASURE ISLAND***

Oddfellows Junior Repertory Company presents a mainstage production of Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story of pirates and buried treasure on March 6-15. Kim West directs an ensemble cast of 17 actors from throughout central Connecticut, ages 12-14, in this story of the adventures of young Jim Hawkins and the wily Long John Silver.

Filled with murderous pirates, a treasure map, and exploits on the high seas, Treasure Island is one of literature’s best-known coming of age stories--the tale of a boy who leaves home, goes on a journey, and returns home with maturity and insight that transform his life. Told by Jim Hawkins years later as he reflects back on his life, this familiar story traces his adventure from the rural English village where he unwittingly finds the map to a legendary treasure. Accompanied by two local gentlemen who unknowingly hire a ship with a crew of pirates, Jim sails to the West Indies in search of buried riches. The cunning pirate Long John Silver schemes to get the treasure for himself but ultimately helps Jim take over the ship, outwit the other pirates, secure the gold, escape the island, and return home. Along the way, Jim learns about bravery, greed, friendship, independence, and the ambiguity of morality.

The imagery of Treasure Island decisively influenced public perception of pirates—one-legged seamen with parrots on their shoulders, the Black Spot which signaled doom for anyone who received it, a weathered map marked with an “X,” rum and sea chanteys, the black Jolly Roger flag with skull and crossbones, and buried gold on tropical islands. This adaptation by Eric Schmiedl was first presented at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in 2005. Oddfellows’ talented Junior Repertory Company brings a host of compelling characters to life as they tell a terrific story.
Support for Oddfellows Playhouse 2007-08 season comes from the CT State Department of Education, the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, Middlesex United Way, The Stare Fund, The Middletown Foundation for the Arts, and the Middletown Commission on the Arts.

Treasure Island previews at Oddfellows Playhouse at 128 Washington Street in Middletown on Thursday, March 6 at 7 pm, with a “can-can” performance (pay-what-you-can and bring a can for the Amazing Grace food pantry). Additional performances are on March 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 adults and $7 students and seniors. For more information or to reserve tickets, call (860) 347-6143.

Feb 5, 2008

*ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS /BLISS/ *

Oddfellows Playhouse Maplewood Terrace/Chatham Court Senior Troupe presents /Bliss/, a social satire about four aspiring teen music artists and a mega music corporation. Originally created by participants in the Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP) at Cleveland Public Theatre, /Bliss/ comes to Connecticut with an all new cast of talented teens. Directed by Bobbye Knoll, /Bliss /will be presented at Oddfellows on February 15 and 16 at 7:30 pm.

/Bliss/ takes its viewers into the not-too-distant future, where the music industry is run by a single corporate entity known as Omni. When a surprise dip in music sales occurs, Omni’s top brass needs a mega-hit. In an American Idol-style audition, a new super group is formed—Diversity—whose first single soars to #1 on the charts even before it is written. In a play filled with music and dance, the teens deliver a message about staying true to yourself in the face of overnight success and media manipulation.

/Bliss/ is the fourth mainstage collaboration between teens in Oddfellows’ Neighborhood Troupes, a free after-school performing arts program for residents of low-income neighborhoods. The teenagers from Maplewood Terrace in Middletown and Chatham Court in Portland are primarily African American and Latino, ages 13-17. These young actors have invited four members of Oddfellows’ Teen Repertory Company to join them in presenting this artistically challenging and thought-provoking production. Director Bobbye Knoll has been impressed by the hard work of all the teens and is really proud of the efforts the cast has made to become a unified ensemble.

Special support for /Bliss/ comes from The Olga Sipolin Children’s Fund. Support for the Neighborhood Troupes in 2007-08 comes from Middlesex United Way, Middletown Youth Services Bureau, Liberty Bank Foundation, Middlesex County Community Foundation, Citizens Bank, The Thomas J. Atkins Memorial Fund, Elizabeth Carse Foundation, Middlesex County Substance Abuse Action Council, and the Middletown Commission on the Arts.

All performances of /Bliss /will be at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street (Rte 66), in Middletown. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. For reservations or more information, please call (860) 347-6143.




Jan 22, 2008

ODDFELLOWS’ FUNDRAISER FEATURES FABULOUS AUCTION ITEMS

Through the generosity of friends and area businesses, Oddfellows’ Carnaval party and fundraiser will feature dozens of fabulous auction items. Carnaval will be held on Saturday, February 2 from 5-8 pm at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown. Following a silent auction of over 50 fun and unusual items, Durham resident Brad Wilkinson, MD, will serve as guest live auctioneer.

Among the many exciting auction items are a Zulu Nyala African photo safari; Red Sox tickets; a night at New York’s Algonquin Hotel; an autographed UCONN Lady Huskies basketball; one week at a Florida time share; two nights at The Ocean Lodge in Boca Raton and The Christopher in Boston; dinner at Mistral in Boston and Luce, Amici, First and Last, and Osaka Steakhouse in Middletown; autographed books from Tom Brokaw, Jimmy Carter, and John McCain; artwork by David Schulz; gift certificate donated by Chiarappa Jewelers; tickets to Theaterworks, Hartford Stage, Mystic Aquarium, Six Flags, Mystic Seaport, Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, and the Mark Twain House; 3-month membership to WOW! Fitness in Cromwell; Alaskan and Inuit art prints; and lift tickets to Ski Sundown. More items are being added to the list daily.

Carnaval is a perfect opportunity for anyone interested in supporting the activities of the Playhouse to wear their brightest colors and finest feathers during the dreariest time of winter. The evening will include live reggae and Caribbean music by Buru Style, international hors d'oeuvres and wine. Throughout the evening, members of Oddfellows Traveling Circus will dazzle guests with juggling, stilting, and acrobatics.

Although invitations to “Carnaval” have been extended by mail, the public is invited. Tickets are $30 per person; sponsor tickets are $75; premium sponsor tickets are $150. Snow date for the event is Saturday, February 9. Anyone interested in attending “Carnaval” can call Oddfellows at (860) 347-6143 or for more information, go to www.oddfellows.org.

Jan 17, 2008

CITIZENS BANK SPONSORS ODDFELLOWS’ SALUTE TO MARTIN LUTHER KING *

Three Middletown branches of Citizens Bank have combined to support Oddfellows Playhouse’s celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Citizens Bank offices on Main Street, South Main, and Washington Street are sponsoring the class of 9-11 year olds who have been rehearsing since November for a performance at Middletown’s Martin Luther King Day on January 21. Taught by Dayna Snell, a member of the performing ensemble, Nzinga’s Daughters, “Martin Luther King: A Celebration in Song and Prose” uses songs, poems, and speeches to send a message of hope and peace in modern Martin Luther King style.

“Citizens Bank is actively involved in the communities we serve, and we are proud to be associated with such a great event,” said Rich Barry, president of Citizens Bank, Connecticut. “The legacy of Dr. King continues to inspire, and we applaud the efforts of our friends at Oddfellows Playhouse in presenting such a special program.”

For more information, call Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143.

Jan 10, 2008

*ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE CELEBRATES CARNAVAL*

Oddfellows Playhouse is throwing the party of the season. Anyone who can't take a trip to Rio and is looking to escape the cold can celebrate “Carnaval” at Oddfellows on Saturday, February 2 from 5-8 pm.

The evening will include live reggae and Caribbean music, international hors d'oeuvres and wine, a silent auction, and a live auction with dozens of fun and unusual items. Throughout the evening, members of Oddfellows Traveling Circus will dazzle guests with juggling, stilting, and acrobatics. “Carnaval” is a perfect opportunity for anyone interested in supporting the activities of the Playhouse to wear their brightest colors and finest feathers during the dreariest time of winter.

Although invitations to “Carnaval” have been extended by mail, the public is invited. Tickets are $30 per person; sponsor tickets are $75; premium sponsor tickets are $150. Snow date is Saturday, February 9.

Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street in Middletown. More than a youth theater program, Oddfellows aims to make a difference in young people’s lives, using the performing arts as a vehicle. Anyone interested in receiving an invitation to “Carnaval” or more information about Oddfellows can call (860) 347-6143.

Jan 3, 2008

ODDFELLOWS TRAVELING CIRCUS PREMIERES NEW SHOW

Oddfellows Traveling Circus premieres its new show, The Chest of Two Worlds, on January 11 and 12 at 7 pm.

In this story, a magic chest invites two best friends into an enchanted world where they go on a life-changing journey. This fast-paced, 45-minute show is appropriate for all ages and features lots of juggling, unicycling, clowning, stilting, and acrobatics.

Oddfellows Traveling Circus is under the direction of Amy Richmond-Prchal and is made up of veterans of The Children’s Circus of Middletown. This is the first season for this new 12-member ensemble of 12-15 year olds. These young performers exhibit a high level of circus skills that will astonish and delight audience members.

Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street in Middletown. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. For reservations or more information, call Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143.

Jan 2, 2008

ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE ANNOUNCES WINTER CLASSES FOR LITTLE FELLOWS

Oddfellows Playhouse is now registering for two winter performing arts classes for our youngest thespians. “Little Fellows” classes for preschoolers begin Saturday, January 12 and run for 8 weeks.

“Theater Toddlers,” taught by Jane Harris, gives little ones, ages 2-3, the chance to play theater games, read stories, and bring the characters in the stories to life using voice, movement, and music. Parents or caregivers participate in this class with the child. “Adventures in Acting,” taught by Kim West, lets youngsters ages 4-5 act out stories and fairy tales, explore character through theater games and skits, and learn simple theater vocabulary. “Theater Toddlers” meets Saturdays from 10-11 am. “Adventures in Acting” meets Saturdays from 11 am-12 noon. Tuition is $100 for each 8 week program.

Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street, Middletown. More than just a performing arts program, Oddfellows aims to make a positive difference in the lives of young people 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. For more information or to reserve a spot in a Little Fellows class, call (860) 347-6143.