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.