May 14, 2009

ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE HOLDS ARTS EXPLORERS EVENT

Oddfellows Playhouse invites the public to celebrate the accomplishments in visual arts, writing, and theater of 17 talented Arts Explorers on Thursday, May 21 from 7-9 pm. Visual arts students in this innovative program will exhibit hand-dyed silk scarves, writing students will offer readings of their poetry, and theater students will give a short performance.

Oddfellows, in partnership with the Middletown Youth Services Bureau, received one of five statewide pilot grants from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism to offer creative, nonschool arts experiences to underserved youth. Arts Explorers, with additional support from The Hartford Courant Foundation, was designed to help middle-school students, particularly low-income and minority youth, experience the arts under the mentorship of a professional artist. Students chose to specialize in the visual, literary or performing arts and then spent the past 9 months working under the guidance of Oddfellows’ artists William A. Foster, III, Renee Soares, and Enza Giannone to develop their skills. This event on May 21 is the culmination of their program, and students will have their colorful scarves and a book of collected writings for sale.

Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street in Middletown. For more information about the Arts Explorers program and this event, please call Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143.

May 12, 2009

ODDFELLOWS’ WACKY WEDNESDAYS FOR PRESCHOOLERS

Oddfellows Playhouse is offering Wacky Wednesdays, a series of interactive monthly workshops for pre-schoolers, ages 2-6. The next workshop is on April 22 from 10-11 a.m. and features stories with crafts, music, and other activities. Taught by Kim West, these workshops engage children and their caregivers in creative structured group play designed to stimulate the imagination and nurture listening and motor skills.

Wacky Wednesdays are presented in partnership with KidCity Children’s Museum and made possible by a grant from the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism. The workshops are held at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown. Cost is $10 per family. Members of KidCity receive a $5 discount.

Oddfellows Playhouse is more than a performing arts program. We aim 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 Wacky Wednesdays workshop, call (860) 347-6143.

May 5, 2009

ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE SECOND STAGE PLAYERS PRESENT “HANSEL AND GRETEL AND THE BIG WOODS”

Oddfellows Playhouse Second Stage Players present a mini-production of “Hansel and Gretel and the Big Woods.” Under the direction of Jane Harris, a cast of 13 young actors, ages 9-11, takes on this irreverent twist on the classic tale by the Brothers Grimm.

"Once upon a time, deep in the woods, there lived a young boy called Hansel and a young girl called Gretel." From this familiar beginning, playwright Jeannette Jaquish turns the fairy tale upside down. Oddfellows’ talented actors introduce us to two siblings who annoy everyone around them, a witch with fleas, a stepmother with migraines, a fairy dog mother and a fairy frog mother, and 7 dwarfs named Bossy, Smelly, Twitchy, Clumsy, Narcolepty, Whiny, and Sneezy. But everyone stills lives happily ever after.

This fun-filled production is appropriate for all ages and runs approximately 30 minutes. Shows are Friday, May 22 at 7 pm and Saturday, May 23 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.

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, Pratt and Whitney—Middletown and The J. Walton Bissell Foundation.