Dec 13, 2010

Foundations Support Neighborhood Troupes Program

Several foundations have awarded generous grants to Oddfellows' Neighborhood Troupes/Arts Explorers program in 2010-11. The Elizabeth Carse Foundation, Thomas J. Atkins Memorial Fund and George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation all awarded grants this month to the program.

In 2010-11, Oddfellows is collaborating with the Middletown public school system to hold the Neighborhood Troupes after-school program in Bielefield and Farm Hill Elementary Schools. This allows us to streamline our transportation costs by using the late buses at the schools. Oddfellows’ Troupes leaders and their student teaching assistants meet their Troupes at the schools one afternoon a week to work on activities that build performing arts and life skills. Bielefield School has one Oddfellows Troupe each for grades K-2 and 3-5; Farm Hill has two Troupes for these same grades.. The Troupes are still Oddfellows, but now in locations that we hope will better serve our students.

In an effort to keep at-risk middle-school students engaged, Oddfellows has integrated its innovative Arts Explorers program of in-depth arts training and job readiness with the Troupes this year. Giving this Troupe for ages 12-15 a distinct name and focus gives the youngsters a sense of maturity and transitioning to ad[EB3] ulthood. The 35 Arts Explorers Troupe members are from Keigwin and Woodrow Wilson Middle Schools. Students meet at the Playhouse one evening a week, and work exclusively with a professional artist on visual art, writing, or dance. Arts Explorers is a partnership with Middletown Youth Services, which provides extra support for the teens at the school level.

The Troupes and Arts Explorers expand the world view of young people who need extra support to grow up to be successful adults. These programs continue to serve Oddfellows’ mission and remain among our highest priorities.

Photo by Ofer Levy; Arts Explorers Group Dancing

Dec 9, 2010

Life of Galileo - Final Weekend

Oddfellows Playhouse Teen Rep to stage “The Life of Galileo”

Middletown, Conn. –“The Life of Galileo" will come to life this week when Oddfellows Playhouse’s Teen Repertory Company brings it to the stage. Opening night was December 2.

“The Life of Galileo”, by Bertolt Brecht, is the story of the man who used science to prove the Sun was the center of the universe. When he published his work and challenged the Church, he was left with nothing. Performances are set for December 10-11.

All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased by calling the box office at (860) 347-6143 or by e-mail at

About Oddfellows Playhouse: Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street, Middletown. For more than 35 years Oddfellows Playhouse has been more than just a performing arts program. It aims to make a positive difference in the lives of 2,000 young people each year 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.

Oddfellows programming is made possible through the generous support of the CT Department of Education, the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, The Stare Fund, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, Pratt & Whitney-Middletown, the Irving Kohn Foundation and the Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Fund.

Nov 22, 2010

Holiday Production!

SantaLand Diaries at Oddfellows, December 16-19

Oddfellows presents David Sedaris’ witty and sardonic holiday treat, The SantaLand Diaries, adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello. Well-known local actor Tony Palmieri as Crumpet the Elf brings to life this humorous account of a Christmas elf’s experience in Macy’s department store. This show, directed by Jeffery Allen, is intended for mature elves. Performances are 7:00 pm on December 16 & 17, 7:00 & 9:00pm on December 18 and 2:00 pm on December 19. Tickets are $25. For more information and reservations, call (860) 347-6143 or visit our website at

Many of the professional artists involved in this production are donating their services to Oddfellows in order to make this a fundraising event. With 50% of the students in our fall classes receiving scholarship aid, it is as important as ever to raise the funds to keep Oddfellows’ doors open and lights on, especially as we enter the cold winter months! We hope that the SantaLand Diaries is a Christmas event enjoyed by the community.

Nov 11, 2010

Fall 2010 Share Day

Fall 2010 Share Day was a success!

Share Day at Oddfellows Playhouse is just what it sounds like--a chance for our young people to share what they have created and learned over the course of 8 weeks. Featuring young people between the ages of 4-14, from over 24 different communities, friends and family share in the accomplishments of our mini productions or introductory acting classes.

The results are already in from our evaluations, rated "excellent" by our parents and young people alike.

This fall our amazing, professional staff led the talented youth in an original adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, a brand new play called Other Side of the Tale about storybook villains re-defined, and in basic acting classes. The addition of Saturday sessions is proving to be very successful. We are fortunate to have the same strong staff returning for our winter classes. Winter classes begin on January 24, 2011 and registration is open now.

Nov 10, 2010

RUR kicks off Oddfellows' Main Stage

Oddfellows 36th season opens this week

First performance of RUR slated for Nov. 11

Oddfellows Playhouse will kick off its 36th Main Stage Season on Nov. 11 with a preview performance when its Teen Repertory Company performs Karel Capek’s RUR at 7:00 p.m. Additional performance dates are Nov. 12, 13, 19 and 20. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Reserved Seating $20.

First written in 1920, the book, later adapted by Dr. Claudia Novack, is the first literature to coin the word “robot”. In the play The Rossum Company solves the world’s labor demand by creating a race of enslaved robots but when they revolt the future of humanity and what it means to be human are put to the ultimate test.

“All of our Teen Rep plays this year explore the ethics of science and creation,” said Jeffery Allen, Producing Artistic Director for Oddfellows Playhouse. “It’s a virtue of ours to choose mature plays that give our young people the chance to be challenged and to view their world through a different lens,” he said.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the box office at (860) 347-6143 or by e-mail at