Jun 20, 2012

Oddfellows Playhouse Announces New Summer Programming

Oddfellows Playhouse is pleased to announce its summer classes and programs for students ages 4-18. The theater’s programs cover a lot of ground, from circus to improve and playwrighting and allow students from 4 to 18 to develop their creativity and build life skills such as public speaking, teamwork, cooperation and self-discipline. The Summer will be very busy at Oddfellows Playhouse with new programs for teens, adult classes and a slate of children’s theater performances.

For the youngest children, Oddfellows offers Little Fellows: The World and Work of Mo Willems (ages 4-7) running August 6-17, Monday –Friday, 9:00am-3:30pm. Tuition is $350.
Students will explore the very busy world of Mo Willems, author and illustrator of “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale”, “Pigeon Wants a Puppy” and the Elephant and Piggy books. Working with professional teaching artists, participants will be at the center of the action, writing, acting, paining and creating a new story inspired by the work of the beloved author and illustrator. Before and after-care options are available to extend the day to fit with parents’ work schedules.

On-stage performances of Jack and the Beanstalk by Marjorie Sokoloff are scheduled for Friday mornings at 10am on July 27, August 3 and August 10. Additionally, on Saturday August 4, Casey Carle’s Bubblemania! will take the stage with two performances scheduled – at 11am and 2pm.

Exciting new programs for high school students (ages 14-19) include a Playwrighting Workshop led by Kristen Palmer from July 9 - July 13. This week-long intensive will provide students with the tools to not only tell a great story, but create a producible play. Kristen Palmer is a member of the 2010–12 Women’s Project Theatre Lab and a 2010–11 Dramatists Guild Fellow. She received an Individual Artist Grant from the State of Connecticut and the 2008–09 Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights’ Center.
The following week, students can participate in Improv Boot Camp with Peter Loffredo running July 16 through July 20 from 6-9pm. Students will work in the format of theater games or short-form scenes building and cultivating important skills such as listening, making clear and active choices, timing and teamwork.

Of course, no summer is complete without the Children’s Circus of Middletown. Now in its 24th year, the Children’s Circus offers students ages 8-14 the opportunity to learn acrobatics, juggling, clowning, stilting, unicycling and capoeria over the course of five weeks. The program culminates in a large, outdoor circus performance in front of a crowd of over 1,200!

New this summer are some workshops for adults. There is a five week Playwrighting Workshop, also led by Kristen Palmer. The workshops meets Saturday 7/14 - 10 - 1pm. Tuesday 7/17 - 7 - 10pm. Saturday 7/21 10-1pm. Saturday, August 11 10-1 and Tuesday August 14, 7 – 10. Each week playwright Kristen Palmer will combine class lectures, writing exercises, and class discussion in order to help you grow as a writer, with plays read by local actors in week 5.
On the visual art side a class in Fiber Arts: The Painted Silk Scarf explores textile design through the art of the painted scarf. Learn various silk dyingtechniques while creating a piece of wearable art that reflects your unique style led by Renee Soares. The adult class meets Wednesdays 7-9pm 7/11, 7/18, 7/25 and there is a Saturday 10am-12pm 7/14, 7/21, 7/28 class for parents and children together.
Renée S. Soares is a mixed media visual artist, art educator and curator. Working in the medium of polymer clay, she creates extraordinary one of a kind two dimensional beaded masks. Her work has been exhibited at fine art galleries and private showings throughout the Northeast.

For more information on programs, to register for classes or to purchase tickets to performances, call Oddfellows at (860) 347-6143 or log onto www.oddfellows.org.


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 3 at 5pm . The Circus 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 and jam session on Thursday, June 21 from 6-9 pm at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown, but it is not necessary to attend this meeting in order to participate. Rehearsals will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-9 pm, beginning July 10. Although attendance at all rehearsals is not compulsory, band members are expected to have consistent attendance and must be available for the dress rehearsal August 2and the performance at Macdonough School in Middletown on August 3. Professional or highly experienced musicians are often able to “sit in” by coming to a few rehearsals before the show.

This is the 24th annual Children’s Circus, a 5-week program for Middletown youngsters ages 8 to 14. Nearly 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 over 1,200.

To sign up for the circus band, please call Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143 or contact Dirck Westervelt at (203) 577-7548 or dirckwestervelt@earthlink.net.

Jun 19, 2012

Food Improv: An Oddfellows Playhouse Fundraising Event

Food Improv: Where the Performing Arts Meet the Culinary Arts

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill Estate

Summer Business Casual Attire

Live auction to benefit Oddfellows Playhouse Programs

$75 Individual / $125 Couple

All proceeds from your ticket go directly to benefiting Oddfellows Playhouse Programs and Scholarships Purchase Tickets Here or RSVP to Courtney Antonioli, Director of Development

A Tasting Style Event featuring small plates & bites from:

The Riverhouse at Goodspeed, Amici Italian Grill, Typhoon, Klekolo World Coffee, The New England Emporium, Esca, Eli Cannon's Tap Room, Miya Sushi, It's Only Natural Restaurant, NoRA Cupcake Company, Tschudin Chocolates & Confections, A Little Imagination Cakes, Cold Stone Creamery of Middletown, Blackbird, Haveli and more!

Jack and the Beanstalk - AUDITIONS

Oddfellows Playhouse is pleased to announce upcoming non-equity auditions for its summer children’s theater production of Jack and the Beanstalk by Marjorie Sokoloff. Jack and the Beanstalk tells the story of a young boy with a tough life. Jack, a young boy, and his mother have no money, no food, a run-down house, and an opera-singing cow that won't give milk. Just as he's about to be sent off to an orphanage, Jack meets a mysterious stranger, who gives him three magic beans, along with an even more mysterious piece of advice that sets Jack climbing up a beanstalk and into the clouds. There, he meets a Giant who would do anything to change places with him. With the help of a wise-cracking hen and a self-absorbed cow, can all of their problems be solved?
There are 10 roles available. The characters in the show are as follows:

Jack: Male, the main character, needs to be a moderately athletic performer

Jack's Mother: Female, preferably older age range.

Jack's Father/Stranger: Male, preferably older age range.

Cow: Non-gendered, will have to work with a puppet head, needs to have moderate vocal/singing ability.

Albert “the Giant”: Male, might involve some work with stilts or extended false limbs;

Albert's Mother: Female, preferably older age range.

Hen: Male, will have to work with a puppet, must be capable of performing in “stand-up comedy” style.

Voices/Clouds: Non-gendered.

Auditions will be held Thursday June 21st from 6:00-9:00pm and Saturday June 23 from 10:00am-12:00pm at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street in Middletown, CT. Actors of all ages, genders and ethnicities are encouraged to audition. Performances will take place on Friday mornings at 10:00am on July 27, August 3 and August 10. Rehearsals will take place at the Playhouse on weekday evenings from 7-10pm and on weekend afternoons according to cast availability.

For more information on programs, to register for classes or to purchase tickets to performances, call Oddfellows at (860) 347-6143 or log onto www.oddfellows.org.