Oddfellows Playhouse is pleased to announce its Fall 2012 Programming. The youth theater, which provides afterschool and weekend theatrical programming, is excited to unveil a large overhaul and upgrade in its programmatic offerings. Oddfellows’ programs use theater as a vehicle to build essential life skills, while exploring highly educational and artistic theatrical material.
“We asked our families and students for input
on what Oddfellows was offering them and what they wanted to see
added,” said Executive Director Matt Pugliese.
the biggest changes in the Playhouse schedule is a switch from eight
week to six week class sessions. Instead of three trimesters of classes
during the year, there will be four 6 week quarters. “There are still
24 weeks of programming during the school year, but hopefully the six
week course schedule fits better into families’ busy schedules,” said
Pugliese. Fall Session 1 runs for six weeks from September 17 until October 27. Fall Session 2 runs for six weeks from October 29 through December 15. Winter and spring session will follow, beginning January 28.
effort to accommodate families with multiple children is an increase in
simultaneous class offerings on weekday afternoons. Classes are
offered from 4-7pm Monday through Thursday for students K-8. “We saw
how popular Saturday morning classes were with families with multiple
children. It took a lot of logistical coordination, but nearly every
afternoon, a parent can drop off their children for an hour or more and
have a program at every school age level.”
also more classes that explore areas outside of traditional acting. New
class offerings focus on musical theater, improvisation, circus skills,
audition coaching, directing, technical theater, and playwrighting.
Classes for the Little Fellows (ages 3-4) include Fairytales and Folksongs, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt! and Dinosaur Adventures. First Act (Grades K-1)
offer Creative Drama courses themed around children’s books and
adventures such as Harry the Dirty Dog, Angelina Ballerina, and The
Paper Bag Princess. Story Starters (Grades 2-3)
encourage creative expression and promote confidence, self-esteem, and
communication. Once a week classes focus on skill building, while
classes that meet twice a week short productions put those skills into
action. Short productions include Dr. Seuss Stories and How the Grinch
Stole Christmas. The Kids Company (Grades 4-5)
is the stage that students begin to focus more on skills and
techniques. These courses help develop the next set of vocal, physical
and emotional skills. Short productions of Connecticut Ghost Stories,
The Polar Express¸ and The Nutcracker! Sweet! will be offered. A class
in the Fundamentals of Musical Theater is offered on Saturdays.
The Junior Repertory Company (grades 6-8)
offers skill based workshops throughout the week. A musical theater
dance class on Wednesdays helps students build around dance and acting
as storytelling devices. Musical Theater Cabaret will put together
select complete numbers on Saturdays. The Junior Repertory Company will
present a full production of Huck Finn by Eric Coble, Adapted from the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain. Huck Finn flees the claws of "civilization" for the
freedom of the mighty Mississippi, only to find himself running from
mobs, getting shot at, stealing gold, digging escape tunnels and
dressing as a woman. And perhaps his greatest adventure: unexpectedly
finding his own moral compass in a world of corruption and hypocrisy.
This highly-theatrical adaptation, directed by Lorra Webb, is the second
of Coble’s work produced at the Playhouse, following 2006’s Gold in the
The Teen Repertory Company (grades 9-12)
is an opportunity for adventurous, committed teenagers to experience
cutting-edge theater in a supportive, challenging and non-competitive
environment. The company takes on mature, thought-provoking work with
bold energy and high artistic standards. Skill building classes and
private coaching are available as well. Courses in directing and
playwrighting are featured this fall.
The season will begin with a “historical” piece by John Heimbuch, William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead: A True Account of the Zombie Plague of 1599,
that will take the stage in November. This play from the NY Fringe
Festival takes place backstage on the opening night of Shakespeare’s
Henry V. Dealing with drama behind the scenes becomes more complicated
when an afflicted madman enters the Globe and attacks. As the
affliction spreads through London, the Globe is placed in quarantine and
the survivors within must fight for their lives. This production is
being produced by the generous support of Beverley and Tony Bellisio.
play is fun. That is what initially drew me to it. But the genre of
horror is a reflection of our society, and it says a great deal about
where our fears are today that we have become recently fixated on
zombies and the risk of some pandemic outbreak. During the Elizabethan
era, the term “afflicted” was used synonymously for madness, illness or
even demonic possession. This play is about the fear of others,” said
The holiday season brings a new holiday offering to the stage, with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Paula Vogel’s A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration.
The play, directed by Peter Loffredo, is a co-production with CT
Heritage Productions, and will feature a multigenerational cast made up
of Oddfellows’ Teen Rep company and CT Heritage Productions. The
piece, which received its world premiere at Long Wharf Theatre in 2008,
tells the story of a Christmas Eve in Washington, D.C. in 1864. Vogel
weaves together historical fact with humanizing detail and inventive
fiction to explore the celebration of Christmas and our nation during
Auditions will be Tuesday September 18 and
Wednesday September 19 for the fall shows, and Tuesday January 22, 2013
and Wednesday January 23, 2013 for the winter/spring productions.
For more information about the 2012-13 season, or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.oddfellows.org