Monday, June 4, 2012

New Summer Programming at Oddfellows

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 workshops 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. 

Children's Theater takes the stage with 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.  These performances are perfect for families and young audiences.

Exciting new programs for high school students (ages 14-19) include a Playwrighting Workshop led by Kristen Palmer.  This week-long intensive will provide students with the tools to not only tell a great story, but create a producible play and runs July 9-13.  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 dying techniques 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 

Oddfellows programming is made possible through the generous support of the CT Department of Education, the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, Middlesex United Way, The Stare Fund, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, Pratt & Whitney, J. Walton Bissell Foundation, the Irving Kohn Foundation and the Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Fund.  Media support is provided by Comcast and WESU 88.1FM.

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