MILFORD – Pantochino Productions Inc., Milford’s professional not-for-profit theatre for family audiences has announced a host of new programming to kick off its tenth season including classes, performance opportunities for young actors and a unique ‘drive-through’ halloween experience for families.
“In these unusual times, we’ve shifted our focus to be able to provide performance opportunities for young actors who may not get the chance to perform with their schools this fall,” said co-producer Bert Bernardi. “Creating positive, nurturing theatre experiences for young people is part of our mission, and we are thrilled to offer these new programs in our spiffy and convenient studio space in the Connecticut Post Mall.” Co-producer Jimmy Johansmeyer added “We are following the same strict federal, state and local protocols we followed for our successful summer theatre camps—we are going above and beyond to keep these new programs safe with only ten participants in each class.”
Pantochino’s “The Alice in Wonderland Show” and a new musical, “James and the (sort of) Giant Peach” will both be offered in two sections, one for ages 8-10, and another for ages 11-13). The eight-week program meets for one hour fifteen minutes each week and culminates in a production for parents and families only. Both productions will be led by Johansmeyer and musical director/composer Justin Rugg.
The company is also offering a six-week Improv Workshop for young actors 9-12 and a six-week Teen Theatre Workshop for 12-18 year olds focused on scene/character study, both led by Bernardi. In addition, a Musical Theatre Dance class will be offered in two sections for 7-10 year olds and for 11-13 year olds. The six week session will be led by Matthew Guerrera.
In conjunction with the Milford Arts Council, Pantochino will present a unique ‘drive-through’ halloween experience called “Happy Haunts Hollow.” Families will remain in their vehicles and meander through seasonal vignettes featuring live actors portraying friendly, non-threatening Halloween characters. Details on this creative new experience will be announced soon.
For Pantochino’s acclaimed Teen Theatre company, Bernardi and Johansmeyer have chosen the Broadway musical, “Runaways” as it’s Winter 2021 project. Featuring book, music and lyrics by Elizabeth Swados, the show is a collection of songs, dances, and spoken word pieces about young people who have run away from their homes. Initially created from interviews with homeless children and those in orphanages, Swados weaves songs about personal struggle and the world at large through the eyes of youth in New York City in the ’70s. The show blends different musical styles, from pop to hip-hop and jazz to reggae, while asking why children can’t remain children. Registration for the immersive eight-week (Saturdays and Sundays) experience, as well as all Fall programs can be found at www.pantochino.com.
In addition, the company will continue its online show “Let’s Learn Stuff with Victoria Sautee,” produce a second season of its popular Pantochino Podcasts available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and will offer its unique Pantochino Curbside performances delivered to patrons doorsteps through October.
Pantochino Productions Inc is a 501 c 3 not for profit organization now in it’s tenth season. In addition to its original musical productions, the company also hosts in-school programs, teen theatre, summer theatre camps, master classes and partners with Milford Arts Council, The MAC for Nite Spot Nights, a series bringing the best of New York’s cabaret scene to Connecticut. Eight of Pantochino’s original musicals are published and licensees by Stage Rights Inc. The company was voted “Theatre of the Year 2019” (BroadwayWorld Connecticut Region), “Most Loved Place to Go” (HulaFrog New Haven), Favorite Performing Arts (Fairfield County Kids Out and About) and is winner of the Milford Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Cultural Contribution Award of Distinction.
The producers promised further announcements for holiday, winter and spring programming in the coming weeks. Pantochino graciously acknowledges its 2020-21 sponsors: The Milford Bank, Subway, AAA Northeast, Colony Grill, The Devon Rotary, Berchem Moses PC, The Connecticut Post Mall and The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven.