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January 5, 2021

Winter Classes and Productions for Kids

Circophony Teen Circus in action.

Registration is now open for winter classes and performance opportunities for ages 6 – 20 at Oddfellows Playhouse in Middletown. Most activities will be held virtually on Zoom, with a few exceptions. For details, and more information, go to www.oddfellows.org, call (860) 347-6143, or email info@oddfellows.org.

Teen Programs:
Young people ages 14 – 20 may join two Teen Rep Company programs this winter: “Writing Plays”, with Kristen Palmer, and “The Actor’s Tool Kit”, with Marcella Trowbridge.

“Writing Plays” offers the opportunity to work with a professional playwright to learn and develop the art of writing for the stage. The program will culminate in a “New Plays Festival” on February 20. The class meets virtually Thursdays, 6:30 – 8 pm, January 14 – February 18. Tuition is $50.

“The Actor’s Tool Kit” provides what every teen actor needs in their back pocket: facility with voice, body, breath, text, emotional literacy… train together and come out with tools of the trade – and a monologue, to boot. This class, taught by ARTFARM Artistic Director and classical actor Marcella Trowbridge, will meet in-person in the Oddfellows theater (with masks, social distancing, and other safety protocols) as long as COVID allows. Mondays, 6:30 – 8 pm, January 11 – February 15. Tuition: $50.

Circus enthusiasts (ages 12 – 20) may join “Circophony: The Movie”, an 8 week production complete with live and virtual classes, on-line tutorials and opportunities for students to work with designers to make a circus feature presentation. Students are invited to build their own rehearsal schedule and can participate in as many or few classes as they like. Students will create content which will be edited and compiled in a final digital production. Directed by Allison McDermott. Full group virtual sessions Saturdays, 11 – 11:50 am, plus other training and coaching opportunities. Tuition: $75.

An in-person “Contortion and Flexibility” class with Naja Muller will be offered in association with “Circophony: The Movie”. The class meets Thursdays, 4:30 – 6 pm, January 14 – March 4 at Oddfellows (masks/social distance/no touch coaching). Tuition for this class is $120. Limited to 5 students.

Junior Repertory Company (ages 11 – 14):
Our Junior Rep Company will be creating a “Virtual Mainstage Production” under the direction of Laugh Sanchez and Jacque Brown. The production will consist of original work created by the students over 8 weeks of rehearsals, focusing on finding their own voice through spoken word assignments and generative theater activities. Tuesdays, 6:30 – 7:30 pm & Thursdays, 5 – 6 pm, January 18 – March 20. Virtual performances March 19 & 20. Tuition: $75.

Ages 6 – 11:
Everyone is invited to stay healthy this winter through our FREE “Up On Your Feet” Series, hosted by Felicia Goodwine. This 8 week series will offer different movement and physically based activities every week, from dance to pilates to capoeira, hosted by dancer/choreographer Felicia with a bunch of guest teaching artists. This is our contribution to the physical and mental health of youngsters during this COVID winter, and everyone ages 6 – 11 is encouraged to join. Tuesdays, 5 – 6 pm, January 19 – March 9. Tuition is free, but registration is required.

“A Fairy Tale Mystery”, directed by Nicki LaPorte, offers kids ages 9 – 11 the chance to write and create an original mystery based on fairy tale characters. The virtual Share Day performance on February 25 will give friends and family the chance to try to solve the crime. Thursdays, 4:30 – 5:30 pm, January 21 – February 25. Tuition: $50.

“Ms. B’s Cultural Heritage and Enrichment Corner” is a unique opportunity for kids ages 9 – 11 to work with nationally-recognized social work educator and historian Velma Banks on learning about African-American history and the relevance of historical heroes today. Although the focus is on African-American culture, the class is open to children of all backgrounds. Wednesdays, 4:30 – 5:30 pm, January 20 – February 24. Tuition: $50.

The final classes out of the box this winter will be “Musical Mentoring”, coordinated by Julia Kan and featuring one-on-one virtual music lessons with Wesleyan music students. Kids can choose to study guitar, keyboard, voice, ukulele, violin, and possibly other instruments (depending on availability of mentors). Ages 6 – 8 will meet on Wednesdays, 4:30 – 5:30 pm, February 24 – March 31; ages 9 – 11 will meet Mondays, 4:30 – 5:30 pm, February 22 – March 29. Tuition: $50.

Financial Aid is available for all programs. It is Oddfellows Playhouse policy that no one will ever be turned away due to inability to pay.
To register, or for more information, go to www.oddfellows.org, call (860) 347-6143, or email info@oddfellows.org. Space is limited for all programs, so timely registration is encouraged.

Oddfellows Playhouse programs are made possible thanks to generous support from The Fund for Greater Hartford; State of Connecticut Judicial Branch/Youth Violence Prevention; Connecticut Office of the Arts/DECD; Middletown Commission on the Arts; Stare Family Fund; Middletown Youth Services Bureau; American Savings Foundation; Thomas J. Atkins Fund; New England Arts Resilience Fund; Community Foundation of Middlesex County; CHEFA Cultural Relief Grant; the Hoffman Foundation; Long Foundation; and generous individual donors.

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