Oddfellows Playhouse announces in-person and virtual classes for kids

Contact: Dic Wheeler, dic@oddfellows.org, (860) 347-6143

Photo attached by William DeKine of Teen Rep outdoor production of “Coming To Save Us”, October 2020

Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater in Middletown is offering local young people a variety of opportunities to get involved in the arts over the coming weeks. The upcoming schedule offers something for all age groups from 5 to 20, and includes performance opportunities, classes and lots of fun.

Young performers ages 14 – 20 are invited to join the Teen Repertory Company virtual production of “A Mystery Murdered”, a comic mystery directed by Playhouse Program Manager Jacque Brown. The play will have two rehearsals (December 2 and 3, 6:30 – 8 pm) and a single virtual performance on Friday, December 4 at 6:30 pm. Tuition is $30.

The Junior Repertory Company will be offering 2 in-person classes for ages 12 – 15, each meeting twice. “Spoken Word Night” will be led by Hartford-based performing artist and poet Laugh Sanchez on November 19 and December 17, 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the Playhouse, which is located at 128 Washington Street in Middletown.

On November 24 and December 8, Carmine Lavieri will be leading “Improv Jams”, also 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the Playhouse. Both classes are limited to 8 participants and will be held in our large, well-ventilated theater; masks and social distancing will be required. Tuition is $15 per class, with discounts for signing up for multiple classes. “Spoken Word” will focus on creating original poetry for performance; “Improv Jam” will be a fast-paced evening of theater improvisation. No experience is necessary for either of the groups, and financial aid is available for anyone who needs it.

Younger students have a series of virtual events and classes to choose from over the coming weeks, starting with “Chill Art Party” with Artemis Omani on Wednesday, November 18, 4:30 – 5:30 pm. “Chill Art Party”, open to ages 6 -11, is a relaxing chance to draw together, listen to music, and share your art work. Markers and drawing pads are available to pick up at the Playhouse.

“Holiday Crafts”, with Cookie Quinones, is a hands-on chance for kids ages 5 – 8 to create various holiday-themed crafts. It will be held via Zoom on Monday, November 23, 5 – 6 pm, and supplies will be available to pick up at the Playhouse.

On Wednesday, December 2, kids ages 6 – 11 may join Oddfellows Circus Director Allison McDermott for “Circuspalooza”, a chance to learn or practice your circus skills, including juggling, balancing, flower stick, and other cool skills. “Circuspalooza” will be held 4:30 – 5:30 pm, and students may borrow equipment from Oddfellows to use at home.

“Acting for Fun”, with Diamond Wynn, will be offered to ages 8 – 11 on Wednesday, December 9, 4:30 – 5:30 pm. This is a great chance to play theater games and have some fun together.

On Wednesday, December 16 from 5 – 6 pm kids ages 6 – 14 may join Playhouse Hip Hop dance instructor Felicia Goodwine for a “Virtual Holiday Dance Party”. Get ready to work up a sweat dancing with Felicia and friends!

The 2020 season will culminate with a “Holiday Family Paint Night”, led by Lanea Collins, on Monday, December 21, 5 – 6 pm. The virtual session is open to ages 5 – 11 and their families; paint supplies may be picked up at the Playhouse prior to the class.

Tuition for all individual classes is $15 per class, and financial aid is available. It is Oddfellows policy that inability to pay should never stand in the way of participation.

Oddfellows Playhouse will be offering a full 8 week session of classes and performance opportunities for kids starting in January, including Playwriting and Acting classes for teens (culminating in a New Plays Festival), a Junior Rep main stage production, and a mainstage circus theater production with Circophony Teen Circus. Stay posted for the full list of winter programs to be announced in December!

To register for any of the above classes, or for more information, go to www.oddfellows.org, call (860) 347-143, or email info@oddfellows.org.

The Oddfellows Playhouse late fall season of classes is 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, Middletown Commission on the Arts, Stare Family Fund, Middletown Youth Services Bureau, Thomas J. Atkins Fund, New England Arts Resilience Fund and generous individual donors.

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