Skip to content

Save the Date to Ride Around the Clock!

October 10, 2017

Bushnell Park carouselSave the date to celebrate New Britain Youth Theater’s recent recognition as Connecticut’s Best Children’s Theater (CONNECTICUT Magazine, 2017) at a fundraiser at Hartford’s Bushnell Park Carousel on Friday, November 10.

NBYT has reserved the Carousel from 5 to 9 PM. Children (of any age) may take as many rides as they like if they raise donation pledges for each revolution they take on the carousel! Come also to enjoy fun, food, and frolic with friends from NBYT!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Bushnell Park Carousel is a 1914 masterpiece, and one of only three left in the world built by master carousel crafters Stein and Goldstein. Housed in a vintage-style 24-sided pavilion, the 103 year-old carousel holds 48 hand-carved wooden horses and two chariots that swirl around a booming Wurlitzer band organ.

Other nonprofit youth organizations are welcome to join in the fundraiser as well—multiplying the fun and raising money for their own organizations.

Current NBYT actors will receive participation information at rehearsals and classes. Others may contact NBYT to participate. Contact NBYT Executive and Artistic Director Darren Farrington for details at darren@nbyt.org or 860-515-8115.

Advertisements

Bring NBYT to Your Classroom!

October 9, 2017

Education logoThis blog post not only tells you how to bring an NBYT educational program to a school classroom—it tells you how to make that happen for FREE!

For nearly eight years, NBYT has provided educational and performance programs in schools, after school, and out of school time for children and teens from preschool through high school. The theater’s literacy-based educational programs promote social, emotional, and creative development. Programs are based upon National Core Arts Standards, and the curriculum is designed to align with the Common Core State Standards for English and Language Arts. Programs have been offered through school districts in New Britain, Bristol, Plainville, and in Hartford schools through Hartford Performs.

dr-seussBringing Books to Life!

One of our most popular classroom programs for younger students is Bringing Books to Life! This 40-60 minute program combines an introductory acting class with story-time as children engage in listening, discussing, and performing to better understand the themes of a book and how actors can bring the book’s story to life on stage. Students use their bodies, voices, and imaginations to pantomime characters and actions which are included in bringing the chosen book “to life.” The stories of Dr. Seuss—with their many wild characters and busy action—lend themselves particularly well to this program, and we book many classroom visits on and around Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss’s birthday) on March 2.

Super Duck (5)

Bringing Scripts to Life!

In this introduction to dramatic literature, students learn that plays are intended not only to be read, but to be performed! Approaching a script as an actor enhances students’ understanding of plot, themes, and the emotional journeys of the characters. The script may be one already read in class, or may be new to the students. Successful scripts used in past classrooms have been dramatic adaptations of Charlotte’s Web, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Little Women.

Page to Stage

Students work with a Teaching Artist to create a short adaptation based upon a piece of literature or topic studied in class. The class begins by briefly discussing the creation and performance of theater, and then groups brainstorm and exchange ideas. In one or two follow-up visits, groups explore and put their ideas into presentation form, and then revise and perform their dramatic work.

Introducing Improv!

Students get a basic understanding of improvisational theater concepts and are introduced to short-form improv games designed to build teamwork and have fun! Students will be able to take what they learn and use it to not only become improv performers, but also better listeners, thinkers, and speakers.

Jan 16 (5)

Dramatic Literature in Performance

Students explore language, characters, and themes while focusing on a specific work of dramatic literature. All or select students also get on their feet to perform selected scenes with a Teaching Artist directing. Previous classes have focused on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or Twelfth Night, or Aristophanes’ The Birds.

 

To book any of these programs or to learn about others, email education@nbyt.org or call 860-515-8115.

Now, about those free performances in schools! Share this post on Facebook, retweet it on Twitter, or reblog it with a link back to this post, and you’ll get one entry in a contest to bring a free program to a school anywhere in Connecticut. Entries are unlimited. You must also email education@nbyt.org with your name, the way that you shared the post (so we can confirm), and the school that you’d like to receive the program. There will be one winner for a free one-hour program (for a single classroom or grade level, to be scheduled this year subject to availability). All entries must be submitted by November 30 at midnight. No purchase is required to win, and winners will be notified early in December.

Celebrate a Birthday at NBYT!

October 9, 2017

Birthday logoDid you know that you could celebrate a birthday at NBYT! The party includes an hour of fun with an NBYT Teaching Artist, and you can choose the theme or focus of your games and activities!

NBYT birthday parties are two hours (generally 60 minutes of activities and 60 minutes of party time) plus 30 minutes time allowed for set-up and clean-up. Extended time is available for an additional cost. Games and activities are run in NBYT’s studio theater location in Berlin, and a space with tables and chairs is provided for refreshments (which are not provided by NBYT). Here are some birthday activities that you can choose.

Oh, the Drama!
Children take part in introductory drama games and activities, physical and vocal warm-ups, and improvising scenes based on suggestions from the birthday child and other guests.

Pirate party

A pirate themed p-ARRR-ty at NBYT!

Bringing Books to Life!
Based on a popular NBYT educational program, children receive basic introductory acting instruction and help to bring a story—of the birthday child’s choosing—to life on stage using physical and vocal character choices and pantomimed props!

Improv Mania!
A greater emphasis on improv instruction and games based on suggestions from birthday child (or teen), other guests, or even parents, which often appeals to older children and teens!

Karaoke!
Using our microphone and speaker system and a media device, the birthday child or teen can choose a play list or theme, or can open it up to any karaoke video track found on the internet! Pull from our collection of hats, props, and accessories for you and your guests to become stars too!

Party cost is $175 for up to 15 children, and $10 for each additional child up to 20. Scheduling is subject to space availability. Parties may also be held at other locations arranged by the party-giver.

For more information, contact Executive and Artistic Director Darren Farrington at 860-515-8115 or darren@nbyt.org.

Help NBYT Find HOME!

October 2, 2017

Logo (new)

Despite more than seven successful years in existence, New Britain Youth Theater has often struggled to find performance spaces and a place to call home. As most followers of the youth theater know, NBYT is currently based in the YMCA Program Center in Berlin, but that space limits our performance opportunities, educational programs, and storage—and we’d ideally like to be back in New Britain (although we do draw participants and patrons from throughout Greater New Britain, Greater Hartford, and around the state).

Knowing how well-connected our supporters and audience are, we’re going public with our space search to find new performance spaces and a home for Connecticut’s Best Children’s Theater (recently named by the editors of Connecticut Magazine, in case you hadn’t heard)!

Like all property searchers, we have a wish list.

  • Stage/performance space with seating for 100-200 (including a box office space, concessions area, and rest rooms) (at least 2500 sf)
  • Second rehearsal space/classroom/music room (ideally as large as the performance space stage, but not required) (at least 500 sf)
  • Parent waiting area (can be a lobby, entry, or reception area with an information board; ideally with no visibility of stage or classrooms) (at least 500 sf)
  • Office space (room for at least two desks plus storage for office supplies and concessions) (at least 500 sf)
  • Storage space (for sets, costumes, props) (at least 1000 sf)
  • Work space (can be shared with set storage, but not with costume and prop storage) (at least 750 sf)
  • Kitchen space with sink and room for full refrigerator (at least 250 sf)
  • Separate backstage bathrooms
  • Parking and easy parent drop-off
  • At least 6,000 sf total (our space at the New Britain YMCA was approximately 5850 sf and too small on audience seating, the second rehearsal space/classroom, and storage)

Anyone who might have a suggestion is welcome to contact NBYT Executive and Artistic Director Darren Farrington at darren@nbyt.org or 860-515-8115, or may contact any NBYT board member.

Short Play Festival Actors Sought; Tall Actors Welcome Too

September 11, 2017

SPF 2017UPDATE: The NBYT Short Play Festival is being postponed to later this season. New audition dates will be announced when scheduled.

 

NBYT will hold auditions for its first Short Play Festival on Monday and Wednesday, September 18 and 20, at NBYT at the Berlin YMCA Program Center at 362 Main Street in Berlin. Auditions both days are at 6:00 p.m.

Rehearsals will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays, and on some Thursdays as needed. The production will be performed on November 16 through 19 at the same location.

The Short Play Festival will consist of several original short comedies and dramas submitted by young NBYT participants and by new and established playwrights from around the country and the world. Nearly five hundred plays in total were submitted, and fewer than forty will be selected for production. Actors who are cast will rehearse and perform the plays as an ensemble piece, with performers assisting backstage for those plays in which they don’t appear onstage.

Participation is open to 12 to 19 year-olds from any town, and a diverse cast is sought. Actors auditioning should prepare a 30-60 second monologue of any type. To schedule an audition, call (860) 515-8115 or email auditions@nbyt.org. Pre-scheduled auditions are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome. Those cast will be asked to pay a participation fee of $150, but partial financial waivers and payment scheduling are available.

NBYT Staff Profile: Jason Post

September 8, 2017

This is the third in NBYT’s series of staff profiles. Jason Post is NBYT’s newest teaching artist and will be teaching breakdancing this fall. Classes in acting, sketch comedy, and breakdancing begin the week of September 18.

Jason Post

Jason was born in California and raised in New Britain. He started dancing his sophomore year in high school as a substitute to sports—in which his father and older brothers all seemed to be strongly involved. Jason took a different path, focusing his athletic talents towards street dancing, particularly bboying. Jason has studied and performed modern dance and ballet at Central Connecticut State University. He has also performed in many pieces such as “No Shade” and “Heart Beat” at the University. Jason choreographed dances for “Break Dancing Shakespeare” in the summers between 2006 and 2012 at Hartford Stage. Even though his dancing has revolved around bboying for the fifteen years of his dance career, for the past six and half years, he has studied and developed a strong passion for house dancing and has been sharing that passion with others as well.

Five Questions for Jason

How did you first get involved in dance? 

I was first introduced to breakdancing when I was in 8th grade. My older brother was learning at the time and he taught me just a few steps. It wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school that I took it more seriously and actually trained for the dance. It was then that I had learned more difficult moves such as windmills and flips that motivated me to push myself even more. Breaking introduced me to various dance styles after that, leaving me with a strong passion for street dance styles such as house dancing and Hip Hop today.

What is your favorite show that you’ve choreographed?

I enjoyed just about all the shows that I choreographed, but one show that comes to mind that I particularly enjoyed would have to be The Comedy of Errors during my time at Hartford Stage doing Break Dancing Shakespeare. With the show being a comedy, it provided me with a challenge to put comedy into my choreography. It was something different and it added a different dynamic to the show.

 

If you could trade places for a day with a character from any play, who would you choose?

Don Pedro from Much Ado About Nothing.

If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be?

Neapolitan

What advice do you have for kids who are interested in breakdancing?

With breaking being a very challenging dance, having a strong foundation and a good grasp of the basic movements, learning the dance becomes a much more fulfilling experience.

JUST ADDED: Clowning Workshop with The Freedom Theatre

September 2, 2017

NBYT hosts actors Saber and Alaa from The Freedom Theater in Jenin, Palestine, and clowns with Red Noses Palestine who will visit NBYT for a one-time-only workshop in physical comedy and clowning. They invite performers young and old to come clown around!

Freedom Theatre bannerParticipants ages 8 and up will connect with their bodies and voices to learn some physical comedy skills in this 90-minute workshop. By the workshop’s end, each actor will have created a clown and will take home their own red nose! At the end of the workshop, parents are welcome to join the group for photos and to ask questions of Saber and Alaa about their work, training, and experience as actors and clowns.

The Freedom Theatre is a community-based theater and cultural center located in the Jenin Refugee Camp. Established in 2006 and working specifically with youth, the theatre’s goal is to develop a vibrant and creative artistic community that empowers children and young adults to express themselves freely and equally through art. NBYT Teaching Artist Nicki LaPorte has worked with the group for the past two summers.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, September 9, at 10:00 a.m. at NBYT’s studio theater at the Berlin YMCA Program Center at 362 Main Street in Berlin. The cost is $25 per participant. Pre-registration may be made by emailing classes@nbyt.org or by calling 860-515-8115. Payment may be made at the workshop or in advance by phone.