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Open House and Painting Party!

December 2, 2016

christmas-cookies2Over the next few weeks, NBYT will be moving to a new space for its classes, offices, and small performances! We’ll be at 362 Main Street in the Kensington section of Berlin—as the main tenant in the New Britain-Berlin YMCA Program Center. (School programs and performances will continue in New Britain, so we’ll always have a presence there too.)

Our new space will have a small, black box performance space, a classroom, an arts and crafts room (that may double as a waiting area), a shared kitchen, and an office. There are also five (adult size!) bathrooms so actors and audience won’t have to share when we have performances. We hope to have the new space ready for Saturday classes to begin on January 7!

In order to have our space ready—and to let you get a sneak peek at it—we’re having an Open House/Painting Party/Holiday Cookie party on Saturday, December 17, from 9 AM to 3 PM! Stop in, see the space, bring some cookies or other holiday treats to share, and maybe pick-up a brush or roller to help us get ready!

We’d also appreciate the donation of any moving boxes, boxes or bins to permanently keep props and supplies in, and painting supplies. Storage at the new space is limited, so we’re also looking into purchasing either a storage unit or large shed to keep on the property; if anyone has any recommendations for that, we’d appreciate that too.

An RSVP for the party and painting isn’t required, but we’d like to have an idea of who’s coming. RSVP’s may be emailed to Executive and Artistic Director Darren Farrington at


After-School Teaching Assistant Sought

October 26, 2016

Education logoNew Britain Youth Theater is hiring a teaching assistant for after-school programs in New Britain public elementary schools. The position will begin as a substitute position and will likely become regular.

Teaching Assistants assist with warm-ups, acting instruction, rehearsals, and other planned activities; support “share day” performances; and help to supervise program participants in grades 2 through 5. No experience is required, but a background or interest in either theater or education is helpful.

All applicants must be available Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Programs will begin in November and run through May except for school holidays and vacations, half days, snow days, and early dismissal days. All applicants must be reliable team players and be responsible for their own transportation. Hourly salary is dependent upon experience. College students and high school students eligible to work are encouraged to apply.

To Apply

To apply, please send an email (with resume if available) to Executive Director Darren Farrington by email to No phone inquiries please.

About New Britain Youth Theater

Founded in 2010, New Britain Youth Theater is a professionally-run community and educational theater for children and teens in Connecticut. NBYT provides educational programming to schools in and around New Britain, produces a season of performances by and for children and young adults, and offers drama classes, individual coaching and lessons, and summer programs. The theater reaches children and their families in Greater New Britain, Greater Hartford, the Farmington Valley, and throughout Connecticut. NBYT programs include “Kids on Stage!” and “Little Kids on Stage!” productions, the NBYT Teen Company, Stage Performance classes, in-school and after-school arts-integrated and arts-enrichment programming, community outreach programs, and more. NBYT is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and young adults by encouraging creative thinking and collaborative teamwork, fostering self-confidence and self-esteem, and developing social and academic skills through involvement in high-quality, low-cost programs in the performing arts. NBYT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

NBYT’s Next Big Broadway Trip

October 24, 2016

dear-evan-hansen-logoThere’s a new Broadway musical coming that’s getting lots of buzz! And we have tickets!

A group from NBYT will be seeing Dear Evan Hansen in New York City on Saturday, March 11, 2017.  Dear Evan Hansen received a great deal of praise during its recent off-Broadway run, and it’s a shoe-in to be one of the hits of this season, if not THE hit of the season.

“All his life, Evan Hansen has felt invisible. But when a tragic event shocks the community and thrusts him into the center of a rapidly evolving controversy, Evan is given the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to be somebody else. A new American musical, Dear Evan Hansen is a deeply personal and profoundly contemporary story about a little lie that changes everything. Once you’ve seen it, you will be moved. You will be changed. You will be found.”

Our tickets are for the Saturday matinee performance at 2:00 p.m.  There are only 30 seats available at the price of $82 each. Tickets for both youth and parents will be reserved on a first paid, first served basis. All money and permission slips must be received by Wednesday, November 30, 2016.

We plan to travel as a group by train on Metro North, and we should be able to arrange carpooling from New Britain for those who need it. (The cost for the ticket to the performance does not include the train ticket.) We plan to arrive in New York City around 11:30 a.m., and we’ll have lunch as a group or can offer suggestions to anyone who’d like to eat on their own. Following the show, we may stay in New York for dinner, or anyone (who’s an adult or traveling with an adult) may take the train back home.

If you’d like to come with us, please contact either Darren Farrington at or 860-515-8115.

If You’re Going to NBYT’s Romeo and Juliet Workshops…

October 5, 2016

be sure to wear some flowers in your hairrj-logo-2.

You don’t really have to, but we’ll tell you what that reference means as we read and discuss the play and the 1967 setting in which we’re placing it.

You’re invited to attend if you’re planning to audition for the NBYT Teen Company production of Romeo and JulietOr maybe you’d just enjoy reading and discussing the play? Or maybe you want to know more about Shakespeare for school or just because you’re a really smart person.

In November, in a three-week workshop for ages 12 through 19, participants will explore characters, language, and themes of William Shakespeare’s teen tragedy, Romeo and JulietThe workshop will give special attention to understanding the characters and plot, understanding the setting of the original script and modern productions, and discussing the language and poetry of the text. Participants will also read and have the opportunity to perform scenes from the play, all in preparation for February auditions for an outdoor production at the New Britain Museum of American Art in June. The NBYT production will be set in 1967 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the “Summer of Love.”

Workshop Dates: Thursdays, November 3, 10 & 17
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Cost: $10 for all three weeks ($5 per week individually)
Instructors/Directors: Darren Farrington and Nicki LaPorte

Participants are encouraged to bring their own copy of the play, but may also share or borrow a copy at the workshops. Annotated copies such as the Barnes & Noble edition or the No Fear Shakespeare edition are recommended, but any copy—including e-book—is acceptable.

Participation is encouraged, but not required, for anyone planning to audition in February. We also plan to hold audition workshops in January or February, and a stage combat workshop to be announced. To register or get more information, email or call 860-515-8115.

Open House at NBYT!

September 7, 2016

Stage PerformanceOn Saturday, September 10, NBYT will have an open house for anyone who’d like to visit, ask questions, or register in person for classes or other programs coming up this fall! Hours will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

NBYT’s Executive and Artistic Director will be at the theater’s space at the YMCA at 50 High Street for the three hours. Questions and registrations can be for NBYT’s Saturday classes in acting, dance and improv (starting on September 17), homeschool classes (starting on September 13), or auditions for Elf the Musical Jr (on September 13 and 14).

Come by and say hi! We’ll have drinks and snacks available too!

Santa Wanted: Auditions for Elf the Musical

September 7, 2016

santaFor our holiday production of Elf the Musical Jr, we’ve decided to cast an adult actor as Santa Claus!

The story of Elf , based on the film starring Will Ferrell, follows Buddy, a human who grew up thinking he was an elf, on his adventure from the North Pole to New York City to find his family and help them remember the true meaning of Christmas! (The “junior” version of the musical is slightly adapted for young actors and audience.)

The role of Santa is in two scenes only, but one scene includes a song. Rehearsals will be on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6-8 pm at Holmes Elementary School at 2150 Stanley Street in New Britain (off Hartford Road (Route 71) near West Farms Mall)). For the first several weeks, rehearsal time for Santa will likely be limited. The production will be performed at the same location on December 9, 10 and 11.

To schedule an audition or ask further questions, please email Resumes and headshots may be attached if available.Non-union actors only can be considered, and the role is non-paying. Auditions will be scheduled by appointment. Actors auditioning should prepare an upbeat musical theater song and bring sheet music for the musical director.

Children and teens ages 6 through 18 will play all other roles, and audition details are posted here.

Casting at NBYT

September 7, 2016

With auditions for Elf the Musical Jr coming in less than a week, we’d like to let actors and parents know some of the factors that we do and don’t take into consideration when we’re casting a show.

Whenever possible, we try to cast every child who auditions. (The exceptions have been when an overwhelming number of children come to auditions, and when an actor’s conflicts would mean missing too many rehearsals.) The auditions then are used to determine which actor will get which role. Here’s a closer look at what we consider as we’re casting.

First, things that don’t matter are:

  • previous roles with NBYT or anywhere else
  • professional credits
  • donating to or volunteering for NBYT
  • actors’ “type,” looks and age (although we’ll get back to this one)

All of this goes to say that anyone can audition for and be cast in almost any role.

Things that do matter are:

  • the audition (both preparedness and cold readings from the script)
  • commitment, attendance, and behavior in prior programs (which is the only time we consider prior programs)
  • availability and conflicts (unfortunately, a large number of conflicts with rehearsal days will affect the role that we can offer)
  • how the actors fit as an ensemble (often, an actor may be right for more than one role, and the determining factor is how everyone fits into roles as a whole)
  • actors “type,” looks and age—sometimes a certain role just requires an actor of a certain type or age range to tell the story correctly, and that’s the only time that we’ll consider these things

At NBYT, we’re always willing to give feedback on an audition—although we won’t discuss individual casting or other actors’ auditions of course. Remember too to not measure a role by the number of lines or time on stage. In some shows , some lead roles—even title characters—have few or no spoken lines. (Our “Frosty the Snowman” didn’t speak; the “Wizard of Oz” himself is in only a few scenes.) Some professional actors have been awarded for roles that are only a few minutes on stage or screen. Whatever your role, do your best, be an important part of the ensemble, and have fun!