A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS and FROSTY THE SNOWMAN

Christmas logo 2New Britain Youth Theater will perform two holiday classics, A Charlie Brown Christmas and Frosty the Snowman, on December 5, 6 and 7, 2014, at Holmes Elementary School in New Britain.

A Charlie Brown Christmas faithfully follows the story of the 1965 television special in which Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang learn the true meaning of Christmas. Frosty the Snowman is based on the original 1950 song in which the magical snowman “came to life one day!” Both one-acts with music will be performed together. The cast of thirty children will be joined onstage by a chorus at the end of performances for a Christmas sing-along. Frosty the Snowman was written by William Francis  based on the song with words and music by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins. A Charlie Brown Christmas is written by Charles M. Schulz, based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson, with stage adaptation by Eric Schaeffer. The productions are directed by Angela Klimaytis and Nicki LaPorte.

A Charlie Brown Christmas and Frosty the Snowman will be performed at Holmes Elementary School, a community space located at 2150 Stanley Street in New Britain. Performances are Friday, December 5, at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, December 6, at 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, December 7 at 2:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $13 for adults and $11 for children, students, and seniors. Tickets may be reserved by calling New Britain Youth Theater at 860-515-8115 or may be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets

Kids on Stage! Auditions for A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS and FROSTY THE SNOWMAN

Christmas logoNew Britain Youth Theater begins the holiday season early with auditions for two Christmas classics, A Charlie Brown Christmas and Frosty the Snowman. Auditions are for children ages 8 through 14 on Monday, September 15, and Wednesday, September 17, 2014, at Holmes Elementary School at 2150 Stanley Street in New Britain (off Hartford Road (Route71) near West Farms Mall).  Audition times both days begin at 6:00 p.m. Rehearsals will be on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The production will be performed at the same location on December 5, 6, and 7, 2014.

A Charlie Brown Christmas faithfully follows the story of the 1965 television special in which Charlie Brown and the gang learn the true meaning of Christmas. Frosty the Snowman is based on the original 1950 song in which the magical snowman “came to life one day!” Both one-acts with music will be performed together, and children auditioning may be cast in one or both of them.

Boys and girls between ages 8 and 14 are encouraged to audition. All levels of experience are welcome, and auditions are open to children from any town. No prepared monologue is required, but those auditioning will meet in small groups with the director and will be asked to read from the play. 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 $75. No child or family, however, will be turned away for inability to pay, so please ask about financial assistance if necessary. Older children age 13 and up may also call with interest in helping backstage.

What’s Next for NBYT?

2014-15 productionsWhat do Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, Tom Sawyer, Robin Goodfellow (you might know him as Puck), Stuart Little, Frosty the Snowman, Charlie Brown, and Dorothy Gale have in common? They’re all characters who’ll be onstage in productions at NBYT in the 2014-15 Season.

The Little Kids on Stage series, for young actors ages 6 to 9, will feature two new scripts by David B. Sousa, who wrote this season’s The Tale of Snow White. The fall show will be Larry Rumpelstiltskin, and in the spring will be Rapunzel and Rutabaga.

The Kids on Stage series for ages 8 to 14 will begin with two one-act Christmas classics in December—Frosty the Snowman and A Charlie Brown Christmas. The Charlie Brown holiday show is newly released for stage productions, so we’re very excited to have it. In the spring, the Kids on Stage production will be Stuart Little, based on the book by E. B. White.

The NBYT Teen Company will also have two productions. The company will begin with the musical The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, written by playwright Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor) with music and lyrics by county music songwriter Don Schlitz. We also plan some promotions with The Mark Twain House in Hartford for Tom Sawyer. The Teen Company will revisit Shakespeare in June with a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (We’re even looking into the possibility of outdoor performances in a park.)

In summer 2015, we’ll come together for a young performers’ edition of The Wizard of Oz, with songs many of us know from the 1939 movie classic.

There’s more news for NBYT’s 2014-15 season too: we may be performing all of these shows at new spaces.

For four seasons, NBYT programming at Trinity-on-Main Performance Space has grown. From a small summer program and a single holiday production in 2010, NBYT now produces seven shows each year as well as acting classes, musical theater classes, improv classes, and homeschool programs. We’ve reached the point where Trinity-on-Main cannot accommodate all of the rehearsal, performance, class, and program hours that NBYT needs. So, we’re faced with the choice of shrinking programming or looking for new space.

Leaving Trinity-on-Main isn’t an easy decision. NBYT has grown in the space, has moved offices twice in the building, has taken on additional rooms for classes and storage, and Trinity feels like home. We also like the downtown location and see much potential in the building. Over the next several weeks, the NBYT Board of Directors will explore other options for rehearsals, performances, and classes. Ideally one location will meet all our needs—performance space, rehearsal space, office, storage, and workspace. Location, safety, and parking are also important considerations for us. We know that we may have to be flexible, but we’re optimistic that we can find a solution without having to shrink programming.

Be assured that this will not affect this year’s summer program at Raymond Hill School, and it will not affect any of our outreach programs to the New Britain school district, other districts, and other organizations. Those programs will go on as scheduled no matter where our office may be.

If anyone knows of a location in New Britain that may meet our needs, either temporarily or permanently, please contact us. We’ll keep all of you updated on our plans, and—as always—we hope to see you for a performance or program soon!

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH Coming May 29 – June 1

James posterNBYT is rehearsing an adaptation of the Roald Dahl adventure, James and the Giant Peach, for performances on May 29, 31 and June 1 at Trinity-on-Main Performance Center.

In James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl’s fantastic story comes to life. Young James Henry Trotter wants to escape when he is sent to live with his mean Aunt Spiker and cruel Aunt Sponge by the shore. After a mysterious man appears with a bag of magic, a peach in their garden—and the bugs and worms living inside it—grow to an enormous size. Together, James and his new friends travel on an incredible journey across the sea.

James and the Giant Peach stars children ages 8 through 14 and is appropriate for audiences of all ages. The cast and crew of thirty-four children has come together from New Britain, Avon, Berlin, Bristol, East Hampton, East Windsor, Farmington, Middletown, Plainville, Southington, Terryville, West Hartford, and Windsor. “One of the most fun challenges of James has been to create the peach itself and the costumes for the bugs and worms,” says production director David B. Sousa.

James and the Giant Peach will be performed at Trinity-on-Main Performance Center, located at 69 Main Street in downtown New Britain. Performances are Thursday, May 29 at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, May 31 at 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, June 1 at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $13 for adults and $11 for children, students, and seniors. Tickets may be reserved by calling New Britain Youth Theater at 860-515-8115 or may be purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets.

Auditions Announced for SEASON OF LIGHT: A WINTER FAIRY TALE

Season of Light logoNBYT will audition children ages 8 through 14 for Season of Light: A Winter Fairy Tale on Sunday, September 15, and Monday, September 16, 2013, at Trinity-on-Main Performance Center Annex at 19 Chestnut Street in New Britain.  Audition times both days begin at 6:00 p.m. For children cast, rehearsals will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays. The production will be performed at Trinity-on-Main on December 6, 7 and 8, 2013.

Season of Light, by Steph DeFerie, is a fun and uplifting holiday play about doing good and bringing light into the world. When a young peasant girl plays the Sister of the Sun in her village’s winter celebration, she is blamed when the days keep getting shorter. In the forest, she meets a traveling group of performers who join in her quest to find the real Sister of the Sun and bring light back to her village. The large cast includes village peasants, traveling performers, a noble lord, a mysterious beggar woman, the moon, and animals of the forest. The production will be directed by NBYT Executive Artistic Director David Sousa.

Both boys and girls between ages 8 and 14 are encouraged to audition. All levels of experience are welcome, and auditions are open to children from any town. No prepared monologue is required, but those auditioning will be asked to repeat lines or read from the play. 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 $60, but will receive two complimentary tickets for the production. No child or family, however, will be turned away for inability to pay, so please ask about financial assistance if necessary. Teens age 13 and up may also call with interest in stage crew and technical positions.