Come Celebrate With Us!

Save the date on March 16 to join NBYT in celebrating its Ninth Birthday! We’re planning nine events between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., and you’re invited to join us!

We’ll begin in the morning with an open house and open classes during our regular Stage Play, Stage Performance, and Improv times. In the afternoon, we’ll hold special classes and workshops in Family Improv, Tiny Tots Theater Playtime, Set Decoration and Design, and Puppetry with guest artists from Elmwood Productions. At night we’ll have not one but two parties—a “Get Us Home!” Kick-off Party  (with performances and the announcement of our 10th anniversary 2019-20 season) at 7 p.m. and an Open Mic Party at 8 p.m.! Along with fun and entertainment, we’ll have raffles, birthday cupcakes, and other snacks and drinks!

Schedule of Events

  • 9:00 a.m. Open House and open Stage Play class at 9:30-10:30 a.m. (ages 5-9)*
  • 10:40 – 11:40 a.m. – Open Stage Performance class (ages 9-14)*
  • 11:50 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. – Open Improv class (ages 10-16)*
  • 1:00 – 1:45 p.m. – Family Improv (all ages welcome)*
  • 2:00 – 2:45 p.m. – Tiny Tots Theater Playgroup (ages 3-4 with parent or caregiver)*
  • 3:00 – 3:45 p.m. – Set Decoration and Design (ages 5-18)*
  • 4:00 – 4:45 p.m. – Puppetry with Jon Bristol of Elmwood Productions (ages 5-18)*
  • 7:00 p.m. “Get Us Home” Kick-Off Party
  • 8:00 p.m. Open Mic

Registration is encouraged for starred events. Everything all day is free! Donations will be accepted, and all proceeds will benefit the NBYT “Get Us Home” Fund to help NBYT find, pay for, renovate, and move to a new space.

Do you want to perform at open mic? Email darren@nbyt.org or nicki@nbyt.org  or just talk to us at a rehearsal or class to let us know what you’d like to do. All kinds of acts are encouraged—and kids and parents, students and staff all are welcome to perform!

NBYT’s 2018-19 Season!

2018-19 posterSix months ago, NBYT was chosen by the editors of Connecticut Magazine as Connecticut’s Best Children’s Theater. This wasn’t a popularity contest, and it wasn’t a recognition that NBYT is the biggest, oldest, or most financially stable children’s theater in the state—we’re none of those things. But we were chosen as the best. We believe that we received that recognition because we work hard, because we do our best, and because we try to expand what it means to be a children’s theater.

Sure, we do Annie and The Lion King and all the children’s classics, but we’ve also done three Shakespeare plays, American classics by Arthur Miller and Thornton Wilder, an adaptation of The Prince and the Pauper set in Mark Twain’s attic in Connecticut, musicals that have run on Broadway for years or for just days, and original plays by local theater artists. Our next season will again be a combination of known and loved classics, scripts that will challenge us, favorite books adapted for the stage, an original production, and a Broadway musical for young actors.

Our first production of the season will stretch the limits and the minds of the Teen Company. Based on the 1998 attack and death of Matthew Shepard, The Laramie Project was written by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project—and, if we can get a financial sponsorship to cover costs, a member of that company may come to work with our cast. Auditions will be held in August, and the cast will be kept small. Because of the subject matter, the ages for this production will be 16 to 20 (parents of younger teens may speak to the director if their children would like to be involved). The production will open on October 12—the twentieth anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death.

Our second production, our holiday show in December, will be an original musical adaptation of The Velveteen Rabbit written by our own musical director, Angela Klimaytis. Angela directed and produced this show at Mooreland Hills School last December, and she is licensing it to NBYT for a bigger, more developed production that will include children and teens ages 6 to 16.

In the spring, NBYT will perform Charlotte’s Web. This will be a production of the dramatic version of E.B. White’s classic children’s book about sacrifices made for new and cherished friends. Ages for this production will be 6 to 12.

The Teen Company’s spring production will be William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Our past productions of Shakespeare have been a twentieth-century (1967 to be exact) Romeo and Juliet, an eighteenth-century pre-Revolutionary War Midsummer Night’s Dream, and a futuristic post-nuclear Macbeth. In our Tempest, it will be a nineteenth-century Connecticut whaling ship that will be wrecked on a remote Atlantic island inhabited by a sorcerer, his daughter, and mystical spirits and creatures. Performances will be outdoors on the grounds of the New Britain Museum of American Art, with an additional performance potentially at Mystic Seaport.

Finally, our summer musical in 2019 will be Disney’s Mary Poppins Jr. If schedules work out, we may have one of the Broadway company members come to teach us some of the choreography and to talk about his experience performing in the show on Broadway.

There it is! Another ambitious season is planned—and we hope that you’ll join us for one or more productions!

NBYT Announces a “Golden” Season!

Season titlesNew Britain Youth Theater recently announced a new season—its eighth! From Daddy Warbucks’ gold fortunes to Peter Pan’s golden starstuff to Charlie Bucket’s golden ticket, it’s going to be a golden season at NBYT! We may even have a Solid Gold 80’s party before the season is out! We’ll also have young writers, young directors, princesses (one of them gold), knights, dragons, pirates, mermaids, more candy, and more orphans (in Neverland and New York) than you can shake a pixie stick at!

Here are the productions for the 2017-18 season!

Short Play Festival
November 2017 (auditions in September for ages 12 to 18)
A collection of original short comedies and dramas will include a few written by and directed by some of NBYT’s own young participants!

Annie Jr
December 2017 (auditions in September for ages 6 to 18)
Adapted from one of Broadway’s best-loved and most award-winning musicals, Annie Jr follows the young orphan and her friends in 1930s New York City on a life-changing adventure that ends with a Christmas surprise!

The Brothers Grimm The Gnome
April 2018 (auditions in January for ages 6-12)
The Brothers Grimm fairy tale, adapted by the writers of NBYT’s Unlocked and Penny and the Pirates, includes three princesses, three knights, three dragons, and a gnome who causes hilarious mischief for them all!

Peter and the Starcatcher
May 2018 (auditions in January for ages 12-18)
Based on the novel written as a prequel to Peter Pan, this play with music tells the thrilling adventures of a young orphan who becomes The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up, and explores the origins of Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, and Neverland itself!

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Jr
July 2018 (registration to begin in March for ages 5-16)
This musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, includes songs from the 1971 film and a score of new songs as it follows poor young Charlie Bucket and four insufferable brats on their visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory!

Later this month, NBYT will announce new classes and educational programs for the new season. We hope you’re as excited as we are for this golden season of fortunes found, starstuff spread, and magical dreams come true!

 

Join NBYT for Teen Wednesdays in July

Teen Company logo (new)

On Wednesdays in July, NBYT invites teens (ages 13-19) to be part of four discussions/planning meetings/social gatherings that will help to guide planning for the 2017-18 NBYT season of production and classes and beyond. The gatherings will also become the basis for a new Teen Advisory Board that will be formed in the fall. Two teens will also be chosen to join the theater’s Board of Directors as full members.

Between 6 and 8 PM each week at the NBYT Studio Space at the Berlin YMCA, we’ll have a planned discussion, some theater games and activities, and pizza and drinks for a suggested contribution of $5. Teens are also welcome to bring their own drinks and snacks. Come any week or all four.

July 5: Choosing a Season

Popular versus obscure. New versus classic. Musical versus play. Find out how a theater’s season of productions is chosen. What factors are most important? And when can a theater take risks in choosing something not so well known—or completely unknown? Give your suggestions for future seasons too, and find out at the end of the night what shows NBYT will produce in its 2017-18 season.

July 12: Planning the Short Play Festival

In the fall, NBYT will produce its first annual (we hope!) Short Play Festival. The goal is that some of our own kid and teen participants will submit scripts, direct, stage manage, and help to produce a series of short plays. All interested directors and playwrights should attend. We’ll talk about how directors work and what they should consider, what stage managers do, and how writers should be involved in the process. Young playwrights are encouraged to bring some of their work to share. (The deadline for submitting scripts and signing up to direct is July 31.)

July 19: Budgeting for a Production

Like it or not, how much money a theater has is a big factor in what shows it can do and what programs it can offer. Join in a role-playing game to help balance a hypothetical theater’s budget (and we promise—that’s more fun than it sounds), learn how a theater can increase its revenue, and give some fundraising ideas of your own.

July 26: Actor Training and Education

Even the most experienced actors continue to work on their craft through classes, workshops, and coaching. Help us to plan what classes and workshops to offer for our older participants by telling us what skills you’re most interested in developing. Also find out what classes NBYT is offering in the fall, and help to shape the curriculums of those classes. (Winter and spring classes will be planned around your suggestions.) Tell us your favorite games and activities from any theater rehearsals or classes, and we’ll play a few of those too.

To participate, email darren@nbyt.org, call 860-515-8115, or just show up ready to share your ideas, maybe a learn a few things, and have fun.

Calling Aspiring Writers and Directors! NBYT’s Short Play Festival Is Coming!

SPF 2017It’s usually not until later in the spring that NBYT announces its productions for the following season—but we’ve got an announcement that we everyone to know about early!

In the fall of 2017, NBYT will hold its first annual (we hope) SHORT PLAY FESTIVAL!

We’ve produced a collection of short plays before (Comic Shorts, April 2013) but this time we’re inviting aspiring playwrights of any age to submit scripts, and we’re inviting aspiring directors age 12 to 18 to direct. Teens are also welcome to be involved as designers, stage managers, or producers. Don’t have any experience as a director or in any of these other roles? Not to worry! Each production will have an NBYT staff member working on it for guidance; in some cases, a staff member may even be directing the production. Auditions for actors will be held in the fall.

DIRECTORS: To submit yourself as a potential director, contact SPF@nbyt.org by July 31, 2017. You may submit a specific short play (under 20 pages) which you’d like to direct, or you may choose to be assigned to a play.

DESIGNERS, STAGE MANAGERS, and PRODUCERS: To submit yourself for one of these roles, also contact SPF@nbyt.org by July 31, 2017. You may let us know if there’s a specific play you’d like to work on, or you may be assigned to a play.

PLAYWRIGHTS: Submit your scripts to SPF@nbyt.org or by hand to Executive and Artistic Director Darren Farrington by July 31, 2017.

To be considered for production, all play submissions must follow these guidelines:

  1. Plays may be written by one or more people, but all contributing writers’ names must be credited.
  2. No person may submit more than three scripts for consideration.
  3. Plays may be original works or adaptations. Adaptations must be based on works in the public domain or permission of the author of the underlying work must be obtained and proven.
  4. Plays must be no more than twenty (20) pages and must be typed in 12-point size of a standard font with one-inch margins on all sides of each page. A character list must be included at the beginning of the play, along with any notes on possible double casting and the setting. Pages must be numbered. There is no minimum length for submissions.
  5. Plays must be suitable for either all ages or middle school age and up.
  6. Plays submitted by email must be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF formats.
  7. Plays must be able to be produced with minimal design elements and no required special effects.
  8. Playwrights must agree to license plays for production by New Britain Youth Theater for up to four (4) performances. No compensation will be paid to playwrights.
  9. If a play cannot be considered for any reason, NBYT will notify writers as soon as possible. If a problem is easily fixable and the play otherwise has merit, writers may be asked for revisions.
  10. Early submissions (before July 31) are permitted and encouraged.

Questions may be directed to NBYT Executive and Artistic Director Darren Farrington at darren@nbyt.org.