Support NBYT!

The past year has brought some exceptional moments for NBYT! We’ve met a gnome named Gnathan and a boy who would become Peter. We’ve laughed in a chocolate factory, and we’ve cried at a fence outside Laramie, Wyoming. In our first Short Play Festival, young local writers heard their words performed in staged readings. More young stagehands, theater technicians, and assistant designers have helped behind the scenes this year too—thanks in part to new equipment and training funded by a grant from NBC Connecticut, Telemundo Connecticut, and NBC Universal Foundation. And thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, NBYT began all-inclusive programming to offer a class to specifically welcome, engage, and challenge each student to their own physical, mental, sensory, and emotional abilities.

At this time of year and always, NBYT is thankful for the many people and organizations who have helped to build these memorable moments. Our staff, board members, and parent volunteers are dedicated and tireless. Our children and teens onstage and backstage are the best anywhere! We’re grateful for supportive school districts and schools— especially Holmes Elementary School and Raymond Hill School at the Klingberg Family Center in New Britain where we’ve performed in the past season. We’re grateful for organizations like Hartford Performs which brings NBYT and other arts programs into schools, and for Broadway Connection which has brought Broadway touring performers to work with us. We’re grateful for other supportive and collaborating arts organizations—like the New Britain Museum of American Art where we’ll perform again in the coming year. We’re grateful to service organizations like the Connecticut Arts Alliance which advocates for the arts and arts education, and to the Greater New Britain Arts Alliance which selected NBYT as Arts Organization of the Year in May 2018. Of course we’re grateful for our donors. And we’re grateful for everyone who has been a part of making memorable moments at NBYT for nearly nine years.

Since 2010, NBYT has served over 7,200 children and teens in school programming, homeschool programming, drama classes, and performances by and for children and teens. In 2018, NBYT changed its name to No Boundaries Youth Theater in order to reflect that we are—and always have been—a youth theater that serves children, teens, and families from all communities, with all abilities, and to be involved in a variety of ways both onstage and off.

As of this year, NBYT participants have come from over sixty-five towns in Greater New Britain, Greater Hartford, the Farmington Valley, and throughout Connecticut. Over 26,000 people have attended hundreds of performances and share day presentations. As reasons for returning to NBYT, parents cite the quality staff and programs, the low cost of participation, and the gains in confidence that their children achieve.

But providing low-cost theater programs to children and teens isn’t free, and NBYT continues to struggle to raise donations. Participation fees and ticket costs pay for only part of the set, costume, and prop expenses of each production. NBYT also pays salaries and stipends; office, program, and storage space rent; royalties and script costs; class and craft supplies; insurance; marketing costs; and more. It’s important to us at NBYT to continue to provide children and families with programming at the lowest cost possible. To do this, NBYT relies on donations from a generous community.

A donation of any amount can help.

  • A gift of $100 or more could help to pay for royalty fees, scripts, set pieces, or props for a production.
  • $50 will pay for design supplies for a cast or class to help make props and costumes of their own.
  • $25 will help to pay for a child’s costume in a production.
  • Even $10—less than the cost of a ticket—will help to pay for a child’s script.

To make a tax-deductible donation online, you may use PayPal (to nbyt2010@gmail.com) or any major credit card.

Donations may also be mailed to: NBYT, P.O. Box 306, New Britain, CT 06050. NBYT also gladly accepts donations through workplace giving campaigns. Please ask employers about matching grant possibilities as well.

There are many other ways to support NBYT too. We know well that our families and patrons already support us with participation fees, ticket purchases, program announcements, and more. You can also:

  • Attend our production of The Velveteen Rabbit on December 7, 8 or 9. This is a new musical adaptation, written by our Angela Klimaytis, of a beloved children’s book.
  • Sign up for a class or homeschool program that begins in January. (New class offerings will follow our Fall schedule, and will be on our website soon!)
  • Plan to audition for a spring production—Charlotte’s Web (ages 6-12) or Shakespeare’s The Tempest (ages 13-20) which has pre-audition workshops in December. (Audition dates and details will be announced soon.)
  • Shop through Amazon Smile and choose NBYT to receive a percentage of sales proceeds, or donate a car or other vehicle to NBYT.
  • Tell a friend or family member why NBYT is important to you and your children and that this organization is deserving of their support as well.
  • Or, if you’re feeling especially moved to share your time and talents, consider serving on our Board of Directors or on a newly-forming Parent Volunteer Committee. (Contact Darren Farrington or a board member for details.)

We want NBYT to continue for years to come—but we can only do that with support from a community that values what we do. If your child or family has shared a special or memorable moment with NBYT, please consider donating or volunteering in some way.

If you’ve already donated this year or are giving your time to NBYT, we sincerely thank you for your support!

Be in the Room Where It Happens!

In December, the National Touring Company of HAMILTON will be in Hartford at The Bushnell, and NBYT will host a BROADWAY CONNECTION MASTER CLASS with one of the actors!

Winner of 11 Tony Awards and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, HAMILTON is one of Broadway’s biggest hits. Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and based on Ron Chernow’s bestselling biography, this musical celebrates taking your shot, speaking your mind, and turning the world upside down.

On THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27, NBYT will host a Master Class in “Triple Threat Technique” for ages 10 and up from 9 a.m. to 12 noon with a performer from HAMILTON who will come to NBYT. (An alternate date of Friday, December 28, is also being held at the request of Broadway Connection. If the date changes, a full refund will be given to anyone who cannot attend on the alternate date.) The class will be held at Mooreland Hill School at 166 Lincoln Street in the Kensington section of Berlin.

PLEASE NOTE: This workshop does not include a performance of Hamilton or a ticket to see the show. Group discounts are not available at the Bushnell for this production, so NBYT is not organizing a group outing to this show.

Broadway Connection provides students the opportunity to work in a positive, familiar, and intimate environment with current Broadway performers. The Master Class includes a warm-up, learning a song and dance number from HAMILTON, technique work in acting, singing and dancing, and a Q & A session in which participants are encouraged to ask about education, auditions, working on Broadway, traveling with productions, and the excitement of performing in of the world’s favorite musicals!

The three-hour Master Class costs $75 and will be limited to forty-five students.  Parents may join for the Q&A and to take photos. Please register online or contact NBYT Executive Director Darren Farrington at darren@nbyt.org. Payment must be made at the time of registration.

Registration button 3

Fall Programs and Auditions at NBYT

 

No Boundaries Youth Theater begins its ninth season with another ambitious offering of classes and auditions!

The new season kicks off with auditions this month for a December production of an original musical adaptation of The Velveteen Rabbit. Based on the 1922 classic children’s book by Margery Williams, the play tells the story of a toy rabbit who longs for nothing more than to be real. With a script, music, and lyrics written specifically for young performers, this magical story explores themes of friendship, love, and overcoming insecurity—all coming to life in a world with plenty of talking toys, a magical nursery fairy, real rabbits, one very real boy, and many others!

Auditions for The Velveteen Rabbit are on Monday and Wednesday, September 10 and 12, at Holmes Elementary School at 2150 Stanley Street in New Britain (off Hartford Road (Route 71)). Audition times both days begin at 6:00 p.m. Actors auditioning should prepare any musical theater song and should bring sheet music if possible, or they will be given a song to sing. Actors should also wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to learn a few dance steps. Rehearsals will also be on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The production will be performed at the same location on December 7, 8 and 9. To schedule an audition, visit www.nbyt.org, call 860-515-8115 or email auditions@nbyt.org.

Also this fall, NBYT will perform The Laramie Project. The most serious drama that NBYT will produce to date, The Laramie Project is the story of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard, the two young men who targeted, viciously beat, and left him to die in a field in Laramie, Wyoming in October 1998, and the community that became suddenly synonymous with this hate crime. It’s not a story about Matthew Shepard being gay. It’s about whether we let fear, hatred, and anger define us as a community. And it’s a story that needs to be told now more than ever. Auditions have already been held, and the play will be performed by older teen and 20 year-old actors of the company on October 19, 20 and 21.

Theater classes and homeschool enrichment programs also begin in September at NBYT. On Saturday mornings beginning September 22, the theater will offer classes in stage play (ages 5-9), acting (ages 9-14), and improv (ages 10-16). Younger children will stage Central American Stories. Drama games and scenes based on Mexican and Central American folktales will be used to teach the basics of theatrical storytelling, character development, voice, and movement. Older students will focus their study on comic timing in a class title Make ‘em Laugh. The theater’s popular improv class welcomes new students and challenges returning students to build new skills. Each eight-week class term ends with a short performance open to family and friends.

On Thursday evenings beginning September 20, all-abilities classes begin and are open to all children ages 9 through 14, including those of any physical, mental, sensory, or emotional ability. The class begins with drama games and warm-ups, development of voice and movement skills to each student’s abilities, ensemble building, and instruction of stage performance skills. The group then develops and rehearses an original play or short scenes for performance.

Homeschool enrichment programs begin on Tuesday, September 18, and include a program for young actors ages 5 to 8, a performance program for ages 8 to 14, and classes in music (ages 8-16) and improv (ages 8-16). This term, the performance class will produce an original murder mystery, and they’ll discuss and learn about some classic mysteries written for the stage. The term ends with a daytime and evening performance for family and friends.

Classes and homeschool programs are held at NBYT’s Studio Theater space at the New Britain-Berlin YMCA Program Center at 362 Main Street in the Kensington Center of Berlin.

The theater can be reached for questions or registration at 860-515-8115 or info@nbyt.org. More information is also available on the theater’s website at www.nbyt.org.

Register for Fall Classes!

We hate to see summer vacation end as much as any kid, but it’s almost September and time to start thinking about Fall Classes! How about making the school year a little more dramatic with a class in acting or improv?

ALL-ABILITIES CLASSES

All-abilities programming includes those children—as well as others who may choose to participate—in a program that will specifically welcome, engage, and challenge each of them to their own physical, mental, sensory, and emotional abilities.

STAGE PERFORMANCE FOR ALL
Thursdays 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Ages 9 – 14 (8 weeks, September 20 – November 15)

The class will begin with drama games and warm-ups, development of voice and movement skills to each student’s abilities, ensemble building, and instruction of stage performance skills. In the second hour, the class will develop and rehearse an original play or short scenes for performance. A one-hour class option is also available. Please contact us for details.

SATURDAY CLASSES

STAGE PLAY: CENTRAL AMERICAN STORIES
Saturdays, 9:30 – 10:30 am
Ages 5 – 8 (8 weeks, September 22 – November 17)

Join us South of the Border as we explore the rich history of folk tales, fairy tales, and fables from Mexico and Central America. Drama games and scenes based on these tales will be used to teach the basics of theatrical story telling, character development, voice, and movement. Older and returning students will be challenged to further develop roles and begin script analysis. The term ends with a showcase performance for family and friends.

STAGE PERFORMANCE SKILLS: MAKE ‘EM LAUGH (COMIC TIMING)
Saturdays, 10:40 – 11:40 am
Ages 9 – 14 (8 weeks, September 22  – November 17)

Playing comedy, and finding the right timing for that comedy, is one of the hardest skills for actors to learn. This class will explore various types of comedy and how to play it for the biggest laughs! Prior acting experience is recommended but not required. The term ends with a showcase performance for family and friends.

IMPROV IN PERFORMANCE
Saturdays, 11:50 am – 12:50 pm
Ages 10 – 16 (8 weeks, September 22 – November 17)

Get a basic understanding of improvisational theater concepts such as story building, environmental awareness, saying “yes,” and making and accepting dramatic offers. The class will be introduced to short-form improv designed to build teamwork and reinforce basic concepts. Returning students will be challenged to build their skills and develop longer scenes. The terms ends with a performance, and other performance opportunities may be added.

HOMESCHOOL CLASSES

HOMESCHOOL JUNIOR PLAYERS
Tuesdays, 9:00 am – 9:45 am
Ages 5 – 8 (10 weeks, September 18 – November 20)

A new program for younger homeschool performers offers our popular Saturday Stage Play class on Tuesday mornings. Drama games and scenes based on folk tales will be used to teach the basics of theatrical story telling, character development, voice, and movement. The term ends with a showcase performance for family and friends.

HOMESCHOOL REPERTORY PLAYERS
Tuesdays, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Ages 8 – 14 (10 weeks, September 18 – November 20)

A performance and production class is offered beginning in September and January—each term focusing on a different theme or style of theater. In Fall 2018, the class will produce an original murder mystery, and we’ll discuss and learn about some classic mysteries written for the stage! The term ends with a daytime and evening performance for family and friends.

MUSIC
Tuesdays, 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Ages 8 – 16 (10 weeks, September 18 – November 20)

Students will learn about the musical elements of pitch, duration, tempo, dynamics, timbre, and form through a sequential, developmentally appropriate course of study.  Students will engage in a variety of musical activities including singing with quality folk literature, playing instruments, and movement to the masters, both classic and contemporary. Students will create, perform and respond to music in an environment that encourages them to be tuneful, beautiful, and artful.

IMPROV
Tuesdays, 1:40 – 2:40 pm
Ages 8 – 16 (10 weeks, September 18 – November 20)

Students will get a basic understanding of improvisational theater concepts such as story building, environmental awareness, saying “yes,” and making and accepting dramatic offers. The group is introduced to short-form improv games designed to build teamwork and reinforce basic concepts. No prior experience in theater or improv is necessary, and participants will be able to take what they learn and use it to not only become better actors, but also better listeners and speakers. Experienced performers will be challenged to expand their skills and stretch their choices.

COACHING AND PRIVATE LESSONS

Private acting coaching, lessons, and audition preparation are available with NBYT Teaching Artists on a weekly or one-time basis.

To register for one or more classes, click below!

Registration button

COST AND OTHER DETAILS

The cost of each one-hour class is $100 per student for each 8-week term. The cost of the two-hour all-abilities class and two-hour homeschool class is $150.

Students within one year of the age requirements may be allowed to register with approval of the instructor and Executive Director.

All classes meet at the New Britain-Berlin YMCA Program Center at 362 Main Street in the Kensington section of Berlin.

For more information, or to arrange a visit to NBYT, please call 860-515-8115 or email classes@nbyt.org.

Audition and Performance Dates Announced for THE LARAMIE PROJECT

Laramie poster

This fall, the NBYT Teen Company will begin the theater’s 2018-19 season with The Laramie Project by Moisés Kaufman and the Members of Tectonic Theater Project.

“The Laramie Project is the most serious drama that NBYT will produce to date,” says NBYT Executive and Artistic Director Darren Farrington. “It’s the story of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard, the two young men who targeted, viciously beat, and left him to die in a field in Laramie, Wyoming in October 1998, and the community that became suddenly synonymous with this hate crime. But it’s not a story about Matthew Shepard being gay. It’s about whether we let fear, hatred, and anger define us as a community. And it’s a story that needs to be told now more than ever.”

Auditions for the production will be held on Monday and Wednesday, July 30 and August 1, at 6 p.m. at the theater’s Studio Theater space at the New Britain-Berlin YMCA at 362 Main Street in Berlin. Anyone who cannot attend on July 30 or August 1 may schedule an audition earlier in July. Actors auditioning should prepare a dramatic monologue of approximately one minute from a modern play (1920 to present). Actors auditioning should also be prepared to discuss the subject matter and their interest in this project. A company of 8 to 12 actors will be cast who will play over sixty roles in the script. Due to language and content, the ages for this production will be 16-20. Younger actors may join with their parents full understanding and permission; older actors may join with permission of the director.

Rehearsals for the production will begin on August 29 and are planned for Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Auditions are being held early so actors may begin learning their lines in August.) As part of the rehearsal process, a workshop will be held with a member of Tectonic Theater Project who will travel to NBYT from New York, and discussions are planned with local LGBTQ advocacy groups. Performances will be on October 19, 20 and 21. Due to the short rehearsal period, some additional rehearsal time may be necessary.

To schedule an audition, or to ask any questions about this production, please email auditions@nbyt.org or contact NBYT Executive and Artistic Director Darren Farrington. 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.