Giving Thanks

Give logoAt this time of year and always, NBYT is thankful for so many people and organizations who have helped to make our theater successful. Our staff, board members, and parent volunteers are tireless. Our children and teens onstage and backstage are the best on any stage! We’re grateful for supportive school districts and schools— especially Holmes Elementary School in New Britain where we’ve performed many of our shows. We’re grateful for organizations like Hartford Performs which brings NBYT and other arts programs into schools. We’re grateful for other supportive and collaborating arts organizations—like the New Britain Museum of American Art where we performed this past summer. We’re very grateful for Connecticut Magazine—which selected NBYT as Connecticut’s Best Children’s Theater in its September 2017 “Best of Connecticut” issue. Of course we’re grateful for our donors. And we’re grateful for everyone who has been a part of making NBYT what it is over the past eight years.

Since 2010, NBYT has served over 6,000 children and teens in school programming in and around New Britain, homeschool programming, drama classes, and performances by and for children and teens. NBYT is a professionally-run community and educational theater which produces a season of performances by and for children and young adults, provides educational programming to schools in and around New Britain, and offers drama classes and individual coaching and lessons. Programs include “Kids on Stage!” and “Little Kids on Stage!” productions, the NBYT Teen Company, Performance Skills 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 participants have come from nearly sixty different towns in Greater New Britain, Greater Hartford, the Farmington Valley, and throughout Connecticut. Over 24,000 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. Participation fees and tickets 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. Just $10 will help to pay for a child’s script. A donation of $25 will help to pay for a child’s costume in a production. A gift of $50 will pay for design supplies for a class to make props and costumes. And $100 or more could help to pay for royalty fees, scripts, set pieces, or props for a production. And because NBYT is nonprofit, all gifts are fully tax-deductible.

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.

  • Attend our production of Annie Jr on December 8, 9 or 10. It’s “the worlds favorite family musical!”
  • Sign up for a class or homeschool program that begins in January. (New class offerings are our on website already; homeschool programs will be posted soon—our homeschool performance group will be creating and performing a vaudeville show in the spring!)
  • Sign up or tell a friend about NBYT’s new all-inclusive programming.
  • Plan to audition in January for a spring production—The Brothers Grim: The Gnome (ages 6-12) or Peter and the Starcatcher (ages 12-18). (Audition dates and details will be announed soon.)
  • Come to Something Rotten—either the Broadway Connection workshop at NBYT or the Broadway touring production at the Bushnell (or both!) in February!
  • Order a hoodie, pullover, or jacket for the holidays.
  • 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.

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

PayPal donation

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.

Join NBYT for SOMETHING ROTTEN!

Something Rotten logoOn SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4, NBYT will host a group trip to see SOMETHING ROTTEN at the Bushnell in Hartford at 1:00 PM.

SOMETHING ROTTEN was called “Broadway’s funniest musical comedy in at least 400 years!” (Time Out New York). Set in the ‘90s—the 1590s that is—brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rockstar known as “The Bard.” When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theater involves singing, dancing, and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first MUSICAL! With its heart on its ruffled sleeve and sequins in its soul, SOMETHING ROTTEN! is an irresistible ode to those dazzling musical creations that entertain us, inspire us, and remind us that everything’s better when you “embrace the exclamation point!”

NBYT has a limited number of rear mezzanine seats for $45 each. To join us, speak to Darren Farrington, email darren@nbyt.org, or call 860-515-8115 and reserve your seats before Monday, January 8.

And, on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, NBYT will host a BROADWAY CONNECTION MASTER CLASS in “Triple Threat Technique” for ages 8 and up from 9 AM to 12 noon with a performer from SOMETHING ROTTEN who will come to NBYT.

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 and technique work in acting, singing and dancing, and finishes with 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 every night!

The three-hour Master Class costs $45 and will be limited to twenty-five students.  Parents may join for the Q&A and to take photos. To register, speak to Darren Farrington, email darren@nbyt.org, or call 860-515-8115. Payment should be made at the time of registration.

Participants are welcome to attend the performance, the master class, or both. Registration for both is offered at a discount cost of $85.

Registration button

 

NBYT Announces New All-Inclusive Programming

Robby
Robby performing in Seussical JR with NBYT.

Five years ago today, a young boy named Robby suffered in an accident which left him with a severe brain injury. Robby had performed with NBYT for the first time in the past summer’s production of Seussical JR, and Robby’s mother is NBYT director, musical director, and teaching artist Angela Klimaytis. For five years, Robby’s family has continued to care for, love, and fight for him, and we’ve enjoyed having him in the audience for several productions.

At NBYT, we know that all children can enjoy and benefit from participation in theater, no matter what their abilities or the extent of their participation may be. In honor of Robby, we’re announcing today a new All-Inclusive Program for children and teens of any and all physical, mental, sensory, and emotional abilities. Program development and the first year of programming have been funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain.

An eight-week introductory Stage Performance class on Monday afternoons for ages 8 to 18 will begin the programming in January. As with all of the our Stage Performance classes, the curriculum will include drama games and warm-ups, development of voice and movement skills to each student’s abilities, ensemble building, instruction of stage performance skills, and rehearsal of scenes for performance. The class will conclude with a showcase performance of scenes for an audience of family and friends. Spring programming will include a second eight-week class plus a small-scale production to be announced.

All-inclusive 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. As with all NBYT programming, classes and rehearsal will align with National Arts Standards and over time will cover a range of theatrical texts and styles.

NBYT has included participants on the autism spectrum, with learning disorders, and with physical disabilities or limitations in past productions. Often, however, we’ve gotten inquiries or requests to offer programming so that children or teens who are more challenged may participate as well—specifically because of the social and emotional benefits of participation and because such programming is lacking in central Connecticut.

Classes and productions will be led by Senior Teaching Artist Nicki LaPorte. Working with the theater since 2011, LaPorte is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University with a double major in Educational Theater and U.S. History. During the day she works with New Britain Public Schools in special education, and in the afternoons and evenings she brings a love of the performing arts to children and teens in acting classes and shows. She has also directed and taught through Hartford Performs, East Hartford Public Schools, Performing Arts Programs, the Gateway Project in Huntingon, Massachusetts, and The Freedom Theater in the West Bank of Palestine. She has performed recently with Hole in the Wall Theater in New Britain, and with Elmwood Productions in West Hartford as a puppeteer.

Families interested in learning more about New Britain Youth Theater’s all-inclusive programming or pre-registering for winter or spring programs may contact the theater by email at education@nbyt.org or by phone at 860-515-8115. More information about other NBYT productions and programming may also be found online at www.nbyt.org.

NBYT Holiday Sweatshirt Sale

Best Theater 2017 logo (color)

NBYT is selling hoodies, pullovers, and jackets with a special logo celebrating that we are Connecticut’s Best Children’s Theater, as chosen by the editors of CONNECTICUT Magazine in their September “Best Of Connecticut” issue.

An order form may be downloaded and brought with payment to any rehearsal, class, or performance. We’ll have forms available too. Forms may also be mailed, or orders may be placed by phone with a credit card. A first batch of orders will go to our printer by Thanksgiving; a second batch will go in after December 10 (closing date of ANNIE JR) for delivery before Christmas. Orders may be accepted through January as well.

Order items for the whole family and show your NBYT pride!

Sweatshirt Sale

Help NBYT Find HOME!

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.