Archive for the ‘Theater’ Category

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Musical Theater Songwriting

January 17, 2020

High school song writers

2020 MUSICAL THEATER SONGWRITING CHALLENGE OPENS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Washington, DC—Calling all high school songwriters! Beginning January 13, the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Theatre Wing are accepting submissions to the 2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge. This national contest is for high school students with a passion for writing songs that could be part of a musical theater production and the wide range of musical styles represented in contemporary musicals. The goal of the program is to engage the musical theater field in nurturing the next generation of songwriters.The Songwriting Challenge provides six winners with a coaching team consisting of a mentor and music director (both musical theater professionals) to hone an original song into a Broadway-ready composition and then have that song recorded by Broadway musicians and vocalists in New York City. Final songs will be distributed on streaming music platforms and compiled into a songbook created by Concord Theatricals. The final recordings of the songs by the 2019 winners are on the recording sessions landing page.

The application is simple and can be completed online. The deadline is April 6, 2020 at midnight ET.

The Arts Endowment and the Wing welcome back Disney Theatrical Productions, Concord Theatricals, and the National Music Publishers’ Association as Songwriting Challenge partners.

Key dates and details for the 2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge are:

•    After the submission deadline of April 6, 2020, the Arts Endowment and the Wing will convene panels in different regions of the country to review all submissions. Each panel consists of experienced songwriters and musicians who select one winner or a duo from its region in a blind competition. Those winners will be announced at the end of May 2020.

•    Beginning in June, the winners work with their coaches remotely using video conferencing software followed by a weekend workshop later in the summer when the coaches travel to the winner’s hometown. To see workshops in action, go to the workshop landing page for the 2019 winners. At the end of the workshop, the song is transcribed for an ensemble and the winner has the opportunity to select the instruments and voices that make up their ensemble.

•    The recording sessions take place in the fall when the artists come together in New York City to make the best recording possible. Go to the recording sessions landing page for audio, photos and other materials from the 2019 sessions. Lead vocalists last year included Derek Klena (Jagged Little Pill), Gizel Jimenez (Wicked), and Jessie Shelton (Hadestown) among others.

To learn more and to apply, go to arts.gov/songwriting. To join the conversation on Twitter use #IWriteMusicals.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more about National Endowment for the Arts.

About the American Theatre Wing
The American Theatre Wing champions bravery, with a focus on developing the next generation of brave artists. We envision an American Theatre that is as vital, multi-faceted, and diverse as the American people. The Wing’s programs span the nation to invest in the growth and evolution of American theatre.

We provide theatre education opportunities for underserved students through the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative, develop the next generation of theatre professionals through the SpringboardNYC, Theatre Intern Network, and SwingSeats programs, incubate innovative theatre across the country through the National Theatre Company Grants, support emerging musical theatre songwriters through the Jonathan Larson® Grants in addition to the Songwriting Challenge, and illuminate the creative process through the Emmy-nominated “Working in the Theatre” documentary series. In addition to founding the Tony Awards®, which are co-presented with The Broadway League, the American Theatre Wing co-presents the Obie Awards®, Off Broadway’s Highest Honor, with The Village Voice.AmericanTheatreWing.org.

If you have questions please contact Victoria Hutter, hutterv@arts.gov, 202-682-5692.

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Playwriting Workshop

January 2, 2020

Portland Stage

Join Portland Stage education program for an interactive playwriting workshop with actor, playwright, and Maine Native, John Cariani. As a playwright, Cariani is best known for his play Almost, Maine which he will be performing in this season at Portland Stage. Other plays include cul-de-sac, Last Gas, and LOVE/SICK. As an actor, Cariani’s Broadway credits include Tony Award winning Broadway musical The Band’s Visit, Fiddler on the Roof (Tony Award nominee for Best Featured Actor in a musical), Something Rotten!. Coming up next, John will be heading back to Broadway in Tony Kushner’s Caroline or Change.
The workshop is designed for high school students and will be held at Portland Stage on January 20, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Cost is $50 however there are partial and full scholarships available – no one will be left out! For more information please email education@portlandstage.org.
Sign up at: https://www.portlandstage.org/education/classes/
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Ringing of the Bells

December 31, 2019

Muppisode

I think it’s only appropriate that I include for the final blog of holiday posts and the last post of the decade and 2019 – Animal, Beaker and The Swedish Chef’s rendition of “Ringing of the Bells’ for your enjoyment. I hope your holidays have been filled with kindness and as the Muppets always remind me – LAUGHTER!

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Intergenerational

December 2, 2019

Puppetry, Storytelling, Music

On Saturday, December 7, students from Falmouth High School (FHS) and residents of The Cedars retirement community in Portland will gather for An Intergenerational Celebration of Puppetry, Storytelling, and Music. The event will mark the culmination of a four-month long project in collaboration between FHS, The Cedars, and Figures of Speech Theatre (FST).
FST Director of Education, Ian Bannon, designed and directed the project, which began with a series of TimeSlips creative storytelling sessions at The Cedars. TimeSlips is a collaborative storytelling format designed by MacArthur Fellow Anne Basting for use by people with cognitive disabilities like dementia. Creativity is an ideal way for people with cognitive challenges to communicate. TimeSlips is developed as a ritual so people with memory loss can learn it through their subconscious or implicit memory. It is based on shifting the emphasis from memory to imagination.
FHS students took turns joining Bannon for the sessions at The Cedars, assisting with the storytelling sessions while gaining first-hand experience with TimeSlips and familiarity with the residents.
FHS Theater Teacher Dede Waite’s students from FHS then dove into the rehearsal process, learning about full-body silhouette shadow puppetry from Bannon and Devon Kelley-Yurdin, a visual artist and community organizer. Students then used the skills learned during rehearsal to adapt three of the TimeSlips-generated stories into original shadow plays. Students in FHS Music Teacher Jake Sturtevant’s music composition class created an original score for each performance, elevating and polishing their fellow students’ work.
Towards the end of the rehearsal process, Cedars residents were invited to join FHS students at the school for a hands-on shadow puppetry workshop, allowing students a chance to work side-by-side with the residents to create short vignettes using the skills they had developed.
The final performances will take place during An Intergenerational Celebration of Puppets, Storytelling, and Music at The Cedars at 1:30 PM on Saturday, December 7. Students will present their adaptations live for the residents. Following the performances, the students, residents, and audience members will be invited to join in an ice cream social designed to foster an intergenerational exchange about the process and performance. Members of the public are fully encouraged to attend.
This project was been funded in part by a Project Grant for Organizations from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Since 1982, Figures of Speech Theatre, has toured the world for more than 35 years with original works created at the intersection of drama, poetry, sculpture and dance. The company has performed in venues including the New Victory Theater, the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennedy Center, and Tokyo’s International House. Through their educational programing—which takes place in all 16 Maine counties—FST seeks to engage imaginations, impart skill-based training, awaken consciousness regarding world cultures, and expand students’ sense of life’s possibilities. We offer a range of programming and touring productions in service of that vision.
More information about Figures of Speech Theatre is available on their website: www.figures.org.
The Cedars, Maine and Northern New England’s most comprehensive, non-profit senior community was founded in 1929 as the Jewish Home for Aged. As we celebrate 90 years of innovation, The Cedars offers a full continuum of senior living options, including: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care. Currently under construction is the new Sam L. Cohen Households, due to open in Fall 2020, will provide a home environment using the best practices for an enlightened, person-centered approach to care in private rooms for rehabilitation, skilled nursing care and a new, vitally-needed memory care assisted living.
More information about The Cedars is available on their website: www.thecedarsportland.org.
An Intergenerational Celebration of Puppetry, Story-Telling, and Music will be presented on Saturday, December 7 at 1:30 PM at The Cedars, 630 Ocean View Ave in Portland. The performance, which will be followed by an ice cream social, is open to the public free of charge. For more information, please contact Angie Hunt at (207) 221-7171.
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Bye Bye Birdie

November 7, 2019

Medomak Valley High School

 

 

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Mary Poppins

November 6, 2019

Camden Hills Regional High School

The Camden Hills Regional High School musical “Mary Poppins” is taking flight this November. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 8, 9, 15 and 16, at 7 p.m. and Sundays, Nov. 10 and 17, at 2 p.m. What makes this show unique is the double-casting of the lead characters, giving more students a chance to embody the iconic roles; they switch every other night.

Read the entire Mary Poppins article from the Village Soup at THIS LINK.

 

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Showtime with Shakespeare

October 27, 2019

Portland Ovations

Tickets available for School-Time Performance of Magic Tree House: Showtime with ShakespeareNovember 18, 2019 at 10am at Merrill Auditorium, Portland.

Let us whisk you back to Elizabethan England for an adventurous meeting with the Bard himself—all to a Hamilton-style hip-hop beat. This new, high energy musical is based on the Magic Tree House adventure Stage Fright on a Summer Night. Discover, with the beloved brother-sister duo Jack and Annie, how history is shaped by those who learn to overcome their fears. As you time travel through the tree house, expect an hour packed with clever hip-hop rhymes, energetic choreography, and a storyline entertaining for all ages.

As a part of our Cultivating Curiosity series, all students that attend receive a free copy of the book to take home with them.

For tickets and information email offstage@portlandovations.org or call 207-773-3150.

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