Oddfellows Playhouse is a non-profit youth theater operating in
Middletown, CT. For 30 years, Oddfellows Playhouse has offered theater programs that educate and inspire the youth of central Connecticut.
The Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater is located at 128 Washington Street, Middletown, CT.
Founded in 1975 by a small group of
Wesleyan Universitystudents as a theater arts organization designed to include children from all backgrounds, the Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater now annually serves approximately 2,000 young people, ages 2-20, in a broad spectrum of theater arts activities. The largest and most active year-round youth theater in Connecticut, the Playhouse is an independent, non-profit organization with an arts/social service mission.
Oddfellows Playhouse received an Award of Excellence in 1998 from the
New England Theater Conferencein recognition of its outstanding contributions to youth theater and education. In 1999, the Middlesex County NAACPgave the Playhouse its Community Service Award in recognition of its years of commitment to the young people of the county, particularly those whose growth and development are challenged by poverty.
Oddfellows Playhouse takes its name from one of its first homes, a building owned by the fraternal organization, the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In 1994, after 19 years of rehearsing and performing in dozens of rented and borrowed Middletown locations, Oddfellows Playhouse, with extensive community support, acquired and renovated the convert|10000|sqft|m2|-3|abbr=on historic building that is now its home.
The Four Stages
Each stage is carefully crafted to allow each young person the chance for success, beginning with the Complete Actor sequence for each stage as a gateway to advanced classes and performances. Students may join at their current age level without having taken the Complete Actor sequence for younger ages.;Stage One"' (ages 6-8)
;Stage Two"' (ages 9-11)
;Stage Three"' (ages 12-14):Stage Three is also known as the Junior Repertory Company.
;Teen Repertory Company"' (ages 14-20)
There are two third stage (Junior Rep.) plays every year, and four Teen Rep. shows each year. Two of the Teen Rep. shows go up in November and December, and the other two go up in April and May.
There are also various classes and workshops that go on anywhere from September to May. One exciting Oddfellow's Playhouse production is the
Traveling Circus. Twelve talented teenagers including the state renound juggler Evan Knoll, including the most elite from the Children's Circus advanced program, work year-round on their circusskills and put on shows across the country. This show employs such circus skills as juggling, diabolo, acrobatics, unicycling, and of course clowning.
Children's Circus Of Middletown
The Children's Circus of Middletown is a summer camp where children from ages 8 to 15 can learn circus skills. The camp lasts for five weeks; from late June to early August. It has been in operation for over twenty years and keeps growing as time goes on. Over the five weeks, the children learn a variety of circus skills which include:
Acrobatics- Anything from a forward roll to a roundoff back tuckcan be taught at this unique summer camp. Circus campers will learn how to handstand, cartwheel, backbend, walkoverand several other tricks in the acrobatics specialization classes. The kids may also participate in many partner and group work such as monkey-rolls and a human pyramidand will learn aerial stunts with a mini trampoline.
Juggling( diabolo, poi, devil sticks, plate spinning, etc.)
Unicycling( rolling globe)
At the end of the camp, it all culminates in a huge circus show in front of close to one-thousand people. The circus has also now started the Advanced Circus Program (ACP), which is for kids from 12 to 15 and is all-day instead of just half-day. The ACP does more advanced skills such as juggling fire, or jumping over a flaming wagon, etc. Musicians are always needed for the band to accompany the performance. For more information, contact Oddfellows Playhouse at (860)347-6143. It is a very enjoying show as big crowds flock each year to the performance.
A group of the senior traveling circus members have broken off and formed their own circus known as
Odd Child Uprising.
* [http://www.oddfellows.org Oddfellows Playhouse Official Homepage]
* [http://www.myspace.com/oddchilduprising Odd Child Uprising Homepage]
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