Archive for the 'Education in Action' Category

Star-crossed Teens

Wayside Theatre isn’t reinventing the wheel but we are trying something new through the Education Department under Sarah E. Blackwell. Opening within a few short hours after I submit this post, Wayside Theatre will open Romeo & Juliet with local teenagers from around the Middletown/Front Royal area. The runs thru March 29, call the box office for more information. (540)869-1776

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Sound Waves: Episode II

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In this episode, we take an in-depth look at the theatre’s Education in Action program, followed by an interview with the Intern Company.

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Sound Waves offers our patrons the inside scoop on all of the exciting events at Wayside Theatre. Episodes will air bi-weekly and are available on here on Inside Wayside, and through iTunes for free.

Benjamin Banneker – the Musical or Wayside Theatre in the Classroom

Things never slow down in the Education Department. Right after we opened George Washington: Young Man, Young Country I started a “Play’s the Thing” playwrighting workshop at Banneker Elementary School in Loudoun County. But, this workshop is even more special because it is a musical theatre play to commemorate the anniversary of the school. I am working with the fifth graders to write the play, and Steve Przybylski, our resident music director is working with the fourth graders to write the music (he started the day after he opened his show, Shadow of the Raven). I just found out yesterday that the entire school is getting involved. The librarian has checked out all the books on Benjamin Banneker and put them in the fifth grade classrooms. The students are using their computer time to research Continue reading ‘Benjamin Banneker – the Musical or Wayside Theatre in the Classroom’

Saying Good-bye to George Washington

We have ended a successful run of Wayside’s world premiere show George Washington: Young Man, Young Country and the first of Wayside’s Emerging Artists in Action programs. It saddens me to have arrived at the end. Usually I am able to accept the end of one project because I am looking forward to the next. And while I do have new projects to look forward to, I find myself looking back on the wild and crazy ride that was George Washington and wishing it can continue.

I have already been approached by a couple of people wishing we would take this show on tour. How perfect it would be in our schools Continue reading ‘Saying Good-bye to George Washington’

Working With and Against the Flow

It has been an amazing and somewhat terrifying week at Wayside Theatre this week. Tonight (in just an hour and a half) we open our Emerging Artists program, George Washington: Young Man, Young Country at the Old Town Courthouse. We’ve also been rehearsing a world premiere of Steve Przybylski’s Shadow of the Raven: Stories of Edgar Allan Poe, which will open next weekend and tomorrow is our first rehearsal on stage for that piece.

Needless to say, we’re stretched a bit thin and also a bit frazzled, but I’m continually impressed and awed by the work our artists and administrators do with so little, and when they are under the gun.

Our Education Director, Sarah Blackwell, has done a wonderful job with George Washington. The play is written and performed by high schoolers, who at the dress rehearsal I saw on Wednesday, were doing some awesome work. I can’t wait to see the opening night performance. Sarah has guided these children brilliantly and I’m sure the run of the play (through October 14) will be another great learning experience for the cast, as well as a treat for the audiences. Would that we had our expansion completed so we could do more of this on a regular basis.

And speaking of October 14, we are all only slightly nervous about the debut of Shadow. You never know if a new play will work, and quite honestly, the theatre needs a “hit” right now. You can feel that the show has the potential to be Continue reading ‘Working With and Against the Flow’

The Story of George Washington

GW Poster ArtThere are many artists in the theatre industry who will never have an opportunity to work on a new play. There are some people who will shy away from the work load. But, this group of area teens have the opportunity and are not shying away from it. They have taken on the grand project to tell the story of George Washington: Young Man, Young Country.

The project began in May with a small group collaborating on crafting the play. I will tell you I was a bit wary about many minds on one play. How will we make it sound like one voice? What if they all have different ideas and can’t find a middle ground? Continue reading ‘The Story of George Washington’