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Youth Theater Announces Ninth Season Activities

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No Boundaries Youth Theater, which began in 2010 as New Britain 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,” says NBYT Executive and Artistic Director Darren Farrington. “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.” 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.