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NEYT presents its Town Schools Theatre’s ‘Winter Festival’

New England Youth Theatre’s Town Schools Theatre ‘Winter Festival’ brings together three original 20 minute plays into one show, to be performed by local schoolchildren at 7pm on February 15 and 16 at NEYT, 100 Flat Street in Brattleboro.

The Un-lost Island of Atlantis, directed by Putnam Smith and performed by students from Putney Central School, tells the tale of the clash of two groups of explorers who discover the lost island of Atlantis at the same time.  Death By Murder, directed by Jay Gelter and featuring students from Oak Grove Elementary, is a comic murder mystery whodunit, with plot twists that will leave you guessing until the very end.  Finally, in the dark comedy A Festival of Merriment and Joy for the Good King Heimlich, directed by Doran Hamm and performed by students from Academy School, the good people of Chokeslandvilleshire rise up to overthrow their tyrannical king.   In one evening, audiences of all ages will be transported from a desert isle to an English drawing room to a medieval court – without having to leave the comfort of their NEYT theatre chairs!

Photo courtesy of Laura Bliss. Local schoolchildren rehearsing for the Town School’s Theatre Winter Festival with Director Doran Hamm.

Town School Theater is NEYT’s free theatre experience for children in grades 4-6 attending local elementary schools. The program has recently been expanded to be able to include more schools in the program, and has added  “Workshop Wednesdays”, when the students come to the theatre for a variety of workshops including ones on lighting and sound design, improv, directing, costume design, and acting. The program aims to engage children at all levels of production, inviting them to participate not just as performers, but as collaborators whose ideas and visions are both heard and respected.

“We are delighted for the opportunity to expand the Town Schools program to include more elementary schools from the district,” says Hallie Flower, Executive Director of NEYT, “being able to share the joys of live theatre with kids is rewarding in so many ways”. Echoing this sentiment is Putnam Smith who recently joined NEYT as Program Coordinator. “This program really goes to the heart of what NEYT is all about, while bringing the theatre to local schoolchildren who might not have the opportunity to participate otherwise.”

The festival performs Friday February 15 at 7pm, and Saturday February 16 at 7pm, Tickets for these performances are $8.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.neyt.org, in person at the NEYT Box Office, or by phone (802) 246-6398 from 12-5 pm on Wednesdays. The show plays at New England Youth Theatre, 100 Flat St. Brattleboro.

New England Youth Theatre is an accessible theater, with accommodations for wheelchairs, and Assistive Listening Devices for patrons who are hard of hearing.

This show was made possible through the generous support of  the Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation and the Two West Foundation

New England Youth Theatre is also supported by Foard Panel, the Vermont Children’s Trust Fund, Vermont Arts Council, the Bear Bookshop, and the National Endowment for the Arts.Attached photo courtesy of Laura Bliss. Local schoolchildren rehearsing for the Town School’s Theatre Winter Festival with Director Doran Hamm.

For more information, contact Katrina Spenceman at katrinaspenceman@gmail.com

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