For children ages 7 through 14, New Britain Youth Theater’s summer production will be Once on This Island Jr. Rehearsals will be held over a four-week half-day program on Mondays through Fridays from July 1 through 26 (except for July 4). Rehearsal hours will be 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. All children who register will be cast in the show, but auditions will be scheduled in June to place children in roles. Over the course of the program, the cast will rehearse the performance—including music and choreography—and will also help to make some of the props and costumes for the show. Rehearsals and performances will be held at Jefferson Elementary School on Horse Plain Road in New Britain near the Farmington border. Registration for the program is open to children from any town. Performances of the musical will be held on July 26, 27 and 28.
With catchy Caribbean music and a story loosely based on the original tale of The Little Mermaid, Once on This Island Jr. tells of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who rescues and falls in love with Daniel, a wealthy boy from the other side of her island. When Daniel returns to his family, Ti Moune is guided by the gods who rule the island on a journey to test the strength of her love. Once on This Island Jr. has many parts for children of all levels of experience. A strong chorus is needed and children will also play island animals, trees, and even a fierce storm.
For children ages 5 through 10, New Britain Youth Theater is also offering two special sessions of its popular Stage Performance Class. Each session will meet for one week, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Trinity-on-Main Performance Center. The first session will meet July 8 through 12; the second session will be July 15 through 19. Both sessions will be themed around different Caribbean folk tales.
Stage Performance classes are designed to combine the instruction of drama classes with the excitement of being in a show. They’re ideal for younger actors, children who want their first experience onstage—or a little more experience—or even older students who want to practice their stage skills or who aren’t able to audition and rehearse for NBYT’s productions. In each summer session, children will explore acting techniques, voice, movement and improvisation in order to develop focus and learn to work together as an ensemble. Small group sizes give each child quality instruction and ensure that everyone has a featured part in the performance. Small-scale performances, with simple costumes and props, are held at the end of class each week and are open to family and friends at no cost.
Also this summer, the NBYT Teen Company will hold a Summer Reading series on Thursday evenings in July. Ages 12 through 18 will be invited to participate in group readings of plays under consideration for Teen Company productions in the 2013-14 season. The NBYT Teen Company is a program in which teens can become involved in choosing, producing and promoting their own theater. The program offers leadership opportunities and a chance for teens to do the shows they want to do, all while under the guidance of NBYT directors.