New Britain Youth Theater continues its eighth season with January classes, homeschool programs, and auditions for children and teens. New this year is an all-inclusive class open to children and teens of all abilities.

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Classes in acting (ages 5-14) and improv (ages 10-16) begin on Saturday, January 20. Each eight-week term ends with a class performance open to family and friends. Younger children will stage Scandinavian Stories. Drama games and scenes based on tales from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark will be used to teach the basics of theatrical story telling, character development, voice, and movement. Older students will focus their study on Movement and Physical Choices in Stage Performance Skills, which will include sessions in musical theater dance and stage combat. The theater’s popular Improv class welcomes new students and challenges returning students to build new skills.

Homeschool enrichment programs begin on Tuesday, January 23, and include a new program for young actors ages 5 to 8, a performance program for ages 7 to 14, and classes in music (ages 8-16) and improv (ages 8-16). This term, the performance class will learn about and create a Vaudeville show including scenes, songs, and slapstick comedy from the popular entertainment form of the early 20th Century.

A new Stage Performance for All class begins on Monday, January 22, for ages 8 to 18 that will specifically welcome, engage, and challenge each student to their own physical, mental, sensory, and emotional abilities. The theater’s new all-inclusive programming is funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain.

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.

Also this month, NBYT is holding auditions for two upcoming productions in a season sponsored by Liberty Bank Foundation. Children ages 6 to 12 may audition for The Brothers Grimm: The Gnome, and children and teens ages 12 to 18 may audition for Peter and the Starcatcher.

The Gnome logoBased on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, the story of The Gnome includes three princesses, three knights in armor, a five-headed dragon, a king and queen, a jester, and a gnome named Gnathan who causes hilarious mischief for them all! The original script features comedy styles from vaudeville to slapstick to improv, and is reminiscent of comedy legends from the Three Stooges to Monty Python. Auditions for actors ages 6 to 12 are on Monday, January 15, and Wednesday, January 17. Monday auditions will be held at NBYT’s space at the New Britain-Berlin YMCA Program Center at 362 Main Street in Berlin. Wednesday auditions will be held at Holmes Elementary School in New Britain at 2150 Stanley Street. Audition times both days begin at 6:00 p.m.

Peter squarePeter and the Starcatcher is a swashbuckling play with music, described as a “grown-up’s prequel to Peter Pan,” that tells how a nameless, angst-ridden orphan became the immortal Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, this coming of age tale playfully explores the depths of greed and despair—and the bonds of friendship, duty, and love. Auditions for actors ages 12 to 18 are on Monday, January 22, and Wednesday, January 24, at NBYT’s space at the New Britain-Berlin YMCA Program Center at 362 Main Street in Berlin. Audition times both days begin at 6:00 p.m.

For both productions, boys and girls of all levels of experience are welcome, and auditions are open to children from any town. No audition preparation is necessary, but those auditioning will meet as a group with the directors, will participate in some introductory activities, and will be asked to take direction and read from the play. For more details and to register for a class or schedule an audition for either production, visit www.NBYT.org. Questions may be directed to info@nbyt.org or call (860) 515-8115.

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