The growing arts venues around us are clearly dedicated to developing and celebrating the talent of our youth! There are plenty of opportunities to go cheer them on.
The Milton Theater is about to launch a major fundraising campaign to build a new Educational Wing that is intended to “enhance the learning experience” for their youngest performers. A virtual “walk through” for the facility is planned for August 2. Doors open at 5:30 with the presentation starting at 6:30. The wing will be an extension of the current building, according to Marketing Director JP LaCap. A cash bar, hot hors d’oeuvres and dive entertainment from current and past students are part of the agenda. (Tickets are free but still need to be secured in advance. To RSVP click here.)
HISTORY NOTE: The Theater has many reincarnations over the years. Built in1910, the two-story building on Union Street has served has the town’s movie theatre, basketball hall, fire station, social center & community stage. Various retail businesses & restaurants also thrived there. It has survived 3 major fires, and countless “nor’easters.” It seems fitting that Milton Theater is pursuing this new venture in children’s programming. Its first performance after years of being shuttered featured Peanuts’ “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” Young performers with Middletown-based Premier Centre for the Arts, played the characters
The theater currently offers youth-oriented classes and camps, but the current season is winding down. LaCap says that several current instructors are alumnae from prior Milton Theater performances. The theater also hosts a scholarship program for aspiring students as does the Clear Space Theater in Rehoboth. The new wing is being built to expand and enhance programming.
Milton Theater is not the only venue offering children’s programing. Rehoboth’s Clear Space Theater has an extensive line up including its Broadway Bound Program for students in grades K-8 with classes in dance, voice, and acting offered weekly after-school sessions. The Musical Theatre Summer Intensive is a five-week program for students in grades 1-12 who are interested in a concentrated study of musical theatre. The Summer Intensive has operated at capacity since its inception in 2005. Acting Summer Intensive is a one-week program for students in grades 1-8 that focuses specifically on dramatic studies such as improvisation, voice, physicality and ensemble exercises. Spotlight on Young Performers is a ten-week program for students in grades 5-12 who are interested in a concentrated study of musical theatre.
Possum Point Players in Seussical, 2022
Possum Point Players in Georgetown also offer a program for students enrolled in the 5th through 12th grades. Possum Juniors “provides opportunities for young performers and theater artists to develop skills and friendships. Membership is free and the “PJ” group meets on the third Monday of each month from 5 pm to 7 pm. Coming up July 28h is the current Possum Juniors show called The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Another education initiative is the PPP Summer Theater Academy. It is designed to introduce elementary level children to theater arts: costumes, makeup, set design and construction, lighting, props and acting. PPP is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Finally, although the Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theater Camps are now waitlisted for this year, the group offers a full schedule of performances of Jack and the Beanstalk at various libraries, the Freeman Arts Center and even the Nassau Valley Winery during July and August. A full schedule is listed on its website. The Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theater (Bay Vista Rd.) is celebrating its 42nd anniversary this year.
So get out and support the next generation and enjoy their talents.
By Mary Jo Tarallo, Guest Journalist
Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry as a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Oprah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland.