I just wanted to let you know about a program that we are presenting to libraries, preschools, daycares, and other youth and family oriented organizations along the Lakeshore. We are very excited about this initiative, and would love to add the Manitowoc Public Library to our list of performance partners!
Dare to Dream Theatre is a nonprofit youth and family theatre company along the lakeshore providing opportunities for youth and their families to explore theatre together. We offer classes and workshops that teach life skills through stage skills, along with a series of performances chosen to meet the needs of youth at all stages of development.
We are premiering a new series of productions for audiences ages 18 months old to 5 years old and their adults. Our first Theater for the Very Young (TVY) production is "Waiting for Balloon," which will be touring to preschools and youth organizations starting summer of 2016. We will be holding public performances at Mead Library, Above and Beyond Children's Museum, Sheboygan Children's Book Festival and Bookworm Garden, as well as other area organizations that we are still in discussion with.
Attached is a video that may help you understand the process and purpose of TVY a little better. This was made by Alliance Theatre in Atlanta Georgia, one of the companies pioneering this movement in the US.
In the world of theatre, more specifically in the world of theatre for youth, this new genre is exploding onto the scene. Professional theatres around the country are creating theatre experiences specifically for youth age 18 months to 5 years old. Most of the work in existence for this genre has been developed and established in Europe, Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia over the past 25 years. The US is now jumping on board as well, and Dare to Dream is bringing this genre to this part of the world.
Theatre for the Very Young is an artistic experience for children ages 18 months – 5 years that overcomes age, language, and developmental barriers, expanding the consciousness of very young audience members and often integrating bi-lingual elements into each show. Each production nurtures creativethinking, allowing the very young to experience art and culture on their terms. Theater for the Very young is a unique way for focus and creative thinking to be nurtured, or even discovered for the first time.
“Theatre for the Very Young engages both parents and their pre-school children in creative experiences. The fourth wall is dissolved as young ones willingly become part of the experience,” says Director, Rosemary Newcott of Alliance Theatre in Atlanta Georgia.
We are currently in development (in various stages) of 3 such experiences, the first of which, "Waiting for Balloon," had been originally commissioned and presented at Alliance Theatre in Atlanta Georgia. We would like to bring this show to you at Manitowoc Public Library.
PROGRAM: Theater for the Very Young
LENGTH: 20-30 minutes (varies depending on audience interaction)
COST: $250 (We open to discuss exchange of services and marketing distribution to offset this cost.)
APPROPRIATE FOR: Ages 18 months- 5 years old and their grown ups
IDEAL AUDIENCE SIZE: 30-50 kids (we like to keep the young audience size manageable so that all children will have a chance to interact with the story. The joy for the adults is watching their child's engagement and involvement. No limit on adult audience members)
Name of production: Waiting for Balloon
Originally produced at Alliance Theatre in Atlanta GA, A highly interactive multi-sensory performance for very young children and their grown-ups
DATES AVAILABLE: July -October 2016 (additional titles are also in development for 2016-2017)
Synopsis of Production:
Bobo and Didi, two delightfully curious characters, are waiting for “balloon.” The problem is that neither of them knows exactly what “balloon” is. Through delightful trial and error, exploration and interaction with the audience, the two piece together what makes a balloon a balloon and celebrate all that is discovered while we wait! This is a joyous introduction to creative and interactive story play, or Theater for the Very Young.
* We are dedicated to making this program affordable to all families by bringing it to locations frequented by young families in this age group. Current area partners in this project include Mead Library, Above and Beyond Children's Museum, Bookworm Gardens, and the Sheboygan Children's Book Festival among others that we are finalizing details with.
* We are willing to offer multiple sessions on the selected day to accommodate all the of children (and their grown ups) at your location.
* We are pursuing grants and sponsors to keep the costs as low as possible. If you wish to discuss options, please let us know as soon as possible so we may include your location in our sponsor requests.
We will provide:
* Professional interactive multisensory performance designed especially for the youngest audiences and their grown ups
* All productions elements: Actors, set pieces, props, music, etc
* Labor to load in an load out on the day of the performance
* Marketing materials: Posters, images to promote on social media
* Marketing: listing of your venue (and link to your website) on our calendar on the production webpage, sharing on social media and on Dare to Dream Theatre distribution lists (e-mail blast, facebook page, etc)
* Tips on how to promote this event and fundraise for the partnership
* Suggestions on how to engage audience from the moment they arrive until the moment they leave after the performance
* Listing your location as a Performance or Education Partner on the website, calendar, and marketing materials
* Increase in new visitors to your venue
What we need from partners/hosts:
* Venue space to perform in
* Marketing effort: Materials we supply (tailored to your dates and venue) to be distributed to your mailing lists and posted on facebook
* Any other promotions you would like to do to share this event (media coverage, community calendar listings, etc.)
* People to greet audience before show (collect tickets if you choose to sell tickets to help cover the cost)
* OPTIONAL: Volunteers to help with load in and load out.
Theatre for the Very Young productions are devised and created to accommodate, and incorporate, the natural inclinations and curiosity, as well as the desire to be part of the story that is innate to young children. The performance will begin with the kids and their grown ups gathering in a familiar area that is part of the "real world" that the kids live in (ideally a room, many schools use a classroom while theatre spaces use an all purpose room or even the lobby) where the young audience will interact with toys, crafts, (and often one of the characters) related to the show they are about to see. This "real world" space encourages creative play and helps get the child mentally prepared for the show they are about to see and the imaginative world they are about to enter.
When the story is about to begin, a character from the story will come into this space and interact with the kids before bringing them into the "other space" and entering the world of the play. This transition helps a child transition from the real to the imaginary and encourages them to react accordingly. As the children enter the performance space, the other characters are already there, already interacting with the children and encouraging them to be part of the story. There may be props at each child's seat, or a character may give each child something that will be used during the story. Most often, the performance space is NOT a traditional theatre, but rather a open room in which the students sit on the floor, bales of hay, quilts, or other environmental elements that help them feel part of the world of the story and their imagination. This helps kids feel like they can get up, move around, and be part of the action.
The production unfolds as the characters interact with and encourage the kids to participate in the story. They will ask questions and seek answers from the kids that will move the story along, select kids to join or help them solve a small challenge (like opening a suitcase, telling the characters where something is...or what something is etc) because of this intimate interaction, no two productions are exactly alike. The outline for a production is the same from performance to performance, and the story points exist, but the input from the kids strongly leads the direction and feel of the story. The actors must balance the need to follow the outline of the story with the desire of the kids to be involved in moving the story along.
In many ways, TVY is a session of creative play outlined around a simple task or theme. The performers are trained as much to guide the session of creativeplay as they are to tell a simple story that the young audience can relate to. For this reason, a smaller audience is PERFECTLY ideal for this type of theatre. Larger audiences don't allow every child to feel involved in the story, which is a major component of this type of production.
Thank you for your time and consideration, I would love to meet with you to discuss this further if you are interested.