At an event celebrating the nonprofit theater’s eighth anniversary, the Executive and Artistic Director of New Britain Youth Theater announced a new season and a name change for the company.
Over the next months, New Britain Youth Theater will change its name to No Boundaries Youth Theater—still retaining the NBYT monogram. “One of the most special things about NBYT,” said Executive and Artistic Director Darren Farrington, “is how inclusive and far-reaching our company has been.” Children and teens from nearly sixty towns throughout Connecticut and from all eight of the state’s counties have participated in the theater’s programs and productions. The company has performed in New Britain, Berlin and Hartford, and they have brought educational programs to schools in New Britain, Plainville, Bristol, Hartford, Middletown, Waterbury, and Torrington.
“For eight years, we haven’t been bound by a single location for our performances and programs,” Farrington continued. “We haven’t been bound by where children and families come to us from. We haven’t been bound by how we allow children and teens to be involved both onstage and backstage. And we haven’t been bound in who we allow to participate in our programs—in fact making programs inclusive and accessible to all children is one of our goals.” Farrington and the nonprofit organization’s Board of Directors expect that the name change will also aid efforts to market programs and performances and to raise funds outside of New Britain.
“NBYT will always be a part of New Britain,” Farrington concluded, “and our next season will be performed in New Britain and other towns as we’ve done in the past.”
The 2018-19 season, which will begin with auditions in August and performances in October, will combine known and loved classics, scripts that will challenge young actors, classic children’s books adapted for the stage, an original production, and a Broadway musical for young performers. Those productions will include The Laramie Project, based on the 1998 attack and death of Matthew Shepard, for actors ages 16 to 20. That production will open on October 12—the twentieth anniversary of Shepard’s death.
The second production in the season, a holiday show in December, will be an original musical adaptation of The Velveteen Rabbit written by NBYT musical director, Angela Klimaytis, for children and teens ages 6 to 16. In the spring of 2019, NBYT will perform Charlotte’s Web with children ages 6 to 12. The teen spring production will be William Shakespeare’s The Tempest updated to a setting in which a nineteenth-century Connecticut whaling ship will be wrecked on a remote Atlantic island. Performances will be outdoors on the grounds of the New Britain Museum of American Art, with an additional performance potentially at Mystic Seaport. The final production of the season will be Disney’s Mary Poppins Jr. in July 2019.
Children and teens wishing to participate in NBYT programs before this fall may register for this summer’s production of Willy Wonka Jr or for spring classes beginning in April. Classes offered included introductory and intermediate acting, improv, and a new program funded by the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain for children of all physical, intellectual, and emotional abilities. More information about these and other programs may be obtained at the company’s website (www.nbyt.org), by calling 860-515-8115, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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