“Jack and the Beanstalk, presented by the Woefully Underprepared Players”

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. – New England Youth Theatre presents “Jack and the Beanstalk, Presented by the Woefully Underprepared Players,” an original play written by Marcel Freda, and directed by Marcel Freda, Danielle Sessler, and Shannon Ward, to be performed at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19 & 20 and at 2 p.m. on Jan. 20 at NEYT, 100 Flat Street in Brattleboro.

From left to right Dorian Paquette, Jeriah Easton, and Jackie Palmer. Photo by Laura Bliss.

What else can go wrong? No actors, no props, no set, no costumes, and only five minutes until the curtain goes up! In this hilarious re-telling of the tale of Jack and his infamous beanstalk, Freda and his group of amazing young people from NEYT’s Town School Theater program invite audiences for three showings of their original comedy, “Jack and The Beanstalk Presented by The Woefully Underprepared Players.”

Town School Theater is NEYT’s free theatre experience for children in grades 4-6 attending Brattleboro’s town elementary schools. This collaboration between NEYT, the Academy, Green Street, and Oak Grove schools brings elementary students into NEYT’s theater space for afterschool, arts-based educational programming. The program is free, and provides transportation for the children from their respective schools to the theater, thus removing the barrier of both cost and transportation for those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in after-school arts education.

The program aims to engage children at all levels of production, inviting them to participate not just as performers, but as collaborators whose ideas and visions are both heard and respected. “Empowering the kids in this way allows them to grow both as artists and as human beings. They learn to collaborate with their peers, which in turn helps build their confidence,” says Freda, as can be witnessed at a recent rehearsal, with the children both offering up suggestions, and applauding their cast mates’ successes. Freda is a recent transplant to Brattleboro, having moved here from St. John, USVI, where he worked at NEYT’s sister school, the Gifft Hill School, which was badly damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. “These kids astonish me every day with their energy and creativity,” adds Freda, “I am so lucky to have this experience and to learn and grow alongside them”.

This production is the first of two fully produced original plays put on by Town Schools Theatre on the NEYT stage this school year, with another session beginning in the spring of 2018.

Can producer Callie Power and her rag-tag team of volunteer stagehands put on a show good enough to save their beloved playhouse? It’ll take a village to save this community theater! Don’t miss this lively and rollicking show!

Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.neyt.org, in person at the NEYT Box Office, or by phone 802-246-6398 from 12-5 p.m. on Wednesdays. The show plays at New England Youth Theatre, 100 Flat St. Brattleboro. New England Youth Theatre is an accessible theater, with accommodations for wheelchairs, and Assistive Listening Devices for patrons who are hard of hearing.

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