Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts announces its 2004-05 programs for young audiences


Image: young audiencesFairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts announces a fun-filled new season of programs for young audiences, featuring storybook favorites Amelia Bedelia, Junie B. Jones and Eric Carle's beloved animals, as well as Bugs Bunny and even a visit from Santa Claus. In addition, the whole family can enjoy special music and dance events - "Storytelling and Music" with the Quick Center's own Live Music Project; "Hangin' with the Giants," a morning of animation and jazz; Dance Brazil, a mesmerizing mixture of dance and martial arts; and the National Acrobats of Taiwan.

Most of the performances are part of the Quick Center's Young Audience Sunday Series. Many are repeated the following Monday through an outreach program for school groups called the ArtsBound Schoolday Series. In addition, one performance is unique to the outreach program, which is funded in part by Regina A. Quick and The Educational Foundation of America.

The Young Audience Sunday Series kicks off Sunday, Oct. 17, with "Very Eric Carle," a production that uses the magic of blacklight to bring the popular author's "Little Cloud," "The Mixed-Up Chameleon" and "The Very Busy Spider" to life. The internationally known Mermaid Theatre Company of Nova Scotia will perform this memorable show, suitable for children in grades pre-K through 3, at 1 and 3 p.m. The show repeats Monday, Oct. 18, at 10 a.m. and noon.

The season continues with The Omaha Theater Company for Young People's rendition of "Miss Nelson is Missing, the Musical" on Sunday, Nov. 14, at 1 and 3 p.m. Adapted from the book by Harry Allard and James Marshall, this delightful production follows the kids from Room 207 in a search for their missing teacher and is aimed at children in grades K through 6. Artsbound Schoolday Series performances take place on Monday, Nov. 15, at 10 a.m. and noon.

The Quick Center's resident conductor-less orchestra, The Live Music Project, invites you to join them Sunday, Nov. 28, at 2 p.m. for a Quick Center special family event, "Storytelling and Music." A collection of fascinating stories and narration set to music, this enjoyable afternoon is a fun way to introduce youngsters to the magic of classical music and tales.

The curtain comes up on a holiday favorite, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 1 and 3 p.m. Performed by Theatre IV, the hilarious musical for the whole family is inspired by the classic Clement Moore poem that has charmed generations. ArtsBound performances take place Monday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m. and noon.

"Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping & Other Stories" takes the stage on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 1 and 3 p.m. Suitable for children in grades K through 3, the Theatreworks USA production features America's favorite mixed-up maid, as well as an Aesop's Fable, an audience sing-along and many more surprises. The program will be presented for school groups on Monday, Feb. 7, at 10 a.m.

On Friday, Feb. 11, at 10 a.m. the Quick Center presents an ArtsBound performance of Dance Brazil, a program featuring Capoeira, an intoxicating mixture of dance and martial arts straight from Brazil. Under the direction of Jelon Vieira, dancers enthrall audiences with this art form described by Time magazine as "martial art with an African beat." This show is suitable for grades 4 and up.

Children in grades K through 5 should enjoy watching the worlds of animation and live music blend in "Hangin' with the Giants," a Quick Center special family event on Sunday, Feb. 27, at 3 p.m. This lively presentation merges interactive animation sequences with narration and live music composed by Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, helping children learn more about some of the greatest names in jazz. ArtsBound performances are scheduled for Monday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m. and noon.

The Lincoln Center Reel to Real Series unspools "What's Opera Doc?" on Sunday, April 3, at 1 and 3 p.m. Children in all grades will appreciate the celluloid insanity of Chuck Jones' Bugs Bunny & Friends and other films before taking off on a musical romp with pianist/composer Jed Distler, who recreates Elmer Fudd and Stokowski, the conductor in Disney's "Fantasia," in the audience participation-heavy afternoon. Metropolitan Opera soprano Emily Pulley and tenor Scott Ailing come along for the ride.

Though its not part of the Young Audience series, children of all ages are welcome to a memorable performance by the National Acrobats of Taiwan, ROC, on Friday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. This internationally acclaimed troupe blends remarkable discipline, athleticism and artistic beauty into a breathtaking production sure to delight.

The Young Audience season concludes on a kooky note with "Junie B. Jones," the clever grammar school girl who stashes her inner-most thoughts in her "top secret personal beeswax" journal. In this installment, Junie graduates from kindergarten - and hilarity ensues. Performances take place Sunday, May 1, at 1 and 3 p.m. An ArtsBound performance is scheduled for Monday, May 2, at 10 a.m.

Started 14 years ago, the ArtsBound program has grown from a one-week summer camp to a full season of performances. Its goal is to introduce children throughout the region to theater and to integrate arts into the classroom curricula. All told, about 14,000 youngsters attend the Young Audience and "ArtsBound" programs each year. Study guides, designed to enhance the learning experience, are available for all "ArtsBound" shows.

Tickets to Young Audience Series programs are $12 for adults, $10 for children. Tickets for the special family events, "Storytelling and Music" and "Hangin' with the Giants," are $15 for adults, $10 for children. Subscriptions are available at $54 for adults, $42 for children, for all six Young Audience performances. Tickets for "ArtsBound" performances are $7.

Discounts to Young Audience Series shows are available as part of a birthday party package: Purchase 10 or more tickets, get $2 off each ticket and enjoy the use of the Quick Center "party" room.

For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 5, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 247