Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts announces 2003-04 programs for young audiences


Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts announces a new season of programs for young audiences, including productions that bring to life literal-minded maid Amelia Bedelia, the poems by Shel Silverstein and Beatrix Potter's "Tailor of Gloucester." In addition, children of all ages will enjoy "Peter and the Wolf," a staging of the oft-told tale featuring the enchanting Salzburg Marionettes, which is part of the Quick Center's Russian Arts and Letters Festival.

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, two performances are unique to the outreach program, which is funded in part by Regina A. Quick, The Educational Foundation of America and the Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation.

The "ArtsBound" Schoolday Series opens Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 10 a.m. with "The Summer of the Swans," a Theatreworks/USA production. Based on Betsy Byars' Newberry Medal-winning book, the story focuses on 14-year-old Sara, and her younger brother, who has special needs. When young Charlie wanders off, Sara realizes the depth of her love for him. This memorable performance is suitable for middle school groups.

The Young Audiences Series kicks off Sunday, Oct. 19, with "Corduroy," the story of a lonely teddy bear and the little girl who loves him. Recommended for grades K-4, this new musical based on Don Freeman's popular book, "Corduroy" is set in Harlem and boasts a lively jazz and R&B score. Performances are at 1 and 3 p.m.The show, staged by Theatreworks/USA, will be repeated Monday, Oct. 20, at 10 a.m., as part of the "ArtsBound" series.

Everyone's favorite maid takes the stage on Sunday, Nov. 23, with "Amelia Bedelia for Mayor & Other Stories." This Theatreworks/USA production finds the hard-working, if a tad confused, housekeeper throwing her hat in the mayoral ring. Also included in the show are "Uncle Nacho's Hat," a sing-along adapted by Harriet Rohmer, and many other surprises. Performances are at 1 and 3 p.m. The show, suitable for grades K-3, repeats Monday, Nov. 24, at 10 a.m. as part of the "ArtsBound" series.

One of Beatrix Potter's beloved tales, the holiday classic "The Tailor of Gloucester," will be presented Sunday, Dec. 14, at 1 and 3 p.m. The story revolves around a mayor's order for a cherry-colored coat for his Christmas wedding and the poor tailor who works his fingers to the bone to make it. The magic of Christmas Eve makes friends of natural enemies in this delightful production. Suitable for grades K-5, the show will be repeated for the "ArtsBound" series on Monday, Dec. 15, at 10 a.m.

Take a journey to the ocean's depths with the most unusual band of deep sea denizens ever in "Under the Sea with Silly Jellyfish," which takes the Quick Center stage on Sunday, Feb. 8, at 1 and 3 p.m. Known for their larger-than-life puppets - some as high as 15 feet - the Hudson Vagabond Puppets tell the stories of a discontented sea dragon, a well-meaning jellyfish and their undersea pals. This show is sure to please children in grades K-5.

"First in Flight: The Wright Brothers" is up next on Monday, Feb. 9, at 10 a.m. Part of the "ArtsBound" series, this Theatreworks/USA musical considers whether the Wright Brothers' constant rivalry created the creative spark they needed for American's first flight. Based on Arthur Giron's play "Flight," the show is suitable for grades 3-7.

Sergei Prokofiev had children in mind when he wrote his Opus 67, or "Peter and the Wolf." With each instrument taking on the part of an animal in the story, it is both the tale of how a boy outsmarts a wolf with the help of a bird, and a fine introduction to the sounds of the symphony. On Sunday, March 7, at 1 and 3 p.m., children of all ages can enjoy an innovative production from The Salzburg Marionettes.

The final show of the 2003-04 season is "Shel Siverstein's The Giving Tree and Other Stories" from The Little Theatre of the Deaf on Sunday, April 18. Taking Silverstein's popular children's poetry as a base, the company combines spoken word and American Sign Language into a unique visual language one critic described as "poetry for the eye and ear." Performances are at 1 and 3 p.m. The production, appropriate for all grades, will be repeated on Monday, April 19, at 10 a.m. as part of the "ArtsBound" series.

The "ArtsBound" program, started 13 years ago, 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. Subscriptions are available at $54 for adults, $42 for children, for all six performances. Tickets for "ArtsBound" performances are $5.

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. Birthday parties are not available for "Corduroy" or "Peter and the Wolf."

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 1, 2003

Vol. 35, No. 289