Imagination Stage will bring Natasha Holmes, director and cofounder of Tell Tale Hearts Children's Touring Theatre Company, all the way from the United Kingdom to mount a new production of From Here to There as part of the My First Imagination Stage season. This North American premiere will introduce Imagination Stage and its audiences to "free play" as an aspect of live performance.
From Here to There runs in Imagination Stage's Christopher and Dana Reeve Studio Theatre today, March 6-April 14 at 10:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Appropriate for ages 2-5, tickets are $10-$12, with a $5 lap seat for children under 12 months. Tickets may be purchased online at www.imaginationstage.org, at the Imagination Stage box office, or via phone at 301-280-1660.
From Here to There, a play about building bridges, is a highly imaginative, visual, and creative piece of theatre involving puppetry, comedy, live music, and poetry. Using simple boxes, sonic tubes, and construction paper, two actors, who enjoy doing very different things, create a make believe world that bridges together their opposite interests. Performances are followed by a "free play" session, in which the actors invite the children to join them onstage to explore some of the materials and build their own bridges or towers.
"We met Natasha while attending a world conference on children's theatre in Copenhagen and were intrigued by this new trend in theatre for the very young of introducing free play as an aspect of the live performance," said Kate Bryer, Director of Early Childhood Theatre and Education and Associate Artistic Director. "We are excited to explore this concept with Natasha, who has already done much research and had much success in Britain and India with her interactive productions."
While at Imagination Stage, Natasha will work with the artistic team to develop a brand new co-production to debut in Imagination Stage's 2013-14 season.
Tell Tale Hearts has been making theatre exclusively for children since 2003, becoming one of the most respected companies in the U.K. for creating theatre for the very young. The company presents participatory touring theatre productions, giving children the opportunity to experience a magical and multi-sensory world of theatre. From Here to There was created in collaboration with The Lawrence Batley Theatre (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom). It was piloted in Yorkshire in 2010 before touring throughout the U.K., Spain, and India.
Megan Dominy and Bradley Foster Smith will perform From Here to There. Megan previously portrayed Sister Bear in Imagination Stage's early childhood production Wake Up, Brother Bear! and has performed at many other local theatres, including Shakespeare Theatre Company, the Kennedy Center, Folger Theatre, and Constellation Theatre, among others. Bradley is making his debut at Imagination Stage after having performed locally at Keegan Theatre, First Stage, and American Century Theater.
In addition to productions, My First Imagination Stage programming at Imagination Stage includes the very popular Sunday Fun-Days and Saturday Song Circles. These single session workshops engage children and parents in multi-sensory play. Sessions start at 10:00 a.m. Tickets and more information are available online.
From Here to There, originally created and presented by A Tell Tale Hearts Children's Touring Theatre Company, will run today, March 6-April 14 with public performances on Tuesdays - Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Tickets: $10 - $12; best for ages 2-5
My First Imagination Stage focuses on ages 1-5, recognizing "play" is the "work" of this early childhood. Through live performances, workshops, and classes, My First Imagination Stage creates fun and developmentally exciting experiences for the very young and their caregivers. A national leader in Theatre for the Very Young, Imagination Stage began focusing on the youngest of theatergoers in 2010 with the world-premiere of Wake Up, Brother Bear! To date, My First Imagination Stage has produced one North American premiere; welcomed guest artists from Italy, Great Britain, and Germany; and developed two acclaimed world premiere productions (Wake Up, Brother Bear! and Mouse on the Move). Like its audiences, this program plans to keep growing!
My First Imagination Stage shows run about 45 minutes. Performance times are at 10:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. in the Christopher and Dana Reeve Studio Theatre. The theatre is located at 4908 Auburn Avenue, Bethesda, Md. Parking: Metered parking in the adjacent public parking garage; parking is FREE on weekends. Metro: Red Line / Bethesda Station. For Information: 301-280-1660 or www.imaginationstage.org.