The 15 talented kids of FOCUS Teen Improv conjure stories out of thin air, using improvisational theater to spark a spontaneous, interactive relationship with their fellow performers as well as the audience. Structured improv games provide the foundation for a creative, fun and unpredictable afternoon of collaborative dramatic play.
FOCUS Teen Improv is a group of Shoreline kids, ages 12-16, who study improvisational theater with Lara Morton, founder/director of Handful Productions of Madison. Lara is passionate about the power of theater to transform lives and has been working professionally in theater for more than 20 years.
Check out this promo for the group’s spring 2019 classes.
Christ Episcopal Church
Lou will perform Out of Rushmore’s Shadow, based on his quest to gain recognition for his grandfather, Luigi, the chief carver of the Mount Rushmore monument.
Actor, singer and storyteller Lou Del Bianco has created a dozen one-man historical, cultural and scientific shows, depicting the lives and achievements of the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Hans Christian Andersen and Frank Sinatra. His shows convey folk tales, myths and fables from around the world; native American philosophy; stories of the constellations and more. His six recordings have been featured in the New York Times, Billboard Magazine and other publications. His latest book is Out of Rushmore’s Shadow, about his grandfather’s work as chief carver of the Mount Rushmore national monument.
BSK Design at Greene Gallery
Be the music in this all-ages workshop/class/celebration of rhythm, drumming and improvisation led by Peter Hawes, percussionist/teacher and team-building facilitator. We’ll use voice, body percussion, movement, drums and other instruments to make a joyous, heartfelt and synchronous racket on the Guilford Green—while learning about the rhythmic traditions and music of West Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and elsewhere. Instruments provided; bring your own if you’d like. Drums and percussion instruments provided, or bring your own.
Peter has studied West and North African, Middle Eastern, Japanese and central Asian drumming, as well as music improvisation, and is a certified Music for People teacher of improvisation as a mode of self-expression, creativity, communication and collaboration. A former member of Framework Percussion Ensemble, he’s led community drumming circles throughout the Northeast and facilitated drumming- and improvisation-based team-building programs for USAA Financial Services, Silicon Graphics, Oppenheimer Funds and the American Society for Training and Development. He’s taught at Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Rowe Camp and Conference Center, and Norwalk Community College.
The Guilford Green
Explore the power of the human mind with mindreader and hypnotist Keith Zalinger, as he connects with every member of his audience through thoughts, feelings and imagination.
A mindreader and licensed hypnotist with scores of corporate and educational clients, Keith Zalinger is also an acclaimed paranormal entertainer. He divines the thoughts of audience members, answers their personal questions and predicts their actions. A recipient of Gigmasters’ best-of awards for 2012-2018, he is the author of Palmistry, Love and You; Learn the Tarot (in Three Simple Steps) and Practical Astrology.
Here’s a segment of a 2018 appearance at the Thimble Islands Brewery in Branford:
Step right up! The Air Temple Arts circus will perform aerial silk, hoop and sling acts, and keep the whole family entertained with juggling, tumbling, side show, stilt walking, unicycling and other ground-based circus routines.
Air Temple Arts is a circus training studio and performing company based in Woodbridge, Connecticut. It offers a variety of classes for teens and adults in aerial dance, circus, movement and yoga; offers circus entertainment to the public; and produces dramatic circus shows featuring Air Temple Arts coaches, students and outside collaborators.
Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk presents a theatrical and highly interactive performance of classic and original Faerie tales featuring varied voices, characterization and period garb.
Jonathan Kruk grew up on tall tales and daydreams. He acted in a teen travel camp, told stories to his younger brother, and in 1989 turned his passion into a career, leaving a job watering Henry Kissinger’s office plants to become storyteller in residence at Freeport Schools on Long Island. Since then, he’s performed at hundreds of schools, libraries, historic sites and festivals, and has appeared on The Today Show, the Travel Channel and BBC. Probably best known for his The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and A Christmas Carol shows, he performs work whose subjects span Greek mythology, regional history, Medieval stories and Hudson Valley lore. His newest book is Legends and Lore of the Hudson Highlands.
Hyland House Museum
A contemporary pop musical created by high-school and middle-school actors, singers and musicians, Just One Sip is a coming-of-age-story with humor, romance and drama, set in a local coffee shop.
Writers Gaby Onorati and Carlin Steere, sophomores at Madison’s Daniel Hand High School, are interested in the different ways kids mature into young adults. Just One Sip, their original, 17-song musical, had its first public stage reading in Guilford in 2018, and it’s been reworked for performance at the festival.
Here’s that full, first staged reading, from May 2018:
First Congregational Church
NBYT will perform a short Cinderella story, Estrellita de Oro, followed by acting games in which performers and the audience interact to explore the characters just seen on stage. Based on a Mexican folktale, Estrellita de Oro (Little Gold Star) has familiar elements to the Cinderella story that we all know—but with fun twists and changes!
NBYT is a professionally run community and educational children’s theater company based in Berlin, Connecticut. Inviting kids from all communities and with all levels of ability and experience, it was named by Connecticut Magazine as Connecticut’s Best Children’s Theater in 2017. NBYT enriches lives by encouraging creative thinking and collaborative teamwork, and developing self-confidence, social and academic skills through involvement in high-quality, low-cost programs in the creative arts.