Staff Blog Post: National Poetry Month

Reba Short, Director of Theatre & Education

I love poetry. I love finding poems that I can say out loud, and discover meaning as I go. As a trained actor I truly enjoy finding words that I can rhyme and play with. I like it when words can sound the same, if they’re rhyming, or maybe if they are alliterations. Poetry offers a chance to play with language. For the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, where we’re playing and imagining all day long, an opportunity to play with language is like opening a new toy chest, what will we find in here? I’m looking forward to celebrating National Poetry month with everyone…and playing with words as much as we can! My Shel Silverstein books are out and ready for use!

When I was young, I sought out poems I could play with–funny or silly poems. As an adult I seek out poems that make me feel—sad, inspired, angry, ready for action, full of light—when I open a book of poetry, that is what I’m looking for; a poem that packs a punch. I want poems that take my breath away, make me a new person, make me see the world in a different way, remind me what’s important.

In order to be great educators, we have to be continually inspired by the subject that we teach. We all have favorite poems, and we all have poems that inspire us on a deeper level. For the month of April, we’ll be sharing our favorites on the blog. This is our chance to share what inspires us as Museum & Theatre educators with the community, and some of the parents and care givers of children we see acting in our Dress Up Theatre, or creating masterpieces in the Explore Some More Room.

Last year Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, presented at the Association of Children’s Museums National Conference. He was the final speaker of a long an inspiring weekend—but his talk stood out as visionary and dynamic. He presented a way of caring and educating children by valuing their time, and what they have to say. At the end of his talk he shared his poem Take A Stand, which is to me a call to action. This poem is a reminder of what drew me to arts education and how deeply important safe places for children are in our community.

Enjoy.

Take A Stand: A Poem by Geoffrey Canada

Maybe before we didn’t know,
That Corey is afraid to go
To school, the store, to roller skate.
He cries a lot for a boy of eight.
But now we know each day its true
That other girls and boys cry too.
They cry for us to lend a hand.
Time for us to take a stand.
And little Maria’s window screens
Keeps out flies and other things.
But she knows to duck her head,
When she prays each night ‘fore bed.
Because in the window comes some things
That shatter little children-dreams.
For some, the hourglass is out of sand.
Time for us to take a stand.
And Charlie’s deepest, secret wishes,
Is someone to smother him with kisses
And squeeze and hug him tight, so tight,
While he pretends to put up a fight.
Or at least someone to be at home,
Who misses him, he’s so alone.
Who allowed this child-forsaken land?
Look in the mirror and take a stand.
And on the Sabbath, when we pray,
To our God we often say,
“Oh Jesus, Mohammed, Abraham,
I come to better understand,
How to learn to love and give,
And live the life you taught to live.”
In faith we must join hand in hand.
Suffer the children? Take the stand!
And tonight, some child will go to bed,
No food, no place to lay their head.
No hand to hold, no lap to sit,
To give slobbery kisses, from slobbery lips.
So you and I we must succeed
In this crusade, this holy deed,
To say to the children in this land:
Have hope. We’re here. We take a stand!

Celebrate National Poetry Month

We’re growing a new poet-tree in honor of National Poetry Month…and exploring a favorite poem every day!

Our very own staff and educators will be sharing their favorite poems throughout the month and we’ll be sharing them on our blog. Together, we’ll discover rhythm and language through art, music, movement, or theatre.

Click here to see our poetry programming throughout the month of April.

April Vacation Week! April 17-21

 

 

 

 

Looking for adventure this week? We have five days of vacation camp to spark your curiosity, challenge your senses and, of course, help you meet new friends! The theme of our April vacation camp is All About the Ocean! Learn about oceanography and marine life, create art inspired by ocean animals, and even see our ocean play, The Little Mermaid
Get a sneak peek behind the scenes and explore before the Museum & Theatre is open to the public. Thrive with a small group. We keep our camp size small so campers get the attention they need and deserve. Designed for ages 5-8.

Register for one day or the whole week! $35/member per day, $40/visitor per day OR $135/member, $160/visitor ($40 savings for the week!). Register online, call (207) 828-1234 ext. 231, or stop by the front desk. Please sign up early! This camp requires three or more registrations to run, and may be cancelled if sufficient registrations are not received by 5pm April 14. 

Click here to register for the whole week!

Sea Monster and Mer-folk Monday: Dive under the sea for a day full of imaginative ocean adventures! Hear a story about a fearsome sea monster Cetus, play acting games to become a sea creatures yourselves, bust out your best under-the-sea dance moves, and decorate our own mer-tail! (Click here to register for Monday’s Camp!)

Ocean Art Tuesday: Together we’ll bring the ocean into the art room (or at least some of it!). We’ll marbleize paper, create an ocean mural, and make bubble wands! (Click here to register for Tuesday’s Camp!)

Science of the Sea Wednesday: We’ll find out how sharks and whales float, take a closer look at our LIVE sea creatures in our Tide Pool Touch Tank with our microscope, and create your own jellyfish in a bottle! (Click here to register for Wednesday’s Camp!)

Theatre Thursday: Join us for a day of Little Mermaid-inspired theatre! Play acting games in our Dress Up Theatre, go on an exclusive back-stage tour, meet the cast of The Little Mermaid and take in the show at 11am! (Click here to register for Thursday’s Camp!)

Friday: Ancient Tales From the Sea! Hear folk tales from Maine and beyond about sea creatures, fearsome and fantastic, and decide for yourself what to believe. Try a seaworthy snack and use a combination of science and your imagination to craft your own underwater creature. (Click here to register for Friday’s Camp!)

Summer Camp 2017 Registration is now OPEN!

 

 

 

 

Registration for our 2017 summer camps is now open! We have eight (yes, eight!) different camps to choose from! Early Bird Discount! Register before 4pm on April 15, receive $15 off per camper! Camps run Monday through Friday from 9am-12pm. Camps include a healthy snack and private playtime throughout the Museum & Theatre before we are open to the public! Download our brochure for more!

Click here to register for any of these camps!

Ooey gooey camp: June 19-23. Ages: 4-6
Make a mess while having a blast learning about the world around you! We’ll explore ooey gooey tide pool creatures, make exploding volcanoes, search for wriggly worms in the backyard garden and make a variety of slimes to play with and take home! June 19-23. Ages 4-6.
$140/members, $165/visitors

Wizardry camp: June 26-30. Ages: 5-8
Abracadabra, sorcerers and sorceresses! Put on your wizard’s hat and spend the week mixing, pouring and stirring magical potions. We’ll make natural concoctions with local ingredients, learn how to make soap and beeswax candles and create our own flying broomsticks. June 26-30. Ages 5-8. $140/members, $165/visitors

Theatre Camp: Jungle Book: July 5-21. Ages: 7-12
Calling all actors! Venture into the jungle with us and bring Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book to life on our stage! You’ll have a chance to be a bear, wolf, tiger, panther, snake, and more! Fully immerse yourself in the creative process of staging a play, both on stage and behind the scenes. Perform live on the final day! Weekdays Wednesday July 5 through Friday July 21. Ages 7-12.
Three performances on July 21.
$325/members, $350/visitors

Dinosaur Camp: July 24-28. Ages: 4-6
Step inside the shoes of a paleontologist and walk in the footsteps of prehistoric giants! All week we will dive into the world of dinosaurs as we dig up replica dinosaur bones, create our own fossils, and create volcanic eruptions. July 24-28. Ages 4-6. $140/members, $165/visitors

Stars and space Camp: July 31-August 4. Ages: 4-6
3…2..1… Blast Off! Come find magic in the stars and planets. We will discover constellations from around the world in our mini-planetarium, make a telescope, create a moon rock, and train like a real astronaut!
July 31-August 4. Ages 4-6.
$140/members, $165/visitors

Monster Camp: August 7-11. Ages: 4-6
Take a dive under your bed and join us for a week of monstrous fun, laughter and (silly) spooks! Design and create your own monster character and model and put on a monster play of your own. August 7-11. Ages 4-6. $140/members, $165/visitors

Fairy Tale Camp: August 14-18. Ages: 4-6
Welcome to the magical world of fairies and make believe. Create fairy houses, craft fairy wings, act out classic fairy tale stories (such as Cinderella) and even meet a famous fairy tale character! August 14-18. Ages 4-6. $140/members, $165/visitors

Theatre Camp: Improv Acting: August 21-25. Ages: 5-8
Use improvisational theatre games and your own imagination to create a story for the stage. Together, we’ll build a short show, play games, move, and sing!
August 21-25. Ages 5-8.
$140/members, $165/visitors

Click here to register for any of these camps!

February Vacation Week, Open Presidents Day

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 17, 2017
Contact: Sandy Boyce, (207) 828-1234, sandy@kitetails.org

MEDIA ALERT / PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

FEBRUARY VACATION WEEK AT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM & THEATRE OF MAINE
Vacation Week February 20-24, Events Daily
Portland, ME –The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine will kick off its February Vacation Week on Monday, February 20. Doors will open at 9am on Presidents Day with events scheduled all day long.

OVERVIEW SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR FEBRUARY VACATION WEEK

Presidents Day, Monday, February 20:
9am-5pm: Open to members and visitors
2-2:30pm: Guest reading from Portland City Council Member Pious Ali
3:30-4pm: Together We Take Flight Collaborative Origami Installation

Tuesday, February 21:
12-12:30pm: Musical Performance by Matt Loosigian of Earth Jams. $4 per person plus admission.

Wednesday, February 21:
10:15-10:45am: Big Fun Indoor Igloo Installation
11am-12pm & 2-3:00pm: Main Stage Performance of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. $9/members, $10/visitors.

Thursday, February 23:
11am-12pm & 2-3:00pm: Main Stage Performance of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. $9/members, $10/visitors.

Friday, February 24:
10:30-11am & 11-11:30am: Sparks’ Ark Live Animal Show. $6 per person plus admission.
1-2pm & 4-5pm: Main Stage Performance of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. $9/members, $10/visitors.

MEDIA
Your coverage is welcome.

CONTACT: Sandy Boyce, sandy@kitetails.org; (207) 828-1234 ext. 222 for more information.

LISITING INFORMATION
WHO: The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine
WHAT: February Vacation Week, Open Presidents Day
WHERE: 142 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101
WHEN: Open 9am-5pm Presidents Day, February 20. Vacation Week: February 20-24
COST: Free for members, $10 for visitors, excludes paid events.
MORE INFO: www.kitetails.org ; (207) 828-1234; info@kitetails.org

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TRAVEL TO A WEIRD & WACKY MUSICAL WORLD AS THE STINKY CHEESE MAN AND OTHER FAIRLY STUPID TALES TAKES THE STAGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 8, 2017

Contact: Sandy Boyce, (207) 828-1234 ext. 222, sandy@kitetails.org 

Portland, ME –The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine’s production of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales takes the stage February 17 – 26, 2017. Shows are Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 4pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11am and 2pm, and February 18th, 19th, 24th, 25th, and 26th at 1pm. Tickets are $9-$18.

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, written by John Glore and based on the book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, features Jack (and his giant), Cinderella, and the Gingerbread Man like you’ve never been seen them before! In this is weird and wacky musical world, characters and stories may sound familiar, but each story is hilariously derailed and gets a complete makeover. You’ll meet crazy characters, such as sassy barnyard animals, colossal cow pies, rapping UGLY ducks, and of course, very stinky cheese. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales is performed for kids and families by our company of young actors.

The Museum & Theatre’s Theatre and Education Director, Reba Short, says of the play, “I recommend reading Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s story The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales before you buy tickets, so you can get a sense of exactly how silly this experience will be. It’s a play within a play, with some of your favorite fairy tale characters taking charge of their own stories. The princesses are divas, the Ugly Duck is a rap star, cow patties and the table of contents fall from the sky, and the Surgeon General is trying to shut the whole thing down. It’s a romp through a ridiculous fairy tale world and sure to have you rolling in your seat!”

The Museum & Theatre will also hold a special Opening Night Gala performance and party on Friday, February 17 starting at 4pm. Tickets are $18 per person and include a ticket to the after party to celebrate with the cast and crew and enjoy refreshments.

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales is sponsored by Cabot Creamery Cooperative. For more information on this show or any of our other programming, please visit www.kitetails.org or call (207) 828-1234.

A full listing of events is available at www.kitetails.org/theatre/our-season.

LISTING INFORMATION
WHO:
Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine

WHAT: The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, written by John Glore, based on the book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, produced through special arrangement with Playscripts
WHERE: 142 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101
WHEN:  February 17 – 26, 2017
PERFORMANCES:

  • Friday, February 17 at 4pm
  • Saturday, February 18 at 1 & 4pm
  • Sunday, February 19 at 1 & 4pm
  • Wednesday, February 22 at 11am & 2pm
  • Thursday, February 23 at 11am & 2pm
  • Friday, February 24 at 1 & 4pm
  • Saturday, February 25 at 1 & 4pm
  • Sunday, February 26 at 1 & 4pm

Opening Night Gala + Performance: February 17, 4pm, $18/person

TICKETS: $10 visitors/$9 members, available at the front desk or online at www.kitetails.org

MORE INFO: www.kitetails.org; (207) 828-1234; info@kitetails.org

PRESS CONTACT:  Sandy Boyce, sandy@kitetails.org; (207) 828-1234 ext. 222.

The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine offers theatre productions and programs, weekly educational programming and a safe, fun place for children and families to play in downtown Portland, Maine. The Museum & Theatre’s 20+ exhibits, 100+ free weekly educational programs, five annual mainstage theatre productions and dozens of outreach opportunities are best enjoyed by children ages six months to 10 years old.

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WAPONAHKI STUDENT ART SHOW OPENING AT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM & THEATRE OF MAINE

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, this event has been moved to Thursday, January 26th from 3:30-5pm.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 16, 2017

Contact: Sandy Boyce, (207) 828-1234 ext. 222, sandy@kitetails.org

WAPONAHKI STUDENT ART SHOW OPENING AT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM & THEATRE OF MAINE, TUESDAY, JANUARY 24th
Portland, ME –The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine is pleased to announce that it will host the Waponahki Student Art Show on loan from the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine. The show opening will take place on Tuesday, January 24th from 3:30 to 5pm at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, located at 142 Free Street in Portland. It will remain on display through April 30, 2017.

The show will feature 45 pieces of original artwork created by children in grades K-12, from all four federally recognized Native American Tribes in Maine. During the opening, visitors will have the opportunity to view and touch Passamaquoddy artifacts.

“We are excited to host this wonderful show,” said Suzanne Olson, Executive Director of the Children’s Museum & Theatre. “Art is universal and a great medium for visitors to learn about Waponahki culture.”

Museum & Theatre educators will create programming around the art show installation, which will focus on shared experiences of visitors and the young Waponahki artists. Periodically, while the show is on display, the Museum & Theatre will host five individual hour-long workshops, where visitors will be encouraged to think about how their lives are similar to the artists’ and create their own art in response. The artwork created by visitors will travel back to the Waponahki student artists so that these children, who have never met, can have a connection and greater understanding of each other’s lives and shared experiences though art.

The Waponahki Student Art Show is sponsored by a grant from the P.W. Sprague Memorial Foundation. For more information on this event and other related events, please visit www.kitetails.org/calendar-of-events or call (207) 828-1234.

LISTING INFORMATION
WHO: Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine
WHAT: WAPONAHKI STUDENT ART SHOW OPENING
WHERE: 142 Free St., Portland, ME 04101
WHEN: Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 3:30-5pm
COST: Free with admission to the Museum & Theatre
MORE INFO: www.kitetails.org; (207) 828-1234; info@kitetails.org
PRESS CONTACT: Sandy Boyce, sandy@kitetails.org; (207) 828-1234 ext. 222.

The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine offers theatre productions and programs, weekly educational programming and a safe, fun place for children and families to play in downtown Portland, Maine. The Museum & Theatre’s 20+ exhibits, 100+ free weekly educational programs, five annual mainstage theatre productions and dozens of outreach opportunities are best enjoyed by children ages six months to 10 years old.

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Winter Break Camp: Smorgasbord!

Five days of fun during winter break! This is a drop-off camp for ages 5-8. Each day features a different theme from live animals to theatre. December 26 to December 30, 9am-12pm. $135 for members, $160 for visitors. Part-week registrations available too! To register call 828-1234 x231, register online here, or stop by the front desk.

Download our camp flyer here!

Get a sneak peek behind the scenes and explore before the museum & theatre is open to the public. Thrive with a small group; we keep our camp size small so each camper gets the attention they need and deserve.

Storytelling Monday: Master the art of storytelling through music, theater, and paint! With a magical bard as our guide, we’ll explore three stories: a musical tale, a spooky legend, and lastly, a humorous twist on an old classic. (Note: The spooky legend is of the silly variety, so if you’re faint of heart, don’t fret.) Then we’ll create our own story stones to use as tools to harness the storyteller within us all.

Live Animal Tuesday: Get a front row seat to see a Spark’s Ark Live Animal Show, meet the honey bees for art time and honey tasting, and dive into our tide pool touch tank to meet sea-stars, urchins and more!

Artsy Wednesday: Join us for day of BIG, messy art! We’ll create giant marble paintings, explore large-scale gravity painting, and make our own constellation self-portraits taking inspiration from a star show in the Museum & Theatre’s mini-planetarium.

Theatre Thursday: Join us for a day of Narnia-inspired theatre! The day will include playing acting games in our theatre; going on an exclusive back-stage tour of our play; then meeting the cast of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and see the play at 11am!

Science Friday: Meet our yellow bellied slider turtles, examine a living sea-star, and study the movement of our frogs. We’ll make science journals to record our adventures in and discover how science is all around us.

Meet our newly named frogs, Prince and Belinda

On November 8, 2016, we held our very own special election, where visitors and followers of the Museum & Theatre had an opportunity to vote on names for our newest live animals. We’re happy to announce that our two American Bullfrogs officially have names, Belinda (female) and Prince (male). Now we can officially say that we have our very own frog Prince right here!

We had a great selection of names to choose from, given to us by visitors and through online submissions. We hope you’ll visit us and stop by to officially meet Belinda and Prince.