It’s spring! Just like the seasons, we’re seeing some changes here at the Children’s Museum & Theatre. One of my jobs in Development is writing to businesses and individuals in the community who contribute funds that allow us to make needed changes and bring new opportunities to the Museum & Theatre, keeping them updated on how their contributions are being used and how the programs are received. It’s always exciting for me to see new programs arise.
Arts Educator Louisa has been collecting works from artists and writers statewide on the Autism spectrum to hang in our popular Show and Tell Gallery. The Gallery premieres in April and artworks will be on display throughout the season. This is the first year that the Gallery will feature written works in addition to visual arts! Additionally, our friends at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine (RMHC) have given us a grant for another round of Play Our Way private playtimes for ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) youth and their families. This year Reba will join Louisa, offering improv-based Play Our Way theatre workshops in addition to family visual arts programs.
Theatre Artistic Director Reba is directing our theatre season’s final show, Cinderella: The World’s Favorite Fairy Tale. Four different versions are represented in this play: the European Cinderella narrates as the audience meets Yeh Shen of China, Vasilisa of Russia, and Broken Wing of the Mi’kmaq tribe in North America. Thanks to funding from the Morton Kelly Charitable Trust, Reba, the cast and crew are working with cultural consultants for each version. Cinderella will also be touring to local Learning Works locations in addition to the 18 productions in our Dress Up Theatre beginning April 11th.
The Museum & Theatre also received a grant from the PW Sprague Memorial Foundation for A Child’s Garden of Verses. The Robert Louis Stevenson poems will be brought to life by actors in our own garden throughout June, beginning June 3rd. Check out our calendar of events for all the dates and times! In more great theatre news, we have received funds from the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust for Reba to write a brand new play, Road to Hope: An Elephant’s Story, based on Hope Elephants, an elephant sanctuary in Maine. Watch this blog for more news about the Hope Elephant project this summer and its debut in July!
Speaking of summer, we can’t wait for our garden and greenhouse to be open again. Be on the lookout for fun gardening opportunities with educator Jamie this summer thanks to new funding from Kitchen Gardeners International, a community based right here in Scarborough, ME.
The Roy A. Hunt Foundation funds Start-Up Circus, which will begin this spring with a new educator (me!) and help from our friends at the Circus Conservatory of America and the Merriconeag school. The Start-Up Circus will teach teamwork and confidence through tumbling, juggling and partner acrobatics among other starter circus staples. Circus workshops will join our usual round of daytime programs this summer, developed by the Merriconeag students and myself at the end of May.
There’s always lots going on here, and more to come!