Actor Spotlight: Christian

Name: Christian

Age: 8

Grade: 2nd

Where do you go to school?  Holy Cross, South Portland

How many shows have you been in at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of
Maine?  1 of the shows that would happen upstairs in the nature room a
couple years ago.

What do you do when you aren’t doing a play at the Children’s Museum &
Theatre of Maine? I LOVE to play piano.  I also enjoy putting on my own
shows at home.  And directing!  Especially directing my triplet siblings
and my older brother.

What do you like about acting? I like that you get to move a lot.  And be
someone different than who you are.

What character are you playing in The Circus Ship? What do you want people
to know about your character?  Simon the python.  I want people to know he
is very good at tying knots.  And picking them.

What do you want people to know about our show?  That it’s great and they
should come see it!  Please.  🙂

Actor Spotlight: Adelaide

Name: Adelaide

Age: 8

Grade: 2

Where do you go to school? Falmouth Elementary

How many shows have you been in at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of
Maine? This is my 2nd

What do you do when you aren’t doing a play at the Children’s Museum &
Theatre of Maine? Playing with my friends and reading

What do you like about acting? Being on stage

What character are you playing in The Circus Ship? What do you want people
to know about your character? Emma Rose, she is two and a half

What do you want people to know about our show? It is good for children

Actor Spotlight: Nolan

Name: Nolan

Age: 10

Grade: 4

Where do you go to school? Ocean Ave

How many shows have you been in at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine?
5. Charlie And the Chocolate Factory, Shakespeare Stories, The WITCHES!
Santa’s Reindeer, The Circus Ship. My favorite was The WITCHES. I loved
playing the grand High Witch because she was very mischievous and evil DON
DON DON!

What do you do when you aren’t doing a play at the Children’s Museum &
Theatre of Maine?
I like to relax, play on my pogo stick and do arts and crafts like origami,
draw, paint and sew fabric.

What do you like about acting?
I like being on stage and making people laugh, trying new things and having
different character traits.

What character are you playing in The Circus Ship?
Old man Mr. Hood

What do you want people to know about your character?
He loves to laugh.He was always picked on in school and always sad because
he always got an a+ on every thing and all of the bad students called him
names and picked on him. Now he is a 70 year old man and loves to laugh and
cut wood.

What do you want people to know about our show?
It is very hilarious, lets you imagine that animals won’t hurt you, and the
animals are very nice. You can also imagine that animals can talk.

Actor Spotlight: Louisa

Name: Louisa Radtke-Rowe

Age: 14

Grade: Freshman

Where do you go to school? Home-schooled

How many shows have you been in at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine?
This is my second

What do you do when you aren’t doing a play at the Children’s Museum &
Theatre of Maine? When I’m not on stage, you can usually find me reading at
my local coffee shop, dancing my heart out at Casco Bay Movers, or playing
with my puppy.

What do you like about acting? It gives me a fun way to be creative and make
others smile.

What character are you playing in The Circus Ship? What do you want people
to know about your character? I play Alyssa the Alligator. Something you
might not know about her is that her favorite food is fish tacos and in her
free time she likes to nap in the sun.

What do you want people to know about our show? I had a blast doing it and I
hope people love it as much as I do!

Now Playing at the Museum & Theatre: Santa’s Reindeer Present: The Nutcracker!

A Note from the Director:

Every year, we reindeer put on a variety show before loading up the sleigh. The stage summons our magic, surges our energy and brings us together. Vixen does card tricks. Comet tells jokes. Donner recites ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.When Dancer and Prancer are getting along, they usually do a tap routine. This year, I challenged my crew to explore something different. If we can pull a heavy sleigh, we can put on a whole play! We can use our reindeer magic to play timeless characters with our hooves and with our hearts. This year’s play? The Nutcracker! A ballet, a symphony, and now… a realistic drama, told reindeer style!

We beg you to imagine yourself in St. Petersburg, Russia, 1892, in the small workshop of a toymaker named Drosselmeyer. Not just a toymaker, Drosselmeyer is also a clock maker and a mouse catcher. On Christmas Eve, his nephew, a young prince, comes to visit. But lo and behold – before Drosselmeyer’s one good eye an evil sorcerer turns his nephew into… a NUTCRACKER! To become human again, the Nutcracker must defeat the Mouse King, travel to far off lands, and fall in love with a beautiful maiden. Impossible? Not if you find yourself in a child’s dream! Drosselmeyer the Toymaker gives the Nutcracker to a young girl named Clara, in hopes that she will help the Nutcracker complete his tasks to be human again.

Join us for this reindeer tail of magic and wonder. Only magical flying reindeer can write, dance, choreograph and stage as complex a yarn as The Nutcracker. We’ve worked hard on these weeks leading up to Christmas. Without these elves Maud, Eli and Murray taking time off from building toys, the play would never be possible. Thank you Dasher, for keeping us on track as the Stage Manager. Thank you for coming, you elves and reindeer in the audience. Happy holidays and enjoy the show!

Your Esteemed Director,

Rudy the Red

Leah as Rudolph, director of the Nutcracker!

Leah as Rudolph, director of the Nutcracker!


Interested in seeing the show? Click here, call 1-800-838-3006, or stop by the front desk during your next visit to get tickets!

Director’s Notes: Shakespeare’s Stories

For many people, Shakespeare can feel like a foreign language. Some are intimidated by the length of the plays; the big words and strange contractions. On the page, Shakespeare can feel daunting, but the key is to speak it aloud. Shakespeare is meant to be played.

I’ve been wanting to produce Shakespeare here at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine for a long time. After reading Ken Ludwig’s book, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, and cutting edge research from the Royal Shakespeare Company relating to Shakespeare and early literacy, I finally felt we were ready. It’s never too late to become familiar with this language and these stories. The Museum & Theatre is the perfect place for the synchronization of young actors approaching the material for the first time, and a young audience discovering the magic of these stories.

With the generous help of our long-time friend and supporter, the Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust, we have enhanced this production beyond our normal capacity. We hired guest directors, and it has been a pleasure to watch Allison, Marjolaine and Kristen bring us to new depths as actors and designers. We offered Shakespeare acting workshops, hosted “Shakespeariments” with young visitors and had a whole Shakespeare themed summer here at the Museum & Theatre. I am excited to continue this work beyond the summer. I think our work with Shakespeare and early literacy development has only just begun!

Now all that’s missing is you, the audience. Young children are constantly learning new words, and they approach vocabulary fearlessly. A young audience watches before they listen, identifies with the movement on the stage and takes in characters at face value. I eagerly await the young audience members filling the seats of the Dress Up Theater, encountering these magical stories for the very first time!

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A Table Read of Our Upcoming “Shakespeare’s Stories”

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This morning, our staff gathered in our backyard “Down to the Sea” exhibit (Thanks Mr. Magee and Dee, for loaning us your picnic spot!) to read through our theatre season opener, “Shakespeare’s Stories.”

Cheers for Brooks, Our Veteran Actor!

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As many of you know, we just wrapped a fantastic production of “Robin Hood” here at the Museum & Theatre. It was a truly hysterical play written specifically for our Theatre by Brett Askari, and we enjoyed a great run of capacity audiences over the past week and a half.

One standout of this production is our friend Brooks, one of the young actors on stage in “Robin Hood.” Brooks may be a familar name and face to those who come to our Theatre regularly, as Brooks has been in no less than 19 SHOWS during his 9 year run with us here. WOW!

We hope that this isn’t Brooks’ last show with us, as talent like his is a gift to everyone!

Please congratulate Brooks on a his work on “Robin Hood,” and so many more over the years. Thank you, Brooks, for being such a great part of what we do here.

 

 

Charlie On the Road!

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Well, Congress Street to be more exact!

Last week, our talented troupe of young actors took their show down the street to our neighbors at the Portland Public Library, to give them their own taste of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Enjoy these awesome photos (thanks PPL!) and please check out one of our remaining performances of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” running until Feb.22.

 

 

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” – Notes from the Director

 

From the Artistic Director

Welcome to our cautionary tale of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! While cautionary tales are a dime a dozen in children’s literature and children’s theatre, a cautionary tale by Roald Dahl is different. Bad children who chew too much gum turn into blueberries. Crocodiles that try to eat children get tossed into the sun. Dahl plays with imaginative and gruesome punishments but only to those who are greedy and ultimately deserve the wild terribleness that’s coming their way.

When I read a Roald Dahl story out loud to children, I give the cautionary tale a cautious disclaimer. “This is Roald Dahl. If you aren’t familiar with this children’s author you may find the content of this story inappropriate…” And then I start reading, and I resist the urge to sub out words or change ending because while adults may find Dahl horrifying, children find Dahl hilarious.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been giving the note to actors: “Be more awful! Don’t make these characters likeable!” As an audience, we have to believe that Augustus, Violet, Veruca and Mike deserve their punishment. If our actors portray sweetness, the story will come off all wrong. Believe it or not, they seem to enjoy their awful characters. While it’s fun to act terrible sometimes, the experience of working on this play has been anything but awful. Behind the scenes we have a group of kids that are kind to each other and work as an amazing team. In our large cast, I see older actors helping younger actors, younger actors inspiring older actors, and a strong sense of community among cast mates. Putting on a play like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory requires an all for one, one for all mentality that the entire group has embraced from the very beginning. There’s not a rotten nut in this whole bunch!

I’m excited about our upcoming shows in our season: In April we will produce Robin Hood, and we have an exciting opportunity to work with a local playwright and offer theatre workshops to afterschool centers in the Portland area. In the summer, we begin Shakespeare’s Stories, a chance to introduce young children to the magic of Shakespeare by hearing the stories from our young actors. We hope to see you and your family in the Dress Up Theatre again soon!

Enjoy the Show! Reba Short, Theatre Artistic Director