Mountain View High School in Orem is performing a stage adaptation I did for them of a James Christensen art storybook called VOYAGE OF THE BASSET. It’s playing Thur, Fri, Sat @ 7p (Jan 15, 16, 17) in their auditorium. Dr. John Newman, the Noorda Center director, did the first draft of the adaptation in Suzan Zeder’s class 16 years ago when he was getting his masters at the University of Texas but the rights were tied up with a Hallmark film version at the time. Mountain View was able to get rights to do a “readers theatre” version rather than a fully staged version, but did get rights to use the projections, so the project has been a great experiment for the advanced drama class in creating an experimental, multimedia performance mode.
The Noorda Center is hosting the Utah regional contest for the national Young Playwrights for Change competition. See “Young Playwrights for Change” under the Playwriting tab above. Playwrights must be 6th, 7th, and 8th graders and plays must be no more than ten minutes long with no more than 6 characters. All plays must address the theme, “What is Family?” The deadline for submissions is January 9, 2015.
Five finalists will have their script read at UVU on March 6 and one of those will have a full production at UVU on March 7. All playwrights who enter a script to this year’s contest will be invited to attend a playwriting workshop with Suzan Zeder at UVU on March 6. Suzan Zeder is a national award winning children’s theatre playwright, whose fantasy drama The Milk Dragon will premiere at UVU in March. Finalists will receive a free ticket to see The Milk Dragon at UVU on March 6.
See the information and submission forms under the Playwriting tab on this site. Students, start writing now! Teachers, follow this link for a current article by Dr. John Newman, the Noorda Center director, on coaching young playwrights: http://www.editiondigital.net/publication/?i=230728&p=30
The Fall 2014 issue of Teaching Theatre, published by the Educational Theatre Association, includes an article about “Shakespeare’s Advice to the Playwrights,” as well as the Bard’s advice to teachers of young playwrights. You can find the full article by following this link:
Kynsie Kiggins will be filling the position of Outreach Coordinator for the Noorda Center, beginning on Monday, October 20. We are very excited to have her on board. Kynsie graduated from Utah State University with a BFA in Acting and Directing. She worked for five years at the Utah Children’s Theatre in Salt Lake City and has worked also with the children’s theatre program in Bellingham, Washington. Kynsie worked as a marketing assistant for the Old Lyric Repertory Company and Utah State Theater and as marketing director for Guerilla Theatre in Logan. She will bring a wealth of experience and energy to the Noorda Center.
Eileen Nagle, who has served as the Outreach Coordinator for the Noorda Center, has accepted a new position in Northern California. We have appreciated her work in communicating with schools over the past four years and we will miss her at the Noorda Center.
We will soon be posting the opening for the Outreach Coordinator position with the UVU Human Resources office. In the meantime, Dr. John Newman will be handling communications with the schools directly, including the bookings for this year’s touring productions and school matinees. He will be confirming with each of the schools who have booked so far and will be following up with schools who were in the process of booking shows.
We have created a new generic email address, email@example.com, for all communications about booking school matinees and touring shows. Please use this address rather than Eileen.firstname.lastname@example.org that is currenly on our promotional announcements and materials. The main Noorda Center number (801-863-KIDS) will temporarily be forwarded to Dr. Newman, or you can call or email him directly at email@example.com, 801-863-5079.
Thank you for your patience through this transition. We look forward to working with you throughout the coming year.
The 2014-2015 season will offer great performances to elementary and secondary schools students. School matinee performances of The Romeo and Juliet Project, The Milk Dragon, and You Can’t Take It With You. We will also offer two productions that will tour to schools: Bocon in November/December and The Boy Who Loved Monsters and the Girl Who Loved Peas in March/April. We will again be sponsoring the Utah Young Playwrights for Change contest, this year on the theme of “What is Family?” The Noorda Theatre Summer Camp will be better than ever, with a brand new drama written by our resident playwright Wendy Gourley.
The first-ever production of Suzan Zeder’s The Milk Dragon is attracting interest nationwide. This epic fantasy by one of the most acclaimed playwrights for young people will present audiences with a compelling story and innovative stagecraft. After being developed at the University of Texas at Austin, the Provincetown Playhouse in New York City, and through residencies and a special topics class at UVU, we are excited to take The Milk Dragon on this crucial step in its journey.