to enhance self-expression, self-reliance, problem-solving skills, and heighten appreciation for life’s challenges and beauty by bringing great theatre into the great outdoors.
Artistic creation is fundamental to forming one’s identity, especially for teens in their unique and complex transition between childhood and adulthood. We give kids a safe space to explore themselves through artistic expression.
An ensemble (13 actors) provides an ideal structure for fostering creativity and a sense of community, ensuring personalized attention and significant growth as an artist and individual. By keeping our casts small, Traveling Players is able to provide individualized instruction and an enviable 4:1 student-faculty ratio.
As stated in a 2007 Washington Post article about Traveling Players, “Many kids’ first spiritual encounters take place in nature, where they discover something larger than themselves.” Therefore, we link theatrical work to nature by rehearsing and performing outdoors and by emphasizing nature themes in the plays we produce.
At its heart, an ensemble prioritizes the success of the whole over the success of the individual. This is in stark contrast to the way theatre often works: an ensemble struggles against the tendency for the “most talented” actors getting the “best parts.” Ensemble work challenges both of those ideas by valuing the contributions of every member of the cast and crew.
We encourage teens to be responsible to the larger group, rather than thinking of their own interests first. What this means is that everyone in the group gets what they need. If everyone’s focus is in toward the group, they can help, support, encourage, and challenge each other. That way, when problems arise – as they always do – there is enough trust, goodwill, and confidence for the group to sustain itself.
Ensemble practice fosters a collective ownership of the art, believing in actors as creative as well as interpretive artists. Because of its focus on inclusivity and collaboration, all members of an ensemble develop a sense of the whole, and feel supported, trusted, and listened to by the group. In this kind of environment, performers can take greater risks and experience greater growth, knowing that the ensemble will catch them when they fall.
Traveling Players Students attribute numerous awards and distinctions to our programs and coaching, including:
Acting created a place for me to express myself and to feel like people are listening — and being at Traveling Players made me feel as if I was worth listening to. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Each year that our daughter has attended a Traveling Players program (3 summers and 2 winters), I have been so impressed not only by the wonderful and professional nature of the programs, but by the genuine camaraderie developed between the cast and the directors. No other program or experience has been more challenging or meaningful for my daughter. Thank you!
Traveling Players Ensemble is more than meets the eye. On the surface, it’s a professional theater company […] it does an amazing job of training teens in outdoor classical theater. But even more amazing is the community that has sprung up around this organization. Teenagers and theater professionals from around the DC area form lasting friendships and learn extremely valuable life lessons from their camp experiences. Since coming to Traveling Players, I’ve begun to live from summer to summer. I can’t possibly praise this organization enough.
A transformative experience! My son and daughter have attended Traveling Players programs for many years. It is the most important activity in both of their lives. The instruction in classical theatre is incomparable. The outdoor skills and experiences are phenomenal. And the friendships and close, supportive community of kids are priceless. Go!
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Please consider joining our Ensemble of Donors by making an annual contribution of $1,000 or more this year. Our donors mean the world to us, and now we will regally celebrate our most munificent patrons!
Benefits of Ensemble membership:
Theatre tickets are an additional charge. Membership lasts one year, is renewable, and basking begins the year following the donation.
Charlie is currently a Partner at Strategy for Humanity, a consulting firm that works with mission-driven organizations and those who fund them. He brings expertise on strategic planning, program and institutional evaluation, program development, and communications and advocacy campaigns. He has two children who are currently Traveling Players students.
Lynda serves as the Director of Development for a local nonprofit providing early childhood care. She is experienced in strategic planning, organizational development, and program and project management – working with diverse teams to correctly identify and resolve issues that help the organization succeed in meeting its mission. Her daughter performed with Traveling Players and remains in our community.
A middle school math teacher at St. Patrick’s Episcopal School, Beth’s expertise is in project management, operational efficiencies and marketing. Beth is also the parent of a Traveling Players alum, currently earning a BFA in Theatre.
Alex Mountfield was a student at Traveling Players between 2014 and 2016. Since then, they’ve served Traveling Players as a volunteer, a teaching artist, a camp director, an office administrator, and a staff leader. They are an award-winning writer, editor, and researcher, currently working as a Research Associate at Strategy for Humanity. More info: https://alexmountfield.com/
Robin serves in the capacity of Director of Development and Operations.
Jeanne serves in the capacity of Executive Director.
P.O. Box 1315
Great Falls, VA 22066
Traveling Players Studio
Tysons Corner Center – DL01
1961 Chain Bridge Road, Tysons, VA 22102