For Immediate Release
April 3, 2018
Traveling Players holds Auditions April 15 for Advanced Theatre Camps:
Teens can perform Shakespeare and physical comedy throughout Virginia!
McLean, VA – Traveling Players Ensemble will hold auditions for its advanced summer theatre camps on Sunday, April 15th at the Old Firehouse Teen Center in McLean, VA. Auditions are open to the public and require registration. For more information, visit the website.
The award-winning summer theatre camp, in residence at The Madeira School, trains teens and pre-teens in Shakespeare and takes them on tour to perform their shows throughout Virginia. Now in its 16th year, Traveling Players has performed “Shakespeare in the Park” in Shenandoah National Park, as well as Colonial Williamsburg, Douthat State Park and many other locations.
“Touring is invaluable to a young actor’s growth,” says Artistic Director Jeanne Harrison. “On tour, performers learn to adapt to the unexpected, on and offstage, allowing us to build performing skills as well as life skills. Every venue, every audience, has its own unique challenges, and its own potential for wonderful things to happen.” The National Endowment for the Arts twice awarded Traveling Players a Learning in the Arts award on the strength of its touring program, which the Endowment called “nationally unique.”
A good example is the group’s recent tour of The Trojan Women by Euripides, considered the world’s oldest surviving anti-war play. The play, set after the fall of Troy, focuses on the suffering of the surviving women, and was written in 415 BC as a critique of contemporary wartime atrocities.
The cast of nine high schoolers performed at venues with unique relationships to those themes, including a Jewish retirement home, which included holocaust survivors among its residents, a retirement home for US veterans and their families, and a symposium on nonviolent conflict resolution at Georgetown Day School, featuring AU Professor in International Service Barbara Wien. Each performance was followed by a discussion, allowing the audiences and the young performers to engage in vital conversations.
Local stage combat choreographer Casey Kaleba, who has staged fights for Traveling Players since 2006, notes, “The interactive nature of [Traveling Players’] shows encourages a relationship between artist and audience. All of this is made possible by the Traveling Players’ ethos of art as part of a mutually supportive community. Whether it is the collaborative necessity of touring, or their ‘leave no trace’ camping, or their practice of bringing theatre to diverse audiences, the group always operates with someone else in mind. Many arts organizations operate by asking what the community can do for them, but the Traveling Players succeed because they ask what they can do with their community.”
On April 15, high school actors can audition for Traveling Troupe, an advanced summer program that rehearses Shakespeare’s crowd-pleasing Merry Wives of Windsor for five weeks and then goes on a two-week-long tour by bus and backpack to venues like Colonial Williamsburg, the Lime Kiln Amphitheater, and Douthat State Park. Jeanne Harrison, Traveling Players’ Founder and Artistic Director, directs the production. She recently received the Arts Council of Fairfax County’s Strass award for her integration of physical and classical theatre.
Also auditioning on April 15th is the unique Commedia Troupe, another advanced summer program which will create an original version of Sleeping Beauty using the techniques of Commedia dell’Arte. This 17th century art form was recently popularized in the Washington, DC area by the Shakespeare Theater’s production of The Servant of Two Masters, and local company Faction of Fools, whose former Artistic Director Toby Mulford, will direct Traveling Players’ summer teens.
Registration is also open for Traveling Players Ensemble’s other summer theatre camps, which serve current 3rd to 12th graders, and which do not require an audition.
The camp will hold an Open House at The Madeira School on April 21 from 1-4 pm, rain or shine. All are welcome to stop by whenever is convenient. Please wear shoes appropriate for woodland walking.
About Traveling Players Ensemble: Traveling Players’ mission is to enhance self-expression, self-reliance, problem-solving skills, and heighten an appreciation of challenges and beauty by bringing great theatre into the great outdoors. The National Endowment for the Arts distinguished its flagship program, Traveling Players’ camp, as one of 25 model Summer Schools in the Arts. Featured in The Washington Post as a “little known gem for the budding actor,” Traveling Players was also described as a summer camp that “meaningfully combats ‘nature-deficit disorder.’”
Recent honors include admission to the 2015-16 Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington, DC highlighting the area’s best small nonprofits, receipt of a Good Neighbor grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for scholarships, distinction as CampEasy’s top arts camp in the nation for 2015, and a 2016 and 2017 Reader’s Choice award from Northern Virginia Magazine.
For more information, visit www.travelingplayers.org or call 703-987-1712.