Main Street Theater To Perform Foer's EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE, 10/27!

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MST is honored to be participating in the 2nd Annual Gulf Coast Reads reading and programming series. On Saturday, October 27 at 12:30pm at the Houston Public Library Central Library location (500 McKinney, Houston, 77002), MST is presenting a reader's theater performance of the 2012 Gulf Coast Reads selection, EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE by Jonathan Safran Foer, featuring 5 MST students. MST's performance will be followed by an interactive presentation from the book's author Jonathan Safran Foer. The afternoon will be filled with thematically related activities and entertainment. For more information, please visit: http://www.houstonlibrary.org/gulf-coast-reads-events.

MST's Assistant Director of Education, Jonathan Gonzalez, has mentored and directed the project. "EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE deals with grief, loss, and the need to connect and to solve mysteries," says Gonzalez. "Above all, the story is seen through the eyes of the 9-year old protagonist Oskar Schell. The book begins with a question and ends with a wish to reverse space and time. It seemed to me that our inventive, intelligent, and curious kids of MST's Education Department (where we just finished a summer camp entitled "What If?") should be the ones to tell Oskar's story and serve as Main Street Theater ambassadors for the community. The students have been asked to stretch far beyond their comfort zone and have more than risen to the challenge. They added artistic input to the cutting, staging, and logistical aspects of the project. They served as spirited collaborators and invaluable partners on this project."

MST students who have created and are performing in the presentation are 11 year olds Micah McNiel and Dillon Williams, 12 year olds Ben Russell and Marshall White, and 17 year old Paige Zubel.

MST also performed on Saturday, October 6th at the George Memorial Library in Richmond and will perform Saturday, October 20th, at 1:00 pm – HSPVA, 4001 Stanford, Houston, 77006.

Now in its 25th season, MST's Education Department Main Street Theater offers students a performing arts playground where professional theater artists serve as mentors. With an emphasis on creativity and collaboration, we provide hands-on opportunities for students to make an original contribution in all aspects of play production. In support of Main Street Theater's mission, Main Street's Education Department provides a significant resource in the community for education in theater and classical theater for kids, families and educators.

Through year-round classes, outreach programs, and camps both on-site and at satellite locations, students develop their voices, bodies, and imaginations in a challenging and fun curriculum, taught by professional artists and arts educators.

Main Street Theater's education programs offer a wide range of classes for students of all skill levels, including individual audition coaching sessions, movement and dance classes, filmmaking classes, high school workshops, and a Summer Performing Arts Camp. The Rehearsal and Performance system includes classes for students at two levels: those who are ready to audition for plays for the public and those who want to hone their skills by producing a play in a "lab" context for family and friends. Classes range from $175 - $500; camps range from $50 - $530. For more information or to register for classes and camps, please call 713-524-9196 x 104 or 103 or log on to mainstreettheater.com. Troy Scheid is Director of Education. Jonathan Gonzalez is Assistant Director of Education.

Since 1975, Main Street Theater has produced high quality professional theater for audiences of all ages through its MainStage productions and Main Street Youth Theater. MST's Education Department offers performing arts classes and camps for children 4 years to 19 years of age. The organization produces plays at two locations, 2540 Times Boulevard in Rice Village and 4617 Montrose Boulevard at Chelsea Market.

Main Street Theater is a member of the Fresh Arts Coalition, a collaboration of 25 arts organizations that work collectively to raise awareness of the size and diversity of the arts in Houston, and a constituent of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization for not-for-profit theaters. Main Street Theater offers a lively year-round repertory of classic and contemporary plays for audiences of all ages and provides a much-needed showcase for Houston theater professionals. Main Street Theater is also a member of Actors' Equity Association and of ASSITEJ, the world theatre network of theatre for children and young people. Main Street Theater is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Walker

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