Spellbound Theatre, New York's only theatre exclusively for young people ages 0-5 has been awarded the American Alliance for Theater & Education's Zeta Phi Eta-WiniFred Ward Outstanding New Children's Theatre Company Award. The honor will be presented at an awards reception on Saturday, August 5th at AATE conference in New Orleans, LA.
The annual award honors a theatre company serving young audiences that has been in operation for under five years, has attained a high level of artistic production, and possesses sound management practices while having stimulated community interest in its endeavors. It is named in honor of WiniFred Ward, often considered the 'mother of creative drama'.
Past winners who have come to exemplify longstanding artistic excellence include the Honolulu Theatre for Youth in Hawaii, Childsplay, Inc. in Arizona, the Dallas Children's Theatre in Texas, and Metro Theater Company in Missouri.
Spellbound creates original theatre for children ages 0-5, and hosts educational family programs that help children and their grown-ups play together. The company performs a public performance season at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn and has been chosen as a two-time New Victory Theatre LabWorks Resident Artist Ensemble.
Additionally, the company supports a robust education and outreach program that includes Free Family Arts Days, which provide free creative play classes for hundreds of families in underserved communities in Brooklyn; performances and workshops at over 30 early childhood centers and pre-k sites around NYC.
AATE's recognition of Spellbound's work reinforces the importance of quality theater for this special age range. Artistic Director Lauren Jost:
"We learn more, grow more, and discover more about ourselves and our world in the first five years than we do at any other point in our lives.
Very young children are more open than we are as adults, more perceptive than we are, more creative, and they do not sit still out of politeness or convention. They demand our full presence, our full creativity, our full selves. They deserve artwork that honors their ingenuity, and a space for art designed with their needs and incredible abilities in mind.
It is an honor to create work for this most discerning and sophisticated of audiences."
To learn more about Spellbound Theatre's 17-18 season and its education programs visit http://spellboundtheatre.com.