Touchstone Announces 2017-18 Apprentice Showcase Fresh Voices

The Fresh Voices showcase of original works returns to the Touchstone Theatre stage on June 1 and 2, 2018. The annual event is a celebration of new theatre, featuring original works-in-progress by Chloe Anne Madison, Touchstone's 2017-18 apprentice.

Touchstone's Apprenticeship Program annually selects emerging and transitioning artists to study within the company and learn about life in a professional ensemble theatre. Their work touches every aspect of the company and includes acting, stage management, playwriting, teaching, prop making, and more. Over the past nineteen years, Touchstone has graduated over 70 theatre artists from its program with more than a decade of Fresh Voices productions produced. Past apprentices have gone on to start their own theatre companies, continued their work as playwrights, designers, actors, teaching artists, and contributed to the field of original theatre at large locally and abroad.

"Fresh Voices is one of our season favorites," says Emma Ackerman, Touchstone Ensemble Member and apprentice coordinator. "As a long-term collaborative body, the Touchstone company is always grateful for the new ideas and new energy that our apprentices bring in; and every year, we look forward to seeing what they bring to the stage for a night of their own original theatre."

The evening will feature two works around the theme of artistic creation. Madison's solo work is an abstract exploration of the parts of the creative process that involve letting go, breaking away from the inner critic, evolving, and constantly trying again. "There's a lot of collateral damage in the art making process, and with a lot of struggles and stumbling blocks that end up being self-inflicted, its not a pretty or simple process," says Madison. "But we keep coming back to it and eventually, thankfully, more often than not it can be pretty fantastic."

For the second work, Madison teams up with Lehigh Valley comedienne Samantha Beedle to collaboratively create a work that muses on the balance between order and chaos. Their two characters explore the inherent spontaneity of the encounter between artwork and audience, and the difficulty of trying to replicate it.

Touchstone's season is sponsored locally by season sponsor RCN. WDIY provides media sponsorship and Working Dog Press provides print sponsorship.

Fresh Voices runs June 1 and 2, 2018, 8:00 pm at Touchstone Theatre. Tickets are Pay-What-You-Will at the door, with a suggested donation of $10, or can be purchased in advance for $10, available at (610) 867-1689 or www.touchstone.org

Founded in 1981, Touchstone Theatre produces and presents both original and classic productions, with a dedication to the renewal of theatre as a vital art form. Touchstone works to foster collaboration on a local and national level through educational and youth empowerment programs, using theatre as a community-building tool. Visit us on the web at www.touchstone.org

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