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7th Season From WNC Children's Theatre Has Regional World Premiere And A Re-imagined Classic

Asheville Creative Arts (ACA), Asheville's professional children's theatre, continues in its 7th season to build on the successful mounting of its first world premiere, BUGS!, to present a second world premiere, LINTHEAD, as well as a new take on the family classic, CHARLOTTE'S WEB. Its mobile unit, which launched last season with the touring puppet musical, SLUG & SNAIL, will grow to include the touring version of BUGS!, and the company will offer expanded educational opportunities with both spring after-school classes and 2 sessions of summer camp. Details will be unveiled at ACA's annual Fall Fete held Nov 8 at Ambrose West (312 Haywood Road) from 7-9pm. Tickets and registration information for all events are available on ACA's website www.ashevillecreativearts.org.

"Young people today are having to navigate so many types of media that present a lot of conflicting information" says ACA Co-Founder, Abby Felder. She continues "our first production of the season, LINTHEAD, delves into the power of storytelling and narrative, and through our residences with Hanger Hall and in partnership with Buncombe County School's Latino Outreach Coordinator among others, will explore how meaning is shaped across media platforms, and create a space for young people to tell their own stories on their own terms. Paired with a newly invigorated, 5th Anniversary production of CHARLOTTE'S WEB, a story beloved by families, our season at its core reflects on what it means for our youth today to grow up in an increasingly complex world." Complementing mainstage productions, Felder explains that "expanded educational opportunities will support young people in developing skills of active listening, creative thinking and empathy necessary for navigating those complexities, and continued community partnerships will ensure a broad cross-section of youth and adults are growing, learning and engaging together."

Mainstage Productions 2018/19 held at the company's theatre home, Magnetic 375 (375 Depot Street):

LINTHEAD (April 19-28, 2019) a devised piece by Abby Felder (writer), Alex Smith (dramaturge), Rebecca Williams (video) and the Ensemble (Edwin Salas Acosta, Holly Heveron- Smith, Jacob Donham, and others in formation); with direction and co-creation by Eva Von Schweinitz

An immersive experience with puppetry, live folk music, video and more that explores the stories of young people and of the South, starting with Lewis Hine's photos of children in textile mills at the turn of the century, and ending with contemporary narratives gathered directly from local young people during onsite residencies focusing on personal narrative and oral history.

CHARLOTTE'S WEB (July 18-28, 2019) adapted by Joseph Robinette from the book by E.B. White, with original soundscape by Jonesalee

CHARLOTTE'S WEB is a story about Fern, and her little pig Wilbur who becomes famous with the help of his clever friend Charlotte and their chatty animal neighbors. 5 years since its last production of this beloved family classic, ACA brings its signature style of contemporary and sophisticated storytelling for a fresh, new take on this tale of friendship, sacrifice and growing up.

Both Mainstage productions include weekday matinee performances with specially discounted and free tickets, plus pre-show study guide designed in accordance with Common Core benchmarks for learning, and post-show Q&A underwritten by generous individual donors: LINTHEAD will offer these performances for students and campers on spring break from April 18-19 and for elementary and middle school students from April 23-26 with tickets at $5 each; CHARLOTTE'S WEB will offer performances for camp groups from July 18 & 19 and 23-26 at 10am and 1pm with tickets at $7 each.

Mobile Unit with pre/post show workshops with puppet building or other activities that address literacy, community building, and give participants the opportunity to work with music, writing and other media:

SLUG & SNAIL an original toy theatre puppet piece performed by ACA Resident Artist, Edwin Salas Acosta

A charming and uplifting puppet performance in which a Snail that loses its shell meets a Slug who tries to prove Snail is actually better off without it. They begin a journey to determine whether life with or without a shell is better, which puts them in situations sometimes frightening, sometimes funny, but ultimately leads them to friendship. It is a 30-minute interactive experience with a whimsical score that encourages singing along.

Meant to be enjoyed by ages 4-8, this 30- minute solo performance (with 30 minute set-up and 30-minute strike) is appropriate for classroom and multipurpose rooms.

BUGS! Created by Jonesalee, directed by Abby Felder, choreographed by Blakeney Bullock, puppets and costumes by Edwin Salas Acosta, sets by DeWayne Barton, Video by Holly Heveron-Smith

When a band of buskers are magically transformed into insects, they must listen to and learn from one another before being returned to their human form. Will they? Comprised of a series of vignettes, this immersive musical spectacle observes and explores the tiny, teeming insect world, in a funny and uplifting experience that asks us to pause, look closely and consider the little things!

Meant to be enjoyed by elementary and middle school aged youth, this 45- minute ensemble concert (with 60-minute set-up and 30-minute strike) is appropriate for theaters, gyms, multipurpose rooms.

Expanded Educational Opportunities led by professional artists held at Hanger Hall:

After-School Classes from Feb-May 2019 for middle school students. Courses will be in Improv, Movement Digital Storytelling, Puppetry;

2 Sessions of Summer Camp June 24-28 & July 8-12 with full and half-day camps in Acting, Improv, Puppetry, Digital Storytelling and Music;

Classes and camps led by Edwin Salas Acosta, Rebecca Williams, Wendy Loomis Scott Fisher, with other instructors and mediums in formation!

ABOUT THE COMPANY:

"Ostensibly, ACA produces children's theater, but the company's ambitious works appeal to both youths and adults." - Mountain Xpress

Asheville's critically acclaimed, award winning theatre devoted to creating works for children of all ages, Asheville Creative Arts was founded in 2013. ACA has the following mission: to produce, present and create professional and innovative theatre for the very young to the young at heart, and embrace diverse cultures with a mainstage season of productions of musical, literary adaptations, and puppet based work that push the boundaries of children's theatre; to train the next generation of artists; and to ensure that all families in Western NC and beyond have access to theatre arts through outreach such as touring, and "in-reach" such as specially discounted performances for school and community groups. In honor of contributions to the cultural landscape, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer declared July 18, 2014 "Asheville Creative Arts Day;" ACA has been awarded 4 Grassroots Partnership Awards- a grant from the NC Arts Council, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, distributed by the Asheville Area Arts Council; CLICK, CLACK, MOO received a grant from Puffin Foundation West, and BUGS! received a grant from the Puffin Foundation.

Visit Asheville Creative Arts' website for information on how to get tickets (www.ashevillecreativearts.org); For more information on booking school or camp performances, or registrations for educational offerings, contact info@ashevillecreativearts.org or call 914/830-3000, additional information about ACA's 7th Season available at www.ashevillecreativearts.org. For more information about The Magnetic Theatre visit http://www.themagnetictheatre.org/.


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