New Stage Theatre Announces Statewide Touring Program

New Stage Theatre Announces Statewide Touring Program

New Stage Theatre, a professional theatre located in Jackson, Mississippi, announces its productions for its Arts-in-Education statewide touring program available to schools, libraries, and community centers during the 2018-2019 school year.

This season, New Stage will present Pinocchio and If Not Us, Then Who? Freedom Rides to Freedom Summer as touring productions. Both shows will be performed for Mississippi schools by the professional apprentice company, a racially diverse company of four young actors who have recently graduated from college with degrees in theatre.

Adapted by Greg Banks, this captivating and unique 50-minute retelling of Carlo Collidi's Pinocchio will ignite the imagination of young audiences everywhere! This updated, fast-paced version of the classic tale follows the little puppet Pinocchio on his quest to become a real boy. Will the all-too-tempting delights of puppet shows and alluring adventures be too much? Children are asked to interact with the cast as they all follow Pinocchio as he discovers that only by being truthful, selfless and kind to others will his dream of becoming a real boy ever become a reality. Pinocchio is best suited for elementary school audiences. Performances for this show are available beginning October 9, 2018 through May 10, 2019.

If Not Us, Then Who? Freedom Rides to Freedom Summer - this original play with music chronicles two historic events that made an unforgettable impact on American history and Mississippi. In 1961 thirteen "Freedom Riders" began a journey to fight racial segregation. In 1964, Mississippians and out-of-state volunteers alike organized "Freedom Summer", a massive voter registration drive to give African Americans a voice in politics. Interspersed with freedom songs from the movement, this production encourages us to remember that America is at her best when we are working for the common good of all of its citizens. Featuring stories from famous participants like Fannie Lou Hamer and Senator John Lewis, as well as lesser-known heroes like James Zwerg, and Diane Nash, whose brave stories culminated in one historic summer will forever inspire us all. If Not Us, Then Who? is best suited for middle and high school audiences. Performances for this show are available beginning November 6, 2018 through May 10, 2019.

Directed by Sharon Miles, Education Director at New Stage, If Not Us, Then Who? and Pinocchio will be performed by New Stage's Professional Apprentice Company members Cherry Rendel, Hayden Shubert, Sarah Colemen and Jordan Williams.

New Stage is offering the tours to schools and communities for $575 - $775, depending on travel distance. The price includes the performance and a post-performance question and answer session with the company. A comprehensive study guide for teachers is provided prior to the performance. Various workshops for students and teachers are available with or without a performance. Past workshops have included Creative Drama, Basic Acting, Stand Up with Shakespeare, Dramatizing Stories, Playwriting 101, and Stage Combat. Teacher Workshops are available for schools as staff development.

New Stage has a strong reputation for presenting quality performances and has been touring successfully to high school and middle schools since 1990. The tours travel throughout the state, from Clarksdale to New Albany to Gautier and most of the public school districts New Stage visits are to underserved audiences. In the 2017-2018 season, the professional apprentice company performed Jumping Frog, Julius Caesar and Oh Freedom! to 57 schools.

Have a look at what students and teachers have said about our past shows!
"It was a great production. The performers did a great job. It taught the students what it means to boast or brag... it does

not show good character."-Jessica, teacher at Hawkins Elementary
"It was an excellent way to present the history of the underground railroad to the students and keep them engaged by

using song and narrative."-Eliza, teacher at Terry High School.
"These productions are great for our students. They tend to open their eyes on a broader spectrum to bring creativity into

their minds." -Janice, teacher at Baker Elementary
"Thank you for coming to our school. I loved your play. I hope that you all come back again. I was also really glad that

you came to my classroom." -Chandler, student at Baker Elementary
"What a fantastic experience for my students... the way your actors related to my students was awesome-far beyond my

expectations." -Henry, teacher at Crystal Springs High School
"It was funny. I liked the costumes. I learned to always be nice to your teacher. I loved, loved, loved it!" -Tucker, student

at Grenada Elementary

Come to New Stage on Thursday, October 25 at 4:30 p.m. for a preview of this season's touring shows! Teachers will be treated to a scene from Pinocchio and If Not Us, Then Who? as well as a brief presentation from Education Director Sharon Miles on workshop and residency options we can bring to your school! A fun and informative evening is guaranteed. For reservations for the free preview performance, call the arts in education department at 601-948-3533, ext. 232.

New Stage Theatre was chartered as a not-for-profit organization in 1965, producing its initial season in the winter/spring of 1966. Founded by Jane Reid-Petty with the assistance of the American National Theatre Academy and Actor's Equity Association, dedication to professional excellence in theatre arts was part of the theatre's original mission. New Stage's education department was founded in 1989 and received the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1995 for its efforts to introduce tens of thousands of young Mississippians to live theatre.

The New Stage Arts-in-Education touring program is sponsored by Entergy Mississippi, The Selby and Richard McRae Foundation, The Chisholm Foundation, and the Fountain Family Foundation.

For pricing, more information or to schedule a tour or workshop please contact Education Director Sharon Miles at 601- 948-3533 ext. 232 or smiles@newstagetheatre.com.

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