Orlando Shakespeare Theater Receives $15K Award from Universal Orlando Foundation

Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF has announced its recent award of $15,000 from the Universal Orlando Foundation. Combining the Theater's pre-existing Imaginations Alive! program with Magic Tree House author Mary Pope Osborne's Classroom Adventures, the Theater's Imaginations Alive!/Classroom Adventure dual program will use the funding to provide tickets and educational programming to Title I 3rd and 4th grade classrooms in Orange County free of charge.

Orlando Shakes' Imaginations Alive!/Classroom Adventure curriculum, geared toward 3rd and 4th grade students, is designed to engage, inspire, and motivate children to develop a love of reading. Students will collaborate with teachers and Orlando Shakes' actor/educators to build and improvise storylines based on the adventures of the Magic Tree House characters (Jack and Annie) and the historical figures they meet during their travels through time. Instructors will use a series of interactive games and theater exercises to help students effectively employ the elements of character, setting, problem, and solution. Upon completion of the Classroom Adventures/Imaginations Alive! programming, students will visit the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center to see a production of A Night in New Orleans: A Magic Tree House Adventure, the World Premiere play based on the Magic Tree House book, A Good Night for Ghosts.

"This programming aims to nurture students' imaginations, foster their creativity, and engage their desire to pursue their goals and dreams for the future," said Noreen Levitt, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations. "We are so thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to provide this crucial arts education programming to underserved students throughout the County."

Orlando Shakes' new dual programming enhances its pre-existing Imaginations Alive! programming, which focuses on interactive reading and writing to demonstrate a basic understanding of internal story grammar. For more information about Imaginations Alive! and other Orlando Shakes' educational programming visit http://www.orlandoshakes.org/education/workshops.html.

Mary Pope Osborne's Classroom Adventures program uses kids' love of Magic Tree House adventures, and their identification with Jack and Annie, to spark interest in learning across curriculum and accomplish classroom requirements in creative, meaningful, and long-lasting ways. For more information onClassroom Adventures visit www.MTHClassroomAdventures.org.

Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF is supported by United Arts of Central Florida with funds from the United Arts collaborative campaign and by State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Arts Council.

Now celebrating its 25th Anniversary Season, Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF has grown into one of the region's most acclaimed Equity theaters producing classic, contemporary, and children's plays. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Jim Helsinger and Managing Director PJ Albert, Orlando Shakespeare Theater continues to provide an innovative world-class theatrical experience to its patrons, while showcasing William Shakespeare's legacy as the cornerstone of the company. Through PlayFest and Harriett's New Play Series, Orlando Shakespeare Theater has garnered national recognition for the development of over 100 new works within the past 10 years. Orlando Shakes also provides award-winning educational programming serving Central Florida schools and the local community at large.

Connect with Orlando Shakes: Twitter - Follow @orlandoshakes (http://twitter.com/orlandoshakes); Instagram - Follow @OrlandoShakes (http://instagram.com/orlandoshakes); Facebook - Go to http://facebook.com/orlandoshakes.

Pictured: A Night in New Orleans: A Magic Tree House Adventure cast members: Jeffrey Todd Parrott (Jack), Sophie Bell (Annie), and Damian Barray (the young Louis Armstrong). Photo by Landon St. Gordon.

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