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Traveling Players Stage World Premiere Production of HERACLES! Featuring Local DC Kids

The show is set to debut this summer.

Traveling Players Stage World Premiere Production of HERACLES! Featuring Local DC Kids

Parents of young aspiring thespians know that a really good children's play - especially one written to be performed by young actors - is rare. Most of the plays written for children to perform are aimed at much younger audiences than the actors performing them, with language and stories that hit below their reading level. That is why Traveling Players is once again commissioning award-winning local playwright, Judith Walsh White to pen a new twist on a Greek myth - the heroic tale of Heracles! The play will premiere this summer at the Traveling Players Studio in Tysons Corner Center starring local kids.

In Heracles! our demi-god hero commits a terrible crime while under a spell cast by the goddess Hera. His penance requires the completion of 12 impossibly challenging labors, while under the command of vengeful Hera and her cowardly partner in crime, Eurystheus. Heracles! shows us that with a little hard work, good can vanquish evil, and awkward kids can grow into great heroes.

The play is currently in development for Traveling Players' Mythology Ensemble, a 2-week sleepaway theatre summer camp for kids currently in grades 4-6. The cast of just 13 performers is led by a trio of directors who specialize in training young people in acting, movement, improvisation, and stage combat - an especially important skill for this monster-heavy show.

The many monsters will be brought to life by puppets built by high school students (current grades 8-12) in the Technical Theatre Apprenticeship. Like the actors - the aspiring technicians train under professional designers to learn the fundamentals of stagecraft with a focus on either costuming or props, puppetry, & scenic painting. The show will also feature an original score by composer Nathan Sherwood Liang who previously composed music for Traveling Players' world premiere production of Atalanta also by Judith Walsh White.

In residence at the Freedom Center in Leesburg, VA, the Mythology Ensemble and Technical Theatre Apprenticeship are just two of several residential summer programs that Traveling Players offers students in grades 4-12. When not in rehearsal the campers swim in the lake, hike one of the many private trails, and roast marshmallows under the stars.

Founded on the principles of inclusion, diversity, and equality, Traveling Players is proud to off the single most generous financial aid program for any arts institution in the region. During the summer of 2021, the company awarded more than $54,000 in financial aid. More than 50% of students receive financial aid or discounts.

Young actors can audition for Heracles and Traveling Players' other summer productions on May 22, 2022. Technicians can interview on May 23, 2022. Financial Aid is still available for all programs.

About the Playwright

White is an award-winning teacher, playwright, poet, actor, and director. Profiled in The Washingtonian in 1987 as one of DC's ten best teachers, White taught drama and speech for over 20 years at the Holton-Arms School, where she trained Seinfeld and Veep's, Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

A student of ancient myths, she has written eight plays based on world mythology, including seven commissioned by Traveling Players: Heracles, Atalanta, Persephone, Pandora's Fire, Perseus and the Rock Star, Monkey King, Atum's Eye, and Ariadne's Thread: the Adventures of Theseus and the Minotaur. Two plays were subsequently published by Theaterfolk, listing Traveling Players' student actors as the Original Cast.

About Traveling Players

Recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as one of 25 model "Summer Schools for the Arts," Traveling Players is dedicated to training students in grades 3-12 in theatre. Now in its 20th year, the company has grown from a summer camp of 18 students to a year-round theatrical community engaging 1000 students annually. Founded on faith in the imagination, wit, and honesty of teenagers, Traveling Players' programs focus on classical dramatic traditions: Moliere, Shakespeare, Commedia dell'Arte, and ancient mythology. Traveling Players' Studio is in Tysons Corner Center, where they offer classes and performances year-round.

In 2020-21, Traveling Players received the ArtsFairfax Arts Education Award.

To find out more about Traveling Players Ensemble, visit

Photo Credits: Jessica Wallach - Greater Depth Media

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