On a little known side street in the heart of Brunswick is the unique and innovative 'The Theater Project'. Founded in 1971 by Al Miller, this non-profit community-based theater has been providing entertaining performances, programming for members of the community with special needs, and has taught theater to thousands of children from Maine to the Middle East and beyond.
This organization is based in a historic building built in 1827, and since 1986 has been serving as an integral part of the community. The acquisition of this beautifully preserved building has enabled The Theater Project to grow into a small but thriving year-round theater facility.
The Theater Project is committed to offering the community stimulating performances that encourage audiences and participants to think and feel; to laugh and cry. They are equally committed to an educational program that enables participants to take risks, to discover their creative spirit while problem solving and working together, and to take responsibility for what they accomplish.
The Theater Project includes:
The Professional Ensemble Company: A group of professional actors committed to performing the best of innovative theater, new plays, and the classics throughout the year.
The Young Company: A group of bright and energetic high school and college age actors performing and directing their own works, new plays, and works from the theater repertory.
The Young People’s Theater: A long-standing program for elementary through middle school actors, including classes and productions by young actors.
The Center Stage Players: A group of senior citizen actors exploring ideas and improvisation through reader's theater.
Programming at The Theater Project includes:
Storytelling Classes for Grades 1 & 2: These classes offer very young actors opportunities to work in the theater with stories they know, and stories they make up themselves. They learn how to turn these stories into short plays. Our emphasis in these classes is on process and socializing, not on a finished product. They learn how to work together, how to use their imaginations together to make a favorite story into a play, and how to use their inclination to pretend to act out a story.
Production Classes for Grades 3-8: Our production classes start with an introduction to improvisational techniques for "making theater”. We then apply these techniques to a story to create a production. At the end of six weeks with three meetings a week, production class participants present a short production that is costumed and performed on a simple set. Again, the emphasis is on process, but there is a product. Students learn to work together, to take responsibility for their work, to problem solve together, to use their imaginations creatively, and to take pride in their work.
School Outreach: Each year, The Theater Project conducts classes in several schools around the state. These school visits range from one day to two weeks in each school. Our one-day sessions include a performance of one of our touring shows. Our week or two week long residencies involve working with individual classes, to interactively demonstrate how theater can be used as an educational resource.
The Theater Project, a 501c3 non-profit, is located at 14 School Street in Brunswick (207) 729-8584. Donations are welcome.
The photographs included were from 'The Snowy Day and Other Holiday Tales' December 2016.
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