StoryBLOG

Recycled Art

Posted by on Apr 18, 2016 in Community and Educational, Storytown News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Storytown uses butcher paper for our backdrop every week.  Sometimes the birthday family or school takes the backdrop with them as a memento.  Sometimes we’ll cut certain pictures out so an audience member can have a souvenir of the show.  We go through so much paper.

We can’t just throw it away!

We have decided to find ways to turn it into new art.  We met new friends at Quest Theatre Ensemble.  Throughout it’s existence, Quest Theatre Ensemble has been dedicated to being the “People’s Theatre of Chicago” by creating productions that inform, delight, inspire and unite.  In their productions they use large scale puppetry.  The other week we made a stop at their space on W. Gregory where they have free theater for the public.  We dropped off a month’s worth of paper in hopes that they would find new life as puppets.  

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While our paper isn’t the right paper for the paper machete puppets,  it’s perfect for stuffing puppets to create an under structure skeleton and shape.  We’ll be working with them the end of the year to bring them more paper as they begin constructing puppets for a remount of our largest large-scale puppetry productions.  Our paper will find new life.

 

Do you need paper?

Let us know!  The more recycled art the better.  You can reach us at info@storytownimprov.com.  We would be more than happy to spread the art and share.

 

Some New Faces Around Storytown

Posted by on Mar 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

New Townies

If you have been to a show before and know our actors, get ready to see some new faces.  Storytown just expanded our cast.  More actors equals more silliness and fun.  We’re so excited to introduce them to you.

 

Storytown brings the magic of improv and storytelling to Mitchell School

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 in Community and Educational, Storytown News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hello all,

As a teacher at Mitchell School, I wanted to say thank you to the moms on the Friends of Mitchell for arranging this awesome “StoryTown improv for kids” teacher experience. Many thanks as well to StoryTown and Stage773 for their generous donation toward our small school (with big dreams!) I am so glad we’ll have the chance to partner with you again for the upcoming Evening of Dreams auction–so thank you again! Please consider this to be my recommendation for the experience as well 🙂

Last spring, my fellow teacher and I had the pleasure of accompanying a handful of our students ranging from preK to 2nd grade, to see one of the Saturday morning StoryTown improv shows geared toward kids at Stage773. The students came in and we were immediately greeted with coloring and crafting right up on the stage! It was a nice way to ease into the experience and stay busy until show time. Then staff took us upstairs to tour the lighting booth! It was very cool–the kids were able to try out different buttons and nobs to change the color of the lights on the stage below the booth–they loved it 🙂 Then it was actual showtime and like regular improv, the actors had the kids in the audience suggest a setting for their show to take place–ours was a forest. The actors then called the kids back up to the stage to help with set design! They could draw whatever they thought belonged in this forest across the long butcher block paper that spanned the backdrop. This may or may not have included artistic renditions of tooth fairies, volcanoes, and flying litter boxes (“for all the cats, duh!”)–as teachers, of course we loved their ideas, even if we’ll need to review habitats.  🙂  So, the actors then managed to spin the student suggestions into a funny mini-musical where the main character realizes it’s OK to be yourself and follow your dreams (“tooth fairy turned accountant” in our show, if I recall)–while working flying litter boxes into a cohesive storyline on the spot (and they made it look easy). Off to the side of the stage, a musician played piano, scoring the show. Someone even creates costume pieces and props to add in throughout the show (improv arts & crafts!!) Finally, after taking pictures with the kids, the actors gave the kids the props/pieces as a keepsake. Just a really clever program start to finish and a great way to spend a Chicago Saturday morning with the family!

Thanks again and looking forward to doing this again for this year’s auction 🙂

Annemarie/Ms. Robinovitz, NBCT
2nd grade, Mitchell School
Elizabeth/Ms. Zyer
PreK, Mitchell School
www.mitchellschool.org

Mitchell School had so much fun at Storytown at Stage 773, that we felt it best to visit them at school.  Annemarie, is such a dedicated teacher and worked with us and their principal to make sure more students could see Storytown.  We picked up the show and took it on the road, and had an absolute blast.  Thank you, Mitchell School for such a warm welcome.  Your students were so creative and enthusiastic.  We’re looking forward to meeting some new students in April when they have their outing to Stage 773.

Have Storytown come to your school too!  Email jill@storytownimprov.com for more information.

Artist of the Week : The Purple Leaf Tree

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Community and Educational, Stage 773, Storytown News | 0 comments

Last week we got the suggestion of Paris.  While drawing the backdrop so many of our little audience drew planes and hot air balloons and rocket ships and bird planes.  We also had a special night time section of our set.  So our course our title (built one word at a time) was “Flying around Paris at 9:00.”

Todd was so inspired by a special drawing on the wall… a purple leaf tree that gives humans animal powers.  This drawing changed the entire show!

In the opening scene Todd decides he wants to fly without needing a bike or machine to help him.  And so begins his quest for THE PURPLE LEAF TREE.  

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We could not have done this story without the help from our artists in the audience who help us brainstorm with the backdrop.  At the end of the show, Alex came up on stage to show his family his picture that he drew.  His purple leaf tree.  He was so proud.  And we were so impressed by his imagination.  He made the show!  Alex was able to go home with a little souvenir.  After a picture, we cut out the tree so Alex could take it home and remember how he was a vital piece of live theater this week.  Thank you, ALEX!  We honestly could not have done this show without you.

Where will we go this weekend?  You tell us!

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Build your own story at the library…

Posted by on Dec 10, 2015 in Community and Educational, Festivals and Events, Press and Reviews, Storytown News | 0 comments

This summer Storytown loaded up the cars and went out to the suburbs.  The Cook Memorial Public Library District were so kind to bring us out.  We had many phone calls planning the event and talking about what the families in the area would gain from the event and how the library wanted to be the place to supply it.

We had a blast bringing the imaginations of the families to life.  Improvisation is a writing on your feet.  You don’t know what will happen next.  All the actors have to work together to build a story step by step.  That’s the magic of the first rule of improv…”Yes, AND.”

Families can practice at home writing their own stories together.  Use this story spine as your guide.  Let family members and friend each add a section of the story.

  • Once upon a time…
  • Every day…
  • But, one day…
  • Because of that…
  • Because of that…
  • Because of that… n
  • Until, finally…
  • And, ever since then…

And don’t be afraid to be silly!

 

Storytown can come to you!  Email Jill at jill@storytownimprov.com for more information.  IMG_20151109_213236979 IMG_20151109_213223772

Be a Friend to the Friends of Burr

Posted by on Oct 24, 2015 in Community and Educational, Just for Kids, Storytown News | 0 comments

When Nancy at the Stage 773 box-office gets hand drawn cards in the mail… she instantly knows it’s for Storytown.  And every time, they bring a huge smile to our face.  This last one is from students at Jonathan Burr Elementary School.

 

 

Storytown is more than happy to donate to fundraisers.  We want to help the local community any way we can.  And many thanks to the Friends of Burr who are working to fund raise for the students.  Three cheers for you.  If you have a moment and want to help them too, you can!  Go to www.friendsofburr.org, click on the donate button, and help our local school children.

( And psst…if you work for an organization that needs raffle donations too… we’re happy to help.  It takes a village.)