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.
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
PreK, Mitchell School
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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.
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!
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!
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.)
Storytown is getting in the Halloween spirit with a couple special Halloween shows as part of the Chicago Horror Fest.
Which Way is Witch?
An original Halloween tale for the entire family! Luna Tricks, the little wicked witch, wants to ruin Halloween for everyone. Will her plot be foiled when her super nice cousin, Sweetie Treat, stops by for a surprise sleepover? Join Sweetie, Luna, and her bumbling henchman, Bob, as they discover the delightful differences between a good witch and a bad witch.
Sunday, November 1
You can also buy at the box office.
Directed by Sarah Barnhardt
Produced by Fancy Pants Productions (we bring you Storytown too)
WHICH WAY IS WITCH?
A silly/spooky musical in one act
Book and Lyrics by Ross Mihalko
Music by Brian Weiland