Celebrating Black History in 2017!

Bright Star is gearing up for one of our favorite times of the year; our Black History Series! This year will be our biggest year yet with 7 different tours comprised of 14 actors traveling all across the country. We are returning some of our favorite shows like “George Washington Carver and friends” and “Let it Shine: The American Civil Rights Movement,” as well as a slew of brand new shows that will excitedly be making their world premier!

As we ring in 2017, we hope to educate, entertain, and inspire our audiences, youth to adults, to change the world. If Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has taught us one thing, it’s that one person truly can make a difference. We hope that his legacy will continue to motivate us all, not just throughout February, but the entire year, to be the absolute best version of ourselves possible.

So whether you live in Tacoma, Washington or New Haven, Connecticut, odds are we have a tour coming your way! From Black History, to anti-bullying, Bright Star has a show to educate and entertain audiences of all ages! For more information on our Black History Series, or any of the other shows offered year round, please contact us at booking@brightstartheatre.com and we would be happy to help! Above all else, happy new year!

Bright Star and Virginia PTA Meet in Richmond

We’re pleased to announce that, for the first time ever, we will be attending the Virginia PTA  Leadership Training and Annual Conference.  In fact, I’ll be packing up my vehicle and preparing for tomorrow’s trip as soon as this blog is complete! The 2016 Conference will be held at the Richmond Marriott Downtown and will take place July 14th through the 16th.

For several years, Bright Star has had a great relationship with Virginia schools, visiting the state dozens of times each year and often returning to the same schools year after year. In fact, yesterday I had an opportunity to talk with one of our PTA sponsors in Northern Virginia who has booked us every year since I started working with Bright Star four years ago. They will be bringing us back this year for one of our Black History Programs.  It is always such a pleasure to have a continuing relationship with PTA members who are seeking great programs for their local schools.

I hope to meet many more wonderful PTA members at this week’s conference and find more great schools that we can visit year after year!  If you will be attending the Virginia PTA Conference this week, please stop by and see me at Booth 49.  I’ll be there with lots of great information about all of our 2016-2017 shows which include Anti-bullying Adventures, Science Shows, Black History Programs, Literary Classics, Holiday Celebrations and more (even a show that I am incredibly excited about which covers the founding of the U.S. and how elections work–with a game show format)!

Richmond, Virginia here I come!

Erin Schmidt, Director of Development

Time to Find the Perfect School Assembly

This is an exciting time of year at Bright Star.  We’re gearing up for our 2016-2017 season of professional, touring productions and this year we have 50 amazing plays to plan for, including 7 brand new shows: Alice in WonderlandBullysaurus RexOne Noble NightUSA to Z Holiday Songs: Music Around the WorldBuilding Stories and Gus Goes Green: A STEM Adventure! That’s a lot of costumes, props and sets!  We cannot wait to finish up our T-Rex Costume, our Cheshire cat and our Patriotic Prizes for USA to Z, which is a game-show-themed program about our government and elections (just in time for the big election in 2016)!

With the school year wrapping up, administrators and teachers have a chance to plan their assemblies for the following year. This means that we have a chance to reconnect with some of our favorite sponsors from all across the country–and beyond. Just today, we’ve had the joyful opportunity of speaking with school sponsors in North and South Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Tennessee and even Germany! There have been many smiles and great conversations about which of our 45-minute plays will best suit their school’s needs. Some of the sponsors we’ve spoken to today have been choosing Bright Star shows every year for several years and we’ve received so much positive feedback about the quality of our performances and how their students excitedly await another visit from Bright Star actors. Some have even been taking advantage of our special rate for bringing in 4 different assemblies throughout the year for $2500 ($625 per assembly). It is truly a joy to help schools find the perfect program for every occasion; whether it’s an anti-bullying show to kick off the school year, a holiday celebration, a Black History program, a literary classic or a STEM show.

We look forward to hearing from even more of our loyal sponsors and, of course, from schools who are bringing in their first Bright Star play. It’s going to be another great year of bringing professional theatre to young audiences everywhere!

Erin Schmidt, Director of Development

Touring Our National Parks with an Original Script

Since February of this year, Bright Star has been lucky enough to tour the Midwest Region’s National Parks with an original play specially designed to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial and the Black Experience in America’s Heartland. With Lift Every Voice: The Black Experience in the Heartland, you will watch the pages of history come to life with interactive scenes staring many Black Americans who helped make a difference.  You will meet famous leaders, groundbreakers, and heroes all while learning about the many great National Parks! “My favorite part about writing this play was all the rich American history that lay within the Midwest that I got to uncover with my research. The National Park Service was definitely our greatest resource. I got the pleasure of learning about amazing Americans like Col. Charles Young and Bass Reeves for the first time, but I also got to brush up on my knowledge of people like George Washington Carver and the Little Rock Nine. It’s so important to realize where we are now as Americans thanks to these brave groundbreakers!” says lead writer David Ostergaard.

We have performed at parks from Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas to Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, from the Homestead National Monument in Nebraska to Brown V. Board of Education National Historic Site in Kansas.

This week is a very exciting week because Bright Star is performing for the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio and later we will be traveling to River Raisin National Battlefield Park and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Indiana. With the Centennial quickly approaching on August 25, 2016, Bright Star will be visiting the Midwest’s National Parks 24 times, sharing these amazing stories and important history with thousands of audience members!

Watch our Lift Every Voice video clip!