Tomorrow, Bright Star Touring Theatre is heading overseas with two of their team, Erin Schmidt and Reeni Dowd. Their destination, Southern Germany to meet new sponsors at the 58th Annual European PTA Conference taking place in Garmish-Partenkirchen, from May 19th-22nd, 2016. “We have been traveling overseas to Moscow, Russia for the last three years with amazing programs and educational theatre camps for the students there. We couldn’t be more excited to travel to this conference in Germany and reach out to more American Schools with our programs” says founder of Bright Star, David Ostergaard. “Erin and Reeni will not only be exhibiting at the conference but they will also be performing one of our most popular plays, Aesop’s Fables. We love performing at conferences because it really shows the attendees how well we interact with audiences and how fun 45-minutes of fables can be!” We wish Erin and Reeni safe travels and best wishes on this exciting new adventure in Bavaria.
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!
Our newest original 45-minute production was created just in time for the 2016 election year. USA to Z is best suited for grades 3rd through 8th. The production covers a variety of lessons within American government and civics, including the three branches of the government, The Constitution and The Declaration of Independence. Later, the production delves into caucuses, delegates, the electoral college, swing votes and more! The play navigates the sometimes challenging system using clever scene-work, light-hearted comedy, and a very exciting game show element which encourages audiences to recall the details of what they have learned. Guiding this fantastic journey through the American political process are two patriotic hosts, Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam. David Ostergaard, the Founder of Bright Star, says he hopes the humor of the show will help audiences stay engaged, “We wanted to make this show as fun and interactive as possible. We hope audiences will leave feeling good about their role as a citizen of the United States.” So what do ya say? Wanna play USA to Z?
We love a LOT of things about our work. But one thing we especially love is teaching theatre to the next generation! Our Summer Theatre Camps are designed so that your organization can bring live theatre into the lives of 30-40 students over the course of a week.
Our camps are completely customizable–but typically we end each week with a 100% student generated and created performance.
In our format students get to try their hand at writing scripts, directing, acting, performing, designing, and so much more. Packed with theatre games your students will end the week with a fundamental understanding of theatre, it’s terminology and what it’s like to create a show.
Our format has been a huge hit in libraries, military bases, schools, community groups and more. It’s why we even get to go work with the American Schools in Russia!
Our camps are priced so that you can even make a profit. Connect with us today to learn more. firstname.lastname@example.org
The attached video features excerpts of our work with the Anglo American School of Moscow.
The Bright Star crew is always on the go. Reeni and Erin from the office just returned from an Arts in Education Showcase on Long Island while David and Tina are planning a trip to Orlando for a Youth Librarian Conference. Coming up in May, Reeni and Erin will make an exciting journey to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany for the 2016 European PTA Conference. We’ll be meeting with parents and educators who are on U.S. Military bases abroad and we cannot wait to perform one of our favorite plays while we’re there: Aesop’s Fables! In the opening of this play two hilarious characters, Penny and Mabel, proudly introduce themselves by saying, “We’re traveling actors! We’ve traveled all over the world…from near to far, to and fro, side to side, up and down to perform for you some of our very favorite stories of all time!” In our 14th year as a touring theatre company, this line has become like a metaphor for what we do best: bringing educational, engaging theatre to audiences in every imaginable venue.
With Bright Star actors and staff traveling all over the United States and beyond, it’s sometimes easy to forget that we’re based in lovely Asheville, North Carolina…but this week we’re all thrilled to take a little break from turnpikes and Times Square for a hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Just a few days ago, our wonderfully talented actors Ella Smith and Evan Jackson presented a hugely successful performance of Upcycled Cinderella and a sold out performance of American Giants of Science at Asheville Community Theatre. Our actors will also be performing this week in Saluda Elementary, Lake Toxaway Elementary and the Stecoah Arts Center in Robbinsville, North Carolina.
On Saturday, April 23rd at 10:00 am, the hilarious and gifted actors Bobby Duncalf and Allison Petrillo will be returning to Asheville Community Theatre to perform Bright Star’s 45 minute adaptation of The Secret Garden. We hope to get a huge turn out from our community because this show is funny, heartwarming, perfect for spring and great for families. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning in April.
It’s good to be home!
Erin Schmidt, Director of Development, Bright Star Touring Theatre
The best part about my job are all the amazing opportunities we get to travel the world and talk to people about the other wonderful aspects of the job! Sounds pretty wonderful right? Because it is!
Today, Erin and I are in New York for the Nassau Region PTA Arts-in-Education Showcase. We will be performing a 15-minute sampler of what Bright Star Touring Theatre has been bringing to schools all across the country for 14 years! I hope the Nassau Region PTA is ready for one hilarious, fun-filled, spectacularly delightful showcase with two of my favorite characters, Penny and Mabel.
Erin and I traveled to Niagara Falls, New York last November for our first NY PTA conference and we were blown away by the wonderful people! We are so excited to be returning with a showcase performance and with the announcement that we are now in multiple BOCES directories. That means some schools in New York could receive FREE programs! And that ladies and gentlemen is truly thrilling news!
Until next time,
If you’re a library looking to book a show that goes right along with the summer reading theme, look no further! The Greatest: Sports Heroes A to Z is ready to visit you in your library. This energizing show celebrates some of the greatest sports heroes of all time and is guaranteed to leave your summer groups cheering for more. The best part? It has dates open to visit you this summer from May to August!
We are honored and thrilled to be an official selection with the Nassau Region PTA Arts-in-Education 2016 Showcase!
April 11th, Reeni and Erin will be in town showcasing a cut from our show ‘Aesop’s Fables’ along with answering all your questions about bringing in any of the 50+ shows from this season.
Bright Star in the Big Apple!
Whew! Tina and David in the office just got back from working with the American Schools in Moscow & St. Petersburg, Russia. It was an incredible trip. ‘We had performances and worked with hundreds of students between the two schools,’ Said Tina. Next up, Reeni and Erin in the office are thrilled to be heading to Germany to perform Aesop’s Fables at the European PTA Conference. We are so excited to be traveling throughout the world with our theatre next year!
Did you see our 2016-17 Season has been announced? And what better way to announce it than on this flashy, exciting, new website! We’re thrilled with the new shows, including: Bullysaurus Rex; Alice in Wonderland; Building Stories; Black History Heroes, Soldiers & Spies; Holiday Songs: Music Around the World and so much more! So hey, peruse the new website and send us any questions. We can’t wait to work with you in the new season. Pssssst…our booking lines are open! (336) 558-7360.