As part of its 2017 Summer Theater Camp, Red Bank’s Two River Theater will offer its first classes for students with autism ages 10-17, plus a special “sensory-friendly” performance of the play ‘The Way Back Home’ on June 10.
Press release from Two River Theater Company
Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, has announced two new initiatives designed to support young people on the autism spectrum, and welcome them to the theater.
On June 10, Two River will present a sensory-friendly performance of The Way Back Home, based on the book by Oliver Jeffers, and presented by Teater Refleksion (DK) and Branar Téatar (IE). Recommended for children ages 4-8 and theatricalized with puppets, The Way Back Home tells the story of a boy who discovers a single-propeller airplane, and uses it to fly to outer space.
The relaxed 1 p.m. performance on June 10 will keep sound and lights at comfortable levels, and patrons will be free to talk, move around, or leave their seats during the performances. Two River staff and volunteers will be trained to accommodate people on the autism spectrum and people with other sensitivity issues or special needs.
In addition to the special sensory-friendly matinee, the Two River building’s Marion Huber performance space will host The Way Back Home for regular shows on June 8 (4 p.m.), June 9 (4 p.m.), June 10 (11 a.m. and 3 p.m.), and June 11 (11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m.). Go here or call (732)345.1400 for tickets and additional information.
• This year, Two River is also launching the theater’s first Spectrum Theater Classes for young people on the autism spectrum ages 10-17. Led by teaching artists with extensive experience and supported by several trained assistants, students will improve interpersonal communication, verbal and body awareness, and self-confidence through the art of theater.
“Everyone should have a space to express themselves creatively,” observes Two River’s Director of Education Kate Cordaro. “We look forward to sharing our theater with a new audience.”
Classes will focus on movement activities and storytelling through theater games, imagination exercises, as well as exploring the work of William Shakespeare. Go here for more information and registration forms, or contact Amanda Espinoza, Education Assistant, at (732)936-8804 or SummerCamp@trtc.org.
• Registration is now open as well for Two River Theater’s annual Summer Theater Camp program, which is open to young people ages 8-18 (grades 3-12).
Now in its 13th year, the Summer Theater Camp focuses on developing the artist inside every child. Each summer, camp participants include aspiring actors, students who enjoy working behind the scenes, and young people who simply love the theater. All of the classes are taught by professional, experienced teaching artists, and are designed to be fun, challenging, and inspire creativity and a sense of adventure.
According to Kate Cordaro, “We don’t produce a fully-staged production at the end of each week—we focus less on product, and more on skill-building. We structure our camp around three principles: Spark, Create, Share.”
As Cordaro explains, “Spark” is the inspiration – the theme, the jumping off point for what a class will work on during the week. “Create” is where students learn tangible skills – such as making set designs in Theater Arts and Design, or learning improvisation skills as they work together to devise a scene in Acting. “Share” is the Invited Class each Friday where friends and loved ones are invited into the theater so the camp’s young artists can share the fruits of their labors.
Registration forms and additional information can be found here on the Two River website, or contact Amanda Espinoza at (732)936.8804 or SummerCamp@trtc.org.