This article has been a few weeks in the making as the Repertory Theatre finalized its plans to launch the JRT Storybook Parties. I love the idea.
JRT to bring ‘Storybook’ characters to life
Published Jan. 21, 2014 in Herald & Tribune
Youngsters will soon have the option of being entertained by princesses and super heroes for their birthday parties thanks to the Jonesborough Repertory Theater.
The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre Storybook Parties are scheduled to launch on March 1.
“We are very excited,” Jonesborough Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Jennifer Schmidt said. “For me personally, I have always been interested in doing something like this for children.”
The theater, she explained is very family oriented.
With the many resources and acting abilities at hand, she decided it would be easy to offer be something fun specifically for kids.
Once the JRT moved into the Stage Door, Schmidt said the idea blossomed further. It seemed, she said, like a good venue for the JRT Storybook Parties.
“I started talking to the town,” she explained. “They were very encouraging. They all thought this was a good idea. They were all on board.”
Schmidt also received an enthusiastic response from the actors regarding the idea.
From there, the concept of JRT Storybook Parties took off.
“The main thing we do is we tell stories,” she said, adding that the actors will be in character the entire time while wearing specially made costumes.
Anna Browning Weir, who was a professional “princess” in California, is advising and training the actors on doing specific activities, such as face painting, to do during the parties.
Each of the actors are also trained on the character he or she is portraying, so parts can be performed during the party.
“(Princesses) will create an environment for the children and they become a part of the story,” Schmidt said. “We will create a play.”
The children will be included in the play either by wearing a costume, using props, or being actively involved in the storytelling process.
There are currently 20 actors, some of which are portraying two characters, for the JRT Storybook Parties.
Characters include Cinderella, Snow White, Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Rapunzel, and an Arabian princess.
There will also be super heroes and a pirate available for parties.
“There is going to be a lot of fun things for the children to do,” Schmidt said.
Families will have the opportunity to choose which princess or super hero character they would like to appear at their party. Characters can be viewed on their website, jonesboroughtheater.com.
The option of renting the Stage Door for $75 an hour for a minimum of two hours or having the party at another location for $100 an hour is available. Schmidt said an outside venue will not be limited to a certain amount of hours.
“That depends on the customer and what they are interested in,” Schmidt said.
Expect to hear singing at the parties too, since some of the actors have wonderful voices as well, she added.
“We are not providing cake or decorations; we are providing the acting, the entertainment for your birthday parties,” she said.
For more information about the parties, or to book a party, call 791-4440.