New Britain Youth Theater Wins Recognition and Plans Auditions for New Season

The New Britain Youth Theater (NBYT), which begins its eighth season this month with auditions for a December production of “Annie Jr.,” has also announced that it has been named “Best Children’s Theater” by Connecticut Magazine.

In its September edition, Connecticut Magazine says that,

After putting on three shows in its inaugural season in 2010-11, the New Britain Youth Theater has grown more ambitious each year. What started as, essentially, an after-school program has blossomed into a professionally run community and educational theater.

“We’re thrilled and honored by the recognition,” said the theater’s Executive and Artistic Director, Darren Farrington. “We may not be the largest, oldest, or even most established youth theater in the state, but we’ve always strived to provide a professional, educational, and fun experience for our participants and audience. We very much appreciate being noticed for our work and, more importantly, for the work of our children and teens.”

Annie Jr. is based on the popular comic strip, that first ran in 1924, and the 1977 Broadway production. As NBYT says,

the musical tells the familiar story of the young orphan Annie who is brought from her orphanage to spend Christmas with New York billionaire Oliver Warbucks. (The “junior” version of the musical is slightly adapted for young actors and audience.) All children and teens, ages 6 through 18, from any town and with or without prior experience, are welcome to audition. There are roles for teen actors, roles for girls and boys, and many featured ensemble roles. Older children age 13 and up may also contact NBYT with interest in helping backstage.

Auditions for the pay are at Holmes Elementary School at 2150 Stanley Street on:

  • Monday, September 11th at 6:00pm
  • Wednesday, September 13th, also at 6:00pm.

The Youth Theater says that prospective actors, “should prepare an upbeat musical theater or other song not from Annie and should bring sheet music if possible, or they will be given a song to sing. Girls interested specifically in the role of Annie may be asked to sing Tomorrow in addition to their audition song.”

The Theater asks actors to come wearing comfortable clothing and prepared to learn dance steps. Rehearsals for the show will be on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

Annie, Jr. will be performed at Holmes Elementary School on December 8th, 9th and 10th.

In addition, on Monday, September 18th and Wednesday, September 20th, both days at 6:00pm, the NBYT will hold auditions for a “Short Play Festival”. The Short Play Festival, to be performed on November 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th, will feature original short plays submitted by NBYT participants and other playwrights. Fewer than forty plays will be selected from nearly five hundred that were submitted. Rehearsals will be Mondays and Wednesdays, with some Thursday rehearsals possible. NBYT is looking for a diverse cast of 12 to 19 year-olds from any city or town.  The auditions and the Short Play Festival will be at the Berlin YMCA Program Center at 362 Main Street in Berlin.

NBYT says that, “To schedule an audition for either Annie Jr or the Short Play Festival, call 860-515-8115 or email auditions@nbyt.org. Those cast will be asked to pay a participation fee of $150, but partial financial waivers and payment scheduling are available.”

NBYT also offers theater classes and homeschool enrichment programs. Beginning the week of September 18th, afterschool classes will be held in:

  • Breakdancing on Tuesdays
  • Stage play for ages 5 to 8 on Wednesdays
  • Introductory acting for tweens and teens on Thursdays.

On Saturday mornings beginning September 23rd, the NBYT will offer classes in:

  • Stage play, for ages 5 to 8
  • Acting, for ages 9 to 14
  • Sketch comedy and improv, for ages 10 to 16.

Each eight-week class term ends with a short performance open to family and friends.

Programs for homeschoolers include:

  • Tuesday morning performance program for ages 6 through 14
  • Tuesday afternoon classes in music, for ages 8 to 16 and improv, for ages 8 to16.

NBYT can be reached at 860-515-8115 or info@nbyt.org, and its website is www.nbyt.org.