Pushcart Receives Arts Education Grant

Verona-based Pushcart Players received a generous grant from The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey to provide theater arts education to children on the Autism spectrum and with other cognitive and physical disabilities. The John F. Kennedy School in Newark will benefit from the school-year long residency program.

Healthcare Foundation of NJ (HFNJ) is founded and guided by the Garden State’s Jewish community, and works to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable, underserved populations. JFK School in Newark identifies and enhances the talents of their special learners, directing them toward productive citizenship.

“And Pushcart Players delivers the benefits of arts participation to learning and to life,” said Paul Whelihan, Pushcart’s producing artistic director. “The Healthcare Foundation is providing a pathway to learning, healing, and human connection. The collaboration among HFNJ, JFK School, and Pushcart is phenomenal!”

Teaching artists from Pushcart will be integrated into the lessons at JFK School each week for students to develop, create, and present original musical theater works. The program is designed to offer both arts literacy and learning in other areas of development. Piloted during the 2015-16 semesters at JFK, the current program deepens and diversifies active arts participation by the students and faculty.

“Theater at its best is a transformative process,” said Whelihan. “Both actors and audience should leave the theater or classroom feeling differently from when they entered. At JFK School, I have seen unrestrained joy in the students as they create and perform. And there is a true communication among performers and participants. Here, it’s abundantly clear ‘why we do what we do.’”

During the residency at JFK School, Pushcart will also perform its productions of “The Velveteen Rabbit” and “Peter and the Wolf” to offer high quality theatrical experiences for all students. These performances by professional artists (Actors’ Equity Association) are supported by study guides, post-performance assessments and other supplemental materials, and adapt to any location with innovative scenery, costumes, lighting and sound systems.

Pushcart Players is the award-winning professional touring theater company specializing in arts education for children. Twice nominated for an Emmy©, Pushcart is the recipient of numerous state and private awards for excellence and innovation. A social-profit organization founded in 1974, Pushcart brings substantive musical theater, workshops, and residencies to young people and their families in schools and theaters nationwide. The company has traveled more than 6 million miles nationally and abroad, from the rural red schoolhouse to the nation’s White House.

Pushcart Players addresses social studies, literature, history, the Autism spectrum, special educational needs, and values clarification for young people, their families, and their educators. For further information on this or any Pushcart program and service, visit www.pushcartplayers.org.

As a social-profit organization founded in 1974, Pushcart Players’ programs are made possible in part by Actors’ Equity Foundation, ADP Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, E.J. Grassmann Trust, The Healthcare Foundation of NJ, The Hyde & Watson Foundation, The Montclair Foundation, NJ State Council on the Arts / Department of State, The Pine Tree Foundation of NY, The Puffin Foundation, The Turrell Fund, Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement, Josh & Judy Weston Foundation, and The Whitehill Foundation.

 

Link to article: http://www.myveronanj.com/2017/10/25/pushcart-players-receives-arts-education-grant/

 

Pushcart Players 2017-18 Season – NYC EPA

Pushcart Players 2017-18 Season – NYC EPA

Pushcart Players | Verona, NJ

Notice: Audition Call Type: EPA

 

AUDITION DATE

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

1:30 PM      – 5:30 PM

 

CONTRACT

TYA

TYA – Actor/ASM weekly: $522.25 per performance: $118.50

 

SEEKING

Male and female actors who sing and move well with strong comedic sense and character versatility. Must be available for daytime / weekday engagements and be able to participate as ACTOR / ASM. Limited short-term out-of-town touring, primarily day tours from central office in Verona, NJ. Performers who are Disabled and Non-Disabled, Black, Asian, Native, Latino, Arab, White and Multi- Racial, Female-identifying or Male-identifying are encouraged to apply. Pushcart Players does not discriminate in practices or employment opportunities on the basis of an individual’s race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran status, or disability.

 

PREPARATION

Please prepare a brief comic monologue and a cut of a song, not to exceed a minute and a half total. Bring sheet music; accompanist provided. Bring picture and resume.

 

LOCATION

Actors’ Equity New York Audition Center

165 W 46th St

16th Fl

New York, NY 10036

 

PERSONNEL

Paul Whelihan – Producing Artistic Director

Samantha Simpson – General Manager

 

OTHER DATES

Season is year-round (most performances between October 2017 and August 2018) with contracts beginning and ending variously per production throughout.

 

OTHER

If unable to attend the EPA, you may submit to:

Paul Whelihan, Producing Artistic Director

Pushcart Players

261 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite A Verona, NJ 07044

paul@pushcartplayers.org (indicate in subjectline: 2017-18 Season)

EPA Procedures are in effect for this audition. An Equity Monitor will be provided.

Equity’s contracts prohibit discrimination. Equity is committed to diversity and encourages all its employers to engage in a policy of equal employment opportunity designed to promote a positive model of inclusion. As such, Equity encourages performers of all ethnicities, gender identities, and ages, as well as performers with disabilities, to attend every audition.

Always bring your Equity Membership card to auditions.

 

BREAKDOWN

Seeking Male and female actors who sing and move well with strong comedic sense and character versatility. Must be available for daytime, weekday performances. Some limited multiple-day out-of-region touring with certain productions. All actors will be hired as Actor/ASM. In its 44th year, Pushcart Players presents educational musicals throughout the nation in theaters, schools and other public venues. The 2017-18  season includes original musical productions (MAINSTAGE and STORY THEATER) performed in repertoire; titles include:

ELLIS ISLAND: GATEWAY to AMERICA

(October 2017 – June 2018), A loving look at a small group of immigrants arriving in America in 1903, following their participation in shaping the nation’s history through the Civil Rights Movement in 1965.

Seeking:

WOMAN 2 – various roles, alto / mezzo-soprano, non-Caucasian, late 20’s – early 50’s

MAN 2 – various roles, baritone, non-Caucasian, late 20’s – early 50’s.

_                  

THE VELVETEEN RABBIT

(October 2017 – June 2018) Seeking:

WOMAN 1 – (various roles Boy, Diesel the Engine, Gwen – a Rabbit), alto / mezzo-soprano, any ethnicity, youthful 20’s – early 30’s

WOMAN 2 – (various roles: Nana, Amelia the Airplane, ensemble) alto / mezzo-soprano with belt, non- Caucasian, 20’s – early 50’s;

MAN 1 – (Velveteen Rabbit) lyric baritone / tenor, non-Caucasian early 20’s to late 30’s; MAN 2 (Riding Horse, Doctor, ensemble) baritone, any ethnicity, late 20’s – early 50’s.

MAN 3 (Motel the Boat, Bob – a Rabbit, ensemble) tenor, any ethnicity, late 20-s – early 50’s

_                       

STONE SOUP AND OTHER STORIES

(October 2017 – July 2018).

A collection of folk tales from around the world, visiting the cultures and traditions of India, Africa, the western U.S. and Eastern Europe.

Seeking

MAN 2 – various roles, baritone, any ethnicity, late 20’s – early 50’s.

_                _

A SEASON of MIRACLES

(Late November through December 2017)

Holiday stories celebrating Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. Seeking:

WOMAN 1 – various roles, soprano, any ethnicity, late 20’s – early 50’s;

WOMAN 2 – various roles, alto / mezzo-soprano, non-Caucasian, late 20’s – early 50’s; MAN 1 – various roles, tenor / lyric-baritone, non-Caucasian, late 20’s – early 50’s;

MAN 2 – various roles, baritone, any ethnicity late 20’s – early 50’s
                    

PETER and the WOLF

(October 2017 – July 2018)

Classic Russian folk tale, re-told with some use of puppetry. Seeking

MAN 2 – various roles, baritone, any ethnicity, late 20’s – early 50’s.

_                    _

A CINDERELLA TALE…HAPPILY EVER AFTER

(October 2017 – July 2018) Seeking:

WOMAN 1 – Cinderella, soprano, any ethnicity, late 20’s – 30’s;

WOMAN 2 – (various roles including Stepmother, Fairy Godmother), alto / mezzo-soprano, non- Caucasian, late 20’s – early 50’s;

WOMAN 3 – (various roles, Stepsister) alto / mezzo-soprano, any ethnicity late 20’s – early 50’s, MAN 1 – various roles, tenor / lyric-baritone, any ethnicity, late 20’s – 30’s

North Caldwell students delight with ‘Shrek the Musical, Jr.

By DEREK ALLEN Staff Writer

NORTH CALDWELL – The show was not “ogre” until the donkey sang at the grades K-6 Gould School, where students sang and danced in fairytale costumes in the West Essex Middle School auditorium for “Shrek the Musical, Jr.”

The play was directed by Pushcart Players, a touring non-profit theater company specializing in arts education for children. Students performed the play twice, on Friday, April 21 and on Saturday, April 22.

“The students have been reading their scripts and practicing their songs since January, and we couldn’t be more proud of the time and effort they have put forth to make this another great production,” said Gould School Principal Chris Cecchetto. “This storyline is particularly applicable to students at this age, who are learning to accept everyone, regardless of their differences.”

The cast was made up of of 40 fourth, fifth, and sixth graders, playing the parts of main characters like Shrek, Donkey and Fiona. Students also made cameos dressed as classic fairytale characters like the three blind mice, Peter Pan, the three little pigs, the Ugly Duckling and Pinocchio.

“Theater has a terrific way of providing kids with an outlet from academics while honing essential life skills, like verbal and non-verbal communication, collaboration, and stick-to-itiveness, just to name a few,” said Michelle Rombough, a parent co-coordinator for the play.

The musical begins once upon a time, with a swamp-living ogre named Shrek. One day, he wakes up to find his swamp has been invaded by fairytale creatures, who have been banished from the kingdom by a local Lord. Shrek sets off with his new friend, Donkey, to confront Lord Farquaad, and is instructed to rescue Princess Fiona in order to reclaim his swamp.

Board of Education member Jann Skelton said the musical was filled with laughs, surprises, and lessons about beauty and self-acceptance.

“The students gained confidence as they focused their time and efforts on the production, and that hard work paid off,” said Skelton. “It is an incredible experience to watch the student’s confidence and skills grow in just a few months.”

Superintendent Linda Freda said she was amazed by students who played parts in the musical.

“Watching them grow in talent and perform was fantastic. It was like a Broadway musical,” she said.

Lauren Mills and Jennifer Wilson from Pushcart Players were the Director and Assistant Director of the production. Gould school Instrumental Music teacher James Brady was Music Director. The program was coordinated through the North Caldwell Partnership for Education’s After-School Enrichment Program.

 

http://www.newjerseyhills.com/the_progress/news/north-caldwell-students-delight-with-shrek-the-musical-jr/article_62391326-6d05-52ac-9845-1c5f45dc1ccf.html

 

Pushcart Players Awarded Contract For Non-Profit Arts Partner At Martin Luther King School No. 6

Pushcart Players, the renowned touring theater for young audiences celebrating its 43rd year, has been awarded the contract for Non-Profit Arts Partner of “Readers Theater – AIM to Achieve Project” at Martin Luther King School No. 6 in Passaic New Jersey. This first time board of education grant is for a pilot program in which Pushcart teaching artists will be engaged throughout the 2016-17 academic year in this unique Title I school.

The “Reader’s Theater – AIM to Achieve Project” (Arts Integration at MLK) is an afterschool program for first through fourth grade students.  From January through June, in one session out of five each week, Pushcart teaching artists provide the theatrical component of a program that delivers dynamic participation in multiple art forms. AIM to Achieve addresses NJ Student Language Arts Standards for comprehension, fluency, and writing, and NJ Standards for Theater, Music, and Visual Art. Consistent with the MLK No. 6 goal of becoming a leading urban school district in the State, their focus is to provide every student the opportunity to complete sixth grade reading at or above grade level.

Pushcart concentrates with the students on a number of stories throughout the year. Guided by dedicated teachers on the MLK faculty, the children work on reading, comprehension, and, presentation. Visiting teachers and teaching artists provide a visual arts component, wherein props are created and constructed by the students. Music teachers support the work by engaging the young learners in music and musical enhancement of each story.

Pushcart teachers and teaching artists direct the theatricality of the performance, giving instruction on theater technique and terminology; use of voice, body, and imagination in character creation; stage directions and choreography, and public performance skills.

“During this twenty-two week program, the learners will greatly improve their reading skills through the creation of theater,” said Paul Whelihan, Pushcart producing artistic director, and one of the teaching artists for the AIM to Achieve initiative. “I follow a very similar process for guiding these young actors as I do when directing the professionals in Pushcart’s troupe – perhaps a slightly more age-appropriate academic approach. But by translating stories for the stage, we open an engaging pathway to learning both language and reading skills, while vastly improving comprehension. And, I have to say, the process is a whole lot of fun — not only for the children, but for their teachers!”

Ellen Beattie, the Pushcart co-teaching artist for AIM to Achieve, is a theater teacher and director at Franklin Middle School in Somerset, NJ. A professional actor, theater administrator, casting director, and producer before becoming a drama teacher twelve years ago, Beattie has a long standing relationship with Pushcart Players, variously as an artist, staff member, and trustee on the board of directors.

Funding for the AIM project is through the NJ Board of Education Title I Arts-Integration Program. This is a federally-funded pilot program designed to explore and investigate how arts education can be applied as a strategy to assist Title I students in meeting New Jersey’s academic achievement standards. It is also designed to bolster school improvement efforts. Title I grants are intended to ensure that the most financially and socially disadvantaged children have a fair, equal and significant opportunity to obtain a high quality education and reach proficiency on challenging state academic standards and assessments.

This and many similar projects are supported by the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership (NJAEP), a diverse group of constituents who agree on the educational benefits and impact of the arts, specifically the contribution they make to student achievement and a civilized, sustainable society. In September, NJAEP launched the “Arts Ed Now” campaign. Spurred by collaboration with the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Americans for the Arts, “Arts Ed Now” is a multi-year campaign designed to increase participation in arts education in schools across the Garden State. Pushcart Players serves on the NJAEP Steering Committee. Visit www.ArtsEdNow.org for further information and resources.

Pushcart Players is the award-winning professional touring theater company specializing in arts education for children. Twice nominated for an Emmy©, Pushcart is the recipient of numerous state and private awards for excellence and innovation. A social-profit organization founded in 1974, Pushcart brings substantive musical theater, workshops, and residencies to young people and their families in schools and theaters nationwide. The company has traveled more than 6 million miles nationally and abroad, from the rural red schoolhouse to the nation’s White House.

Pushcart Players addresses social studies, literature, history, the Autism spectrum, special educational needs, and values clarification for young people, their families, and their educators. All performances by professional artists (Actors’ Equity Association) are supported by study guides, post-performance assessments and other supplemental materials, and adapt to any location with innovative scenery, lighting and sound systems.

PHOTO:  Ellen Beattie conducts AIM To Achieve Session at MLK School 6 in Passaic. Photo by Harvey Glick

To view this article please visit http://www.newjerseystage.com/articles/getarticle.php?titlelink=pushcart-players-awarded-contract-for-non-profit-arts-partner-at-martin-luther-king-school-no-6.