EDUCATION

Opportunities for both the young and young at heart!


WHIRL – WHIRL is a partnership between Playhouse in the Park, Murray Art Guild, and Jackson Purchase Dance Company, designed especially for preschoolers.  WHIRL meets every Friday in February and September.  Each week, the children listen to a fun book, then participate in hands-on activities through stage work, dance, and an always-cool art project!  Contact Debi Danielson at Murray Art Guild, 270-753-4059, or email at murrayartguild@murray-ky.net.  The fee for WHIRL is $20 per four-week session. 

Pail of Tadpoles Frogs start as tadpoles and so do our theatre kids! Pail of Tadpoles offers classes for 1st - 3rd graders and for 4th and 5th graders. In the fall, these wonderful, wiggly groups meet weekly for eight weeks and each session has something exciting and interesting to offer. They have a great time learning the basics of theatre, as well as participating in many age appropriate hands-on theatre activities. Each spring, the Tadpoles present a fun production.  There is no fee for the spring session as there are show tickets to purchase.  The fee for the fall session is $35. 

Froglets – New in Fall, 2015 is this group for 6th and 7th graders.  Froglets (which, in nature are not quite frogs) will participate in more challenging activities, preparing them to join the super active Box of Frogs.  There is a fee of $35 for each 8 week session (Fall and Spring semesters). 

Box of Frogs – Box of Frogs is the Young Actors’ Guild for Playhouse in the Park. This very active group of 8th-12th graders creates part of the backbone of our community theatre. Box of Frogs meets year-round and each session has something exciting and interesting to offer. Whatever a person’s ability or knowledge of theatre, there is a welcome place for you in Box of Frogs. Past activities include writing and producing cabarets, developing and leading drama workshops at a local elementary school, hosting workshops for children, and producing full stage productions. In July, 2016, the Box of Frogs traveled to New York City, where they participated in theatre workshops and saw three Broadway shows, including HAMILTON and ALADDIN!

Summer Camp – For two weeks each summer, 100 children and more than 30 volunteers celebrate friendship and enjoy the teamwork involved in putting together a show in just 10 days!  It’s no wonder our camp has become a favorite for students and volunteer workers alike, quickly filling to capacity each year.  During the two weeks, campers work on choreography, music, art, and stage work. The students are involved in building and painting set pieces and helping design their costumes. The second week finds the students hard at work putting all aspects of the show together and rehearsing the show in its entirety. On the last day of camp, as a reward for their hard work, the Murray Fire Department visits, sets up fire trucks, and sprays water over an excited group of kids!

Camp is followed by a weekend of shows, where each child gets to perform in three performances, most always to a capacity crowd. Registration opens in mid-April. Watch for details!

Penguin Project  Playhouse in the Park was delighted to join The Penguin Project in 2014 as the 7th theatre in the country, and the first in Kentucky, to participate in the program. The Penguin Project® was conceived by Dr. Andrew Morgan to give children with special needs an opportunity to participate in the performing arts. “Dr. Andy” is a developmental pediatrician and the former Head of the Division of Child Development at the University of Illinois in Peoria.  He has also directed and performed in many community theatre productions. He created The Penguin Project® recognizing that theatre not only provides children with a valuable recreational experience and an opportunity to display their creative talents, but also enhances social interaction, communication skills, assertiveness, and self-esteem. 

The Penguin Project® strives to demonstrate that individuals with special needs are fully capable of participating in community activities with the same dedication and enthusiasm as others, if given opportunity and support. The origin of the name “Penguin Project” comes from the unique characteristics of penguins. They are extremely playful and curious, and work well together. More importantly, they have a “disability” that distinguishes them from other birds – they can’t fly!! Instead, penguins waddle and toboggan on their bellies over the snow, and are excellent swimmers in the water. So like our young artists, they have adapted to the challenges of their environment, and have not allowed their unique difference to interfere with their lives.

In 2014, the Playhouse Penguins presented ANNIE, JR. to full houses!  There were 18 Artists and their Mentors onstage, and a huge creative team behind the scenes smiling from ear-to-ear as the children worked their magic.  Everyone who was involved – Artists, Mentors, families, volunteers – agreed that the Project was life changing in a most positive way.  Playhouse chose SEUSSICAL, JR. for the 2015 Penguin Project production, and it once again played to sold-out houses. The number of Artists increased to 21, along with 23 Mentors.  In August, 2016, the Penguins will shine with DISNEY'S PETER PAN, JR.

Old Duffers and Powder Puffers In 2010, Playhouse in the Park partnered with Murray-Calloway Senior Citizens Center for the creation of a senior citizens theatre troupe, Old Duffers & Powder Puffers. This group continues to thrive. The troupe works as a reader’s theatre, meaning that memorization is not an issue.  They initially worked with old radio scripts, but now include many other types of material.  Twice a year, the Duffers & Puffers offer an “Evening of Fun” where they perform radio scripts, original material, one-act plays, and humorous skits. Old Duffers & Powder Puffers meet every Monday at 2:00 p.m and is open to anyone aged 60+.  There is no fee for OD&PP.

For more information on how your kids can get involved, contact Lisa Cope at playhouse@murray-ky.net.