Community Arts and Learning
Family Fun Fest
Great for ages 5 – 12, the FAMILY FUN FEST series brings the best in local, national, and international performances to Lancaster. The Ware Center opens 1 hour before each performance for free hands-on creative activities.
Here’s what’s playing in the 2014-15 season
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Carnival of the Animals
Saturday, October 4
11 a.m. (Doors open at 10)
Enjoy composer Camille Saint-Saens’ beloved musical suite performed by Lancaster’s very own Allegretto Youth Chamber Orchestra. In this charming orchestral classic a whole musical menagerie is brought to life through various instrumentations. Kids not only get to listen; they get a close-up and personal look at how an orchestra makes music.
The Snail and the Whale
Sunday, October 26
3 p.m. (Doors open at 2)
What better way to see the world than to hitch a ride on the tail of a giant humpback whale. One small snail does just that in this adventure-filled story about an unlikely friendship. Based on the delightful book by Julia Donaldson an Axel Scheffler, and adapted for the stage by London’s Tall Stories Theater Company, The Snail and the Whale uses brilliant storytelling, beautiful live music and lots of laughs to remind us how even little friends can be big heroes. Coming to us straight from its Broadway run at the New Victory Theater! (A SENSORY-FRIENDLY version will be offered Monday, Oct. 27 at 10 a.m.)
East Meets West Photo
Friday, December 5
7 p.m. (Doors open at 6)
“Bursting with infectious joy,” noted the Smithsonian Institution of Visual Experessions’ East Meets West, “Makes children feel a personal connection to the puppet creations.” Artistic Director Hua Hua Zhang graduated from Beijing’s Art Academy, where she studied the classical art of Chinese puppetry. East Meets West is a collection of vignettes, each a different story featuring both Asian and Western characters and ideas blended from both cultures, along with traditional Chinese dance as performed by string, hand, and rod puppets.
Imago Theater FROGZ Photo
Friday, February 20
7 p.m. (Doors open at 6)
The incredible creativity of Imago Theater catapulted its signature show Frogz to two Broadway runs and a celebrated world tour. The production treats audiences to encounters with human-sized finicky frogs, not to mention silent sloths, escaped penguins, personable paper bags, devilish strings and other fanciful things. Five agile performers – aided by ingenious masks, outrageous costumes, and original music – create a unique and fanciful experience. “Frogz knows how to entertain,” raved The New York Times. “…Theater like this opens the eyes to the possibilities of exploration in the vast realm of the imagination.”
Tom Chapin in Concert (hosted by WXPN Kids Corner’s host Kathy O’Connell)
Saturday, April 18
11 a.m. (Doors open at 10)
Called the “Pied Piper of children’s music” by Parents Magazine and “the best family artist around” by Billboard, Grammy Award-winning Tom Chapin charms audiences of all ages. His remarkable musicianship, great songwriting and personal warmth especially shine through in his live concerts which are special experiences for young and old alike. And Tom’s performance will be hosted by WXPN Kids Corner’s Kathy O’Connell. This will be a SENSORY-FRIENDLY performance. “Educational, inspiring and entertaining for each of us!” - Family Fun Fest patron “LOVED the show. I considered it the most original, creative, and delightful I’ve ever seen.” - Family Fun Fest patron “We have loved all the shows this year!” - Family Fun Fest patron “We appreciate the free tickets you donated to Domestic Violence Services to enable the parents and children here to attend. Thank you for thinking of children living at the emergency shelter.” – Domestic Violence Services
Summer Camps and Activities
Arts Smarts Camps provide summer performing and visual arts opportunities for students of elementary and middle-school age. Visual Arts, Music, and Theater are taught by MU arts education undergraduates and graduates dedicated not only to their arts, but to teaching those arts. Each half-day week-long camp is designed to provide young people with the means to actively explore the beauty, diversity, and complexity of our world through the artistic process, generate an appreciation of the arts as a vital force in their lives, and enable them to develop their own creativity and skills through a genuine understanding and practice of the art forms. The Arts Smarts Camps are also just plain fun, not to mention the best bargain in the region! This past summer, 217 camp spots were filled over the course of two weeks in June, 17% of those by campers on full or partial scholarship. For more information contact Barry Kornhauser.
Click here to read reviews
“This highly organized, enriching camp gave my daughter a safe, fun environment to learn in and grow through. Her excitement over her performance at the end of week was intoxicating and she wished the camp would last all summer long. Friends were made, fun was had and confidence was built through this one week program! We will definitely be signing up next summer!” - Camper’s Mom
“Sometimes, it is hard for parents to entertain our kids and make them do something during a long summer break but I am very thankful that Art Smart Camps motivated Alex’ interest in the arts. I am sure it will enrich his life. Alex loved the teachers who are passionate about teaching young kids art, and also he loves his new friends at the camp. He enjoyed every single minute of being at Art Smart Camps. Again, I thank you for the great opportunity!!!” - Camper’s Mom
“Thank you for making me feel safe at camp. I had a great week.” – Camper. “I wanted to add how very grateful I am for the ways in which you and your staff supported my daughter this week. I will say that the patience, kindness, and encouragement we experienced at camp with you are not part for the course! We appreciate it deeply.” - Camper’s Mom
M-Uth Theater is a nationally honored theater arts-learning project in which mixed-ability teens and young adults create original dramas based on social justice issues pertinent to their lives and the lives of their peers around the globe. Enrollment in this daily month-long summer program is FREE and largely arranged by referrals from various social service agencies, school guidance counselors, etc. No experience is necessary, just a willingness to explore, take risks, and work hard. For more information contact Barry Kornhauser.
“Congratulations…to the entire M-Uth Theater company for an unforgettable performance at the American Alliance for Theater & Education Conference [in Washington, DC]. Very moving, often funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and, ultimately, inspirational. I am filled with admiration and gratitude. Bravo!” - Dr. Rives Collins, AATE Immediate Past President and professor of Theater at Northwestern University
Disability Arts and Access
With the establishment of a multidisciplinary Disability Studies program at Millersville University in 2013-14, new attention is being directed towards Disability Arts. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters & MetLife Foundation, and the Lancaster County Community Foundation, Millersville has instituted tripartite Disability Arts programming.
We will introduce the campus and community to the work of professional artist from across the disability spectrum through performances, exhibitions, master classes, and workshops. We will offer accessible presentations featuring ASL interpretation, open-captioning, audio-description, large-print and Braille programs, wheelchair seating at our ADA compliant venues, and now select sensory friendly performances for children on the autism spectrum (see Family Fun Fest pages). And we will provide arts-learning and performance opportunities for area individuals of all ages living with sensory, physical, or cognitive disabilities. Contact Barry Kornhauser for more information.
“I was so awed to see that many people involved in trying to enhance the quality of life for deaf people. It made me feel more hopeful.” – Deaf Patron