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Theater Spotlight
ArtBarn Community Theater

Out of the Box

In addition to ArtBarn's twelve yearly main stage productions, the ten year old community theater also has a group of touring 4th-6th graders who perform original, thought-provoking pieces for school audiences throughout Brookline each fall. Now in its sixth year, ArtBarn's Out of The Box program performs in the eight elementary schools in Brookline, exploring social issues that are relevant to students today, like popularity, sportsmanship, and bullying. Auditions for Out of the Box occur in the spring, with rehearsals beginning in the summer for that fall's production. The 35-minute show is performed by two casts of ten kids each.

The most recent Out of the Box production is The Popularity Pandemic, co-written by ArtBarn staff members Matthew Kossack and Adam Brooks. The idea for the story arose out of discussions with students about problematic social issues. Cast members contributed their ideas to the show and also helped create the sets.

The Popularity Pandemic tackles the ever-increasing complexities of popularity, peer-pressure, and acceptance. The show tells the story of a harmonious, inclusive group of kids who are suddenly and inexplicably struck with a strange obsession: the need to be popular! As these kids become increasingly concerned with what is cool, with what everybody is doing, and with what will make them fit in, they begin to turn their backs on the things and people they care about. The idea of popularity becomes a disease infecting their school, and it comes down to one girl who tries to stop it from becoming a pandemic that destroys her friends.

Photos and Music from ArtBarn's The Popularity Pandemic


For more information about this CBACT Member Theater, visit or contact ArtBarn:

All photos by Mimi Katz Photography,