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Spotlight on Open Road Theatre, October, 2010

Coach to Pleasure Island"There you are!" cried the Toad, straddling and expanding himself. "There's real life for you... The open road, the dusty highway, the heath, the common, the hedgerows, the rolling downs. Camps, villages, towns, cities! Here to-day, up and off to somewhere else to-morrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that's always changing!"--Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

"Where else do you get the opportunity to be someone else and be in another world?”—an ORT cast member, referring to his and other members’ trips to Middle Earth, Oz, Wonderland, Never Land, and Narnia as well as other fictional/historical periods in England, France, Italy and the Americas over the past seven years. (reprinted from the Hamilton Wenham Chronicle)

The Open Road Theatre is an independent, grassroots, parent-led group fostering the theatrical after- school needs of elementary, middle and high school students from Hamilton, Wenham and surrounding towns who wish to perform in full-length, scripted plays, not musicals. Our productions are funded by seed money from previous productions, participation fees, caring Angel Donors, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, grants, and audience ticket sales. This program does not receive funds from the operating budgets of any town, city or school district. Following successful productions in 2002-2004, The Open Road Theatre incorporated as a non-profit, youth theatre arts education program in November, 2004, receiving 501(c)(3) approval from the IRS in March 2005.

Our mission at The Open Road Theatre is to teach and develop acting, production techniques and creative thinking to students in Hamilton, Wenham and surrounding towns, through active participation in live theatre and exposure to playwrights from around the world.

Robin Hood and Ellen To cast each student in the role best suited for his/her unique talents.

To empower students, by encouraging them to trust their and each others’ creative impulses.

To guide the students to achieve creative artistic success as individuals in their daily lives, as well as within The Open Road theatre ensemble; in a transformation realized through the process of rehearsals, training, hands-on experience and performances, where students learn the cooperative nature of theatre.

To foster teamwork, leadership, and mentoring among the actors and crew of different ages,The Hobbit director with an Orc thereby building confidence and social skills of students and allowing integration of their artistic talents and experiences into their daily educational and personal lives.

The Open Road Theatre’s vision is rooted in how theatre truly began: a small village of people gathered around a fire to tell stories of their daily activities, their adventures, and their heritage. Every person who comes to an Open Road Theatre production becomes a member of our village sitting around the fire of the actors’ imaginations. Both student and adult participants will bring these fireside stories to life as actors, production staff and volunteers.

Christina and Karen

Assistant Director Christina Bontempo and Karen McElvain, Founder and Producing Artistic Director.


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