A two-time Moss Hart Award winner for excellence in community and children’s theater, the Educational Theatre Collaborative (ETC) will celebrate its 10th season with the presentation of Mail to the Chief. An original musical production based on the writings of children from across the nation to the next president of the United States, the show will debut just days before the New Hampshire Presidential Primary. Performances are scheduled for January 21 – 25, 2004 at Plymouth State University’s Silver Cultural Arts Center.
According to ETC Director Trish Lindberg, more than 2000 letters were received from children representing 100 different schools from 20 states. “Homelessness, education, war, terrorism, patriotism, smoking and school violence are among the major themes incorporated into the script,” says Lindberg. “The children of this country feel a strong sense of patriotism and love for their country. I was surprised with the depth of their writing and how often they came up with positive solutions.”
The first production of Mail to the Chief was performed in July 2000 by the Kearsarge
Arts Theater (KAT) Company, for which Lindberg is the artistic director. The show was reprised on November 2, 2000 in Washington, D.C., on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. New writing has been incorporated into the original script for the 2004 production, including the themes on war and terrorism. “Terrorism was not present in any writing in 2000,” says Lindberg. “Many children are writing about it now.”
Performance dates and times are as follows: January 21 – 24 at 7:30 p.m. and January 24 and 25 at 2 p.m. Ticket prices range from $12 for adults to $6 for youth and seniors. Call the box office at (603) 535-ARTS (2787) for further information or to purchase tickets. The box office is located in the Silver Cultural Arts Center on the PSU campus and open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and one hour prior to performances.
More than 70 community members, PSU students and area school children have been cast in Mail to the Chief. ETC is a community arts organization sponsored by Plymouth State University, Friends of the Arts and Plymouth Elementary School. In addition to the performance, ETC offers a Children’s Arts Festival on January 10, workshops for students in grades one through six throughout the month of January, an area lobby art display incorporating themes from the production and an Integrated Arts Conference for artists and educators on Saturday, January 24.
Visit http://www.plymouth.edu/educate/mailtothechief for more information.