Virus Theater (VT) offered three youth theater summer camps in June 2019 – theater and circus skills for ages 9-12, theater for ages 13-17, and theater tech for ages 13-17. The community is invited to experience the fruits of these camps, which are culminating in performances on Friday, June 28 at 7pm, Saturday, June 29 at 2pm and 7pm, and Sunday, June 30 at 2pm. All shows are at El Sol Theater in downtown Silver City, and tickets are free and available at the door. The younger performing students will present Br’er Rabbit and Friends and the older performing students will present It’s a Funny World We Live In, with production support for both shows from the teen tech students.
In the summer of 2018, VT collaborated with the Silver City Rec Center to offer a theater camp program to students up to age 12. Now in its second year, Virus Theater’s summer youth theater program was able to expand in 2019 with the generous support of a Freeport-McMoRan Foundation Community Investment Fund grant, allowing the program to offer the two teen camps and expand the reach of the whole program.
Br’er Rabbit and Friends is an original play written by Maria Casler and co-directed by Maria Casler and Kristen Warnack. It is a retelling of the classic Br’er Rabbit stories, which have been passed down for generations in the American South. These tales originated in Africa and were brought to the US by enslaved Africans, where they likely mingled with Native American legends to become the stories we hear today. Br’er Rabbit is the quintessential trickster, a mischief-loving rabbit known for causing grief among the other forest dwellers. When the greedy and manipulative Br'er Wolf takes over the main water hole and refuses to let the other animals use it, the thirsty animals, following the advice of the Wise Turtle and Toad, come to Br'er Rabbit to ask for help. The misbehaving rabbit uses her wit and cunning to outsmart the conniving forest predators and bring peace to the forest. Br’er Rabbit and Friends incorporates slapstick, stilt-walking, tumbling, and aerial acrobatics.
It’s a Funny World We Live In is also an original play, written by Melanie Zipin and co-directed by Melanie Zipin and Kristen Warnack. The story unfolds with two worlds divided by a wall. On one side is a colorful clown family and on the other side three teenage girls navigate appearing the same on the outside while harboring secret interests. An adventurous teenage clown from one side of the wall opens a portal to the other side, and the two worlds come crashing together. At first, the differences between the two worlds seem like an impossible hurdle for friendship and connection. As everyone involved learns to share their true selves, the differences begin to make both worlds more fun and more funny. It’s a Funny World We Live In will be performed again in October 2019 at the Southwest Festival of the Written World. For more information on those performances and the festival as a whole, visit https://swwordfiesta.org/
The teen tech camp is led by the design team of Patrick Rogers, Douglas Shelton, and Hallie Harris. In it, the teens are designing sets, costumes, lighting, and props for both shows. Teresa Dahl-Bredine is the producer for both plays, and Patrick Rogers is the technical director for both plays.
Br’er Rabbit and Friends and It’s a Funny World We Live In are both appropriate and fun for an all-ages audience. The two plays will run back to back, for a total performance time of 85 minutes.
Virus Theater has been creating live, original, creative, ensemble-devised plays since 1997. The mission of Virus Theater is to create relevant original live theater that is accessible to our diverse community, and to provide educational opportunities for adults and children in the performing arts. Virus Theater's vision is to bring people together through theater to better understand our shared humanity and to inspire individual and collective growth. For more information, visit https://virustheater.com/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
VIRUS THEATER SUMMER YOUTH PERFORMANCES:
Br’er Rabbit and Friends / It’s a Funny World We Live In
Friday, June 28, 7pm
Saturday, June 29, 2pm & 7pm
Sunday, June 30, 2pm
Location: El Sol Theater, 406 N. Bullard St. in downtown Silver City.
Tickets: Tickets are free and available at the door prior to performances.