May 15, 2011

DFT Teen Acting Group – Spring 2011

(Photo Credit: Noah Rosenblatt-Farrell, www.drnoworks.com)

It has been a busy and satisfying week for DFT – our acting classes are in the final week of rehearsals before end-of-session performances next week and the teen group held an extra night of rehearsals – the Heroes class of elementary students are joyfully embodying giants and dragons for their play, “The Dragon’s Treasure.” Parents are generously involved in creating costumes, sewing dragon wings, collecting boots for giants and making swords for the monster Jabberwock’s battle with the greedy giant.

On Friday night I was invited to tell stories for the annual Mayfair event at Morehead Montessori School. Around 100 elementary aged students clustered close to the stage with parents gathered at the edges of the crowd while I told one of my favorite trickster tales – the one where Anansi the Spider climbs to the Sky God’s home and wins back the box of stories, then releases all the stories into the world. The children participated enthusiastically, buoyed by the fun of the Mayfair auction and games that had come before. It was great fun.

And on Saturday, the new DFT board and advisory council members gathered in Mebane at Stone Circles Retreat Center for our first DFT Retreat – we were there all day, getting to know each other, discussing the history, mission and future vision for Durham’s new communities theatre (gathering all our communities to create great theatre together.)

Board members met in the afternoon to set priorities for the coming year: Finding a permanent space to plant the growing DFT programs, establishing and implementing a solid plan for financial and resource development and creating a vital marketing strategy. Advisory Council members brainstormed both individual and group goals for how to be positive advocates in the coming year – walking, talking advocates for DFT’s mission and programs while also acting as the voice of our diverse neighborhoods, bringing feedback on how well we are serving our Durham communities and how we can do that more effectively. It was a satisfying day.

And it is amazing to remember that all of this has come about in less than a year since first announcing the creation of Durham Family Theatre. Today I’m grateful that the success of our first year means we have truly identified and begun to effectively meet the needs of our communities for a thriving, quality grass-roots theatre in Durham, North Carolina. You’re welcome to join the fun.

Warmly, Jenny

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