Westport, CT - Westport Country Playhouse is launching its new Playhouse Mobile Unit, a fully-staged play that will travel to young audiences, grades 6 to 10, for a live theatrical performance. The project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Town of Westport’s ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding for the arts.
The inaugural play will be “Scaredy Kat Presents,” by Janine Sobeck Knighton, capturing the joys and struggles of adolescence while also attempting to destigmatize anxiety and panic disorder. Bookings are now underway with inaugural performances beginning in January 2023.
“The Playhouse Mobile Unit is part of our goal to build sustainable and lasting relationships with our surrounding communities through the art of live theater,” said Jenny Nelson, Playhouse director of education and community engagement, and director of the inaugural production. “The initiative will act as a touch point and provide authentic theatrical experiences in familiar and trusted environments — schools, community centers, or anywhere we gather together.”
Specifically designed to be adaptable and accommodate any type of space, such as a cafeteria, library, or large classroom, the Playhouse Mobile Unit brings to the school a 45-minute, fully-staged production including professional actors, set, costumes, and special effects. Following the performance, there is a Q&A with the actors about the play and their life in theater. A study guide and curriculum are provided with classroom activities and games.
In “Scaredy Kat Presents,” 11-year-old Kathryn is paralyzed by social anxiety. Estranged from her classmates, she spends all her time in her basement with her two passions: Alfred Hitchcock and stop motion animation. When her enthusiastic attempts to win a trip to Hitchcock’s old film sets fall apart faster than her clay figures, Kathryn is sent a possible gift with the arrival of the new neighbor girl, Nadia. Forced to spend her afternoons at Kathryn’s house while her mom is working, Nadia’s keen interest in art could be the secret to Kathryn’s success. With her anxiety trying to block her at every turn, Kathryn must learn how to share her dream — and potentially make a friend along the way.
In an effort to remove economic barriers and create access for all, the Playhouse offers financial aid and payment plans upon request to cover cost of presentation. Group sales are also available as well as discounts for multiple performances in one day.
The inaugural season of the Playhouse Mobile Unit, “Scaredy Kat Presents,” is sponsored by Judy M. and Scott Phares, Town of Westport’s ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding for the arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more Westport Country Playhouse information and to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org, or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).
Photos show: Jenny Nelson, Playhouse director of education and community engagement and Kendall Driffin, education and community engagement associate