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Main Street Theater promotes and participating in the World Day and the Take a Child to the Theatre campaigns

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Main Street Theater Part of

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People

 

March 20, 2015

 

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People (World Day) is an ASSITEJ (International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) campaign, promoted and celebrated through the message ‘Take a Child to the Theatre Today’.  This year World Day will be Friday, March 20, 2015.  World Day is a global campaign: ASSITEJ has more than 80 members as well as Networks with affiliates across 100 countries. 

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai and UNESCO Artist for Peace Guila Clara Kessous have shared a message promoting World Day: 

“Theatre is vitally important for every child from their tenderest years.  Dramatic art gives us our first access to a community outside our own family…. we are both honoured to be messengers for hope, youth, art, and education and be able to officially launch this celebration with pride.  We hope that by joining forces we will be able to pass on to future generations the importance of learning through the art of theatre to promote a better world based on peace, respect and social justice.”

ASSITEJ works to unite theatres, organizations and individuals throughout the world dedicated to theatre for children and young people.  The organization promotes international exchange of knowledge and practice in theatre in order to increase creative co-operation and to deepen mutual understanding between all persons involved in the performing arts for young audiences.

Main Street Theater (MST) has long been a member of Theatre for Young Audiences/USA/ASSITEJ and is promoting and participating in the World Day and the Take a Child to the Theatre campaigns in connection with its production of The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley.  On Friday, March 20, Main Street expects to reach over 700 children, educators, family members through 2 school performances and 1 public performance.  Why is theater for children and young people so important?  “Because in a world of harsh realities, theater teaches our young people to have empathy, to listen, to care and to ask questions,” says Vivienne M. St. John, MST’s Theater for Youth Producing Director.

The school performances are currently sold out, but the public performance at 1:30pm still has seating.  Performances are at TALENTO BILINGUE DE HOUSTON (performances are in English), 333 S. Jensen Dr., Houston, TX  77003.  Ticket prices for public performances are $17 and $15.  Tickets are on sale in person at the Main Street Theater Box Office at 2540 Times Blvd. in Rice Village, via phone at 713.524.6706 or online at MainStreetTheater.com.  Group rates are available.  No children under 3 are admitted in the theater (including sleeping babies). 

Main Street Theater’s Theater for Youth is Houston’s most-attended theater for young audiences performs for over 130,000 children, educators, and families from the greater Houston area in school performances, weekend family matinees and tours to schools and community centers across the state of Texas.  Plays are selected based on literature children are reading at home or at school.

Main Street Theater, like ASSITEJ, believes all children are entitled to theater and the arts.  MST’s Curtains Up Fund was instituted over a decade ago.  Most schools can only afford one field trip per season, and Title I schools sometimes cannot afford a field trip at all.  Additionally, many Title I and other disadvantaged schools have had to eliminate fine and performing arts programming from their curricula altogether.  Through its Curtains Up Fund MST provides all of Title I and other underserved schools students with a substantial discount off the already modest ticket price.  Last season 42,777 school students saw a play at MST’s Theater for Youth with free or discounted tickets.

 

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                Main Street Theater was founded in 1975.  The organization currently produces plays at two locations, 2540 Times Boulevard in Rice Village and for the 2014-15 season only, our Theater for Youth is housed at Talento Bilingüe de Houston.  Our MainStage is in its 15th season operating under an Actors’ Equity Association union contract.  The MainStage features new works (including numerous world and regional premieres), rediscovered classics, passionate revivals, works by female playwrights, and neglected musicals in the intimate setting of our Rice Village location.  Our Theater for Youth is Houston’s most-attended theater for young audiences, serving over 138,000 children and families from the greater Houston area in school performances, weekend family matinees and tours to schools and community centers across the state of Texas.  Plays are selected based on literature children are reading at home or at school.  Our Education Department offers students a performing arts playground where professional theater artists serve as mentors.  In support of Main Street Theater’s mission, our Education Department provides a significant resource in the community for education in theater and classical theater for children, families and educators and provides classes and camps (on and off-site) as well as programs in residential treatment facilities for Harris County youth.

Main Street Theater is a member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization for not-for-profit theaters, of Theatre for Young Audiences/USA/ASSITEJ, the world theatre network of theatre for children and young people, and a founding member of Houston Arts Partners.  MST’s MainStage operates under Actors’ Equity Association Small Professional Theater contract.  Main Street Theater is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.