Broadway Theatre League offers free shows for schools

HUNTSVILLE – Broadway Theatre League or BTL has announced two shows that will be free to school audiences and to families for 2023 and 2024.

BTL’s outreach programming is geared specifically towards celebrating the young mind and bringing theatre that includes an educational component to a younger audience. (broadwaytheatreleague.org)

Professional touring productions will take students on an entertaining, educational and culturally diverse trip. BTL believes live theatre can open a child’s mind to a world of performance, choreography, music, drama and culture — possibly all at one time and in one sitting.

Student outreach shows include free performances for schools and home-school groups during the school day, along with a free family performance in the evening, in the Von Braun Center Playhouse.

Actors will perform “The Underwater Bubble Show” on Oct. 24, 2023, with school shows at 9:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. BTL advises home-school groups to attend the 12:30 p.m. showing, which is less crowded than the earlier show.

This show runs about 75 minutes. For school show reservations, visit broadwaytheatreleague.org/school-show-reservations. The free, family show on Oct. 24 will be performed at 7 p.m.

“The Underwater Bubble Show” is inspired by childhood standards like “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Peter Pan.” The audience likely will see the show as a modern fairy tale.

Taking cues from Cirque du Soleil, the visually spectacular show incorporates the latest in stage technology. Lasers, low ground smoke and flying foam simulate waves and the underwater atmosphere.

“Each classic tale represents the journey of a kid who grows up and learns something,” Co-Creator and Director Enrico Pezzoli said. “We wanted a story about an adult character who discovers that he can still go back and enjoy life.”

“Our main goal was to produce a show that could tour the world without any barriers, especially language,” Pezzoli said. “We involved many elements of theater that could work without speech, like mime, puppets, physical comedy and sand painting, while adding visual special effects.”

“Giraffes Can’t Dance,” the other free show, will be presented on Feb. 2, 2024, at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. for school students. BTL recommends the show for students in grades pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. BTL again requests home-school groups to attend the 12:30 p.m. production.

All the jungle animals know their own special dance, but Gerald the Giraffe can’t seem to move without a clumsy step. Luckily, a wise cricket helps Gerald to find his own song, and Gerald dances to the beat of his own drum.

This stage adaptation of the beloved children’s book features puppets, African rhythms and plenty of dancing, as Gerald learns that his differences make him special. (Produced by the Bay Area Children’s Theatre and the Rose Performing Arts.)

The free show of “Giraffes Can’t Dance” for families will be held at 7 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2024. This show will last approximately one hour.

BTL’s office address is 700 Monroe St., Suite 410 in Huntsville. For more information, call 256-518-6155 or visit broadwaytheatreleague.org/school-show-reservations.

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