Ellen Lawrence Weiner
Enchanted Circle Theatre
ENCHANTED CIRCLE THEATER-is one of New Englandís premier childrenís theater companies, integrating music, dance, theater, visual arts and literature. The current repertoire includes: Folktales From Japan (K-6), African Griot: Keeper of the Oral Tradition (K-6), Tales From Mother Russia (K-6), Dance of the Earth (4-8), about the life of our planet earth, and From Page To Stage (5-12) a dramatic rendering of prose, poetry, drama aimed at encouraging young people to read, and Reading Alive!(K-3 and 4-6) an interactive approach to reading. All productions come with their own teaching materials. In addition, the company offers a wide variety of workshops. Residencies are also available in a diverse array of subject matter, and can be tailor-made to fit a schoolís specific needs. All programs integrate into a schoolís curriculum. Enchanted Circle Theater has appeared in such venues as The John F. Kennedy Library, The Jewish Museum, The Olney Theater, Nassau Community College, Smith College, New Jersey Science Center, Glassboro Center for the Arts, to name but a few as well as hundreds of schools and libraries.
Folktales From Japan is comprised of two different folktales: 'The Woman Who Laughed' and 'The Stonecutter' and is appropriate for children four years and older, as well as adults. Travel to the land of the wicked Onis and find out what makes the woman who laughed, laugh! Experience the beauty in the dance/drama of 'The Stonecutter' and witness the succession of changes the humble man undergoes in his quest for power. The tales are accompanied by authentic Japanese music, beautiful sets and costumes, and larger than life masks! (recommended for school audiences in grades K-6 as well as general audiences)
'After seeing your Japanese Folktales, teachers were saying such things as 'Superb!', 'The best performance we've ever seen,' 'We need to get them back soon!' - L. Schrader, Principal, West Sand Lake School, N.Y.
African Griot: Keeper of the Oral Tradition is comprised of two tales: 'The Evening Gift' and 'Dream'. 'The Evening Gift' from the Ashanti people of West Africa, is the story of how the moon came to be in the sky. It features the trickster character of Anansi, who appears in many African, Caribbean and African-American tales. 'Dream' written by Guinean storyteller Khazzali Diallo, is a tale about a child who learns valuable life lessons through her vivid dreams. The characters in her dreams come to life through dance and song. Original live music and dance, extraordinary costumes and colorful masks highlight this production. The audience will also participate in call-and-response to learn traditional and contemporary songs from various African countries. (recommended for school audiences in grades K-6 as well as general audiences)
'The art of masterful storytelling is alive and well in the hands of the Enchanted Circle Theater, with its combination of impeccable artistry, delightful good humor and incredibly imaginative costumes'-J. Stoughton, Springfield City Library, Massachusetts
Tales From Mother Russia is comprised of two folktales with contemporary themes: 'The Tsar's Feast' is the story of a wealthy (but stingy) farmer who lived at a time of great famine and draught. While his neighbors share whatever morsels of food they have with each other, Bavsi is stingy and thinks only of himself. The Tsar hears of Bavsi's good fortune and invites him to dine at the palace... and herein lies the tale. 'Ivan Bearmonovich' is a wonderfully funny story about the foibles of communication. Ivan, an endearing part-man, part-bear, takes words literally. Madame Maroushka, whom Ivan must obey speaks figuratively. But Ivan, our hero, learns to play with the nuances of language, and with a clever word game frees the villagers from Moroushka's evil rule! (recommended for school audiences in grades K-6 as well as general audiences)
'Children are treated like real, thinking, feeling human beings in this production. The humor has a child's appeal, but the approach is subtle with little hyperkinetic behavior. The Russian Tales they have brought to the Spoleto Festival is a treat for all ages' - Karen Bair, Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.
Dance of the Earth is an original play about the life of our plant Earth, integrating geology and earth science with theater, dance, music and poetry. The stage becomes a science classroom, as the teacher and her students review for the earth science exam next week through a unique personal involvement with the subject. As the students become different parts of the earth, they become inspired by the magic of discovery and the forces which are alive within our extraordinary planet. Volcanoes, earthquakes, erosion and the theory of plate tectonics are just some of the topics ingeniously performed.(recommended for school audiences in grades 4-8 as well as general audiences)
'...one of the finest presentations for school audiences I have ever seen. For one hour, you had our students mesmerized. You provided scientific information...in such a creative format, structured to capture the interest and imagination of children. As one of our teachers remarked, 'it was a perfect lesson.' -L. Karwoski, Assistant Principal, Naubuc School, Glastonbury, CT
From Page To Stage is a compilation of poetry, prose and dramatic readings from American Literature woven around the theme of 'the outsider'. Selections have been chosen from standard middle and high school reading lists as well as from other contemporary sources to include more women and writers of color. It includes scenes from Diary of Anne Frank, Miracle Worker, The Old Man and the Sea, as well as selected works from Maya Angelou, Countee Cullen, Emily Dickinson, Martin Espada and Langston Hughes, among others.(recommended for school audiences in grades 6-12 as well as general audiences)
'Thank you for presenting a week of outstanding performances for the Discovery Theater at the Smithsonian Institution. The acting and choice of interpretation delighted our middle and high school audiences, and gave teachers insight into effective techniques for teaching literature and motivating students to read and write. I was especially pleased to see the diversity of authors included in your play' - N. Morgan, Program Director, Smithsonian Institution Associates, Washington, D.C.
'The production was wonderful. Inspiring!-F. Cameron, Duggan Middle School, Springfield, Massachusetts