Full Land Acknowledgement

Full Land Acknowledgement The lands of Maryland and Washington, DC that Imagination Stage occupies have been cared for by First Nations People since as early as 9,500 BCE. First Nations People crossed the Allegheny Mountains and settled in the Potomac River valley due to the abundance of fish in the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers as well as wildlife in the surrounding woodlands. The land of present day Montgomery County and Washington, D.C. is most closely associated with the Nacotchtank Tribe who lived on the Maryland side of the Potomac River. Deriving their characteristic name from an Algonquian term meaning “town […]

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Musical Theatre Conservatory’s “Edges” – Director’s Notes

Musical Theatre Conservatory’s Edges – Director’s Notes By Caroline Dubberly Close your eyes for a moment and imagine you are standing at the edge of a cliff. Feel your toes curling over the edge. Feel the wind whistling around your ears, stinging your face, coaxing you over the side. Feel the vast emptiness of the unknown before you. Take a deep breath. Bend your knees. And- Would you jump? Edges, written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul in 2005, deals with these questions as they present themselves in the lives of young people who are standing on their own metaphorical […]

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Acting Conservatory’s “Our Town” – Director’s Notes

Director’s Notes – Acting Conservatory’s Our Town “Indeed the play’s success across cultural borders around the world attests to its being something much greater than an American play: it is a play that captures the universal experience of being alive.”— DONALD MARGULIES IN THE FOREWORD TO OUR TOWN. From the moment Associate Director of Education, Nikki Kaplan, first suggested that perhaps her conservatory class do Our Town, I was intrigued. Doing this script with 9 actors was challenging but also incredibly freeing and thrilling. I have always thought that this story could be told in a more ensemble fashion and […]

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“It felt just like camp!”

In a significant first step toward welcoming students and audiences back to Imagination Stage’s building, we had in-person spring break camp last week for 10 children in grades K-2 and 10 children in grades 3-5. And it was a truly memorable week! Of course, there was extra hand washing, social distancing, and mask wearing–all in compliance with CDC recommendations and Montgomery County requirements. There was also unbridled enthusiasm, giddy energy, and the joy of making new friends. Families were patient and understanding during the slower-paced drop off and pick up procedures, all in the name of creativity and serious fun. […]

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Behind the Pats of Spy Academy – Amanda Haddock

Behind the Pats of Spy Academy – Amanda Haddock I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the last 7 or so years working almost exclusively in the professional immersive theatre world. I’ve had the chance to work locally with TBD Immersive and I’ve traveled the US performing in large scale work in places like Las Vegas hotels and music festivals in the middle of nowhere! So returning to a familiar form of theatre in the middle of COVID has been life giving to say the least.   Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I have been feeling some serious […]

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Directors’ Notes – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Directors’ Notes for the IStage Performance Ensemble’sA Midsummer Night’s Dream A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.  Especially for high school actors – its stories and language are so relatable to all ages.  Both Amelia and Nikki played Hermia in their middle and high school plays and Amelia went on to direct and perform in several productions as a professional.  Neither of us tire of the beautiful poetry, silly antics, and the crazy storytelling that comes from the interplaying worlds of humans and fairies. Many Shakespeare productions enjoy setting their versions in various times or locations, […]

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The State of the Classroom: A Second Home

I hope Imagination Stage students remember this time of COVID not only as a time they overcame challenges but also as a fun time. Our programming is joyous and fun. Our classes are filled with laughter. Our virtual field trips are met with smiles. I hope that we are providing an outlet for laughter and creativity while young people are learning from home and social-distanced from friends. I hope they look back at this time and see what they themselves were able to create—whether a Zoom play with peers or learning a Broadway dance with their parents in one of […]

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Behind the Pats – Matthew Pauli

Behind the Pats of Spy Academy – Matthew Pauli As someone who really doesn’t have a non-performing job, I was eager to have the chance to work on Spy Academy. I have been pretty restless, with few safe opportunities to work jobs I actually know how to do. Spy Academy has been a fascinating process, as the role of Pat is more of an outline than it is a scripted role.   We began rehearsals for Pat knowing that portions of the show were already recorded and anything the Pat performers do has to fit together with those portions and […]

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Pegasus Ensemble’s The Ice Adventures – Director’s Notes

Pegasus Ensemble’s The Ice Adventures – Director’s Notes We have updated this post to reflect the contributions of Sisi Reid – Playwright of The Ice Adventures. When we encounter the characters of The Ice Adventures at the beginning of the story, they are each in their own world. Everyone keeps to their own group and tasks simply because it’s the way things have always been done. As the story goes on, we see the friction and stagnation created by clinging to old beliefs. During the climax of the story, Hermes, in a state of shock, says “They did it – […]

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SPY ACADEMY – A New Level of Audience Participation

SPY ACADEMY – A New Level of Audience Participation Audience participation is a hallmark of Theatre for Young Audiences. True, it can sometimes be gratuitous. And true, most adults resist it with all their might, scrunching down in their seats, marveling at their children’s strong investment in the story, their willingness to shout, or sing along, or to pretend play in front of hundreds of strangers without the slightest inhibition! But audience participation, when integral to the plot, can be the starting point for a child’s genuine engagement in live theatre. Developmentally, Elementary School age children need to react kinesthetically […]

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