More than 30 children, teens and young adults from throughout Greater Hartford will be featured in the premiere of an original contemporary theatrical production that is fresh, innovative and multicultural. “Where Do We Go From Here?”, a new production by Master Teaching Artist Faithlyn Johnson, will be presented for one night only on Thursday, May 10 at 7 p.m. at The Mandell Jewish Community Center at 335 Bloomfield Ave. in West Hartford.
This new production is presented by Opus, Inc.-ActUp Theater Company, a regional theatrical and visual arts company. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in advance or at the door (if supplies last). To purchase tickets, call Opus, Inc.-ActUp Theater Company at (860) 236-0176.
“Where Do We Go From Here?” was written and directed by Johnson, who also composed all of the music. The story is based on her own experiences overseas, nationally and here in Connecticut. It features powerful vocal renditions of original songs and dances with riveting Broadway-style performances by the students. The actors and the stage crew range from Grade 4 through College age.
“The musical is a dynamic emotional roller-coaster ride that depicts the lives of a diverse set of youths, each heading to a crossroad of their lives, facing moral dilemmas and emotional challenges,” explains Johnson. “It is a play about love that reaches a magical point of communication, mutual respect, and understanding. Set in a New York subway, the characters are guided by subway conductors (angels) who show them their faults, challenges, and the choices they can consider. The question lies in front of them, ‘can one really choose?’”
Opus, Inc. programming is made possible by the generous contributions of The Travelers, Noah Webster School and PTA. Past performances have had tremendous support from parents and the community resulting in standing room-only performances.
Opus, Inc. was founded in 1978 in Hartford with the mission of intertwining literacy through the arts to break down barriers and connect to the world. Executive Director Faithlyn Johnson and Artistic Director Edjohnetta Miller have received acclaim for their artistry and commitment to arts integrated education. Johnson is a Theater Master Teaching Artist who has taught locally, nationally and internationally in a traditional classroom curriculum, specializing in theater arts. She is the founder of the Presidential Award-winning “Neighborhood Studios” program for the Greater Hartford Arts Council, an intensive art and career education summer program that teaches teens about the business of the arts, immersing them in hands-on workshops. Miller is an internationally recognized fiber artist, quilter, teacher, curator and lecture. Her work represents cultures from around the world and her quilts can be found in The National Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Nelson Mandela's National Museum in Cape Town, South Africa, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, and other important public and private collections.
Rehearsals for “Where Do We Go From Here?” have been held at Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet School in Hartford’s West End. Opus, Inc.-ActUp Theater Company and the school have a long standing collaborative partnership dedicated to providing exceptional integrated arts experiences for regional young people (grades K-12 grades) The program has become an integral component of Noah Webster’s commitment to excellence in learning, a nurturing, supportive environment and the community that cultivates positive self-image, and an understanding of the power of the arts in creative, and critical thinking.
“Where Do We Go From Here?” by Faithlyn Johnson, will be presented for one night only on Thursday, May 10 at 7 p.m. at The Mandell Jewish Community Center at 335 Bloomfield Ave. in West Hartford, Conn. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in advance or at the door (if supplies last). Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Opus, Inc. residencies at Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet School. To purchase tickets, call Opus, Inc.-ActUp Theater Company at (860) 236-0176. For more information, visit www.actuptheatrecompany.org.