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Non-Profit of the Week: Boxtales Theatre Company
updated: Apr 10, 2010, 8:45 AM
Boxtales Theatre Company's mission is to bring myths and folktales from around the world to young audiences using masks, movement, music, and storytelling. Our aim is to fire imaginations, inspire creativity, strengthen cultural pride, encourage tolerance, and engage young people in the excitement and immediacy of live performance.
In 1994 Boxtales was funded by the Lobero Theatre Foundation to create a storytelling performance piece for the Santa Barbara school system as part of the Lobero's Literary Arts Outreach Program. With the help of founders Nancy Lynn, Marlyn Bernstein, Sheila Ehrman, and Anne Towbes the birth of Boxtales Theatre Company had begun.
After great success in this first season Boxtales went on to create 14 original theatre pieces based in world myth, folktales and literature over the following 15 years. In addition, Boxtales has created several educational programs for the youth of Santa Barbara including Boxtales Theatre Camp, theatre residencies at Franklin, Hope, Washington, Vieja Valley and Monte Vista Schools and The Ages Projects I and II, which brought our local youth together with elders from the community to create original theatre pieces based in the elders' life experience. Boxtales also ran the Lobero Theatre Foundations Summer Circus Camp for the last ten years. Boxtales has taught workshops for adults at Pacifica Graduate institute, and collaborated on events with other local non-profits such as Santa Barbara's Mankind Project, Boys to Men and Wilderness Youth Project. Boxtales has also directed the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration's evening show and has performed at Santa Barbara's Earth Day. In 2004, Boxtales Theatre Company was officially recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Today Boxtales is the only professional touring Theatre Company in Santa Barbara performing their original works up to 150 times a year throughout the Western United States and beyond.
Boxtales is listed as "Artists in Residence" at the Lobero Theatre and a key component of the Lobero's outreach to local schools. Each year local schools from the community are bused in to the Lobero to see Boxtales perform in the Lobero's annual youth programming series on the main-stage.
Boxtales has performed throughout California at festivals, schools, museums, and libraries and is part of the prestigious rosters of the California Arts Council, Young Audiences of Northern California, Orange County Performing Arts Center's ARTSTEACH, and The Los Angeles Music Center.
Boxtales has received critical acclaim for both its outreach and stage performances. Shirley Ririe of Young Audiences of America has called Boxtales "…simply the best children's program in America." In 2006 BOXTALES won two Indy Awards for their production of The Odyssey, and has been voted Best Children's Group in the Independent's Best of Santa Barbara. Philip Brandes, a Theatre Reviewer for the Los Angeles Times, the Ventura County Edition, and the Santa Barbara Independent, described The Odyssey as "…Homer meets Cirque du Soleil."
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