Theatre for Young Audiences marks 25th year with a trip through time

10:05 am | November 21, 2012

Milligan College’s Theatre for Young Audiences is marking its the 25th anniversary by elementary schools with an original production, “The Tech-tastic Time Travelers.”

Photo Contributed
Pictured left to right are members of Milligan College’s Theatre for Young Audiences: Danielle Moore, Courtney Blair, Tess Evans, Adam Derrick and Darcie DeLong.

The troupe will perform “The Tech-tastic Time Travelers” on Thursday, Dec. 13, at 11 a.m. in the McGlothlin-Street Theatre in Milligan’s Gregory Center for the Liberal Arts. The performance is free and open to the public.

In 1987, Milligan Professor Richard Major founded Theatre for Young Audiences to build relationships between college students and local elementary schools. Each fall, he leads the troupe of student actors on a tour of elementary schools throughout Northeast Tennessee and surrounding areas. The students perform an original children’s play in front of their elementary audiences, usually at no or little cost to the schools.

“This year’s play focuses on changes in technology.” Major said. “The audience follows an energetic and enthusiastic group of young people as they try to unravel the origins of technology. As they race through the decades of the 20th century, they touch on technological developments that revolutionized the world. The characters rift through technological facts as they try to determine the ‘next big thing’ in technology.”

When Major founded the troupe in 1987, cell phones, laptop computers and social media weren’t part of the technological landscape. Now 25 years later, both technology and the Theatre for Young Audiences have grown tremendously. The ensemble has performed to a combined audience of 190,000 students in more than 500 appearances in schools throughout the region.

“ ‘The Tech-tastic Time Travelers’ is a perfect fit for the 25th anniversary of the Theatre for Young Audiences,” Major said.

The Theatre for Young Audiences will perform at 10 local elementary schools this fall. Upcoming performances are scheduled for West Side Elementary in Elizabethton, Tenn., and Towne Acres, Lake Ridge and South Side elementary schools in Johnson City, Tenn.

This year’s company is comprised of five students: Courtney Blair of Cincinnati, Ohio; Tess Evans of Roanoke, Va.; Darcie DeLong of Indianapolis, Ind.; Adam Derrick of Boone, N.C.; and Danielle Moore of Unicoi, Tenn.

For more information about arts events at Milligan, visit www. milligan.edu/arts.

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