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Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Transition of Doodle Pequeño

“Oranges the size of pumpkins, vampires, devil horns, tutus and learning to speak “goat” – it’s Halloween and Doodle is the new kid in the quadraplex. When a neighbor dons his favorite costume, the other kids take notice, and taunts of “gay” ring in the air. This play for young audiences, presented as a staged reading, takes a look at a fifth grade boy’s journey to discover his identity and the bumps in the road along his way.”

Come join TAPs Program and Marketing Coordinator, Brian Fahey in The Transition of Doodle Pequeño, The play is about, among other things, a young boy questioning his gender identity.It was written by Gabriel Jason Dean (UT playwriting student) and directed by Abra Chusid (UT Drama/Theatre for Youth Student). It’s part of the New Works Festival at UT.

Come out March 29th or March 30th at 6:30 pm at the AT&T Conference Center (in the ampitheatre). It’s free and about an hour long.

Hope to see some of you there!

TAP at Convio Cares Sign Up Rally

What a terrific time we had at the Convio Cares Week Project Rally on Wednesday. Theatre Action Project was on hand, with several other area nonprofits, to sign up Convio employees who were searching for just the right project with which to contribute their time during Convio Cares Week in April. Kelly Schiller, Community Relations VISTA was proud of our table display at today’s Convio Cares Sign Up Rally. We had several Convio volunteers as well as other nonprofits coming by to check out our table.

It was easy to see why Convio was touted as one of the best places work in 2010 by the Austin Business Journal. Their employees were given time during the work day to visit with nonprofits at the rally to find just the right fit for their passion and interests Everyone was treated to special cups of Amy’s Ice Cream and a vast amount of opportunities with Austin nonprofits. Convio actively encourages their staff to volunteer in order to strengthen the nonprofit sector and improve the community in which they live.

TAP is looking forward to working with Convio volunteers in April. Thanks Convio!

On the Red Carpet

At Friday’s Theatre Action Project Film Festival (aka Spring Break Camp sharing), Lights! Camera! Action!, famed leading ladies and gentlemen strolled down the red carpet with the paparazzi, press and screaming fans. The red carpet was filled with stars and directors galore. It was THE event of Spring Break! (Okay it wasn’t really that hectic, but to see the campers get the chance to stroll down a red carpet after such a fun week was quite a sight.)

This past Friday, we were able to view the films that the Spring Break campers worked on all week. We had a red carpet that they strolled in on as well as popcorn to add to the experience. I have to say that we are looking at the filmmakers of the future; the movies were so creative and full of entertainment. We saw films by two production companies: Haunted Productions and Show Off Flicks which were composed of our younger and older campers. There were numerous laughs and smiles from not only the audience, but the actors and directors themselves, our very own campers!

This week the campers learned all about directing, story boarding, writing as well as how to be an actor. The campers all really seemed to enjoy the camp and making new friends. All the families really enjoyed watching the movies the children helped to create and star in! It was a wonderful way to spend a Friday afternoon. Check out more pictures on our Flicker page.

We would like to extend a thank you to Marcelo, Lillie and Florinda for a job well done! Also, thank you to everyone who helped put this all together and helped out during the week!

If you think that Spring Break camp was fun, just wait until this summer. Summer Camp will be happening June 20-August 12, with each week being a different theme full of fun and adventure. If you are interested in participating, click here to learn more and/or to register.

Lights! Camera! Actions!

The anticipation is building and the stage is set for Theatre Action Project Spring Break campers as they prepare to showcase their film work this afternoon at the Rawson Sanders School. The sharing of their work will involve film shorts created by campers this week who have learned filmmaking elements, including:
· Cameras and camera angles
· Set, sound and lighting
· Casting and directing actors, and
· Film crew positions

So if you’re ready for the walk down the red carpet, come join us for the premiere of today’s new filmmakers. I just love a good movie. Don’t you?

Spring Breaking!

It’s day 2 of TAP’s Spring Break Camp. The office is quiet with camp staff and volunteers on site at the Rawson Saunders School working with campers on “Lights, Camera, Action!” who are creating original films this week. Budding Steven Spielberg’s and Kathryn Bigelow’s are in the making! We can’t wait to see their films.

If you are interested in signing up for TAP’s Summer Camp, we are taking online registration NOW. Click here to sign up!

Theatre Action Project is also searching for volunteers to help our staff at this year’s summer camp, June 20 – August 12, at the McCallum Fine Arts Academy. The full day camps are for students ages 5-12. Camp students are divided into smaller groups and work toward a final sharing at the end of the week for parents and families. Each week is a different theme ranging from acting, puppetry, and playmaking to dance, music and filmmaking.

Who is the ideal camp volunteer? It is someone who likes to work with young people, uses their imagination and creativity, and wants to learn more about theatre from our TAP staff.

Volunteers help TAP staff distribute supplies, participate in activities, and keep an eye on student behavior. They will work directly with the campers during creative art projects and give praise and guidance to campers. Other responsibilities may include helping students learn lines or staging, leading outdoor group games, and sharing any other theatre skills and interests during the camps. Camp volunteers are needed 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. We would like to have two volunteers for each of the eight weeks of camp. If you can help for 1 week, two, or more, we would love to hear from you.

Please contact Kelly Schiller, Community Relations VISTA at if you are interested in working as a summer camp volunteer.

Bonjour from the Kite Festival

Embarking on an adventure through the fields of Zilker Park, children were drawn to the Theatre Action Project tent for puppet shows and face paintings. Inside the puppet show tent, lanterns and an imaginative backdrop set the mood for a dip in the ocean and a trip to Paris.

Starting off the show, TAP volunteers used a shadow screen to illustrate “Swimmy” a children’s book by Leo Lionni. Captivating the children’s imagination, they learned when people or fish work together they can overcome obstacles and stand up to bullies. Similar to Swimmy and the other fish, the children became the “biggest fish in the seas” by working together to help bring the second half of the show to life through sound effects.

In the second half of the show, the children worked together to add sound effects to the show based on “The Red Balloon” by Albert Lamorisse. Children chimed in with kissing noises, dinging and yelling “ballooooons.” Audience members really felt like they were in Paris with Dustin Wills’, the narrator, French accent, the children’s sound effects and the hand-painted background. Parents in the audience smiled with memories of their childhood as they watched the children participate in main characters adventure through Paris with his new red balloon friend. Each child left the puppet show with laughter following closely behind like Pascal’s red balloon.

The puppet show was a huge success thanks to the volunteers and Dustin Wills who not only narrated one puppet show but also organized the event. We hope to see everyone next year at the Kite Festival or even join us at our upcoming Spring Break or Summer Camps.

Palm Connection Program Helps TAP Connect to Community

Seven excited Theatre Action Project staff members recently received free Palm Pre Plus smart phones with $300 of Verizon prepaid service through the Palm Connections program.

Palm Connections approached TAP with an opportunity to share their stories of community-based involvement not only locally, but globally.

Palm Pre’s aim of the program is “to help people connect better and show them how a simple yet powerful mobile device can enable grassroots causes to achieve great things.”

TAP requested seven smart phones: five for staff members and two for the teaching artists. With the Palm Connection application, the staff was able to show how TAP makes a difference in the Austin community by sending tweets and updates to Facebook using their phones.

With the help of their new phones, the teaching artists were also able to take photos and videos that captured the work they do in the classrooms and then upload it immediately to TAP’s Facebook page.

By being part of the Palm Connection programs, TAP also gained access to a new audience of very encouraged and engaged fans. They are featured prominently across Palm’s social media outlets, namely its’ Facebook page and its’ Twitter feed.

There were no strings attached to this program, the staff had to simply keep an active online presence, which enabled them to connect with more people in the community. They were even allowed to use the phones for personal use.

“This application has really forced us to take a look at our social media platform, what can we improve, what is working and what isn’t” said Sarah Garza, former TAP VISTA. Sarah helped coordinate this opportunity for TAP.

Find out more about the Palm Facebook Application and follow video posts uploaded by Theatre Action Project here.

Are you a nonprofit that has benefited from the Palm Connections program? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know how they have benefited your organization.

Written by:
Sharon Chin