The New Vintage Ensemble makes its return to the Scranton Fringe Festival with a new piece of original children’s programming that will be offered free to audiences of all ages.
(Scranton, PA) - What happens when a town filled with muddled, befuddled, and mixed up storybook characters stops listening, sharing, and telling stories? Find out in the New Vintage Ensemble’s latest production, “You’re Invited”, as it makes its world premiere at the upcoming Scranton Fringe Festival.
Developed using material sourced from interviews from dozens of local children, “You’re Invited” tells the story of a new wizard-in-training named Winnie who is given a seemingly impossible task: get the citizens of Wonsaponatown (as-in “once upon a town...”) to stop their distractions and start listening to each other again before The Really Big Huge Fancy Party at the town’s famous library - and before the town itself disappears!
“‘You're Invited’ deals with a problem that a lot of people will relate to - becoming so busy that we forget to take the time to communicate and share our lives with each other. Messages are condensed to 160 characters or fewer, there's only enough time for the bare facts to be related, and too much is left unsaid,” said Director Mollie Dooley. “But when you delve into a great story, you are reminded of the beauty of words and how wonderfully rich language can be. With this project, NVE wanted to help bring people back to the library, to ensure that these classic stories are never forgotten.”
In addition to material sourced from local children, a writing team comprised of ensemble members worked out the storyline to give audiences plenty of opportunities to laugh and connect with their favorite childhood stories.
With unique nods to classic characters, the New Vintage Ensemble reinvents familiar stories and presents them with stylish flair, as seen in previous productions such as “Hamlet”, “Pride & Prejudice”, “Retrospective”, and “Presenting The Spectrettes”.
As for what audiences can expect from “You’re Invited”, Supervising Producer Mandy Pennington noted,
“The characters are so fun and engaging. You’ll see the Big Bad Wolf, Peter Pan, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Mother Goose, and Puss in Boots in ways you’ve never even imagined.”
Additionally, “You’re Invited” explores themes that were common threads in the interviews New Vintage Ensemble conducted at KISS Theater Company, DIVA Productions, and Gaslight Theatre Company.
“Kids spoke to us about their worries, their concerns, what they’re proudest of, what they’re afraid of,” said Pennington. “We wanted to take those ideas and turn them into a story that could connect with audiences while also writing a love letter to the stories we read, heard, and loved as children.”
“With this project, we wanted to create a new play with input from local children at every stage. And boy, did they deliver! They were so enthusiastic. Kids have such a wonderful capacity for invention and creativity, and they gave us so many wonderful ideas to work with,” said Dooley. “We tried to incorporate as many as we could into the show, and I hope that when they see the final production, the kids are pleased with their contributions.”
This interactive and original children’s show showcases a cast of colorful characters working together in an adventure that will delight audiences of all ages.
Performances of “You’re Invited” will take place at the Lackawanna County Children’s Library on Friday, September 29 at 6:00 p.m., Saturday, September 30 at 3:00 p.m., and Sunday, October 1 at 3:00 p.m. Admission is free to all, thanks to the support of the the Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department.
“When I was growing up, the local library was one of my favorite places. All kinds of adventures could be had there, just by picking up a book. And they had thousands of books! So when New Vintage Ensemble was asked to partner with the Scranton Children's Library for this year's Fringe Festival, I was thrilled to revisit some of my favorite childhood stories,” said Dooley. “We have updated some classic characters, who are faced with more modern problems, but audiences will recognize their favorites.”
What: “You’re Invited”
Who: Presented by The New Vintage Ensemble
When: Friday, September 29 at 6:00 p.m. / Saturday, September 30 at 3:00 p.m. / Sunday, October 1 at 3:00 p.m.
Where: The Lackawanna County Children’s Library, 520 Vine St. in Scranton
Tickets: Free admission, thanks to support from the Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Department.
About the New Vintage Ensemble
Founded in 2013, the New Vintage Ensemble is a collective of actors from Northeastern Pennsylvania dedicated to producing innovative and interactive theater while helping the art community of the greater Scranton region thrive. Their distinctive style and passion for engaging audiences has resulted in award-winning and internationally-recognized productions as well as regional premieres of original works. For more information, visit NewVintageEnsemble.com.
About Scranton Fringe
The Scranton Fringe Festival is dedicated to creating a bold and engaging platform for creative and thought provoking art with minimal risk to artist and audience. Regional as well as touring artists will be welcomed to present work with no censorship placed on content or artistic expression while striving to promote Scranton as a viable and creative environment. Learn more at scrantonfringe.org.