Thursday, April 18, 2013

PUMPKIN THEATRE FINDS NEW HOME, EXPANDS PROGRAMMING

Pumpkin Theatre has signed a multi-year contract with the Har Sinai Congregation, at 2905 Walnut Avenue Owings Mills, Maryland 21117, and will move there this summer.

"This is a very exciting time for us", says Jimi Kinstle, Pumpkin's Producing Artistic Director, "St. Timothy's has been a wonderful partner for over a decade, but the opportunity with Har Sinai allows us to consolidate all of our programming and offices on one site, create a community drama school and extend the Main Stage season to six productions, plus, it's just up the street from our current facility." The 62,000 sq/ft facility at Har Sinai was built in 2002 and features a beautiful 11-acre campus, large playground and over 200 parking spaces.

Next season Pumpkin Theatre will expand to six productions on the Main Stage, but two will be new "Kids for Kids" productions, one production featuring a performance with all children performers and a second production, a partnership with CENTERSTAGE's Young Playwrights Festival (YPF) which features plays written by children, for children.

"YPF is all about kids making theatre, and how transformative that can be. We're thrilled to partner with Pumpkin Theatre to expand the reach of these remarkable plays by some very talented young people," says Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director of CENTERSTAGE. During productions multiple Birthday Party Rooms will be available.

"We want patrons to come, have a picnic, go to the craft room, see a show, play on playground and spend the day with us. It's more than just about seeing a show, it's about a community experience", says Kinstle.

"It gives me great pleasure to welcome Pumpkin Theatre to Har Sinai Congregation," says Stewart Sachs, president of Har Sinai Congregation, "For many years I have had the pleasure of taking my grandchildren to see their wonderful productions.

“Being able to be a part of introducing the young people in our community to the magic of theater is very special to all of us. We are pleased to partner with this wonderful arts organization and look forward to being a part of their continued growth."

Pumpkin Theatre's Education programs will also expand next season with the goal of creating a Community Drama School. With five available classrooms, Creative Drama 1 & 2 classes will expand, weekday classes added, after school classes for older children, plus master classes and workshops on a variety of theatrical experiences will be available. A full list of classes is due to be posted in August.

"This is an incredible opportunity" says, Ana Goldseker, Board President for Pumpkin Theatre, "the facility offers many possibilities to expand the patron's experience".

"We'll need help from the community" Goldseker continues, "We have to refit a theater and need help finding funding for new equipment". The negotiation for the facility was the brain storm of Pumpkin Board Member and Business Consultant Julie Karpa.

"These are two great chances for our patrons to come experience the facility before we start productions there next season", says Pumpkin Business Manager Stacey Needle, "we'll be able to provide more and better services for our patrons. These two events will wonderful 'getting to know you' opportunities."

"We at Har Sinai Congregation are so very excited about our new partnership with Pumpkin Theatre. It truly is a beshert moment to be able to build the bridge between our youth and the quality programming presented by Pumpkin Theatre. We look forward to joining them in their presentations and utilizing their talents and resources to better enhance our events as well," says Rabbi Benjamin Sharff of Har Sinai Congregation.

"The community has been so supportive of Pumpkin these past 45 years", says President Goldseker, "we're excited to be able to expand on the successes of the past with an eye on the future. We want the next 45 years to be even more exciting".

The new lease goes into effect July 1, 2013, and is for three years with another three year option. Pumpkin Theatre will open its 46th Season at Har Sinai on October 5th.