Running to Places Changes Model

ITHACA, NY – Running to Places, the Ithaca area’s premier youth theatre company, has announced that effective immediately participation in the company is entirely free. Company members will no longer be required to pay to participate in shows.

“This is a reaffirmation of R2P’s core principles: no financial barriers to entry and open to any interested kid,” explains Joey Steinhagen, artistic director. “As an organization, we have rededicated ourselves to our founding principle of universal accessibility.”

In the last seven years, R2P has demonstrated its value to the community: more than 30,000 people have seen its 40 fully staged productions in which more than 500 middle and high schoolers from every school district in the county and many surrounding towns have participated.

Company members receive instruction in theatrical arts such as vocal technique, acting, dance, scenery, and costumes, and they also learn important life skills: meeting real deadlines, collaborating as a team, time management, problem-solving, keeping commitments, and effective communication.

“We want to take the financial burden off of every kid who has something to gain by participating in R2P and throw our doors wide open to them,” says Steinhagen. “We hope community members will offer their support to help ensure universal access to the arts and youth development in our community.” R2P is a 501(c)3 non-profit; donations are welcome and can be made on-line at www.runningtoplaces.org or mailed to 1013 W. State St. Ithaca, NY 14850,

The announcement of the tuition-free policy comes just before auditions for the new season, which launches Jan. 16-18 with Fame at the State Theatre of Ithaca. Daisy Pulls It Off, Feb. 27 – March 1, and The Wizard of Oz ,May 15-17, have venues not yet determined. 13: The Musical, July 9-18 will be at the Kitchen Theatre; the final show of the season, Little Women, Aug. 14-16, will be at Ithaca High School’s Kulp Auditorium.

“It’s a well-rounded season with something for everyone,” says Steinhagen. “We worked hard to offer shows with as many opportunities for as many people as we could. There’s plenty of great roles for both girls and guys and the season includes both contemporary shows kids can relate to as well as classics—and Daisy, which is kind of off-the-beaten path.”

Auditions to participate in R2P’s 2015 season will be held September 27 and 28 at the Just Be Cause Center, 1013 W. State St., Ithaca. No experience is necessary and every one who auditions will be cast in a show. Fame will be open to grades 9-12 while The Wizard of Oz will be open to grades 6-9; all other shows are open to grades 6-12.

This year, R2P auditions will include casting for Physics Fair, a new family musical created by Rachel Lampert and Lesley Greene of the Kitchen Theatre in partnership with the Cornell physics department.

More information about auditions can be found at http://runningtoplaces.org/auditions.html.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.