Our Very Own Proscenium Theater

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What kind of theater? Proscenium. Yes, you heard it right! In Burlington we have our very own, very local, much loved, proscenium theater: The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. This week our first grade, second grade, and STEP classes have been visiting the Flynn for a “backstage” tour and workshop. It’s an educational and amazing experience that usually happens early in the school year to support student learning. This trip acquaints the students with the theater before they attend a performance. It is somewhat like a performance sandwich. First our students head to the theater for a very intimate tour of the theater when it is closed, followed by attending a live performance, and then ending with a follow-up companion workshop in their classroom that extends the performance they have seen. This layered theater experience creates a fuller experience for our students and helps educate them about the basic elements of theater, paid for by a grant to the Flynn Center from the Turrell Fund.
In modern theaters, the audience is usually separated from the performers by the proscenium arch. In proscenium theaters, the proscenium arch is a permanent feature of the structure and frames the stage. The audience looks directly at the stage in an area known as the auditorium or the house. The Flynn is a proscenium theater because of the way the seating is designed in the auditorium. The IAA stage is also a proscenium stage . The students at IAA learned all about this on their backstage tours this week. They also learned the history behind the terms upstage, downstage, backstage, offstage, dressing rooms and green room. Ask one of our younger students to tell you about their new knowledge.

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