Fall 2023 Message from HAA Co-Directors:
We’re thrilled to share this year’s roster of touring work and celebrate the 40th anniversary of Holden & Arts Associates. Over these last four decades, our offerings have varied and shifted, but our mission of sharing stories and creating partnerships remains at the core of all that we do. As the leaders of HAA since 2017, Spring, Stacy and Sarah are emboldened by the company’s history and inspired for our shared future. The last six years have brought intense challenges but also incredible opportunities for reaching audiences in new ways, developing new work, and supporting each other in times of crisis.
We share this roster at a time when many organizations continue to face immense challenges. We know there is a need to bring in and retain audience members. We know there is a need for more funding support for venues and artists to help combat the higher costs of presenting and touring. We know the political divide and legislation in many communities adds more challenges to programming meaningful work, especially for young people.
And yet, we know there are opportunities too. We are thrilled to welcome back several of our past international companies like Visible Fictions and Terrapin with brand new work, well adapted for touring in North America. We’re excited for newer partnerships with US based companies like Chicago Children’s Theater, Honolulu Theatre for Youth and 123 Andrés. We are also proud of the deep and long relationships with the other artists reflected in our 24-25 line-up. These are all artists who believe in the power of impacting young people and families through performance. This is a roster full of opportunities.
These productions bring classic characters to life: from a family of Gruffalos in The Gruffalo’s Child, to Peter Rabbit and Tom Kitten in Peter Rabbit & Friends, to Hamlet and Ophelia in Hotel Elsinore, to Peter Pan and Wendy Darling in Underneath a Magical Moon. These stories are well-loved by teachers and families alike and are brought to the stage with fresh insight and imagination.
There is stunning and surprising artistry, with images and characters that will live on in the audience’s mind long after the show: Life sized elephants in The Vanishing Elephant. A crafty fire in The Paper Escaper. An astonishingly pink carpet in The Problem With Pink. There is live music that can transport you to the deep woods of Northern Ireland in When We Were Wild, the salt ponds of Kauai in The Pa’akai We Bring, an escape on the Underground Railroad in Finding North, or the beaches of South America with 123 Andrés. There is an invitation to play and think outside the proscenium with the interactive work I See You Like This and the rich residency offerings from many of our artists.
And there are brave young people, with stories that reflect the challenges youth face today and offer hope, empathy and support. In Hero: The Boy From Troy, we see a young John Lewis discover his path, ultimately becoming an inspiration for generations. In Clunk!, we see Andy and his family come together after a period of fear and isolation. In The Boy Who Sing Pictures, Lucas risks danger to share his incredible gift that brings joy to his community. In Eddie and Vinnie, Eddie struggles with his dyslexia until he discovers the strength of his unique mind. And on the shores of Magic Beach, Sally rediscovers the magic of childhood despite her growing up.
We hope these shows will galvanize you with their combination of excellence and educational value. They have so much to offer and are worth investing in. Now is the time for imagination. Now is the time for artistry. Now is the time for bravery.
We look forward to meeting with you in person at the different conferences and working closely with you all on well routed tours, resident activities, and connecting with your audiences in and outside of the school and theater. It is our honor to work in this field and to bring the performing arts into the hearts and minds of millions. Here’s to the next forty years!
Spring, Stacy, and Sarah