Next week at the Gaillard, eighteen local kids will get the opportunity to collaborate with Storytree Children’s Theatre’s Teaching Artists and local jazz musician Charlton P. Singleton (aka, The Jazz Man) to create an original play about Charleston’s own Jenkins Orphanage Band.
The Jenkins Orphanage was founded by Reverend Daniel Jenkins in 1891 in Charleston SC. A businessman and a Baptist Minister who decided to open an Orphanage in the church after encountering homeless kids in the street. In order to pay for the kids’ needs, however, he started a band; the band that became known as The Jenkins Orphanage Band.
“This Jazzy Theatre camp is the vision of Sterling DeVries,” Teralyn Reiter says. “She had the idea of bringing the talents of Storytree and the talents of Charlton together in order to create a one-of-a-kind experience that teaches students about the rich musical roots of Charleston.”
Lead by Singleton and dedicated Storytree teaching artists, students will work with a variety of instruments and learn the history of jazz in Charleston, and write an original play based on The Jenkins Orphanage Band that incorporates the music and dances of the time period into the production. Together, Storytree and Singleton are using the book, Hey, Charleston! The True Story of the Jenkins Orphanage Band, to guide the kids in their playwriting.
Then, students will add the finishing touches by designing and painting a set and creating costumes, culminating in a performance of their play for invited family and friends on the Gaillard stage—while being accompanied by live local jazz musicians.
Famous jazz musicians that came out of the orphanage, including Cat Anderson, Freddie Green, Rufus Speedy Jones and Duke Ellington, will be part of the focus of the camp.
“A lot of major jazz musicians have their roots that lead right to the Jenkins Orphanage Band created right here in Charleston,” Reiter says. “Being able to allow the children to explore their own history and artistic talents is a treat and we are so excited to help bring this vision to life and work with the Jazz Man himself. It’s going to be such a cool week!”
Visit this link for more information or contact Teralyn Reiter or Sterling deVries for additional details.
About Storytree Children’s Theatre:
Proudly based in Charleston, SC, Storytree Children’s Theatre is a 501(c)(3) children’s theatre that makes theatre accessible for children of all ages and backgrounds, with an emphasis on fostering mind, body, and imaginative development through custom school residencies, engaging after school programming and original touring productions.
About Gaillard Education Initiative:
The Gaillard Education Initiative partners with area school teachers and administration, performing arts agencies, and college professors and leaders to ensure the creation of targeted programs that help youth of all ages gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed in every area of their lives.