FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM DECEMBER 6, 2018 • BUZZ • THE QUEENS COURIER 79
Family Theater Night returns to District 26 schools
BY JENNA BAGCAL
Next month, dozens of students and
their families will get together for a night
of “acting and staging” in Bayside.
On Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 6:30 to 9
p.m., P.S. 41 will host its second Family
Th eater Night, an evening where children
and their families perform short
scenes together on stage.
Th e event was fi rst conceived by Marc
Palmieri, a playwright, screenwriter,
actor, director and Mercy College professor
who also has two daughters in
District 26 schools.
In 2016, Palmieri was approached by
Kim D’Angelo, the family support coordinator
for District 26 schools and Mary
Bow, the parent coordinator at P.S. 41,
who asked him to consider coordinating
an acting event as part of an art series for
Th e three of them brainstormed ideas
and came up with Family Th eater Night,
which was in April 2017. Participants
included elementary, middle and high
school students who attend public
schools in the area along with their parents.
Th is year, Palmieri was given the green
light to do a repeat of the event during
his time off between semesters. Th e educator
said that his colleagues and students
at Mercy College were “so excited”
that he was doing this for a second year.
He added that the experience was fun for
him and serves as a “teaching moment”
Before participants perform, Palmieri
does an initial demonstration and lesson
of basic stage speech, movement
and reading techniques — “all of which
I teach at Mercy College as Th eatre Club
advisor and professor, and which I’ve
done extensively professionally,” he said.
Following the lessons, each group
breaks off into separate rooms and practiced
their scripts for about an hour. He
recalled the “mad writing rush” he experienced
when writing the scripts, each of
which was tailor-made for each group.
“Th e scripts should have interesting
characters, comic elements and nothing
too heavy,” said Palmieri. “Th ere should
also be a central confl ict where the characters
come to some kind of change at
Palmieri shared that he tries to confi rm
the ages and number of people in each
group to better inform his scriptwriting.
In case of last-minute dropouts, he also
has backup scripts on hand.
“I try to make them fun, with material
that can be relatable to students of
a wide range of ages and experiences,”
During rehearsal, Palmieri visits each
group to provide constructive feedback
on things like staging, voice projection
and movement. He said that the skills he
teaches the students, including the nuances
of stagecraft , reading words, listening
and working together, can carry over into
other parts of their lives.
“Th ey’re great skills to have no matter if
you pursue acting or not,” said Palmieri.
In his experience with last year’s event,
Palmieri observed parallels between the
younger students he teaches and his college
students at Mercy.
“Th ey’re both willing to play because
acting is play. It’s part of how we communicate
with others,” he said.
He found that at all levels, there is a
mix of people who have a keen interest
in acting, are unsure about whether they
are interested or not or are afraid when
they fi rst try it.
But when the experience is over, he
said that there are always students who
approach him asking if there is a theater
opportunity in the district, acting classes
and other opportunities.
Registration for Family Th eater Night
ends on Jan. 4. For more information
about the event, contact Kim D’Angelo at
718-631-6905 or at kdangelo4@schools.
Flushing Town Hall presents Red Envelope Show
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
Starting Jan. 5, 2019, Flushing Town
Hall will partner with curator Bert Chau
of the Grumpy Bert gallery for the Red
Envelope Show in honor of the 2019
Lunar New Year and Flushing Town
Hall’s 40th anniversary.
Chau has curated the inventive Red
Envelope in the past in Brooklyn, and
now the global arts institution is soliciting
submissions from local artists, students
and community groups to participate
in the exhibition.
A Red Envelope Show workshop will
also be held on Jan. 13 by Flushing Town
Hall Teaching Artist Tina Seligman. All
are welcome to join to create their own
Th e Red Envelope Show is an homage
to the red celebration envelopes the
Chinese community distributes during
the Lunar New Year. Traditionally,
money is included in the envelopes, but
many past artists have included a special
“mystery” gift or prize. Th is is optional
but an opportunity for participants to
show their creativity.
Submissions by local visual artists will
be displayed and for sale in Flushing
Town Hall’s gallery. All visual artists’
work will be for sale – with 25 percent
of the proceeds going toward Flushing
Town Hall’s visual arts programming.
Pieces by community and school groups
will be displayed throughout the building
for all visitors to enjoy.
Visual artists who would like to participate
in the exhibit, can contact Bert
Chau at email@example.com with the
subject line “Red Envelope 2019” for
details and to receive their blank red
Artists may request more than one
envelope. Red envelopes can also be
picked up from Ellen Kodadek at
Flushing Town Hall located at 137-35
Northern Blvd. All submissions must
be delivered by mail or in person to
Flushing Town Hall by Dec. 14.
Community groups and students can
contact Flushing Town Hall’s Education
Department at ghamilton@fl ushingtownhall.
org for details. All submissions
must be delivered by mail or in person to
Flushing Town Hall by Dec. 21 at noon.
Instructions for all participants:
• Please keep the envelope in VERTICAL
• Please do NOT embellish the fl ap –
that area will be used for hanging.
• Please do NOT seal the envelope.
• Please add a mystery gift , if so desired.
It can fi t into the envelope, or kept separate
• You may focus on the Year of the Pig,
but this is not mandatory.
For more details visit: http://www.
fl ushingtownhall.org/ or by calling 718-
Photo: Facebook/grumpy bert and Flushing Town Hall
Photo courtesy of Marc Palmieri
Marc Palmieri (far left) at the 2017 Family Theater Night.