Hope Hoffman's Town Hall Theater Group
Building Community through Music, Theater and Dance.
Enriching School Curriculum
Classes and Workshops
Increasing confidence, self-esteem and eagerness to learn, while expanding students' knowledge and enjoyment of performing arts.
Encouraging self-directed and expressive learning.
Inspiring people to meet creative and technical challenges with enthusiasm.
The Town Hall Theater Group was founded in 2002, and has given 34 performances of 14 original scripts written by Hope Hoffman.
These original productions combine clowning, dance, music, comedy, creative movement and poetry.
Live music is featured in all events and projects.
We have produced shows in town halls, grange halls, and small performance venues in Brunswick, Bowdoinham, Gardiner, Baily Island, and Farmington, and look forward to bringing lively, original theater to many more Maine towns.
Many of the shows have included young performers and community members.
We can re-stage many of our previous shows, so if you see one listed here that you'd like to see performed please click here to contact us.
No stage or equipment is required; we have acoustic musicians and freestanding sets and props.
We also offer interactive theater performances with live music.
For a résumé of past performances, please click here.
We can perform anywhere, especially in small venues (town halls, grange halls, schools, etc.); no electrical equipment, lighting etc. is required.
To see descriptions of previous shows, please click here.
Community theater projects
Create a new show in collaboration with writer/director Hope Hoffman and a musician. This is an opportunity for everyone in the community to have fun together, express their ideas and feelings, and explore their world and relationships in a unique way.
Community performance projects are for
all ages and levels of experience. They can involve music and song,
dialogue, movement, and the creation of props and scenery, and easily
include collaborations with artists of many mediums.
Classes and workshop sessions are highlighted by the participants ultimately performing their creations for the community.
Projects can be arranged through school programs, community workshops and classes, senior citizens' activities, and many other venues.
Each project will be unique, and make use of the particular qualities of performance spaces and participants. It is designed to celebrate and expand every person's ideas and abilities.
The show can be about any topic of interest to the group. Themes for performances could include the cycle of seasons, travel, health and medicine, and any other topics important to the participants. Interviews and conversations will be an important part of the creative process.
Hope Hoffman has written several scripts which are available to use as starting points or "sketches" to begin the development a show. Through the creative process, the ideas and inventions of the participants will transform the script and make it their own.
To see descriptions of previous community projects, please click here.
Enjoyment and advocacy of local foods with the Potluck Performance Series
Over the years, the Town Hall Theater Group shows were nicknamed the "Potluck Performance Series," because we served food produced by local farmers and bakers, and held potlucks before the shows. Free, farm-fresh snacks were provided by the Bowdoinham Community Food Project, and admission to the show was free if you brought a potluck dish to share.
The Potluck Performance Series celebrates and revitalizes the tradition of gathering in our old, beautiful town halls and grange halls, and of eating local produce and baked goods.
We welcome opportunities to hold more of these events in towns throughout Maine. Please let us know if your community would like to host a theater and/or music show as part of your own potluck event.
~ Audience Responses from Kids and Adults ~
To Hope Hoffman's Town Hall Theater Group Performances
"A testament to the imagination."
"It's 'A Prairie Home Companion' meets 'Alice in Wonderland'!"
"Terrific show! A wonderful, uplifting evening."
"Very refreshing! Enjoyed it thoroughly."
"Mindful entertainment for all types. A cultural experience for a small town."
"Winsome, emphatic, wiggly, sweet."
"An evening (or afternoon) of talent and hilarity. Surrealist children's theater?"
"A beautiful first class dancer and musician. Come, and be delighted!!"
"Fabulous, silly and fun."
"Hope's remarkable artistic versatility complements the grace of her dancing. Her show is ambitious, surprising, and entertaining."
"I am always inspired by the spirited commitment Hope Hoffman and her ensemble bring to a community thirsty for culture and good clean fun!"
What makes Hope Hoffman's performing arts education unique?
Live music: Students have the opportunity to interact with a musician, which enriches their creative experience and listening skills.
Movement for learning: Dance movement is a fun, direct way to facilitate healthy mental, social, emotional and physical development. While stretching our physical muscles, we exercise our potential as imaginative, confident and focused learners.
Variety of styles: As a dancer, Hope introduces students to movement ideas they might not have discovered before, and encourages personal expression and style. The same goes for music, with styles ranging from Swing to Swedish!
Teaching mission: We encourage self-directed and expressive learning, which can be applied to any subject matter. This love of learning is nurtured in a performing arts setting, as we exchange knowledge and share enthusiasm with students.
As a lifelong student of dance, music and writing, I've enjoyed both their simple pleasures and long-term health benefits. My instinct to pass this on is also a large part of my teaching.
I introduce students to ideas they might not
have discovered before, and strongly encourages students to explore their
own ideas and follow their own style of creative expression. My teaching style
is relaxed and encouraging, and also detailed and engaging. My training in
the Montessori method keeps me aware of my role as a keen observer and compassionate
guide in the student's journey of learning, and I continually seek out ways
to offer each student a balance of challenge and success.
I view all students as capable, expressive, independent people who are interested in the surrounding community. In classes and group projects, students learn to work as partners and as teams, asserting their ideas while being attuned and connected to the other students.
Some more wonderful things about it ...
It's Fun! Discover the delight of working creatively with live music.
It's Culture! Kids will see how theater and music can be lively parts of the community.
It's Learning! With hands-on projects and creative movement exercises, students fully engage themselves in the learning process.
It's for all levels of experience - I've taught many classes for people who are trying things out for the first time, and for people who are longtime performing arts students.
Ways you can arrange classes and events:
Enrich existing school curriculum: Enhance kids' enjoyment and understanding of any subject: Reading, math, history, music, theater, physical education and many others. With movement and music led by Hope, kids love learning challenging material presented in an active, involving format. An experienced tutor, Hope also offers private and group tutoring through movement, theater and music. She works as a visiting artist and artist in residence, and offers after-school classes as well as ongoing classes incorporated into the school day.
Community theater projects: Create a show in collaboration with Hope and a musician. Explore a topic through movement, props, dialogue and song. The show can be about any topic of interest to the group. A highlight of our work so far has been working with grade school students, to write and perform two music and dance shows about the history of the town of Bowdoinham, Maine.
Performances of storytelling, music and dance are warm, personable and ideal for small venues and family events. You can choose from many shows and can have excerpts of various lengths of time. Solo and group theater pieces dance, music, poetry, comedy, and innovative styles of audience involvement.
Class sessions of varying lengths, ranging from every other week to daily classes, at public and private schools, home schools, and community centers.
Workshops at practically
any venue including schools, libraries, seminars, birthday parties, retreats,
camps, family gatherings and festivals.