For more than 10 years, the Little Black Box Theatre Company’s mission has been “Teaching Character to Build Character.” The not-for-profit youth theatre provides youth instruction for children and young adults of all abilities in Boone and surrounding counties.
“The idea is to provide a space for kids no matter their talent level or ability to explore, gain confidence, build camaraderie and learn a little about themselves and others through a safe acting environment,” says Emily Wolfgang, artistic director.
The organization was formed in the summer 2012, received its not-for-profit status in 2015 and is celebrating a decade of introducing the arts to area children. Wolfgang says a little black box can have anything inside it, just like the children at Little Black Box Theatre Company. She hopes the company reminds students that we are all unique and significant in this world and that they, too, have a voice and ideas that deserve to be heard.
Programming includes private lessons in singing, acting, audition prep, ukulele, dance, movement, tumbling, and sewing. The Black Box Bozos are the largest Jr. Joey clown group in the U.S. The Bozos spend class time learning and practicing circus skills such as juggling, unicycle, slackline, tumbling, lyra and comedy routines. The Conservatory at Black Box is a program geared toward high school students looking for more professional experience and who want to take their skills to the next level.
Students are already gearing up for holiday shows. A Christmas Carol will play Dec. 16-18 at The Little Black Box Theatre and the production will star children in grades five through eight.
“We have two different shows for two different age groups,” Wolfgang says. “This means we have younger children playing roles that would normally in other theatre organizations go to older teenagers.”
Wizard of Oz is the spring production and includes children from pre-K through eighth grade. Early bird registration begins on Dec. 6 and standard registration begins on Dec. 20.
“The spring production is a little different,” Wolfgang says. “We have about 100 kids who participate in that show. There are different ensembles based on age level. There is a cost to participate, but the cost reflects the amount of rehearsal time.”
Since the theatre is a not-for-profit organization, scholarships are made possible by community sponsors so any child who wants to participate and learn is welcome. While many students are Lebanon residents, the theatre also has attendees from Zionsville, Western Boone, Traders Point, and homeschools.
“Over the last ten years, it’s been so wonderful to see the community of kids grow,” Wolfgang says. “Some attend college and major in musical theatre or perform in musical theatre. Some take our classes to gain confidence and learn about themselves, which is also wonderful. I’m extremely proud that our program takes kids of all talent levels and anyone with any disabilities, as well.”
The Little Black Box Theatre is located at 392 Mt. Zion Road Lebanon, IN 46052. For more information about tickets or registration, you can visit blackboxtheatreco.com or call them at 765-335-2333.