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Stars of the stage

Premiering on stage in 2002, Very Merry Theatre or VMT is a Vermont-based theater company for children and teenagers, ages 6-18. Each year, the company's talented young thespians collaborate on the performance of classical drama and literature including works by Shakespeare, Dickens, Barrie, Carroll, Shelley, Burnett, Twain, Baum and many others, plus great Broadway musicals.

During the summer months, the centerpiece of Very Merry Theatre is a unique, 19th century style traveling theater wagon, complete with a fold-out stage, which is transported to community settings, transforming local parks into live theater venues for performances.

Theater organizers strive to bring the excitement and the pageantry of live theater to audiences throughout Vermont, so the task-while it may look easy-must be daunting.

VMT also produces school and community shows year round as well as hosting the state's WigWag Festival, a one-of-a-kind performing arts festival for Burlington area children.

Very Merry's permanent home is called "333" and is located in Burlington's old North End.

The acting company has four seasonal sessions that include productions, workshops, classes and special events and performances. Hundreds of Vermont children have cut their teeth on stage in productions such as "Cinderella", "Frankenstein", "The Velveteen Rabbit", "Willy Wonka" and "Twelfth Night".

Each Very Merry Theatre show features sets designed and created by crew members, period costumes, and original or traditional music performed live for our audiences.

In addition to director, founder, writer and lyricist Don Wright, the company is fortunate to have many local and visiting artists, directors, musicians and choreographers who work with the company throughout the year.

An important part of VMT's mission is to provide teaching in literacy as well as all the performing arts. Most importantly, the company strives to enhance the self-esteem, confidence, and skill of all the children involved in productions, workshops and classes.

Check It Out: There are many ways to become a part of the VMT experience. To become a contributing member, artist, host, sponsor or camper, contact thee acting company at 863-6607 or write to Very Merry Theatre, 119 Spruce St., Burlington, Vt. 05401. Thanks to VMT for proving this newspaper with this information

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