Benevilla will join with Theater Works of Peoria to conduct a Puppet Works Program at Wirtzie’s Preschool and Child Care, a Benevilla program.
Chris Hamby of Theater Works will conduct the Puppet Works Program at Wirtzie’s Preschool and Child Care in Surprise at no charge to the children and adults that Benevilla serves. Chris will come on-site once each week for twelve weeks and work with the children and adults to develop the puppets, prepare a play, rehearse, and then perform the play for parents, caregivers, and the community.
The Wirtzie’s children and Benevilla adults will be involved in every phase of the production – learning how puppets are made, writing a script, assigning parts, designing a set, inviting people to the production, and performing.
All of these activities will increase the children’s and adults’ understanding of and love for the theater and the arts. The activities will teach them new skills in an intergenerational setting, help them learn about the history of puppetry in the US and throughout the world, develop their small and large motor skills, improve their hand-eye coordination, and give them a goal to achieve together while having fun and bonding with one another.
Wirtzie’s provides quality childcare in a stimulating, developmentally-appropriate learning environment that improves children’s health and well-being. Wirtzie’s provides licensed childcare for up to 80 children ages one to five years in specially-designed classrooms with an effective and proven educational curriculum, development play structures, and an outdoor playground.
One of the unique and exciting aspects of Wirtzie’s is the Intergenerational Program, through which Wirtzie’s brings children together with senior clients who attend Benevilla’s Lucy Anne’s Place – one of six Benevilla Adult Day Centers.
Benevilla’s was the first childcare program in Arizona to build a space for intergenerational programming. The children and adults typically interact five times each week through a number of activities including playing games, learning their letters to prepare for kindergarten, and reading together.
Chris Hamby, has been working in the valley theater community for the past 16 years. Chris currently works as the Director of Education and Outreach and director of Puppet Works for Theater Works. He is a nine time AriZoni recipient with nearly 85 directing credits. Some of the places he has worked include Phoenix Theatre, East Valley Children’s Theatre, GreasePaint Youth Theatre, Phoenix Center Youth Theater and Vagabond Youth Theater. Chris has also worked an intern with both Childsplay and the Seattle Children’s Theatre. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the AriZoni Theatre Awards and the Arizona Thespians.
Founded in 1986, Theater Works is a non-profit theater company that serves arts patrons from around the Valley and state and strives to present the most professional stage performances for theater goers of all ages. Its mission is to provide opportunities for children, patrons and artists to experience theater that inspires, enriches and enlightens their lives through the celebration of the performing arts.