Trumbull Hall Troupe was founded in 2004 by Jodi Picoult and Marjorie Rose to provide kids with a fun, educational theater experience that could also contribute to improving the lives of children less fortunate. In an effort to give back to the community, every year shows’ net proceeds are donated to area charities. In fact, when you buy a ticket for performances, you can choose which charity will receive your funds. In the past decade, the troupe has donated over $120K to kids in need in the Upper Valley, and around the world.
Like other theater groups, we want to amaze and astound the audience; we want to produce a great show. But we also want our efforts to be bigger than ourselves – and we take that mission very seriously. Our first and core charity, the Zienzele Foundation, is a VT-based organization that provides support to HIV-AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe. In addition to giving them funds each year, many of our kids become pen-pals with the orphans in Zimbabwe that Zienzele supports. We also champion other local charities and try to give back any way we can. Since 2012, to help support the CHaD Hero Half Marathon, our cast has performed to rally the runners before the big race. And since 2014 our cast and crew put on theatre workshops for the kids at the Upper Valley Haven which they look forward to each year. We give net show proceeds to these two charities in addition to Zienzele.
Trumbull Hall Troupe works with a cast comprised of students in grade 6 through grade 12. For over a decade, the troupe’s shows were original productions written by Jodi Picoult and Ellen Wilber, who joined the troupe as resident composer in 2006. The troupe currently performs licensed musicals, plus any future shows written by Picoult/Wilber.
Once a year, open auditions are held for open spots in the troupe. Students who are accepted may range from those who are extremely talented with lots of experience, to theatre newcomers that the creative team sees as having potential. If accepted, a student must sign a Code of Conduct, and have it co-signed by a parent/guardian. All official members of the troupe audition in August for the fall show.
Trumbull Hall Troupe is a volunteer organization, which means that the adults on the production staff donate their time and energy to create a dynamic experience for the kids. To that end, parents are required to participate in various parts of the process – from sewing costumes to set painting. We also welcome the contributions of adults who love theater but who don’t have kids in the troupe. The friends and family who are committed to helping us achieve our goals are vital to our community.