The first show, Ivory Snow and the Seven Little People, was written by Jodi and featured the talents of about a dozen students performing on a tiny stage in Trumbull Hall, Etna NH. The father of one kid played Beatles songs on his guitar, with new lyrics written by Jodi to fit the play. Flashlights were used as spot lights.
By our third production, Hooked, the cast had grown — as had the scope of the show. Ellen Wilber came on board and began writing original music; Jodi’s son Jake van Leer began co-writing the plays with her. The cast performed at a larger auditorium.
By the time Underland was performed at the Richmond Middle School, the troupe had over thirty kids in the cast, and a full force of adult volunteers working behind the scenes in various production capacities.
Currently, Trumbull Hall Troupe has more than forty kids involved, and has to date raised over $120K for charities that support children. Ellen and Jodi have composed more than 100 songs together. Three of the Trumbull Hall Troupe plays, Over The Moon, Love At First Bite, and When In Rome, are currently published and available for licensing at Playscripts.com. They hope it will inspire other youth theater groups to give back to their own communities!