Jumping Jack Theater Company Press Release

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May 14, 2019


Rebecca Covert

Warrior Run School District, PCCA, and Jumping Jack Theater Administer Special Education Theatre Residency and Sensory-Friendly Performances


Warrior Run School District (WRSD) engaged in an Artist in Residence project administered by Perry County Council of the Arts (PCCA).  This project was made possible through the Arts in Education partnership of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), a state agency, and the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), a federal agency. 


Perry County Council of the Arts is the PCA Arts in Education partner in Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Huntingdon counties.  Teaching artist Rebecca Covert worked with students in all five special education classrooms across WRSD, using theatre and music strategies to help build communication and socialization between peers, support fine and gross motor development, and increase self-confidence and self-expression. 


This residency project is a collaboration between Warrior Run School District, supported by Special Education Services Director Julie Petrin, with classroom support from WRSD special education teachers Tiffany DeRemer, Melissa Hessel, Christopher Carithers, Megan Minnig, and Randi Wilson, as well as, WRSD speech therapists Carrie Vitko and Carrie Prill and visiting artist Rebecca Covert.  Covert a native of McEwensville, Northumberland County. 


WRSD elementary school speech therapist, Carrie Vitko, explains the impact of the project, “A beautiful creative energy and opportunity for some of our most complicated students.  One of my favorite things was to watch Rebecca skillfully capture the offerings of our students that I think others may have missed.  Rebecca is able to see the relevance and value of what our students can give in the moment, and then weave those responses meaningfully into the unfurling work of the session.”


The residency will culminate in two sensory-friendly performances of “Cityscape” by Jumping Jack Theater (JJT), a children’s theater company Covert co-founded with Stephen Santa in Pittsburgh, PA.  Participating students and their families will attend.  This interactive touring show invites the audience to participate in the action via creative movement, music, and sensory play and incorporates social skill and communication supports.  “Cityscape” premise:  When a wily pigeon flies off with M.C.'s most prized treasure, she must leave the comfort of home and cross the big and busy Cityscape to get it back.  From reaching the top of a skyscraper to chasing down a dump truck, audiences help M.C. solve problems and overcome fears as she safely navigates this new environment. 


Press is welcome to attend the “Cityscape” performances on Friday, May 31 at 9:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. at Warrior Run High School, 4800 Susquehanna Trail, Turbotville.


PCCA thanks the generous lead financial supporters of the WRSD Artist Residency – Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Warrior Run School District, and the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation.


PCCA’s Artist in Residence programs require community support through engagement and funding.  To support PCCA and its programs, please visit perrycountyarts.org, call 717-567-7023, or email pcca@perrycountyarts.org.


About Jumping Jack Theater:

Jumping Jack Theater is a children's theater production company in Pittsburgh, PA  that creates original works for audiences who benefit from sensory and autism-friendly strategies.   JJT creates original works using a model that combines the classroom and rehearsal processes.  The company’s sensory-friendly approach to education not only gives students tools to engage with their world but also provides a safe space for creative self-expression.  Students build communication skills and social interaction through   dramatic play, creative movement, and music experiences with our skilled teaching artists.  Students also receive a behind-the-scenes look into creating live theatre and directly contribute to our brainstorming process as we develop new shows.  Feedback from students ensures we create theatrical experiences that best accommodate our audiences.  Please visit www.jumpingjacktheater.org for more information on the company.


About Perry County Council of the Arts

Perry County Council of the Arts’ mission is to build community through the arts. Within this context, PCCA nurtures the creative spirit in adults and children, supports artists and celebrates their successes, enhances the local economy, implements arts education initiatives in seven counties, and has brought vitality to Perry County for more than 35 years.


PCCA Gallery, prominently located on the square in Newport, showcases the fine artwork of more than 188 of the region’s talented artisans. With the assistance of a knowledgeable, passionately committed staff, you can learn the story behind the artwork and discover who the artists are and what drives them to create.


Landis House is located at 67 N. 4th Street in Newport, PA, and holds a fine art and decorative arts collection. It is open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 1-5 p.m., for special events, and by appointment.  Learn more at perrycountyarts.org and find us on Facebook.


About Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
The mission of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) is to foster the excellence, diversity and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state. On October 26, 1966, Governor William D. Scranton signed enabling legislation establishing PCA. Through the provisions of Act No. 538, the Council is charged with “the encouragement and development of the various arts” in the Commonwealth. Funding for the PCA comes from the citizens of Pennsylvania through an annual state appropriation by the General Assembly and from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a federal agency. PCA believes that arts and culture play a vital role in the diverse communities across Pennsylvania. Learn more at www.arts.pa.gov.


For more information on other programs & services provided by the Perry County Council of the Arts (PCCA), please call 717-567-7023 or visit www.perrycountyarts.org. PCCA receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support comes from a growing list of members, and numerous corporations and private foundations throughout central Pennsylvania.

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