(Updated 1/27/20) The Traveling Players Ensemble now has its first permanent indoor facility since the organization’s founding 18 years ago. And it’s in Tysons.
Located in Tysons Corner Center, adjacent to the former Lord and Taylor spot on level one, the 42,000-square-foot studio serves as a practice spot for kids involved in the theater group, according to Jeanne Harrison, the founder and artistic program director of Traveling Players.
The studio opened on Jan. 11 and Harrison said it hosted 10 events within the first three days.
The studio’s current location in the mall previously held a restaurant called the Magic Pan in the 80s’ where Harrison said she was both a waitress and hostess in 1987 and 1988.
On weekends, roughly 30 kids participating in the program will gather and practice for upcoming performances, according to Harrison.
In March, Traveling Players Ensemble will debut two performances at Tysons Corner Center, including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Students put in anywhere from three to upwards of six hours of work per week at the facility, depending on age, Harrison said.
With a 70% retention rate between age groups, Harrison said Traveling Players Ensemble’s retention rate is high because the group focuses on the students’ development.
“They get what I like to call ‘experiential learning,'” she said.
Going forward, the center will host a spring break camp as well as summer camps.
“We are baby-stepping our way through this,” Harrison said, adding that they are still figuring out requirements for indoor practice — which is a shift from the group’s typical outdoor programming.
Parents who register their kids before Feb. 11 will receive a competitive discount, according to Harrison.
Photo courtesy Jeanne Harrison