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Texas State History Comes to Life in Touring Theatre Production

Bright Star Touring Theatre Comes to Texas with its Show: “Legends of the Lone Star State.”

Bright Star Theatre Logo

Georgetown,Texas (PR MediaRelease) December 1, 2016

It is no secret that Texans are proud of their heritage.  That is why, every March, school children from Amarillo to Brownsville celebrate Texas History Month.  This year, Bright Star Touring Theatre will be helping Texas’ schools, libraries and theaters celebrate the legends, heroes and tall tales that make up Texas History with their brand new live theater show Legends of the Lone Star State.  From Stephen F. Austin to Barbara Jordan, from the Legend of the Bluebonnet to Pecos Bill, Legends of the Lone Star State weaves together the stories and heroes that make Texans so proud.

Though Bright Star is headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina, the company has roots deep in the heart of Texas.  Josh Batenhorst, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, grew up in the Panhandle where his family has roots for four generations. “My great grand-parents came to the high plains from Germany by way of Nebraska and most of my family still calls the Panhandle home. I know first hand how proud Texans are of their heritage, but what a lot of people are surprised about is how much Texans appreciate the arts.”  Batenhorst studied theatre at Southwestern University in Georgetown before pursuing a Masters in Business Administration at Wake Forest University.  “The arts are an incredible tool for teaching students, engaging them and getting them excited about learning.”

Batenhorst should know.  He was a theater teacher and arts integration specialist in public schools for thirteen years before joining Bright Star.  “I still believe deeply that the best way to reach kids is to teach through the arts.” Batenhorst still works part-time as a teaching fellow with A+ Schools of North Carolina, the nation’s longest-running school improvement model that focuses on the arts. “I have taught students and teachers all across the country and I have seen how powerful theatre can be for students. It teaches students how to listen, how to read visual cues, how to be a part of the team.  I know that I would have been a terrible student if it wasn’t for things like theater and athletics.”

Batenhorst isn’t the company’s only member to call Texas home.  Chief Creative Officer, Tina Ostergaard, grew up in Gatesville and graduated with a BFA in Acting from Texas State. “Theatre was a big part of growing up in Texas and now Bright Star and theatre have taken me all over the world.  I feel like no matter where I go, I take Texas with me.  I’m so excited that our company is going to Texas so that a new generation of students can be inspired by theater.”

Bright Star Touring Theater started in 2003 with a single show – A Dickens Tale – a two-person version of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol.  From there, the company has grown to perform for over 1500 audiences per year across the United States and abroad.  From Seattle, Washington to Moscow, Russia the company has gained a reputation as one of the premiere touring companies in the world.  “We concentrate on stories with a strong character education message, but we also want to be entertaining and exciting,” says company founder and CEO David Ostergaard (and husband to CCO, Tina Ostergaaard).  “Our company is about inspiring students to challenge themselves, their friends and their families to be inclusive, courageous, and to value hard work.  We can’t wait to bring our shows to new audiences in Texas.”

Legends of the Lone Star State will tour Texas from March through April.  The 45 minute show features two professionally accredited actors, lively costumes and a set that is designed to fit any venue.  “We have performed from small media centers in rural libraries, to 1400 seat theaters,” says Batenhorst.  “We pride ourselves on being easy to work with.”  The actors come prepared with two other shows in addition to Legends of the Lone Star State.  Aesop’s Fables features classic tales such as “the tortoise and the hair,” and Upcycled Cinderella, the company’s hilarious take on the fairy tale classic.  Batenhorst adds, “Venues can choose one, two or all three!”

Spaces are filling fast so schools, libraries and theaters are encouraged to call now to reserve their spot.  Interested parties can visit www.brightstartheatre.com, or call 336-558-7360 for more details.

 

Bright Star Touring Theatre specialized in literary, curriculum and character education based works. From their home in Asheville, North Carolina Bright Star serves more than 1500 audiences annually across two continents. Owned by an Emmy-winning actor, Bright Star is routinely seen at the National Theatre in Washington DC and venues across the country.

Josh Batenhorst
Bright Star Touring Theatre
Chief Operating Officer
336-558-7360
josh@brightstartheatre.com

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