Department of Theatre and Film
Treehouse Troupe Program Description
The Treehouse Troupe of the BGSU Department of Theatre & Film is a major outreach project that encompasses the University goals of education, service, and research/creative activity. In its more than 25 years, Treehouse Troupe has performed nearly 1,200 shows and presented nearly 3,000 workshops for over 300,000 students, teachers, and public audiences.
Treehouse Troupe began in 1979 as a graduate student project to share the talents of the BGSU Theatre Department faculty, staff, and students with the local community. Throughout the past three decades Treehouse Troupe has grown in popularity and as an important educational resource for schools throughout Northwest Ohio.
Treehouse Troupe is organized as an undergraduate theatre class and the cast meets Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the spring semester. In the first half of the semester Troupe members learn the scripts, develop their characters, prepare teacher study guides, and rehearse the two Treehouse Troupe plays – one play for elementary schools and a second play for older students. Graduate students are often enlisted to direct the plays and design the sets and costumes.
Once the plays are rehearsed, costumes are made, and scenery is built, the Troupe begins to tour the Northwest Ohio region. Students explore the challenges and joys of touring plays to area schools. BGSU students run creativity workshops in the schools visited, encouraging students to get out of their seats and explore their own creativity through dramatic improvisation. Study guides allow teachers to connect the program to classroom lessons in vocabulary, history, creative writing, and more.
Treehouse Troupe is often the first and sometimes the only live drama many children in Northwest Ohio encounter during elementary school. The rural population we serve needs a memorable introduction to performance and Treehouse Troupe provides this outlet. With the reduction of funds and increase in testing limiting cultural field trips for schools, Treehouse Troupe provides an essential service by bringing theatre to schools.
Each spring the award-winning Treehouse Troupe tours elementary schools throughout northwest Ohio. Members of the troupe perform and conduct classroom workshops in participating schools.
Sample Treehouse Troupe Tour Stops
Grand Rapids, OH
Huber Heights, OH
Bowling Green, OH
Kelley’s Island, OH
Liberty Center, OH
Upper Sandusky, OH
New Riegel, OH