Fantasy Playhouse uses grant for technical theater lab – The Madison Record

HUNTSVILLE – Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater and Academy has received a $25,000 grant, which has already benefited the organization.

The grant announcement included State Senator Tom Butler of Madison, State Senator Sam Givhan of Huntsville and State Representative Howard Sanderford of Huntsville, as well as members of the Resource Conservation and Development Council of the Alabama Mountains Rivers Valleys organization.

The council grant helped launch the Fantasy Playhouse Technical Theater STE(A)M Lab. (STE(A)M stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.) The lab will provide students with hands-on learning opportunities to master the basics of technical theater. Students will learn color theory; sound engineering and design; lighting design; rigging; sets; and costume design.

With the funds, Fantasy Playhouse purchased a teacher workstation and several student workstations, involving equipment such as computer towers, monitors, microphones, tablets, sound mixers and software.

Butler credited Fantasy Playhouse for taking the initiative to raise funds and supporting additional tools to help mentor younger generations interested in art and production.

“I’m glad to see these funds going to Fantasy Playhouse,” Butler said. “They have a wonderful program, and I can’t wait to see all of their continued progress and success.”

Givhan praised the staff at Fantasy Playhouse for their hard work. “As more and more young people come through your doors. . . this is an opportunity to teach STE(A)M skills that are in high demand in northern Alabama,” Givhan said.

Sanderford said the Tech Theater Learning Lab was impressive and thanked Fantasy Playhouse for reaching out to the community in so many ways.

Karen Mockensturm, executive director of Fantasy Playhouse, said she was excited to use the theater’s technical learning lab and provide industry-level performing arts education.

“We will be able to teach audio engineering, sound design, set design, color theory for costume design and many other skills with this equipment,” Mockensturm said. “I want to thank (the council) and the Madison County legislators for all of their support in helping to fund this program and other programs we have offered over the years.”

Fantasy Playhouse provides access to the theater arts through production, education and outreach, reaching over 31,000 residents each year, including 21,000 children and youth. Core programs include live theater productions for children, classes, camps, workshops, and a preschool fine arts program. For more information, visit

Established by the Farm Act of 1962, the Resource Conservation and Development Board offers a program that enables rural people to help themselves. Alabama has eight RC&D councils statewide. For more information, visit

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