Dallas Children's Theater Blog

Astonishing Kids And Families With The Fun of Broadway-Like Plays and A Lot More!

Why Judging A Book By Its Cover is Flawed…

There are ma_KA34612ny lessons to be gathered from Roald Dahl’s stories. His giant imagination and child-like acceptance of worlds that defy logic help us to digest very real lessons. Dahl may not be the best to reinforce stranger danger (if a giant or life-size bugs show up at your house, your children should NOT go with them), but one of the greatest lessons is that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

We visited with two librarian friends recently who had something specific to say about this lesson:

Christina Hudman, Oak Lawn Public Library

I would say the main message of The Big Friendly Giant is don’t always judge people on what they look like or how they appear, because you might make a friend out of the most unlikely person.

Star Kulp, Children’s Librarian at the Timber Glen Branch

The main message of The Big Friendly Giant is that not all scary-seeming _KA18695_cropthings are scary, and with a little pluck and a little luck, you can get some big things done.

There’s definitely a theme here. Imagine young Sophie, gazing out the window as she did each day and suddenly finding a giant peering back at her. That’s scary. As she cautiously got to know him, though, she came to realize that he had an important job — to guard her dreams. He had no interest at all in eating her. He was a vegetarian, after all. She then summoned her bravery and followed her gut, and together they embarked on an unforgettable journey.

Fear exists for a reason. It keeps our guard up and warns us against potential danger. Sometimes, however, our fear prevents us from trying new things. These experiences in which we have to take a step into the unknown almost always prove to be the most rewarding.

As we talk about not judging a book by its cover, let’s examine the Giant’s appearance. He looks odd. Even if he wasn’t four times the size as a human, he’s got those ears! He’s not exactly approachable. To speak frankly, he just looks different than the rest of us. As a rule, we aren’t drawn to people who don’t share our similarities. We don’t even try to relate to them. We judge them before ever interacting with them.

That’s sad.

_KA18451What if we were the one that looked different? How would we want people to treat us? The BFG opens our hearts in a way that tells us we can’t always trust our eyes. Everything we teach about manners and kindness takes a backseat to our fear of the unknown, which is totally based on what we see. We instead listen to our inner voice that says, “They’re sick, they’re homeless, they’re different, they’re dangerous.”

Hopefully DCT’S Big Friendly Giant will remind us to at least give those we don’t know a fighting chance before we judge them. My kids like to say, “We’re all a little bit weirdo,” and I think that’s right. Own your weirdo and embrace it, and dare to understand and APPRECIATE what makes others different than you. Perhaps we’ll all be a little better off if we take a moment to celebrate what makes us all unique. Remember, too, to share your snozzcumbers and do your best to keep the bad dreams away.

275x275_bfgYour last chance to see The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) at DCT for yourself is this weekend. Don’t miss your chance! Only four shows left so grab your tickets now at dct.org!

See the story that inspired the new Steven Spielberg movie coming out July of this year! Early reviews suggest it is a hit.

Roald Dahl’s Whoopsy-Spunkling Imagination

_KA18627Roald Dahl’s highly imaginative trademark writing style has whisked generations of readers into magical worlds. The “whizzcracklingly” wacky tale of THE BFG was Dahl’s personal favorite of his own works and is now home on the DCT stage after making its way across this country as this year’s national tour production.

Two local librarians took some time to talk to us about Roald Dahl and what makes him one of their all-time favorite writers. Christina Hudman is library associate at the Oak Lawn Public Library. Star Kulp is the Children’s Librarian at the Timber Glen Branch. They shared their expertise and their personal enthusiasm for Roald Dahl.

CHRISTINA: I love Roald Dahl because he makes ordinary life situ_KA34735ations with kids magical and wonderful and exciting, and just really come to life in a way that other authors don’t. He’ll take you on adventures that you never thought you’d go on, and he’ll create great characters that will stay with you forever, because his stories are just amazing. They take you to places you never thought you’d go.

STAR: I love Roald Dahl because he creates worlds that are extraordinary, but you don’t even second guess the strange things that happen there because they just make sense to the story. My favorite Roald Dahl story is CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. I love that world he created where this poor little boy could be exposed to the magic. But it was not even magic. It’s a world you believe in. Roald Dahl’s writing is different, and children w_KA35016ill be interested because he will take them to different worlds – a world where a giant is friendly, who gathers dreams to give to children, and a world where a boy can fit inside a peach pit and travel around the world. There’s no logic to his books, but they’re so much fun.

Both library professionals are eager to see how THE BFG comes to life on stage – what the Giant and his world will look like, and how Sophie will be transported to his world. We also discussed how some of Dahl’s writing is sometimes scary or even dark.

CHRISTINA: Just because something’s dark doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad. I like a lot of dark humor and dark stories. I think assuming kids always want happy, and always have happy,… kids experience a lot of emotions, and I think Dahl touches on a lot of emotions that other authors don’t touch.

_KA34963STAR: I think kids are a whole lot smarter and with it than we think they are. We can expose them to things that may be dark, but they’re going to see the light in it because kids are positive, and they’ll find the light in any dark that shows up.

 

Every time THE BFG came up, a smile immediately crept to Christina’s face, letting us know that, like Dahl, it is a personal favorite.

CHRISTINA: I got to read THE BFG in third grade. Up until then I really had a hard time reading and didn’t really have a good time reading. It was the first story I really connected to and really, really enjoyed reading. Ever since then, all of his other books have been really important to me. I just love it because the giant that you’re supposed to be scared of, and you are scared of at first, turns out to be this loveable, heartwarming creature. It’s just a great story.

Our library friends compared Dahl’s creativity to that of children who are not bound by logic and what is possible. Star mentioned how quickly we accept OompaLoompas as a real part of a world made of candy, and how wonderful it is for adults to also get swept up into these worlds. We at DCT look forward to making Giantland a reality for Dallas families this spring.

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THE BFG runs April 29 – May 22.

We promise that it will be a Phizz-Whizzing experience!

Tickets and more information.

Karl Schaefer, M.D. (Moonlighting Doctor)

 

KarlThe longtime member of DCT writes prescriptions for laughter on and off the stage.

As the first employee back in 1984 at the Dallas Children’s Theater (DCT) and a current artist-in-residence, Karl Schaefer has spent more than three decades applying his unique talent, unyielding energy and impeccable comic timing to countless DCT productions.

His art will shine for the second straight season in the DCT production of BALLOONACY – running tonight through May 1.

As if juggling everything at DCT wasn’t enough, Karl threw one more ball into the mix. Last fall, he took on the role of a doctor. Or was it a clown? It actually was both. Karl is among the newest members of the Funnyatrics Clown Program at Children’s HealthSM – a nine-member clown troupe dedicated to making life better and a little funnier for children.

“When I first saw Funnyatrics at a clown workshop, I knew I had to be part of the fun,” says Karl. “I’ve been blessed with a career that allows me to interact with people, especially young people. But as a member of Funnyatrics, I get to connect with children in a way I never have before.”

As Dr. Fred Frivolous in the Funnyatrics clown troupe, Karl and his very big shoes walk the halls of Children’s Medical Center Dallas and Plano, visiting patients and making a difference. He uses his many talents to bring some serious joy to kids who are going through some serious medical issues. Whether it’s a little juggling, a funny joke, some magic or an upbeat musical ditty, Karl plays an important role in the healing process by offering kids an outlet – to just be kids.

“Working with the team and the patients at Children’s Health is a reality check,” adds Karl. “I’ve never been more grateful for everything that I have. It feels good to know that Children’s Health is committed to brightening a child’s day with great programs like Funnyatrics, as well as art, music and pet therapy programs.”

And now Karl’s full-time and part-time gigs are coming full circle. Children’s Health is a proud supporter of the DCT and a sponsor of the 2016 production of BALLOONACY.

“I’m looking forward to continuing my role at DCT and my new role as Dr. Fred Frivolous, the clown who writes prescriptions for joy,” exclaims Karl.

After all, sometimes laughter is the best medicine.

 

Balloonacy-endcard

BALLOONACY
By Barry Kornhauser

Back by Popular Demand

April 15 – May 1, 2016

Recommended for ages 2 and up

www.dct.org

Grown-ups Share How Edward Tulane Impacted Them

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo is for readers young and old. Life changes can be hard to accept at times. As humans, we underappreciate the value of looking outside of self and being present for whatever experience life puts before us. To think that adults might be inspired to treasure deeper connections with all people by a toy rabbit is a strange idea. But, in THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE, we are all reminded that being present and supportive of others is sometimes the path to the life of our dreams.

Ed Tulane - With AbileneGeorgiana Shelekov is the VP of Education on DCT’s Board of Directors. She told us about her fond memories of reading the book with her children when they were in elementary school.

The author, Kate DiCamillo, writes about emotional issues without underestimating her audience—mature feelings are dealt with in a straightforward manner that all children, and adults, can understand. Relatively speaking, that’s a rarity in books for children this age. Descriptions of people who come and go in Edward’s life are concise, yet evocative and complete. 

Both the reader and Edward come to see the power of hope and love in the Ed Tulane - With Fishermanworld. Edward’s journey, in many ways, mirrors the growth of our children and youth as they go through their evolution.

DCT’s Communications team hosted a staged reading of the script for our Journeymaker families, but also invited special guests like Sarah Eppes, friend of Board President, Carol March. Sarah said she was not emotionally prepared for the depth of the storytelling in this play:

I spent most of the night trying not to cry. For me, the core of what good theater is, is a well-written and emotionally compelling story. The reading was a good way to introduce a newer children’s story to those who wouldn’t know it.

June Dales, special guest of THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE director Artie Olaisen, first read the book to her children nine years ago, and it immediately became her favorite book of all time.

Ed Tulane - Being Repaired by LuciusIt’s funny how reading a book about a toy rabbit touched me emotionally in so many different ways. Edward started his life sitting in front of a mirror, admiring himself with no margin for other people. And life seems so focused on a ‘me, me, me’ attitude these days. This book really teaches that you have to be present. And honestly, sometimes you must force yourself to be open to change.

Both the play and the book about Edward Tulane are full of hope and truth about life. Through book author Kate DiCamillo and playwright Dwayne Hartford’s words, both kids and adults are able to look at their lives the same way Edward did; by realizing that sometimes you have to hit bottom in life before you can get better.

Embarking on your own miraculous journey begins at DCT! Join us for a performance of THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE, running until April 10. Reserve tickets by calling the Box Office at 214-740-0051 or visit dct.org.

Illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline
You can find out more about Bagram Ibatoulline at the Candlewick Press website, http://www.candlewick.com.
Illustrations copyright © 2006 Bagram Ibatoulline.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

ISBN 0-7636-2589-2.

 

EdwardTulane

 

KATE DiCAMILLO’S

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Adapted by Dwayne Hartford

Running through April 10, 2016

Recommended for ages 7 and up

www.dct.org

Burks Children Bond Through Years of Working Together

D and B 1

In the classic fairy tale, HANSEL AND GRETEL, brother and sister must work together to escape traps set by the evil Ginger Witch. Audiences might be surprised to learn that some of the puppeteers in the Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts troupe are family members—including Ms. Burks’ children! We caught up with Master Puppeteers Becky Burks Keenan (BBK) and Doug Burks (DB) to learn about growing up alongside and working with a creative sibling.

How would you describe your brother/sister?

BBK: Doug is a kind-hearted and loving person. His best quality is his dependability.

DB: My sister is kind, talented, funny, statuesque, and beautiful. She has the ability to see the good in everyone.

What’s one of the most notable memories you made together while growing up?

DB: My most vivid memories are of the two of us acting out our favorite movies and TV shows.

BBK: My best friend, Trici, would spend the night on weekends and we would D and B 2dress up, Doug included, and create all kinds of characters. Or if we weren’t acting something out we would watch the Carol Burnett Show or Sonny and Cher and dream of being a part of their casts! One time Doug almost set his room on fire playing the role of Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows. He was holding up a candle very dramatically next to his mummy skulls and fishing nets hung up on his wall. We put it out with a can of Dr. Pepper. Needless to say Mom and Dad weren’t home.

Who got into puppeteering first?

BBK: We took lessons together and have always enjoyed working with one another.

DB: Having both been involved in theater and dance, we both got into puppetry at the same time, as a natural extension of our love of the arts.

Has there ever been a time when you had to problem solve to get out of a sticky situation?

DB: The most difficult situation we worked together to solve occurred after we became adults, when we had to care for our ailing father in the last months of his life.

BBK: A few months before our dad passed away, we were able to move him D and B 5from his house at Lake Whitney and bring him closer to us. We were able to spend quality time with him before he died. I’m so grateful that I had my brother to help me through that difficult time.

What do you like best about working with your brother/sister so often?

DB: The best part of working with my sister, as well as the other members of my family, is that after so many years, we have developed a sort of artistic shorthand. We almost know what the other person is going to do onstage before they do it.

BBK: I like using our creative genes together to provide quality entertainment for the Metroplex. Doug’s kind heart and professionalism makes for an easy and fun work environment. I’m thankful to do this on a regular basis.D and B 4 D and B 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How has having a brother/sister made you a better person?

BBK: It has helped me be a more giving, caring and loving person. Sharing D and B 6my life with such a great brother taught me the wonderful gift of humility, and most importantly to not judge others.

DB: Having a sister has helped me to learn about sharing, compromise and respecting the feelings of others. It also helps that she makes me laugh a lot!

Brothers and sisters are sometimes the best partners to have when getting into and out of trouble.

275x275_hanselHANSEL AND GRETEL plays for only one more weekend(April 2 and 3). Be sure you don’t miss this amazing show and this wonderful family duo. Tickets available at dct.org or call the Box Office at 214-740-0051 for more information.

Kathy Burks’ Senior Designer Gives Hansel and Gretel Puppets Brand New Heads

IMG_3193This year, the senior designer and technical director of Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts along with other team members spent 120 hours designing and sculpting new heads for the title characters of HANSEL AND GRETEL. As the senior designer, Sally Fiorello oversees all designs, construction and physical aspects of this show. She is also an actor and Master Puppeteer with the Kathy Burks troupe and she previously co-directed many of their shows.

Once the design process is under way, every puppet, set piece, prop, costume and lighting design needs her approval. In order to comprehend the design process for the new character heads, we caught up with Sally, who explained it all.

When we first created the heads several years ago, the design process wasDSCN0974 under various time constraints that come with producing a new show, so it was impossible to make two new stars at the last minute. After all, it’s not just a matter of firing a couple of human actors and hiring two replacements. As difficult as that is, it’s not as hard as creating them from scratch.

 Troupe member Beck Schlabach was the main creator of these heads during the design process; other than a few finishing touches, she created them by hand. Using a plasticine clay, we first IMG_3191sculpt the overall shape of the head. Once we’re satisfied with the look, we create a “negative mold” using a silicone, rubber-like material. After the mold has dried, we pour (or cast) the heads using a Polyurethane casting resin. Once the casting has cured, we remove it and sand and repair any imperfections. Then we prime, paint and add hair or fur as the character demands. Many moreIMG_3190 steps happen even after the hair has been added before we finally complete the finished (full-bodied) puppet.

It might have taken 60 hours per puppet, but Sally said the whole troupe is satisfied with the look of each new head. You got a closeup of each work of art in this blog, but don’t miss out on seeing this art in action!

 

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Come see the new heads onstage while HANSEL AND GRETEL runs from Now through April 3, 2016. For tickets call the Box Office at 214-740-0051 or visit dct.org.

 

 

Hansel and Gretel lets kids nibble at opera

humpWhen I heard that DCT’s Hansel and Gretel was using the music of Engelbert Humperdinck, I immediately wondered how the Las Vegas pop singer’s music lent itself to the aesthetic of a classic fairy tale. I quickly learned something I didn’t know. Turns out the stage name of the 70’s icon came from the composer who crafted the opera Hänsel und Gretel in 1890. That made a lot more sense.

I also learned that Humperdinck first crafted some of the music for a small puppet show for the children in his family. Perfect!

DCT’s B. Wolf created her own play with music, which is the Hansel and Gretel your kids will see, so she told me more about her process of developing this show and incorporating Humperdinck’s rich assets.

Humperdinck’s opera, Hänsel und Gretel, is his most famous work. He wrote other operas, but I don’t believe they are performed today. His Hänsel und Gretel is performed often. It is full of gorgeous melodies, great material for songs and underscoring.

My process in using this material is difficult to describe. I first had to decide BWolfwhat would be better conveyed in song, as opposed to what would be conveyed in dialogue. Two of the songs, The Dream and The Sandman, are not taken from Humperdinck; they are original melodies of mine. The songs sung by the Witch have my lyrics set to Humperdinck melodies, sometimes switched into minor keys. The prayer song which the children sing is Humperdinck’s melody, my lyrics.

The scene where Berta, the goose, flies all about the cottage with the children chasing her is underscored with Humperdinck’s melodies, in a humorous arrangement. Using these same melodies, I created foreboding underscoring to convey the fearful forest at night. In underscoring the Witch’s scenes, I alternated between foreboding and humorous (don’t want to scare them too much!)

 I think these melodies complement the story perfectly, and that is one reason the opera is still so popular today.

 Of course I hope the children (and adults!) will respond by being transported into the long ago world of this fairy tale, and that the music will be the mystical means of transporting them there (along with the great sets, gorgeous lighting, and masterful artistry of the puppeteers!)

275x275_hanselDCT is so fortunate to have Kathy Burks, B. Wolf and their team who continue to reinvent some of the most beloved stories for our children. Hansel and Gretel runs March 4 – April 3 at DCT, and is definitely something you’ll want your family to sink their teeth into!

For ticket information, go to dct.org

 

By Sherry Ward

See you at the theater!

DCT Hosts First Ever Sensory-Friendly Puppet Show

When some families prepare to go out for a special event, their biggest challenge is getting everyone ready and into the car at the same time. For other families, like the 100,000+ families who have a member on the autism spectrum or other developmental disabilities, the biggest challenge is finding an activity their son or daughter will enjoy, in a welcoming, non-threatening environment.

top leftThanks to our friends at The Crystal Charity Ball, DCT has more than $500,000 to expand our Sensory-Friendly Performance Initiative by doubling the number of these performances over the next three years. On March 12, 2016 at 4:30pm, we are offering the first ever, sensory-friendly version of a Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts’ production with HANSEL AND GRETEL!

Nancy Schaeffer, DCT’s Education Director, told us why sensory-friendly performances matter now, more than ever. 

The generous grant from The Crystal Charity Ball provides us with the resources we need to tailor our offerings to families who have children with special needs. We were so excited to be able to develop this program after finding out how many families feel excluded from live theater experiences because their children and their sometimes unexpected behaviors aren’t welcome or because the venues they’ve tried in the past really didn’t understand what it means to truly provide a sensory-friendly environment. We have invested the time and energy to set this program up the correct way thanks to all of this wonderful support we’ve gotten, and we couldn’t be happier for our new theater-going families.

Since Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts is a vital part of our regular bottom rightseason, we wanted to be able to offer these high-quality, amazingly creative performances to our families that might need the sensory-friendly adaptations and experience. We’re also happy that these families will be introduced to another art form and another way of theatrical expression. We think they’ll love it.

Trish Long is a Master Puppeteer with Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts. She tells us how Kathy Burks puppeteers will connect with their new audiences.

All forms of theater should be accessible to all children. From my viewpoint, the characters become just as realistic as shows with real people. It’s quite a magical feeling connecting to the audience, and we’re honored to be included in DCT’s offerings for sensory-friendly families.

Before the sensory-friendly performance of HANSEL AND GRETEL, I’ll be in the lobby showing my puppet to children so they are aware of what they’ll be seeing and won’t have any big surprises. There’s a big difference between real people on stage and watching puppets on stage, even though the puppeteers are able to really bring the characters to life. There have been some children who thought they were watching real people after leaving one of our shows!

The goal of DCT’s programming has always been to make people are understood, and like they fit in. Including the Kathy Burks’ shows as part of our sensory-friendly options opens the door for all families to have new experiences together, at DCT.

 

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Next Sensory-Friendly Performance Day Schedule

3:30 – 4:30pm Optional pre-show activities including facepainting, clown performances and other activities Participate at whatever level is best for your family
4:00pm Doors to the theater are opened
4:30pm Show begins
(There will be NO intermission for this production.)

Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts’
HANSEL AND GRETEL

March 12, 2016 at 4:30 PM – You don’t always need a prince and princess for your heroes to live happily ever after. Two children in search of food for their hungry family get lost in an enchanted forest. They must depend on all their powers of imagination to save them from the crafty, mysterious old woman in the candy house and (in this less “grim” version) lead them back to the loving arms of their parents. The familiar, melodic music of Engelbert Humperdinck brings an inventive theatricality to the retelling of this beloved fairy tale adventure. HANSEL AND GRETEL brings another feast for the eyes and ears to the stage from Kathy Burks’ Master Puppeteers.

Recommended for ages 4 and up

To Purchase Tickets

DCT wants to make sure families have no barriers that would prevent them from at least sampling these great opportunities created especially for them! Tickets are $5 per person. Regular DCT show prices range from $13 to $28.  Additionally scholarships are available if needed thanks to a grant from The Crystal Charity Ball.  Please inquire when you call in to reserve your tickets.

To purchase tickets or get more information, please call 214-740-0051.

To read more about our sensory program, go to dct.org/sensory

Edward Tulane’s MIRACULOUS JOURNEY is a must-see!

Steph Garrett / DCT Teaching Artist

Recently, I was presented with a MIRACULOUS opportunity. I had the privilege of discussing THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE with four very diverse families. Before I go any further, here is a synopsis of the book:

Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, for he was owned by a girl named Abilene who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. Throughout his miraculous journey, Edward faced the risk it takes to love and be loved when you open your heart to others.

You might find THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE in the Children’s section at the library or a local bookstore, but the book is never “childish”, and the message of love is a simple one that appeals to people of all ages. That was evident in my recent discussion with our “Journeymakers.”

Each family read THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE, and then _J2_8970attended a discussion where virtually no topic was off limits. I was very pleased with the openness of the group and the willingness to share such personal stories and how they related to the book. I was surprised at the impressive insight of each member; even the youngest (5 years old) had something to say! Most of the adults said that their children became so emotionally invested when reading the book as a family that that alone was a rewarding experience. One Journeymaker in particular stressed the importance of one of the book’s main themes: listening.

_J2_8754“Everyone is different and has a story to tell, and we should be quiet and listen. You’ll learn more about people and increase your relationships and the depth of those relationships if you just listen to others.”

However, listening isn’t the only important theme in this book. When asked what major themes stood out to them, the other Journeymakers added family, honesty to one’s self, compassion, redemption, and self sacrifice to the list.

I have read the book numerous times, and what was so remarkable was that _J2_8770everyone made his or her own discoveries throughout the story. One finding came from a gentleman in the group. He said, “[Edward] is a fragile bunny, and he has all of these amazing things happen to him. He falls in the ocean, is crushed by garbage, dragged around by a hobo, thrown off a train, and yet, he doesn’t break until he says, ‘I am broken’. All these things are happening to him. The circumstances don’t overwhelm him to the point of breaking until he decided he wasn’t enough. It was the _J2_8779revelation that he was enough and that the relationships he had were important. There are always going to be different circumstances in life, both good and bad, but the choice in how you handle it is what defines you.”

When asked what lessons they learned from Edward Tulane, one child said, “What I wear doesn’t really matter, how I look doesn’t really matter. What I am inside is what matters.” Another child concluded, “Love conquers all. Sometimes, you think you don’t need love, and sometimes love destroys you, but ultimately, love brings you back home.”

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Steph Garrett as “The Woman”

The most important lesson I learned from THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE, and the dialogue with this remarkable group is that, in life, we don’t always get a second chance. It’s important for all of us to stop, even for a moment, and really listen to each other and look at the world around us. Enjoy a play with your family or a good meal with your friends and just appreciate what life has to offer. Put the screens down, even for a moment, have a conversation with each other and just listen. Life is truly a miraculous journey and those we share it with are irreplaceable.

 

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THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE runs at DCT March 18 – April 10. Watch for more information on the story, and in the meantime we encourage you to read the book. Its stunning, award-winning illustrations will bring the story to life almost as well as our live production. Check it out at your local library or find it on sale at the DCT store.

Recommended for ages 7 and up

Tickets and more show information @ www.dct.org

A Man With Many Talents – Brian Hathaway

DCT FROG and TOAD

 

 

Brian Hathaway is a well-known DFW actor and DCT has had the pleasure of having Brian on our stages several times. He really knows how to embody animals. Here are some of the animal roles in which you may have seen Brian’s face poking through:

 

Rowdy Mouse #3 – The Island of the Skog

Yellow Dog – Go Dog GO! (2004 & 2014)brian1

Bunny – Goodnight Moon (2008 & 2013)

Duck – Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type

Duck – Giggle Giggle Quack

Toad – A Year With Frog & Toad (2008 & 2016)

That’s right, folks, two totally different ducks. That takes skills.

Brian is back to reprise his role as Toad in A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD ,running through February 28th, and he took some time to talk to us about how it feels to hop into the play again.

I feel like Toad and I have quite a bit in common. Like him, I’m definitely not a morning person. I also am not so sure about scary stories, and have a brian2fondness for cookies. But more than anything, it was the chance to get to revisit the show, and the role. I’ve been fortunate enough be able to reprise roles in multiple shows at Dallas Children’s Theater, but I remember when we were closing the show the first time, all I could think was that this was a show I would jump at the chance to do again. It holds a special place in my heart. 

The show has a wonderful message of friendship and acceptance. Frog and Toad balance each other out so well. Toad is more than a bit of a worrywart (pun intended), but is quite devoted to his best friend, Frog. Whereas Frog hovers in a bit more of a zen-state, and is frequently amused by all those things that make Toad, Toad. On the whole, it is just a very sweet show. And there’s a whole song devoted to cookies! What’s not to love about that?!

It is a very relatable show. Everyone in the audience will see a bit DCT FROG and TOADof themselves in either Frog or Toad (or more likely both), because their successes and failures, and the feelings that go along with them, are universal. When I’ve done subsequent shows at DCT, parents will first tell me they remember seeing me with their kids in a past show, which is humbling, and also reminds me how fast time flies. Then they will commonly ask when we’re going to do A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD again. That tells me how much the show speaks to the whole family. 

Frog&Toad2015Check out Brian Hathaway and the rest of the loveable cast of characters in A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD running through February 28th. Be sure to bring your friends!

 

www.dct.org