Dallas Children's Theater Blog

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

Meet the Cast of THE SECRET LIFE OF GIRLS

No mean girls here…

BACK Row (Left to Right): Azalea Brown, Zoë Gameros, Mimi Simons, Ainsley Horan
FRONT Row (Left to Right): Kai McGhee, Hannah Moore, Ruby Long

Zoë Gameros
(Rebecca)
Previous DCT Roles: EAT (It’s Not About Food) (Young Girl).
Favorite Show and Why: That I’ve seen: Sweat at Dallas Theater Center because it was such an immersive show with an amazing incorporation of technology. That I’ve been in: The Revenge of the Space Pandas or Binky Rudich and the Two-Speed Clock because of the amazing cast and creativity in the script.
Favorite Thing About Acting: Developing a character and interacting with other actors.

Hannah Moore
(Abby)
Previous DCT Roles: Miracle on 34th Street (Elf), EAT (It’s Not About Food) (Teen Girl), A Wrinkle in Time (Meg Murry), and Next Stop Broadway in 2016.
Favorite Show and Why: That I’ve Seen: Hamilton because it’s such a visually and theatrically stunning show. That I’ve Been In: Anne of Green Gables because I’ve always loved Anne and her story, and playing her was a dream come true.
Favorite Thing About Acting: I love that I can step into someone else’s shoes and be someone else. I also love meeting people who share the love of theater.

Ainsley Horan
(Chandler)
Previous DCT Roles: The Seussification of a Midsummer Night’s Dream (Titania) and Peter and the Starcatcher (Ensemble).
Favorite Show and Why: Puffs, for the variety of characters and good comedy.
Favorite Thing About Acting: The community around it!

Azalea Brown
(Stephanie)
Favorite Show and Why: Waitress because of the heartwarming story and amazing music.
Favorite Thing About Acting: The creativity of acting and portraying a variety of characters.

Mimi Simons
(Kayla)
Previous DCT Roles: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, EAT (It’s Not About Food) (Amy), and Next Stop Broadway in 2016, 2017, and 2019.
Favorite Show and Why: EAT (It’s Not About Food) because it was my first teen production at DCT and I loved the storyline, the cast, and how it was all put together in the end.
Favorite Thing About Acting: It is lots of fun to act like a totally different person and meet different people in the process.

Ruby Long
(Sutton)
Previous DCT Roles: The Pied Piper’s Magic (Young Elvabol), Miracle on 34th Street (Elf J), EAT (It’s Not About Food) (Young Girl), Ghouls and Graveyards (Girlfriend 1), and Next Stop Broadway in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Favorite Show and Why: That I’ve been in: Miracle on 34th Street because it was really fun. In General: Spring Awakening because I love the music.
Favorite Thing About Acting: Getting to be people you wouldn’t know about otherwise.

Kai Mcghee 
(Anna Marie)
Previous DCT Roles: Alice and Wonderland (Mad Hatter), A Wrinkle in Time (Narrator) and Next Stop Broadway in 2019.
Favorite Thing About Acting: The acting itself and being friends with the cast.

Lisa Fairchild*
(Sutton’s Mom/Coach)
Lisa is delighted to reprise the roles she originated in this amazing play. Other DCT credits include EAT (It’s Not About Food) (Calorie Woman and Others) and Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse (Mom Mouse). She has appeared in theaters throughout the D-FW area, most recently in the critically-acclaimed Luna Gale (Caroline) at Circle Theatre. Represented by the Kim Dawson Agency, she has appeared in numerous commercial, industrial, and feature film roles. www.lisafairchild.net

Julie K. Rhodes**
(Abby’s Mom)
Julie is thrilled to be making her DCT debut! Favorite work includes Peter Pan, Frosty the Snowman, and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at Casa Mañana; Who Am I This Time? at Circle Theatre; Into The Woods, A Doll’s House, Tartuffe, and Persuasion at Stolen Shakespeare Guild; and Camelot and The Golden Apple at Lyric Stage. Love to Gordon, Drew, and Maddie. Visit juliekrhodes.com

*Indicates member of Actors’ Equity Association. **Indicates Equity Membership Candidate.

Artist at Work: Bringing Fashion to the Land of Frell

A Spotlight on DCT’s Resident Designer and Costume Shop Manager…

Lyle Huchton (Pictured back, center) working with students in a costume design class.

Lyle Huchton is the Costume Designer for ELLA ENCHANTED: THE MUSICAL. He is the person responsible for every petticoat, sash, and sequin that adorns these classic characters. We sat down with Huchton to discuss how he began conceptualizing and designing original costumes that – much like the show – feature traditional storybook elements with a modern twist.

 

What was your inspiration for these costumes? Did you get inspiration from any other fairy tales, or any classic stories?

I couldn’t really, because of the time constraint, make it a complete, full-blown fairy tale. So I came up with the idea that the stepmom and the stepsisters

would be some kind of modern interpretation. I took the 1980s and started there with Madonna. With lots of petticoats, and the bright colors, and the leg warmers. Then, I just sprinkled fairy tale in with everybody else. The prince’s [costumes] really start out kind of modern, because his doublet (a 14th to 17th century style jacket) is made out of a blue jean jacket, and he’s wearing plaid flannel. Kind of grungy. Then he goes complete fairy tale. Then Ella’s wedding dress is a 1980s wedding dress, at the very end that she wears, and we just put on a little sash. I also researched elements of the Cinderella movie from a couple of years ago…the Disney one. I took inspiration from that where the stepsisters matched. Of course I made her [Olive] green, because her name is Olive, and I took a complementary color for Hattie, which would be purple.

What was one of the most difficult costume pieces that you had to create for the show?

It had to be the big swing coat that the stepmother wears at the ball. It’s based on a 1960s coat, but we had to somehow figure out the tiers, and how they would get bigger. They were smaller at the top and then got bigger. And how much that would take to make the ruffle around. It took some engineering and some looking at. We just did a mockup of the little center panels, and actually, that costume coat is like the cheapest thing in the show. It was about $4 a yard of fabric and it took 10 yards, so it was about $40, and it’s the most awesome thing.

What do you hope that families who see the show will take away from this production?

Well, I think they’ll take away that Ella chooses to break the spell on her own; she doesn’t have to have the prince, and she doesn’t have to fall into the line that she thinks she’s supposed to. I think that’s refreshing. I also think they will see that people can change. One of the stepsisters, she changes. Her environment is what made her who she is, and at the end she really likes Ella, and she admits it.

See all of Lyle’s beautiful costumes and enjoy a wonderful modern-day story about how Ella finds her voice when you plan your family day for ELLA ENCHANTED: THE MUSICAL at DCT!

 

ELLA ENCHANTED: THE MUSICAL is onstage at DCT now through Feb. 24, 2019. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Tickets available at dct.org.


ELLA ENCHANTED: THE MUSICAL
By Karen Zacarías

Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
Adapted from the book by Gail Carson Levine
By special arrangement with Miramax

Jan. 25 – Feb. 24
Ages 6 and up

Ella of Frell is turning the traditional Cinderella story upside down! At birth, she was given the “gift” of obedience which forces her to do anything people command: whether that’s hopping on one foot all day or telling her best friend to just go away! As a teenager, strong-willed Ella chooses to reject this lifestyle as her fate and embarks on a quest to break the curse forever. Along the way, feisty Ella must outwit her evil stepsisters, escape hungry ogres, and save the prince before she can claim her real voice. In this fun and spirited musical extravaganza that stays true to the Newbery Honor book, children will discover the power of words while laughing, singing, and dancing out loud.

Life is good. Good Life Family Magazine makes it better!

Live. Laugh. Learn. Repeat. This mantra is a window into the foundation of the content that can be found on the pages of Good Life Family Magazine (GLF), a Dallas-based publication for parents of kids tweens to twenties.

GLF, which is in its 5th year of publication as a free, glossy print magazine, is published every other month and distributed primarily across Collin, Dallas, and Denton counties. GLF, GLF Weekly, the print magazine’s digital sister, and the website, goodLIFEfamilymag.com, are resources for “sandwich generation” parents – those who are sandwiched between raising their kids (and often grandkids) and navigating life alongside their aging parents. Often a challenging period in their lives, parents can’t be expected to have all the answers all the time—which is where GLF comes in. Extensive and insightful content addresses the daily joys and struggles of finding a balance between kids and parents…all while trying to keep ourselves sane.

GLF’s content makes for an easy segue to its connection to and support for Dallas Children’s Theater. DCT’s upcoming show, THE SECRET LIFE OF GIRLS by Linda Daugherty, takes a close look at just how mean girls can be, especially in their transformative teenage years. Bullying, an issue that hits close to home for so many families, can lead to dangerous behaviors such as depression, cutting, and eating disorders. The National Voices for Equality Education and Enlightenment shares a staggering statistic that a child is bullied every 7 minutes.

The difficult-to-hear, yet essential information that THE SECRET LIFE OF GIRLS focuses on is precisely the type of content GLF shares with its 75,000+ readers. Maintaining open lines of communication on this topic will help educate parents and teens and decrease the bullying epidemic.

Though Good Life Family does dive into the not-so-pretty realities of parenthood, there is also a wealth of articles about lighter, more relaxed, material including home & gardening tips, recipes,fashion trends,health advice, legal tips, family entertainment, dining.

GLF and DCT work together as a resource to families for issues that are not always the easiest to discuss, but are nonetheless important to keep prevalent in the minds of parents and children alike. Dallas Children’s Theater productions promote social values, moral integrity, and reflect cultural diversity of the community through casting and themes—details which Good Life Family is only too proud to support and echo through its articles. Grab tickets to DCT’s production of THE SECRET LIFE OF GIRLS beginning February 15 and lasting through the 24th, and don’t forget to snag a copy of GLF found on local newsstands at local retailers, restaurants, grocery stores, doctors’ offices, schools, sports complexes, and community centers. Additionally, GLF gives its digital subscribers a flip book version of the magazine plus GLF Weekly offers subscribers current news and feature articles every Thursday.

Sound like your cup of tea? Subscribe at goodlifefamilymag.com and join the Family!

TEEN SCENE PLAYERS PRESENT

THE SECRET LIFE OF GIRLS

By Linda Daugherty

February 15 – February 24, 2019

Bullying in every form – from open tactics like gossiping and keeping secrets, to using friendship as a weapon – can become the prelude to dangerous behaviors like depression, cutting, and eating disorders. This show takes an unflinching look into the world of mean girls and exposes the consequences that bullying creates. Because that girl everyone is spreading rumors about…the one who just can’t seem to fit in…chances are, you know who she is. This production by award-winning playwright Linda Daugherty generated massive buzz when it debuted in 2007 and subsequently launched DCT’s internationally-praised teen issue series. In DCT tradition, teens and those who love them are invited to see a performance, and then stay after for a conversation with local experts.

NOT suitable for children under 12. Buy tickets now.

Mission, Possible: Using Your Voice

Some girls vanquish ogres, some girls fly to space…

Not every girl dreams of being a princess. For example, Ella of Frell, featured in DCT’s ELLA ENCHANTED: THE MUSICAL, isn’t the best student at charm school. She is an independent thinker even as she suffers under the curse of obedience bestowed upon her by her fairy godmother.

Let’s face it, you can’t pigeonhole girls. We have wide and varied goals and dreams; just like our counterparts. Take Sally Ride…She was 32 when she boarded the Challenger STS-7 that would launch her into space, and propel her name into history.

Sally Ride pictured in Challenger in 1983.

Ride grew up a hard-working California girl whose favorite activities were reading books and playing tennis. She spent her childhood learning and adventuring as much as she possibly could. She graduated from college with two science degrees and one English degree (unfortunately, they don’t teach Gnomic or Elfian at Stanford so Ella would have been disappointed). At the age of 26, Ride embarked on her next adventure, applying to NASA’s Astronaut Candidate Program. Out of almost 8,000 applicants– most of which were men –she was one of 35 people who were accepted into the program. Even more shocking, she was one of only six accepted women!

“Young girls need to see role models in whatever career they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see,” said Ride.

After training, training, and more training, she finally began living her dream. At least, she thought she was. Being a woman at NASA meant first serving as a ground communicator, and hoping to fly. Giving up never seemed easier, but for Ride, giving up was not an option. After working on the ground for two shuttle flights, she secured her place in history books in 1983 by becoming the first American woman to travel into space. However, one journey into space wasn’t enough for her. One year later Ride shattered records again by being the first woman to go into space not only once, but twice.

Sally Ride pictured in Challenger in 1983.

Throughout the years, she faced constant questions and critiques from everyone around her. “What kind of makeup will you bring to space with you?” “Will you cry if something goes wrong in the shuttle?” “Don’t you want to start a family instead of going to space?” Not once did these comments steer Ride away from her purpose. By refusing to listen to the world’s commands (like Ella), and pressing forward with her goals, she found her own voice and refused to let society choose how women and girls can and cannot succeed.

According to Ride, “All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.” Every girl is capable of accomplishing greatness that will inevitably prompt questions and criticisms, but allowing fear to discourage your achievements is only accepting defeat. Some girls will travel into space, some will vanquish ogres, and some will simply use their voice for what they believe in. What can seem like one small step for women, can be one giant leap for humankind.

Want to learn more about Sally Ride, space, and our solar system? Check out these photo books co-written by Ride!

Browse Book Selection


 

 

Written by Christine Bartkowski, DCT’s PR and Marketing Intern

 

 

 


ELLA ENCHANTED: THE MUSICAL
By Karen Zacarías

Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
Adapted from the book by Gail Carson Levine
By special arrangement with Miramax

Jan. 25 – Feb. 24
Ages 6 and up

Ella of Frell is turning the traditional Cinderella story upside down! At birth, she was given the “gift” of obedience which forces her to do anything people command: whether that’s hopping on one foot all day or telling her best friend to just go away! As a teenager, strong-willed Ella chooses to reject this lifestyle as her fate and embarks on a quest to break the curse forever. Along the way, feisty Ella must outwit her evil stepsisters, escape hungry ogres, and save the prince before she can claim her real voice. In this fun and spirited musical extravaganza that stays true to the Newbery Honor book, children will discover the power of words while laughing, singing, and dancing out loud.

Meet the Cast of ELLA ENCHANTED: THE MUSICAL

The average Cinderella story gets turned upside down by these astonishing actors.

 

Alyssa Cavazos**
(Hattie)
Alyssa is so excited to join her DCT family once again with this all-star cast and crew! You may recognize her from DCT’s production of Treasure Island Reimagined! (Morgan) and as a DCT Teaching Artist. Regional credits include: Perfect Arrangement (Millie) and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert (Ensemble & Diva / Marion US) at Uptown Players; The Grown-Up (Rosie) at Flexible Grey Theatre Company; the reading of Our Space (Facebook) at Pegasus Theatre; the reading of Another Set of Issues (Harriet) at IMPRINT Theatreworks; The Final Battle (Taylor) at Camp Death Productions; Cymbeline (Helen/Ensemble) at Martinit Theatre NYC; Miss Saigon (Yvette) and The Music Man (Ensemble/Dance Captain) at Western Playhouse Theatre; and Dead Man’s Cellphone (Jean) and The Marvelous Wonderettes (Suzy) at Abilene Christian University. She received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Abilene Christian University. Alyssa would like to thank Dallas Children’s Theater for this wonderful experience, Drew for his undeniable support, and God for His many blessings.

Tiffany Solano DeSena*
(Lucinda)
DCT audiences may remember Tiffany from the world premiere of Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet, a co-production with Cara Mía Theatre Co. She recently closed A Christmas Carol as the newest member of Dallas Theater Center’s resident acting company. She has performed at theaters nationwide, including The Mark Taper Forum, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, South Coast Repertory, San Jose Repertory, and Mixed Blood Theatre. Other notable credits include The Tempest (Miranda) produced by Will and Co.; Cesar and Ruben: The Musical, written and directed by Ed Begley Jr.; and flying on a magic carpet in Disney’s Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular (Princess Jasmine). Though she has performed around the world and appeared in numerous commercials, television, and film productions, her proudest accomplishments are her children: Sofia and Nolan.

Clint Gilbert**
(Prince Charmont)
Clint Gilbert is thrilled to be performing at Dallas Children’s Theater for the first time! He is best known in the Metroplex for his roles in Toxic Avenger (White Dude) at Uptown Players and in Fellowship! (Frodo) at Circle Theatre and Theatre Too.

 

 

Brian Hathaway*
(Sir Peter)
Brian is thrilled to return to Dallas Children’s Theater, having last appeared in James and the Giant Peach. Past DCT credits include A Year with Frog and Toad; Goodnight Moon; Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing; and Go, Dog. Go!. Brian has also been seen locally in productions at Lyric Stage, WaterTower Theatre, Uptown Players, and Theatre Three, among others. Favorite credits include Finian’s Rainbow (Og), The Producers (Leo Bloom), The Drowsy Chaperone (Aldolpho), Honk! (The Cat), and Little Women (Professor Bhaer). Brian is a proud 14 year member of Actors’ Equity.

Erika Larsen*
(Ella)
Erika Larsen is so excited to be a part of this talented cast. Her last show with DCT was Goosebumps The Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium. You also may have seen her at DCT in Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook, Skippyjon Jones, and Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale. Other recent credits include the national and international tour of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical with Wishing Star Productions, Trainspotting with LIP Service, Spring Awakening with Runway Theatre, and Titanic with Lyric Stage. NYC credits include: As We Lie Still with NYMF.

Gena Loe**
(Olive / Dance Captain)
Gena is excited to return to DCT. She previously appeared in Magic Tree House’s Holiday Musical: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens and Seussical™ at DCT. She has also performed locally in Kiss Me, Kate and My Fair Lady at Garland Summer Musicals, and Sister Act (Sister Mary Lazarus) at MainStage Irving-Las Colinas. Earlier this year Gena toured with ArtSpot, an educational theater company that brings theater to students around the world to aid in English studies.

Jessica D. Turner*
(Ella’s Mother / Dame Olga)
DCT: Go, Dog. Go!; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fair(l)y (Stoopid) Tales; Stuart Little; The Island of the Skog; and Honus and Me. DFW Theater: Dallas Theater Center, Theatre Three, WaterTower Theatre, Shakespeare Dallas, and Dallas Museum of Art. National: American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep, Cherry Lane Theater, Lyric Stage of Boston, Magic Theater, Stoneham Theater, and many Shakespeare Festivals. MFA: American Conservatory Theater (ACT). BFA: SMU.

Karl Schaeffer*
(Understudy: Sir Peter)
Karl has appeared in many DCT productions including Treasure Island Reimagined!. Additional credits include Skippyjon Jones; Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat; Night of the Living Dead; Pinkerton!!!; The Emperor’s New Clothes; Babe, the Sheep-Pig; Holes; The Mummy’s Claw; Pecos Bill; The Island of the Skog; Frankenstein; The Stinky Cheeseman…; Honus & Me; Junie B. Jones & a Little Monkey Business; The Best Christmas Pageant Ever; The Pied Piper’s Magic; Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!; Go, Dog. Go!; Charlotte’s Web; Balloonacy; Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook; Goosebumps the Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium; and Blue. He also performed with Dallas Theater Center, Shakespeare Dallas, and Theatre Three. Karl is an Artist-in-Residence at DCT and teaches video acting classes for the DCT Academy.

 

ELLA ENCHANTED: THE MUSICAL is onstage at DCT from Jan. 25 – Feb. 24, 2019. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Tickets available at dct.org.


 

ELLA ENCHANTED: THE MUSICAL
By Karen Zacarías
Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
Adapted from the book by Gail Carson Levine
By special arrangement with Miramax

Jan. 25 – Feb. 24
Ages 6 and up

Ella of Frell is turning the traditional Cinderella story upside down! At birth, she was given the “gift” of obedience which forces her to do anything people command: whether that’s hopping on one foot all day or telling her best friend to just go away! As a teenager, strong-willed Ella chooses to reject this lifestyle as her fate and embarks on a quest to break the curse forever. Along the way, feisty Ella must outwit her evil stepsisters, escape hungry ogres, and save the prince before she can claim her real voice. In this fun and spirited musical extravaganza that stays true to the Newbery Honor book, children will discover the power of words while laughing, singing, and dancing out loud.

*Indicates member of Actors’ Equity Association. **Indicates Equity Membership Candidate.

SNOWY DAY…A Sweet Reminder

Ezra Jack Keats’s stories bring to life the wonder of childhood…

There are a few moments in my childhood that I remember with more clarity than any others. When I could finally swing on my own without a starting push. Giggling while chasing my dad with a hose in our little backyard. Crouching over an ant hill, coaxing ants onto a stick to feed my (also recently caught) horny toad. These moments were simple, but I can remember them so vividly: the way my muscles felt while swinging, the warmth of the sun in that backyard, and the awe while watching the ants march in a line.

Now, I get to watch my own children experience those similar moments. In a world where distraction and complication rule, I love to see them make leaf angels in the yard (like they did a few days ago) or light up when they see a colorful sunset. Childhood may be fleeting, but it can also be so effortlessly magical.

Ezra Jack Keats beautifully captures these special moments in his stories. Whether it’s when Peter makes tracks in the snow with a stick or finally whistles to his dog, Willie; you can feel the wonder and excitement as Keats tells Peter’s story. Come to Dallas Children’s Theater and delight in the magic of childhood yourself through the eyes of Peter and all his friends at THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS playing through January 20. For tickets, go to dct.org.


 

 

Written by Guest Mom Blogger, Jessica Colaw.

 

 


THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER
STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS
Adapted for the stage by Jerome Hairston
Based on the books by Ezra Jack Keats
Music by Victor Zupanc

Now – Jan. 20, 2019
Ages 3 and up

Oh, the magic of childhood! Follow Peter and his friends as they enjoy the excitement of a fresh snowfall, the delight of whistling for the first time, the awe in finding a special treasure, and the feelings of a first crush. Packed with humor and fun, this production combines wonderfully innovative shadow puppetry and live action to showcase Keats’ beautiful appreciation for diversity. In fact, his characters ultimately became an inspiration for Sesame Street! An adaptation of Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, A Letter to Amy, and the groundbreaking Caldecott Winner The Snowy Day, this uplifting story collection encourages us to play and live life to the fullest each day.

Artist at Work: SNOWY DAY’S Director, Guinea Bennett-Price

Recalling her own 70s era childhood…

We sat down with Guinea Bennett-Price, the director of THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS to learn why she loves this collection of stories, and to find out just how a simple pair of goggles might get kids running around.

What is a special talent you’ve brought to the creation and telling of these stories?

I brought the funk to this production! I’m a child of the 70s, and it’s in my bones. I love and remember these stories fondly from back then, so I tried to bring my experience from that time to the feel and vibe of the piece. I’m one of the oldest people [on the creative team], so I was able to bring in the throwback experience of hide and seek…and all the dancing.

Talk about collaborating with DCT to tell these stories?

I always love working with DCT, but this was extra special because of the impact these books made on literature. It’s an opportunity for brown people to see themselves in literature. It was one of the first books I ever had with a kid like me on the front, and it’s important for young audiences to see themselves on stage. Many people could play these roles, but in the casting I tried to be intentional because [Ezra Jack Keats] chose the shade of Peter’s face for a reason, so I looked for that in my lead actor. In the media, you get the idea that lighter skin black people are acceptable and easier to be around, and I wanted the audience to see a brown boy playing and enjoying himself. I was excited to let brown kids see themselves on stage.

Describe your favorite scene in the show.

The Goggles story because it has the most movement. And I love to see Archie and Peter interacting; they’re just two friends with the freedom to run and play in their neighborhood. Kids sit in the house today on their iPhone and there’s no eye contact; and this play shows these kids having eye contact and having fun in their space in their neighborhood. Maybe it will inspire some kids to get out and play. It’s so much fun to see kids dancing and being free and getting up and having a good time.

What is most exciting to you about this project? Why do you think families will enjoy this production?

There’s so much room for imagination if you’ll put yourself in the situation. When you think, “How would I feel at the first snow and getting to go out and play in it,” you get to realize that it doesn’t take things to make you happy; you can actually imagine a world. I love that this play asks kids to look at shadow puppets and imagine them as real. It gets kids thinking about how their lives can be more imaginative.

Guinea Bennett-Price is also the Co-Artistic Director of Soul Rep Theatre Company. Click here to learn more about their upcoming shows.


THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS
Adapted for the stage by Jerome Hairston
Based on the books by Ezra Jack Keats
Music by Victor Zupanc

Now thru Jan. 20, 2019
Ages 3 and up

Oh, the magic of childhood! Follow Peter and his friends as they enjoy the excitement of a fresh snowfall, the delight of whistling for the first time, the awe in finding a special treasure, and the

feelings of a first crush. Packed with humor and fun, this production combines wonderfully innovative shadow puppetry and live action to showcase Keats’ beautiful appreciation for diversity. In fact, his characters ultimately became an inspiration for Sesame Street! An adaptation of Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, A Letter to Amy, and the groundbreaking Caldecott Winner The Snowy Day, this uplifting story collection encourages us to play and live life to the fullest each day.

Get tickets to see the show here.

Make puppets…spark creativity…theater promotes imagination like nothing else!

 

DCT’s current production on stage, SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS, has a particular benefit for the young and the young at heart. This collection of four stories uses lovely shadow puppetry combined with live action to celebrate the wonders of childhood. The innocence of young Peter is front and center as he tries to preserve a snowball overnight, pen a letter to his first crush Amy, learn to whistle to call his dog Willie, and to face bullies for the first time.  All the while, Peter is surrounded by loving family and friends who are there to take this journey with him as he grapples with the newness of it all.  The imagination of the young Peters of the world should both be treasured and explored thoroughly.  For many, these moments lead to deep revelations that propel them for a lifetime.  In theater, these moments are the sparks for creativity we always talk about.

I was asked to use video to show children how to create their own shadow puppet show. Although I was happy to do it, this request made me a little nervous. You see, I have spent the last 30 plus years performing with a professional puppet company, which produces very large and highly technical theatrical productions. How could I simplify some of the processes I have learned over the years to show children and their parents how they could easily make their own shadow puppets, produce their own show and have a great time doing it together? In the end, I think I just needed to tap into my own inner child and think the way they do… simply.

This is me puppeteering during Peter Rabbit.

As a young child, I remember my Dad reciting all kinds of nursery rhymes and fairy tale stories to me.  He would often make up voices and be every character in the story.  He would also use his hands to create the characters and watch me giggle with great delight. I especially loved his Big Bad Wolf voice and mannerisms. Remembering this joyful time, I chose the simple well known nursery rhyme, Hey Diddle Diddle, to base my puppet show videos on. It’s easy to remember and not very long.

The cool thing about shadow puppets is that they can be as simple or elaborate as your imagination and ability can create. Templates of the characters and many other silhouettes can easily be found on the internet, and most of the things you need to make them into puppets can probably be found in your own home. Using the templates, the puppet characters are traced on to cardstock, easily cut out and attached to a stick.

Part 1:  Creating Your Characters 

 

To create a stage, any household lamp without the shade can be used to make the light for the shadows, and piece of butcher paper or a white sheet can be used as the shadow screen. In addition to using cutouts, I also wanted to show kids that they can use their hands to make all kinds of fun shapes and characters.

Part 2:  Making Your Stage

Putting on a show can be so much fun for kids, especially when their parents are involved as well.  It also can be a fun craft to do with a friend.

Part 3:  The Show Must Go On 

 

I hope you enjoy this fun way to spend some at-home time bringing creativity to life with your child!  As you are looking for inspiration, be sure to come see SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS at Dallas Children’s Theater running now through January 20.


 

Written and developed by Trish Long, Master Puppeteer and 

DCT’s Director of Marketing.

 

 

 


 

THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS
Adapted for the stage by Jerome Hairston
Based on the books by Ezra Jack Keats
Music by Victor Zupanc

 

Now thru Jan. 20, 2019
Ages 3 and up

Oh, the magic of childhood! Follow Peter and his friends as they enjoy the excitement of a fresh snowfall, the delight of whistling for the first time, the awe in finding a special treasure, and the feelings of a first crush. Packed with humor and fun, this production combines wonderfully innovative shadow puppetry and live action to showcase Keats’ beautiful appreciation for diversity. In fact, his characters ultimately became an inspiration for Sesame Street! An adaptation of Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, A Letter to Amy, and the groundbreaking Caldecott Winner The Snowy Day, this uplifting story collection encourages us to play and live life to the fullest each day.

Buy tickets now.

A Season of Giving

Be inspired to give all year long…

In between the holiday parties and hot cocoa breaks, there are also an abundance of opportunities to give back this time of year. Whether it’s through a canned food drive, donating gifts, or volunteering our time, there so many vital ways for us all, including our kids, to get involved.

DCT’s Magic Tree House’s Holiday Musical A GHOST TALE FOR MR. DICKENS is a story that focuses on the importance of giving. I really love that the play empowers children to give and emphasizes that we not only CAN but we MUST give our gifts to the world.

But the spirit of giving doesn’t have to end when the holidays are over. Some of the most significant gifts we can give may seem small when thinking about the problems that face our world, but they have the potential to create such a positive impact in our communities and anyone – young or old – can do them. Things like being present and respectful when talking and listening to others, offering a helping hand when needed, or valuing kindness. What other “gifts” could you give to those in your community?

Be inspired to give this magical season and all year long. Come see Magic Tree House’s Holiday Musical A GHOST TALE FOR MR. DICKENS at Dallas Children’s Theater. There are only a few shows left. Choose one of the dates below to begin your magical holiday journey.

Thurs., Dec. 20, 1:30 PM
Fri., Dec. 21, 1:30 PM
Sat., Dec. 22, 1:30 PM
Sat., Dec. 22, 4:30 PM
Sun., Dec. 23, 1:30 PM
Sun., Dec. 23, 4:30 PM


 

 

Written by Guest Mom Blogger, Jessica Colaw.

 

 


Make DCT part of your holiday giving! Help us continue live theater magic in 2019!

Your tax-deductible gift can support DCT’s education and community outreach programs.

– $1,000 –
Can help fund a sensory-friendly performance, send 100 students to a matinee performance, or support the creation of new plays.

– $500 –
Can help fund a sensory-friendly drama class, send 50 students to a matinee performance, or help fund outreach to new families.

– $250 –
Can help fund sensory-friendly pre-show activities, send 25 students to a matinee performance, or support a sign language performance.

– $100 –
Can help fund sensory-friendly drama class sponsorships, send 10 students to a matinee performance, or help feed cast & crew lunch on two-show days.

– $50 –
Can help a deserving family see a show, send 5 students to a matinee performance, or support our volunteer usher program.

– $25 –
Can send 2 students to a matinee performance, help DCT create a study guide for every play, or support the creation of a social story for sensory shows.

Every gift made will be recognized with a red ornament and something special for each child in your family to take home and enjoy this holiday season!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO SUPPORTERS LIKE YOU!

Theater impacts lives for a lifetime! Help DCT keep great experiences available and affordable for everyone. Give now.

Creativity for those Below 50 Days…

For the creative genius in your child…

Winter is quickly approaching, and with it, the inevitable extra time inside either escaping the cold or quarantined with a cold. Although my kids can play inside for hours with their beloved toys, especially Legos, I always like to have a few tricks up my sleeve for when their toys no longer hold the same appeal. Whether it’s making an artistic masterpiece from recycled material or creating and playing their own board game, this extra time indoors is an opportunity to encourage a little creativity.

Next time you’re at Dallas Children’s Theater, check out the “Create Your Own Story” corner at the theater’s store. It’s filled with books and activities that help spark creativity through innovative means (and just might be the trick you need up your sleeve). Books like All About Me: A Keepsake Journal for Kids that inspires journaling using creative prompts. Or, my personal favorite, the card game Once Upon a Time where everyone gets the chance to be a storyteller. And, my kids would love The Create Your Own Pop-Up Books: it includes all the material you need to create a story with pop-up illustrations.

Visit the store while you’re at the theater enjoying Magic Tree House’s Holiday Musical A GHOST TALE FOR MR. DICKENS playing through December 23 or THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS playing through January 20. Both of these productions are likely to spark creativity in those young imaginations. For tickets, go to dct.org.

 


 

 

Written by Guest Mom Blogger, Jessica Colaw.

 

 

 


 

Magic Tree House‘s Holiday Musical: A GHOST TALE FOR MR. DICKENS
Book by Jenny Laird and Will Osborne
Lyrics by Randy Courts and Will Osborne
Music by Randy Courts
Based on Magic Tree House Merlin Mission #16: A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time by Mary Pope Osborne

MAGIC TREE HOUSE: A GHOST TALE FOR MR. DICKENS TYA is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIShows[dot]com

Now – Dec. 23
Ages 6 and up

Magic Tree House, the #1 bestselling chapter book series of all time, premieres this large-scale, holiday-themed spectacular in Dallas! Be among the first to see brother and sister duo, Jack and Annie, whisked back in time aboard their magical tree ride to the foggy streets of Victorian England. Their mission: to help the famous writer Charles Dickens overcome a terrible bout of writer’s block. With a little help from three ghost friends, Jack and Annie learn how charity and kindness can change the course of history. No “Bah Humbug” here…this musical is a fantasy adventure filled with wonderful songs and dances of the season!

Title Sponsors: Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District and Globe Runner SEO.

 

THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS
Adapted for the stage by Jerome Hairston
Based on the books by Ezra Jack Keats
Music by Victor Zupanc

Now – Jan. 20
Ages 3 and up

Oh, the magic of childhood! Follow Peter and his friends as they enjoy the excitement of a fresh snowfall, the delight of whistling for the first time, the awe in finding a special treasure, and the feelings of a first crush. Packed with humor and fun, this production combines wonderfully innovative shadow puppetry and live action to showcase Keats’ beautiful appreciation for diversity. In fact, his characters ultimately became an inspiration for Sesame Street! An adaptation of Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, A Letter to Amy, and the groundbreaking Caldecott Winner The Snowy Day, this uplifting story collection encourages us to play and live life to the fullest each day.

Note: There will be no performances of THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS between December 24, 2018 and January 3, 2019.

Produced in Collaboration with Soul Rep Theatre Company.

Title Sponsors: Southwest Airlines and Maroc “Rocky” L. Howard.