Dallas Children's Theater Blog

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

DCT Celebrates 35th Anniversary Season and a Unique History of Heartfelt Storytelling

Since 1984, more than five million children, students, and families have been inspired and delighted by the live theater performances of Dallas Children’s Theater (DCT). To celebrate 35 years of unmatched service to North Texas and beyond, DCT is announcing a season lineup comprised of large-scale world premieres and timeless throwbacks. The season opens with a new and reimagined telling of Treasure Island on September 23. Produced in collaboration with three other towering Dallas based companies in their respective fields of expertise, the new telling is expected to draw all ages into the popular pirate world.

DCT’s Founder and Executive Artistic Director has always had a personal fondness for Robert Louis Stevenson’s ageless classic and seized the chance three years ago to work with experts in puppetry, circus arts and movement to devise an immersive, fantasy adventure that will be unlike anything ever produced at DCT. The story is deemed “reimagined” because the playwrights have written it from both the perspective of the traditional Jim Hawkins, but also Ben Gunn, who gets equal billing in this version. Audience members will find themselves onboard a ship in the middle of the action from the moment they enter the theater. In the end, it will be the audience that helps decide who takes home the gold.

In general, the 35th season’s slate of productions will take audiences on land and sea adventures and excursions through space and time. Among the season lineup are iconic DCT shows from the archives including THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG, DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY, and TUCK EVERLASTING. And along with TREASURE ISLAND Reimagined!, the popular A GHOST TALE FOR MR. DICKENS (based on Magic Tree House Merlin Mission #16: A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time) will make their world premiere debuts. DCT is also remounting THE SECRET LIFE OF GIRLS, which launched DCT’s internationally-praised teen issue series. Finally, Lone Star Circus® is back with another end-of-year spectacular called FOREVER that celebrates the birth of the modern circus.

DCT is also honored to be presenting THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS in the winter. Based on award-winning children’s books written and illustrated by Polish Jewish American Ezra Jack Keats, these multiracial characters became an inspiration for Sesame Street. Keats wanted all children to feel included in the celebration of childhood discovery and this production, based on four of his books, illustrates childhood innocence in all four seasons of the year. In January, DCT presents the ultimate story of girl power with ELLA ENCHANTED. Ella of Frell turns the traditional Cinderella story upside down in this super colossal musical extravaganza. Rounding out the season, the DCT Teen Scene Players will bring the recent major motion picture A WRINKLE IN TIME to the stage.

Robyn Flatt, DCT Founder and Executive Artistic Director

“This is the 35th time I’ve had the enormous privilege to announce DCT’s season of plays! What a thrill. And this one sets sail with one of the biggest adventures we’ve ever undertaken. TREASURE ISLAND Reimagined! opens the season with swashbuckling adventure followed by other thrilling productions brand new to our stages including A GHOST TALE FOR MR. DICKENS,” said Robyn Flatt, Executive Artistic Director and Founder of DCT. “And of course, there will be a sprinkling of theatrical treasures from earlier seasons including TUCK EVERLASTING and DIARY OF A WORM, SPIDER, & A FLY, and two of our brilliant Linda Daugherty’s triumphs, THE SECRET LIFE OF GIRLS and an enchanting adaptation of Steven Kellogg’s THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG.”

Flatt reflected, “This marks a significant point in the life of our organization. I am proud to say that DCT is known nationally for its great productions, thought-provoking perspectives, and a host of new scripts developed for the field that are performed around the world.”

As the only major organization in Dallas focusing solely on youth and family theater, DCT builds bridges of understanding between generations and cultures, instilling an early appreciation of literature, art, and the performing arts in tomorrow’s artists and patrons. Over the span of three decades the theater has launched a national touring company that travels to 26 states and 52 cities each year; an Academy for children ages 3-18 that serves 2,500 annually; a Student Matinee Performance Series serving 50,000 children annually from every North Texas county; and sensory-friendly performances and academy classes for the over 100,000 children in North Texas with varying sensory challenges.

Artie Olaisen, Associate Artistic Director

Despite obstacles throughout the years, Artie Olaisen, Associate Artistic Director, said the theater grew and survived by sticking to an artistic point of view that was always child-centric. “We’ve always been committed to telling good, substantive stories; but in the beginning, we didn’t have two sticks to rub together! As we and the field of TYA have grown, our storytelling has become more sophisticated and the canon of good material that was not condescending to our youth audiences has expanded,” said Olaisen. “This theater and the field have certainly matured together.”

Nancy Schaeffer, Associate Artistic Director, Education Director, and staff member since the beginning, has been a driving force behind the expansion of programming. Schaeffer oversees the DCT Academy and the Sensory-Friendly Programming Initiative among other responsibilities. Schaeffer was one of the theater’s first teaching artists in the 1980s and has continually introduced children to live theater through new programs like the sensory-friendly initiative that launched in 2014. “There are lots of options for child- and family-friendly entertainment, but I love the parents who happily choose to make time to see live theater with their family. It’s our passion to help children see themselves, their story, on stage; and to share our love of theater with everyone. It really is like nothing else you can experience, especially as a child.”

Nancy Schaeffer, Associate Artistic Director and Education Director

Flatt, Olaisen and Schaeffer attribute the bulk of their success to the community of artists that they have nurtured and created over the years. Local artists and designers have been the backbone of the theater’s creation, development, and growth through a united commitment to excellence, artistry, and dedication to bringing the best possible quality to the stage and into classrooms. According to Olaisen, DCT may have the longest serving core staff of any arts group in the country. Olaisen explained that DCT provides the opportunity to have a life in the theater and work with artists committed to building a cultural institution that impacts both the Dallas community and the field of TYA. “Here, children have discovered their inner genius and have been inspired to use their gifts to better the world around them. And none of this would be possible were it not for great artists, thought leaders, board members, and advisors who have all been powerful partners in the growth and direction,” said Flatt.

 

TREASURE ISLAND PLAY AND PARTY
DCT is offering an exclusive chance to see TREASURE ISLAND Reimagined! and then go behind the scenes for party fun. The TREASURE ISLAND Play and Party is a chance to be the very first buccaneers to see the world premiere of TREASURE ISLAND Reimagined! and enjoy a swashbuckling time shipwrecked at DCT for an afternoon of shiver me timbers adventure.

On Saturday, September 22nd after the 1:30 PM performance, play and party guests will have the exclusive opportunity to swab the deck, learn songs and dances from the show, and perform them on the DCT mainstage. Bucks will also learn the secrets behind some of the coolest circus acts and get a chance to be crowned #1 sea-dog after acing a lesson in shadow puppetry. All will gather at the end to sing pirate songs and dance a few pirate moves.

Tickets to this exclusive play and party event are limited to 170 attendees and go on sale to the general public June 1, but 2018-2019 subscribers can avoid the wait by getting tickets now. Don eye patches, captain’s hats, bandanas, or whatever buccaneer outfit you choose and join a pirate party for the ages.

The TREASURE ISLAND Play and Party benefits DCT’s sensory-friendly plays and classes that welcome and include children on the autism spectrum and others with developmental disabilities. Amply staffed sensory-friendly acting classes build social-emotional skills and self-confidence. Your support facilitates discounted pricing that, since 2014, has given more than 5,800 children with developmental delays and their family members a unique and rare opportunity to connect with the community.

To learn more about buying a table at TREASURE ISLAND Play and Party or sponsoring the Sensory-Friendly Programming Initiative, contact Michael Gonzales at michael.gonzales@dct.org or 214-978-0110.

 

Season Ticket Pricing
By signing up for a Play Package, patrons generate substantial savings over individual ticket purchases. Play Packages have as few as four plays or as many as seven; the more plays, the greater the savings. Season subscribers may also purchase individual tickets to any show at a discounted rate.

Play Package Pricing (per person)
• 4 Play Section A: $88, Section B: $68 (This deal makes tickets as low as $17 per ticket, compared to $21 per ticket when you purchase single tickets!)
• 5 Play Section A: $110, Section B: $85
• 6 Play Section A: $126, Section B: $96
• 7 Play Section A: $147, Section B: $112

Single tickets for the 18-2019 season will range from $15 to $30 for adults, and $15 to $28 for youth. Tickets for TREASURE ISLAND Reimagined! go on sale August 1, 2018, and tickets for all other shows go on sale September 3, 2018.

 

Announcing the 18-19 Season
Storytelling comes in many different forms. Children think up imaginary friends and situations in the quiet of their rooms. They tell loved ones tall tales from their imagination through pictures and gestures. What’s happening in their brains is incredible. For adults it can be hard to remember the flurry of activity that takes place during the discovery years; how everything was bigger, brighter, and more spectacular. For 35 years, DCT has had the privilege to delight and entertain children, grandchildren and you, for that matter, through the magic of live theater. Join us for another exceptional year of storytelling and lifechanging moments. Shared moments of wonder and surprise begin with DCT’s 35th Anniversary Season.

 

 

TREASURE ISLAND Reimagined!
Adapted for the stage by Katy Tye, Jeffrey Colangelo, and Robyn Flatt
Based on the book by Robert Louis Stevenson

September 23 – October 21, 2018

Recommended for ages 7 and up

Friendship, betrayal, and adventure are front and center in this bold world premiere! And Jim Hawkins, Ben Gunn, and Long John Silver will do just about anything to be the first to claim the buried treasure. From the moment you enter the theater, you’ll find yourself in the middle of the action. Step into a world of dramatic sword fights, thrilling acrobatics, and magical shadow puppetry as Dallas Children’s Theater, Prism Movement Theatre, Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts, and Lone Star Circus® come together to present a wildly original version of this iconic tale. Grab your costume and come aboard our ship. Your help is needed to decide who gets to take home the gold!

 

SEASON SPECIAL
TEEN SCENE PLAYERS PRESENT
A WRINKLE IN TIME
Adapted by John Glore
From the book by Madeleine L’Engle
Produced by special arrangement with Stage Partners

October 19 – October 28, 2018

Recommended for ages 10 and up

It was a dark and stormy night when Meg Murry’s journey began. Mrs. Whatsit, a mind-reading celestial being, arrives to tell Meg about the evil forces that are holding her missing father prisoner on another planet and the existence of a tesseract – a sort of wrinkle in space and time – that will help her save him. Mrs. Whatsit and two of her unconventional friends (Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which) transport Meg along with her super-genius younger brother Charles Wallace, and friend Calvin O’Keefe through the fifth dimension on a quest to rescue her father and free the universe. This groundbreaking sci-fi/fantasy tale captures the classic struggle between good and evil, the power of love, and the value of individuality. Teens can save the world!

 

A GHOST TALE FOR MR. DICKENS
Book by Will Osborne and Jenny Laird
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

November 16 – December 23, 2018

Recommended for 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!

 

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
Produced in collaboration with Soul Rep Theatre

December 8, 2018 – January 20, 2019

Recommended for 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.

 

SEASON SPECIAL
LONE STAR CIRCUS’®
FOREVER

December 28, 2018 – January 1, 2019

Enjoyed by all ages

In a fun and daring tribute to the birth of the modern circus, Dallas’ own Lone Star Circus® brings its unique brand of spectacle back for the holidays in this all-new show! Jugglers, acrobats, clowns, and four-legged performers from around the world come together to create a parade of not-to-be-forgotten moments for the entire family. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…New Year’s just wouldn’t be the same without their death-defying feats, surprising stage genius, and showstopping special effects. Reserve your seats now to create memories that will last…forever!

 

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

January 25 – February 24, 2019

Recommended for 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.

 

SEASON SPECIAL
TEEN SCENE PLAYERS PRESENT
THE SECRET LIFE OF GIRLS
By Linda Daugherty

February 15 – February 24, 2019

Not suitable for children under 12

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.

 

TUCK EVERLASTING
Script by Mark J. Frattaroli
Based on the book Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

March 22 – April 7, 2019

Recommended for ages 10 and up

What if you could live forever? What if you were asked to keep a shocking secret? Young Winnie Foster suddenly finds herself faced with these dilemmas when she ventures from her routine one single summer morning. What she encounters at the foot of a magnificent tree in the woods on her family’s land brings her face to face with monumental life choices. A romance, a new family, perhaps eternal life? What follows is a whirlwind of events and a life-affirming adventure that The New York Times called “fearsome and beautifully written.” Considered one of the classics of modern children’s literature, this poetic story comes intensely to life on the DCT stage.

 

THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG
Script by Linda Daugherty
Based on the book The Island of the Skog by Steven Kellogg

May 3 – May 25, 2019

Recommended for ages 3 and up

The best laid plans of mice and well, Skog, are upended in this lively musical adventure that navigates land and sea. When Jenny and her mice friends grow weary of ravenous cats, noisy humans, and peril on the streets, they decide a new island paradise is the order of the day. Led by the surly Captain Bouncer, the Rough-riding Rowdies think they’ve hit the jackpot until they discover that a “giant” already has dibs on their newfound home. The Rowdies and Skog each devise a survival of the fittest plan that, in the end, only points out the flaws that come with assuming the worst and refusing to compromise. A delightfully charming and gentle story that brings to life the author’s beloved illustrations and characters.

 

DCT’s NATIONAL TOURING PRODUCTION
DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY
Book, Music & Lyrics by Joan Cushing
Based on the three books by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Harry Bliss

June 14 – July 7, 2019

Recommended for ages 3 and up

The coolest ever rock-n-roll romp through a bug’s world commands center stage in this hip-hoppin’ musical that promotes eco-consciousness, earth science, and tolerance of others. The popular characters from the bestselling books are not so unusual: Worm eats his homework and has no legs. Fly has 327 siblings and wants to be a superhero. And Spider can’t wait to grow up and molt. When Fly’s Aunt Rita needs help getting out of a tight spot, the squad must combine their talents and work as a team on the rescue mission of a lifetime. While there’s no pop quiz, you might just learn that a bug’s life isn’t that different from your own.

_________

ADDITIONAL CREDITS:

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.com

DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY –  © 2011 Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss. By special arrangement with Pippin Properties, Inc. and Gurman Agency LLC.

IMAGE CREDITS:
THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS – Peter illustration used by permission of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. 
THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG – Illustrations from The Island of the Skog copyright ©1973 by Steven Kellogg. All rights reserved. Used with permission. 
DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY –  Illustrations © 2003, 2005, and 2007 by Harry Bliss. Used with permission of Pippin Properties, Inc. 
Circus show imagery courtesy of Lone Star Circus®.  
All other images © 2018, 2019  Dallas Children’s Theater

PHOTO CREDITS:

Karen Almond, Lawrence Jenkins, Melinda Reddehase

Welcome to the jungle!

These actors definitely have what it takes….

 

Marla Acevedo**
(Perchy, a monkey / Water God)
Marla is thrilled to make her debut at DCT with such a talented cast! She graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington where she studied musical theater. She is also an alumna from Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City. TV credits: Queen of The South (Maya). She would like to thank everyone who made this production possible!

 

 

Kia Nicole Boyer*
(Kaa, a python / Water God)
Kia is absolutely thrilled to be making her DCT debut with Jungalbook! Notable Dallas credits include Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (Hyde/Poole) at Theatre Three; HAIR (Jeanie) at Dallas Theater Center; and The Big Meal (Nicole) and Sweet Charity (Nikki) at WaterTower Theatre. Kia Boyer is represented by The Mary Collins Agency.

 

 

Phillip Brown**
(Hathi, an elephant / Water God)
Queensbury Theatre: Unlock’d the Musical and Whistle Down the Wind. Main Street Theater for Youth: How I Became A Pirate (tour), Shrek the Musical, and The Magic Tree House (tour). The Encore Theatre: A Lesson Before Dying, The Poison Tree, and Behind Closed Doors. Lone Star College: Hairspray the Musical, Little Shop of Horrors, and Cinderella. Kirtwood Music Service: Titanic the Musical. Playhouse 1960: Rocky Horror Show, Sister Act the Musical, and The Addams Family the Musical. Film/TV: My Brothers Keeper and Lone Star Deception.

 

Douglass Burks*
(Baloo, a bear)
A veteran of Dallas area theater, Mr. Burks has worked with Dallas Children’s Theater for many years as an Equity actor, stage manager, sound designer, and director. He is a founding member of the nationally acclaimed Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts and has earned the distinction of Master Puppeteer. A popular actor with DCT audiences, Doug will be remembered for his many roles on the DCT stage, which include The Giver (The Giver), Goodnight Moon (Larry the Tooth Fairy), James and the Giant Peach (Old Grasshopper), Peter Pan (Captain Hook), Young King Arthur (Merlin), The Emperor’s New Clothes (the Emperor), The Mummy’s Claw (Sir Nevil Blore), Jungalbook (Baloo), Holes (Mr. Sir), and Treasure Island (Long John Silver). He also portrayed the title characters in Frankenstein, The Reluctant Dragon, The Canterville Ghost, and the 2001 production of The BFG (Big Friendly Giant). Mr. Burks was a member of the first graduating class of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas.

 

Parker Fitzgerald
(Grey, a young wolf)
Noted roles include Seussical™ (Wickersham brother) at Dallas Children’s Theater, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Kev) at Theatre Three, Big River (Huck Finn) at Theatre Arlington, Waiting for Lefty (Sid) with Upstart Productions, Beautiful Thing (STE) with Uptown Players, Miss Evers Boys (Dr. Douglas) with African American Repertory Theater, Two Rooms (Walker) at Runway Theatre, and Cabaret (the Emcee) at Texas Wesleyan University. He has toured twice with Casa Mañana’s Junie B. Jones: Jingle Bells Batman Smells, and twice with Wishing Star Production’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical. He is a member of the Board of Directors at Theatre Arlington and a company member of Upstart Productions.

 

Aaron Jay Green*
(Bagheera, a panther / Fight Captain)
Aaron is thrilled to be making his debut at Dallas Children’s Theater! Previous credits include She Kills Monsters at Theatre Three; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change at Theatre Too; The Grown-Up at Flexible Grey Theatre Company; and The Full Monty at Uptown Players. He thanks Artie, Katy, his castmates, and the crew for a wonderful time in the jungal!

 

 

Matt Holmes*
(Grab, a young wolf)
Matt is so excited to be working with Dallas Children’s Theater. Matt is an actor, cellist, and filmmaker in Dallas. When not on stage or making movies, you can find him slinging eggs and pancakes at Yolk. He has worked all over Dallas and Fort Worth at Circle Theatre, Theatre Three, Kitchen Dog Theater, Uptown Players, Shakespeare Dallas, The Dallas Opera, Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, Ochre House Theater, and Cara Mía Theatre Co. He is represented by The Campbell Agency and has done various TV shows, commercials, and print ads including Scandal Made Me Famous, Blueberry Hall, Pizza Hut, Dr. Pepper, and Price to Fame. Follow him on Instagram! @holmesmattholmes

 

Ivan Jasso*
(Sherakhan, a tiger)
Ivan Jasso is excited to return to the DCT stage; he was last seen in 2015’s Skippyjon Jones. Ivan is an Artistic Ensemble Member with Cara Mía Theatre Co. and has also worked with several other theater companies in the D-FW area including Shakespeare Dallas, Kitchen Dog Theater, Undermain Theatre, Ochre House Theater, Amphibian Stage Productions, and Dallas Theater Center. He is signed with the Mary Collins Agency.

 

Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso
(Chil, a vulture / Water God)
Stephanie has worked with local theater companies, including Undermain Theatre where she is a company member; WaterTower Theatre; Amphibian Stage Productions; DGDG; Shakespeare Dallas; Dallas Theater Center; Cara Mía Theatre Co.; The Tribe; Shakespeare in the Bar; Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico; Dead White Zombies; and Teatro Dallas. In 2015, for her work in Lydia, she received recognition for Outstanding Acting Performance by the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum and Best Actress by TheaterJones.

 

Christopher Lew**
(Mowgli, a man cub)
Clew is delighted to go wild with his DCT debut. Previous credits include Cymbeline with Shakespeare in the Bar; She Kills Monsters with Theatre Three; The Three Musketeers with Theatre Britain; The Royal Society of Antarctica with Stage West; Macbeth with LIP Service; as well as developing work with DCT and The Drama Club. He is represented by The Callidus Agency. Shout out to Artie, the cast and crew, Nicci, Q, and his friends for their support. Every orphan needs a wolfpack. One blood, yoo and me.

 

Doak Rapp
(Hyena / Water God)
Doak is appearing in his first Dallas Children’s Theater production. He has worked professionally as a stage actor in D-FW for five years at Kitchen Dog Theater, Shakespeare Dallas, Uptown Players, WaterTower Theatre, and Fun House Theatre and Film. He is the Artistic Director of The Basement and has both produced and directed productions for the company. He would like to thank his acting teacher Jeff Swearingen.

 

Brandon Whitlock**
(Akela, leader of the wolf pack)
Brandon is returning to the Dallas Children’s Theater stage where he first worked as a child actor. He has more recently appeared in several productions in the Dallas area, including The Three Musketeers with Theatre Britain, Hit the Wall with WaterTower Theatre, Medea Myth: Love’s Beginning with Prism Movement Theatre, and The Tempest with Shakespeare Dallas.

 

Get your tickets now to meet this crew of jungle animals.

 

JUNGALBOOK

An adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book stories
By Edward Mast

May 4 – 26, 2018
Ages 5 and up

See Kipling’s original 1894 coming of age tale brought to the stage, and join Mowgli in learning the moral lessons of home, betrayal, life and death, and loyalty. Mowgli lives in the jungle surrounded by panthers, bears, wolves, snakes, and tigers. They are his protectors, and he believes he is one of them. When Mowgli comes face to face with a fearsome tiger, he is forced to choose between his bond with the jungle and the reality of his humanness. This classic story of the struggle for survival and a place that feels like home will have audiences on the edge of their seats.

 

Photos courtesy of the actors

*INDICATES A MEMBER OF ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION – THE UNION OF PROFESSIONAL ACTORS AND STAGE MANAGERS IN THE USA

**INDICATES EQUITY MEMBERSHIP CANDIDATE

YANA WANA’S LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET cast makes history!

Bringing the story of first American Indians in Texas to life on stage…

Edwin Aguilar

(Tcakei / Ancestor)
Edwin is delighted to return once more to Dallas Children’s Theater where he performed in Tomás and the Library Lady (Tomás) last season. He works with Cara Mía Theatre Co. as a technician and performer for the Dallas Independent School District and recently toured with Deferred Action as a crew member. He’s done voice-over work with Funimation for One Piece and Kino’s Journey. He is an alumnus of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where he interned his senior year with the Dallas Theater Center. He stays busy working overnights at the Omni in downtown Dallas and taking courses to open up a business in Social Media and E-mail Marketing.

Adolfo Becerra**

(Ancestor / Lead Singer)
Adolfo Becerra appeared in DCT’s production of Goosebumps the Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium (Steve) and Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook (Ricardo/Principal). He is a graduate from Sam Houston State University’s Musical Theatre Program where he appeared in the world premiere of Ruffled Flourishes (Quad Sands), Cabaret (ensemble), and directed a show as part of the Student Director’s Debut.

Joey Castorena**

(Chief / Ancestor)
Joey is making his DCT debut. Joey is originally from the D-FW area, but moved to Houston when he was 13. Production credits include Hairspray (Edna), The Producers (Roger De Bris), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (William Barfee), How I Became a Pirate (Swill), The Little Mermaid (Chef Louis), Les Misérables (Thenardier), and Greater Tuna (Sears). Joey thanks everyone at DCT for a great homecoming.

Kitty Coderre

(Matzán / Asawan)
Kitty is very excited to be part of Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet. Kitty is trained in acting for film, commercials, musicals, and theater; she is also trained in dance, modeling, singing, and several instruments. She has appeared in several films, commercials, musicals, and theater productions. Kitty was part of the cast of Pinkalicious, The Musical in 2016 at DCT. She is represented by the Campbell Agency. She would like to thank everyone who is part of this production and her family for the love and support. Enjoy the show!

Tiffany Solano DeSena*

(Consuelo / Ancestor)
Tiffany is a Los Angeles native and recent Dallas transplant who is thrilled to be making her Dallas theater debut in this co-production between Dallas Children’s Theater and Cara Mía Theatre Co. Notable theater credits include her eight-year run in La Posada Magica at South Coast Repertory; the regional premiere of Sonia Flew at San Jose Rep; originating the role of Victoria in the world premiere of Plainsong at Denver Center Theatre; Nine Armenians at The Mark Taper Forum; The Pajama Game (Babe) at Mixed Blood Theatre; The Tempest (Miranda) with 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 to date are her precious children Sofia and Nolan.

Cecilia Flores*

(Abuela)
Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional, Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Theatre Three, Circle Theatre, WaterTower Theatre, Actor, Director, Educator, Arts Advocacy: National Endowment for the Arts and Texas Commission on the Arts, Actors’ Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, MFA, disciple of Paul Baker!

 

Evelio Flores

(Cultural Advisor / Musician)
J. Evelio Chichilticoatl Flores, Jr. is the eldest of five children born to Evelio and Rosa Flores, Danzante Capitan, of Coahuiltecan / Mexican descent. Evelio is a tribal singer / dancer since 1997 and currently leads Mitotiliztli Yaoyollohtli (Heart of the Warrior) Aztec Dance group with his wife Azucena and their four children. Mitotiliztli Yaoyollohtli has been on the roster of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Community Arts Program (CAP) since 2006. Evelio co-founded Kalpulli Tonalpilli (Temple of Precious Sun) Native American Church in 2005 as a means of practicing and preserving the cultural traditions of the Indigenous Ancestors. Flores is a pipe carrier and Sundancer since 1999. He is also a member of the Advisory Council with the Indigenous Institute of the Americas (IIA) and a cultural consultant with the Indigenous Cultures Institute (ICI) in San Marcos, TX. Currently he is a realtor after working 20 years throughout school districts in D-FW as a social worker and substance abuse counselor.

Gazelle Garcia

(Ancestor / Yana Wana’s Mother / Lead Singer)
Gazelle is proud to be sharing indigenous stories in their DCT debut! Regional credits: Junie B. Jones The Musical (Junie B.) at Magik Theatre, Wazir of Oz (premiere) at Austin Scottish Rite, and Flat Stanley at Georgetown Palace. Others include: Shrek (Pinocchio), Seussical (Cat in the Hat), You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Sally), Xanadu (Melpomene), Dog Sees God (CB’s Sis) in NYC, and In the Heights (Vanessa) (Best Supporting, ATAC Globe Award). See them in Madagascar at Magik Theatre this summer!

Karla Gonzalez

(Ancestor / Kis)
Karla is excited to return to DCT after appearing in Maggie Magalita (Maggie). She was last seen in De Troya, Flores y Calaveras, and Novenas Narrativas with Cara Mía Theatre Co. Previous credits with Teatro Dallas include Feather and the Tempest, The Holy Inquiry, Octopus’s Garden, The Feast of All Souls, and Little Mexico to name a few. She has participated in various international theater festivals and workshops, and works as a voice-over talent. Karla received her BA in Theater and Broadcast Management from UT Arlington. She is represented by the Horne Agency.

Eva Harris

(Matzán / Asawan)
Eva Harris is absolutely ecstatic to be making her debut with Dallas Children’s Theater. Recent credits include performing in The Merry Wives of Windsor with Bare Bones Shakespeare, directing Into the Woods Jr. with Artsvision Performing and Visual Arts Camp, and performing in Blood Wedding with Dallas ISD.

 

Fernando Hernandez*

(The Deer / Dance Captain)
Fernando earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Universidad Regiomontana in Monterrey, Mexico. At the age of six, he discovered his love for dance and later was accepted by CEDART “Alfonso Reyes” for the performance and visual arts high school in Monterrey, Mexico. It was here that he discovered other branches of dance: classical ballet, contemporary, and flamenco. At Escuela Superior de Musica y Danza he studied classical ballet as a professional dancer and performed with the Ballet of Monterrey under assistant direction of Fernando Bujones. In 1999 he was invited to become the Director and Choreographer for LunaSol Folklorico Ballet at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where he currently serves as their special guest choreographer for the World Dance Ensemble.

Rosalinda Olivares**

(María)
Rosalinda is an actor & puppeteer residing in Dallas, TX and is thrilled to be making her debut with Dallas Children’s Theater. A graduate from The University of Texas at Arlington, Rosalinda has performed in various theaters around the D-FW Metroplex. Her favorite roles include Linda in La Linda by Diana Burbano, Marisol in Marisol by Jose Rivera, and Sister James in Doubt by John Patrick Shanley. She gives thanks to her family, friends, and Eduardo for supporting her artistic goals. She dedicates this performance to her niece and nephew, Mercedes and Shaylon! Rosalinda is DCT’s Education Associate.

Omar Padilla

(Ancestor / The Deer alternate)
Omar is delighted to be making his DCT debut! He was recently seen in Stand-Up Tragedy (Lee Cortez), produced by the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. Other selected theater credits include Yemaya’s Belly with Cara Mía Theatre Co., The Invaders with Teatro Dallas, Donkey Beach with Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, and the world premiere of Gracefully Ending with Theatre Arlington. Omar has also worked as a voice actor for Funimation and for the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s live-dubbing of Jersey Boys as part of the Broadway En Español series. He has been a teaching artist for four years where he has worked with organizations such as The Flame Foundation, WaterTower Theatre, Teatro Dallas, and Cara Mía Theatre Co. Omar works in the film and TV industry, and is represented by the Kim Dawson Agency.

Priscilla Rice

(Ancestor Alternate / Abuela Understudy)
Priscilla is excited to be in her first show at DCT. She is a Dallas-based poet, storyteller, and actor. She has had the honor to work with Cara Mía Theatre Co., appearing in plays such as Crystal City 1969, The House on Mango Street, Milagritos, Dreamers Part 1: A Bloodline, Nuestra Pastorela, and Zoot Suit.

 

Mark Quach**

(Teacher / Ancestor / Librarian)
Mark is thrilled for his DCT debut with this show. Regional credits include: Spring Awakening (Georg) at Runway Theatre, The Wedding Singer (Imelda Marcos) at Theatre Three, Ripcord (Scotty) at Circle Theatre, and Rudolph The Rednosed Reindeer National Tour (Aviator Elf). Enjoy the show!

 

Jennifer Reyna

(Yana Wana / Ancestor)
Jennifer’s past credits include The House on Mango Street, Oklahoma!, Once Upon A Mattress, Little Shop of Horrors, The Thorn, Queen of the South (USA Network), and Vanities. She is a junior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Jennifer would like to thank her supportive family and school for allowing her to pursue her dreams.

Mindamora Rocha*

(María’s Mother / Ancestor)
Mindamora is thrilled to be back at DCT after appearing in last season’s production of Tomás and the Library Lady (Josefa). She graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University with a B.A. in Musical Theatre and thereafter toured the country with Missoula Children’s Theatre’s production of The Jungle Book. Mindamora has since had the pleasure of performing with awesome regional theater companies like Undermain Theatre, Lyric Stage, Amphibian Stage Productions, Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, Artes de la Rosa, Granbury Opera House, and Stolen Shakespeare Guild. Some of her favorite productions she has performed in include Legally Blonde, Chicago, So Go the Ghosts of Mexico: Part Two, Dog Sees God, Much Ado About Nothing, Grease, and Xanadu.

Remi Swan

(Yana Wana / Ancestor)
Remi is thrilled to be making her debut at DCT. She previously acted as an “AnchorKid” for The True Story of the Three Little Pigs at DCT. She is a student at Canterbury Episcopal School in DeSoto, Texas. She has been taking classes at Dallas Children’s Theater since she was first eligible to do so. She studies dance at DeSoto Dance Academy and has had voice lessons and other performance-related training.

Photos courtesy of the actors

*INDICATES A MEMBER OF ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION – THE UNION OF PROFESSIONAL ACTORS AND STAGE MANAGERS IN THE USA

**INDICATES EQUITY MEMBERSHIP CANDIDATE

TITLE SPONSORS:
TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund
and Diana and Thomas Klein

Commissioned by Dallas Children’s Theater, Robyn Flatt, Executive Artistic Director, Dallas, TX
in partnership with Cara Mía Theatre Co., David Lozano, Artistic Director, Dallas, TX
with contributions by Mitotiliztli Yaoyollohtli Danza Azteca, Evelio Flores, Director, Dallas, TX
and the Indigenous Cultures Institute of San Marcos, TX

Proclamation: Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet Day in Dallas County

An Historic Theatrical Partnership Celebrating the First People of Texas Receives Accolade From Dallas County Officials

Front Row (left to right): Robyn Flatt (DCT Executive Artistic Director), Evelio Flores (Director of Mitotiliztli Yaoyollohtli Danza Azteca) and his grandmother; Jennifer Reyna (cast roles: Yana Wana / Ancestor), Tiffany DeSena (cast roles: Consuelo / Ancestor), Linda Cantu (Cara Mía Theatre Co. board president), and Daniel Casillas (Cara Mía Theatre Co. board member). Back Row (Dallas County Commissioners)(left to right): Dr. Theresa Daniel (District 1), Mike Cantrell (District 2), Clay Jenkins (Dallas County Judge), John Wiley Price (District 3), and Dr. Elba Garcia (District 4).

This week, the Dallas County Commissioners Court gave special public recognition to co-producers Dallas Children’s Theater and Cara Mía Theatre Company for creating YANA WANA’S LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET.  This landmark play puts front and center the contributions and legacy of the Coahuiltecans who originated in Texas more than 14,000 years ago.

_____________________________

Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet

Dallas County Resolution

Presented March 20, 2018 starting at 9 a.m.

 

Title

Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet

Dallas Children’s Theater and Cara Mía Theatre Company, co-producers of Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet, encourage all citizens to focus on the key message of the Coahuiltecan’s Legend of the Bluebonnet – Identity. Responsibility. Community.

Resolution

Whereas, Dallas Children’s Theater under the direction of Robyn Flatt and Cara Mía Theatre Company under the direction of David Lozano collaborated to bring the Coahuiltecan’s legend to life with a world premiere production of Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet; and

 

Whereas, Dallas Children’s Theater commissioned the play and worked throughout the state of Texas and beyond with Roxanne Schroeder-Arce, Austin playwright, Dr. Mario Garza and María Rocha of the Indigenous Cultures Institute in San Marcos, Héctor Martínez Morales of Sonora Mexico, Fernando Hernandez and Evelio Flores of Dallas to bring authenticity and relevance to Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet; and

 

Whereas, co-producer Cara Mía Theatre Company and David Lozano served as Dramaturg and devoted valuable cultural expertise and resources to the project including the costume design created by Frida Espinosa-Müller; and

 

Whereas, it is important to preserve the heritage and value of everyone’s cultures including stories, customs and traditions such as found in Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet; and

 

Whereas, Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet demonstrates how powerful it is in finding your identity and, how important it is to own it and to be proud of it; and

 

Whereas; Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet demonstrates how every individual has to have a sense of responsibility to always do the right thing for family, friends, neighbors and our Earth’s resources; and

Whereas; Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet demonstrates how each of us is an important and integral part of our community and how together with identity and responsibility, we look out for our community and strive to make it better;

 

Now, therefore, I, Dr. Elba Garcia, County Commissioner of Dallas County, and on behalf of the Dallas County Commissioners, do hereby proclaim March 23, 2018* as Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet Day in Dallas County, Texas.

_____________________________

Wonder who might have discovered the first bluebonnets in Texas? Don’t miss this world premiere!

A Dallas Children’s Theater/
Cara Mía Theatre Company Co-Production
YANA WANA’S LEGEND
OF THE BLUEBONNET
By Roxanne Schroeder-Arce and María F. Rocha
Music by Héctor Martínez Morales

March 23 – April 8, 2018
Ages 6 and up

Ten-year-old María is having trouble in school, so her mom sends her to stay with her Coahuiltecan grandmother in distant Laredo for discipline and perspective. There, María is told an ancient story of young Yana Wana who followed a revered deer to find water to save her people. Yana Wana’s story exposes an amazing and unknown ancestral connection to the bluebonnet that gives María a renewed sense of self and family pride. You may have read one version in school; now we invite you to come see the legend through the eyes of Yana Wana in this world premiere. A beautiful, original play that illustrates the power of heritage and the value of one’s own story – especially one as ancient as the petroglyphs of Texas.

 

TITLE SPONSORS:
TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund and Diana and Thomas Klein

To purchase tickets and obtain additional information about the show, visit dct.org, or call the Box Office at 214-740-0051.

_____________________________

Commissioned by Dallas Children’s Theater, Robyn Flatt, Executive Artistic Director, Dallas, TX
in partnership with Cara Mía Theatre Co., David Lozano, Artistic Director, Dallas, TX
with contributions by Mitotiliztli Yaoyollohtli Danza Azteca, Evelio Flores, Director, Dallas, TX
and the Indigenous Cultures Institute of San Marcos, TX

_____________________________

Photos by: Sandra Session-Robertson and Karen Almond (third photo)

Celebrate Water as a Sacred Resource

Today is World Water Day, and our production of YANA WANA’S LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET highlights water in a unique way.

Stop jiggling, start fixing. That’s one of the taglines from the City of Dallas officials in their efforts to promote water preservation. This phrase is referring to a toilet handle, and its annoying owners that suggest that just “jiggling the handle” when the water won’t stop running is the solution.

As we take a moment to think about the importance of water in our lives today, I am thinking about all the things I am learning about the historic significance of water through DCT’s upcoming production of YANA WANA’S LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET. We have interviewed so many of the artistic staff of the production, and they have talked about how the story expresses the importance of ritual and ceremony, and the many seeds, both literally and figuratively, planted by our ancestors. The story that Maria’s Abuela shares with her is about her roots as a Coahuiltecan, which is an indigenous band of tribes that dwelled in what is now the border between Mexico and the United States thousands of years ago. The story also reminds me of how vital water remains to all of us through the ages.

The story of this tribe involves a deer, as many indigenous peoples have a representative deer in their lineage. The deer leads a family member to the sacred water resource because her people, the Coahuiltecans, have run out of water, and in turn are running out of food. The discovery of water turns out to be directly connected to the discovery of the bluebonnet. After hearing from our scenic designer, I cannot wait to see how the bluebonnets magically appear on the stage, as instructed in the script. It will be breathtaking.

The world decided that water is important enough to dedicate a whole day to it. When we have it, we often take it for granted. When we don’t have it, we understand just how important it is.

The land once occupied by the Coahuiltecans is referred to as the colonias (Spanish for neighborhood), which is the area on both sides of the border. The residents of this land are still dealing with the centuries-old issue of clean water, as this area lacks basic sewage and water services. These colonias are low-cost plots of land, with 90% being in Texas, on which many Mexican immigrants have settled in search of the American dream, only to find that they are outside city limits and without essentials for survival. For example, there are hundreds of thousands of residents living on this land trying everything from building wells to connecting to nearby subdivisions to pleading with local officials just to gain access to clean water.

The need for water connects us through the centuries. It’s something every human needs, regardless of their ancestry, and it’s something we share with every living thing. YANA WANA’S LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNETS celebrates nature and water with reverence. The theme the United Nations set for 2018 World Water Day is “The Answer is Nature.” It’s a day to learn about how we can use our resources responsibly and learn from what nature has already provided. In this way it seems like we are not that different from ancient indigenous cultures that relied on the elements of water, fire, air and earth to guide them.

DCT’s YANA WANA’S LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET, co-produced with Cara Mía Theatre Co., is going to be unlike anything our audiences have experienced. When asked what they hoped the audience would gain from the production, the unanimous answer from the artistic staff had to do with being united, and connecting with each other. Clearly, water is one of those precious resources that binds generations, races and species.

Celebrate World Water Day, and then come watch the sacredness of water brought to life through theater. We hope it will inspire you to think about water preservation and your responsibility to your neighbor in a whole new way.

There are only a few options to see this production, so pick a date and time from the list below and get your tickets today.

Friday, March 23 at 7:30PM
Sunday, March 25 at 1:30PM
Saturday, April 7 at 1:30PM
Sunday, April 8 at 1:30PM
Sunday, April 8 at 4:30P (ASL)

A Dallas Children’s Theater/Cara Mía Theatre Co. Co-Production

YANA WANA’S LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET

By Roxanne Schroeder-Arce and María F. Rocha
Music by Héctor Martínez Morales

March 23 – April 8, 2018
Ages 6 and up

Ten-year-old María is having trouble in school, so her mom sends her to stay with her Coahuiltecan grandmother in distant Laredo for discipline and perspective. There, María is told an ancient story of young Yana Wana who followed a revered deer

to find water to save her people. Yana Wana’s story exposes an amazing and unknown ancestral connection to the bluebonnet that gives María a renewed sense of self and family pride. You may have read one version in school; now we invite you to come see the legend through the eyes of Yana Wana in this world premiere. A beautiful, original play that illustrates the power of heritage and the value of one’s own story – especially one as ancient as the petroglyphs of Texas.

 

TITLE SPONSORS:

TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund and Diana and Thomas Klein

Written by Sherry Ward. Sherry is a mother, actor, and writer based in Dallas, TX.

If you would like to use one of DCT’s Assistive Listening Devices during the show, or ifyou have your own device thatyou would like to plug into DCT’s system, please make every effort to visit the Box Office at least 30 minutes in advance before the show.

If you need accessible seating (wheelchair seating, visual impaired, etc.), please enter the information in the notes section of your order and/or call 214-740-0051. Please call if performance time is within the next three days. Thank you.

Commissioned by Dallas Children’s Theater, Robyn Flatt, Executive Artistic Director, Dallas, TX
in partnership with Cara Mía Theatre Co., David Lozano, Artistic Director, Dallas, TX
with contributions by Mitotiliztli Yaoyollohtli Danza Azteca, Evelio Flores, Director, Dallas, TX
and the Indigenous Cultures Institute of San Marcos, TX

What’s so great about DCT…

All children and families are welcome at DCT!  Just ask our sensory-friendly families!

Drama helps children with autism and other developmental disabilities build social interaction skills and become more self-aware. Dallas Children’s Theater welcomes children with developmental disabilities and their families! Our sensory-friendly performances and classes are designed to be easy on the senses and meet children and families where they are.

Sensory-friendly performances

Our sensory-friendly performances feature house lights up slightly and sound down slightly. Repetitive flashing lights are eliminated. We offer social stories, quiet rooms, and helpers trained to understand children with sensory sensitivities.

Blue Pegasus Players Classes

Blue Pegasus Players classes are tailored for children with developmental disabilities and sensory needs. Offered throughout the year, the sessions help students better identify emotions, support one another, and take initiative. Some classes feature opportunities for typically developing children to support, make friends with, and learn from children with developmental disabilities.

Sensory-Friendly Performances and Classes at DCT

Making the magic of live theater available to all!

Learn more about sensory-friendly shows here.

Learn more about sensory-friendly classes here.

_______________

Photo Credits: Elizabeth Showalter, Patty Bates-Ballard, DCT Staff

Facts you should know about Bluebonnets…

In 2014, KERA’s Eric Aasen shared 15 amazing things about Texas Bluebonnets.  Here are a few excerpts:

 

  1. The bluebonnet is our state flower. In 1901, the Texas Legislature named the bluebonnet, a legume, the state flower. Many say it got its name because it resembles a sunbonnet. It’s also been called buffalo clover, wolf flower and el conejo, or rabbit in Spanish. Five species of bluebonnet grow in Texas: Lupinus subcarnosus, L. havardii, L. concinnus, L. perennis, and L. plattensis.

 

  1. Bluebonnets help to beautify the roads. In 1932, the department hired Jac Gubbels, its first landscape architect, to maintain, preserve and encourage wildflowers and other native plants along rights of way.

 

 

 

  1. We create family memories in the bluebonnet fields. Snapping pictures of the family in a field of bluebonnets: It’s an iconic springtime image in Texas. And Texans have done it for generations.

 

 

 

  1. We get poetic about our bluebonnets. Historian Jack Maguire once wrote: “It’s not only the state flower but also a kind of floral trademark almost as well known to outsiders as cowboy boots and the Stetson hat.” He also said: “The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.”

 

 

  1. We sing songs about bluebonnets. Did you know Texas has a state flower song? It’s “Bluebonnets.” In 1933, the Texas Legislature adopted the song, which was written by Laura D. Booth and Lora C. Crockett. Some lyrics: When the pastures are green in the springtime, And the birds are singing their sonnets, You may look to the hills and the valleys, And they’re covered with lovely bluebonnets.

 

  1. In North Texas, Ennis is Bluebonnet Central. In 1997, the Texas Legislature named Ennis the Texas Bluebonnet Trail and the official bluebonnet city of Texas. Every April, up to 100,000 people flock to the Ellis County town.

 

 

 

Wonder who might have discovered the first bluebonnets in Texas? Don’t miss this world premiere!

A Dallas Children’s Theater/
Cara Mía Theatre Company Co-Production
YANA WANA’S LEGEND
OF THE BLUEBONNET
By Roxanne Schroeder-Arce and María F. Rocha
Music by Héctor Martínez Morales

March 23 – April 8, 2018
Ages 6 and up

Ten-year-old María is having trouble in school, so her mom sends her to stay with her Coahuiltecan grandmother in distant Laredo for discipline and perspective. There, María is told an ancient story of young Yana Wana who followed a revered deer to find water to save her people. Yana Wana’s story exposes an amazing and unknown ancestral connection to the bluebonnet that gives María a renewed sense of self and family pride. You may have read one version in school; now we invite you to come see the legend through the eyes of Yana Wana in this world premiere. A beautiful, original play that illustrates the power of heritage and the value of one’s own story – especially one as ancient as the petroglyphs of Texas.

 

TITLE SPONSORS:
TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund and Diana and Thomas Klein

To purchase tickets and obtain additional information about the show, visit dct.org, or call the Box Office at 214-740-0051.

_____________________________

Commissioned by Dallas Children’s Theater, Robyn Flatt, Executive Artistic Director, Dallas, TX
in partnership with Cara Mía Theatre Co., David Lozano, Artistic Director, Dallas, TX
with contributions by Mitotiliztli Yaoyollohtli Danza Azteca, Evelio Flores, Director, Dallas, TX
and the Indigenous Cultures Institute of San Marcos, TX

_____________________________

Read the complete article at: http://keranews.org/post/15-amazing-things-you-should-know-about-texas-bluebonnets

_____________________________

First photo by: Joe Jungmann via Creative Commons. Third photo by: Steve Harbula via Creative Commons. Fourth photo by: David via Creative Commons. Second, fifth, and sixth photos via istockphoto.

What do Bluebonnets mean to Texas?

Celebrate World Wildlife Day as Dallas Children’s Theater and Cara Mía Theatre Co. prepare to share the history of Texas bluebonnets and the state’s first inhabitants!

 

Today, March 3, is World Wildlife Day, so I thought it would be a good time to talk about our upcoming production of YANA WANA’S LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET. Of course the obvious connection is that the bluebonnet is the Texas state flower which grows wild in fields and along freeways during the spring. They are protected in that you aren’t supposed to pick them, although I’m sure there have been a few lost to Texas toddlers having their photos taken in the midst of them. But there’s a deeper relevance to this day and the bluebonnet worth your knowing about.

Each year the UN chooses a theme for World Wildlife Day. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres says this day is a time to focus on the role the planet’s animals and plant life play in our cultures and the sustainability of our societies. In our upcoming production, you will definitely have a better appreciation for the connection between the bluebonnet and the first people of Texas. We’re proud to be making history with our world premiere production that both celebrates the Coahuiltecans (kwah-wheel-tek-kuhns) – the first people to originate in Texas 14,000 years ago – and introduces to everyone their contribution to our history, their relationship to the plants and animals that roamed our grounds, and their impact on our current existence.

In addition to these reasons for seeing YANA WANA’S LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET, I think we’d all agree that pre-teens are their own form of wildlife. As a mom with my own burgeoning set of teens, I feel comfortable saying that. In our show, ten-year-old Maria is taken out of her normal habitat (which includes having a screen in her hand 24/7) and is transported to her grandmother’s home in Laredo for discipline and perspective. There, away from the normal distractions, Maria eventually commits fully to a world in which wildlife is both sacred and essential to living. In doing so, she learns of her unknown ancestral connection to the bluebonnet. It is a beautiful tale that illustrates the power of ancestry, the value of one’s own story and the importance of precious natural resources such as water, and yes, bluebonnets.

As a non-Texas native, the bluebonnet was new to me, and I was amazed by how Texans still revere the beautiful spring bloom. But the more I’ve learned about the bluebonnet and its significance to the original people of Texas, the more I wish I had spent the time other parents invest in permanently capturing the young kids amid a full field of bluebonnets. There really isn’t anything quite as beautiful as the purplish little towers that blossom so perfectly. They’re unlike any flower I’ve ever seen. It is fitting that they are so significant in Texas, today, and in our history.

You’ll find out more when you join us for YANA WANA’S LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET. Even if you read a book by the same name in school like most Texas students, you’ll want to check out this story. Historic in a number of
ways, we’re just willing to bet that you’ll walk away with a newfound appreciation of water, bluebonnets, your ancestors and a whole lot more.

 

Written by Sherry Ward. Sherry is a mother, actor, and writer based in D-FW.

YANA WANA’S LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET runs March 23 – April 8. There are only a few public performances, so please don’t miss the opportunity to share this important part of our collective history with your family.

Fri., Mar. 23 at 7:30PM
Sun., Mar. 25 at 1:30PM
Sat., Apr. 7 at 1:30PM
Sun., Apr. 8 at 1:30PM
Sun., Apr. 8 at 4:30PM (ASL)

 

CREDITS: 

First photo sourced from stock photography. The photos of the beautiful families posing among the bluebonnets were sourced from the following personal websites: lcahouston.com and cherish365.com. Final photo by Ulises Garcia.

A Parent’s Perspective on DCT’s teen show SCREEN PLAY

Sherry Ward, DCT Mom Blogger

Sherry Ward, DCT Mom Blogger

Dear Friends,

We all do it…so let’s talk about it…

As the mother of two tween boys, let me first assure you that SCREEN PLAY by Linda Daugherty premiering this Friday at DCT is NOT an admonishment to parents for letting their kids play with screens. Now relax, and please keep reading.

DCT’s Playwright-in-Residence Linda Daugherty has written many highly-acclaimed teen issue plays. These range in subject matter from eating disorders to bullying to dating violence to learning differences and teen brain decision-making. Each performance is anchored by an interactive post-show discussion with DCT’s Teen Advisory Council, which includes social, medical and psychological experts from all over North Texas. Some amazing, eye-opening conversations take place.

This year, Linda has written a new play called SCREEN PLAY about the impact of habitual screen use. In her research, Linda discovered that more than 50% of teens admit they are addicted to their phones; meaning they are plugged in and tuned out. This may or may not be a surprise to you, but either way, if you know a teen or a child old enough to have their own digital device, this is a play and a discussion created with you in mind.

Like I said, the play does not shake a finger at parents, or teens for that matter. But it is a frank exploration of the blurry lines between real life and life online. In the show, cyberbullying, the use of explicit content and screen addiction lead to irreversible consequences for a group of teens.

 

What Parents and Teens are Saying about the Play

In November 2017, DCT hosted a SCREEN PLAY Play-Reading and Panel Discussion which gave parents, teens and educators a sneak peek at the show, as well as an opportunity to talk candidly with experts about the timely, relevant topics in the play. Here’s what audiences who attended the event told us about their experience.

“Very well-rehearsed, clear, well-paced, insightful” – Neha Mamtani

“My daughter who is in the 7th grade attended with me and we talked the entire way home.” – Madeline Patrick

The show will premiere at DCT February 9-18, and we really hope you will mark your calendars. To learn more about SCREEN PLAY and to purchase tickets for the show, visit dct.org/screenplay, or call the DCT Box Office at 214-740-0051.

———————

GENERAL SPONSORS: The Hersh Foundation, Diana and Thomas Klein

Photo Credits: Linda Blase; and courtesy of Sherry Ward

What is it about THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR?

Ryan Diller with CaterpillarCaterpillar pops out of egg. Caterpillar eats a lot. Caterpillar gets a stomachache. Caterpillar builds a cocoon around himself. Caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Caterpillar sells the second highest number of picture books of all time (and keeps inching towards Peter Rabbit’s 67-year head start).

But there’s more: this hungry little caterpillar has appeared in the form of paper plates, hand shovels, cupcake wrappers, binoculars, key chains, stuffed animals (one of which is proudly owned by this blogger), and too many other products to name.

Why? How has such a basic story left such a deep imprint on our hearts and imaginations? What is it about The Very Hungry Caterpillar?

Personally, the book reminds me of the joy and discovery that seems to go hand in hand with childhood. But is that just nostalgia talking? Surely there has to be more than that. I may cherish the other books of my youth, but I have this particular sense of wonder towards that little caterpillar and his big appetite.

So let’s start there: the hunger.

Children don’t lack for hungry characters. Winnie the Pooh, Cookie Monster, and Garfield have happily stuffed their faces for decades, to the delight of young people everywhere. The satisfaction of good food is a basic thrill, and the hunger for more is a universal drive.

Eric Carle evokes these elemental feelings simply yet viscerally. Who can forget the excitement of feeling those small holes in the book’s pages, the gradual escalation of the foods, and the soft humor when the caterpillar overdoes itself and munches through cake, pickle, salami, and beyond?

That playfulness resonates with children and the inner child of adults, and it brings out the best in Carle’s artwork. Anything is possible in his illustrations; you never know if you’ll encounter a purple cat or a blue horse, or a caterpillar with wide, infant-like eyes.

And Carle presents all of it through that beloved childhood form, brightly colored collage. In a video celebrating Caterpillar’s 45th anniversary, Carle happily remarks while recreating his signature character, “Just like in kindergarten.” He may possess the attention to detail of a seasoned professional, but Carle’s artwork shows that any child – with practice – can become an artist like him.

“Many children have done collages at home or in their classrooms,” says Carle. “In fact, some children have said to me, ‘Oh, I can do that.’ I consider that the highest compliment.”

Indeed, Carle believes that both Caterpillar’s pictures and words alike serve to show children that they are capable of doing wonderful things.

DCT's THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW“I think what it is is it’s a book of hope,” he explains. “You little, ugly, little [sic], insignificant bug: you, too, can grow up to be a beautiful, big butterfly and fly into the world and unfold your talents.”

That rings true to me, though I’ve never consciously thought of it all these years, nor did Carle when he wrote the book. But that’s part of the book’s beauty: it never preaches to the child, never moralizes nor embellishes. It presents, simply, one of nature’s tiny miracles through the eyes of an adult’s loving wisdom and a child’s colorful imagination. To a child, it shows that transformation is possible, that exciting changes await them. To adults, it preserves that magic of childhood, of innocently crawling along the ground driven by simple needs, discovering the world along the way.

While THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW is being performed on the DCT stage, I encourage those who know the book to bring their loved ones and relive their memories, and I hope unfamiliar audiences will treat themselves to Eric Carle’s world. I’m willing to bet each of these groups will leave inspired, empowered, and treasuring the experience for a lifetime.

To learn more about THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW and to purchase tickets, visit dct.org or call the DCT Box Office at 214-740-0051.

———————

Ryan Diller is a DCT Guest Writer. He is the former Web Editor of 1966: A JOURNAL OF CREATIVE NONFICTION, and his writing has appeared in MULTIBRIEFS and HOT PRESS. He is currently working towards an MFA in Playwriting at the University of Calgary.

———————

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Ryan Diller, and Eric Carle; Photo by Linda Blase

———————

Image Credits:

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR and associated logos are trademarks and/or registered marks of Eric Carle LLC, © &™

Paper Dessert Plate source: orientaltrading.com

Cupcake Wrappers source: walmart.com

Plush Stuffed Animal source: amazon.com

Hand Shovel source: shop.carlemuseum.org/caterpillar-hand-shovel

Binoculars source: shop.carlemuseum.org/caterpillar-binoculars

Caterpillar and Sun Keychain source: shop.carlemuseum.org/category/clothing-accessories/accessories/key-chains