Dallas Children's Theater Blog

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

Meet the Cast of Beauty and the Beast

Meet the shining stars in this tale as old as time!

Alyssa Cavazos*
(Belle)
Alyssa is humbled to play the role of her dreams, Belle, for this “tale as old as time!” You may remember Alyssa from her past roles on the DCT stage: Ella Enchanted: The Musical (Hattie), The Island of the Skog (Louise), and Treasure Island Reimagined! (Pirate Morgan). She has had the pleasure of performing all over D-FW, New York, and Missouri but is so happy she has found a home like DCT to be an actress and teacher. Alyssa received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Abilene Christian University. She would like to thank her husband, Drew, and her family for their love and support!

Ania Lyons
(Silly Girl/Salt)
Ania is so excited to be back on stage at DCT after appearing in Magic Tree House’s Holiday Musical: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens last season! Most recently she was in the world premiere of The Armor Plays: Cinched & Strapped at Theatre Three. Other regional credits include Disaster! with Uptown Players, Newsies with Lyric Stage, Elemental: Nature’s Rhapsody with the ATTPAC’s Elevator Project, and many exciting productions onstage and backstage with The Firehouse Theater.

Camille Jett
(Silly Girl/Knife)
Camille is thrilled to make her Dallas Children’s Theater debut! Other productions include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Rona Lisa Peretti/Olive’s Mom) at McKinney Boyd High School; and Big Fish (The Witch) and Sweeney Todd (Aldolfo Pirelli) at Genesis Children’s Theatre. Camille also has a passion and love for choreography. Philippians 4:13. @camillejett

Caroline Bush
(Chip)
Caroline is proud to be returning to the DCT stage, having previously been seen in the productions of Into the Woods, Jr. (Little Red); Magic Tree House’s Holiday Musical: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens (Colin/Young Charles); and Alice in Wonderland, Jr. (March Hare). Caroline takes musical theater classes from Mr. Doug Miller at the DCT Conservatory and studies voice with Ms. Cherry Hanes. She has also been seen at The Firehouse Theatre in James and the Giant Peach, Jr.; Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR.; and Madagascar, Jr. Caroline sends her heartfelt thanks to Ms. Nancy and the cast andcrew for this wonderful experience!

David Coffee*
(Cogsworth)
Debut! In a career that spans 50 years, David has been welcomed by audiences from Portland, Oregon to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Long associations include Casa Mañana (89 productions) and North Shore Music Theatre (59 productions). Next, David will return to New England where his Scrooge has become a Holiday Tradition for the past 26
seasons. DavidCoffee.org

Debbie Brown*
(Mrs. Potts)
This is Debbie’s 19th production at DCT. Other recent appearances include Man of La Mancha for Lyric Stage, Opal’s Husband for 1:30 Productions, and Ripcord at Circle Theatre. Debbie spent 15 years in the Casa Mañana Children’s Playhouse Company, is a recipient of the LTL of Fort Worth’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a long time member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Duke Anderson*
(Lumiere)
Duke Anderson is enchanted to join the DCT family! Previous theater credits include National Tours of Murder for Two (Marcus) and Sweeney Todd (Anthony). Regional credits include The Sound of Music at Paper Mill Playhouse, Les Misérables at The MUNY, Camelot at Casa Mañana, and Exit, Pursued by a Bear at Circle Theatre. Opera credits include Samson & Dalila and The Flying Dutchman at The Dallas Opera, and The Bremen Town Musicians (Eddie Pensier) with TDO’s Education Outreach Program. Thank you to Nancy and Adam for bringing this inanimate object to life!

Edward Houser
(Beast)
Edward Houser is delighted to make his debut with Dallas Children’s Theater! Recent credits around town include As You Like It (Oliver) with Shakespeare Dallas, Mamma Mia! (Sky) and Bye Bye Birdie (Birdie) with CORP, and Moon Over Buffalo (Paul) with Runway Theatre. Ed is a proud graduate of the University of Dallas where his favorite productions included Three Sisters (Vershinin), Measure for Measure (Angelo), and Candide (Pangloss).

Ethan Rodriguez-Mullins
(Lefou)
Ethan Rodriguez-Mullins is absolutely thrilled to be back at Dallas Children’s Theater after just finishing up the national tour of Diary of a Worm, a Spider & a Fly (Spider) this summer! He was previously seen making his music directing debut at CORP in their acclaimed production of Godspell. Favorite roles include: Grease (Doody) and Gypsy (Yonkers) at The Firehouse Theatre; Hello, Dolly! (Barnaby Tucker) at Garland Summer Musicals; The Yellow Boat (Benjamin) at Resolute Theatre Project; and  The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Chip) at Collin Theatre Center. He would love thank Nancy and Adam for the amazing opportunity to play one of his dream roles and his friends and family for their never-ending support and love.

Gena Loe*
(Babette)
Gena is excited to return to DCT! Her previous work on the DCT stage includes The Island of the Skog (Hannah), Ella Enchanted: The Musical (Olive), and Seussical (Bird Girl). She has also performed locally in Disaster! at Uptown Players and Sister Act (Sister Mary Lazarus) at MainStage Irving-Las Colinas. She would like to thank her family and friends for encouraging her to continue dreaming.

Grace West*
(Madame de la Grande Bouche)
Grace is thrilled to return to the DCT stage after previously being seen in Miracle on 34th Street and Pinkalicious, The Musical. Grace is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

 

 

Isaiah Christopher
(Lord Harris Baker/Monsieur D’Arque/Whisk)
After spending a year on the road in DCT’s National Touring Production of Diary of a Worm, a Spider, & a Fly (Worm) Isiah is beyond thrilled to return home to Dallas Children’s Theater! Previous work includes: Priscilla Queen Of The Desert (Jimmy) at Uptown Players; Grease (Sonny) at The Firehouse Theatre; Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration (Reindeer Dancer) at Walt Disney World; Chicago (Aaron) at MainStage Irving-Las Colinas; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Leaf Coneybear) and The Drowsy Chaperone (George ) at Collin College. Isaiah would like to thank his family & friends for their immense amount of love & support over the years, and God for his unconditional love. Instagram: @Turk8_

Julie Rhodes
(Enchantress/Villager/Plate)
Julie is thrilled to return to DCT where she appeared in The Secret Life of Girls (Abby’s Mom). Other work includes Babette’s Feast (Philippa) at Amphibian Stage Productions, Who Am I This Time? (And Other Conundrums of Love) (Helene/Catharine) at Circle Theatre, Into the Woods (Cinderella) at Stolen Shakespeare Guild, and multiple productions at Casa Mañana (favorite: Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan) and Lyric Stage. Lots of love and thanks to Gordon, Drew, and Maddie. Visit juliekrhodes.com.

Karl Schaeffer*
(Maurice)
Karl has appeared in many DCT productions including last season’s Blue. 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 BillThe 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; and Goosebumps the Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium. 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.

Megan Lagemann
(Silly Girl/Pepper)
Megan is thrilled to make her debut with Dallas Children’s Theater! Education: Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at DBU. Her recent credits include: The Fantasticks (Luisa) at DBU; and Meet Me in St. Louis (Esther) and Newsies (Katherine) at Artisan Center Theater. She would like to thank Nancy Schaffer for this amazing opportunity to perform and her family and friends for all their support. IG @meganlagemann, meganlagemann.com

Phillip Brown
(Bookseller/Plate)
Phillip is thrilled to return to the DCT stage after appearing in Jungalbook (Hathi). Additional credits include: Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey II) at Stages Repertory Theater; Unlock’d the Musical (Zeus) at Queensbury Theatre; Shrek the Musical (Donkey), How I Became a Pirate (Sharktooth the Pirate), and The Magic Tree House: A Night in New Orleans (Big Nose Sydney) at Main Street Theater for Youth; and A Lesson Before Dying (Jefferson) at The Encore Theatre. Film/TV credit: My Brothers Keeper.

Tabitha Ellis
(Chip)
Tabitha is delighted to make her DCT mainstage debut. She previously appeared in Next Stop Broadway at DCT; and she has performed in many other productions in Dallas such as Madagascar; 101 Dalmatians, KIDS; and Jingle Bell Jukebox at The Firehouse Theatre; and Beauty and the Beast, JR; and Elf JR. at North Texas Performing Arts. Tabitha is a 7th grader and loves all things musical theater. She would like to thank DCT for this opportunity and her family for their support.

Will Stotts
(Gaston)
Will is pumped to make his DCT debut! He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Ouachita Baptist University. Credits include: My Fair Lady (Freddy Eynsford-Hill) and Romeo and Juliet (Tybalt) at Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Sister Act (Joey) at Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, and Urinetown (Officer Lockstock) at Red Barn Theatre. Will recently signed with The Linicomn Agency. He thanks Nancy for the opportunity, God for his grace, and his wife and family for their love and support.

Yellow Cast

Back Row (Left to Right):  Cate Goglia, Teak Esneault, Liam South

Front Row (Left to Right): Sienna Ellis, Arianna Coleman

Blue Cast

Back Row (Left to Right):  Emma Sucato, Edie Hoesterey

Front Row (Left to Right): Caroline Ricketts, Jacob Pasteur, Madeleine Jenkins


Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice
Book by Linda Woolverton
Directed by Nancy Schaeffer
September 22 – October 27, 2019
Recommended for ages 5 and up

Be our guest for this tale as old as time! Spirited Belle longs for adventure beyond her small, country town. But does she get more than she bargained for when the Beast captures her father and she is forced to trade places to save him? Favorite castle figures Lumiere, Cogsworth, Chip, and Mrs. Potts hold out hope that Belle can, at last, be the one to help the misunderstood Beast learn to love and be loved in return. If so, they can all be rescued from the curse they are under. Can she do it before the last rose petal falls? Beloved songs mixed with a touch of compassion and kindness highlight the power of true love in this large-scale, family musical based on the Disney classic.
Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. MTIShows[dot]com

Come see your DCT Academy teacher in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST!

DCT’s teaching artists go from the classroom to the stage…

 

Alyssa Cavazos (Belle):

“I hope my students appreciate the joy and fun I experience on stage. All of the tips and tricks we work on in class are for nothing, if we aren’t getting up on that stage and having fun! That’s what it is all about!”

 

Karl Schaeffer (Maurice):

“When my younger academy students come to shows I’m in at Dallas Children’s Theater, I will see them afterwards during autographs. I always ask them, “Did I talk loud? Did I face the audience?” When they say I did, I say, “Remember that the next time you are on stage.” My goal is to model for them an actor’s ability to “cheat out”. Cheating out is a performance technique that helps maintain the illusion that characters are totally committed to the onstage action, but simultaneously reorients their performance so that they are playing out towards the audience.”

 

Gena Loe (Babette):

“One technique that I use to create my characters is creating the character physically. From how they walk to their gestures and their nervous ticks, every person and thus every character has different physicalities that, as an actor, can help you get into character.”

 

Ania Lyons (Ensemble):

“I hope students appreciate that my ultimate goal while I’m performing is to have as much fun as possible! Honestly, that’s the main reason why I do theater, it’s a BLAST, it gives me so much fulfillment, and it’s an amazing outlet for my artistic expression!”


#ThrowbackThursday to Classic SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE! Songs

In this #ThrowbackThursday series we’re preparing families for our show, SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!, by taking it back to the 70s when many of the TV shows classic songs premiered.

All the songs featured in SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE! are listed below. Over the season we’ll share the lyrics to a few as well!

“A Noun Is A Person Place Or Thing”

“Three Is A Magic Number”

“Unpack Your Adjectives”

“Just A Bill”

“The Preamble”

“Do The Circulation”

“Conjunction Junction”

“Great American Melting Pot”

“Elbow Room”

“Interplanet Janet”

“Interjections”

 


SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!
Originally Conceived and Directed by Scott Ferguson
Book by Scott Ferguson, Kyle Hall, and George Keating
Music and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg, Kathy Mandry, George Newall, and Tom Yohe
Directed by Nancy Schaeffer

SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE! JR is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. MTIShows[dot]com

January 25 – February 23, 2020

Recommended for ages 5 and up

If you were a kid from the early 70s to mid 80s when this series was first on TV, or in the mid 90s when it ran again; you owe it to yourself to go back in time to the good old days. Relive how fun learning English, history, science, and math was thanks to Saturday morning television and this pop culture phenomenon! There’s no time like the present to start teaching the rest of the family such megahits as Conjunction Junction, Just A Bill, Three Is A Magic Number, and others so everyone can be a part of the show! Join nervous school teacher Tom, and all of those crazy cartoon characters, for a turn-up-the-volume blast you won’t soon forget!

Learn more about this show and others in our 2019-2020 season at dct.org.

Title Sponsor: Which Wich

 

Dallas Children’s Theater does not own the content in any videos shared in this post. Thanks to those accounts that posted these videos to YouTube, so we can share the iconic songs with our followers and fans, too. 

Lyrics to “A Noun Is A Person Place Or Thing” from SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!

In this #ThrowbackThursday series we’re preparing families for our show, SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!, by taking it back to the 70s when many of the TV shows classic songs premiered. Here are the lyrics to the song “A Noun Is A Person Place Or Thing” from Dallas Children’s Theater’s production of SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!

Well every person you can know,
And every place that you can go,
And anything that you can show,
You know they’re nouns.
A noun’s a special kind of word,
It’s any name you ever heard,
I find it quite interesting,
A noun’s a person, place, or thing.

Oh I took a train, took a train to another state.
The flora and the fauna that I saw were really great.
When I saw some bandits chasin’ the train.
I was wishin’ I was back home again.
I took a train, took a train to another state.

Well, every person you can know (Like a bandit or an engineer)
And every place that you can go (Like a state or a home)
And anything that you can show (Like animals and plants or a train)
You know they’re nouns – you know they’re nouns, oh…

Mrs. Jones is a lady on Hudson Street.
She sent her dog to bark at my brother and me.
We gave her dog a big fat bone,
And now he barks at Mrs. Jones.
She’s a lady who lives on Hudson Street.

Well, every person you can know (Mrs. Jones, a lady, or a brother)
And every place that you can go (Like a street or a corner)
And anything that you can show (Like a dog or a bone)
You know they’re nouns – you know they’re nouns, oh…

I took a ferry to the Statue of Liberty.
My best friend was waitin’ there for me. (He took an early ferry.)
We went for a walk on the island you know,
And in the middle of summer it started to snow,
When I took a ferry to the Statue of Liberty.

Well every person you can know (Like a friend or the captain of a ship)
And every place that you can go (An island or a sea)
And anything that you can show (Like a statue, a ferry, or snow)
You know they’re nouns – you know they’re nouns.

Oh, I put a dime in the drugstore record machine.
Oldie goldies started playing if you know what I mean.
I heard Chubby Checker, he was doin’ the twist
And the Beatles and the Monkees, it goes like this!
I put a dime in the drugstore record machine.

Well every person you can know (The Beatles and the Monkees, Chubby Checker)
And every place that you can go (Like a neighborhood or a store)
And anything that you can show (Like a dime or a record machine)
You know they’re nouns.

A noun’s a special kind of word,
It’s any name you ever heard,
I find it quite interesting,
A noun’s a person, place, or thing.

A noun is a person, place, or thing.
(doodle, doodleh; doodle doodleh…)


SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!
Originally Conceived and Directed by Scott Ferguson
Book by Scott Ferguson, Kyle Hall, and George Keating
Music and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg, Kathy Mandry, George Newall, and Tom Yohe
Directed by Nancy Schaeffer

SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE! JR is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. MTIShows[dot]com

January 25 – February 23, 2020

Recommended for ages 5 and up

If you were a kid from the early 70s to mid 80s when this series was first on TV, or in the mid 90s when it ran again; you owe it to yourself to go back in time to the good old days. Relive how fun learning English, history, science, and math was thanks to Saturday morning television and this pop culture phenomenon! There’s no time like the present to start teaching the rest of the family such megahits as Conjunction Junction, Just A Bill, Three Is A Magic Number, and others so everyone can be a part of the show! Join nervous school teacher Tom, and all of those crazy cartoon characters, for a turn-up-the-volume blast you won’t soon forget!

Learn more about this show and others in our 2019-2020 season at dct.org.

Title Sponsor: Which Wich

 

Dallas Children’s Theater does not own the content in any videos shared in this post. Thanks to those accounts that posted these videos to YouTube, so we can share the iconic songs with our followers and fans, too. 

An Interview With A Belle of a Princess

Alyssa Cavazos will play Belle in our upcoming production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, so we sat down with her to talk about her love of the character and why she’s proud to act at DCT.

What did your family say when you told them you were going to play Belle?

They were ecstatic and went on and on about how proud they were of me. One, because they know me and how hard I work when it comes to performing. But also proud that I would be able to show other little Mexican girls that they can be princesses, too. That got me thinking how proud I am to be an example for girls of all races to reach for their dreams and be who they want to be.

How did that make you feel?

Other than my personal dreams coming true about playing my favorite Disney princess, it made me proud and gave me a huge sense of responsibility to represent Belle in the strongest way possible. I can still remember a time when I never assumed I could play Belle because of the way I looked.

Tell us about your experiences playing characters when you were little.

When I was young, my favorite thing to do was play pretend with my friends. No shocker that I became an actor! I remember playing princesses with my friends and wanting to be Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). My friend told me “But you aren’t blonde.” I don’t believe she was trying to be mean, just that it made sense to her that I should be Pocahontas or Jasmine who are still great choices. I remember this making me feel like I was missing out on something for the first time because of the way I looked. Disney does a beautiful job of painting strong characters for young people to admire, but we sometimes tend to lose sight of their purpose; characters that show us how to be brave, kind, truthful, strong, smart, and confident. These qualities can be applied to any young person no matter what they look like. The saying, “If you believe it, you can be it,” comes to mind, and I think everyone needs to believe that they can be what their dreams say they are.

What do you love most about Belle?

I love how confident she is. She is always the first to see the good in others, stick up for what she knows is right, and doesn’t mind being seen as odd for her love of books. She gets her beauty from her mom, but her confidence from the constant love and support of her papa!

What do you love most about this story?

I love the lessons it teaches us of not judging a book by its cover. The Beast seems so horrible at first, but underneath his harshness was someone that was hurting and alone. All he needed was someone to believe in him and take the time to get to know him. I also love all the personalities in this story…such a broad range of them.

What is your favorite song from the play and why?

My favorite song would be between “Be Our Guest,” because of how iconic and magical it is. Or “Something There,” when Belle and the Beast begin to discover their feelings for each other.

Talk about performing at DCT…

I’m thrilled to be coming back to work as an actor at DCT. DCT is like a home for everyone that works here, a family that truly cares about its actors, students, patrons, staff, and providing a professional experience for them. The love for what we do here can be felt the minute you walk into the front doors. Any chance to be a part of DCT is a chance worth taking.

How do you best prepare for such a role?

Well, this one is fun to prepare for! Other than memorizing my lines and songs, I am able to relive the joy of the movies by watching them and studying how Belle makes people feel. Being that Belle is my favorite bookworm, I am making more time for reading to understand how truly magical escaping into a book can be; I’ve really loved that part! Also trying to see the good in people every day. Belle reminds me to be kind. I look forward to starting the rehearsal process and creating this tale as old as time with our phenomenal cast.

DCT is thrilled to feature Alyssa in the role of Belle. We are sure she’ll bring her own special brand of kindness to the season opener, Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST! Be sure to come see her onstage from September 22 – October 27. Buy your tickets today, at dct.org.


Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice
Book by Linda Woolverton
Directed by Nancy Schaeffer

Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. MTIShows[dot]com

Sept. 22 – Oct. 27, 2019
Ages 5 and up

Be our guest for this tale as old as time! Spirited Belle longs for adventure beyond her small, country town. But does she get more than she bargained for when the Beast captures her father and she is forced to trade places to save him? Favorite castle figures Lumiere, Cogsworth, Chip, and Mrs. Potts hold out hope that Belle can, at last, be the one to help the misunderstood Beast learn to love and be loved in return. If so, they can all be rescued from the curse they are under. Can she do it before the last rose petal falls? Beloved songs mixed with a touch of compassion and kindness highlight the power of true love in this large-scale, family musical based on the Disney classic.

Title Sponsor: Alamo Drafthouse

Ant Invades a Hospital?

Parker Fitzgerald who played Ant in DCT’s DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER AND A FLY shares an entry in his own diary where he talks about performing the show all over the country and at Children’s Health.

Dear Diary,

Well, today’s the day we made an appearance at Children’s Health! The last time I was here, I was performing as Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas. It was such a fun day; so I was thrilled to be returning. Now I get to show off my new role: Ant!

Luckily, we’ve already performed this show over 150 times and have had to adjust the show to fit in all sorts of theaters. After we got our movements and choreography figured out, it was time to get into costume. As I put on the costume that I have worn for a year, I always have the same thought: Our costume designer Lyle Huchton is the absolute best! Whenever I wear my costume, I instantly feel like Ant. Every time my hat with the antenna is on my head, I am in the mood to do the show!

Once we were all dressed, the cast and crew piled into the van to go to the hospital. This is the same van we had been traveling all over the United States in. It felt nostalgic to have everyone back in close quarters once more. We dropped right back into our old routine of making jokes with each other and having a good time. I realized just how much I had come to love each and everyone of them; and how thankful I was to have shared this adventure with such a remarkable group.

At the hospital, we went straight into action mode. We unloaded all our props, sound equipment, and set pieces from the van and carried them to our performance space in the atrium. I’m always struck at how beautifully designed the children’s hospital is: the colorful tiling, the big windows that let lots of sunlight in, and all the Mariposa decorations (which Marla who plays Butterfly was especially excited to see!). Upon setting up our stools and props, it was now time for mic and video check. Cameras were set up so that our show could be broadcast to every single room in the hospital! After the spacing was all established, and we were in our mics, the moment we were all waiting for finally arrived…Showtime!

A number of people sat right in front of us; others were looking down from the balcony above; and eyeballs in rooms all around the hospital were glued to televisions set to our show: No Pressure! Daniel, our stage manager pressed play and the opening song began. As I came out for our first song, I could see the huge smiles forming on the faces of the kids who came. They were into the show just as much as we were! Each joke was met with lots of laughter; which always feels so good. As we arrived to our final song, I couldn’t help but reflect on all the different audiences we had performed for the past year. Now here we are, so close to the end of this incredible journey. When the final note hit, and we took our bow, the place erupted in applause. Afterwards, the cast went out to greet the patients and families who came to watch. Each child would tell us about their favorite moment or which character they liked the best. The highlight was a nurse who told us that she was with a young girl who was just waking up after having had an operation. As her eyes opened, she saw our show on the television in her room. Loving it so much, she then got up on her bed and danced around with us; even while the wires and tubes were still attached to her! It’s stories like this that make me love what I do so much.

After the show, we then packed everything up, like we’ve done so many times before, and headed back to Dallas Children’s Theater. I’m certainly grateful to have had this experience, and proud that I was able to bring so much joy to the kids at the hospital; and all across the country. But mostly, it’s comforting to know that next year, DCT will be doing it all over again: putting more smiles on more faces.

-Parker (Ant)

Dallas Children’s Theater wishes to thank the Ryan Goldblatt Foundation for making it possible for us to make promotional appearances at Children’s Health.

Nana Moments: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Change can be as gradual as dust building up on a bookshelf; but other times, it’s as fast and unpredictable as a magical curse. At its core, Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is a story about transformations, gradual and sudden; and the love that comes when finding similarities when they’re least expected.

Children of this generation, more than ever before, are constantly presented with different perspectives, cultures, and concepts every day. It is important that children learn to be kind when encountering something that is different than what they are used to. Teaching them to celebrate and learn from differences is a smart path to developing an open-minded and well-rounded young person.

Now, here’s an exercise you can download and pass on to your child. Encourage them to interview a grandparent or someone else dear to them. The goal of the exercise is to help them see that through a spirit of kindness, we can appreciate the different perspectives and experiences of others, especially our elders.

Can you dig it?

There’s a whole world of bugs to be discovered at Dallas Children’s Theater and in your own backyard…

So much information is out there about how to incorporate sustainable practices into our homes that I sometimes get overwhelmed by it all, especially when it comes to getting my kids involved. But, this summer I was reminded that a great and (for my kids) fun, green activity is just outside our back door.

In Dallas Children’s Theater’s DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY, Worm is trying to figure out his place in the world (I won’t give it away, but Worm is definitely an environmental hero). As the bugs ran rampant on stage, I thought about the bugs living in the garden in my own yard. We’ve grown fruits, veggies, and herbs off and on for years (sometimes in big beds, sometimes a few pots at a time), but this summer my kids are more intrigued than ever. They love watering our tomatoes and picking rosemary off the bush for dinner. And, they especially love checking out the worms wiggling around our garden beds.

Maybe this is the summer you’ll start a family vegetable garden in your backyard. Or, work on composting or transferring in earthworms to take your existing garden up a notch (just search online for info or research at the library, another sustainable choice). And, include your kids in the fun. Kids love getting dirty – why not let it be to the benefit of your family, the earth, and the bugs we share it with?

To give your children a real appreciation for the contribution earthworms and other insects make to our environment, I highly recommend DCT’s DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY. The clever music, the endearing characters and DCT’s awesome actors all come together to create a play that is fun and filled with science education.

Catch DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY at Dallas Children’s Theater before it bugs off July 7.

Only TWO shows left…
Sat., July 6, 1:30PM

Sun., July 7, 1:30PM


 

 

Written by Guest Mom Blogger, Jessica Colaw.

 

 


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

© 2011 Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss. By special arrangement with Pippin Properties, Inc. and Gurman Agency LLC.

Now – July 7
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.

DCT’s National Touring Sponsor is Neiman Marcus.

 

Photo Credits: storyblocks[dot]com, unsplash[dot]com, and Karen Almond.

A Bug’s Life and A Kid’s Life: The Common Thread

Summers bring new possibilities for kids: both exhilarating and nerve-wracking…

Summer may have just begun, but new opportunities for our kids abound. Whether going to sleep-away camp for the first time, facing a new childcare situation, or traveling to an unfamiliar place, there’s so much potential for thrilling, but possibly anxiety-inducing, experiences the next few months. Fun-filled activities that may also inspire questions like “will I like this?”, “do I measure up?”, or “will I make friends?”

In DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY, we see critters dealing with parallel fears and life stressors. Vacuum cleaners (bullies), feelings of self-worth (Worm has no legs), and molting (spiders). Thinking about all the new experiences my children will encounter this summer, I asked them what they do to help relieve their own worries in new or stressful situations. My four-year-old immediately chimed in with “take big breaths.” My seven-year-old said that he imagines everyone in a new situation is someone who loves and cares for him. And, my ten-year-old emphasized the importance of positive self-talk: “I compliment myself and say I can do this!” Worm, Spider and Fly can totally relate!

Your kids will know they are not alone when they see these critters working their way through the challenges life hands them. In DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY, the bugs enter a new school year, work hard to overcome their own jitters, and help each other out along the way. The critters also learn that, like our precious little people, that they are all capable of doing big things. If you’re looking for a great way to build your child’s self-confidence through exploration and new experiences, this play is just the ticket. DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY runs through July 7. For tickets, go to dct.org.

Only a few shows left…
Sat., June 29, 1:30PM
Sun., June 30, 1:30PM
Sun., June 30, 4:30PM (ASL)
Sat., July 6, 1:30PM
Sun., July 7, 1:30PM


 

 

Written by Guest Mom Blogger, Jessica Colaw.

 

 


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

© 2011 Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss. By special arrangement with Pippin Properties, Inc. and Gurman Agency LLC.

Now – July 7
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.

DCT’s National Touring Sponsor is Neiman Marcus.

 

Photo Credits: storyblocks[dot]com, unsplash[dot]com, and Karen Almond

Read about DCT’s program at area libraries this summer…

Theater to the rescue for some anxious children and parents in the midst of the storm.

 

For over 17 years, Dallas Children’s Theater has been going to public libraries in the summer to present the DCT STORYTIME program. Graduate-level theater students who are interning at the theater give participants a chance to learn about the page-to-stage process. This summer, students will read from three Doreen Cronin books: Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Spider, and Diary of a Fly. Then, they will have a chance to act out a part of the play currently on DCT’s stage. Costume pieces are provided and area librarians look forward to weaving this offering into their already-existing programming each summer. On a particularly unusual Monday morning in June, intern Anna Nguyen had this story to share about her experience at Skillman Southwestern Library.

The debris after the storm on Sunday made the drive Monday morning quite interesting. Limbs were down everywhere and there were quite a few traffic lights out en route. When I got to the library, I realized the power was out, and I was quite surprised to find that the library was still open, and the librarians were working by daylight! Uncertain as to whether anyone would come to the acting workshop, we nevertheless decided to stick around and make preparations. The auditorium we were scheduled to be in was quite dark, so we relocated to a sunny spot of the library near a window in the children’s section. McKenna and I rearranged some chairs and tables and voila, we had a stage as we had created many times in various locations. Now, all we needed were some willing actors and audience members. We waited in anticipation and after a few minutes, a couple children accompanied by their mothers drifted in. We began our workshop, giving some backstory on the characters in the scene we were about to perform. As we spoke and sang, a couple more children joined in. A couple excited children volunteered to act in the play. Some giggled at the costumes and had a hard time keeping still; some were overwhelmed by the attention and found it hard to find a voice; and some were eager to act every line they had. With narration from my intern partner, McKenna, and encouragement from me, our actors performed well and delighted the audience with the story. During the final song, I realized the joy of the day had less to do with the number of children we gave the workshop to, but rather the chance we gave those in attendance to release some energy that stressful day. Seeing the grin on their faces as they gave a final bow, I knew the drive over had been worth it.

The power of theater…in every circumstance.

DCT’s super summer interns will be at these locations on the following dates and times:

Tuesday, June 18, 11:00-12:00
Highland Hills Library
6200 Bonnie View Rd. 75241
214-670-0987
LaTressa Milburn

Tuesday, June 18, 1:00-2:00
Bachman Lake Library
9480 Webb Chapel Rd. 75220
214-670-6376
Sarah Boeglin

Wednesday, June 19, 11:00-12:00
Dallas West Library
2332 Singleton Blvd. 75212
214-670-6445
Brittany Snider

Wednesday, June 19, 1:00-2:00
Skyline Library
6006 Everglade Rd. 75227
214-670-0938
Tracy Warning

Thursday, June 20, 2:00-3:00
Renner Frankford Library
6400 Frankford Rd. 75252
214-670-6100
Mary Morgan

Friday, June 21, 1:30-2:30
Arcadia Park Library
1402 N. Justin Ave. 75211
214-670-6446
Mary Jones

Tuesday, June 25, 10:30-11:30
White Rock Hills Library
9150 Ferguson Rd. 75228
214-670-8443
Sharon McCollins

Tuesday, June 25, 1:30-2:30
Forest Green Library
9015 Forest Ln. 75243
214-670-1335
Cassidy Mayfield

Wednesday, June 26, 11:00-12:00
Mountain Creek Library
6102 Mountain Creek Pkwy 75249
214-670-6704
Haley Kral

Thursday, June 27, 11:00-12:00
North Oak Cliff Library
302 W. 10th St. 75208
214-670-7555
Jessica Watts

Thursday, June 27, 1:30-2:30
Preston Royal Library
5626 Royal Ln. 75229
214-670-7133
Sharon Neicheril

Photos by: DCT staff