Dallas Children's Theater Blog

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

Finding friends in unusual (often fuzzy) places


Animal2We’ve all seen the super cute photos: the chimpanzee snuggling with a baby tiger; the mother cat who’s accepted an abandoned infant pig as part of her litter; the German Shepherd who follows on the webbed heels of a duck with unflinching loyalty, and the list goes on. Each time, these scenes make a special deposit in our love bank because it’s unexpected and because it shows a soft side that we can’t explain, and sometimes can’t understand.

AnimalThe most shocking, of course, are the surprising bonds between predator and prey. A wildlife photographer was taking photos in northern Canada when a polar bear arrived on the scene. The photographer immediately feared for his Canadian Eskimo sled dog, but to his astonishment, the bear nuzzled the dog and in return, the dog licked the bear’s face. Thus a heartwarming round of playtime and cuddling began between two natural predators.

How does this happen? Of course we all know it’s not a good idea for humans to take in a predator to try to tame it as a pet, but there are those instances Animal3where the lion is reunited with the conservation expert that saved his life and greets him with an embrace, and it warms us because there is no fear on either end. There is a bond, and the king of beasts has a memory of a time when it was vulnerable and this furless two-legged being came to its rescue. I think it’s a kind of love we all want to possess.

We see these animals not only getting along and playing together, but embracing each other and holding each other in a way that shows ultimate safety and lack of discrimination. It’s hard for us to imagine embracing someone we don’t know and showing that kind of compassion, so we try to learn a lesson from these other species that it can be done. It’s especially hard when we see people that are different from us as potential predators. How do we make it our default reaction to embrace and accept and protect? That’s a question that I don’t have an answer for , but these animals definitely demonstrate that you can’t judge a book by even its furry cover.



DCT’s holiday production NOT A CREATURE WAS STIRRING shows another unusual friendship between one of the most notorious of animal adversaries, the cat and the mouse. We see the Mouse family embarking on a dangerous journey to securely bypass the family cat to obtain some holiday decorations. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I promise you that this play with give your family all the warm feels that you experience when you see the bird wrapping its wing around a cold baby bunny. It’s perfect for a holiday snuggle.

NOT A CREATURE WAS STIRRING with Kathy Burks’ cuddly puppets runs through December 23 in the Studio Theater. For tickets or more information, call 214-740-0051 or visit dct.org.



Photo Credits:

German Shepard and Duck

Polar Bear and Husky

Lion and Human


Reasons to Believe…

Francis Fuselier's HeadshowIt’s officially the Holiday season, and DCT’s production of MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET certainly gets you in the mood with songs and sounds and some of the most celebrated local actors and actresses. Francis Fuselier has returned to play the most important role of the season – Kris Kringle. His performance, both last season and this, leaves everyone feeling there’s no reason whatsoever to outgrow a belief in miracles.

Nancy Churnin from Dallas Morning News said this of Fuselier’s performance, “A deep bench of adult acting talent —twinkly-eyed Francis Fuselier as Kris Kringle — keeps the charm grounded in its gentle thesis that the ability to believe is the first step in learning to love.”

Learning to love? That’s a tall order. We talked to Mr. Fuselier about his role
and what it is about MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET that has audiences eagerly returning to see it a second time. Here’s what he had to say:

_KA16723I think people love MIRACLE because a) it’s a good story and lots of fun to watch with lots of spectacle, singing and dancing, b) everyone loves Santa Claus! c) It’s a show for the whole family, and d) it’s the perfect feel good holiday show. The thing that amazes me most is the love everyone in the audience has for the character of Kris Kringle. It is very humbling. I get to meet so many wonderful children and their parents at the autograph/picture sessions after the show and have such a good time with the other cast members. 

Director Robyn Flatt says, “Our Santa, as performed by veteran actor Frances Fuselier, is so genuine, so charming and delivers authenticity with an unending twinkle of the eye.” TheaterJones referred to Fuselier as, “One of the most authentic looking and sounding Santas to grace the stage. This Kris Kringle is the real deal.”

It seems that Fuselier is also benefiting from his time as Santa. He concludes, saying:

_KA16434The show makes me a better person because when you are expected to BE someone like Santa, you just can’t help trying harder to fulfill those expectations. I find myself looking at the world with more love and patience, and it was an unexpected and beautiful thing that took me totally by surprise!  After last year’s show, a friend sent me a copy of a Reader’s Digest article about an actor in New York who has written a book about that very same experience after playing Santa in the Radio City Music Hall Christmas shows. Life is indeed, strange, random and wonderful!  Theater CAN change your outlook and your life.


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Don’t miss your chance to see Francis Fuselier and the rest of the magical cast in MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET playing at DCT now through December 20th. For tickets or more information, call 214-740-0051 or visit dct.org.