Dallas Children's Theater Blog

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

Meet the Critters starring in JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH

Fresh fruit invariably attracts critters – insects, arachnids, or even legless worms. When that fruit is ginormous, guess what happens to those critters? They grow! In DCT’s current production of JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH however, you can’t get enough of these larger-than-life multicolored, multi-legged friends. They’re not pests, they’re best friends!

James hops aboard a giant peach with five of Roald Dahl’s most colorful characters who have without question earned their own introduction.  Drumroll please…


Old Green GrasshopperOld Green Grasshopper

We know all grasshoppers “sing” by rubbing their legs together, but this one can croon with the best of them, and he even plays the violin! Grasshopper serves as narrator, the voice of reason, and often keeps the other panicking bugs from losing their cool in perilous situations.





If you ever wondered where ladybugs got their name, this fashion-forward friend would show you that she’s all lady! With her hat tilted ever-so prissily, every spot in the right place, and the voice of a songbird, she keeps a careful eye on the crew as they move through their adventure. P.S. Please don’t notify songbirds about this gorgeous morsel.





This guy knows how to kick up his boots, all 100 of them (actually only 48 if you ask persnickety earthworm). He’s all energy and the first to brave the outside surface of the peach, even as they bob along an unfamiliar ocean. He’s proud of his leathery feet and will try just about anything, and his voice…sounds as sweet as a peach.




This wondrous weaver is the most elegant spider you’ll ever meet, but her thread does not match her delicate demeanor. It is not only strong enough to hold this creepy-crawly group together, but is also the material that rescues the peach from circling sharks. Sounds unbelievable, I know, but you might have to see it to believe it. You’ll definitely want to shake one of her hands after the show.




At first you may wonder how this grump was given an exclusive seat inside the magical peach, but he (reluctantly) selflessly offers help that only he can provide when they need to summon a fleet of seagulls. This critter goes on to prove that even a blind worm with no arms or legs can be an invaluable friend.




There’s only one way to meet this unforgettable team, and that’s by coming to DCT’s JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, which runs through May 27. Even if you’ve read the book, it’s time to experience these critters in the exoskeletal flesh!

For tickets, visit dct.org.

Announcing DCT’s 2017-2018 Season!

What does home mean to you?  Is it where your heart is?  Is it wherever you are with your family? Is it in the company of some really good friends?  Is it where you were born?  Is it when you feel the most at peace within yourself?  This season, we want to invite you to make yourself at home with Dallas Children’s Theater and our season stars (Caterpillar, Charlie, Frosty, María, Mowgli, Pale, Inky, Jeremy and others) who are on their very own quest to discover what home is for them.  Experiences and memories make what we call home its own unique place – and there are no two alike!  It’s often where we lay our heads or where we set our imaginations and spirits free.  For our youngest ones, the journey is filled with a variety of great and unexpected emotions. We know your entire family will enjoy spending the season with us…finding the way home. 


In our season opener, GOOSEBUMPS THE MUSICAL: PHANTOM OF THE AUDITORIUM, stars of the school play Brooke and Zeke investigate strange occurrences during rehearsals. What do a mask, a rose, and the phrase “Home Sweet Home” have in common? Find out in this silly, and only a little spooky, adventure that will captivate your whole family. 


For our teens, GHOULS AND GRAVEYARDS recounts the chilling horror classics from Edgar Allan Poe, W.W. Jacobs and our own Texas ghostlore. It’ll be a perfect night for rattling everyone’s cozy sense of home.









Holiday favorites certainly provide a sense of home. The traditions we establish for our families during these times are invaluable. At DCT, we like to make sure your experience during the holidays creates lasting memories. And with three great shows, we have something for everyone!  First, our friends from the Peanuts Gang rediscover the true reason for the season in A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMASThen, everyone’s beloved lonely frozen figure melts our hearts in FROSTY & FRIENDSFinally, the Lone Star Circus swings from the rafters in CIRQUE JOYEUX


I know many kids see home as a place to eat! In THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW, the little caterpillar chews his way through every bit of earth he can reach; but more than that, (Spoiler Alert) he creates a home that ultimately transforms him into all he is meant to be with his colorful Eric Carle wings. 


If your home is anything like mine, it’s full of screens! Most teens spend time with their faces in a screen, often as a way to connect, even when there are other humans right next to them. Linda Daugherty’s new Teen Scene show, SCREEN PLAY, will prompt valuable conversations about creating a balance between true human connections and these pervasive devices. 


Part of being a family is the heritage and culture that we share, and with DCT’s latest partnership with Cara Mía Theatre Co., we learn that home is more than a set of walls. YANA WANA’S LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET takes young María on a journey to her original home and that of her ancestors, and reminds us that everyone has a unique story to share. 


With our encore run of BLUE, we have fun playing, but also teaching preschoolers about acceptance and difference.  Part of making a place home is having a soft, open heart to those who are not like us. 




When you find children jumping from chair to couch in the living room – as children often do – we sometimes  have to remind them that the house is not a jungle. But for young Mowgli, the jungle is the home he knows. This JUNGALBOOK is not your Disney version, but rather a thrilling story of survival, coming of age, and adventure as only found in Kipling’s original stories. 


Finally, the swashbuckling pirate friends in HOW I BECAME A PIRATE go on an ultimate quest to protect their treasure and young Jeremy tags along.  It isn’t long before Jeremy experiences the all-too-familiar feeling of homesickness. Like him, our actors in this National Touring production will surely be glad to journey back full circle to the familiar comforts of the one and only place they call their own.


For information on season tickets, and about each show, please visit dct.org. We look forward to welcoming you to your home away from home…Dallas Children’s Theater.



GOOSEBUMPS THE MUSICAL: PHANTOM OF THE AUDITORIUM – Produced by special arrangement with GURMAN AGENCY, LLC, New York, NY – ™ & © Scholastic Inc. SCHOLASTIC, GOOSEBUMPS and associated logos are trademarks and/or registered marks of Scholastic Inc. Based on Goosebumps® Phantom of the Auditorium. A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS – Artwork Peanuts(c) 2015 Peanuts Worldwide LLC. All Rights Reserved. All other images © 2016 Dallas Children’s Theater

Director Artie Olaisen tells a peach of a story!





Director Artie Olaisen talks about the genuine peach: storytelling!

Describe JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH from your perspective.

It’s such a well-known story! James dreamed of a world beyond​. He held on to that dream no matter how hard others tried to suppress it. And, when he least expected it, when he thought all was lost, the world came to him in a most magical and glorious way! It’s very sweet!

Give me 3 words to describe JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH.

Fantastical! ​Whimsical! Fun! 

What do you like most about JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH?

I like stories about finding the hero within.  It’s the basis for so many stories and for good reason. We need to constantly be reminded that we need not be imprisoned by our circumstances​. There is a great, big, wonderful world out there, and we need to be engaged with it!

What experience are you trying to create for audiences viewing JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH?

I hope to meet their expectations of this well-known story with performances that evoke feeling and visuals that inspire, delight & awe!​ A production full of “marvelous things!” 

What is it like being a director?

It’s rather like being a painter or a conductor.  You have a vision or idea in your head that you must get out and bring dimension to. You must communicate and create the sound of it, the color of it, the rhythm of it.  I call it “the movie in my mind.” You communicate these ideas to other artists, your collaborators, the actors and designers, and, together, you bring it to life! ​It’s very satisfying when it all comes to fruition! 

How have you seen theater change someone’s life? 

I’ve seen the power of theater to lift spirits, to connect people through shared experiences of feeling and empathy and laughter. We mustn’t forget joy and laughter! The world is in constant need of that!​ 

Why are you interested in children’s theater?

Well, basically, I’m interested in theater period​; in storytelling. It just so happens that our audiences are youth and families. I grew up in a very small house with a very small fenced-in backyard among rows of houses that all looked alike​. I was a dreamer. I dreamed of castles and ruins and jungles and deserts and exotic faraway places. I wanted to get out of that backyard. Theater provided that escape for me. The chance to be someone else and be someplace else! And, like James, though much later in life, the world and faraway destinations finally opened up to me! 

Describe a memorable moment you’ve had at DCT.

Some of my very favorite and most artistically-satisfying production experiences have been TUCK EVERLASTING, A WRINKLE IN TIME, THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW, and, most recently, THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE​.


JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH runs from May 5 – 27, 2017. For tickets, go to dct.org.