Dallas Children's Theater Blog

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


Poignant DCT production shut down in final rehearsals before opening in March 2020 makes its debut

(DALLAS, TX) – Dallas Children’s Theater (DCT) is excited to finally bring LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET, to the stage March 18 – April 2, 2023 at the Rosewood Center for the Arts. With production halted days before the COVID-19 shutdown in 2020, this heartfelt spectacular has been years in the making! Based on The New York Times bestseller that won a Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, and a Caldecott Honor, LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET is a compassionate tale filled with both the mature joy of a grandparent and the pure wonder of a child.

The story follows young CJ and his Nana on their journey as they board the public bus for their weekly trip across town to help out at a soup kitchen. Along the way, CJ notices the many differences among people and asks tons of curious questions: Why don’t we have a car? How come that man can’t see? How come it’s always so dirty over there? How? Why? With Nana’s fearless and compassionate guidance, CJ discovers that everyone and everything has a unique rhythm and purpose; that the world’s got answers if CJ listens with more than his ears and sees with more than his eyes.

Directed by vickie washington (North Texas director, actress, and teacher at Booker T. Washington for the Performing Arts) LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET carries the poignant message of the picture book without ever losing the fun. While the premise appears ordinary, a trip to the soup kitchen across town, colorful stagecraft, and plenty of spectacle and music work together to create a memorable experience for the young and young at heart. “While riding the bus with CJ and Nana, we learn the value of meeting people where they are, and the joy of opening our hearts and minds to the experiences of others.” washington says, smiling. “With all that is happening in our city and in our world today, these are very important lessons for all of us.”

Playwright Gloria Bond Clunie was in Dallas for three weeks working with the team to further develop the play. Some of the scenes will make their debut here in Dallas.

Imaginative and hopeful in its capture of a genuine experience of everyday beauty, LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET is a gentle journey recommended for ages 4 and up.  In the spirit of true kindness, these funders have stepped up to make this production a reality:  The Howard Family in loving memory of Eleanor “Gammy” Howard, Jean Baptists(Tad) Adoue III Fund of The Dallas Foundation; TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund; The M.R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation; Capital One; the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cece Smith Lacy and John Ford Lacy Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and Southwest Airlines.

The DCT staff dedicates this production to the amazing Ms. Bonnie Jean Stoner who introduced us to this book almost five years ago.  While she is no longer with us, Bonnie Jean will forever live in our hearts because of the gifts of advice, support and kindness that she gave to us over the years. DCT also dedicates the production to the March 2020 stage manager, Ashley Newman, a compassionate person and wonderful colleague that we lost way too soon.


By Matt de la Peña, Illustrated by Christian Robinson

Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal

Adapted by Gloria Bond Clunie

Directed by vicki washington

March 18 – April 2, 2023

Recommended for ages 4 and up


CJ – Jori Jackson*

Nana – M. Denise Lee*

Reverend / Guitar Man / Ensemble – Randy Pearlman*

Mr. Dennis / Blind Man / Ensemble – Nik Blocker**

Butterfly Lady / Ensemble / Dance Captain – Monalisa Amidar*

Woman with a Lovely Hat / Ensemble – Melissa Crouch

Tattoo Man / Mumford the Dragon / Ensemble – Austin Hines**

Street Man / Musician / Ensemble – Gerald Taylor II*

Understudy – Tiana Alexander


Production Team:

Director – vickie washington

Scenic/Video Designer – Kristina M. Miller

Lighting Designer – Troy Carrico

Props Designer – Lauren Wheat

Sound Designer – Marco Salinas

Costume Designer – Cat Dillon & Lyle Huchton

Original Composition & Musical Direction – Steven A. Taylor

Puppetry Design – Sally Fiorello

Stage Manager – Davvi Solomon*

Production Manager – Janel Villatoro

Technical Director – Josh Smith

*Denotes member of Actors Equity Association.

Performance Dates and Times:

Saturday, March 18, 1:30PM – Opening

Saturday, March 18, 4:30PM (NPD)

Sunday, March 19, 1:30PM

Sunday, March 19, 4:30PM (ASL)

Saturday, March 25, 1:30PM (Sensory)

Saturday, March 25, 4:30PM

Sunday, March 26, 1:30PM

Saturday, April 1, 1:30PM

Sunday, April 2, 1:30PM – Closing

Ticket Prices:

$17-$30 for single tickets. Prices subject to change. Group rates available for parties of 10 or more. Phone reservations required for Sensory-Friendly performances which are $5 per person. Call the Box Office for details, 214-740-0051. General tickets are available online at dct.org

Weekday Student Matinee shows also available Tuesdays through Fridays. Call Dallas Children’s Theater at 214-978-0120 or visit dct.org/fieldtrips

Photo credit: Karen Almond. 

2022-23 Season Sponsors are: Texas Instruments, City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, March Family Foundation, The Carlson Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, TACA, and CARES Act/American Rescue Plan. General Sponsors Include:  Hearst Foundations, The Rosewood Corporation, The Holloway Family Foundation, The M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation, The Theodore and Beulah Beasley Foundation, Inc., Harold Simmons Foundation, Sharron Hunt, Lara and Stephen Harrison, and the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation. Additional Support is Provided By:  Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District, TXU Energy, Frost Bank, Joan Becker, Capital for Kids, Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, The Koz Foundation, Stephen M. Seay Foundation, Margot B. Perot, Maintenance Inc., Central Market, and Green Mountain Energy, DCT’s official renewable energy partner. Sensory-Friendly Sponsors Include:  Fichtenbaum Charitable Trust and the Crawley Family Foundation. Building Fund Supported By: The Carlson Foundation, The March Family Foundation, Laurie Sands Harrison, The Rosewood Corporation, Anonymous Family, Elizabeth & Bart Showalter, Karen & Ken Travis, The Hersh Foundation, and Everett & Becky Spaeth.

Dallas Children’s Theater

Rosewood Center for Family Arts

5938 Skillman Street

Dallas, Texas 75231

About Dallas Children’s Theater

Dallas Children’s Theater features professional actors performing for an annual audience of 250,000 young people and their families through mainstage productions and an arts-in-education program. 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.

LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET is produced by special arrangement with GURMAN AGENCY, LLC, a theatrical literary agency. gurmanagency[dot]com. World Premiere Produced by Children’s Theatre of Charlotte November 2018. Adam Burke Artistic Director.


It’s not easy being a kid, or a Pigeon!

Mo Willems said in a Nov. 13th interview, “probably the most fundamental insight is that even a good childhood is difficult: You’re powerless; the furniture is not made to your size”, and this is an idea that permeates all of his books. The conflicts in his stories are big topics with simple setups: A Pigeon who wants to drive a bus, a toddler who can’t speak yet, but left her bunny at the laundromat (Knuffle Bunny).

As silly as it sounds, it was a controversial decision to not let the Pigeon drive in the original drafts for Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus. In 2003, when the book was published, editors weren’t sure if the Pigeon’s plight would resonate with younger audiences or frustrate them. The results speak for themselves: Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus! is one of the most popular children’s books to this day.

Mo Willems has often said that his books are meant to be “played” not read, and this is true for his stage adaptations as well. DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! THE MUSICAL! has a slightly different story than the picture book audiences have come to love. The Pigeon is still very much himself, but the conflict is broadened a bit. The plucky bird still does not drive the bus, but this time, the show asks why? Because he can’t reach the pedals? Because he doesn’t have the training? Because the bus absolutely must reach each stop on time?

The conflict is bigger. It isn’t about simply wanting to do the impossible on impulse, but something larger: wanting to have a thing. Everyone’s got one. The Bus Driver drives buses, the Teenager loves movies, the Little Old Lady likes to throw birdseed around. Everyone has a “thing” that makes them unique, and the Pigeon is feeling insecure because he doesn’t know what his “thing” is yet.

It’s a big conflict, truly worthy of a Mo Willem’s story, and it’s told with the same simple, connective, honesty that fills all of his work.

Will the Pigeon find his “thing”? Do the Pigeon’s yearnings sound like someone you know in your own household? Come see DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! THE MUSICAL! and find out…

Written by DCT Staff Member, Joanna Coogan

Don’t miss your chance to see the show, we’re selling fast!

Based on the book by Mo Willems
Published by Hyperion Books for Children
Script by Mo Willems & Mr. Warburton
Lyrics by Mo Willems
Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
Dramaturgy by Megan Alrutz
Directed by Nancy Schaeffer

Now thru February 19
Recommended for ages 3 and up

The Pigeon is having a bit of an identity crisis – he never gets to do ANYTHING, and people just want him to “fly off”. Everything changes when the confident, cool Bus Driver rolls into town, and the Pigeon finds himself with a brand new goal: DRIVE THE BUS! But, is it even possible? Time to find out! Written by Mo Willems: creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling, Caldecott Honor award-winning Pigeon picture books…this zany show is ready to take audiences for the ride of their lives!


Photos by Karen Almond
DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! THE MUSICAL! produced through special arrangement with Music Theatre International www.MTIshows[dot]com.