Dallas Children's Theater Blog

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

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

Meet the cast of DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY

Small bugs, big roles.

Marla Acevedo
(Butterfly / Ensemble)
Marla is ecstatic to join DCT’s national touring cast! She previously appeared in DCT’s mainstage production of Jungalbook. Marla graduated from UT Arlington where she studied musical theater. She is also an alumna from Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City. Marla enjoys working with Funimation where she has served as a voice actor for such shows as Aria the Scarlet Ammo (Nonoka) and A Centaur’s Life (Shino). Other TV credits include Queen of the South (Maya). She would like to thank God and her family and friends for their unconditional love and support. Instagram @marla_acevedo

Parker Fitzgerald
(Ant / Ensemble)
Parker is thrilled to be on his fifth national tour, and his first with Dallas Children’s Theater’s touring company. Other DCT credits include Seussical™, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Jungalbook. On tour, he appeared for two seasons in both Casa Mañana’s Junie B. Jones: Jingle Bells Batman Smells and Wishing Star Production’s Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical. He has been an active member of the D-FW theater community for over a decade and has been seen on stage at Casa Mañana, Lyric Stage, Theatre Three, and various others. He is grateful for the road, the theater, and all those who cherish the arts.

Isaiah Harris
(Worm / Dance Captain)
Isaiah Christopher-Lord Harris is thrilled to be making his debut with DCT. Past credits include Priscilla Queen Of The Desert and Aida at Uptown Players; Madagascar at NTPA; Grease at The Firehouse Theatre; Damn Yankees at RCT; Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration at Walt Disney World; Chicago at MainStage Irving-Las Colinas; and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, First Date, and The Drowsy Chaperone at Collin College. Isaiah would like to thank the production staff for this wonderful opportunity, his family & friends for their immense amount of love & support, and God for his unconditional love.

Kristin Küns
(Fly)
Kristin is thrilled to “fly” with DCT’s national touring cast! She is a graduate of Oklahoma City University where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. Her regional theater credits include Junie B. Jones the Musical (Junie B.) at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma; Hairspray (Penny) at Pollard Theatre Company; and Private Lives (Louise) at Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park. Other credits include It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Rose Bailey/Zuzu/Others), Talking Pictures (Katie Bell Jackson), Killer Joe (Dottie Smith), and The Trojan Women (Chorus) at OCU; and Bad Shakespeare (Richard III/Leontes/Iago) at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Much love to friends and family! kristinkuns[dot]com; @kristin_kuns

Cosette Montemayor
(Mrs. McBee / Ensemble)
This is Cosette’s debut with DCT as well as her first national tour – and she is BUZZING with excitement. A theater student at Collin College, she recently performed on Good Morning Texas. Past credits include The Addams Family (Wednesday) at C.O.R.P Theatre/Garland Civic Theatre; Grease (Rizzo) at Dallas Summer Musicals Academy; and Legally Blonde (Elle) at Rockwall Community Playhouse. Cosette thanks her friends and family for their endless support. Follow the journey @cosettemontemayor

Ethan Rodriguez-Mullins
(Spider)
Ethan Rodriguez-Mullins is beyond ecstatic to be performing with DCT’s National Tour! Past credits include Sweeney Todd (Featured Ensemble) at L.I.P. Service; The Yellow Boat (Benjamin) at Resolute Theatre Project; Grease (Doody) and Gypsy (Yonkers) at The Firehouse Theatre; Hello, Dolly! (Barnaby Tucker) at Garland Summer Musicals; The Addams Family (Lucas Beineke) and Annie Get Your Gun (Tommy Keeler) at C.O.R.P. Theatre; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Chip Tolentino) and First Date (The Waiter) at Collin College Theatre. Mr. Mullins is an accomplished musician and has served as musical director, orchestrator, arranger, pianist/guitarist & composer for numerous productions in the D-FW area. He would like to thank his family & friends for their support. Instagram: @i_am_e_mu


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.

June 14 – 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.

The Bugs Are Back In Town…

Sally Fiorello, National Tour Director, sat down with us to talk about THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG’s history on tour and to take a look at what makes DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY a great show for audiences of all ages as we anticipate the cast’s return to Dallas.

SKOG 1998

What show was on tour during your first year working for the national tour?

My first year, the touring production was THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG. It was produced as the last show, the summer show during the 1997-1998 season, and then it was decided that we should bring it back as the touring production for the 1998-1999 season.

The touring company in 1998-1999 was lucky enough to perform THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Can you talk about the excitement of coordinating that?

They played The Kennedy Center on November 27, 28, and 29, 1998. That performance actually came about through a relationship [Executive Artistic Director] Robyn had with someone at The Kennedy Center. My focus was on preparing the cast and making sure they had everything they needed. The cast was thrilled to have the opportunity.

What makes DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY different from other touring shows?

I would put it in the category of musicals that we put out that are exceptional because it has a good script with great music. We’ve been fortunate to be able to put a few of those out on the road. A great script doesn’t speak down to children. I look for material that is relatable to children, but also to their families – to the adults and teachers that see the show with them. I want an entire audience to enjoy our shows no matter the age range and shows like DIARY do just that.

National Tour Director Sally Fiorello

Is the cast excited to come home?

The touring casts are always excited to come home after many months on the road with all those people. When they come home, they love being able to perform for the hometown crowd, and they love that their families and friends can come see them. It’s a great thing to come do the show and then go back home to their own beds.

With THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG on stage now and DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY coming up soon, there’s plenty of quality theater for all families at DCT! Get your tickets to see a spectacular show today at dct.org/plays


THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG
Adapted for the stage by Linda Daugherty
Music and lyrics by Nick Martin
Based on the book The Island of the Skog by Steven Kellogg

Copyright @1973 by Steven Kellogg

Now – May 25, 2019
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

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

June 14 – July 7, 2019
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.

 

Title Sponsors for THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG are Texas Instruments, TXU Energy, Legacy Texas. NATIONAL TOURING Sponsor is Neiman Marcus.

Photo Credits: Karen Almond and Robin Sachs

Meet the Cast of THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG

Shout it once, shout it twice. Friends forever, Skog and Mice!

 

Deborah Brown*
(Jenny)
Debbie is happy to return to DCT (after her most recent appearance in Magic Tree House’s Holiday Musical: A Ghost Tale For Mr. Dickens) where she began performing in 2001. Other recent D-FW appearances include Opal’s Husband for 1:30 Productions, Santa Claus: A New Musical at Casa Mañana, and Ripcord at Circle Theatre. Debbie spent 15 years as a Resident Company Member at the Casa Mañana Children’s Playhouse, playing all manner of witches, animals, and mothers. She is also a recipient of the Live Theatre League of Tarrant County Elston Brooks Lifetime Achievement Award and a long time member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Alyssa Cavazos**
(Louise)
Alyssa is so excited to be joining her DCT family once again with this all-star cast and crew! You may recognize her from Dallas Children’s Theater’s productions of Treasure Island Reimagined! (Morgan) and as Dame Olga’s purple haired daughter, Hattie, in Ella Enchanted: The Musical. She also is a resident Teaching Artist for DCT youth. Regional credits include: Disaster! (Marianne Wilson), Perfect Arrangement (Millie), and Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Ensemble & Diva/Marion US) at Uptown Players; The Grown-Up (Rosie) at Flexible Grey Theatre Company; the reading of Our Space (Facebook) at Pegasus Theatre; the reading of Another Set of Issues (Harriet) at IMPRINT Theatreworks; The Final Battle (Taylor) at Camp Death Productions; Cymbeline (Helen/Ensemble) at Martinit Theatre NYC; and Miss Saigon (Yvette) and The Music Man (Ensemble/Dance Captain) both with Western Playhouse Theatre. She received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Abilene Christian University. Alyssa would like to thank Dallas Children’s Theater for this wonderful experience, Drew for his undeniable support, and God for His many blessings.

Gena Loe**
(Hannah)
Gena is excited to be returning to Dallas Children’s Theater! Regional credits include: Ella Enchanted: The Musical (Olive/Dance Captain), Magic Tree House’s Holiday Musical: A Ghost Tale For Mr. Dickens (Ensemble/Dance Captain), and Seussical™ (Bird Girl) at Dallas Children’s Theater; Disaster! at Uptown Players; and Sister Act (Sister Mary Lazarus) at MainStage Irving-Las Colinas. She would like to thank her family for encouraging her special brand of strange and loving her on and off the stage!

K. Doug Miller*
(Wooster / Dance Captain)
K. Doug Miller is Director of the DCT Musical Theater Conservatory. He has appeared on most stages in D-FW, and is also a professional stage director. He has received the Dallas Theatre League’s Leon Rabin Award, The Column Award, Dallas Observer’s ‘Best Of’ Award, and the prestigious Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum Award for Acting & Directing. Doug is a broadcast actor with The Mary Collins Agency, and his next project is directing Into the Woods Junior at DCT this summer.

Ziggy Renner
(Puppeteer)
Ziggy is a Dallas native and veteran technician with Dallas Children’s Theater. During the 2015-16 season, he traveled the country as the audio engineer and Assistant Technical Director for DCT’s national tour of The BFG (Big Friendly Giant). Productions with Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts include Frosty & Friends, The Snow Queen, Young King Arthur, Beauty and the Beast, Carnival of the Animals, House at Pooh Corner, The Nutcracker, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and Jack and the Beanstalk. He was also a featured puppeteer with Kathy Burks World of Puppets at Six Flags Over Texas. Ziggy previously lived in St. Paul, MN for two years where he worked with such prestigious organizations as the Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Stages Theatre Company, and Off-Leash Area. He served as the Technical Director for A.C.E.’s national tour of Girls Only – The Secret Comedy Of Women. Ziggy has also worked extensively with Shakespeare Dallas, Lone Star Circus®, and Dallas Theater Center.

Karl Schaeffer*
(Bouncer)
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.

Blake Seabourn
(Rowdy 2)
Blake is feeling cheesy about making his debut at Dallas Children’s Theater with The Island of the Skog! He has recently been seen on stage in The Boyfriend (Gaspard) at The Firehouse Theatre. Other credits include All I Want for Christmas (Little Drummer Boy) at Six Flags Over Texas; Madagascar (King Julien), The Music Man (Ensemble), Grease, and Bye Bye Birdie at The Firehouse Theatre; The Beulaville Baptist Book Club presents A Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker (Joni) with MBS Productions; Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour) with CORP; and The Drowsy Chaperone (Gangster #1). Thank you so much to Robyn and Dallas Children’s Theater for this amazing opportunity!

Max J. Swarner*
(Rowdy 3)
Max J. Swarner is a Dallas native with over 20 years of professional stage experience. Recent leading roles: The Music Man at The Firehouse Theatre in Texas; and Phantom of the Opera at Downtown Cabaret Theatre and The Pirates of Penzance at Sharon Playhouse in Connecticut. He has won numerous awards for his work and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. Love to Kim, his family, and his extended DCT family. maxjswarner.com

Buy your tickets now for family fun at bit.ly/IslandoftheSkogatDCT.


 

THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG
Adapted for the stage by Linda Daugherty
Music and lyrics by Nick Martin
Based on the book The Island of the Skog by Steven Kellogg

Copyright @1973 by Steven Kellogg

Now – May 25, 2019
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.

 

*Indicates member of Actors’ Equity Association. **Indicates Equity Membership Candidate.

The Importance of Being Inclusive

How a mischief of mice and a class filled with bugs can help start the conversation of inclusiveness in your family…

When I was in the midst of my teen years, I met a young boy, Sam, who forever changed my perspective on life. At the time I was regularly volunteering for a childhood cancer support organization (an organization I was involved in because of my own sister’s struggle with a brain tumor), but I was also very much wrapped up in all of the feelings, drama, and self-centeredness that often goes hand-in-hand with transitioning from a child to a young adult. Sam was an eight-year-old…and oh so joyful. He had a huge personality, told the funniest jokes, and was literally the friendliest person I had ever met. Sam also had Down syndrome and was fighting leukemia. During parent support group meetings, while I babysat all the kids, I would just be in awe of Sam’s spirit. Despite overwhelming pain and discomfort, Sam was a light. His positive perspective on life changed mine. Although I was volunteering to “make a difference,” Sam was the one who truly made a difference in me.

Years later, I attended Sam’s funeral. At that point, I had only been to somber funerals where people dressed in dark colors and talked in hushed tones. But, Sam’s was a celebration of a life that had impacted hundreds of people. Everyone wore bright clothing, so many people shared stories about how Sam had brought joy to the world, and his smiling face shone down on all of us from a poster by the pulpit. Sam’s time on earth was short, but his impact was profound!

Every person we come in to contact with, with special needs or not, similar to us or different, has a story to tell, a perspective to share, and a voice to be heard. We all benefit when we are all a part of this story called life. I learned more from Sam, a little boy who in so many ways was different from me, than I ever taught him while I was trying to “make a difference” volunteering. What would my life be like without Sam’s impact?

The last two shows of Dallas Children’s Theater’s 2018-19 season really speak to this importance of inclusion. In THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG, the mice learn a vital lesson about assuming the worst of someone different while in DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY, the bugs learn to value and celebrate each other’s differences. Although both of these shows will be quite entertaining (imagine, dancing and singing bugs!), the insight about inclusion our kids can gain from these stories might just be the most important reason to attend. And, hopefully, the shows will inspire conversations with our kids about including everyone, from the child with a physical disability who may need a game adapted to play on the playground to choosing to sit next to the nonverbal classmate who is alone at the lunch table, that lasts longer than just the car ride home from the theater!

Come celebrate and appreciate all our differences at Dallas Children’s Theater. THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG plays May 3 through 25th. DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER & A FLY runs June 14 through July 7. For tickets, go to dct.org. And, to learn more about DCT’s efforts to include those with sensory-sensitivities at the theater, check out dct.org/sensory.


 

 

Written by Guest Mom Blogger, Jessica Colaw.

 

 


THE ISLAND OF THE SKOG

Adapted for the stage by Linda Daugherty
Music and lyrics by Nick Martin
Based on the book The Island of the Skog by Steven Kellogg

Copyright @1973 by Steven Kellogg

May 3 – May 25
Ages 3 and up
Sensory-Friendly Performance:
Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 1:30 pm – ($5 per ticket, Phone orders only, 214-740-0051)

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

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

June 14 – July 7

Ages 3 and up
Sensory-Friendly Performance: 
Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 1:30 pm – ($5 per ticket, Phone orders only, 214-740-0051)

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.

The Power of Choices in TUCK EVERLASTING

“I’m not exactly sure what I’d do, you know, but something interesting – something that’s all mine. Something that would make some kind of difference in the world.”  –Winnie Foster

Ten-year-old Winnie Foster is curious, and she longs for adventure beyond home. But does she get more than she bargained for when she ventures into unknown territory? While exploring her family’s land one summer morning, she accidentally discovers something life-altering: a source of immortality, which sets off a whirlwind chain of events with big moral dilemmas and important life choices that have everlasting consequences.

After meeting the immortal Tuck family, Winnie learns about the natural order of life, which patriarch Angus Tuck explains to her in the famous rowboat scene. “Know what that is, all around us, Winnie? Life. Moving, growing, changing, never the same two minutes together,” says Tuck.

As Winnie spends time with and befriends the Tuck family, she appreciates their kindness towards her, and she begins to understand their perspective on why getting “stuck” in immortality is not desirable.

When the mysterious Stranger in the Yellow Suit shows up and announces that he intends to expose the source of immortality and sell the spring water for profit, the Tuck family make efforts to stop him, which results in the Stranger’s accidental death.

Winnie decides to help the Tuck family escape imprisonment even if it could get her in a lot of trouble. Why does she do it? Because she feels it is the right thing to do to help her friends and to protect their secret of immortality from falling into the wrong hands. And that’s not the only big decision young Winnie Foster must make in TUCK EVERLASTING.

She also faces the dilemma of whether to remain mortal, or to drink the enchanted spring water in order to live forever with the boy who she admires, Jesse Tuck. Winnie cares deeply for the Tuck family, but she also remembers the advice from Angus Tuck — that the cycle of life is important, even if it includes death as part of that process of growth and change. Two big choices — both with their own pros & cons and far-reaching consequences.

As the book Tuck Everlasting beautifully describes, Winnie realizes throughout her whirlwind experiences with the Tuck family that she has to think about her personal values and then make some tough life choices. From Chapter 21, “…she was different. Things had happened to her that were hers alone…And no amount of telling about it could help them understand or share what she felt. It was satisfying and lonely, both at once.”

How does Dallas Children’s Theater (DCT) portray on stage the conclusion of Winnie’s story and the choices that she makes? Come see for yourself. Only three shows left: Saturday, April 6th at 1:30 PM; and Sunday, April 7th at 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM.

 


 

TUCK EVERLASTING

Script by Mark J. Frattaroli

Based on the book Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

NOW – 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.


Photos by: Karen Almond