Mo Willems’ dynamic duo Elephant & Piggie comes to life at the IRT
IRT’s Exploring Stages series encourages art, education through theatre for youth
Indianapolis, Ind.— For the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s fifth year of its Exploring Stages program, the Theatre will produce Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” by award-winning children's illustrator and author Mo Willems. This first-ever musical in this youth-serving series will run from February 21 – March 24 in the Cabaret for children ages 3 – 8 years old and their families.
“Our Exploring Stages series is a great way to introduce young children to the theatre in a safe, family-friendly environment,” IRT’s Associate Artistic Director and Production Director Benjamin Hanna said. “Elephant & Piggie's ‘We are in a Play!’ is a joyful musical that teaches children about friendship by modeling how to share with others, to listen, to respect difference, to celebrate kindness, and so much more.”
Through a partnership with the United Way, the IRT sends teaching artists out into the community to lead storytimes, activities and discussions at various program centers around the city. In turn, United Way sponsors thousands of preschoolers to give them the opportunity to attend the show and receive an Elephant & Piggie book. This educational effort, paired with more than 40 public and student performances, helps introduce children to the theatre experience and encourages learning through art.
Based on the more than 20 books by Mo Willems about Elephant Gerald and Piggie, Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” is a rollicking celebration of friendship and fun as the dynamic duo discovers what it means to be best friends, the importance of sharing and accepting differences, and the excitement of a day when anything can happen.
Unlike other children’s book stage adaptations, Willems wrote the script and lyrics for this musical, which allows the play to have the authentic Willems touch. Willems’ books have been awarded some of the highest literature honors, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal, the Caldecott Medal, and the Carnegie Medal. Creator of the music for this production is Deborah Wicks La Puma, one of the most produced children’s theatre composing artists. Her recent work includes a musical based on Chelsea Clinton’s She Persisted children’s book.
This daytime production features storytime seating where children and adults can sit on the floor, in addition to chair options along the back or side of the theatre. There will be pre- and post-show activities for an experience totaling 75 minutes. To join in on this joyful jamboree, you can purchase tickets online or by calling the IRT Ticket Office at 317.635.5252.
WHERE: Indiana Repertory Theatre, 140 W Washington Street, OneAmerica Mainstage
RUN DATES: February 21—March 24, daytime performances. Elephant & Piggie's "We Are in a Play!" is approximately 75 minutes, including pre- and post-show activities. Tickets and performance schedule available at irtlive.com.
TICKETS: Tickets start at $8. Click to buy.
CAST & CREATIVE TEAM:
JADDY CIUCCI | Squirrelle/Dog
SHAWNTÉ GASTON | Educator/Swing
TIFFANY GILLIAM | Squirrelle
DEVAN MATHIAS | Piggie
JOSIAH MCCRUISTON | Educator/Swing
CARLOS MEDINA MALDONADO | Gerald
BRIANNA MILAN | Squirrelle/Penguin
BENJAMIN HANNA | Director
KERRY LEE CHIPMAN | Scenic Design
GUY CLARK | Costume Design
BETH NUZUM | Lighting Design
TODD REISCHMAN | Sound Design
BRENT MARTY | Musical Director
JILLIAN GODWIN | Choreographer
Saturday, February 23, performance at 1 PM | Sensory Friendly Performance
Sensory Friendly performances are designed to create a welcoming experience for all, including those with autism or other sensory sensitivities. Elements of this performance may be adapted to ensure the comfort of all of our audience members.
The IRT produces top-quality, professional theatre that engages, surprises, challenges and entertains people throughout their lifetimes, helping to build a vital and vibrant community.
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