Kennedy Center's Young Audiences Season to Feature Works By Heisler, Goldrich, Williamson, Norman, Brown, Hudes

News   Kennedy Center's Young Audiences Season to Feature Works By Heisler, Goldrich, Williamson, Norman, Brown, Hudes
 
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, announced its Theater for Young Audiences season for 2010-2011 on March 2.

The season will include three world-premiere productions, all commissioned by the Kennedy Center; a return engagement of the symphony based on The Trumpet of the Swan; two touring productions; and other performances presented at the Kennedy Center from across the country and around the world.

Locomotion, adapted by novelist Jacqueline Woodson from her book of the same title, will kick off the season Oct. 23-31 at the Family Theater. The world premiere, co-commissioned by the Kennedy Center and the Orlando Repertory Theatre, will be directed by Jennifer Nelson. The play follows Lonnie Collins Motion, an African-American child nicknamed Locomotion for his hyperactive energy, and the emotional release and uplift he discovers in writing poetry. The show is recommended for ages nine and up.

The season's second world premiere will be Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred), set to run Nov. 26-Dec. 19 in the Family Theater. The musical features a score by composer Zina Goldrich and librettist Marcy Heisler, and imagines the fairy tale of the title as performed in a contemporary high school, where the generous sisters of legend are played by obnoxious cheerleaders who fight over a fellow actor's affections. Press notes describe the show as "a little Actor's Nightmare, a little Kiss Me Kate, a little Babes in Arms, and a little timeless fairy tale with a comedic spin." Recommended for ages seven and up.

The final premiere will be American Scrapbook: A Celebration of Verse by Jason Williamson. The hour-long play — which will be directed by Kathleen Amshoff and will be seen Jan. 29-Feb. 6, 2011, in the Family Theater — is based on the books "The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis" and "A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children," both collections of poetry introduced by Caroline Kennedy. According to press notes, "This highly theatrical production will combine spoken word, movement, music and dialogue to create a journey through the touchstones of the life of one of America's most heralded families." The play will be part of The Presidency of John F. Kennedy: A 50th Anniversary Celebration and is recommended for ages nine and up.

Additional works presented throughout the season include Rumplestiltskin, performed by German puppeteer Matthias Kuchta (Oct. 9-10); One Small Step, by David Hastings and directed by Toby Hulse, in which two actors play 41 characters "in a brilliant exploration of the space race," courtesy of the Oxford Playhouse in the UK (Nov. 6-7); Harold and the Purple Crayon, "a dance adaptation of Crockett Johnson's beloved classic" performed by Hubbard Street 2 from Chicago (Nov. 13, Eisenhower Theater); 46 Circus Acts in 45 Minutes, an astounding circus performance from Australia's Circa troupe (Feb. 19-20, 2011); Doktor Kaboom!, "an amazing educational tour of the scientific method" performed by David Epley (April 2-10); and The Cat Who Went to Heaven, a jazz puppet show with music and lyrics by Nancy Harrow, directed by Will Pomerantz, and based on Elizabeth Coatsworth's Newberry Award-winning children's book, performed by Culture Project from New York (April 30-May 1). These shows will be performed in the Family Theater unless otherwise noted. One Small Step and Doktor Kaboom! are recommended for ages seven and up; other shows in this series are recommended for ages five and up. The first touring production sponsored by Theater for Young Audiences will be Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical, Mo Willems' musical adaptation of his Caldecott Medal-winning children's book with music by Michael Siversher and direction by Rosemary Newcott. The show, which follows a toddler's search for her lost stuffed bunny, will tour from October 2010 to May 2011, and is recommended for ages four and up.

The second touring production will be Barrio Grrrl!, featuring music by Bill Sherman and book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony nominee Quiara Alegría Hudes. The show will be directed by Peter Flynn and choreographed by Devanand Janki. The show "is about spunky nine year old Ana and her imaginary friend The Amazing Voice, who dedicate their lives to save the barrio and all who live in it." Ana, whose mother is serving in Iraq, struggles to come of age and "make a decision between the grandeur of her fantasies and the little miracles that happen every day." The show will tour January-April, 2011, and is recommended for ages nine and up.

The Trumpet of the Swan: A Novel Symphony will be performed as part of the National Symphony Orchestra's Family Concerts series March 27, 2011, in the Concert Hall (it premiered at the Kennedy Center in December 2008). An adaptation of E.B. White's classic children's book by Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning librettist Marsha Norman and Tony-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, "the production features the National Symphony Orchestra and a star-studded cast to create the world of young Louis, a trumpeter sawn born without a voice. By learning how to play a trumpet, Louis is able to change his life." Brown will conduct the symphony, which is recommended for ages seven and up.

Subscriptions may be purchased before individual tickets are released; the dates of individual ticket sales will be announced shortly. For information on subscriptions, call (202) 416-8500. For group sales of 20 or more call (202) 416-4800. For more information on the Theater for Young Audiences season, visit kennedy-center.org.

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