101 DALMATIANS, DOUBLE TROUBLE & More Set for Imagination Stage's 2014-15 Season
Fairies, dogs, monsters, genies, and long-lost sisters make up Imagination Stage's 2014-2015 season of professional theatre. In the season ahead, five very different role models for bravery are explored on stage: a night fairy surviving by day; a Dalmatian couple trying to rescue their pups; a little boy facing his darkest fears in the southern swamp; young explorers tasked with saving their city of Baghdad; and two twins unknowingly separated and reunited in an unexpected location.
The 2014-2015 season, beginning late September and running through August 2015, features The Night Fairy; 101 Dalmatians; Wiley and the Hairy Man; Sinbad: The Untold Tale; and Double Trouble. Subscriptions are available by calling the box office at 301-280-1660 (see pricing below). Single tickets go on sale August 11, 2014.
"Some of these stories are fantastical, while some have familiar settings," says Imagination Stage Artistic Director Janet Stanford. "Some involve high adventure, others high comedy. Some have music and singing, others prose. But in dramatically different ways, each of these stories speaks to children about bravery. We usually associate the trait of bravery with soldiers and firefighters, grown men and women who put themselves in harm's way in order to protect the rest of us. A visit to Imagination Stage this season gives every child a vicarious way to test their own courage in the face of imaginary circumstances so that one day they may become the hero or heroine of their very own, and very real, story."
Kicking off the 2014-2015 season is The Night Fairy, directed by Jeremy Skidmore, a tale of big adventure in a miniature world in which a night fairy discovers a renewed sense of creativity, diplomacy, and resilience upon being attacked by a bat. Skidmore is new to the Lerner Theatre. His recent credits include The Beauty Queen of Leenane, and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo at Round House Theatre, as well as A Few Good Men at Keegan Theatre.
101 Dalmatians will warm hearts this holiday season with a new musical adaptation of the classic under the direction of Stanford. In a fun twist, the puppies are played by people, while over-sized puppets portray the human characters. Imagination Stage welcomes back acclaimed puppet designer Matthew Pauli, who recently designed the giant Mr. B puppet in Lulu and the Brontosaurus. Composer and lyricist Joan Cushing has a long history with Imagination Stage, and was a recipient of the 2011 Imagination Award for her work creating new musicals for young audiences. In all, Cushing has adapted 13 popular children's books as stage musicals, nearly half of which have been commissioned by Imagination Stage.
The next production is a down-home comedy filled with music and magic centered around a little boy who is forced to think on his feet to outwit his opponent-the Hairy Man who lurks in the eerie swamp. Wiley and the Hairy Man will be directed by Imagination Stage Associate Artistic Director Kathryn Chase Bryer. Katie Touart, Helen Hayes nominee for Outstanding Costume Design for Peter Pan and Wendy at Imagination Stage, will design the costumes.
Sinbad: The Untold Tale, directed by Stanford, is a magical journey through the Far East about two young explorers that become fast friends and fellow adventures for life after a completing a series of difficult feats. The design team includes Scenic Designer Natsu Onoda Power, playwright and director of the acclaimed T Party at Forum Theatre whose recent Imagination Stage design credits include the award-winning Anime Momotaro. Returning to Imagination Stage is Costume Designer Kendra Rai of Cinderella: The Remix, and recent Helen Hayes Awards nominee for Outstanding Costume Design for The Magic Finger.
Next summer, Imagination Stage will present a new musical called Double Trouble directed by Bryer. The story is based on Erich Kastner's novel Lottie and Lisa, best known to American audiences through the Disney movie version entitled The Parent Trap. This summer camp story is all about sibling scheming that leads to heart-rending discoveries and a happy but more realistic ending true to its 21rst century setting. Joining the Imagination Stage design team for the first time is Scenic Designer Misha Kachman, a company member at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre 2014-2015 season includes:
The Night Fairy
September 24-October 26, 2014
Based on the book by Laura Amy Schlitz, adapted by John Glore
Directed by Jeremy Skidmore
Flory is a Night Fairy who is attacked by a bat. When her wings are damaged in the struggle, she is forced to learn how to survive in the daylight among the other birds and animals in a typical backyard. During her adventures, Flory makes new friends, and eventually reconciles with her foe. By the time her wings begin to sprout back, Flory has discovered a renewed sense of creativity, diplomacy, and resilience that she never knew she had.
Best for ages 4-10.
November 19, 2014-January 11, 2015
Based on the book by Dodie Smith, adapted for the stage by Martha King de Silva with lyrics and music by Joan Cushing
Directed by Janet Stanford
When Mr. and Mrs. Dearly welcome a new litter of Dalmatians to their 1950s London home, Cruella de Vil is quick to plot their kidnap. Loving puppy parents Pongo and Missis discover their location, and set out on a harrowing adventure through the countryside to rescue their puppies. With the help of several friendly dogs along the way, the family reunites on Christmas Day, and Cruella is defeated. But will the Dearlys take in all 101 Dalmatians?
Best for ages 4-10.
Wiley and the Hairy Man
February 4-March 8, 2015
Written by Suzan Zeder with music by Harry Pickens
Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer
This traditional tall tale tells of Wiley who lives in fear of the Hairy Man who lurks in the swamp. When Wiley's Momma attempts to prepare him to confront the wicked trickster, he pays little mind. As Wiley ventures into the swamp, he is forced to think on his feet to outwit his opponent. Will Wiley succeed in banishing the big bully from the territory?
Best for ages 6-12.
Sinbad: The Untold Tale
April 8-May 31, 2015
By Charles Way
Directed by Janet Stanford
Sinbad the Sailor has retired from his notorious adventures. He tries to keep his feisty daughter Ittifaq safe from the sorceress Jan Shah. But when a mysterious cloud descends upon Baghdad, putting all of the adults to sleep, proud Ittifaq must enlist the help of Sinbad the Porter, a street orphan whom she despises. A quest full of humor, genies, sword fights, diamonds, magic boats, and flying carpets ensues. The two young explorers cross the chasm of their differences to become fast friends and fellow adventurers for life.
Best for ages 5-12.
June 24-Augst 9, 2015
Based on Erich Kastner's novel Lottie & Lisa (AKA The Parent Trap), adapted by David S. Craig with music by Marc Schubring
Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer
Lottie and Lisa are ten-year-old twins who are being raised separately by their divorced parents. When the girls meet unexpectedly at summer camp they discover their true relationship, and the high stakes, madcap adventure begins. Having switched places, the girls discover that their deception is hard to sustain. Will the parents be convinced that the sisters belong together? Best for ages 5-10.
Shows at Imagination Stage run approximately 90 minutes, including one intermission. Performance times are Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., with occasional Saturday at 11:00 a.m. performances, as well as Saturday evening shows at 7:00 p.m.
*All dates and titles subject to change.
Subscriptions to Imagination Stage's 2014-2015 season are now on sale. Priced $54-$90, subscribers can pick between three-, four-, or five-show packages. Flex Packs are also now available, which can be purchased for seven or more tickets. Subscribe by calling the Box Office at 301-280-1660. Single tickets, priced $10-$30, go on sale August 11, 2014.