Radical Barnyard Animals Take to the Stage in Final Show of Asheville Creative Arts' 5th Milestone Season

Radical Barnyard Animals Take to the Stage in Final Show of Asheville Creative Arts' 5th Milestone Season

Asheville Creative Arts (ACA), Asheville's professional children's theatre announces the culminating production of its 5th Milestone Season, CLICK, CLACK, MOO: COWS THAT TYPE, a hilarious and timely adaptation of the beloved illustrated books from Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin, adapted by James E. Grote, with music by James Howe, lyrics by James E. Grote and George Howe, direction by Nehprii Amenii, choreography by Anthony Napoletano, and musical direction and arranging by Gina Stewart and Brenda Gambill of Jonesalee, with Gabrielle Tee.

The show, which will be held at the company's new theatre home, Magnetic 375 (375 Depot Street), will run from July 20-30, Fridays at 7pm, Saturdays at 1pm and 4pm, and Sundays at 1pm with added performances Sunday July 23 at 4pm and Thursday July 27 at 7pm. Tickets are $12 for students and $23 for adults and are available at the company website, http://ashevillecreativearts.org/purchase-tickets.

In CLICK, CLACK, MOO: COWS THAT TYPE the animals on Farmer Brown's farm have had enough! They work all day to provide milk and eggs, but when their request for electric blankets to warm the drafty barn is ignored, they decide that action must be taken. Luckily, the Cows, Hen, and Duck discover a typewriter that helps them to engage in peaceful protest to improve their working conditions with surprising (and delightful) results. As noted by Time Out New York, "with source material as clever as Doreen Cronin's beloved book it's really no surprise that this musical is so udderly (sorry, couldn't resist) fabulous," and audiences will delight in a magical barnyard brought to life with elements of puppetry, projections, and protest inspired choreography.

This production's cast includes ACA Resident Artists Katie Jones, Anthony Napoletano, and musician Gina Stewart of Jonesalee, who are joined by local favorite, Jonathan Santos, and NYC based artist and musician, Jason Stanley. Adult musicians will be accompanied by a live barnyard band made up of a dynamic youth corps including Reed Atherton (vocals), Reina Corcoran (vocals, guitar and bass), Dax and Grey Chatham (piano and trumpet) and Samantha Yoffee (saxophone), who are selected in partnership with Asheville Music School, and led by Gabrielle Tee.

The creative team includes sets and puppet design by Nehprii Amenii, projections by installation artist Marie Yokoyama, costumes by Maggie Neas, lights and production coordination by Anthony Cerrato, with dramaturgy by resident company member Alex Smith, and production intern Samantha Yoffee.

Producing Director Abby Felder says "as we near the end of our 5th Milestone season, this show helps us continue to push the boundaries of children's theatre with great themes, exciting design and amazing performances. We will be asking our audiences to have a lot of fun, while at the same time emphasizing the power in each of them to effect change in their own environment with simple tools that anyone can access. Our spring production of THE LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD SHOW integrated some beautiful design elements from returning designer Marie Yokoyama, and we look forward continuing in that vein with incredibly creative sets and puppets from director and designer, Nehprii Amenii, who has worked with Alvin Ailey, In the Heart of the Beast, and Cirque du Soleil, among others. We also look forward to welcoming local community activists during special post-performance discussions so that young people can connect the more abstract notion of protest with work being done for social change in real life, part of the larger community building efforts embraced by our vision of the space ACA must occupy going forward. Guests include the Reverend Michael Carter of the Unitarian Universalist Church (July 21 - 7pm) Paul Howey of Fur Kidz Sake (July 22 - 4pm) and others, including Daniele Martin of Yoga for Women of Color, with dates to be announced."

CLICK, CLACK, MOO: COWS THAT TYPE will include weekday matinee performances for camp groups with specially discounted $7 and free tickets, plus pre-show study guide designed in accordance with Common Core benchmarks for learning, and post-show Q&A underwritten by generous individual donors on July 20-21; 26 & 28 at 1pm, and July 27 at 1:30pm with limited full price tickets available to the public. For information on booking these shows, contact Abby Felder at 914-830-3000 or at abby@ashevillecreativearts.org.

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Asheville's critically acclaimed, award winning theatre devoted to creating works for children of all ages, Asheville Creative Arts was founded in 2013. Led by Abby Felder with Gina Stewart and Brenda Gambill of Jonesalee, and with a new Resident Company of local and national talent helmed by Katie Jones, Alex Smith, Daniele Martin, Anthony Napoletano, Nehprii Amenii and Marie Yokoyama. ACA has the following mission: To produce, present and create professional and innovative theatre for the very young to the young at heart, and embrace diverse cultures with a main stage season of productions of musical, literary adaptations, and puppet based work that push the boundaries of children's theatre; to train the next generation of artists; and to ensure that all families in Western NC and beyond have access to theatre arts through outreach such as touring, and "in-reach" such as specially discounted performances for school and community groups. In honor of contributions to the cultural landscape, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer declared July 18, 2014 "Asheville Creative Arts Day;" and ACA's production of HOW I BECAME A PIRATE was the 2016 recipient of a Grassroots Partnership Award- a grant from the NC Arts Council, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, distributed by the Asheville Area Arts Council, and CLICK, CLACK, MOO received an award from Puffin Foundation West.

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