Four Original Productions to be Showcased During New York Children's Theater Festival, 5/25-6/18

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Four Original Productions to be Showcased During New York Children's Theater Festival, 5/25-6/18

The New York Children's Theater Festival co-founders Michael Shawn Lewis, Chelsey Shannon, and Renee Barnett have announced the shows selected for its third season. The four productions are Rescue Rue; Viva Pinocho! A Mexican Pinocchio!; Cinderella, A Fairy God Mother's Tale; and Mythos.

In making the announcement, The New York Children's Theater Festival co-founder Michael Shawn Lewis said, "Our third year running, we received more diverse, creative, and solid work than ever before and therefore decided that for the first time we will feature four productions, rather than three as we have done in the past. It is exciting that so many artists have developed such quality family entertainment and want to be part of our growing platform."

"We continue to aim to bring audiences fresh, fun, smart family entertainment and give the experience of incredible live theater to as many children as possible, while we provide a strong venue for writers and producers to showcase their work," he continued. This year's selections to are:

Rescue Rue (Friday April 25, 5:30 PM; Saturday April 26, 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM; Sunday April 27, 2:00 PM): Inspired by a true story, Rescue Rue is an original musical fairytale with puppets that tells one dog's journey from shelter to adoption, finding her fur-ever home in New York City. The show by Stacey Weingarten, is making its world premiere at The New York Children's Theater Festival. For ages 3 to 8.

Viva Pinocho! A Mexican Pinocchio! (Friday May 2, 5:30 PM; Saturday May 3, 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM; Sunday May 4, 2:00 PM): A musical, one-man puppet show featuring puppeteer Dr. Manuel Morán, tells the classic story in a new and exciting way, employing masks, black light, marionettes, shadow puppets, animation, direct manipulation puppets, and object puppetry. The production captures the charm of the original folktale and conveys a message of hope, family and love, using Mexican rhythms and styles of music. The show is produced by Teatro SEA, written by Dr. Moran, and is for ages 6 and up.

Cinderella, A Fairy God Mother's Tale (Friday May 9, 5:30 PM; Saturday May 10, 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM; Sunday May 11, 2:00 PM): This is a hilarious re-telling of the classic story with a magical twist. Everyone knows what happened at the ball, but no one knows what the Fairy Godmother had to do for Cinderella to win the prince's heart. Follow Phoebe, the newest Fairy Godmother-in-Training, who learns that real magic comes from hard work and faith in yourself. Produced by The Whistle Stop Theatre in Ashland, VA, and written by Louise Keeton, this play is for ages 4 and up.

Mythos (Friday May 16, 5:30 PM; Saturday May 17, 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM; Sunday May 18, 2:00 PM): When a young puppet wonders about the troubles of our world, an ancient Greek poet leads him on a journey through four fantastic myths to discover the cause of our problems, and what we can all do to make things better! This play uses three styles of puppetry and is for ages 5 and up. Mythos is produced by ThinkBIG! Productions and written by Shawn Thorgersen and Heather Van Velsor.

The 3rd Annual New York Children's Theater Festival opens Friday April 25, 2014 and runs through Sunday May 18 at The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater (10 West 64th Street at Central Park West). Tickets are $18 ($15 YMCA members) and will go on sale in the spring at Ovationtix, (866) 811-4111 and at the festival website, www.newyorkchildrenstheaterfestival.org.

The Festival provides a birthplace in New York City for new live children's entertainment from around the globe, and serves as a platform for writers and producers who are passionate about developing innovative theatrical experiences for children. The New York Children's Theater Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. More at www.newyorkchildrenstheaterfestival.org and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NYCTFest.

Pictured: Viva Pinocho! A Mexican Pinocchio!

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