Kennedy Center to Present ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY!, 11/23-12/31
The Kennedy Center presents the world premiere production of Elephant & Piggie's We Are in a Play! in the Family Theater from November 23 to December 31, 2013. Commissioned by the Kennedy Center, the play is written by six-time Emmy Award-winner and popular children's book author Mo Willems and directed by Jerry Whiddon, with music by Deborah Wicks La Puma. The production features a live, four-piece band on stage. Press opening performance is Saturday, November 23 at 4pm. The performance on Saturday, December 28 at 11am is sensory-friendly. Elephant & Piggie's We Are in a Play! is recommended for ages 4 and up.
Based on Mo Willems's beloved, award-winning, and best-selling Elephant & Piggie children's books, Elephant & Piggie's We Are in a Play! has the duo singing and dancing their way through peril and suspense, facing fundamental questions like, what do you wear to a fancy pool costume party? Should you share your ice cream? And how can two friends play with one toy? Backed by the four-piece band Dr. Cat and the Bear-a-Tones and nutty backup singers The Squirrelles, all take part in the fun.
The creative team includes set design by Jim Kronzer, costume design by Kathleen Geldard, lighting design by Kyle Grant, sound design by Elisheba Ittoop, with choreography by Jessica Hartman, and music direction by George Fulginiti-Shakar.
Mo Willems (author/adapter), a #1 New York Times Bestselling author and illustrator, is best known for his Caldecott Honor picture books, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. His Elephant & Piggie early reader series have topped the New York Times Bestseller lists, been translated into numerous languages, and have been awarded two Theodor Geisel Medals and three Geisel Honors since debuting in 2007. Mo began his career as a writer and animator for Sesame Street (PBS), where he garnered six Emmy Awards for writing. He also created The Off-Beats (Nickelodeon) and Sheep in the Big City (Cartoon Network) and served as head writer for Codename: Kids Next Door (Cartoon Network). After leaving television, he has continued to produce short animated films based on his books that have won many awards in festivals around the world. As a performer, Mo has appeared at numerous venues including the San Francisco Sketchfest, BBC Radio, and NPR. His first play Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical, also a Kennedy Center commission, was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for best new play. A retrospective exhibit of his picture book art, Seriously Silly: a Decade of Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems, is on view at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art through February of 2014. More information can be found at mowillems.com including details about his most recent book for adults, Don't Pigeonhole Me! Two Decades of the Mo Willems Sketchbook.
Deborah Wicks La Puma (music) is a composer, music director, and orchestrator. Her work for adults and children has been seen by thousands around the world, from Australia to Bahrain to the East Room of the White House, enjoying both popular and critical success. She is delighted to be working with Mo Willems again after the world premiere of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical at the Kennedy Center. Her other works for young audiences include Frida Libre (La Jolla Playhouse), Ferdinand the Bull (based on the book by Munro Leaf), Chasing George Washington: A White House Adventure (Kennedy Center), Einstein Is a Dummy (ALLIANCE THEATRE) with playwright Karen Zacarías, and Nobody's Perfect (based on the book by Marlee Matlin) with Doug Cooney, a musical in English and American Sign Language, commissioned by VSA and the Kennedy Center. Her awards include the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, a National Endowment for the Arts' New American Works Grant, two Parents' Choice Awards, an iParenting Media Award, and two Helen Hayes nominations for Outstanding New Play. A proud Mexican-American who speaks Spanish and Portuguese, she is also a member of the board of directors of TYA USA/ASSITEJ International, ASCAP, and The Dramatist Guild.