DEEP Arts Shares LIKAH! Song Videos & Activities for Family Fun
Rochester's DEEP Arts (formerly Rochester Children's Theatre) is sharing music videos and accompanying activity packets for parents and children to enjoy while sheltering at home.
The professional theatre organization's latest original work - LIKAH! A Puppy Musical - is the source material for its foray into digital offerings. Written by DEEP Arts Executive Artistic Director Deborah Haber (former RCT producing artistic director) and award-winning Rochester composer Casey Filiaci, the family-friendly musical debuted at Geva Theatre Center in March 2019. DEEP Arts then produced an invitation-only industry presentation in New York City last October, with an Equity cast that included Jenna Leigh Green (B'way: Wicked, TV: Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Loudest Voice). Other cast members included Em Grosland (TV: New Amsterdam), Megan Sikora (B'way: How to Succeed in Business), Remy Zaken (B'way: Spring Awakening), and Rochester's own Katie LeSuer.
"The response to LIKAH! in both Rochester and New York has been incredible," says Haber, who based the story on the real-life adventures of her own Border Collie, Likah (pronounced "LEE-kah"). "The live musical touches and charms audiences of all ages, and my hope is that the videos and activities will do the same during these difficult times."
Since early April, DEEP Arts has released four sing-a-long videos with activity packets, available for free on its website at http://deeparts.org/likah/likah-at-home-activities: "PIES!", "The Water Bowl", and "RUNNING!". The latest - " Cozy Snuggly Wormy" - is especially timely with its focus on the ups and downs of family closeness.
Additional song videos and activity packets will be released on a rolling basis this spring and summer.
More about LIKAH! A Puppy Musical: In addition to writers Haber (Book & Lyrics) and Filiaci (Music), LIKAH's creative team includes Haber as Director, Geva Theatre Center's Don Kot (Musical Director), James Silson (Puppet Director, Disney) and LDK Productions/Lisa Dozier King (General Manager, B'way: Be More Chill). Real-life Border Collie Likah is the inspiration for this very special musical of unconditional love, pure joy, and dealing with the unexpected hurt of losing someone dear.
"As with most pet owners, I believed my pup was (and is) the cutest, smartest, and most adorable dog in the universe," explains Haber. "And so, I began taking notes of all things Likah, from her joyful day-to-day discoveries to her relationship with my older female dog. As the diary continued, so did life itself. My own sister lost her battle with cancer, and a month later, so did my older dog. As I chronicled Likah's life's journey, I realized the significant message within this sweet pup's story, and that what I was documenting was actually my own experiences through her eyes. Loss is difficult to deal with on any level, whether it's a pet, friend, or family member through illness, accident, or other difficult circumstances. But it's particularly difficult to process and comprehend for a child. My hope is that LIKAH's enchanting spirit will encourage and inspire those who may need a hug."
LIKAH! A Puppy Musical partners with and supports several charitable organizations as well: CURE Childhood Cancer Association, the Education Success Foundation, and Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester.
LIKAH! is the second of DEEP Arts' original musicals that began with Moses Man: A New Musical, based on Haber's late parents, Holocaust survivors Kalman and Lily Haber. Also co-written by Haber and Filiaci, the piece had its first workshop production at JCC's CenterStage in March of 2013, followed by a second at Geva Theatre Centre in May of 2015. It then received a prestigious NYMF (New York Musical Theatre Festival) production in July of that year. Moses Man continues to be produced, and has evolved to include educational outreach (Finding Home: Shine the Light) as well as powerful art installations (Art & Refugees: Shine the Light). It is part of a continuing relationship with Indiana University's Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, and is also the subject of a developing documentary film entitled Finding Home with Rochester's Emmy Award-winning Dave Marshall of Blue Sky Project.
DEEP (which stands for Develop, Explore, Enrich, and Perform) Arts is a not-for-profit [501 (c) 3] professional theatre organization with the mission to offer high-quality, cultural experiences that entertain while fostering enrichment, communication, positive values and an awareness of literature, social and historical issues to as broad and diverse an audience as possible. Please visit deeparts.org for more information.