Westport Country Playhouse Announces 2012-13 Family Festivities Series


Westport Country Playhouse has announced its 2012-13 Family Festivities Series, featuring song-filled presentations based on popular children's books, on selected Sundays from November through April, 1 and 4 p.m. Tickets are $18. Family Festivities is supported in part by a contribution from the First Niagara Bank Foundation. Family Festivities Partners are Meredith and David Bukzin.

"We're thrilled to present another exciting season of theater for young audiences, with six shows all based on great and well-loved works of children's literature," said Angela Marroy Boerger, Playhouse education and community programs coordinator. "We thank the First Niagara Bank Foundation for their support of our commitment to provide our younger audience members with high quality live theater. These shows bring their favorite books to life in vibrant stage versions, complete with song and dance numbers that will please the whole family.

"We also aim to encourage reading and strengthen literacy in our region as a whole by partnering with local Connecticut non-profit Read to Grow, which works to provide access to books to underserved children and to promote literacy from birth," she noted.

Opening the 2012-13 series will be "The Berenstain Bears LIVE in Family Matters, The Musical," on Sunday, November 11, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., a new musical adaptation of three of The Berenstain Bears' most beloved books: "The Berenstain Bears Learn about Strangers," "The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food," and "The Berenstain Bears' Trouble at School." Using the iconic stories and imagery of the original books, "The Berenstain Bears LIVE in Family Matters" stresses the importance of honesty, health, safety, and family. Adapted from the popular works by Stan and Jan Berenstain, and produced by Matt Murphy Productions, the presentation is recommended for ages 4 and up.

"Angelina Ballerina, The Musical," on Sunday, December 9, at 1 and 4 p.m., features a feisty little mouse with big dreams of becoming a prima ballerina. When a special guest is about to visit the Camembert Academy, Angelina works hard on her dance skills to reach her goals, and along the way, learns from her mistakes. Based on the critically acclaimed books by Katharine Holabird and Helen Craig and the PBS KIDS® animated series, "Angelina Ballerina, The Musical," (c) 2012 Hit Entertainment Limited, is produced by the Vital Theatre Company, and recommended for ages 6 – 10.
"Fancy Nancy, The Musical," on Sunday, January 27, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., finds Fancy Nancy and her friends auditioning for their very first show, "Deep Sea Dances." Nancy is positive - that's "fancy" for 100% sure - that she will be picked to be a mermaid. When another girl wins the coveted role, Nancy is stuck playing a dreary, dull tree. Can Nancy bring fancy flair to her role even though it isn't the one she wanted? Based on the well-loved series of books by Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser and produced by the Vital Theatre Company, the show is recommended for ages 6 – 10.

"Junie B. Jones," on Sunday, February 10, 1 and 4 p.m., stars outspoken, precocious, lovable Junie B. Jones in a new musical about new friends, new glasses, sugar cookies, the annual kickball tournament, and other various first-grade angst-ridden situations. Follow her adventures as she writes down the story of her life in her "Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal." Adapted from the best-selling series of books by Barbara Park, the musical is produced by Theatreworks USA and recommended for ages 6 – 11.

"How I Became a Pirate," on Sunday, March 3, 1 and 4 p.m., is about young Jeremy Jacob, who, while digging in the sand, is recruited by Captain Braid Beard and his mates to join the pirate crew on a quest to bury their treasure. The rollicking musical adventure about finding one's own heart - a path that can't be found on any treasure map - is based on the best-selling book by Melinda Long, produced by the Omaha Theater Company, and recommended for ages 6 – 10.

"The Little Engine That Could™ Earns Her Whistle," on Sunday, April 7, 1 and 4 p.m., recalls the famous line, "I think I can, I think I can." Little Blue Engine dreams of someday leaving the train yard to pull the big cars on the main line track. But can she convince Big Silver that she is worthy of being a main line engine? A dynamic, song-filled adventure, this new musical portrays Watty Piper's timeless tale about hard work, self-confidence, friendship, and believing that anything is possible. Produced by ArtsPower, the classic story is recommended for ages 4 and up.

In conjunction with the Family Festivities Series, The Playhouse is hosting a book collection for Read to Grow, Inc., a statewide nonprofit organization that helps parents take an active role in their children's literacy development by providing free children's books to families with limited access and to community resources that serve them. At each Family Festivities performance, bins will be located in The Playhouse lobby for donations of gently used and new children's books which will be given to families and programs in the greater Fairfield County area through Read to Grow.

Birthday party facilities may be scheduled in advance. Everyone in the audience requires a ticket. For more information or tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online 24/7 at www.westportplayhouse.org. Stay connected to The Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse) or get an insider's peek on The Playhouse Blog (www.theplayhouseblog.org).




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