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Theater at Monmouth Presents New Adaptation of THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, Now thru 8/15

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Theater at Monmouth's summer Family Show opens tonight, June 22 at 7 p.m. with a world premiere production of Margery Williams' The Velveteen Rabbit. Adapted by Dawn McAndrews, Velveteen Rabbit tells the story of a toy Rabbit, given as a gift to a young Boy, who yearns for the day the Boy will choose her so that she can become real.

"Real isn't how you are made," says the Rocking Horse, the wisest of all the toys in the nursery. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." In this heart-warming tale for the whole family, the combination of love, devotion, and a little bit of "nursery magic" transform a beloved sawdust-filled toy into a Real rabbit.

Brooke Edwards returns to TAM for her second season as director of the Family Show. She describes The Velveteen Rabbit as "a timeless story about the magic of childhood and its ability to transcend reality with pure and uninhibited love," adding that "this production is told through the eyes of children playing dress up in the 1920s; they reenact the tale of a little boy who loved a rabbit so much that she became real."

Each summer, Theater at Monmouth's Family Show features a children's literature classic for young people and the young at heart. Previous productions have included adaptations of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind and the Willows, Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, and Antoine De Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince. For the 2013 Family Show, Producing Artistic Director, Dawn McAndrews, chose The Velveteen Rabbit because, "it so beautifully captures the unbridled joy of childhood and the power of unconditional love."

The Velveteen Rabbit features Hannah Daly in the title role; Ardarius Blakely as Robby the Robot and Doctor; Aislinn Kerchaert as Nana, Fairy, and the Wood Lion; Simon Kiser as the Rocking Horse and Gardener; and Nick Sutton as the Boy. Set design by Stacy Koloski, costumes by Elizabeth Rocha, lights by Xi Chen, and sound by Rew Tippen.

Margery Williams' first children's book, The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real) was originally published in 1922, with illustrations by William Nicholson. It has been republished and adapted for film numerous times since; in 1985 a video recording and soundtrack by Rabbit Ears Productions with Random House Video, narrated by Meryl Streep and music by George Winston, won both a Parent's Choice for Multimedia and a Grammy award.

Performance Calendar: OPENING 6/22 at 7 p.m.; additional performance dates 6/29, 7/6, 7/13, 7/20, 7/30, 8/1, 8/6, 8/8 8/13, 8/15 at 1:00 p.m. Running time is 50 minutes. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more. For calendar and reservations, please contact the TAM Box Office at 207.933.9999 or visit www.theateratmonmouth.org.


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