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PETITE ROUGE: A CAJUN RED RIDING HOOD Plays Westwego Performing Arts Theatre

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The Jefferson Performing Arts Society's Theatre For Young Audiences is thrilled to present the Louisiana premiere of Mike Artell's PETITE ROUGE: A CAJUN RED RIDING HOOD (Book, Music and Lyrics by Joan Cushing, Based on the book by Mike Artell with Illustrations by Jim Harris). This musical retelling of Little Red Riding Hood re-imagined in the Louisiana swamps and bayous is on stage September 17-October 3 at the Westwego Performing Arts Theatre, 177 Sala Ave. in Westwego. Performances are Fridays at 7:30PM, with matinees Saturdays and Sundays at 2PM. Directed and choreographed by Michael Bobbitt with musical direction by Ron Bermingham, PETITE ROUGE stars IDella Johnson as Petite Rouge, with Scott Sauber, DAVID E. SHANE, WILL BRYANT, ALLEE PECK, ANNA TOUJAS ROSENBERG, ADAM CORCORAN and MEGHAN McHORTER. Tickets are $15 for Kids (12 and Under), $20 for Students (with valid ID)/Seniors (65+) and $25 for Adults. For tickets visit www.jpas.org or call 504-885-2000.

*A portion of opening weekend ticket sales (Sept 17-19) will be donated directly to Audubon Institute's Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program to aid in their Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response. JPAS' production of PETITE ROUGE is proud to partner with Audubon Institute to aid the wildlife impacted by this disaster.*

A Swamp Chorus (played by WILLIAM BRYANT, ALLEE PECK and ANNA TOUJAS ROSENBERG) sings backup to the Zydeco-driven score in this foot-stomping, family-friendly musical soaked in Cajun hot sauce! Bayou animals assume the roles of the familiar characters of the classic Little Red Riding Hood tale. In this enticing and enchanting version, Little Red is Petite Rouge the duck (played by IDella Johnson), on her way to her Grandmere's house dawn the Bayou. With her best friend, TeJean the Cat, the pair set out on their pirogue and find some adventure along the way - when the Big Bad Gator Claude (played by Scott Sauber) spies tasty duck Petite Rouge heading down the bayou, Petite must lead him on a wild duck chase through the New Orleans Mardi Gras, all the way to a surprise ending!

The fun and whimsy of PETITE ROUGE is sure to please kids and audiences of all ages! Through collaboration with Director Michael Bobbitt, the JPAS production of PETITE ROUGE is working closely with producers at the New Victory Theatre in New York City, NYC's first and only full-time theatre dedicated to kids and families, to bring the production to audiences at the New Victory Theatre in Spring of 2011.

The Cast

Big Easy Award Winner IDella Johnson stars as the adventurous and precocious duck Petite Rouge. Idella makes her JPAS debut in this production, however she is certainly no stranger to the local theatre scene having starred in award winning productions like AIDA (Aida), RENT (Mimi), the critically acclaimed WHERE THE GIRLS WERE at Le Petite Theatre and PURLIE (Lutiebelle) for which she won the Big Easy award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Scott Sauber stars as Claude the big bad ‘gator with a gourmet taste for Duck a'l'Orange. An multi-award winning actor, director and lighting designer, Sauber last appeared on the JPAS stage as Willard in FOOTLOOSE and is the resident Lumiere for the JPAS production of DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

DAVID E. SHANE stars as TeJean, the Cat, Petite Rouge's best friend and sidekick throughout this Louisiana adventure! Taking on multiple roles throughout the story and acting as a critter-ful Cajun chorus is WILL BRYANT as Frog, ALLEE PECK as Crawfish and ANNA TOUJAS ROSENBERG as Turtle. The cast also includes MEGHAN McHORTER and ADAM CORCORAN as swing ensemble members.

The Production

JPAS is thrilled to bring the Louisiana Premiere of this Cajun-infused new musical to the stage for local audiences! Produced originally for the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2007, this critically-acclaimed children's musical is based on the award-winning children's book by Louisiana native Mike Artell. Mike weaves the familiar story of Little Red Riding Hood through the swamps and bayous of Louisiana with the flavor and the feel of home that will surely have audiences tapping their toes to the zydeco-infused beat and rooting for the heroine, little duck Petite Rouge!

Director and choreographer MICHAEL BOBBITT makes his JPAS debut with this production. Bobbit directed and choreographed the 2007 New York Musical Theatre Festival production of PETITE ROUGE. He has directed, choreographed and performed at theatres throughout the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. He studied creative writing and music at Susquehanna University and theatre and dance at The Washington Ballet, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and NY University's Tisch School of the Arts (CAP 21). He is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America and the Society of Stage Directors and choreographers and the African-American Playwright's Exchange. He is an Artistic Associate at the Smithsonian's Discovery Theatre. Also an accomplished writer, his next project will be a new musical (conceived, directed and choreographed), in collaboration with Broadway/Film composer Stephen Schwartz, THE Stephen Schwartz PROJECT, which will soon receive its World Premiere at Metro Stage.

Scenic and Costume Designer ADAM ALONSO is thrilled to be a part of this Louisiana premiere production. A graduate of Loyola University New Orleans, Adam brings the world of PETITE ROUGE vibrantly to life with sets and costumes that nod to local lore and traditions. Audiences are sure to spot many playful local references throughout this delightful family production.

Mike Artell's Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood. Book, Music and Lyrics by Joan Cushing. Based on the book by Mike Artell with illustrations by Jim Harris. Directed and choreographed by Michael Bobbitt. Musical Direction by Dr. Ronald Bermingham. Lighting Design by Jeffrey M. Davis. Scenic & Costume Design by Adam Alonso. Costume Construction by Jocelyn Glanzman. Technical Direction by Jeffrey M. Davis. Set Construction by Elizabeth Broomwall and William Spratt. JPAS Theatre for Young Audience Productions are proudly sponsored by AT&T, Coca-Cola and Whitney Bank.

Adapted for the stage with Book, Music & Lyrics by Joan Cushing. Adpated from the book PETITE ROUGE: A CAJUN RED RIDING HOOD by Mike Artell, illustrated by Jim Harris. Copyright (c) 2001 by Mike Artell. Originally Produced and Commissioned by Imagination Stage, Bethesda, MD. Janet Stanford Artistic Director. Originally Presented in the 2007 New York Musical Theatre Festival.

Petite Rouge Artwork from PETITE ROUGE: A CAJUN RED RIDING HOOD by Mike Artell, illustrated by Jim Harris, copyright (c) 2001 by Jim Harris, illustrations. Used by permission of Dial Books for YOung Readers, A Division of Penguin YOung Readers Group, Am member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014. All rights reserved.

**Petite Rouge is part of the JPAS Arts Adventure Series**

Arts Adventure Performances: September 21-23 at 9:45AM & 11:15AM The Jefferson Performing Arts Society's Arts Adventure Series presents kid-friendly main stage productions to school groups at discounted rates during the weekday. JPAS also provides FREE Coordinating lesson plans and study guides are available for all Arts Adventure Series performances. Admission is only $5 for students. One teacher/chaperone is admitted FREE for every 10 paid students!To make reservations for your student group, please contact Donna Barber, Arts Adventure Series Coordinator, at the JPAS Box Office PH: 504.885.2000 ext. 206, Fax: 504.885.3437 or email donna@jpas.org

More about Audubon's Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program:

The Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program (LMMSTRP) is a volunteer organization based out of Audubon Aquarium of the America in New Orleans. Coordinated by Audubon since 1993, LMMSTRP is the primary responder for the state of Louisiana for rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing marine mammals (dolphins, whales and manatees) and sea turtles. LMMSTRP has been designated as the primary responder for the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of all marine mammals (dolphins, whales and manatees) and sea turtles along the Louisiana coast.

Experts anticipate that the greatest number of animals affected will be sea turtles. Hundreds of sea turtles are expected to be stranded along Louisiana's beaches in the upcoming weeks. Audubon is working closely with many other organizations including Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, NOAA, and the U.S. Coast Guard to monitor The Situation and to prepare for the arrival of stranded and injured marine wildlife.

A major challenge is the impact on the animal's natural environment and their long-term care. Because the animals cannot be released back into their native habitat, they must be housed until the Gulf is safe for release. The rescue and rehabilitation of each sea turtle is estimated at $5,000 for equipment, supplies, medication and veterinary staff time - and we do not know how long they will need to be cared for before they can return to the wild. Visit www.auduboninstitute.org/gulf-oil-spill-resources for the latest news on Audubon's response to the Oil Spill

More About JPAS Theatre for Young Audiences

JPAS is delighted to introduce JPAS Theatre for Young Audiences. This new offering from JPAS brings top-quality, professional theatre productions especially suited for young audiences to the stage. The selections are both entertaining and educational with top-theatre talent from across the nation bringing these elaborate productions to life! JPAS is proud to present the Louisiana Premiere of the new musical PETITE ROUGE: A CAJUN RED RIDING HOOD based on the popular children's book to the stage as the first production under JPAS Theatre For Young Audiences banner in the fall. In the Spring, JPAS Theatre for Young Audiences presents a colorful and musical version of the award winning book GOODNIGHT MOON. All the whimsy and the fun of these great family-friendly tales will be brought vividly to life with JPAS Theatre for Young Audiences!

More About the Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS)
Founded in 1978 by Dennis G. Assaf and Hannah Cunningham, Jefferson Performing Arts Society is a non-profit professional arts organization whose mission is to promote arts performance, training and outreach by providing a diverse range of quality programs that entertain, educate and enrich the cultural and economic vitality of Jefferson Parish, Greater New Orleans and the Gulf South.
JPAS focuses on three main elements:

PERFORMANCE JPAS annually provides a wide range of theatrical performances that appeal to many interests and age groups. Most seasons include a selection of grand opera, musical theater, dance and music. JPAS strives to network and partner with national and International Artists and companies to bring new and diverse programming to the Southern Region.
TRAINING JPAS provides performance and technical based training in the arts for all ages with a particular focus on young people.
OUTREACH JPAS provides arts education programming in local area schools, as well as access to professional theatrical experiences that align to classroom curricula and Louisiana Content Standards, including Arts Adventure Series, Cultural Crossroads and Stage Without A Theatre. JPAS provides performers, musicians, artistic experiences and expertise to select area events and organizations to enrich the community.


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