THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW Wiggles This Weekend Off-Broadway
Jonathan Rockefeller's critically-acclaimed and Drama Desk nominated The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, will return to New York City for a strictly limited season now through February 4, 2018, at Union Square's DR2 Theatre (103 East 15 Street).
A theatrical recreation of Eric Carle's beautifully imaginative stories, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, features a menagerie enchanting puppets during a magical 60-minute show that faithfully adapts four of Eric Carle's beloved books for the stage. This new edition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar includes the World Premiere oF Brown Bear, Brown Bear celebrating its 50th Anniversary, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, The Very Lonely Firefly and, of course, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
"Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the first book I remember reading over and over again, with its vivid and colorful images inspiring me to become a writer and create art. It has been an absolute thrill to take The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show around the world, and to see the absolute delight on the faces of young, first-time theatre-goers as they interact with their favorite books on stage. We are excited to return home to New York to celebrate the 50th anniversary oF Brown Bear, Brown Bear as one of Eric's four stories in our brand-new production."
Producer/Creator, Jonathan Rockefeller
The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been called "Bedazzling. This production will mesmerize audiences" NY Times; "Colorful, Engaging, Charming" Huffington Post; "We Rate it Five Smiles" Newsday; "Innovative storytelling. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show has both illusion and spectacle with seemingly magical effects to produce wonder and awe." OffOffOnline; "This theatrical adaptation of Carle's stories is spellbinding. If you are a fan of Eric Carle's work you must go and experience these great stories come to life. A perfect length for your little ones-or fidgety dads like me-was an absolute winner." NY Family; "Supremely charming and perfectly suited to young and impressionable minds. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show is a Grade A confection: sweet, colorful, enchanting and good for lasting memories guaranteed to create a real interest in live theatre Take your favorite small person. They will be changed for the better." Live Theatre.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Eric Carle is the acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has nibbled its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world and has been translated into 62 languages and sold over 41 million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 132 million copies of his books have sold around the world. Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, Eric Carle moved with his parents to Germany when he was six years old; he was educated there, and graduated from the prestigious art school, the Akademie der bildenden Künste, in Stuttgart. But his dream was always to return to America, the land of his happiest childhood memories. So, in 1952, with a fine portfolio in hand and forty dollars in his pocket, he arrived in New York. Soon he found a job as a graphic designer in the promotion department of The New York Times. Later, he was the art director of an advertising agency for many years.
One day, respected educator and author, Bill Martin Jr called to ask Carle to illustrate a story he had written. Martin's eye had been caught by a striking picture of a red lobster that Carle had created for an advertisement. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the result of their collaboration. It is still a favorite with children everywhere. This was the beginning of Eric Carle's true vocation. Soon Eric Carle was writing his own stories, too. His first wholly original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed soon afterward by the celebrated classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Eric Carle's art is distinctive and instantly recognizable. His artwork is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. Many of his books have an added dimension-die-cut pages, twinkling lights as in The Very Lonely Firefly - giving them a playful quality: a toy that can be read, a book that can be touched. Children also enjoy working in collage and many send him pictures they have made themselves, inspired by his illustrations. He is contacted by hundreds of his fans and young admirers each week.
The secret of Eric Carle's books' appeal lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions.
The themes of his stories are usually drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature-an interest shared by most small children. Besides being beautiful and entertaining, his books always offer the child the opportunity to learn something about the world around them. It is his concern for children, for their feelings and their inquisitiveness, for their creativity and their intellectual growth that, in addition to his beautiful artwork, makes the reading of his books such a stimulating and lasting experience. (Click here for a list of Awards Eric Carle has won for his work).
Jonathan Rockefeller is the co-founder of Rockefeller Productions, a company that combines film, theatre, animation, puppetry and television. He also devotes time to philanthropic work furthering childhood literacy and appreciation of the arts. The production of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show' debuted to a sell-out season at the Sydney Festival January 2015, and will continue to tour Australia and New Zealand through 2017. Recent NY productions include sold out production The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show which was subsequently nominated for a Drama Desk Award and the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Show and an acclaimed and sold-out run of That Golden Girls Show: A Puppet Parody, which ran at the DR2. Prior to his work with Eric Carle, Jonathan co-wrote and produced the puppet-parody 'Thank You for Being a Friend' which has been licensed for further productions worldwide. Jonathan was selected as a 'Men of Influence' by Men's Style Australia for his work in children's theatre and literacy. Beyond the stage, Jonathan and Eric Carle Studios teamed up to produce and direct an animated version of '10 Little Rubber Ducks' based on Eric Carle's book of the same name and narrated by Bernadette Peters. The animation will make its film festival debut at the UK's Bath Film Festival in December. Other previous projects include the documentary 'Road to Pride Rock: The Making of the Lion King' and the screenplay 'Coming of Age' developed with Screen New South Wales and the Dungog Film Festival's In the Raw program. Accolades include Cannes Lion nomination, in addition to multiple Clio and Media Awards, High Commendations at Australian Cinematographer's Guild [ASC], Best Television Current Affairs at the National Media Awards for an unvarnished documentary about life on the street in 'Boy from the Blue Room', and 'Best Unproduced Screenplay' at the Aus MTV Awards for 'Satisfaction', a satirical tale of becoming an assistant on the 'world's most expensive perfume commercial'. By complete coincidence, Jonathan was a protégé of Baz Luhrmann, with a career that began during film school. At age 17, he convinced his formidable mentor to take him on as an apprentice by literally sitting in a gutter outside Baz's house with an ambitious cardboard sign declaring 'Bazmark or Bust'. Jonathan worked with Baz on the US production of La Boheme and the Chanel No 5 commercial featuring Nicole Kidman.
Carl Vorwerk for Selladoor Worldwide: Carl is the co-founder of Selladoor Worldwide, a London based Production Company specializing in mid and large-scale touring theatre. Established in 2009 with an aim to deliver dynamic, diverse and daring theatre, Selladoor has produced an impressive portfolio of work principally aimed at engaging young adult audiences. In its eight year history, Selladoor has produced in excess of 50 productions across the globe. The company has become an integral part of the regional theatre landscape in the UK and Ireland, and increasingly throughout the Middle East and Asia. 2017 marks a new chapter for the company with the launch of their New York office and first North American production: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show.
Past productions include Spring Awakening (first UK tour), Avenue Q (UK, Ireland, Hong Kong) Seussical (London, Hong Kong), American Idiot (London, UK Tour), Hand To God (West End), Little Shop of Horrors, The History Boys, 1984, and Sunset Song (UK Tour). 2017 will see 11 Selladoor productions playing across 13 countries including Jersey Boys, Big Fish the Musical, Spamalot, The Producers, Footloose the Musical, The Crucible, Flashdance the Musical, and Guess How Much I Love You. www.selladoor.com
Photo Credit: Russ Rowland