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Children's Programming Announced for Philadelphia Fringe Festival

A young bully goat and a wise old goat with magic dust take to the stage in the children's show Billy the Baaadly Behaving Bully Goat: The Musical as part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, September 7-22 at Nest (1301 Locust Street, Philadelphia). A featured production of the Fringe Festival's expanded programming for children and families, performances of Billy the Baaadly Behaving Bully Goat: The Musical are Saturday, September 7; Sunday, September 8; Saturday, September 14; Sunday, September 15; Saturday, September 21; and Sunday, September 22, all at 11:00 AM. With a book, script, and lyrics by Staci Schwartz and music composed by Liz Filios, Billy the Baaadly Behaving Bully Goat: The Musical is directed by Ben Smallen, with musical direction by Michael Borton, and features the ensemble cast of Madison Claus, Mitchell Hansen, Samantha Ricchiuti, Billy Sander, Paul Harrold, and Lauryn Morgan Thomas. Tickets at $8 for kids and $12 for adults are available

In Billy the Baaadly Behaving Bully Goat: The Musical, Billy the Bully Goat's parents and teachers are at their wits' end! No matter what they do, they cannot get Billy to stop picking on the other children in his class. Luckily, the Wise Old Goat, a certified goat therapist, has a brilliant plan to stop Billy's bad behavior. Kids aged 4-9 (and their parents and families) will laugh at Billy's antics, sing along with engaging, snappy tunes, and interact with the characters - all while learning how to treat their friends with kindness and respect.

"In these days of divisive and unkind behavior among adults, it is even more important than ever for young children to learn to be empathetic and to respect others who are different from them," said creator Staci Schwartz. "This musical provides a fun way to teach kids to make good choices, to think about how their words and actions affect others, and to stick up for themselves and their friends."

Staci Schwartz (book, script, and lyrics) is a physician, author, and educational consultant for children's bullying prevention. For the past 15 years she has performed interactive readings and bully prevention workshops for children in grade K-4 in elementary schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. She has also facilitated workshops for educators about teaching empathy and resilience in the classroom, and workshops for parents about guiding kids to form positive friendships and avoid bullying.

Liz Filios (Music) is a Philly-based actor, musician, teaching artist and sound designer. Her musical compositions include soundtracks for The Winter's Tale (Folger Theatre, DC), The Ice Princess (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), The Sunny Side Up Show (PBSKids' Sprout) and An Iliad (Lantern Theatre). Filios teaches at local elementary schools with Arden For All and at the Pennsylvania Theatre Institute at West Chester University. Acting credits include The Tempest (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Candide (Arden Theatre), Red Velvet (Lantern Theatre), Midsummer (Inis Nua), The Merchant Of Venice (DelShakes), Into The Woods (Theatre Horizon) and Kit 'N Kate (the animated series).

Ben Smallen (Director) appeared in last year's Philadelphia Fringe Festival and has also worked at Philadelphia Theatre Company, Arden Theatre Company, Delaware Theatre Company, 1812 Productions, Act 2 Playhouse and Montgomery Theatre. The founding artistic director of REAL Immersive, dedicated to incubating original immersive and experiential works in Philadelphia, he is the current Board Chair and founding member of Directors Gathering.

Michael Borton (Music Director) is a local performer, composer, music director and educator. He has performed on stage with the Walnut Street Theatre, Ardren Theatre, Theatre Horizon, 11th Hour Theatre, Opera Delaware, Central City Opera and other local and national companies. As a pianist, he has performed with Video Games Live - Lost Worlds and Evanescene - Synthesis Tour. He co-wrote and composed Berenstain Bear LIVE - Family Matters, which ran off-Broadway and is currently on national tour. He is the music director at Waldron Mercy Academy where he also explores his creative geek side by developing and coordinating their STEM program. This fall, he begins stage directing and choral conducting for Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School.

For further information, please contact 215-313-1575.

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