THE BERENSTAIN BEARS Comes To WST For Kids 3/21, 27, 4/2, 4

Last season the Walnut’s young audiences had a blast seeing Cinderella for our 2008 Kids’ Series. This year’s show is a different ‘matter’ entirely, bringing Philadelphia’s own Berenstain Bears to life!  Join us for our 2009 WST For Kids production of The Berenstain Bears’ Family Matters. This hilarious world premiere musical, created by Michael Borton, takes three beloved Berenstain Bears tales and weaves them into one big adventure! The Berenstain Bears Family Matters runs at 11am on March 21 and April 4; 10:30am on March 20, 27 and April 2; and at 10:30am, 1pm and 3:30pm on March 28.

There’s trouble in the treehouse! Brother Bear has trouble with a school quiz, so he hides it in the cookie jar. Sister Bear makes friends with a frog and hides it in the cookie jar. Papa has been eating candy when he’s supposed to be on a diet, and the wrapper ends up in the cookie jar! It doesn’t take a detective to know that someone’s going to find out! Let’s follow the cookie trail... it’s up to Mama to sort things out, with the help of Grizzly Gran and Grizzly Gramps of course. We learn that no matter how crazy family life may be - in the end, Family Matters!

The Berenstain Bears’ Family Matters, written by Michael Borton, is based on the following Berenstain tales:  The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers, The Berenstain Bears And Too Much Junk Food and The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble At School. The Berenstain Bears have always had a strong connection with the Delaware Valley:  Jan and Stan Berenstain met right here in Philadelphia, and lived in the region all their lives. Their fun-filled adventures, timeless and topical at the same time, have touched the lives of millions of children. The Walnut is proud to present this world premiere musical based on their beloved characters.

The Walnut Street Theatre For Kids series is celebrated for its commitment to encouraging parents (and grandparents) to read to their kids. Families can read together, and then discover a whole new level of imagination when they see the shows live onstage, written especially for grades K-6th and their ‘grown-up’ friends. The Walnut takes pride in bringing families together through reading and the arts.

Director Meghan Heimbecker has worked all over the Philadelphia region as an actor, director and educator. In regards to the Walnut, Meghan has served in all three capacities. Meghan has been seen onstage at the Walnut in the 2007 production of Enchanted April and behind the scenes as the assistant to the director on numerous productions, most recently A Streetcar Named Desire. She is a member of the Walnut’s Theatre School faculty, and has previously directed the Walnut’s immensely popular touring outreach show, The Boy Who Cried Bully.

Joining Meghan is Musical director Gina Giachero. Gina makes her Walnut debut, and has worked previously with West Chester University and 11th hour theatre co. Samuel Reyes has served as choreographer for many previous WST For Kids shows, including A Christmas Carol and last season’s magical Cinderella. The rest of the creative team includes the versatile Robert Kramer (Scenic Design for Studio 3’s Honor and the River and the 2008 mainstage production of The Price), Costume Designer Julia Poiez (A Christmas Carol), and Lighting Designer J. Dominic Chacon (Honor and the River).

The cast features some excellent regional talents, including John Greenbaum (Gramps), Jesimiel Jenkins (Papa Bear) and Tim Vetere (Brother Bear) from Philadelphia; Jenna Angeloni (Sister Bear) from Clementon, NJ; Erin Frederick (Mama Bear) from King Of Prussia, PA; and Mariel Rosati (Gran) from Ivyland, PA. 

The Berenstain Bears’ Family Matters is an ideal outing for every elementary classroom and family. The March 28th 1:00 pm performance is ASL interpreted. Group discounts are available for groups of fifteen or more. For tickets and information, call the Walnut St. Theatre’s box office at 215-574-3550 or visit www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster online or by calling 215-336-1234.

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