WST For Kids Series Concludes With FLY GUY: The Musical
The Walnut Street Theatre for Kids Series (WST for Kids) concludes its season with FLY GUY: The Musical, running from May 31 - June 8. In this WST for Kids finale, audiences will follow along with a boy named "Buzz" and his pet fly, "Fly Guy," for a wacky adventure and small-but-mighty fun!
FLY GUY: The Musical is based on the popular children's book of the same name by Tedd Arnold. Buzz thinks he has the best pet in the world: a fly named Fly Guy who even goes to school with him every day. But when Buzz and Fly Guy find themselves on a field trip to a flyswatter factory, their friendship is needed to outsmart the Super Swatter 6000! You'll be buzzing with songs and laughter as our favorite tiny pet saves the day with his fly movezzz!
Tedd Arnold is a New York Times bestselling children's author from Elmira, New York and creator of the Fly Guy book series. The series began with Arnold's first Fly Guy tale titled, Hi! Fly Guy which was followed by 24 additional books featuring the same fantastic little fly. Two of the books in the series, Hi! Fly Guy and I Spy Fly Guy, received the American Library Association's Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor. The book has since been developed into a live stage musical which debuted on January 17, 2017 at Oregon Children's Theatre before playing across the United States.
Nate Golden is a graduate of the Walnut Acting Apprenticeship and is thrilled to continue working with the WST for Kids Series as director and choreographer of FLY GUY: The Musical. Golden has previously choreographed WST for Kids productions of Pinkalicious, Goosebumps, Christmas Carol, Aladdin Jr., Ivy+Bean, Flat Stanley, and more. Golden was a 2011-12 Walnut acting apprentice. Outside of directing and choreographing, Golden has been seen in Walnut productions of Grease, A Christmas Carol, and 11 other Kids' Series shows. Currently, Golden serves as outreach administrator and teaching artist at The Walnut Street Theatre. Outside of the Walnut, Golden is the artistic director of the Philadelphia-based theatre company, Nightcap Cabaret. Golden will be joined by Music and Vocal Director Mark Yurkanin, a pianist and music director at the Ira Brind School of Theatre at University of the Arts. Yurkanin studied at Penn State and Julliard and is excited to return to the Walnut after music directing several previous WST for Kids Series shows.
Returning as costume designer is Jennifer Miller, one of this season's Walnut costumes apprentices. Miller graduated in 2018 from Arts University of Bournemouth in Poole, England and previously designed for the Walnut's 2018 production of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium. Set design is by Brian Froonjian, technical director at the Walnut. Froonjian has worked with The New Candlelight Theatre, Surflight Theatre, and The American Theater of Actors. Rounding out the team is Sasha Anistratova as lighting designer and Zack McKenna as sound designer. Anistratova was lighting designer for the Walnut's productions of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Pinkalicious: The Musical, and assisted with Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical and Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn. McKenna is a Philadelphia-based sound/video engineer who has worked with Philadelphia area companies including Inis Nua, Azuka Theatre Company, and Lantern Theatre Company.
The tiny, buzzy best friend Fly Guy is played by Philadelphia native Christian Ryan who was an understudy in the Walnut's production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Joining Ryan are current and former Walnut acting apprentices. Fly Guy's best friend and human counterpart Buzz will be played by Jacob Schrimpf, an acting apprentice during the 2016-17 season who previously performed in Junie B. Jones and Garfield. From the 2017-18 apprentice class is Hallie Hargus, who assumes the roles of Liz's Mom and Riley. Further, all four of this current season's 2018-19 acting apprentices will play roles in this production. Blake Lowry, who will play Dad and Factory Owner, will be joined by Taylor J. Mitchell playing Fly Girl, Katie Raulerson performing as Liz, and Kahlil A. Wyatt taking the role of Jamie. Rounding out the cast are three Philadelphia-area performers who are returning to the Walnut stage. Fionnaula Meister will be playing Boots, and Samantha Deutsch will perform in the ensemble. Both Meister and Deutsch appeared in this season's A Christmas Carol. Completing the cast is Amanda Jill Robinson, who performs as Mom, Roz, and Fred the Fly, after performing in this season's Independence Studio on 3 production of Winter Wonderettes.
As part of its educational mission, the WST for Kids series encourages families to read together and see the books come to life onstage. Thousands of local students attend WST for Kids performances and experience live theatre for the first time as part of their school or family trip to the Walnut.
FLY GUY: The Musical is live on stage at the Walnut May 31 - June 8 and is part of the WST for Kids season, sponsored by Sharon and Scott Rankin. Media partner for this production is Courier-Post. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.com.