Photo Flash: NW Children's Theater Presents ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE'RE IN A PLAY
If you have kids, chances are you've read Mo Willems' Elephant & Piggie books. NWCT Artistic Director Sarah Jane Hardy brings the world of Elephant & Piggie to life in an upbeat musical that weaves through eight of his most popular books, including Elephants Cannot Dance, I Love My New Toy, and Should I Share My Ice Cream? The tour is modeled on NWCT's 2018 production, which enjoyed sold-out houses and rave reviews.
Perfect for first-time theatergoers, Elephant & Piggie's We are in a Play! explores the ups and downs of friendship through the eyes of "bestus friends," Gerald the Elephant and Piggie (portrayed by John Ellingson and Ashley Coates, both returning from last year's production at the Oregon Zoo). Together, they tackle friendship's big questions: What DO you wear to a fancy party? What happens when two friends want to play with ONE toy? And will ANYONE say, "Banana?" Dog, Penguin, and the Squirelles (portrayed by NWCT's youth performers) join in on the fun.
Elephant & Piggie kicks off its tour in Portland on the NWCT Mainstage, before travelling to theaters in Hillsboro, Sherwood, Gresham, and Salem.
"We are really excited to embark on our first-ever multiple-city tour, bringing the magic of live theater to new communities and audiences!" exclaims Hardy. "This is a wonderful activity for families to do together - all of our shows have something special in them for parents and grandparents as well. Plus, there is nothing like seeing a child's face light up as they see their favorite characters come to life on stage."
Following each public show, audience members will get the opportunity to meet the cast, take photos with the characters, and collect autographs in their playbills.
NWCT will offer sensory friendly performances for Elephant & Piggie's We are in a Play! in Portland and Salem, free of charge. Featuring shorter run times, no intermission, reduced or removed lighting and sound cues, and the constant presence of house lights, these performances are specially designed for children on the autism spectrum or with other sensory sensitivities. Select shows in Portland and Salem will also include audio-described and American Sign Language-interpreted performances.
In addition to weekend public shows, around 5,000 students from Hillsboro, Sherwood, Gresham, and Salem will catch Elephant & Piggie on stage during 14 week-day, school matinee performances. These shows conclude with a talk-back led by a cast member. Students in the audience can ask questions to learn more about the story, actors, and creative process, and even get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of theater tricks and special effects.