THE PAPA PENGUIN PLAY Comes to Vancouver Next Month

Performances run May 15 to June 2, 2024.

By: Apr. 10, 2024
THE PAPA PENGUIN PLAY Comes to Vancouver Next Month
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Carousel Theatre for Young People (CTYP), Vancouver International Children’s Festival, and Zee Zee Theatre will present the world premiere of Vancouver playwright Dave Deveau’s The Papa Penguin Play, at Granville Island’s Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright St), from May 15 to June 2, 2024. Inspired by the true story of two male penguins who were gifted an egg at New York’s Central Park Zoo – as well as Deveau’s own parenting experience – the playful and imaginative work follows a pair of penguin fathers and their zoo keeper friend as they navigate the delightful chaos of throwing a first birthday party.

“Since my husband and I became fathers six years ago, we’ve searched for stories that represent and celebrate queer families, and the adorable children’s book, And Tango Makes Three – about Central Park Zoo’s unconventional penguin family – has been an inspiration,” says playwright Deveau, who also serves as Co-Artistic and Managing Director of Carousel Theatre for Young People. “I wanted to create a work that added to this legacy in recognition of the many different ways a family can look, while also being an exuberant celebration of one of life’s most exciting milestones – a baby’s first birthday!”

In The Papa Penguin Play, penguins Peaches and Izzy are the Zoo’s main attraction: two male penguins who put on daily shows to visitors’ delight. Their dream to have a family of their own comes true, thanks to help from their friendly Zoo Keeper, when they are gifted an egg, which through their diligent care yields their baby chick, Hedgie. The play welcomes children ages 3-8 and their families to put on their party hats and step inside the colourful and family-affirming celebration that is Hedgie’s first birthday.

The visually-spectacular, over-the-top show pulls out all the stops to celebrate the occasion, with puppetry, drag performance, musical numbers, and audience immersion into a joyful hour of theatre for young audiences.

“It is an essential part of CTYP’s mission to tell stories with, for, by, and about underrepresented youth and families,” says Jennica Grienke,  Co-Artistic and Managing Director of Carousel Theatre for Young People. “For far too long CTYP’s stage ignored queer families. We are here to celebrate them now!”

The Carousel presentation will be directed by Deveau’s husband, co-parent, and Artistic and Executive Director of Zee Zee Theatre, Cameron Mackenzie,and stars Jeffrey Follis, Kosta Lemermeyer, Rae Takei, and Katie Voravong.

The creative team also includes Set Designer Kimira Reddy; Sound Designer MJ Coomber; Lighting Designer Victoria Bell; Props Designer Monica Emme; Puppet Designer & Director Stephanie Elgersma; and Movement Coach Nicole Rose Bond.

The Papa Penguin Play will feature several special events throughout its run, including a mandatory masked performance on May 18 (11am) and a VocalEye described performance on May 25 (4pm).


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