THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW
arrives at First Stage this September
to delight audiences young and old
Created by Jonathan Rockefeller
Produced in association with Rockefeller Productions
Based on four Eric Carle’s books
Directed by Julia Magnasco
Milwaukee, WI – September 4, 2018 – Begin the 2018/19 season at First Stage with the critically-acclaimed, joyful production THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW, based on one of the most iconic children’s books of all time. Through the use of 75 magical puppets, Eric Carle’s delightful creatures are brought to life on stage in four timeless stories. This colorful stage production faithfully adapts four of Carle’s celebrated stories, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course, the star of the show – The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Eric Carle’s beloved children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar has sold over 41 million copies worldwide. The stage production created by Jonathan Rockefeller culminates in an enchanting theatrical experience that will educate and entertain the whole family. Rated “five smiles” by Newsday and “bedazzling” by The New York Times, experience this larger-than-life world of Carle’s charming classics.
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW runs September 22 – November 4, 2018 at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, located at 325 W. Walnut Street in downtown Milwaukee. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Marcus Center Box Office at 929 N. Water Street, by phone at (414) 273-7206 or online at www.firststage.org.Suggested for families with young people ages 3 – 7+.
“We are so delighted to bring the beloved stories of Eric Carle to life through our production of THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW, filled with over 75 puppets – ranging from small seahorses to giant elephants. This show is filled with moments of imaginary play, movement, music and storytelling that allow our youngest audience members to make new discoveries and engage with the story as it unfolds. Audiences of all ages will be captured by the joy and wonder that they will experience as they become immersed in the world of THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW,” said Director Julia Magnasco.
Added author Eric Carle, “I hope the performances will be enjoyed by many and that the colorful characters bring comfort and joy to all who see the stories . . . it is uplifting to see such beautiful and cheerful works inspired by my characters! I hope my books – and this show – will inspire you and your imagination.”
Julia Magnasco (Director) is the Education Director at First Stage. First Stage has been identified as Wisconsin’s leader in arts-in-education programming, serving over 15,000 students in classrooms throughout Southeastern Wisconsin every year. Julia has developed numerous arts-integrated programs at First Stage, including the Literacy Plus residency, the Bully Ban workshop and the Nurturing through Drama series, which received the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 2015 Eureka Award. Julia serves on the Board of Theatre for Young Audiences/USA, and also teaches on the adjunct staff at UW-Milwaukee. In 2017, she was honored with the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 recognition. Julia received her MFA in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University and her BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Miami (FL).
Brenna Kempf (Puppet Director) is delighted to be Puppet Director for THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOWafter playing in the pumpkin patch as Assistant Director and Young Performer Coach during both runs of SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN. Brenna has worked with First Stage as a Teaching Artist in both the Theater Academy and Theater in Education since 2012, and served as the Associate Academy Director and Director of Next Steps at First Stage from 2016-2018. Additional credits: Milwaukee Repertory Theater (Teaching Artist); Milwaukee Youth Theater (Assistant Director); Riverside Theatre in the Park; Milwaukee Chamber Theatre; First Stage; Splinter Group and more (Performer). Brenna is a proud 2013 graduate of UW-Parkside’s Theatre Arts program.
Teddy Warren (Mr. Seahorse/Ensemble) is a local Milwaukee actor. An alumnus of First Stage, he attended the Theater Academy from a young age and appeared in shows such as THE SHAKESPEARE STEALER and WITNESS as a young performer. He continued his theatrical education at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, and continued to work professionally around the country. He was happy to come back this past summer to teach at First Stage Theater Academy and is grateful to come home as an Equity actor.
Karen Estrada (Ensemble) is always glad to work with First Stage. She has previously been seen on the Todd Wehr stage in RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER™: THE MUSICAL, THE SNOW, ANATOLE, PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL, SEUSSICAL and also in AESOP’S FABLES and GIGGLE, GIGGLE, QUACK with First Stage’s charming First Steps series at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center. She has had the privilege of working with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Next Act Theatre, In Tandem Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Skylight Music Theatre including Kidswrites, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Splinter Group, numerous shows with Sunset Playhouse’s Bug in a Rug children’s theater, Musical Mainstage, with Bunny Gumbo’s Combat Theater and a collaboration with her sketch comedy troupe The Show and Danceworks performance company. Karen is a proud three-time alumna of Disney on Classic in Japan. She has taught at many schools of theater including First Stage, MITY, Waukesha Civic and Next Act Theatre’s Next Actors program.
The adult actor cast of THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW includes: Teddy Warren (Member of Actors’ Equity Association) as Mr. Seahorse/Ensemble Member; Karen Estrada as an Ensemble Member and Elliott Brotherhoodas the Understudy.
Young performer roles are double cast. Young performers in the Blue Horse Cast include: Josephine Van Slyke (as Artist/Ensemble) from Milwaukee; Catalina Cruz (as Firefly/Ensemble) from Milwaukee; Dakota Komorowski (as Storyteller/Ensemble) from Kansasville and Costello Mylott (as Storyteller/Ensemble) from Milwaukee.
Young performers in the Red Crocodile Cast include: Lucy Halpern (as Artist/Ensemble) from Whitefish Bay;Madeleine Beeghly (as Firefly/Ensemble) from Shorewood; Priyanka Guptasarma (as Storyteller/Ensemble) from Bayside and Trevor Smith (as Storyteller/Ensemble) from River Hills.
The Artistic Staff for THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW includes: Brandon Kirkham (Scenic Designer); Craig Zemsky (Lighting Designer); Jenny Thurnau (Costume Designer); Sarah Ramos (Sound Designer); Brenna Kempf(Puppet Director); Marissa Ashlyn, Member of Actors’ Equity Association, (Stage Manager), Jade Bruno, Member of Actors’ Equity Association, (Calling Stage Manager) and Julia Xiong (Assistant Stage Manager).
Tickets are $14 – Tickets may be purchased at www.firststage.org, or by phone (414) 267-2961.
Group Sales – Groups of 10 or more receive discounts off regular single ticket prices on most First Stage performances at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center. Call (414) 267-2964 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
First Stage Family Packages – any combination of tickets for three or more plays in the 2018/19 season – are on sale now. Family package prices are available at up to 30% off the cost of regular single ticket prices. Benefits include unlimited ticket exchanges, backstage tours and more.
Special events for THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW
ASL Interpreted Performance: Sunday, November 4 at 1 p.m.
This performance will be sign language interpreted for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Sensory Friendly Performance: Saturday, October 13 at 3:30 p.m.
A Sensory Friendly Performance with accommodations for families with children on the autism spectrum will take place on Saturday, October 13 at 3:30 p.m. Sensory accommodations include lower sound, house lights up, a quiet area staffed by an educator experienced with the care of students with autism and other developmental disabilities, and more. Contact the First Stage Box Office at (414) 267-2961 to reserve your tickets.
About: THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW
Location: The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, 325 W. Walnut Street, Milwaukee
Dates: September 22 – November 4, 2018
Description: Four timeless stories and 75 magical puppets bring Eric Carle’s iconic creatures to life. This colorful stage production faithfully adapts four of Carle’s beloved stories, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course, the star of the show – The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Rated “five smiles” by Newsday and “bedazzling” by The New York Times, experience this larger-than-life world of Carle’s charming classics. Performance runtime is approximately 55 minutes, with no intermission. Suggested for families with young people ages 3 – 7+
Ticket and information: Tickets are $14. Call (414) 267-2961 or online at www.firststage.org
About First Stage
First Stage is one of the nation’s leading theaters for young people and families. First Stage touches hearts, engages minds and transforms lives by creating extraordinary theater experiences through professional theater productions that inspire, enlighten and entertain. Its Theater Academy, the nation’s largest high-impact theater training program for young people, fosters life skills through stage skills and serves over 2,100 students each year. As Wisconsin’s leader in arts-integrated education in schools, First Stage’s dynamic Theater in Education programs promote literacy, character building and experiential learning throughout the curriculum, serving over 20,000 students each year. First Stage was selected to participate in the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2012), and was the recipient of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Eureka Award, recognizing creativity and innovation in business, education and the arts for its Next Steps program for students on the autism spectrum (2013, 2015). First Stage is a member of TYA/USA, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, the Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education, Milwaukee Arts Partners and is a cornerstone member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF).
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