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Photo: A promo shot from the touring production of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show”
Chicago Children’s Theatre has announced its 2019-2020 season, it’s third at it’s West Loop complex “The Station.”
The season opens in September with Chicago debut of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show,” a spectacle of 75 puppets based on Eric Carle’s beloved stories, including “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?,” “10 Little Rubber Ducks,” “The Very Lonely Firefly,” and the titular ravenous caterpillar. This is a touring engagement, created by Jonathan Rockefeller and directed by Jerrell L. Henderson.
Following is Chicago Children’s new annual holiday tradition “The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party,” directed by Will Bishop. Three Beatrix Potter tales are unspooled in an interactive trunk and puppet show, complete with live music. After the show, families head to a Victorian-style dining hall set with cookies and warm cocoa.
In January, the company will open a new interactive show for the littlest theatergoers, “Wake Up, Brother Bear!” that journeys through the four seasons with a playful pair of bears. It’s written by Janet Stanford and Kathryn Chase. Jamie Abelson directs.
February brings a new Red Kite, Brown Box production, conceived and directed by Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell. Red Kite, Brown Box is an experience created for young people with autism and sensory sensitivities, their families and caregivers. Before coming to the theater, each child and adult is sent a Social Story that walks families through the experience of attending the show, from arriving at the location to the people they’ll meet, to the adventure itself. A limited number of tickets is sold for each performance to keep the experience focused, intimate and in tune with the particular needs of each child.
The season closes with the April production of “Me…Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of a Young Jane Goodall.” Before she was a renowned humanitarian, conservationist and animal activist, Dr. Jane Goodall was a little girl with a toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. Together, Jane and Jubilee went on outdoor adventures and observed the miracles of nature around them. This new musical adaptation teaches kids about the natural world and the importance of protecting it through anecdotes taken directly from Goodall’s autobiography. Andy Mitton, Patrick McDonnell and Aaron Posner adapted “Me…Jane,” with music and lyrics from Mitton, for a debut in 2017 at the Kennedy Center Family Theater. Ericka Mac will direct and choreograph the Chicago production with Musical Director Andra Velis Simon.
Subscriptions go on sale May 4, and single tickets go on sale July 1. More info at chicagochildrenstheatre.org.