Reptiles, fairies, and giants abound in Imagination Stage’s 2013-2014 season of professional theatre. Its upcoming season features two world premieres: Lulu and the Brontosaurus, a musical by local author Judith Viorst, and Cinderella: the Remix, the final play in Psalmayene 24’s hip-hop trilogy.
The 2013-14 season, beginning late September and running through August 2014, features Lulu and the Brontosaurus; Lyle the Crocodile; Rumpelstiltskin; Cinderella: the Remix; and The BFG. Subscriptions are available by calling the box office at 301-280-1660 (see pricing below). Single tickets go on sale August 12, 2013.
“The new season will delight your eyes, your ears, and your heart,” says Janet Stanford, Artistic Director. “From a life-size brontosaurus to a sax-playing crocodile, and the biggest, friendliest giant of all time, we have characters you’ll never forget. With stories about finding friendship, overcoming prejudice, and triumphing over evil, we promise you’ll leave the theatre laughing and uplifted.”
Imagination Stage is very excited to open the season with a world premiere and commission, Lulu and the Brontosaurus. This dino-mite production was written by Judith Viorst, a D.C. author and poet best known for her children’s literature, including the series with Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Judith says the production is “complete with a tantrum-throwing Lulu and a dancing dinosaur.” It will be directed by Stanford, with title role played by Casie Platt, who previously portrayed Junie B. at Imagination Stage.
For the holiday season, Lyle the Crocodile is a snazzy musical featuring a saxophone-playing reptile. Poor Lyle is shunned by his nasty neighbor Mr. Grumps, but after a series of events, Lyle saves the day and earns his place as a beloved friend. Imagination Stage previously produced this story as a play in 2009 to great acclaim and is thrilled to revisit is the story in a musical adaptation. Linden Tailor will play Lyle, and Kathryn Chase Bryer, Associate Artistic Director, will direct.
The next show “is a story that’s old as old, of how a girl turned straw into gold.” Rumpelstiltskin is a tale of the poor miller’s daughter, who is directed by the King to spin straw into gold – even though she doesn’t know how. Unable to perform this feat, she enlists the help of a rotten riddling fairy and must solve his puzzle to save her family. Rumpelstiltskin will be directed by Stanford.
Cinderella: the Remix is the final play in director and playwright Psalmayene 24’s hip-hop trilogy, which includes Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth (premiered January 24-March 8, 2009) and P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical (premiered February 1-March 11, 2012). Filled with music, dance, and “Girl Power!,” Cinderella is a DJ in Hip-Hop Hollywood, where girls aren’t actually allowed to DJ! Will Cinderella ever be allowed to spin as her true self, or will she be caught “frontin’” as a boy? Paige Hernandez will play Cinderella, and Nick Hernandez will produce the hip-hop beats. After playing at Imagination Stage, Cinderella: the Remix will tour to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center for an additional week.
In the summer, Imagination Stage is pleased to welcome back Eric Van Wyk, who will be creating the giant puppet for The BFG. Audiences will remember Eric’s work on the lion puppet Aslan and the set design for The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, a production which received two 2013 Helen Hayes Awards. The BFG is a beloved story by Roald Dahl about little orphan Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant who venture together to Buckingham Palace to save the children of England. The story was adapted for the stage by David Wood, who also adapted Imagination Stage’s 2012-2013 season productions of James and the Giant Peach and The Magic Finger,a world premiere. The BFG will be directed by Bryer.
The 2013-2014 Professional Season in the Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre:
Lulu and the Brontosaurus
September 25–October 27, 2013
Based on the book by Judith Viorst
Lyrics and Book by Judith Viorst
Music by Shelly Markham
Directed by Janet Stanford
Whatever Lulu wants, Lulu gets. And what does Lulu want for her birthday? Why a brontosaurus, of course! When Mom and Dad draw the line at the impracticality of a dinosaur-pet, Lulu is fit to be tied! She packs her suitcase and adventures off into the forest to get a brontosaurus all by herself. When she meets one, it’s clear that he’s not interested in being HER pet. The brontosaurus would like a pet of his own…namely Lulu! Has she met her match?
Best for Ages 5-12
Lyle the Crocodile
November 20, 2013–January 12, 2014
Based on Lyle, Lyle Crocodile and The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber
Adapted by Kevin Kling
Music by Richard Gray
Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer
When the Primm family moves into their New York City apartment, they are quite surprised to find a crocodile in their tub! But Lyle is a rather extraordinary crocodile and quickly becomes part of the family. Unfortunately, a nasty neighbor, Mr. Grumps, has it out for the reptile. He thinks poor Lyle is unfit for the neighborhood simply because he’s different. After a parade, a trip to the department store, and a stint in the zoo, Lyle saves the day and earns his place as a beloved friend and neighbor.
Best for Ages 4-12
February 5–March 16, 2014
By Mike Kenny
Directed by Janet Stanford
“This is a story that’s old as old, of how a girl turned straw into gold.” When a poor miller brags that his daughter has a talent for spinning straw into gold, a greedy and zany King commands her to make gold for his coffers. Unable to perform this feat, the miller’s daughter enlists the help of a rotten riddling fairy named Rumpelstiltskin…but his price for helping is high. Will she be able to solve Rumpelstiltskin’s mystery in time to save her family?
Best for Ages 5-10
Cinderella: the Remix
April 9-May 25, 2014
By Psalmayene 24
Hip-Hop Beats by Nick Hernandez
Directed by Psalmayene 24
Cinderella lives in the basement of her Step Mama’s house, mixing beats and dreaming of being a DJ. But in Hip-Hop Hollywood, girls are not allowed to DJ and “frontin’” is a crime. When the super-famous J-Prince announces auditions for his “Jam,” Cinderella disguises herself as a boy to get the gig. With some help from her Fairy Godmother Hope-rah, Cinderella DJs the Jam (at least until midnight)! Will she ever be allowed to spin as her true self? Or will Cinderella be convicted of frontin’ and sentenced to solitary confinement with only the music of Kenny G. for company?
Best for Ages 5-10
June 25–August 10, 2014
Based on the book by Roald Dahl
Adapted by David Wood
Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer
Little orphan Sophie can’t sleep. When she peeks out the window, she is surprised to see a giant. He’s surprised to see her too and whisks Sophie away to his home in Giant Country. But this is no ordinary giant; Sophie’s giant is the world’s only friendly giant. He operates in the strictest of secrecy to bring good dreams to the human world. Other giants steal and have a nasty habit of eating children! To save the children of England, Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant (BFG) embark on a magical journey to Buckingham Palace.
Best for Ages 4-10
Play Packs and Flex Packs:
Subscriptions to Imagination Stage’s 2013-2014 Season are now on sale. Priced $50-$90, a savings of up to 32%, subscribers can pick between three-, four-, or five-show packages. Flex Packs are also now available, which can be purchased for seven or more tickets. Subscribe by calling the Box Office at 301-280-1660. Single tickets, priced $12-25, go on sale August 12.
Shows at Imagination Stage run about 90 minutes, including one intermission.
Performance times are Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., with the occasional Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and Friday at 7:00 p.m.
About Imagination Stage:
Founded in 1979, Imagination Stage is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to produce theatre and arts education programs which nurture, challenge, and empower young people of all abilities. It offers year-round professional theatre for young audiences and classes in creative drama/acting, musical theatre, dance, and filmmaking for ages 1-18.