FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications & Strategic Partnerships
Children’s show features beloved Mo Willems characters in ELEPHANT & PIGGIE’S “WE ARE IN A PLAY”
NEW ORLEANS (May 30, 2018)—Southern Rep Theatre announced details of a summer production of ELEPHANT & PIGGIE’S “WE ARE IN A PLAY,” a vaudevillian romp for the youngest audiences and beyond. Eight performances run at Loyola University, Marquette Theatre select weekends in June and July 2018. Directed by Becca Chapman, ELEPHANT & PIGGIE’S “WE ARE IN A PLAY” features the beloved characters from Mo Willems’ best-selling, award-winning ELEPHANT & PIGGIE series of books for young readers in a musical comedy to delight the whole family.
In ELEPHANT & PIGGIE’S “WE ARE IN A PLAY,” an elephant named Gerald and a pig named Piggie are best, best, “bestus” (a word Gerald and Piggie made up that means “very best”) friends, but Gerald worries that something could go wrong that would end their friendship. Piggie is not worried at all. She’s even happier and more excited than usual. That’s because she and Gerald are invited to a party hosted by the Squirrelles, three singing squirrels who love to have a good time. And so begins a day when anything is possible. Big Easy Award-winning actress and multitalented entertainer Becca Chapman directs Southern Rep’s production.
Director of Arts Education Helen Jaksch is excited to re-introduce Theatre For Young Audiences to the Southern Rep lineup of programming this year. “We know a love of theatre starts early! Southern Rep wanted to produce something that the whole family can enjoy together during the summer months, and ELEPHANT & PIGGIE are some of my very favorite characters for young readers. We plan to continue to bring plays designed for the youngest audiences to our community annually as we move into our new home on Bayou Road.”
ELEPHANT & PIGGIE’S “WE ARE IN A PLAY” is suitable for the youngest audiences (4+) and priced for families, with tickets at $15 for adults, $10 for those under 13. Groups are welcome; day camps, summer schools, and church/youth groups should contact the box office about rates and availability (504-522-6545).
Performances run Saturday, June 9 (11 AM), Sunday, June 10 (2 PM), Friday, June 15 (12:30 PM), Saturday, June 16 (11 AM), Saturday, July 7 (11 AM), Sunday, July 8 (2 PM), Friday, July 13 (12:30 PM), and Saturday, July 14 (11 AM).
Tickets are on sale now at southernrep.com or 504-522-6545. Performances take place at Loyola University, Marquette Theatre (6363 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118). Free parking for patrons is available in the West Road garage.
WHAT: ELEPHANT AND PIGGIE'S "WE ARE IN A PLAY!" Based on the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems
In this vaudevillian romp, Elephant and Piggie sing and dance their way through plenty of pachydermal peril and swiney suspense. Get ready for a musical experience, ripped from the pages of Mo Willems’ beloved, award-winning, best-selling children’s books, that will leave audiences doing the “Flippy Floppy Floory” dance all night long! Filled with beloved characters and lively songs, it’s a perfect way to introduce young people to theatre!
- Based on the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems
- Published by Hyperion Books for Children
- Directed by Becca Chapman
- Script and Lyrics by Mo Willems
- Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
- Saturday, June 9 – 11 AM
- Sunday, June 10 – 2 PM
- Friday, June 15 – 12:30 PM
- Saturday, June 16 – 11 AM
- Saturday, July 7 – 11 AM
- Sunday, July 8 – 2 PM
- Friday, July 13 – 12:30 PM
- Saturday, July 14 – 11 AM
WHERE: Marquette Theatre, Loyola University, 6363 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70118
Free parking is available in the West Road garage for patrons during Southern Rep performances.
TICKETS: Purchase at southernrep.com or 504-522-6545
- Adults: $15
- Children under age 13: $10
Prices include per-ticket handling fees. Group rates may be available by contacting the box office: 504-522-6545
ABOUT AUTHOR MO WILLEMS
#1 New York Times Bestseller Mo Willems began his career as a writer and animator for PBS’ “Sesame Street,” where he garnered six Emmy Awards for his writing. During his nine seasons at “Sesame Street,” Mo also served as a weekly commentator for BBC Radio and created two animated series, Nickelodeon's “The Off-Beats” and Cartoon Network’s “Sheep in the Big City.” While serving as head writer for Cartoon Network's #1 rated show, “Codename: Kids Next Door,” Mo began writing and drawing books for children. His debut effort, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! became a New York Times Bestseller and was awarded a Caldecott Honor in 2004. The following year Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale was awarded a Caldecott Honor. The sequel, Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity garnered Mo his third Caldecott Honor in 2008. In addition to picture books, Mo created the Elephant and Piggie books, a series of "Easy Readers", which were awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal in 2008 and 2009 and a Geisel Honor in 2011. For older audiences he has published an illustrated memoir of his year-long trip around the world in 1990-91 entitled You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons. Mo's drawings, wire sculptures, and ceramics (done in collaboration with his father) have exhibited in numerous galleries and museums across the nation and his graphic story about his family experiences during 9-11 for DC comics resides in the Library of Congress' permanent collection. Mo has been heard on NPR's “All Things Considered” where he occasionally serves as the broadcast's 'Radio Cartoonist'. While no longer working in television, Mo voices and produces animated cartoons based on his books with Weston Woods studios. The animated Knuffle Bunny was awarded Best Film during the New York International Children's Film Festival in 2008 and received the Andrew Carnegie Medal in 2007. The animated Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! garnered Mo his second Carnegie Medal in 2010 Mo wrote the script and lyrics for KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY MUSICAL, commissioned by the Kennedy Center for its 2010 season. The production is currently touring the nation. Mo lives in Massachusetts with his family.
ABOUT COMPOSER DEBORAH WICKS LA PUMA
Deborah Wicks La Puma is a composer, music director and orchestrator. Her work for adults and children has been seen by thousands around the world, from Australia to Bahrain to the East Room of the White House, enjoying both popular and critical success. She is delighted to be working with Mo Willems again after the world premiere of KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY MUSICAL at the Kennedy Center. Her other works for young audiences include FRIDA LIBRE (La Jolla Playhouse), FERDINAND THE BULL (based on the book by Munro Leaf), CHASING GEORGE WASHINGTON (Kennedy Center), and EINSTEIN IS A DUMMY (Alliance Theatre) with playwright Karen Zacarías, and NOBODY’S PERFECT (based on the book by Marlee Matlin) with Doug Cooney, a bilingual musical in English and American Sign Language, commissioned by VSA and the Kennedy Center. Her awards include the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, a National Endowment for the Arts' New American Works Grant, two Parents' Choice Awards, an iParenting Media Award, and two Helen Hayes nominations for Outstanding New Play.
ABOUT DIRECTOR BECCA CHAPMAN
Becca has been an educator at Trinity Episcopal School for seven years, where she co-writes and directs the annual 4th grade plays for the students. Becca is an active theatrical performer whose training includes clown, stage combat, and circus. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from The University of New Orleans (certified in grades 1st-5th) and a Bachelor’s of Performing Arts from the University of Southern Mississippi. Becca has trained with Jeff Raz in San Francisco, Pig Iron Theatre Company in Philadelphia, Ronlin Foreman of Dell’Arte International in Blue Lake, California, and Giovanni Fusetti in Boulder, Colorado. This summer she will be studying Commedia in Reggio Emilia, Italy under Antonio Fava. She is also a Dueling Arts International certified theatrical combatant in broadsword, rapier dagger, unarmed combat, and quarterstaff. Becca was recently seen as "Esme" in NOLA Project's original play, THE SPIDER QUEEEN, for which she received a Big Easy Theatre award. With Alex Smith, she co-founded Medical Clowning non-profit this year called Prescription Joy. Together they perform in hospitals and help promote healing through human connection and laughter.
ABOUT SOUTHERN REP THEATRE
About to enter its 32nd Season, Southern Rep Theatre produces award-winning productions that are engaging, educational, and accessible for audiences of every socioeconomic background. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Aimée Hayes, Southern Rep Theatre's Mainstage Season work includes bold World and Regional Premieres as well as the best of Broadway, off-Broadway, and classic plays. Southern Rep Theatre's Lagniappe Series and "School to Stage Pipeline" of Arts Education Programs reflect the company's ongoing commitment to new play development by providing resources for students and burgeoning theatre professionals and supporting a more diverse theatre community. A mainstay of New Orleans’ arts community, Southern Rep Theatre continues to build on its unique position as a sector leader, creative force, and important resource for contemporary American theatre.