Dallas Children's Theater imagines brighter days with 2022-23 season of plays
In a world bravely recovering, Dallas Children’s Theater continues to encourage positivity in its new 2022-2023 season, themed Brighter Days.
"Whether it is Junie B. Jones looking for the perfect advice to lead her class, a plucky pigeon that desperately wants to drive a school bus (in spite of his very short legs), an elf with a dream, or a spider determined to save the life of a friend, the can-do spirit that permeates these plays reinforces the necessary fortitude required for our parents and children as we work our way past the challenges of the last two years," reads a release announcing the season.
"We’re thrilled to be back to share some imaginative stories in these changing times," says artistic director Nancy Schaeffer. "The last few years have been so difficult for everyone, but especially young people. Their relationship to theater is completely different. Many children are just now seeing their first play, so our role as a children’s theater is extra important. We’re so proud to play our part in introducing this generation to the truly magical world of live performance."
Schaeffer concludes, "Live theater is healing along with the rest of the world, and this season of shows really proves that whatever age you are, there’s always somewhere you can go to learn, to imagine, and to be supported."
First up is Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School, adapted from the Junie B. Jones series of books by Barbara Park and with book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler and music by Zina Goldrich.
Junie B. Jones is back, and she’s got some advice to give…eventually. It was her brilliant idea to put together a survival guide for next year’s students, but now she’s at a total loss for what to add to it. It doesn’t help that all her friends are full of cool ideas and dance numbers.
How’s a girl supposed to deal with all this competition? In this musical extravaganza great for back-to-school time, Junie B. Jones learns some important lessons about school, patience, and personal growth. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Directed by Nancy Schaeffer, it runs September 24-October 30, 2022.
Harry Connick Jr.’s The Happy Elf is next, with book by Lauren Gunderson and Andrew Fishman and directed by K. Doug Miller.
Eubie is, much to the exhaustion of his coworkers, an elf of unparalleled and endless energy looking to get a spot on Santa’s coveted sleigh team. When his unstoppably sunny spirit comes into contact with the miserable town of Bluesville — where every single child is on the naughty list — he’s in for the shock of a lifetime.
Will his relentless positive attitude be enough to turn this gloomy place around, or has the happiest elf in the North Pole finally met his match? Recommended for ages 5 and up, it runs November 27-December 23, 2022.
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical! welcomes the New Year, and can be enjoyed by ages 3 and up.
The Pigeon is having a bit of an identity crisis: He never gets to do anything, and people just want him to “fly off.” Everything changes when the confident, cool Bus Driver rolls into town, and the Pigeon finds himself with a brand new goal: drive the bus! But is it even possible? Time to find out.
Based on the book by Mo Willems, with a script by Mo Willems and Mr. Warburton, Lyrics by Mo Willems, music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, dramaturgy by Megan Alrutz, and directed by Nancy Schaeffer, it runs January 28-February 19, 2023.
DCT is honored to be presenting Endlings, the final production of Cry Havoc Theater Company. In its eight-year history in Dallas, the teen theater company has been celebrated for putting young artists in the lead as creators and actors of bold art that disrupts expectations and shakes up old, entrenched conversations.
Written and directed by Mara Richards Bim and developed with the teens of Cry Havoc, Endlings is a thought-provoking play that tackles climate change, social justice, grief, the pandemic, art, and much more with frank, youthful honesty.
First-person interviews with individuals who are living on the front lines of climate change are juxtaposed with conversations among the teens of Cry Havoc to create a mind-shifting, thought-provoking, must-see theater piece that serves as a powerful conduit for community dialogue around issues that matter to all of us. Post-show conversations with subject matter resources will follow every performance.
Recommended for ages 12 and up, it runs February 10-19, 2023.
Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal, by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson, Last Stop on Market Street has been adapted for the stage by Gloria Bond Clunie and directed here by vickie washington.
On a Sunday after church in a bustling, ethnically and culturally diverse American city, CJ and his Nana board the public bus for their weekly trip across town to help out at a soup kitchen. Along the way, CJ notices the many differences among people and asks tons of curious questions: Why don’t we have a car? How come that man can’t see? How come it’s always so dirty over there? How?...Why?...
With Nana’s fearless and compassionate guidance, CJ discovers that everyone and everything has a unique rhythm and purpose; that the world’s got answers if we listen with more than our ears and see with more than our eyes. Recommended for ages 4 and up, it run sMarch 18-April 2, 2023.
Closing out the season is E.B. White's classic, Charlotte's Web. Adapted by Joseph Robinette and directed here by Artie Olaisen, this is one of the first books ever written for children exploring issues of morality.
Get caught in Charlotte's web to save Wilbur, the "radiant" and "humble" pig, and make friends once again with all his lovable barnyard neighbors. Recommended for ages 5 and up, it runs April 29-May 27, 2023.
Virtual offerings will also be available for DCT’s Andi Boi, a play about gender identity, and The Raven Society, a play that imagines a midnight Poe-style meeting in the middle of the pandemic.
Dallas Children’s Theater features professional actors performing for an annual audience of 250,000 young people and their families through mainstage productions and an arts-in-education program.
As the only major organization in Dallas focusing solely on youth and family theater, DCT builds bridges of understanding between generations and cultures, instilling an early appreciation of literature, art, and the performing arts in tomorrow’s artists and patrons.
All tickets go on sale August 2.