ZACH Theatre brings classic MO WILLEMS children’s book characters to life in Elephant and Piggie: We are in a Play! on the Kleberg Stage from February 17 – April 30, 2017 starring DAVID PEÑA as Gerald the elephant and AMANDA CLIFTON (Charlotte’s Web) as Piggie under the direction and choreography of ABE REYBOLD, ZACH Theatre Associate Artistic Director.
Elephant & Piggie Series by Mo Willems
If you have a preschooler, the odds are that you have read the much loved Elephant & Piggie series. Pink and grey becomes your little one’s favorite colors after reading these early reader series by the famous Mo Willems. The comic book style sets it apart from most children’s books with Piggie’s speech in pink font while Gerald’s (the elephant) words are in grey. Delightfully adorable and geared towards ages 3-5, the ever-enthusiastic duo has been adapted to the theater much to the delight of all of us families who are big fans.
About the Author Mo Willems: Mo Willems (www.pigeonpresents.com), a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity.) Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. The celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as garnering four Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, Let‘s Go for a Drive! and A Big Guy Took My Ball!)
Gerald and Piggie Synopsis
When Gerald and Piggie get together, anything is possible. They might wear silly hats, get invited to a fancy pool costume party, or learn a crazy new dance. Based on the wildly popular, beloved book series, this lively musical features Gerald and Piggie and the delightful back-up singers, the Squirrelles, who together discover the fun of being in a play and the joy of friendship. Bring your “bestus” friend and share the laughter.
Curricular Connections: Language Arts, Science (Animals and Habitats), Social Emotional Learning
Shows at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Grades Pre-K and Up
Elephant and Piggie: We Are In A Play! cast also includes MEGAN RICHARDS WRIGHT (A Christmas Carol, James and the Giant Peach), KELLY PETLIN (A Christmas Carol, Priscilla Queen of the Desert), and JESSICA O’BRIEN (James and the Giant Peach) as Squirrelles; ANTHONY VINCENT TOUDJAROV (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as Gerald understudy; and LYDIA MYERS as Piggie understudy.
The creative team behind ZACH Theatre’s production of Elephant and Piggie: We Are In A Play! includes ABE REYBOLD as Director and Choreographer; ANTHONY VINCENT TOUDJAROV as Assistant Director; ALLEN ROBERTSON as Music Director; BRANDON NEWTON as Scenic Designer; CHRISTINA MONTGOMERY as Costume Designer; SERRET JENSEN as Hair and Makeup Designer; ANNALISE CAUDLE as Lighting Designer; RODD SIMONSEN as Sound Designer; STEVE BAGLIO as Properties Designer; and KAITLYN KENNEDY as Stage Manager. Elephant and Piggie: We Are In A Play! is based on children’s stories by MO WILLEMS with book and lyrics by Mo Willems and music by DEBORAH WICKS LA PUMA.
Click here for a preview of Elephant & Piggie’s We are in the Play! audience guide.
A petting zoo by Fy’s Fun Farm will be available pre-show on the following dates:
- Feb 25, 26
- March 5, 12, 18, 19, 26
- April 1, 2, 22, 23, 29, 30
- May 7
Public performances of Elephant and Piggie: We Are In A Play! began Friday, February 17 and run until Sunday, April 30, 2017. This show is appropriate for children ages 3 and older. The run time is approximately one hour.
- David Peña – Gerald
- Amanda Clifton – Piggie
- Megan Richards Wright – Squirrelle Kelly Petlin – Squirrelle
- Jessica O’Brien – Squirrelle
- Anthony Vincent Toudjarov – Understudy for Gerald
- Lydia Myers – Understudy for Piggie
- Abe Reybold – Director and Choreographer
- Anthony Vincent Toudjarov – Assistant Director
- Allen Robertson – Music Director
- Brandon Newton – Scenic Designer
- Christina Montgomery – Costume Designer
- Serret Jensen – Hair and Makeup Designer
- Annalise Caudle – Lighting Designer
- Rodd Simonsen – Sound Designer
- Steve Baglio – Properties Designer
- Kaitlyn Kennedy – Stage Manager
Our Experience at Elephant and Piggie: We Are In A Play! at the ZACH Theatre
You may remember that our family attended The Paramount Theatre Production Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In A Play! last year so we were VERY excited to see it at ZACH opening weekend. Elephant Gerald is an elephant: lumbering, formally attired, prone to melancholy. Piggie is (what else?) a piggie: perky, smiley and full of fun. Total opposites? No way! In Mo Willems’s beloved, award-winning, best-selling children’s books, Elephant Gerald and Piggie are best friends!
In We Are in a Play!, a vaudevillian romp of a musical, Elephant Gerald and Piggie sing and dance their way through plenty of pachydermal peril and swiney suspense–facing fundamental questions like, “What do you wear to a fancy pool costume party?”, “Should you share your ice cream?”, and “How can two friends play with one toy?” Backed by the nutty back-up singers The Squirrelles, our duo even gets the audience involved in the action. So get ready for a musical experience ripped from the pages of your favorite books.
We had some expectation of the play from our experience last year, and ZACH did a fantastic job of keeping us entertained and the kids engaged in the always-lovely Kleberg Stage. This time, we were close enough to see all of the play’s props in full detail and it was cool to see the added touches like Gerald’s ice cream melting and the curly-curls of Piggie’s red hair. The play is a mishmash of the books within this series and the ending was quite like you would expect if you have ever read the book Elephant & Piggie: We Are in a Book. The hour long play is timed perfectly for young kids with one intermission. The lobby has little bubble notes for kids to write on and hang up on display and an Elephant & Piggie cut-out head sign for pictures! It was a great experience for all of us. You’ll be doing the “Flippy Floppy Floory” dance all night long!
Plan Your Trip!
Here are a few things to note:
- ZACH Theatre does offer drinks and snacks (including alcoholic beverages).
- ATMs are not available on site so plan accordingly.
- There is no specific dress code, but business casual is appreciated.
- While children’s shows are for kids and their families, they do prohibit infants from attending their Mainstage productions to avoid distractions.
- ZACH is fully handicap accessible and compliant.
- The Kleberg Stage (where Elephant and Piggie: We Are In A Play! takes place) is located at 1421 W Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704.
Elephant and Piggie: We Are In A Play! Schedule:
- Saturday, February 25, 2017 2:00PM
- Sunday, February 26, 2017 2:00PM
- Saturday, March 4, 2017 2:00PM (Sensory-Friendly Performance & Sign-Interpreted Performance)
- Sunday, March 5, 2017 2:00PM
- Sunday, March 12, 2017 2:00PM
- Saturday, March 18, 2017 2:00PM
- Sunday, March 19, 2017 2:00PM
- Saturday, March 25, 2017 2:00PM
- Sunday, March 26, 2017 2:00PM
- Saturday, April 1, 2017 2:00PM
- Sunday, April 2, 2017 2:00PM
- Saturday, April 8, 2017 2:00PM
- Sunday, April 9, 2017 2:00PM
- Saturday, April 15, 2017 11:00AM
- Saturday, April 15, 2017 2:00PM
- Sunday, April 16, 2017 2:00PM
- Saturday, April 22, 2017 11:00AM
- Saturday, April 22, 2017 2:00PM
- Sunday, April 23, 2017 2:00PM
- Saturday, April 29, 2017 11:00AM
- Saturday, April 29, 2017 2:00PM
- Sunday, April 30, 2017 2:00PM
The ZACH campus features three theaters each with differing seating configurations and excellent sight lines, so check your ticket to make sure you know the correct location:
- Topfer Theater: a 420-seat proscenium stage in which the seating fans around the stage in an arc, much like movie theater stadium-style seating.
- Kleberg Theatre: a 230-seat thrust stage, with the audience seated on three sides
- Whisenhunt Theatre: a 130-seat arena stage, also known as a theater-in-the-round.
Parking at ZACH Theatre:
In addition to nearby street parking on Toomey Road, Sterzing Street, Lee Barton Drive, Riverside Drive, and Jessie and Butler Streets (see map here), parking for ZACH patrons attending a performance is also available at ZACH’s Whisenhunt Theatre, at ZACH’s Topfer Theatre, behind the Parks and Recreation Department at night and on Sundays, and at The Bicycle Shop just south of Barton Springs and Lamar by McDonald’s. Parking is $7 per car. For night and weekend performances, attendants will be available to collect payment before the show via cash or secure mobile credit card. NEW: Subscribers can park in the Whisenhunt or Topfer lots for the discounted price of $5 with your 2016-17 hangtag. For a complete parking map, click here.
About the ZACH Theatre: Located at 1510 Toomey Road – Austin, TX 78704 (Phone (512) 476-0541), the ZACH Theatre is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization located in Austin,Texas.
Support the ZACH Theatre! ZACH thrives and prospers with support from patrons like you. Be a part of our cast of generous individual donors, family foundations, corporate sponsors and volunteers. It’s easy to donate your time, resources and ideas to make a difference at ZACH. Join us for our fantastic special events, exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunities and opening night celebrations as you support artistic excellence on our stages and valuable arts educational programming in our community. Learn more about how you can donate HERE.
ZACH Theatre’s 2016-17 Season is sponsored in part, by AT&T, Austin Catering, Baylor Scott & White Health, Dell, H-E-B, Holiday Inn-Lady Bird Lake, Kirk Tuck Photography, Marquee Event Group, OnRamp Access, and Schlotzsky’s; and by grants from The Shubert Foundation, the Junior League of Austin, The National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, and the Cultural Arts Division of The City of Austin Economic Development Department.
PHOTO CREDIT: Kirk Tuck
List Price: $15.00 (Youth) – $20.00 (Adult)