Encore Michigan

Wild Swan announces 2015-2016 season

NewsYouth/Family August 07, 2015 Anne Kiley

Wild SwanLogoWild Swan Theater co-artistic directors Hilary Cohen and Sandy Ryder have announced the company’s 36th season of performances. Nationally regarded as one of the finest theaters for young people in the country, Wild Swan produces artistic, accessible and affordable theater for families. The upcoming season will feature classics including the coming of age drama “Shipwrecked,” “A Honey Pot of Pooh Stories” featuring children’s all time favorite bear, Winnie the Pooh, as well as the world premiere of “Rosie the Riveter.”

Running from October through May, the season contains seven productions carefully shaped for various ages and interests which are performed by a troupe of professional actors, dancers, musicians, and ASL performers, who are fully integrated into the action of the play. Wild Swan plays are known for innovative staging, music composed and performed live for each production, extraordinary puppets and masks, beautiful period costumes, and creative incorporation of movement and dance. Wild Swan Theater is also known for groundbreaking accessibility measures that make plays available to audience members who have auditory, visual or mobility impairments.

Season productions:

“Once Upon a Time” (Grades PreK- 2) — Oct. 15 -17, 2015. An engaging collection of favorite children’s classics including “Three Billy Goat’s Gruff” and “Reynard the Fox” are sure to delight the very young. In true Wild Swan style, three performers and a musician create all the magic inherent in these timeless stories making this first time theater experience unforgettable.

“Rosie the Riveter” (Ages 9+) — Nov. 11-14, 2015. An original musical written by playwright Jeff Duncan and composer Brian Buckner, “Rosie the Riveter” tells the remarkable story of the women who came to Michigan to fill thousands of factory jobs left empty by men suddenly called to war. With their determination, strength of character, and backbreaking labor, these extraordinary women rallied a nation as they produced B-24 bombers at the astonishing rate of a plane an hour. This is a production that not only brings history alive, but will inspire respect and admiration for the capacity of these Rosies to accomplish more than anyone could have imagined.

“A Honey Pot of Pooh Stories (Grades PreK-2) — Dec. 3-5, 2015. Dip into our honey pot of stories featuring children’s all time favorite bear, Winnie the Pooh. You will love joining Pooh as he hums his way through the Hundred Aker Woods. Whether he’s pretending to be a cloud to trick bees out of their honey, hunting heffalumps with Piglet, or stuck in a doorway at Rabbit’s house, Winnie the Pooh is just about the best friend a child could have.

“Drum Me a Story” (Grades PreK – 3) — Feb. 11-13, 2016. A delightful collection of African tales performed through storytelling, acting, dancing, and drumming. Colorful costumes, masks, and traditional music will delight and teach our young fans, with lots of opportunities for audience participation! Special activities provided by Leslie Science and Nature Center.

“Shipwrecked!” (Ages 8+) — Mar. 10-12, 2016. “Shipwrecked!” is a stirring coming of age drama set during a fierce winter storm on Lake Huron in 1893. Twelve year old Aaron Buchanan, sailing with his parents on their small schooner loaded with Christmas trees from Sault Ste. Marie, is tested in ways he never dreamed possible when a ferocious gale suddenly materializes in Thunder Bay’s infamous “Shipwreck Alley.” Inspired by the desperate circumstances, he finds the sailing skills, bravery, and physical strength to help effect the daring rescue of his family. This original drama, written by long-time Wild Swan playwright Jeff Duncan, is based on historical accounts of the period and provides older students with a fine opportunity to explore the Great Lakes and Michigan’s history, geography, music and maritime heritage.

“Peter Rabbit” (Grades PreK-2) — Apr. 6-9, 2016. When Peter Rabbit ventures into Farmer McGregor’s garden, despite his mother’s warning, his adventures begin. From the moment Peter loses his little blue coat to Farmer McGregor’s scarecrow until he arrives safe and sound at home, this classic tale is brought charmingly to life by Wild Swan’s actors and designers. Special activities provided by Growing Hope.

“Charlotte’s Web” (Grades K-5) — May 4-8, 2016. E. B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” is possibly the best loved of all American stories for children. Set in the rural Midwest, it tells the touching story of a rare friendship between a little pig, Wilbur, and Charlotte, a most uncommon spider. The magical words that Charlotte spins in her web not only earn Wilbur a county fair blue ribbon and save his life, but inspire all of us to value what we can share with each other.

Patrons can purchase tickets online through the company’s website at www.wildswantheater.org or by phone at (734) 995-0530. Season tickets, on sale August 17, are available at a discount when ordering tickets to three or more plays. Individual tickets go on sale September 1. Discounted group rates are available to parties of 10 or more.

All performances take place at Towsley Auditorium, in the Morris Lawrence Building on the campus of Washtenaw Community College.

To learn more about the company and purchase tickets for upcoming productions, visit the Wild Swan Theater website atwww.wildswantheater.org.

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