Encore Michigan

Black and Brown Theatre performs Earth Day children’s theater in Ann Arbor April 22

PreviewYouth/Family April 18, 2019 Anne Kiley

ANN ARBOR—Black and Brown Theatre will partner with the Ann Arbor District Library Westgate Branch to present Cloud Spinner, a new live fairytale stage play for young audiences and their families that encourages children to protect the environment in their own lives. Cloud Spinner performs at the Ann Arbor District Library Westgate Branch: 2503 Jackson Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48103 (inside the Westgate Shopping Center) on Earth Day, Monday, April 22, 2019 at 4:00pm. Seating is first-come first-serve so early arrival is encouraged. Recommended ages for young audiences are 5-8 years old. The performance runs about 30 minutes and the talk-back runs about 10 minutes. 

The play uses larger-than-life fairytale characters that both children and adults will love and also includes a powerful message of not taking “more than what we need”.

In the play, a young boy named Michael has an extraordinary skill of spinning clouds into scarves to protect villagers from the heat. When Michael meets the town royals, they convince him to continue using the clouds to make scarves for fashion purposes. With the clouds disappearing at a rapid rate, the rain stops nourishing the crops and the heat grows unbearable until a smart young princess hatches a plan to save the town. Will Michael and the princess reverse the damages and make a change for the future?

Cloud Spinner’s performance is purposefully scheduled on Earth Day, Monday April 22nd because of the show’s environmental themes. Costume designer Katherine Schoetzow says, “It was important that we re-use costumes for this production so that we could tie in the environmental aspect to the performance as well as the message. We searched through thrift shops, and local theatres’ costume shops to create magical larger than life outfits that revitalized clothes that would have otherwise been disposed of. Our design element ensured that we held ourselves responsible for the pertinent message we continue to promote.”

Director Amber Nicole Price says, “I’m incredibly excited to take on the role of director for Black and Brown’s Earth Day production of Cloud Spinner. On the surface, this may seem like just a children’s play about the environment, but this production has many different layers that make it a significant piece of art for people of all backgrounds. From the diversity of the cast and crew, to the relevancy of themes presented, I hope that the audiences we meet will take something fun and memorable with them after the curtain has closed.”

Lead actress Marie Muhammad who plays the princess, will also guide children in a talk-back about the ways in which young people can take measures to protect the environment in their own lives. Muhammad is a Detroit-area professional actress who also has a degree in Environmental Science from Wayne State University.