OMAHA, NEB.: The Rose Theater has announced its 2017-18 season, featuring six mainstage productions, a holiday show, and performances for the very young.
“The Rose is a place where parents can bring their children and know that they will not only have a special time set aside for their family—a time that will resonate in their memory for a lifetime—but they will also receive a real benefit in the lessons that they will learn through the stories being told onstage,” said artistic director Matt Gutschick in a statement.
The mainstage season will start with David Wood’s Babe the Sheep Pig (Sept. 8-24), based on the book by Dick King-Smith about a tiny piglet who discovers that he has a talent for gently herding sheep. The show is recommended for children ages 5 and up.
Next up will be Madagascar: A Musical Adventure (Oct. 6-22), with book by Kevin Del Aguila and music and lyrics by George Noriega and Joel Somellian. Based on the DreamWorks animated movie, the musical follows about a group of animals who venture from the Central Park Zoo to Madagascar.
Following will be the world premiere of Gutschick’s Van Gogh & Me (Nov. 3-12), about the artist and his friendship with a young girl living in a provincial town in France. The play tackles issues of bullying, cruelty, and mental illness, and is recommended for audiences ages 10 and up. John Hardy will direct.
Next up will be The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Dec. 1-23), adapted by Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner from Barbara Robinson, about a group of disruptive kids who crash Sunday school and demand parts in a church’s annual Christmas pageant. Anthony Clark-Kaczmarek will direct.
The season will continue with Seedfolks (Feb. 23-March 11, 2018), adapted by Sonja Parks from Paul Fleischman. Produced by Children’s Theatre Company, the play tells the story of a young girl who plants seeds in the rat-infested parking lot next to her apartment and inspires her neighborhood to make the world a better place. Parks will star. The show is recommended for children ages 8 and up.
Next will be Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure (March 23-April 8, 2018), with book and lyrics by Rachel Rockwell and music and lyrics by Michael Mahler, which retells the classic tale through a rock-n-roll lens. Justin Perez will direct. The musical is recommended for children ages 5 and up.
Following will be Curious George & the Golden Meatball (April 20- May 6, 2018), with music by John Kavanaugh and book and lyrics by Jeremy Desmon, about an inquisitive monkey who travels to Rome to enter his friend’s meatball recipe in the world-famous Golden Meatball Contest. Stephanie Jacobson will direct. The show is recommended for ages 4 and up.
The final show will be Newsies (June 1-17, 2018), with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and book by Harvey Fierstein. Based on the Disney film by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White, this musical is about the newsboy strike in 1899.
The theatre will present theatre for the very young programming as part of the season. First up is David Kilpatrick’s Point A to Point B (Oct. 21-Nov. 12), about two whimsical characters in a laboratory of found objects who are charged with the task of getting a ball from point A to point B. The show is recommended for children ages 2 and up.
Another show for the very young will be the world premiere of Wynken, Blyken & Nod (Feb. 10-March 4, 2018), adapted by Ashley Laverty from a poem by Eugene Field, a visual play about fishing and sailing through the stars featuring the words of Field’s poem and live music. The show is recommended for children ages 2 and up.
The Rose Theater, founded in 1948, brings plays and musicals to children and families in Omaha.