Bay Area Children’s Theatre to Create New Musicals

The Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT) will bookend its 2016-2017 season with two original musicals inspired by popular children’s books.

The company opens its season, today, with Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site—The Musical, a tune-filled re-imagining of the New York Times bestselling picture book about hard-working construction vehicles by Sherri Duskey Rinker, with illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld.

BACT will complete its musical arc in spring 2017 with Fly Guy, the Musical, inspired by the New York Times bestselling series about a boy and his pet fly by author-illustrator Tedd Arnold.

Playwright, lyricist and composer Austin Zumbro, the creative force behind BACT’s acclaimed The Day the Crayons Quit—the Musical, is adapting both stories for the stage.

BACT is known for bringing great children’s books to life onstage in imaginative shows selected and designed for young audiences.  In addition to producing beloved, established plays, the company creates new work that introduces children and their families to imaginary worlds and different cultures.

Family Flex Pass subscriptions to BACT’s 2016-2017 season are now available, with “early bird” savings through June 30. To purchase Family Flex Passes or learn more, visit www.bactheatre.org or call 510/296-4433.

 

SEASON SUMMARY

 

BACT’s line-up of main stage shows for the 2016-2017 season features exciting tales, both old and new, for children and their families:

 

1) Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site—The Musical 

“Down in the big construction site, the tough trucks work with all their might.”  Rhyme abounds and personalities clash, as Excavator, Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Bulldozer, and Dump Truck try to finish their work before nightfall.  A world premiere with book, music and lyrics by Austin Zumbro. Directed by Nina Meehan. Recommended for all ages.

Venues, Dates, Times:

OAKLAND: Children’s Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Ave, Oakland, CA 94610, June 25 – July 31, Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO: Children's Creativity Museum Theater, 221 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, August 6 – 28, weekends at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

 

2) Seussical, TYA

The Cat in the Hat narrates the story of Horton the Elephant, Gertrude Mc Fuzz and other Dr. Seuss favorites in this streamlined, TYA (theatre for young audiences) version of the Broadway musical by Tony Award winners Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. Recommended for age 3 and up.

Venues, Dates, Times:

BERKELEY: Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA 94703, October 8 – November 6, weekends at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.  (no performances Saturday, October 23)

SAN RAMON: Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Road, San Ramon, CA 94582, November 12 – 13 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO: Children's Creativity Museum Theater, 221 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, November 19 – December 18, weekends at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

 

3) Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas - The Musical

Fancy Nancy brings Christmas to the Bay Area with her uniquely personal flare! Book by Cara Lustik and Matthey Hardy, music by Randy Klein, lyrics by Matthew Hardy, orchestrations and vocal arrangements by Randy Klein, adapted from Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O’Connor. Recommended for age 4 and up.

Venue, Dates, Times:

BERKELEY: The Osher Studio, 2055 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704, weekends: December  3 – 18; weekdays: December 20 – 23 and December 26 – 29, at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.

 

4) Pippi Longstocking

The outrageous adventures of Astrid Lindgren’s beloved, super-strong, unconventional young heroine come to life—with songs to boot!  Adapted for the stage by Thomas W. Olson.  Music by Roberta Carlson.  Additional Music by Victor Zupanc. Recommended for age 5 and up.

Venues, Dates, Times:

BERKELEY: Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA 94703, January 28 – February 12, weekends at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. 

SAN RAMON: Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Road, San Ramon, CA 94582, February 18 – 19 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO: Children's Creativity Museum Theater, 221 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, February 25 – March 19, weekends at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

 

5) Fly Guy—the Musical

When Buzz takes Fly Guy to school, his winged pet and a newfound insect pal, Fly Girl, keep things buzzing for their human friends!  A world premiere, with book music and lyrics by Austin Zumbro.  Recommended for age 4 and up.

Venues, Dates, Times:

BERKELEY: Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA 94703, April 8 – May 7, weekends at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

SAN RAMON: Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Road, San Ramon, CA 94582, May 13 – 14 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO: Children's Creativity Museum Theater, 221 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, May 20 – June 11, weekends at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

 

L. to r., Simon Trumble, Jamella Cross, Kristin Avila, Isabel To, Austin Zumbro. Photo credit: Melissa Nigro
L. to r., Simon Trumble, Jamella Cross, Kristin Avila, Isabel To, Austin Zumbro. Photo credit: Melissa Nigro

 

Established in 2004, the Bay Area Children’s Theatre, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, serves more than 90,000 children and adults throughout the Bay Area, with main stage performances in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and San Ramon; selected productions in local schools; and classes and summer camps in more than 10 East Bay communities.

Our Mission:  To inspire young audiences with imaginative productions, introduce children of all backgrounds to the excitement of live theatre, and create an engaging, entertaining, and educational environment in which children and their families can explore and enjoy the arts.

How We Carry Out Our Mission:

  • Bring high quality, professional theatre to children and their families, with artists who create vibrant worlds that are intriguing to young audiences
  • Encourage young people to explore literature, language, and the arts by producing stage adaptations of great children’s books
  • Engage preschoolers in the world of theatre with productions specially designed for them
  • Develop and perform exciting new work for the stage
  • Reach out to children who might not otherwise experience live theatre with free tickets, special performances for school groups, and touring productions at local schools
  • Create touring productions for young audiences nationwide
  • Partner with communities to meet the need for theatre education
  • Introduce children to the joy of performance through our theatre education program

 

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