An enthusiastic novice naturalist and a host of lovable, laughable animals, birds, flowers and insects will help you discover the extraordinary in the ordinary during Animal Tales, the Chemainus Theatre’s 2012 Kidzplay.
Animal Tales, which opened July 20 and runs until Aug. 25, comes alive with an energetic combination of storytelling, colourful costumes, music and audience participation that will transport theatre-goers into a magical world exploring animal tales from around the world.
Audience members discover how kindness is rewarded between a larger-than-life lion and brave little mouse, how a flamboyant butterfly regrets being too picky with her zany flower friends, how a Jamaican crab family learns to love who they are, and why you should never underestimate your opponent during a jumping contest between a grasshopper, a June bug and a flea.
Chemainus Theatre Festival’s artistic director, Mark DuMez, has adapted classic tales by Aesop, Brothers Grimm and Hans Christen Anderson as part of the original Kidzplay Series in 2003 and reworked Animal Tales for 2012.
“We are excited to bring back Animal Tales for the 20th anniversary season,” DuMez says in a press release. “Animal Tales explores common themes that everybody can relate to, including the meaning of true friendship, who we are, where we belong and the meaning of home.”
Starring Ella Simon as Nadine the naturalist and Stefano Giulianetti as the sparrow clown, Animal Tales features set design by Marshall McMahen, lighting design by Mike Bowen and costume design by Michelle Lieffertz. The play is being stage managed by David Baughan.
Audience members join Animal Tales host Nadine, an energetic and enthusiastic novice naturalist who is our guide on a show that follows the trails and tails of animals in extraordinary circumstances doing extraordinary things.
Nadine is on the lookout for the Passer Domesticus, and as she searches for this extraordinary creature, she meets many interesting animals, including a sparrow clown who sings the blues, but they can’t distract her from her quest.
Simon and Guilianetti play every character, and they shine in their many roles — they are funny and full of energy, and they both do a great job of switching characters, personalities and even accents. They have the audience laughing out loud and participating in their adventure.
As Nadine searches for the Passer Domesticus, we meet a loving lion, a vain butterfly, happy crabs and a little guy who wins. They entertain us and make us laugh, but each tale also teaches us something important about helping each other out, accepting others, being OK with who you are and never underestimating others.
Animal Tales runs Tuesday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for all ages, and family packs are available — buy three tickets and receive one free. Click here for more details.