This month, the Shenkman Arts Centre presents a humorous, high-energy performance of the beloved Dr. Seuss classic, touring Canada for the first time.
Hold onto your hat for a fun-filled, visually entertaining production of Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat. The two Feb. 27 stops at the Shenkman Arts Centre are part of the first-ever tour of this award-winning production in Canada and the U.S.
Childsplay Theatre will perform the adaptation originally directed by Katie Mitchell of the National Theatre of Great Britain.
“This is a mime-clown show,” says David Barker, director of the North American tour. “There’s lots of really silly slap-stick and non-verbal communication – kids love it.” The production sticks to the original Dr. Seuss book fi rst published in 1957. “We do the book word-for-word,” says Barker. “You’re actually seeing the book on stage, if you will.”
He jokingly suggests every parent who attends the performance will likely be able to recite the book by heart. “This has to be the most recognizable children’s book of the 20th century. It really is an icon.
And when you watch the performers you’ll know how much joy they are getting and giving in their performance.
“They love every minute of it.”
Barker is a professor of theatre at Arizona State University, as well as an actor, director and mime artist. He was hired to direct and cast the North American production.
“I had invited one performer to audition for the role of Thing One. I thought she’d be perfect,” says Barker. “She then told me that she had an identical twin sister, who also sang and danced. So how special is that — Thing One and Thing Two are going to be identical for these performances. It’s perfect!”
What makes Cat in the Hat so exceptional, says Barker, is how it encourages kids to use their imagination to create a sense of joy in their life. “Our lifestyles and culture are awash in things digital, it’s isolating. Cat in the Hat provides a joyful way for kids to use their imagination.”
There are two performances of Cat in the Hat at the Shenkman Arts Centre on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 613-580-2700.
Visit www.shenkmanarts.ca (English) or www.artshenkman. ca (French) and order online or call 613-580-ARTS (2787). For information on the North American tour, visit www.childsplayaz.org/national-tour.