Starting June 12 Elm Street Cultural Arts Village leaps from the page to the stage with Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!,” a new musical based on the works of Mo Willems.

Through a series of vaudeville-inspired scenes that introduce audiences to the world of theater, best friends Gerald and Piggie sing and dance their way through a whimsical story of friendship. The show is presented in partnership with Learning Express Toys of Woodstock.

“Books can transport you, even when translated on stage,” said Tom Milley, the show’s director.

Milley has a particular fondness for these types of shows because of their complexity, universality and challenges for both actors and designers.

“Elephant & Piggie’s ‘We Are in a Play!’ appeals to a child’s intellect, their sense of wonder, and their sense of humor (or their dad’s),” he said.

The musical was commissioned by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in 2012 and is now produced across the country. Featuring a fun, bouncy score by Theatre for Young Audiences veteran Deborah Wicks La Puma as well as lyrics and script by Mo Willems himself, the show draws on six of the best-selling Elephant & Piggie children’s books for inspiration.

Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” features a small, five member cast including Karen Collier as Piggie, Nicholas Vavra as Gerald and Ashley Martin, Olivia Adams and Virginia Worthington as the Squirrelles. Siobhan Brumbelow, Elm Street’s Associate Artistic Director, loves that the show is an accessible way into the arts.

“Elephant & Piggie is very inviting to those who may not be accustomed to seeing theater,” he said. “Full of larger than life characters and endearing moments, audiences will find ways to connect to and explore the world of theater.”

The musical runs for two weekends from June 12 through June 26 and includes three Wednesday morning performances. Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play” is rated G and is appropriate for audiences of all ages to attend.

The complete performance schedule is as follows:

Wednesday

June 12 — 10 a.m.

June 19 — 10 a.m.

June 26 — 10 a.m.

Saturday/Sunday

June 15, 16 — 2:30 p.m.

June 22, 23 — 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now at www.elmstreetarts.org. Prices are $13.50 in advance and $15 at the door.

Born and raised in the Canton/ Woodstock area, a graduate of Reinhardt University and a lover of life.

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