Extended Education staging not only tells a good family story, it shows influential young audiences a woman of color in a leading role
Corduroy, DCPA Education’s latest Theatre for Young Audiences offering, already has been seen by more than 25,000 students, teachers and families as it enters its sold-out extension week (through December 16) in the Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre. Corduroy, based on the children’s books Corduroy and A Pocket for Corduroy by Don Freeman, is a tender comedy about a teddy bear patiently waiting on a department store shelf to find a home. A young girl named Lisa thinks he’s just the teddy bear for her. It is an enduring story of true friendship and the lengths we go to find it.
Those interviewed include cast members Jake Mendes, Kristina Fountaine, Kristen Adele and Jessica Robblee, as well as Director Allison Watrous, also DCPA Education Executive Director. The intended audience for Corduroy is Pre-K through 3rd grade.
“When I was young, I was always looking for books that were representative, and this one was a joy because there was a main character who looked just like me,” said Adele. Added Fountaine: “It was really impactful for me when I first saw a woman of color on a stage, and I could see myself for the first time. … It really propelled me forward and pushed me to actually pursue (acting). If we can give one kid the perspective that ‘I can be this’ …”
Last fall, the DCPA launched its new Theatre for Young Audiences program with The Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats, welcoming nearly 19,000 audience members — 79 percent of whom attended the performance on a full or partial scholarship.
“If you cultivate the wonder of the arts at an early age, then that becomes part of the fabric of the learner — and the human being,” said DCPA Executive Director of Education Allison Watrous. “Theatre makes stronger readers, collaborators and creative thinkers. Theatre makes connections to the world through the power of storytelling. There are so many beautiful transferable skills students can develop through seeing live theatre.”
Corduroy: Ticket information
- Based on the books by Don Freeman
- Licensed by CBS Consumer Products
- Adapted for the stage by Barry Kornhauser
- Through Dec. 16
- Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre
- Weekday student performances are $10 and weekend performances are $15
- Remaining performances are sold out but click below for information on possible cancellations