April 12 – May 12, 2013
Friday nights at 7:30 (except 4/19); Saturday & Sunday Matinees at 3:00
School vacation week matinees (Tue 4/16- Fri 4/19) at 1:00
ASD: Saturday April 27 at 10:00
ASL/AD: Friday May 10 at 7:30 & Sunday May 12 at 3:00
Based on the beloved children's stories by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking showcases the fun-filled adventures of the fiery girl with braids akimbo. Pippi's unbounded imagination and absolute disregard for the rules of polite society excite and shock her pals, Tommy and Annika (and the audience too). Most times we don't know whether she's telling the truth or pulling stories from her rich fantasy world. Is her father really Captain Longstocking of the ship Hoptoad? Will he be joining her soon at Villa Villekulla? Her tales are so enticing you can't resist following Pippi as she leads burglars, policemen, circus strongmen, teachers and child welfare workers on a merry chase filled with outrageous tricks and heroic humor. Everybody will fall in love with Pippi’s bold spirit, kind heart, and mischievous sense of fun.
Wheelock Family Theatre’s new producer, Wendy Lement, will make her directorial debut with Pippi Longstocking, and she has put her stamp on the WFT mission of access; extending the production’s reach by adding a modified performance for families with children along the autism spectrum.
"Pippi is a state of mind. She will literally change everything in her world. When Pippi arrives, the music becomes more upbeat and the colors more vivid. It’s as if Pippi doesn’t fit into her world; she does things that upset the adults in her life, and at times, she is a complete disaster."
Parents of children with disabilities can often find themselves socially and emotionally isolated, with treatment of children coming within the strict parameters of a school system. Wheelock Family Theatre understands the importance of teaching to children of multi-intelligences, not through rote content, but with a focus on problem solving through a multi-sensory approach. Indeed, one size does not fit all.
"Kids with autism get silenced in all kinds of ways, and we hope they will see themselves in Pippi. Just as Pippi has her own unique set of strengths and she experiences her world differently, so do kids with autism."
Additionally, Ms. Lement will be incorporating American Sign Language (ASL) into the story. With the role of "Angel Mama" cast with Kerry Thompson, a performer who is deaf and blind, ASL simply becomes one more remarkable feature that Pippi brings to town.
"Drama is a great vehicle for children to learn to express themselves through feelings and language. It teaches kids to develop empathy, engages their imagination and encourages self-confidence and communication skills utilizing drama as the vehicle. Concentration is enhanced through practicing, rehearsing, and performing, using a child’s voice, body and mind"
An established playwright, and the founder of Theatre Espresso, Ms. Lement became the producer at Wheelock Family Theatre in August of 2012. Within her first year she has initiated the Emerging Playwrights Program with the Boston Public Schools, developed Applied Theatre techniques across the curriculums at the Graduate level of Wheelock College, and celebrated 20 years of Theatre Espresso, a touring company that uses dramatizations of historical moments in litigation to develop students’ critical and intellectual thinking, now in residence at Wheelock Family Theatre.
Pippi Longstocking marks her directorial debut at WFT.
"Drama can be a rehearsal for real life"
Wheelock Family Theatre is a professional, non-profit theatre associated with Actor’s Equity, the union of professional actors and stage managers. Located on the campus of Wheelock College, Wheelock Family Theatre seeks to improve the lives of children and families through the shared experience of live theatre.
This was my first time at the theater and the show was fabulous. The children around me were just spellbound during the performance.
– audience member
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