Every year, we reindeer put on a variety show before loading up the sleigh. The stage summons our magic, surges our energy and brings us together. Vixen does card tricks. Comet tells jokes. Donner recites ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.When Dancer and Prancer are getting along, they usually do a tap routine. This year, I challenged my crew to explore something different. If we can pull a heavy sleigh, we can put on a whole play! We can use our reindeer magic to play timeless characters with our hooves and with our hearts. This year’s play? The Nutcracker! A ballet, a symphony, and now… a realistic drama, told reindeer style!
We beg you to imagine yourself in St. Petersburg, Russia, 1892, in the small workshop of a toymaker named Drosselmeyer. Not just a toymaker, Drosselmeyer is also a clock maker and a mouse catcher. On Christmas Eve, his nephew, a young prince, comes to visit. But lo and behold – before Drosselmeyer’s one good eye an evil sorcerer turns his nephew into… a NUTCRACKER! To become human again, the Nutcracker must defeat the Mouse King, travel to far off lands, and fall in love with a beautiful maiden. Impossible? Not if you find yourself in a child’s dream! Drosselmeyer the Toymaker gives the Nutcracker to a young girl named Clara, in hopes that she will help the Nutcracker complete his tasks to be human again.
Join us for this reindeer tail of magic and wonder. Only magical flying reindeer can write, dance, choreograph and stage as complex a yarn as The Nutcracker. We’ve worked hard on these weeks leading up to Christmas. Without these elves Maud, Eli and Murray taking time off from building toys, the play would never be possible. Thank you Dasher, for keeping us on track as the Stage Manager. Thank you for coming, you elves and reindeer in the audience. Happy holidays and enjoy the show!
Your Esteemed Director,
Rudy the Red
Interested in seeing the show? Click here, call 1-800-838-3006, or stop by the front desk during your next visit to get tickets!
“Oh, is my tongue blue?” Here’s what our Theatre Artistic Director and director of our production of The Witches has to say about the play… Want to see more? Get your tickets to The Witcheshere and for our own special interactive adaptation of the story for preschool ages, How to Spot a Witch,here!
From the Artistic Director, Reba Short:
Why would a theatre company produce The Witches anyway? The themes are dark, the images are gruesome; for goodness’ sake, there’s a chorus of witches talking about crunching children’s bones! The Grandmother in the story seems alright, but she’s smoking black cigars! How could this possibly be a children’s play? Has the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine lost all its good sense?!
As Theatre Artistic Director, I say not in the least! We are producing the work of Roald Dahl, hailed as one of the greatest storytellers of the 20th century. He received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1983, and Children’s Author of the Year from the British Book Awards in 1990. The themes in Dahl’s books are so dark, they’re funny. The witches are so terrible, they’re loveable. The plots are so preposterous, they can’t be serious, and they aren’t, at all. That’s Dahl’s magic as a storyteller. He pushes the boundaries of his make-believe world to its furthest corners, and then keeps pushing. His imagination goes to dark and wild places, and he invites the young reader with him and counts on them to know what is fantasy. Today we are asking the same of you, our audience. Join us for this wild and awful annual convention of witches and know that it’s just pretend.
My favorite part of Roald Dahl’s books are his heroes. Always unlikely, they may seem weak at first. They are usually children who use courage and cleverness to become strong. In our play, it’s a small-boy-turned-mouse that receives the call to adventure. (It would be impossible to find a smaller hero!) If the witchy plot wasn’t so awful, it wouldn’t be necessary for the boy-mouse to save the children at all. This is a story that begs the audience not to take it too seriously, but to find inspiration in the acts of courage and magical ways that the even small heroes can save the world.
Robin Hood is a slapstick romp through medieval times that you will never forget! This fresh re-telling of Robin Hood by local playwright Brent Askari is complete with archery, romance, and a whole lot of puns. Robin is an outlaw who steals from the rich and gives to the poor, but does he have what it takes to be a true leader of the people? Pop star minstrels, merry bands, and a hip hop Lil’ J put a modern twist on this classic tale that will be sure to have you laughing in your seats.
Commissioned with support from the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust by Maine’s premier for kids, by kids acting company at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine.
For advance purchases: $8/member, $9/visitor, $16/stay and play. $1 fee applies to all tickets purchased on the day of the performance. To purchase tickets call 1-800-838-3006, stop by the front desk or visit www.kitetails.org.
Friday April 17 at 4pm
Saturday, April 18 at 1pm & 4pm
Sunday, April 19 at 4pm
Wednesday, April 22 at 11am & 2pm
Thursday April 23 at 11am & 2pm
Friday April 24 at 4pm
Saturday April 25 at 1pm & 4pm
Sunday April 26 at 1pm & 4pm
Attention 6-8 year olds! We know you’re excited to act on our stage, and we have a special class for you. This is a chance for you to learn all about acting from how to develop a character to what a monologue is. Get some experience before you audition for your first theatre show. Sign up for Where The Wild Things Are! We’ll go on an incredible adventure and turn ourselves into Wild Things.
Class meets Tuesdays from 4-5pm. (Class meets 4/7-4/28 with a final performance for family and friends on Tuesday 4/28 at 4:45pm.) This is a drop-off program; space is limited. Sign up today!
6-8 year olds / 3 week session. $45/child for members and $60/child for visitors. To register call 828-1234 x231 or stop by the front desk.
Have you noticed different birds outside now that spring is here? Come learn about WHERE birds go, HOW they know the way there and back, and WHY they travel during the spring with the National Audubon Society’s Project Puffin! Seabird Sue – a birdwatcher in her woods and beyond – will offer a variety of hands-on activities as we take a close look at bird nests, feathers, lightweight bones, and even get to dress up as a puffin during this interactive science program. Space is limited, purchase your tickets today!$4/person plus admission. For tickets call 828-1234 x231 or stop by the front desk.
Join us for a series of Shakespeare Stage Stories for all ages, every Tuesday at 11am!
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
April 3, 7 & 28; May 1 & 19; June 9 & 30: Fall in love with the poetry and a silly story from A Midsummer Night’s Dream!
*Friday times for Midsummer stage stories available on our website.
April 14; May 5 & 26; June 16: The opening scene of The Tempest takes place on a ship at sea. Together we will act out the terrible storm that leads to a shipwreck in this magical play by William Shakespeare.
April 21; May 12; June 2 & 23: ‘Tis the witching hour! Act like witches and learn some lines from one of Shakespeare’s most famously haunting plays: Macbeth!
To know some Shakespeare provides a head start in life. This grand Shakespeariment is designed for all ages, sponsored by the Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust.
Science is everywhere and for everyone! In this class designed for ages 3-5, we’ll get messy and silly as we hone our creative and critical thinking skills. This month, we’ll explore planet Earth by making bubbling fields of volcanoes, building mountains out of jell-o, acting out different types of weather, and using fossils and minerals from the Museum & Theatre’s collection to create glimmering artwork. All participants will take home a journal at the end of the month containing details of how to try these games and experiments at home!
Class meets Thursdays April 2,9,16 and 30 (no class during vacation week) from 10:15-11:15am. This is a drop-off program, and space is limited, so sign up today!
3-5 year olds / 4 week session.
$60/child for members and $75/child for visitors. To register call 828-1234 x231 or stop by the front desk.
Join wildlife rehabilitator Josh Sparks to meet some truly amazing live animals and hear some awesome stories of animal rescue! Past animal presentations have included a fuzzy chinchilla, an owl and a flying squirrel! Show is half-hour in length.
Reservations highly recommended.
$4/person plus admission. For tickets call 828-1234 x231 or stop by the front desk.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day, Museum & Theatre style! Make a love potion, play conversation heart bingo, write letters of appreciation to those you love, construct anatomical heart art, make a love bug craft and listen to your own heartbeat!
Keep your eyes on our calendar for upcoming Valentine’s Day programming!