Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In a Play!

Script and Lyrics by Mo Willems
Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
Megan Alrutz, Dramaturg
Based on the Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems

Synopsis

Elephant Gerald is often prone to melancholy, while Piggie is always ready to play.   Can these total opposites be best friends?  Absolutely!  Mo Willems’s award-winning and best-selling children’s books come to life onstage in the vaudevillian musical Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!”.   Gerald and Piggie sing and dance their way through pachydermal peril and swiney suspense with the help of their nutty back-up singers the Squirelles.    Before long, even the audience gets to be in on the action!

” ‘Elephant & Piggie’s We Are In a Play ‘ is great fun for children, and it’s also wildly entertaining for moms and dads, with a script that incorporates a lot of humor and jokes for the adult crowd to enjoy. All together, it’s a fabulously fun show for families and a perfect weekend outing.” – Nashville Parent Magazine

History

Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” was commissioned by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and enjoyed a sold-out run when first produced at the Kennedy Center during the 2013-2014 season under the direction of Jerry Whiddon, with music direction by George Fulginiti-Shakar. It has since gone on to be produced across the county.

Click here to see the Kennedy Center’s ArtsEdge documentary on the making of the show, featuring interviews with the creators, directors, designers and clips from the original rehearsals and final production.

Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” and Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” Jr. are published by Music Theatre International.

“Even if you have no idea who Gerald and Piggie are, you will still adore this show.” – MD Theatre Guide

Brittany Baratz, Evan Casey, Ashleigh King, Lauren Williams and Deborah Lubega at the Kennedy Center. Photo credit Teresa Wood.

Musical Numbers

1. LUCKY TO SEE YOU - Gerald & Piggie
1. LUCKY TO SEE YOU - Gerald & Piggie



2. SWIMMY!  FANCY! - All



3. DON'T GO - Gerald & Piggie



4. ICE CREAM HERO - Gerald & the Squirelles
4. ICE CREAM HERO - Gerald & the Squirelles



5. ODE TO TOY - Gerald & Piggie



6. TOY BREAKER - All
6. TOY BREAKER - All



7. ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM - Gerald & Piggie
7. ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM - Gerald & Piggie



8. WE ARE IN A PLAY - All



9. WE'LL BE FRIENDS - Gerald & Piggie



10. WE'VE BEEN LUCKY - All


Audio demo features the voice talents of the original cast: Evan Casey (Gerald), Lauren Williams (Piggie), Brittany Baratz (Squirelle), Deborah Lubega (Squirelle) and Ashleigh King (Squirelle).

“The beloved characters of Piggie and Gerald come to life on stage. If there’s such a thing as an instant classic, this is it.” – Seattle’s Child

MainStreet Theatre Company, Rancho Cucamonga

Production Elements

Nashville Children's Theatre
Nashville Children’s Theatre

Cast: 4 Women, 1 Man

Female
PIGGIE – An ebullient, inquisitive pink pig. Best friends with Gerald. (Mezzo belt)

THE SQUIRELLES – A trio of back-up singing squirrels; friends with Gerald and Piggie.  Also play DOG and PENGUIN.  (Soprano, Mezzo and Alto)

Male
ELEPHANT GERALD – A lumbering, somewhat formally attired elephant; prone to melancholy. Best friends with Piggie. (Baritone/Tenor)

Seattle Children’s Theatre

Music: Old-time Vaudeville, Jazz and Musical Theatre score for Piano, String Bass, Drums, and Reed player.  Accompaniment tracks available.
Musical Difficulty: Moderate
Technical Requirements: Minimal
Suggested Audience: Young Audiences/Families

” ‘We Are In A Play!’ was a fun experience, and a great way to introduce your child to theater.” – Broadwayworld

Authors

MO WILLEMS (Book and Lyrics) works in children’s books, animation, television, theater, and bubble gum card painting, garnering him 3 Caldecott Honors, 2 Geisel Medals, 6 Emmy Awards, 4 Geisel Honors, a Helen Hayes nomination, and multiple bubble gum cards.
He is best know for his characters Knuffle Bunny, The Pigeon, and Elephant and Piggie. He is worst known for his characters in Sheep in the Big City and The Off-Beats.  More information about Mo’s past, present, and future can be gleaned at www.mowillems.com

DR. MEGAN “AWESOME” ALRUTZ (Dramaturg) heads the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities at the University of Texas at Austin.  She works nationally as a scholar, dramaturg, director and teaching artist in the areas of applied theatre and theatre with and for youth. Before coming to The University of Texas at Austin in 2009, she led the M.F.A. in Theatre for Young Audiences at the University of Central Florida. Her creative and scholarly work focuses on ethical representation and youth agency in applied theatre, theatre with and for youth and digital storytelling. Dr. Alrutz has a Ph.D. in Theatre from Arizona State University and a B.A. in Theatre from Rutgers University.

She was recently awarded the Harold Oaks Award in Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA/USA 2016), the Branson Ward Endowed Excellence Award (UT Austin 2016), the Foxworth Fellowship (UT Austin 2012), Grace Hill Milam Centennial Fellowship in Fine Arts (UT Austin 2011), Excellence in Graduate Teaching (UCF 2008) and the Service Learning Faculty Excellence Award (UCF 2007). She was also awarded the prestigious Winifred Ward Fellowship in 2003. Dr. Alrutz is a two-term board member of TYA/USA, and an active member of AATE, PSi and ATHE.

Dr. Alrutz currently co-directs the Performing Justice Project (PJP), an applied performance program that invited young people to devise new work about identity-based inequities and stories from their lives. She also co-directs Patchwork Stories, an on-going community-engaged performance project in partnership with the University of Exeter.

DEBORAH WICKS LA PUMA (music) – see her bio page

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