Monday, October 17, 2011

Wild Swan Theatre

This morning I stopped by the WIld Swan rehearsal space and watched the actors brushing up on their current play, "Once Upon a Time". I was struck all over again by the magic, not just of these high-energy, charismatic actors, but also of the mirror-acting done by the sign language interpreter. She acts alongside the regular actors, using body, face and movement as well as hand signs to express the words and characters of the play, so that children who have hearing problems can engage with the action of the plot without having to look to the side of the stage for the sign interpretation. It's fascinating to watch. It's also a great message of inclusiveness for hearing kids.

Here's information about "Once Upon a TIme":

Once Upon a Time
Family friendly, for Pre-K and up!
Thursday, October 20, 10:00am
Friday, October 21, 10:00am and 1:00pm
Saturday, October 22, 11:00am

Wild Swan Theater opens its 32nd Anniversary Season of bringing the finest theater to Michigan's families with Once Upon A Time, an engaging collection of classic stories and songs!

Once Upon a Time offers three familiar and friendly tales, imaginatively staged, and is the perfect introduction to theater for young children, ages 3-9. In true Wild Swan style, three performers (Sandy Ryder, Jeremy Salvatori, and Michelle Trame Lanzi) and musician David Mosher create all the magic inherent in these timeless stories, making this first time theater experience unforgettable. Jamie Fidler, an American Sign Language Performer, rounds out our cast.

This lively and fast paced production begins with a sweet and funny version of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.” Children will delight in the telling of "The Billy Goats Gruff" where the silly but very hungry troll is outwitted by three clever mountain goats.

“Reynard the Fox,” the second story in this collection, provides ample opportunity for audience participation. The children become Reynard’s shadow and echo, giving him all he needs to trick his animal friends. This delightful story ends with the audience getting a chance to trick Reynard!

Our final story is the classic tale of “The Three Little Pigs.” These are some spunky pigs that enjoy riling up the wolf. The three houses that each pig builds are beautifully and magically created, helping to make this story fun and funny at the same time.

Live music arranged and performed by David Mosher heightens the beauty, suspense, and humor inherent in these timeless tales. Besides playing throughout the stories, he also plays several songs which tell wonderful stories on their own. We are honored to have David who has been named “Outstanding Acoustic Instrumentalist” several years running by Detroit Metro Times.

Jamie Fidler’s signing is seamlessly woven into the action, adding another layer of clarity and depth to the stories while bringing the beauty of sign language to our stage. Backstage '"touch tours" and audio-description are available for blind audience members. Please call (734) 995-0530 for reservations for these services.

This production is part of Wild Swan Theater’s “Kid’s Classic Series” for ages 3-9. Our Classic Series introduces young theater goers to the joys of live theater. Gently told tales in a story-theater style provide first time audiences with the thrill of seeing favorite stories come to life with easy to follow plots, lively staging and physical humor, imaginative costumes and props, and many opportunities for audience participation.

Tickets $12 for adults, $8 for children and seniors
Discounts available for groups of 10 or more; $3 lap passes available for patrons under 2 years of age.
Purchase and Information: (734) 995-0530 or
Accessibility reservations: (734) 995-0530
Wheel chair seating
American Sign Language Interpreting
Audio-Description and Backstage Touch Tours
All performances at Towsley Auditorium, Morris Lawrence Building, Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E. Huron River Drive.

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