It’s been a crazy first week at DTF. We opened our season with The Stinky Cheese Man on Saturday and it’s such a great show. I love when we have the opportunity to bring theatre for young audiences into the community, because it’s such an important thing, to get children involved in the arts from a young age. This is the perfect show because it’s fun and magical, and filled with opportunities for audience participation.
The show is produced by The Theatre Institute at Sage, which is based in Troy, NY and produces a lot of great educational and TYA shows. This performance is loud and silly and a really wonderful adaptation of the book. Larry Burns and Gail Murray of Berkshire On Stage were kind enough to come out to Dorset to check it out, and they had nothing but good things to say, calling the show “delightful” and “incredibly funny” and the singing “wonderful”.
I was particularly excited about this show when we announced it because it’s based on a book that I absolutely loved as a child (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka). My apprentice and I took advantage of the Manchester Community Library’s Open House pm Saturday Morning to read the book to a group of children (and to eat free ice cream and hang out with some very cute ponies from the East Dorset Equine Rescue!).
I’m going to take this opportunity to introduce our wonderful artistic apprentice Krista Thorp who just graduated from Bennington College and is here with us for the summer. She’ll be posting on here as well this summer. Here’s Krista’s take on The Stinky Cheese Man opening weekend:
I was lucky enough to get a break in my day to go see The Stinky Cheese Man this Saturday afternoon. I only read the book for the first time this summer, and I was excited to see how the company moved it to the stage. The adaptation, and the performance, did not disappoint. In the original book, the narrator, usual an all-seeing third party in fairy tales, is a character that interjects his own opinions and personality into the story. This character as well as the tone that he lends to the text moved flawlessly onto the stage and the live performance allowed that aspect of the story to grow and change in a way that was entertaining and clever. The commentary on literature in the book became a commentary on theater in the play, with songs about the structure of a theater piece and the way that actors interact with each other. The story, as it does in the book, takes on its own life, and the cast must try desperately to keep up with it, which they do very successfully. Not only are they skillful performers, their clear passion for entertaining children, improvisational abilities, and lively energy make the play totally engaging and a lot of fun for kids and adults alike. Children got to to onstage to participate in some stories, and the cast responded to the unsolicited comments that the young audience provided with humor and elegance. They were as engaged with the audience as the audience was with them.
It was a great kick-off weekend and we are super excited to get going. Check back later in the week for more exciting start-of-season events and don’t forget to grab tickets for Stinky Cheese Man this Saturday at DTF!