JMU Children’s Theatre brings classics from page to stage

JMU Children’s Theatre is marking the summer of 2017 with three adaptations of children’s classics: Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical and Just So Stories, presented by JMU’s Playshop Players, and Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!,” presented by Roanoke Children’s Theatre, at the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical and Just So Stories are “Forbes Family Fun” events sponsored by Union Bank & Trust.

jmu forbes centerKnuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical runs June 9-18 (June 9, 16 @ 7 p.m.; June 10, 17 @ 2 p.m.; June 11, 18 @ 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.) Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” runs June 24-25 @ 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Just So Stories runs June 30-July 9 (June 30, July 7 @ 7 p.m.; July 1, 8 @ 2 p.m.; July 2, 9 @ 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.). All shows take place in the Forbes Center Studio Theatre.

A trip to the laundromat takes an unexpected turn when “somebunny” is left behind in Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. Chock full of laughter, song and gigantic dancing laundry, this musical journey of Trixie, her dad and Knuffle Bunny is based on the Caldecott Honor-winning picture book Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by six-time Emmy Award winner Mo Willems with music by Grammy-winning composer Michael Silversher.

Mo Willems’ beloved and award-winning children’s books, Elephant and Piggie, go from page to the stage in Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” This brand new vaudevillian romp-of-a-musical explores the importance of friendship and will have audiences dancing in their seats!

One of Rudyard Kipling’s best known works, Just So Stories comes to life in an adventurous, imaginative and humorous production. Audiences will participate in hands-on activities to explore the answers to questions about how the world came to be.

Since 1993, the JMU School of Theatre and Dance has been entertaining families from across the Shenandoah Valley with quality family theatre. It became a summer tradition for families to fill Theatre II to watch fairy tales, small children’s musicals and children’s literature magically come to life. That tradition carried over to the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, where performers and audiences have the opportunity to come together in the state-of-the-art Studio Theatre.

Under the artistic direction of Kate Arecchi, JMU Children’s Theatre is a project of the School of Theatre and Dance. Six current theatre and musical theatre majors in Playshop Players have the opportunity to hone their skills as performing artists, designers and technicians while sharing their work with the local community.

The goal of JMU Children’s Theatre is to serve as many children and families as possible—regardless of socioeconomic background—while maintaining a high level of artistic excellence. Company members understand the importance of wonder and inspiration in a child’s life and are dedicated to keeping professional, quality children’s theater in the Shenandoah Valley affordable and accessible.

Tickets are $10 for children and $13 for adults. For tickets, visit or call the Forbes Center Box Office at (540) 568-7000. Contact Jen Kulju, public relations coordinator at the Forbes Center, at (540) 568-4394 or by e-mail at for further information.

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