The Ridgefield Playhouse and Ridgefield Library are partnering to bring children’s favorite storybook characters from the page to the stage! Parents are encouraged to read The Jungle Book and Stuart Little with their children, then attend storytime at the Ridgefield Library before seeing the shows come to life on stage at The Ridgefield Playhouse. The library story hour for The Jungle Book is Saturday, March 30, at 10:30 a.m., the week before the musical version of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book hits The Playhouse stage on Saturday, April 6 at 1 p.m.
The library will present a mouse tales-themed storytime on Saturday, April 20 at 10:30 a.m. and The Playhouse will present the musical version of Stuart Little the following Saturday, April 27 at 1pm.
The Ridgefield Playhouse and the Ridgefield Library have worked together to present book and live theater collaborations in the past and both non-profit organizations see such programming as essential to fulfilling their missions and serving the community. “Words truly have the power to change our perspective and transport us to another place and time,” said Allison Stockel, Executive Director of The Ridgefield Playhouse. “It’s been stated by many literacy experts that if kids read a book, and then see a live show version, they are engaged and want to discuss the differences between the two, which they liked better, what they were surprised about, etc.  And that is what really encourages literacy among children and a love for reading for a lifetime.”
“One of the objectives of the Ridgefield Library’s Strategic Plan is ‘to engage the community in meaningful and innovative ways,’” says Andy Forsyth, Assitant Director of the Ridgefield Library. “Our storytime collaboration with the Ridgefield Playhouse is a great way to achieve that objective with a longstanding and valued partner.”
At the April 6 The Jungle Book show, children can join young Mowgli as he learns the “laws” of the jungle with the help of friends like the black panther, Bagheera, and Baloo, the lovable bear. This dynamic musical adventure based on Rudyard Kipling’s classic, will delight both young and young at heart and is truly one of the “Bear Necessities” of childhood. In this story about friendship and survival, young Mowgli faces his fear and foils his nemesis the tiger, Shere Khan.
By turns funny, tender and exciting, the April 27 Stuart Little musical mixes child-size puppets with live actors to work theatrical magic. The play brings to life the E.B. White fantasy classic where Stuart, a mouse, is born into the Little family. Although he is quite different from other members of the family, Stuart is loved by all - except perhaps Snowbell, the family cat. Stuart’s adventures include getting caught in a window shade, sailing a boat, making friends, and embarking on the journey of a lifetime.
For tickets ($15) call or visit the box office, 203-438-5795 or go online at ridgefieldplayhouse.org. The Ridgefield Playhouse is a non-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT.