Tag Archives: Runaway Bunny

And the Reviews are In!

It’s a beautiful spring morning here in Windsor.

I was just poking around on Mermaid’s Facebook page, and I realized that there are a great many reviews of our performances from all of our different productions and from venues all over the US, Canada, and elsewhere.

These positive reviews made my day, and the represent the work of not only our creative team in Windsor, but the dozens of performers and stage managers who have toured our shows in the last few years, as well as the crews that work with us in each venue to bring our puppets to life in another theatre full of happy children.

I’m pasting them all below — I’ve stripped out the FB links, but they are otherwise unedited.   You can check out the reviews for yourself if you’re ever so inclined.


 

Crystal Patterson — 5 star
January 7 ·
Just attended Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny in Des Moines, with our 4 year old son. Was honestly one of the best children’s productions I have been to. Whimsical, amazing life-like puppetry, and the set was so cool! A spectacular job all around!!

Linda McKenna — 5 star
November 29, 2015 ·
Thank you for the great show in Kingston, Ontario today. Our grandson got home and has spent hour putting on show with his puppet theatre. What a wonderful way to inspire imagination! Thank you for your production of Runaway Bunny and Good Night Moon

Laura N Chris Surber — 5 star
April 8 at 8:26pm ·
My son’s class came to watch your performance of The Very Hungry Caterpillar today at ASU, in Boone N.C. He was so excited to come home, and tell us of his wonderful experience. Thank you for fueling his love for the arts, in such a creative way.

Mike Coxlarge — 5 star
January 29 ·
We took our 3 year old granddaughter to the Goodnight Moon/Runaway Bunny show in Toledo. Was sure she would enjoy it, but didn’t expect much from an adult standpoint. Was I wrong! The show was incredible, from the staging, to the sets, to the absolute perfection of the performers. If you have the chance, you really need to see this show!

Sue Slade — 5 star
September 20, 2015 ·
Today was my son & I’s 6th visit to the Mermaid Theatre. Our first was in July 2013 for a preschool puppet- parent & tot workshop- where my son got to explore the world of puppetry – he even got to make his own Very Hungry Caterpillar (which got a lot of use, when reading that particular bedtime story). We followed that up with watching The Very Hungry Caterpillar that September in the theatre, then we were addicted. We even caught the World Premier of Stella & The Snow Queen here in Dartmouth. Which was also nicely done. Today’s Performance of Goodnight Moon & the Runaway Bunny lived up to our high expectations of the productions The Mermaid Theatre puts on- Well worth the 50 minute drive from our house in Cole Harbour. Keep up the good work. My son is now 7 years old- but I wouldn’t mind signing him & I up for another “Day/Halfday” Parent & Child workshop if one were available. With the distance we drive we’d have to go together- we so enjoyed our first one.

Marykate Hanko — 5 star
February 15 ·
Thank you for a wonderful show in New Brunswick NJ! It was engaging, surprising and downright magical. I can’t wait to see another one of your performances

Jennifer Hancock — 5 star
January 18 ·
We saw Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny in Cleveland last week!! Amazing show!! My son loves getting to ask a question at the end. He decides the little bunny’s name should be Tom!!

Megan MacDonald — 5 star
October 2, 2015 ·
Many, many moons ago I attend a puppet making workshop here ( I was 7 or 8) it was one of the best experiences of my childhood! Anytime I’m in Windsor, I make sure to walk by Mermaid and peek in the windows and look at all the amazing creatures

April Gomez Bloxsom — 5 star
February 20 ·
Just saw Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny at the Steifel in Salina, KS! It was a fabulous show! My 4 year old was mesmerized and loved every minute of it! Bravo!

Lesley Andrews Thompson — 5 star
February 20 ·
Just attended The Very Hungry Caterpillar at The State Theatre in Ithaca, NY. LOVED IT!! The imagination and master puppetry was beyond anything I could have imagined. Thank you for a great day!

Eric Sorensen — 5 star
January 30 ·
Just saw Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny in Green Bay! Simply the best show! My three year old loves it and was into it the whole time ! Thanks!

Allison Fitzpatrick — 5 star
March 15 at 4:56pm ·
We saw their rendition of Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny in Albuquerque and it was amazing! My 4 year old and I loved it!

Melissa Sprinkle — 5 star
April 12 at 9:38pm ·
We saw Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny today. It was an amazing show. Loved every second of it! Well done!

Elisabeth Harding — 5 star
February 13 ·
Saw The Hungry Caterpillar today, PHENOMENAL! My 2 year old was so in to it too! Will definitely recommend!

Michele Moore — 5 star
January 14 ·
My son had his field trip the other day and saw your performance. You guys did a great job.

Sarah Corney — 5 star
January 23 ·
Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny were excellent. I took my 4, 4, and 2 year olds for an afternoon out in Toledo, Ohio.

Patty Horton Moses — 5 star
February 3 ·
I just saw the runway bunny and goodnight moon with my preschoolers loved it!

Darlene Cowley — 5 star
March 1 ·
The first grade classes of Sallie Curtis Elementary from Beaumont, Texas LOVED your show today!

Jonathan Edwards — 5 star
February 13 ·
I was extremely impressed with the Eric Carle show. My 6 & 4 year olds absolutely loved it. Well done and thank you!

Kim Wipperfurth — 5 star
November 17, 2014 ·
I saw Stella Queen of the Snow with my Extended Day kids (Kindergartners), today in Madison, Wisconsin. Simply amazing! The children were interested and engaged, and it held my attention as well! The puppets are fantastic and flow just as well as live actors. It was very well done! We all loved it. We were lucky enough to see the Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar about a year ago with the same age group.
Love, love, love this group of talented people!!

Debbie Hoggard — 5 star
March 7 ·
My boys and I JUST saw Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. It was fantastic!!!

Jen Boro Peters — 5 star
September 20, 2014 ·
Took my 4 yr old and 6 yr olds to see “The very hungry caterpillar” tonight and it was amazing! I loved it just as much as they did. So happy that I decided to take them last minute!!

Maricela Verduzco — 5 star
February 14 ·
Runaway Bunny was so endearing and beautifully done.

Jen Chung — 5 star
March 16, 2014 ·
We saw the Leo Lionni show in Tribeca yesterday and the Eric Carle show last year at Symphony Space, and Mermaid Theatre is an absolute treasure! From the beautiful recreations of the books to the amazing puppets, I feel so grateful that such talented people are encouraging children and adults alike appreciate theater and storytelling.

Crystal Clark — 5 star
November 29, 2013 ·
Took my 4 year old to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar at The Smith Center in Geneva, NY. It was phenomenal! My daughter and I were mesmerized and truly enjoyed watching some of our favorite books brought to life! Incredibly talented cast and great production! I definitely recommend taking your children to see this play!

Elizabeth Martinez Anthony — 5 star
March 8, 2015 ·
I took my daughter to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar at CCC in New Jersey. It was phenomenal!! We loved it and are still talking about it. Loved how they had a question and answer at the end.

Cathy Callaway Howie — 5 star
October 30, 2014 ·
Took my first graders to The Very Hungry Caterpillar show in Chico, Ca today…fabulous show! The children couldn’t stop talking about it…and I’m still talking about it!!! Please come back to Chico. Awesome!

Tina Winters — 5 star
March 28, 2015 ·
Saw the group perform three Eric Carle stories at Black Rock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD. One of the best children’s performances we’ve ever seen!

Toh Chen Yeong — 5 star
October 3, 2014 ·
Utterly enjoyed The Very Hungry Caterpillar, down to every minute detail! It was as therapeutic for the adults as it was cathartic for the kiddos!

Jennifer Peterson — 5 star
January 22, 2015 ·
We just saw The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other stories today at The Grand Opera House…what a wonderful show!! I highly recommend it to anyone!

Elizabeth Duncan — 5 star
November 9, 2013 ·
Just Took Mirabel to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar performed by this group at The Performing Arts Center in Tampa. It was wonderful. Highly recommend for the kids.

Daniel Villegas — 5 star
October 27, 2014 ·
I had the privilege to work with you guys at Mondavi in Davis, California as well as enjoying the show. Thanks

Bhavna Talwar Bhatia — 5 star
September 28, 2014 ·
I just attended the very hungry caterpillar in Singapore. We thoroughly enjoyed it with our 3 year old.

Robin Eddy Ludwig — 5 star
February 28, 2014 ·
Took my nephew and son to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar today at The Peace Center in Greenville, SC. They loved it and so did I. Such a great job!

Anitra Buckel — 5 star
October 27, 2014 ·
Just took my 5yr old son to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar at UC Davis in CA – it was amazing! Fantastic!!

Natasha ‘Ramsay’ Kawasaki — 5 star
March 4, 2015 ·
We went to see the puppet show of Eric Carle’s work. Excellent! My kids and I were mesmerized. Just magical!!

Samantha S. Haemker — 5 star
February 4, 2015 ·
I went with my 6 year old to see The Very Hungry Caterpillar! It was an awesome show!

Susie Roell Zgodzinski — 5 star
January 24, 2014 ·
Loved the Eric Carle show yesterday at The Valentine Theater in Toledo, Ohio! Great job! The kids had a great time.

Mary-Ellen Musacchia — 5 star
January 23, 2014 ·
Took our entire kindergarten to see Swimmy, Inch by Inch, and Frederick today. Simply wonderful!


Thanks to everyone who has made this happen.  Have a great week!

 

Latest News from Mermaid Theatre

Photo by Mike Venn

(left to right) Sylvia Bell, Michael Venn, Hilary Adams, Jonny Thompson.

Things have been busy here in the office.  Our production of Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny heads out on the road this week, beginning their 9-month tour with a sit-down run at the Chicago Children’s Theatre.  After that, they’re off on an epic road trip that will take them to over 60 venues and nearly 200 shows.  When they get back to Windsor next May, they’ll have traveled over 30,000 kilometres and visited around two dozen US States and Canadian provinces.

The touring schedule is online here.

We’re also planning a return to Ireland next month.  Mermaid’s poignant adaptation of Guess How Much I Love You & I Love My Little Storybook is returning to the Republic of Ireland as a featured performance at Galway’s prestigious Baboró International Arts Festival for Children in October 2015. The itinerary includes outreach performances at the Hawk’s Well Theatre in Sligo and the Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire. First launched in 2004, the double bill has been termed “a magical, meditative experience” by a noted Nova Scotia reviewer.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 12.17.05 PMSam McBratney’s touching bedtime account of Little Nutbrown Hare, Guess How Much I Love You, has appeared in 53 languages, with more than 28 million copies in print worldwide since its publication in 1995. A second adored story, I Love My Little Storybook by writer/ illustrator Anita Jeram, features a whimsical menagerie of animals and imaginary creatures whose gentle adventures celebrate the joy of reading. Mermaid’s creative team has ably captured the enchantment of the storybook characters and their fanciful settings. Jim Morrow served as both director and production designer while Steven Naylor’s lively music score reflects the Celtic traditions shared by Nova Scotia, Ireland and Northern Ireland. The recorded narration showcases the storytelling skills of Beau Bridges.

Touring artists include puppeteers John Allen MacLean and Jeff O’Hara, and Kathryn McCormack in the capacity of stage manager. Morrow and General Manager Lisa Gleave will travel with the company, and oversee workshops and industry seminars. The tour was supported with assistance from The Canada Council for the Arts.

Mermaid’s Many Mascots, part 2.

(Jason’s Note: This is part 2 of Seann’s post.  Part 1 is here. I’m re-posting a little of the introduction as well.) 

…Tours can be long trips away from home, and it always helps to give yourself that familiar feeling whenever you can when you’re away for so long…

Our home away from home is no doubt the tour van.  It’s a stalwart puppet-wagon roving the countryside in search of children to delight, and it’s also the single place we spend the most time on tour.  So, like a home, it gets decorated…we’ve picked up quite a few hitch-hikers on the road, and their comforting presence has been our home sweet home for the past months…

Hazard

Hazard

Species: Humanoid
Material: Magnets and wire
Origin: Fredericton, N.B.
Likes: Stopping crime, Ceilings, Jet Li Flims
Dislikes: Laundromats, slamming the van door

A fully magnetic gymnastic crime-fighter, Hazard enjoys launching covert attacks at tour members from the ceiling of the van.  These are facilitated by his invaluable accessory- the magnetic grappling hook.  Though, truth be told, the hook spends most of it’s time supporting either Benny, or the Runaway Bunny’s spare carrot.

Hairy Jim

Species: ???
Material: ???
Origin: ???
Likes: Wisconsin, Fondue, Festive Hats
Dislikes: Emergency Surgery

A memento of Tammy’s medical misadventure, Hairy Jim aids in the healing process with the best of all medicines: Laughter.  His schemes and motives are entirely unknown, but we’re pretty sure he’s another of Sam’s rubber-kin.  He’s the same colour, anyway.

Clawin

Clawin

Species: Cyclops
Material: Polyester, stuffing
Origin: A gas station, Somewhere USA
Likes: The claw, carrots, Christmas
Dislikes: Being used as a pillow

“Clawin”, as he is known, is our first and only acquisition from the many fertile “skill games” of American truck stops, gas stations and Perkins’s.  He’s purportedly a character from a successful animated film with a slight and inexpensive festive twist (the antlers).  Upon winning him on the third claw, Kaitlin proceeded to jump around the gas station yelling, clapping and generally making a scene.

Henny Penny

Henny Penny

Species: Global Positioning System (GPS)
Material: Electronics, Plastic, Satellites (Not Shown)
Origin: Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
Likes: Sitting in the Front, Direct Current, Language Arts
Dislikes: Pronouncing hard “R”s, Road Work, Mornings

Our largely trusty GPS, Henny Penny has taken us more miles than we have yet bothered to accurately count, and has done so in at least 6 different languages.  Despite her prodigious knowledge of the tongues of Europe, Asia and afar, she seems to have a really hard time saying “boulevard”.  We have changed the graphic representation of ourselves from a car to a soaring eagle to better reflect our awesomenity.

(Jason’s Note, part 2: Welcome back to the “Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny” company, who gave their final performance of the tour in Windsor on Sunday.  Safe travels as you return to your families for the holidays.) 

Mermaid’s Many Road Mascots, part 1

Howdy, puppet fans!  This is Seann, from the Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny tour.  As you’ve probably gathered if you’ve read any of our other touring posts, ours is a pretty sweet deal on tour.  Entertaining the kids, seeing new places and relaxing in hotel rooms are all part of the joys of touring.  However, tours can be long trips away from home, and it always helps to give yourself that familiar feeling whenever you can when you’re away for so long.

The Van

That said, our home away from home is no doubt the tour van.  It’s a stalwart puppet-wagon roving the countryside in search of children to delight, and it’s also the single place we spend the most time on tour.  So, like a home, it gets decorated.

I thought I’d share with you some of our van decor- we’ve picked up quite a few hitch-hikers on the road, and their comforting presence has been our home sweet home for the past months.  Being puppeteers, it’s perhaps only natural that they’re mostly bizarre little toys found on our travels.

Now, without ado (that up there was exposition, not ado, so I don’t need to say “further”), allow me to introduce you:

Sam

Sam

Species: Bear
Material: Something resembling rubber (blue)
Origin: Fredericton, N.B.
Likes: Lucille, the Open Road, Playing Catch, Tending to his ‘Do
Dislikes: Gravel, Moist towelettes

One of our original mascots, we all bet that Sam would have suffered some terrible fate by now- lost at a rest stop, punctured by a sharp tortilla in the van, or just squeezed to bursting (Sam has a “stress ball” like quality to him).  Against all odds, Sam lives on and will no doubt get many more incredulous thumbs ups from passing truckers in the future.  Sam has a tempestuous tour romance with our other oldest friend- Lucille.

Lucille

Lucy

Species: Pony
Material: Plastic and imitation Pony hair
Origin: Suzie Crocker-MacLean
Likes: Metal Surfaces, Candy, Sam, Body Art
Dislikes: Split ends

A relic from Tammy’s previous tour of Swimmy, Frederick and Inch by Inch, “Lucille Ball” (assumed to be a presumed name) began our obsession with magnetic toys in the van.  Only one of her hooves is magnetic.  Can you guess which one?

Benny

Benny

Species: Sea Cucumber?
Material: Something resembling rubber (blue)
Origin: Ohio rest stop
Likes: Raves, Sharp turns, Mountaineering
Dislikes: Pole bags, High five offers, Robin

Bearing some obvious heredity relationship to Sam (though some rungs of the evolutionary ladder clearly separate them), we were unable to resist purchasing Benny, despite his ludicrous $4.50 price tag.  To our delight, we discovered not only that he is easily supported by Hazard’s magnetic grappling hook (see “Hazard” below), but he also contains some kind of LED blinking sphere, which goes off when he’s jostled.  Robin frequently relocates Benny from his immediate seating area.

Betty

Betty (fig. 1)

Species: Humanoid
Material: Something resembling rubber (purple), inert polymer (?)
Origin: Cracker Barrel
Likes: White Gravy, Hide and seek, being mistaken for human
Dislikes: Her potentially caustic insides

Assuming Betty to be another branch of Sam and Benny’s family tree, we liberated her from a Cracker Barrel after a delightful game of Pegs and a fried chicken BLT.

Betty (fig. 2)

To our horror, we found that when squeezed, her purple flesh becomes transparent, revealing an internal reservoir of roiling white ooze that her label describes as “inert polymer” (fig. 2).

She has spent much of her time since squirreled away in the ceiling nooks of the back seat.

Coming Next Week: Hazard, Hairy Jim, Clawin, and Henny Penny!  Stay tuned for more sidekicks and mascots!

Holiday Shows in Windsor #Novascotia at MIPAC

MIPAC's Mermaid gets dressed up for the holidays.

The Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts Centre will celebrate the holiday season with two productions directed to family audiences.  The Ernst Family Singers will appear on Sunday, December 4th at 7:00 PM, while Mermaid Theatre’s acclaimed Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny will mark the close of a 50-performance tour on Sunday, December 11th at 2:00 PM.  

The Ernst Family Singers, a popular choral ensemble based in Lunenburg, NS, will offer holiday music suitable for all ages featuring their renowned a cappella harmonies. The ensemble’s diverse singing styles and broad repertory have enabled them to tour eastern United States and Canada, as well as to appear on national television and radio.  Tickets are $20 ($18 for students and seniors).

Mermaid’s Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny is drawn from two of Margaret Wise Brown’s beloved children’s books. Both feature the endearing animal puppets, stunning scenic effects and evocative music, which have earned international acclaim for Mermaid. The hour-long show is ideally suited to youngsters aged three to seven.  Tickets are $12 ($10 for seniors and children).

Advance tickets for both presentations are available at Moe’s Place Music Sales at 129 Gerrish Street, Windsor, NS  (902) 798-5565. All taxes and charges are included.  Happy holidays from Mermaid Theatre and MIPAC!

Updates from “Goodnight Moon” tour, and some cool bricks!

Well what a crazy time it’s been for us.  I am the Stage Manager for Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny.  This is my second tour with Mermaid, my first being with Swimmy, Frederick and Inch by Inch in 2006/2007.  I’ve been meaning to blog but things just get so busy sometimes.  I now find myself with some downtime and thought it was a great chance to do this.  We started our tour at the beginning of October, so we’ve been out for about a month.  The beginning was a lot of driving.  We went from Saint John, NB to Bloomington, IL, then back across the country to New Bedford, MA.  We did get to see some big cities at the beginning.  We had some time in Boston, New York City and Chicago.
In amongst all of this, we had a stop at the Edward Nash Theatre at the Raritan Valley Community College in Somerville, NJ.  They have a wall of bricks that performers sign in their loading dock.  We had a great time trying to find old Mermaid bricks and we found a bunch!  Here are some past Mermaid groups that have been there.
We’ve recently found ourselves in Wisconsin.  From my last tour, I remember the people of Wisconsin being very kind and I have to say, they have lived up to their reputation.  I am so lucky to have a great team with me.  I recently had a medical emergency and was unable to make it to one of our shows, but as they say, the show must go on, and it did.  They pulled it off without me, with some help from some wonderful people at the Weill Center in Sheboygan, WI.  I can not thank everyone enough (you all know who you are!) for everything they did for us.
From there we came to Appleton, WI, where we are now for a few days off.  We had some help (thank you Julian!) come with us to help us load in to Appleton and again we had a great crew here.  I was able to make it to the load in and the show with a lot of help from the venue and of course from Kaitlin, Seann and Robin.  When you’re on the road the only family you have are your tour mates.  Mine have shown me that they are my friends and my family.  I am very lucky to have all of them and I am so proud of all of them for pulling off the show without me.  I watched them do it again today with very little help from me and as hard as it was to just watch, it was amazing to see how hard they all worked to make it happen.  I have so much love and respect for everyone.  This is a different side of touring that you don’t see very often and I thought I should share it.  It has touched my heart in so many ways.  I work for a wonderful company and I have a lot of love, support and care surrounding me.  Til next time!
Tammy

Mermaid Theatre Gets Ready for Some Serious Road-Tripping

If you only know Mermaid Theatre from our online presence, you’d think there’s not much going on here lately.

The Twitter feed has gone silent.  There are no Facebook updates.  The blog sits quietly waiting for news from the front lines.

In fact, though, things have been so incredibly busy that no one’s had time to update any of these things.  In addition to our UK tour of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar…” which is in its 7th week, and two more Mermaid shows have been rehearsing here in Windsor.

One show, “Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny” has been rehearsing at King’s Edgehill School’s theatre, and that company packed up the van and left yesterday afternoon, bound for the first show of their tour, in Saint John, New Brunswick, before heading off to do nearly 50 more shows over the next 2 1/2 months.

Seann, Tammy, Kaitlin and Robin head off on tour October 6, 2011.

The other show is brand new.  “Treasured Stories by Eric Carle” has been in the final stages of production and rehearsals for several weeks, which culminated in a final dress rehearsal here on our own MIPAC stage yesterday.  They’re packing the show today and will premiere it at the Skirball Center in New York City next week.  After that, they’ll be on the road for 9 months, doing more than 175 shows from New Hampshire to Florida to Wisconsin.

Sorting out the hundreds of final details has been the work of everyone here at Mermaid, and the office/workshops have been buzzing with the sound of saws, music, sewing machines, keyboards, and printers.  Touring company members have been floating around, alternating between hours of rehearsals and short breaks.  They have an extra step to prepare for–being on the road away from home for months.

But right now, here in the office, everything is quiet once more.  The real action of Mermaid Theatre is now out on the road.  Here’s wishing continued good luck and safe travels for the UK company, and likewise to the companies who are beginning their tours.  It’s a good time to be a Mermaid.

Jason.