Harold and the Purple Crayon Lands in Minneapolis

by Lexa Pennington / Jan 10, 2012 /
Lexa Pennington's picture

Bursting with inspiration and innovative stage magic, Harold and the Purple Crayon, a new theatrical production developed at Seattle Children’s Theatre (SCT) arrives at Minneapolis’ Children’s Theatre Company (CTC), this month.

 

Harold in the Purple Crayon at Children’s Theatre Company

 

 

Opening Jan. 20 (previews begin Jan. 17), Harold and the Purple Crayon is an imaginative and sophisticated interpretation of the beloved books by Crockett Johnson. Sketching himself into a wide variety of adventurous situations with his trusty purple crayon, Harold must quickly problem solve – drawing upon surprising visuals, mixed with creative, moving scenery and inventive puppetry – to accomplish all that his imagination can achieve.

“This is a beautiful piece,” says Peter Brosius, Artistic Director for CTC. “This production uses breathtaking animation, a gorgeous musical score and Johnson’s beloved stories to celebrate the child in all of us.”

 

Don Darryl Rivera as Harold. Photo by Chris Bennion

Don Darryl Rivera as Harold. Photo by Chris Bennion

 

 

Originally developed by Seattle Children’s Theatre, the stage production of Harold and the Purple Crayon results from a collaboration between Don Darryl Rivera, Rob Burgess (lyrics) and Auston James (music). Rivera, who also plays the part of Harold and has garnered roles on nearly all of Seattle’s major stages (including Taproot, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Intiman, SCT and Seattle Shakespeare Festival), regularly appears at SCT in favorites like Lyle, the Crocodile, The Brementown Musicians and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Harold and the Purple Crayon marks the first time he has penned a theatrical production.

 

Caety Sagoian, Khanh Doan and Don Darryl Rivera in Harold in the Purple Crayon at Children’s Theatre Company. Photos by Chris Bennion.

Caety Sagoian, Khanh Doan and Don Darryl Rivera in Harold in the Purple Crayon at Children’s Theatre Company. Photos by Chris Bennion. 

 

 

Auston James is also a Seattle-based artist. He is a composer, singer and actor and has played many roles at SCT, including the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, Horton in Seussical and Snail, and more recently Frog, in A Year with Frog and Toad. Harold and the Purple Crayon is his theatrical composition debut as well. Rob Burgess, who has been contributing to Seattle’s performing arts for more than 30 years, developed the lyrics for this creative production. Burgess’ acting work has included Inherit the Wind and Elephant Man at Strawberry Theatre Workshop, Angels Fall at Our American Theater Company and Twilight Zone LIVE 2011 for Theater Schmeater.

Harold and the Purple Crayon is directed by Rita Giomi. Her Seattle-area credits include The Violet Hour for Seattle Public Theater and Wittenberg for Seattle Shakespeare Company.  She has worked at Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT, The Empty Space, TAG, Theater Schmeater, Center Stage and has numerous SCT productions to her credit, including If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, A Tale of Two Cities, Hamlet, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), Jason and the Golden Fleece and Sleeping Beauty.

 

Khanh Doan in Harold and the Purple Crayon. Photo by Chris Bennion.

 

 

 Harold and the Purple Crayon will run from January 20 through February 26, 2012. Tickets range from $26–$40 for adults and $16–$30 for children (17 & under), students and seniors and are available by calling (612) 874-0400 or by visiting childrenstheatre.org. Support for Harold and the Purple Crayon is generously provided by Deluxe, CompuNET International and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

 

Don Darryl Rivera as Harold. Photo by Chris Bennion

 

 

Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) is the first theatre for young people to win the coveted Tony® Award for Outstanding Regional Theater (2003). Founded in 1965, CTC serves more than 300,000 people annually and is one of the 20 largest theater companies in the nation. CTC is noted for defining worldwide standards for youth theatre with an innovative mix of classic tales, celebrated international productions and challenging new work.

 

 

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright CTC

 

 

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