Imagination Stage will fill the minds of its young audiences in 2017-2018 with the classics — some of them with a twist — but will start its season with a fresh play about a young girl who seeks to rescue her family by becoming a quiz show whiz.
The girl is named Lizzie, and in The Smartest Girl in the World, she hopes to step in for her brother Leo, a brainy but frequently-ill young man whose parents have prohibited him from joining their school’s TV Challenge team. Lizzie, who has been a little academically disengaged at this point, hopes to bring fortune to her family, but she finds that she has only made her brother jealous. Featuring Alina Collins Maldonado, Yesenia Iglesias, and Dallas Tolentino and helmed by Kathryn Chase Bryer, The Smartest Girl in the World will run from October 7 to 29 of this year. The company advises this show for ages six and up.
Next, see if this is familiar to you. A sweet young girl hangs out with a pig. But it’s not what you think! Fern’s close friend is a real sus scrofa domestica, whose name is Wilbur, and the play is Charlotte‘s Web. Wilbur is a prize pig, which means that notwithstanding his network of barnyard friends, his destiny is to become a spiral ham. His buddy Charlotte the Spider schemes to protect Wilbur by weaving messages about him into her web, which throws the town into an uproar. Daven Ralsten, Jonathan Feuer, Matthew Schleigh, Javier del Pilar, and Hasani Allen are in the cast of Joseph Robinette’s adaptation of the E.B. White novel; Bryer will again direct. From ages 5 up, the company recommends. The show will run from November 18 of this year to January 7 of the next.
Theatrical innovator Anu Yadav (Meena’s Dream; ‘Capers) takes on Mark Twain in Imagination’s first 2018 show, The Princess and the Pauper — A Bollywood Tale. Twain imagined the scion of a Royal family who is switched with at birth with the child of a poor couple. Yadav takes the tale to India, where a spoiled Princess forces a dressmaker’s daughter to change places with her. The newly-enthroned child sees unfairness around her, and resolves to become a just leader. Sarah Corey and Emily Madden will play the title characters and will be joined by Shanta Parasuraman, Jimmy Mavrikes, and Rafael Sebastian. Imagination Stage Artistic Director Janet Stanford will direct this show, which will run from February 10 to March 18, 2018. Imagination Stage recommends this show from age 4 up.
Stanford will also direct the spring production of Robin Hood. Chris Dinolfo plays the income-redistributing Robin in this Greg Banks’ adaptation of the classic story. Alongside Maid Marian and the Merry Men (Robin used the alliterative method of selecting his companions), Robin will give what for to the Sheriff of Nottingham and the despicable King John. The company recommends this show, which will run from April 14 to May 20 of next year, for ages from 4 up.
Aaron Posner (No Sisters) comes to Imagination to direct You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown in Imagination’s final show. This Clark M. Gesner musical (with additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa of Shrek and The Wild Party fame) tracks the adventures of “the round-headed kid” and his friends and frenemies as they make their way through childhoods that are (you’ve probably noticed) blessedly free of adults. For ages 5 and up, from June 23 to August 12 of next year.