This December, Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre Company will bringing The Borrowers to life as part of the Arden Children’s Theatre. The play is an adaptation of the beloved children’s novel by Mary Norton (who also wrote Bedknobs and Broomsticks). Performances of The Borrowers will begin December 1, 2010, and run through January 30, 2011.
“Arden Children’s Theatre has become a cornerstone of our programming,” says Terrence J. Nolen, Arden’s producing artistic director. “We are thrilled thousands of families have made the Arden a treasured holiday tradition. Like many of these past productions, The Borrowers is based on a beloved series of children’s books, bringing to life the Arden’s mission to tell great stories by great storytellers â€“ for all ages.”
The Arden’s production of The Borrowers is directed by Whit MacLaughlin, who has been nominated for four 2010 Barrymore Awards. “We’re attempting to make the big and small coexist on the stage for this adventure story,” he says. “The script demands we shift the scale back and forth, and we’ll use a variety of techniques â€“shadows, puppets, an ominous musical score â€“ to make the audience feel what it is to be tiny in a massive world.”
The cast includes many Philadelphia theatre veterans, including Bi Jean Ngo as Arietty (The Threepenny Opera, Peter Pan), with Arietty’s parents being played by William Zelinski (The Seafarer) and Catherine Slusar (The BFG, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Syringa Tree). Other cast members include Steve Pacek (2010 Barrymore nomination for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie), Marcia Saunders (Barrymore nomination for Sideways Stories from Wayside School), and DelantÃ© G. Keys (One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest at People’s Light, Fatebook at New Paradise Laboratories).
This show is recommended for families with children ages five and older. There will be an opportunity to meet the actors in the lobby after the performance, and there will be a free commemorative show poster for all kids. The Arden also offers a really cool opportunity for children ages seven and older. They can join the Family Usher Network (FUN) with their adult chaperones. FUN let’s kids have a behind-the-scenes peek at how plays are created. FUN ushers receive an exclusive backstage tour, get to hand out programs, tear tickets, seat patrons and help straighten up the theatre after the show. For information, call the box office at 215-922-1122.
Single ticket prices are $16-$32. There are discounts for for kids and teens. For tickets, call the Arden Box Office at 215-922-1122, order online at www.ardentheatre.org, or visit the box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.