Monday, November 7, 2011

Walk Two Moons At Adventure Stage-Photo Filled Review & Free Ticket Entry

ChiIL Mama's photos from opening day of Walk Two Moons post show Q & A and book signing with Sharon Creech

"Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins."

 all production photos by Johnny Knight
ChiIL Mama checked out the opening of Walk Two Moons on Saturday and we were quite impressed.  This world premier adaptation remains true to the core and spirit of the Newbery Medal-winning novel by Sharon Creech, while translating beautifully to stage.   This is a must see production for older children, and this heart wrenching tale was so well told, it brought a good portion of the audience to tears, adults and children alike.   

This play is recommended for ages 9 and up. (4th - 8th grades)   Please note: Children under age 5 are not permitted in the theater.  This is an intense production, and even older, sensitive children may not be emotionally mature enough to handle it.   If you are in doubt, please read the book yourself in advance, or research it well.   

My 3rd and 5th graders understood the material and were less teary eyed than I was.   They both enjoyed the production and were fine with the tougher aspects of the story line.   Sometimes kids are surprisingly resilient, and mine are more macabre in their own imaginary play than anything I'd take them to or let them watch.   Although there's nothing graphic depicted in the show, mature themes do include still birth, parental abandonment, suspected murder, and more, so parental guidance is strongly encouraged.

We don't want to include too many spoilers, as the audience investment and emotional impact of the show are enhanced by certain surprises and plot twists.   That said, I can tell you the acting is superb and Adventure Stage once again presents a show worthy of their excellent reputation.   We were particularly impressed with the depiction of the physical and metaphorical journey of the protagonist--not an easy feat on stage.   This painful and poignant tale is not without it's humor and tenderness, and the tale is a good one, with universal truths and compelling characters that will come back to you for weeks to come.


Of course, one of our favorite parts of each Adventure Stage show is the Q & A after.    The cast comes down and casually sits on the edge of the stage to chat with the audience.   They all recount how old they were when they started acting--many as young as kindergarten or early elementary school.    They also tell where they're from.   Parents and kids are welcome to question the actors, and in this case the adapter, director and original author as well.   It's an informative and intimate way to wrap up each show and clarify any questions.

Walk Two Moons is based on the Newbery Medal-winning novel by Sharon Creech, and it was a treat to meet Sharon Creech in person on Saturday.   The lengthy line of eager fans awaiting her signatures on their books encircled the room.    Fortunately, patrons were also treated to a free ice cream social, a long running opening day tradition at Adventure Stage, so people had a sweet treat to eat during the wait.

ChiIL Mama is currently setting up a video interview with Tom Arvetis (ASC's Producing Artistic Director) and Chicago dad, who adapted the book for stage.   

We're also super stoked to offer our readers a free family 4 pack give away.   Enter right here through midnight on 11/14, and our winner will be announced on FREE TICKET TUESDAY 11/15.   You'll have your choice of show times/dates pending availability.   Enter right here for all of our November/December Family Friendly concert & theatre tickets, and Toy and Game Show Weekend Family Passes.

Walk Two Moons Details
Thirteen-year-old Sal's mother left over a year ago. When her friend Phoebe's mom disappears, painful memories of Sal's own abandonment come to the surface. Determined to find Phoebe's mother, the girls begin seeing murderous plots and schemes around every corner. Sal shares these conspiracy theories with her Gram and Gramps during a cross-country trip to confront her mother. But it is only through the telling of her friend's tale that Sal ultimately realizes that things - and people - are not always what they seem.

Education Matinees
Weekdays at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 8, 15, 17, 22, 29, 30
Dec. 1, 6, 7, 8
Previews: 10:30 a.m. Nov. 3 & 4

Weekend Performances
Fridays at 7:30
Nov. 11
Nov. 18
Nov. 25
Dec. 2
Saturdays at 4:00 and 7:30
Nov. 12
Nov. 19
Nov. 26
Dec. 3

Read the Book, Join the Conversation!
Check the details below for book and registration information. Each book discussion participant receives buy-one-get-one-free tickets to Adventure Stage's production of Walk Two Moons.

November 30, 2011 - 6:30pm
Sulzer Regional Library - 4455 N. Lincoln Avenue
Book Discussion of Walk Two Moons
Call 312.744.7616 to register.

Walk Two Moons
Adapted for the stage by Tom Arvetis (ASC's Producing Artistic Director)
Based on the novel by Sharon Creech
Directed by Matthew Reeder

November 5 - December 8, 2011

Evening Performances: $20 adults, $15 kids 14 and under. Matinee Performances: $17 adults, $12 kids 14 and under.
School Groups: $8 per student, with one complimentary chaperone ticket for every 10 students. Public Groups: $11 for groups of 10 or more.

Adventure Stage has switched to reserved seating this season, so advance ticket purchase secures patrons the best available seats in the theater. For tickets, call 773-342-4141 or visit

WALK TWO MOONS cast is comprised of Tanya Chu McBride (Sal), Baize Buzan (Phoebe), Casey Cunningham (Sugar/Mrs. Winterbottom), Dani Bryant (Margaret/Nurse/Mary Lou), Millicent Hurley (Gram, Mrs. Partridge), Sandy Elias (Gramps, Sgt. Bickle), Michael Peters (Mr. Winterbottom/Doctor/Brother), Kyle Johnson (Ben/Lunatic/River Bank Boy), Joe Zarrow (Mr. Birkway/John/Sheriff) and Skyler Schrempp (Sal understudy).

WALK TWO MOONS production staff consists of Tom Arvetis (Playwright), Matthew Reeder (Director), Ellen Willett (Stage Manager), Morgan Gire (Asst. Stage Manager), Andrew Wheatley (Sound Design/Composition), Mikhail Fiksel (Sound Consultant/Addl Composition), Simon Lashford (Scenic Design), Lacy Campbell (Prop Design), Mike Durst (Lighting Design), Laura Kollar (Costume Design), Kyle Land (Technical Director) and Sarah Fornace (Movement Director).

Tom Arvetis (Playwright) is the founder and Producing Artistic Director of Adventure Stage Chicago, where his directing credits include And A Child Shall Lead and the world premieres of The Blue House, Katrina: The Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back and I Dream In Blues, a "blues-ical" he co-wrote with Chicago blues veteran Katherine Davis that was called "the sleeper hit of the season" by the Chicago Tribune. Other playwriting credits include a stage adaptation of poet Kenneth Patchen's radio play The City Wears A Slouch Hat.

Matthew Reeder (Director) is the Artistic Director of BackStage Theater Company, where his directing credits include Aunt Dan & Lemon, The Play About The Baby, On An Average Day, and the critically acclaimed production of How I Learned To Drive. In addition to directing credits across Chicago, he has previously helmed the Adventure Stage productions of Holes, Still Life With Iris and The Shakespeare Stealer.

Sharon Creech (author) is a former high school English teacher and has written several novels for young adults, including Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Chasing Redbird, Pleasing the Ghost, Love That Dog and Ruby Holler. Her novel The Wanderer was a Newbery Honor book in 2000, and Walk Two Moons was awarded the 1995 Newbery Medal, as well as the United Kingdom Reading Association Award, United Kingdom's Children's Book Award, Austria's Literaturhaus Award and the Young Adult Sequoyah Award.

Adventure Stage Chicago creates dynamic and transformative theatre for young audiences that activates the imagination, inspires dialogue and strengthens community among families, educators and artists. We strive to become Chicago's premier destination for theatrical productions and programming designed for young people and the adults in their lives; we aim to be leaders in theatre education through professional development workshops, residencies and resources that offer innovative ways to infuse theatre into the classroom; and we seek to cultivate and create challenging new work as well as produce celebrated
stories. This is Adventure Stage's eighth season.

Last season, Adventure Stage served over 5,000 students from 76 schools throughout the Chicagoland area and over 1,500 audience members for our weekend performances.

Each Adventure Stage Chicago production presents weekday matinees primarily for school groups, as well as weekend performances for the general public. Every performance includes a post-show audience talkback with the cast. Out of respect for our actors and audience members, children under age 5 are not permitted in the theatre during a performance.

All shows are performed at Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., in the heart of Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. Street parking is available, and the theater is close to the Noble St. stop on the #56 Milwaukee bus line and the Division stop on the CTA Blue Line. The theatre is wheelchair accessable.

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