From bright pastel motorcars to eager tree-climbing puppies, every detail in family show “Go, Dog. Go!” is carefully created to match those from the fun-filled children’s book by P.D. Eastman, says director Andrés Alcalá with Childsplay theater company.
The goal: to let children see their favorite characters come alive and experience the story in a thrilling new way.
“We want to instill wonder and imagination to the children as they’re watching the show, and we tried to implement as many details of the book as we could,” Alcalá says. “Here they are using their imaginations in a different way than reading the book over and over, or re-enacting it in their bedroom.”
The Childsplay team also sought out-of-the-box ideas for infusing excitement to hook young audiences, Alcalá adds.
This involved adding a generous amount of slapstick comedy, he says, making the show accessible to all.
“My approach is using physical comedy in a clowning way, to get a lot of the story across in places where we don’t have words,” he says. “The physical comedy in the show is so universal that grandmas, grandpas, daughters, mothers, even teens are going to laugh at the absurdity.”
The company also expanded the show’s plot to include audience participation, he says.
This includes inviting audience members to play in a high-energy game of baseball — with a beach ball, no less.
“It’s engaging them physically on stage as part of the show,” Alcalá says.
The up-tempo musical numbers also add a surprising new dimension to the story, he adds.
“The music is mostly based around an accordion sound, so it’s a very clown-esque sound,” he says with a chuckle.
A Show Designed for Families
The first production of The Smith Center’s new four-show Family Series, “Go, Dog. Go!” is also the first show this school year The Smith Center will present in student matinees to local schools.
The Smith Center is thrilled to include an evening performance of the show to offer community families a chance to experience live theater together.
The show’s ticket prices from $14.95 were set with families in mind, to provide an accessible theater experience for all.
The show also promises a family friendly atmosphere, where children can feel free to embrace their energy and enthusiasm for what they see on stage.
“Kids know all the words to the story. Their response is almost anticipatory,” Alcalá says of audience reaction during the show. “They will leave with a big smile on their faces, for sure.”
“Go, Dog. Go!” runs at The Smith Center on 9/27.