-Courtesy of Perpetual Motion PR
Arden Children’s Theatre fosters imagination in the region’s youngest audience members. This Spring, children and their adults can experience a wildly inventive and hilarious adaptation of a classic fairy tale. The Philadelphia premiere of Allison Gregory’s Red Riding Hood will run April 12-June 9. Opening is Saturday, April 22 at 5 p.m. Rebecca Wright directs this fun for all ages comedic take on a popular classic. All performances will be on the Arcadia Stage at the Arden.
This reimagined story puts a spin on the popular fairy tale when a delivery driver calls into question an actor’s production of the “true story” of Little Red Riding Hood. In this hilarious tale, two actors take on all the roles in this furiously fast, funny, and surprising adaptation that asks what it means to bravely write your own story. Like an unexpected package, when you open up a fairytale you never know what you’re going to find. Red Riding Hood features a cast of two highly physical performers. Playing Wolgang is Jo Vito Ramirez, who Arden Children’s Theatre fans would remember from Peter Pan. Ciera Gardner makes their Arden debut as the Delivery Person.
“We’ve cast two amazingly playful and inventive performers in the play,” said Director Rebecca Wright. “There are only two actors in the show and both of them play all the roles–everyone gets a turn at Red Riding Hood, the Wolf, Grandmama, and the Woodcutter – so it felt super important to have people who are versatile and nimble to build the show with.”
Wright directs this fun show for all ages. Andrew Cohen is the Set Designer. Krista Smith in the Lighting Designer. Leigh Paradise is the Costume Designer. Alex Bechtel is the Sound Designer. Kate Nelson is the Stage Manager.
She adds, “Everyone has a little wolf, a little kid, a little granny, and a little hero in them,” said Wright. “Everyone is in it together telling the story! And we get to see them making up this version of the story together in real time, so it’s also a love letter to theater in a super fun way.”
About the Playwright
Allison Gregory’s spirit of invention takes many forms. Her plays range from historical satires centering on under-represented women which ask us to reconsider how we got where we are, to muscular contemporary interpretations of mythology and fairytales, to intimate dramas and rowdy, irreverent children’s theatre. Her work includes Not Medea and Wild Horses, which were O’Neill Finalists and received multiple Rolling World Premieres through NNPN; Motherland, a reimagining of Brecht’s Mother Courage for a diverse world, and Trent’s Last Case, a fresh adaptation of a popular 1913 detective novel. Allison’s plays have been produced nationally and internationally by a fusion of professional theatres, academic stages, and non-traditional spaces. She has received support and commissions/grants/development from Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Kennedy Center, South Coast Repertory, The New Harmony Project, Hedgebrook, Indiana Repertory Theatre, The Playwright’s Center, the Skirball-Kenis Foundation, GEVA, Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT Theater, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, The National New Play Network, Northwest Playwright’s Alliance, Wordsmiths/LATC, and Banff Playwright’s Conference. Her plays for young audiences include Go Dog. Go!, adapted from the P.D. Eastman book and co-written with Steven Dietz; Peter and the Wolf, which toured nationally; a revved-up Red Riding Hood; Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter, adapted from the Astrid Lindgren novel and which premiered in Poland; Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!; Junie B. is Not A Crook; and Junie B., Toothless Wonder –– all adapted from the beloved book series by Barbara Park, and which have been seen at hundreds of theaters across the country. Allison has been recognized by TYA USA as “One of the 10 Most Produced TYA Playwrights”.
Her plays are published by Dramatic Publishing, Playscripts, Smith & Krauss, and Rain City Press.
Tickets start at $25 and are available online at www.ardentheatre.org, by phone at 215.922.1122, or in person at the box office at Arden Theatre Company at 40 N. 2nd Street.