Escape from reality and encourage your child to live large and dream big, just like rascally redhead Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim’s Daughter Longstocking—oh, but you probably know her better just as “Pippi.”
The beloved children’s book character comes to life in April in Children’s Theatre of Annapolis’ closing production of the 2013-2014 season, Pippi Longstocking, based on the classic children’s book of the same name. Earlier this year, the theatre—now in its 55th season—delighted audiences with a locally written adaption of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as well as a sold-out three-week run of Shrek the Musical.
“Pippi rounds out a slate of incredible productions this year for CTA, which, along with our bevy of classes and workshops and a successful teen traveling troupe, has really continued to solidify our theatre as the place to go for quality children’s entertainment and theatre education,” said publicity co-chair Kelsey Casselbury. The theatre was recently named as “”Best Theatre Education Program for Young Artists” in a reader-voted poll by MD Theatre Guide.
It’s 13-year-old Madison Sokolowski of Annapolis, a seventh-grader at Severn River Middle School, who brings the title character to life. Sokolowski is no stranger to the CTA stage, having appeared most recently as the Ugly Ducking in Shrek the Musical and as a dwarf inSnow White. She’s surrounded by a 30-plus-member cast, all ages 8 to 14, who hail from Annapolis and its surrounding communities.
“The cast is working hard developing through their acting skills these colorful characters that Astrid Lindgren wrote about in her books,” said director Megan Murphy of Crofton. Murphy is new to CTA, but is a 15-year veteran performer in equity, regional and summer stock theaters, as well as amusement parks and cruise ships. She was drawn to direct this particular production because of a fond recollection of watching the Pippi Longstocking mini-series as a child, as well as because of the life lessons that free-spirited redhead offers.
“There’s a little bit of Pippi in all of us,” Murphy said. “I think she teaches us a few life lessons that we should take more seriously. She’s not afraid to try new things or experience changes in her life. Pippi always makes the best of a difficult situation and lives life to its fullest.”
Choreographer Michelle T. Davies, local dance instructor, and music director Laura Tayman, the director of communications for St. Margaret’s Church in Annapolis, round out the artistic staff. Because of the talented cast, Tayman and her assistant/daughter, Anna Tayman, have had their work cut for them, as they added extra songs to the production to showcase the ensemble.
“Tayman and her daughter took extra time translating songs from the score from Swedish to English, creating new lyrics and orchestrations,” Murphy said. “The tunes are catchy and character development stems from the music and lyrics.”
Pippi Longstocking opens Friday, April 4, and runs through Sunday, April 13. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; sign language interpretation is available at the 2 p.m. Saturday, April 5, performance, though you must call to reserve specialty seating. For tickets and more information, call 410-757-2281 or visit www.childrenstheatreofannapolis.org.What. Pippi Longstocking Where. Children’s Theatre of Annapolis, 1661 Bay Head Road, Annapolis, MD 21409 When. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 4 to 13 Tickets. $15 adults, $12 seniors and kids 12 and under. Special rates available for groups 10 and more. Call. 410-757-2281 Web. www.childrenstheatreofannapolis.org