This winter, The Coterie presents Mesner Puppet Theater’s production of The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats, an endearing adaptation of Ezra Jack Keats’ award-winning book. The Snowy Day is streaming online now for families and virtual field trips through January 3, 2021.
ABOUT THE PLAY The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats celebrates the magic and boundless possibilities of the first snowfall. The story follows Peter and his friends as they romp and play, starting snowball fights, and making snow angels in this uplifting musical play about childhood joys and living life to the fullest each day. Told through inventive puppetry and charming songs, Keats’ little boy in the red coat comes to life for families with ages three and older in a collection of the stories Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, A Letter to Amy, and The Snowy Day, all originally written by children’s author and illustrator, Ezra Jack Keats.
Keats’ The Snowy Day was originally published in 1962 as a children’s picture book that featured Peter, a young African American boy exploring his neighborhood as the season’s first snowfall signals the beginning of winter. The book received the 1963 Caldecott Medal for Keats’ collage artwork, making The Snowy Day the first picture book with an African American protagonist to win a major children’s award. In 2016, Jerome Hairston created a captivating stage adaptation featuring puppets that received its world premiere at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN. Star Tribune hailed the show as, “a quiet joy.” Subsequent productions around the country have been called, “…delightful… the comforting and fun-loving songs create a sense of home…” (DCTheatreScene) and have been credited for “…bring[ing] Keats’ characters and stories to life with imagination and heartfelt emotion that endures…” (BroadwayWorld.com-Nashville). The Coterie’s producing artistic director Jeff Church says, “In 2017, Mesner Puppet Theater mounted an irresistible version of The Snowy Day — so we are excited to invite them to remount the show for Coterie audiences this winter.”
The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats runs approximately 45 minutes and is recommended for ages three and older. The Coterie is funded in part by Missouri Arts Council, ArtsKC Fund, Theater League, and Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund. The production is sponsored by Compass Minerals, which can be found online at www.compassminerals.com.
WATCH ANYTIME ON DEMAND The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats may be viewed online anytime through January 3, 2021. Available to families and as virtual field trips for PreK – 3rd grades, each purchase includes a unique link that allows streaming the performance for 48 hours, beginning upon first use of the link. The convenience of watching on-demand offers families and educators the ability to enjoy The Snowy Day from the comfort and safety of home and on any schedule.
Admission to The Snowy Day is $25.00 for small households, $45.00 for large households (4 or more viewers), and $65.00 for classrooms. A limited number of special gift packages are also available for $100.00 that includes access to view the performance on demand; a Willie the Dog plush animal; the books of Whistle for Willie, Goggles, and The Snowy Day; a Make-Your-Own Willie Puppet Kit (including glue stick, masking tape, and crayons) created by Mesner Puppet Theater; Plush Snowballs (for indoor snowball fights); and free delivery within 30 miles of The Coterie in Crown Center. Purchase admission and gift packages at www.thecoterie.org.
THE ARTISTS The cast of The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats features puppeteers Zachery Garner and Shawna Peña-Downing. The artistic and production company includes Meghann Henry (producing artistic director, Mesner Puppet Theater); Mike Horner (director of puppetry arts, Mesner Puppet Theater); Rita Sobbing (stage manager); Scott Hobart (scenic designer/technical director); Jarrett Bertoncin (lighting designer); David Kiehl (sound & projection designer/engineer); Mike Horner, Erika Baker, DaLene DePriest, Annie Kalahurka, Tab Treml, Elizabeth McManus, Hannah Rosenthal (puppet construction), and Mark Titus (videographer).
Due to the nature of live theatre, play selection, performance schedule, and casting are subject to change.