Isaac McKenziesullivan as Gerald the Elephant and Joanna Gibson as Piggie

by Kelli Samson for OLY ARTS

Opening the 2016-2017 season at Olympia Family Theater (OFT) is Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” Parents and young children will undoubtedly be familiar with Piggie and Gerald, the starring duo in author, illustrator and Caldecott Medal-winner Mo Willems’ easy-reader series.

Stephanie Claire is the musical director. The play is an adaptation and mashup of a handful of the clever books in the Elephant & Piggie series. Each book has been transformed into a song, with backup singing by narrators The Squirrelles. Isaac McKenziesullivan plays the part of the elephant, Gerald. Joanna Gibson plays Piggie.

The title “We Are in a Play!” is a nod to Willems’ We Are in a Book! In that 2010 episode, Piggie and Gerald break the fourth wall and realize they are, in fact, characters in a book. The play, directed by the ever-talented Kate Ayers, will do the same.

“All of a sudden, they look at the audience and say, ‘Look at all those people out there!’” giggles Jen Ryle, OFT’s artistic director.

There are sure to be laughs from all audience members, regardless of age. There is also sure to be tenderness. Piggie and Gerald tackle friendship’s intricacies and insecurities with humor, heart and song.

For a free preview of scenes from the play, stop by OFT during Arts Walk.

This play caters especially to the youngest audience members. It runs on the short side, topping out at 80 minutes including intermission. If you haven’t taken your little one to a play yet, this may be just the right start. Even better, prepare for the experience by checking out a few of Willems’ books at Timberland Library.

What: Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!”

Where: Olympia Family Theater,
612 Fourth Ave E, Olympia

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21;
2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 22 and 23

How much: $13-$19

Learn more: 360-570-1638 |