By LUCY VOLKER
This spring Olympia Family Theater will revisit the playful musical production Go, Dog. Go!
“Eight colorful dogs will bustle, frolic, dance, scoot, work, sleep, play, sing and party across the stage as they move through their days,” says artistic director Jen Ryle. “Whether working, picnicking or preparing for bed, their playful antics will engage the youngest theatergoers, while delighting the older ones.”
The whimsical, canine characters will impress their audience by using humor and musical numbers to make attendees feel they’re experiencing a pop-up book sprung to life.
OFT first staged the play in 2012. This new production will feature some of those original actors in new roles. For example, Ryle says, “Heather Christopher appeared in our original version seven years ago as Yellow Dog. This go-around she will play Hattie, who has an awesome, show-stopping song-and-dance number at the end of the show.”
The book Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman was first published in 1961. It introduces concepts of everyday action, color, emotion and play to children. Playwrights Steven Dietz and Allison Gregory wanted to uphold the abstract, simplistic nature of the text, while making the story engaging for the stage.
Dietz and Gregory added few of their own words to the characters, aiming instead to explore the words and pictures of the original book. The music, dance and emotive qualities enliven its minimalist narrative. The audience is meant to interpret the themes of the play themselves, as they would if they were at home with their families reading the story before bed.
This production is made possible by special arrangements with Plays for Young Audiences, a partnership of Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis and the Seattle Children’s Theatre. It’s directed by Deane Shellman, musically directed by Daven Tillinghast and has music by Michael Koerner.
Olympia Family Theater generously offers one pay-what-you-can performance on Thursday, May 16 at 7 p.m.
Go, Dog. Go!
Olympia Family Theater,
612 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia
7 p.m. Fridays,
2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, May 2 – June 2;
7 p.m. Thursday, May 16 (pay-what-you-can)