The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s production of THE VELVETEEN RABBIT

TCT_Velveteen Rabbit Costume Rendering The Velveteen Rabbit

Velveteen Rabbit Costume Rendering.

Featuring IN PERSON and online performances starting next week  

CincinnatiWhen The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati kicks off its 101st season next week, it may look and feel a bit different. But the company is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue creating life-long memories through its award-winning MainStage productions with both in-person, socially-distanced, LIVE performances, as well as digitally streaming shows to watch at home or at school through the online service, Broadway On Demand. 

Starting November 12, THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, Margery Williams’ award-winning classic tale of a stuffed toy rabbit made real by a child’s enduring love will be retold in a modern and delightfully electric holiday musical staged live for audiences on TCT’s Ralph and Patricia Corbett Showtime Stage on Red Bank Road. The show will begin streaming for home and school audiences on Broadway On Demand the following weekon November 19.  

In an era of virtual reality and Minecraft, this musical captures the joy and magic of the book children and adults know and love, with a 16-bit digital twist designed to get the entire family into the spirit of the season.   

TCT’s version of The Velveteen Rabbit is set within the high-tech concept of virtual reality. We live in a world of computers, smart phones, Zoom meetings, and gaming systems. Through these digital experiences, a child’s imagination can be exercised in ways we never imagined before, said Roderick Justice, Producing Artistic Director and director of the stage production. “Virtual reality unlocks potential and draw parallels to what is real and what had the potential to be real.” 

Mr. Justice adds, “The Velveteen Rabbit is a poetic lesson in a child’s ability to love. Children are often thrust into the same situations in which our Velveteen Rabbit finds himself. They can be made to feel insecure and inadequate, or not quite “real” when bullied or teased by others. Children are often left alone with their thoughts, worries, and vivid imaginations to fill in the blanks.” 

In-person seating will be limited to 30% (or 44 seats) per performance. Demand is high and performances are expected to sell out quickly — some are already filled.  

The TCT Team has been working diligently to create and debut new safety protocols to protect the audience, staff, and the actors on stage. Most exciting are specially designed nose and mouth coverings integrated into the costumes by Resident Costume Designer, Jeff Shearer, and pre-recorded vocal amplification used to reduce the amount of respiration created by actors in the theater during a performance.  

“The health and well-being of our audience, students, and staff have been and always will be our top priority, said Kim Kern, TCT’s Managing Director and CEO. “In April, we assembled a committee of advisors, health professionals, and community leaders to guide our safety protocols. Through their constant guidance, we receive the most up-to-date information, implement strategies early, and continue to go above and beyond CDC, state, and local guidelines to keep everyone safe, happy, healthy, and creative.” 

At all in-person shows, mandatory masks for the audience, as well as social distancing, will be required. For complete health and safely protocols, visit https://thechildrenstheatre.com/2020/08/safety-protocols/.  

Live performances on TCT’s Ralph and Patricia Corbett’s Showtime Stage on Red Bank Road will take place Thursdays and Fridays at 7pm, Saturdays at 11am, 2pm, and 5pm, and Sundays at 2pm and 5pm November 12 through December 13. (Please note: shows will not take place the week of November 23 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.)    

Tickets and digital passes are on sale now. For details visit www.thechildrenstheatre.com. Ticket prices for live performances range from $25 to $30 per ticket.  

With the help of Macy’s as Virtual Production Sponsor, digital performances begin on Broadway on Demand on November 19. The presale price for a digital pass is $15.95. This presale price is only available until the production debuts online. After that time, digital passes are $18.95. Digital passes provide unlimited viewing over three days, which begin after the first view.  

THE VELVETEEN RABBIT was adapted by William S. Kilborne Jr and Albert T. Viola, features music by Albert T. Viola and lyrics by William S. Kilborne, Jr., with additional orchestrations by Steve Goers. The show is directed by Roderick Justice and can be enjoyed by all ages   

The Cast includes:  

  • Soldier, Puppeteer…..EVAN BLUST† 
  • Robot, Puppeteer…..CELIA JOY D’ASCENZO 
  • Velveteen Rabbit…..A. JAMES JONES 
  • Clown, Girl Rabbit…..MADDIE BURGOON JONES 
  • Skin Horse…..DEONDRA KAMAU MEANS 
  • Marching Bear, Fairy, Puppeteer…..BRANDI LANGFORD-SHERRILL 
  • The Boy, Puppeteer…..KAVAN VADIVELU

UNDERSTUDIES 

  • For Velveteen Rabbit & Skin Horse — EVAN BLUST† 
  • For Clown, Girl Rabbit, Soldier & Puppeteer — MARLO D’ASCENZO 
  • For Bear, Fairy & Puppeteer — MIA BELLA D’ASCENZO 
  • For The Boy & Robot — GRIFFIN HATFIELD† 

 SWING 

  • For Velveteen Rabbit, Skin Horse Clown, Soldier, Girl Rabbit, Bear, Fairy — KAYLA VOGEL 

† Denotes TCT’s Young Artists Company  

THE VELVETEEN RABBIT is made possible by the generosity of Production Sponsor, Edyth B. Lindner, Season Sponsors, ArtsWave, Ohio Arts Council, The Patricia A. Corbett Trust, The Charles H. Dater Foundation, The H.B., E.W. and F.R. Luther Foundation, and Virtual Production Sponsor, Macy’s. The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is supported by ArtsWave and the generosity of tens of thousands of contributors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.  

** Live productions are subject to capacity restrictions and safety protocol through the CDC and the State of Ohio and may be converted to a digital ticket if the performance must be canceled for any reason due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

-END- 

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