It is often hard for a parent with younger children to find wholesome entertainment to enjoy together as a family. However Austin Peay State University is doing their best to take care of that with a slate of Concerts, Art shows, and Dance & Theatre productions. Many of these events are free, or very low cost.
The APSU Department of Theatre and Dance along with the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts and the Theatre Organization for Youth by Students are currently staging a production of Puss in Boots and other Cat tales at the Trahern Theatre from April 21st-25th. Showtimes are 7:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday, and at 2:00 pm on Sunday.
This show is great for children of all ages. “Puss in Boots and Other Cat Tails” was written by Stephanie Routman, and is directed by Ricky Steven Young. It has an approximate runnning time of 50 minutes. Admission is free for children 12 and younger, and $5 for everyone else.
The tales are familiar classics and include Puss in Boots, Wild Cat and Hyena, The Magic Ring, and the show finished up with The Cat, The Rooster and The Lamb.
“They can expect to see a feast of sights and sounds because we’re using the music, very much like STOMP, through found objects,” Young said. “You can expect to be told a story, but also to laugh and learn something about other cultures.”
The enchantment starts when you enter the theatre and get your first glimpse of the set, which was built from a cats-eye view. The actors are costumed as felines who entertain the audience with their antics. The first few rows are reserved for young children only, and the performers cater to their target audience. Don’t go into this show expecting to sit passively in the audience, because at times they seek out audience participation. The performers also go out in the audience, I was surprised when without warning one of the cats rubbed up against my leg as I stood there taking photos.
The cast includes Riley Braem, Edward Garcia, Amber Gaulden, Cinthya Griffith, Heather Nicholas, Octavious Padgett, Russell Qualls and Joshua Wagner. The crew includes Ricky Steven Young, Rebecca Beasley and Amy Allen. Many of the students are members of the TOYS, which puts on children’s plays throughout the year. Young said their experience targeting an audience of children and adults has led them to discover what appeals to both demographics.
“There’s usually a lot of humor,” he said. “Since it’s the parents that take the children to these shows, you have to make sure they’re entertained.”
For more information on the show, contact the APSU Area of Theatre and Dance at 221-6767.
- MC Cat: Amber Gaulden
- Tomcat Jones: Joshua Wagner
- Fluff Daddy: Edward Garcia
- Meow Mix: Cinthya Hernandez
- Percussion/Carp: Riley Braem
- Percussion: Heather Nicholas
- Ensemble 1: Russell Qualls
- Ensemble 2: Octavious Padgett
- Director: Ricky Steven Young
- Assistant Director: Rebecca Beasley
- Directing Mentor: Rosie Coppedge
- Stage Manager: Amy Allen
- Scenic Design: Jessica Lee
- Lighting Design: Jared Richardson
- Sound Design and Production: Stephen Alexander Kemp
- Scenic/Lighting/Sound Design Mentor: David Brandon
- Costume Design: Elizabeth Hadden
- Costume Design Mentor: Leni Dyer