Imagination Stage’s winter repertory features two stories celebrating cultures and messages from near and far, directed by two award-winning DC theatre artists
February 8 - April 5, 2020
BETHESDA, MD (January 29, 2020). This winter, Imagination Stage presents two unique stories in repertory: Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth - a remount of Imagination Stage’s 2009 Helen Hayes-Nominated commissioned work - and Thumbelina - a world-premiere multimedia play. Raymond O. Caldwell, Producing Artistic Director of Theater Alliance, directs Zomo the Rabbit, a DC-based retelling of a Nigerian folktale. Award-winning director, adapter, and set designer Natsu Onoda Power directs Thumbelina, a world-premiere adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. Zomo the Rabbit plays from February 8 through March 22. Thumbelina plays from February 15 through April 5.
"We love the rep format at Imagination Stage because in addition to two stories, our young audiences get a terrific lesson in theatricality,” says Founding Artistic Director Janet Stanford. “The same company of five actors can be seen in two completely different stories—one a hip-hop trickster tale and the other a refreshed update of a Hans Christian Andersen classic. Not only does our versatile set transform from one world to another, our performers are seen playing wildly different characters. If you want your children to learn how live theatre differs from movies, there is no better way than to bring them to both Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth and Thumbelina. Come and be amazed!”
The opening night and press performance for Zomo the Rabbit is February 8, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
The press performance for Thumbelina is February 16, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.
Press tickets and photos are available upon request.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Tickets are $15-35 and may be purchased online at imaginationstage.org, in person at the Imagination Stage box office, or via phone at 301-280-1660. Group rates are available.
ABOUT ZOMO THE RABBIT: A HIP-HOP CREATION MYTH
In Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth, Zomo is taking on Washington, DC. When Zomo is dissed and dismissed by the other tricksters in town, he turns to the Sky God for more power, who then sends him on an impossible quest taking him from the breakdancing fish on the DC Waterfront, to the graffiti artist cow at the National Zoo, and finally to the DJ leopard in Adams Morgan. This high-energy hip-hop adaptation of a Nigerian folktale, originally commissioned by Imagination Stage in 2009 (Helen Hayes-Nominated Outstanding Production - Theatre for Young Audiences), puts a local spin on the global tradition of trickster tales.
A world-premiere multimedia play, Thumbelina is a plucky retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale where Thumbelina sets off to find her place in a world where she does not seem to “fit.” On her journey, she meets a bashful toad, a bullying band of maybugs, a helpful field mouse, and many more. Inspired by Kamishibai – a form of Japanese street theatre that uses illustrated boards to create the story – this production features live video projections, puppetry, dioramas, and other theatre magic.
ABOUT THE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
The rep company features Jonathan Atkinson (101 Dalmatians at Imagination Stage, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at the Kennedy Center) as Wild Cow, Swallow, and others; Melissa Carter (4615 Theatre Company Resident Artist) as Sky God, Maybel, and others; Unissa Cruse (The Wolves at Studio Theatre, Aesop’s Fables with Bright Star Touring Theatre) as Big Fish and Thumbelina; Inés Domínguez del Corral (Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure at Imagination Stage, the US premiere of Like Water for Chocolate at GALA Theatre) as Leopard, Fieldmouse, and others; and Gary L. Perkins III (The Frederick Douglass Project at Solas Nua and Word Becomes Flesh at Theater Alliance) as Zomo, Toad, and others.
Raymond O. Caldwell directs Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth. Recent directorial credits include Day of Absence and Blood at the Root with Theater Alliance; The Diary of Anne Frank with The National Players; and The Frederick Douglass Project with Solas Nua. He is committed to using theatre as a tool to transform communities. He is assisted on this production by Cristina M. Ibarra (Junk at Arena Stage (Assistant Director) and Hookman at Georgetown University’s Black Theatre Ensemble).
Natsu Onoda Power directs Thumbelina. She is the playwright and illustrator for this world-premiere production. She returns to Imagination Stage after serving as the set designer for Anime Momotaro and Sinbad the Untold Tale. She specializes in the adaptation of non-dramatic literature for the stage, and development of new work through ensemble-driven processes. An associate professor of Theater and Performance Studies at Georgetown, her wide range of work has become a staple of the DC theatre scene. She is assisted on this production by Chelsea Thaler (The Wolves, Hedda Gabler at Studio Theatre).
The music for Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth was composed and directed by Nick “tha1da” Hernandez (Óyeme, the beautiful and The Hip-Hop Children's Trilogy at Imagination Stage), with Tiffany Quinn as the movement director (Earthrise at The Kennedy Center, Blood at the Root at Theater Alliance). Zomo the Rabbit was written by Psalmayene 24 (P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical, Cinderella: The Remix at Imagination Stage). Thumbelina’s projections and video were designed by Kelly Colburn (The Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre, The Royale at Olney Theatre Center). Both shows are set designed by Nate Sinnott (Escape from Peligro Island, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Imagination Stage), sound designed by Justin Schmitz (The Wild Party at Constellation Theatre, I Call My Brothers at Forum Theatre) – assisted by Tosin Olufalabi (School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play at Round House Theatre), costume designed by Madison Booth (The Heidi Chronicles at the University of Maryland, College Park), lighting designed by Sarah Tundermann (She the People at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus at The Kennedy Center), and stage managed by Kate Kilbane (Amadeus and 1 Henry IV at Folger Theatre).
Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth
February 8 – March 22, 2020
February 15 – April 5, 2020
• Performance details available at imaginationstage.org/shows-tickets
• Weekday field trip performances available
Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth
Sunday, March 22 at 1:30 p.m.
April 5, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.
Please call 301-280-1660 for more information and to ensure proper seat location for the ASL-Interpreted performances.
Tickets: $15 - $35+
Best for ages 4+
4908 Auburn Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814
Parking: Metered parking in the adjacent public parking garage; parking is free on weekends
Metro: Red Line/Bethesda Station
ABOUT IMAGINATION STAGE
Founded in 1979, Imagination Stage is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to inspire creativity through theatre and arts education programs that nurture, challenge, and empower young people of all abilities. It offers year-round professional theatre for young audiences and classes in creative drama/acting, musical theatre, dance, and filmmaking for ages 1-18.