Imagination Stage offers an afternoon of imagination, creativity, and fun with its
Annual Children’s Festival
Saturday, April 4, 2020
BETHESDA, MD (March 2, 2020). Imagination Stage hosts its 2020 Annual Children’s Festival: Larger Than Life on Saturday, April 4, 2020. Marking its ninth year, the Children’s Festival is a family-friendly afternoon celebrating the power of theatre in the lives of children. Chaired by Michelle Johnstone and Nichole Francis Reynolds, this year’s Children’s Festival will include a performance of Thumbelina for ages 6+ or Paper Dreams for ages 1-5. After the performance, guests will enjoy rooms full of family-friendly activities, a dance party on stage, a raffle, and a celebratory buffet reception. Proceeds benefit Imagination Stage’s theatre and arts education programs which reach nearly 100,000 children and families in the DC region each year.
“We are really excited about this year’s Children’s Festival which builds upon the achievements of previous years’ festivals.,” Founder and Executive Director Bonnie Fogel says, “ This year, as part of our fabulous 40th-anniversary celebration, families get a bonus, a chance to choose between two wonderful performances: Thumbelina and Paper Dreams.”
"This year's Children's Festival continues the 40th-anniversary celebration of Imagination Stage,” adds co-chair Michelle Johnstone, “with a fun ‘Larger Than Life’ theme! We hope families who are familiar and maybe not-so-familiar with Imagination Stage will come and participate in this fun event, which will surely be a memorable time for all who come."
Imagination Stage’s production of Thumbelina – written, directed, and illustrated by Natsu Onoda Power - provides the theme for this event. In this world-premiere production, Thumbelina sets off to find her place in a world where she does not seem to “fit,” meeting a bashful toad, a bullying band of maybugs, a helpful field mouse, and many more friends along the way. Inspired by Kamishibai – a form of Japanese street theatre that uses illustrated boards to create the story - this re-telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale features live video projections, puppetry, dioramas, and other theatre magic. Thumbelina is best for ages 6+.
Younger audiences will enjoy a special performance of Paper Dreams, best for ages 1-5. This dance-based play explores the many facets of creativity; a fun, interactive performance that tells the story of two delightful creatures who live inside a wastepaper basket, Paper Dreams asks if our greatest mistakes can turn out to be our greatest ideas.
“Imagination Stage’s Children’s Festival provides youth an opportunity to enjoy an event that is designed strictly for them!” says Festival co-chair Nichole Francis Reynolds, “They have an opportunity to see an amazing performance and participate in a variety of family-friendly activities that foster a sense of community, creativity, agility, passion for music, dancing, and simply good fun. The children have a blast – my children asked me to put the date on the calendar six months ago and are looking forward to it!”
Family 4-Packs ($500), Family 5-Packs ($600) and individual tickets ($150) are available, and sponsorship packages begin at $1,000. To request more information or to purchase tickets, Sarina Di Calogero, Special Events Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Imagination Stage was founded as BAPA (Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts) in 1979 in response to the urgent need for arts education for young people. The company was renamed Imagination Stage in 2001 in anticipation of its move to its downtown Bethesda theatre arts center in 2003. Imagination Stage has grown from a handful of children in a single classroom to a full-spectrum theatre arts organization, with theatre productions by professional actors and artists. The company is renowned for its extensive commissions and international theatre work.
3:30 p.m. Doors Open
4:00 p.m. Performance of Thumbelina Or Performance of Paper Dreams
Celebratory Reception and Dancing to Follow
Ashley and Matthew Bronczek Ashley and Brendan Burke Foley & Lardner LLP Diane and Arnold Polinger
Signey and Jason Adams Jessica Boger and Greg Rapawy Charlie and Shane Crowley Ginger and Richard Dietrich Michelle and Alexander Johnstone Sara and Chris Lange Dianne and Edward Lee Jaime Marcus Ourisman Motors of Bethesda Inc.
Primrose School of Downtown Bethesda Nichole Francis Reynolds and Fred Reynolds Sandy Spring Bank
Spirits provided by: Diageo Tea provided by: Honest Tea Beer provided by: Old Ox Brewery Sparkling Wine provide by: Saturday Session
Activity Rooms provided by: Denchfield Lawn and Nursery Inc., Team Yoo Taekwondo, and The Red Bandana Bakery
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.