Chicago Children’s Theatre’s launches its 14th season with the Chicago premiere of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, a bright new version of Eric Carle’s timeless children’s book about an insatiable caterpillar that munches its way to become a full-fledged butterfly.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, created by Jonathan Rockefeller, is already a global sensation having performed over 2,000 shows worldwide including sold out engagements in Australia, New York, United Kingdom, Dubai, New Zealand, Canada, Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands.
Come fall, on this, the 50th Anniversary of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” Rockefeller’s bold, imaginative staging of four beloved Eric Carle tales will play Chicago’s largest theater devoted to children and families as part of the show’s debut U.S. tour.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show runs September 24-October 27, 2019, at Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave. in Chicago’s West Loop. Regular performances are Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Exception: No 10:30 a.m. show Saturday, October 12. Press openings are Saturday, September 28 at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Single tickets are $27-$39 including fees. Or, save money by including The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show in a three-play subscription package.
For subscriptions, single tickets and information on group rates and student matinees, visit www.chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call CCT Guest Services, (312) 374-8835. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show is an all-ages show.
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar”: Colors, numbers, healthy eating and days of the week
Since it was first published in 1969, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” has nibbled its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world. Fifty years later, Carle’s colorful story about metamorphosis has been translated into 62 languages, sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, and remains a staple of baby showers, bed stands and classroom bookshelves. Carle’s brilliantly illustrated, hand-painted tissue collages and distinctively simple stories, now found in his more than 70 picture books, have introduced countless children to a bigger, brighter world – and to their first reading experiences.
That’s why kids and parents will gobble up CCT’s Chicago premiere of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, a bright, bold new spectacle production created by Jonathan Rockefeller and directed by Jerrell L. Henderson.
A delightful menagerie of 75 larger-than-life puppets bring four Eric Carle favorites from the page to the stage: “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?,” “10 Little Rubber Ducks,” “The Very Lonely Firefly” and the star of the show, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
After enjoying faithful recreations of Carle’s most memorable tales during this magical, 60-minute show, children get to meet the puppets and take pictures with the cast.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Show. The New York Times called it “bedazzling.” Newsday gave The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show“Five Smiles.” Live Theater UK raved, “your favorite small person will be changed for the better.”
Eric Carle himself said, “I hope the performances will be enjoyed by many and that the colorful characters will bring comfort and joy to all who see the stories that have been so carefully produced. It is uplifting to see such beautiful and cheerful works inspired by my characters! I hope my books - and this show - will inspire you and your imagination.”
Creator Jonathan Rockefeller is the co-founder of Rockefeller Productions, a company that combines film, theatre, animation, puppetry and television. Beyond the stage, Rockefeller teamed up with Eric Carle to produce and direct an animated version of “10 Little Rubber Ducks” based on Carle’s book and narrated by Bernadette Peters. “10 Little Rubber Ducks” is available on iTunes.
Lara Carling, Micah Figueroa and Leslie Ann Sheppard form the Chicago cast ofThe Very Hungry Caterpillar Show. The production team includes Will Bishop (scenic design), Caitlin McLeod (costume design), Jason Lynch (lighting design), Zack Shirtum (sound design), Rebecca Ross (production stage manager), Sharon Golden (assistant stage manager) and Jamie Abelson (casting director). Carl Vorwerk is general manager of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show.
Chicago Children’s Theatre strives to make the arts accessible to people of all abilities, dispelling myths about individuals with special needs and their ability to fully participate in and enjoy the arts.
Access Weekend for The Very Hungry Caterpillar is October 19 and 20. Services include:
American Sign Language (ASL) and live open captioning for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing: Saturday, October 19 at 10:30 a.m.
Pre-show Touch Tour of the set prior to the show for guests who are blind or have low vision:
Saturday, October 19 at 1 p.m., before the 2 p.m. show
Sensory friendly performances for children on the autism spectrum or with Down Syndrome:
Sunday, October 20 at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Modifications are made to lighting, sound and music to avoid sensory overload, with a nearby Quiet Room.
Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 2019-20 Season: A Season to Celebrate
In addition to The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 2019-20 season boasts the return of Chicago’s newest holiday family tradition,The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party, December 7-29; the new “mom & tot” show Wake Up, Brother Bear!, January 21 – February 16, 2020; a new Red Kite, Brown Box production for children on the autism spectrum, February 28-March 21, 2020; and the Chicago premiere of Me…Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of a Young Jane Goodall, March 31-April 26, 2020.
Chicago Children’s Theatre 2019-20 Subscription Packages are on sale now, starting at just $60 for three shows. Subscribers also enjoy $15 off education programming at Chicago Children’s Theatre including classes and camps. Visit www.chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call Chicago Children’s Theatre Guest Services, (312) 374-8835, to subscribe.
About Chicago Children’s Theatre
Led by Founding Artistic Director, Jacqueline Russell, Chicago Children’s Theatre was founded in 2005 with a big idea: Chicago is the greatest theater city in the world, and it deserves a great children’s theater.
Fourteen years later, CCT is Chicago’s largest professional theater company devoted exclusively to children and young families. It has established a national reputation for the production of first-rate children’s theater, with professional writing, performing, and directorial talent and high-quality design and production expertise.
Chicago Children’s Theatre remains dedicated to creating awe-inspiring theatrical productions and programs through inclusion and accessibility, and inspiring young people and families to lead lives of adventure, courage and curiosity. Since its founding, Chicago Children’s Theatre has produced 20 world premieres including The Selfish Giant, The Hundred Dresses, Jackie and Me, The Houdini Box, Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money, Leo Lionni’s Frederick, Wonderland, Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure, Jabari Dreams of Freedom, The Year I Didn’t Go To School: A Homemade Circus, Manual Cinema’s Magic City, My Wonderful Birthday Suit!, Last Stop on Market Street, X Marks the Spot, The World Inside Me (with New York’s Spellbound Theatre) and The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963. These productions enjoyed successful inaugural runs in Chicago, many followed by productions at theaters across the U.S.
Earlier this year, Chicago Children’s Theatre won the 2019 National TYA Artistic Innovation Award from Theatre of Young Audiences/USA, the national service organization supporting, connecting and advocating for the field of theater for young audiences. In addition, Chicago Children’s Theatre has garnered six NEA Art Works grants, and in 2017, became the first theater for young audiences in the U.S. to win a National Theatre Award from the American Theatre Wing, creators of the Tony Awards.
In January 2017, the company celebrated the opening of its new, permanent home, Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, located at 100 S. Racine Avenue in Chicago’s West Loop community. The building, formerly the Chicago Police Station for the 12th District, was repurposed into a beautiful, LEED Gold-certified, mixed-use performing arts, education and community engagement facility that now welcomes all Chicago families.
CCT offers free tickets to more than 5,000 low-income students each season in partnership with Chicago Public Schools. CCT also continues to grow its performing arts and STEAM education programs, offering classes, workshops, winter and spring break camps, and summer camps for ages 0 to 13.
In addition to leading the company’s new play development, mainstage and education programs, Jacqueline Russell is the creator of Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Red Kite Project, a multi-sensory interactive theatre program tailored specifically to children with special needs. Last season, Russell created and directed X Marks the Spot, a multi-sensory experience inspired by her work with children with visual impairments, which will tour Chicago area schools this fall. In 2010, she was appointed by the U.S. State Department to serve as Cultural Envoy to Canada, was awarded the 2013 “Hero of the Year Award” from the Chicago chapter of Autism Speaks, and was honored as one of 20 Chicago women who have shaped arts and culture featured on Kerry James Marshall's mural “Rushmore” on the west façade of the Chicago Culture Center.
Chicago Children’s Theatre is led by Co-Founders, Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell and Board Chair Todd Leland, with Board President Eric Neveux. For more, visit www.chicagochildrenstheatre.org.