Birnton Theatricals have created theatre for children at Stage West for a decade. Artistic Director Chris Stockton has written this year’s spring production Tortoise and Hare in the Great Race.
Loosely based on the fable of the tortoise and the hare, this production is also based on the television reality tv series The Amazing Race. There are references to Big Brother and Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, making the show appealing to children and adults alike.
“The tortoise is not the fastest character, but they’ve got a lot of other things going for them, they’ve got mad dance skills, and the rabbit might be really fast, but Rabbit needs help with some things as Rabbit can’t just do all of the things that they want, just because they can do them fast. You can be fast but make sure that you’re taking time to be slow. You might not be the fastest person, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have things to offer that are just as valuable,” Stockton said.
How boring would it be if we were all the same? This is a theatre piece that celebrates our differences.
“We can find ways to connect and relate to one another, in a world that is seeming to be more and more divided,” Stockton adds.
For the past 10 years, Birnton Theatricals have written the original scripts for the children’s shows at Stage West, or have commissioned a local playwright.
“We’ve tried to really give opportunity for new work to be seen and for new people to come in. To be able to sort of explore that children’s theatre piece from a writing angle as well,” Stockton said.
Birnton Theatricals prides itself on being part of the local theatre community and have hired emerging artists. Even 10 years later, there are 2 members of the cast who have their first professional contract in this show.
“People get out of university, and they don’t necessarily have those connections. We’ve had a number of people, whether it’s stage managers, or actors or assistant stage managers, or prop builders, move on to become equity members and perform all over the country. So we’re really proud that we can be a part of their journey and a part of the ecosystem that gives people that first opportunity.”
Stage West for kids Tortoise and Hare in the Great Race runs until June 11th. There is a kid friendly buffet complete with an ice cream bar. Tickets and more information is available online.