Announcing “Elephant and Piggie’s We are in a Play!”

Mo Willems is back on the Emerald City Stage, this time with best friends Elephant Gerald and Piggie for the 2014-2015 season!

Elephant Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. They are best friends. Our favorite characters from Mo Willems’ belovedElephant and Piggie series take the stage for this vaudevillian romp of a musical. Pachyderm and swine join forces to face questions like: what do you wear to a fancy pool costume party? Should you share your ice cream? And, how can two friends play with one toy? With the help of nutty backup singers, The Squirelles, this musical is an animal party that you won’t want to miss!

Learn more:


Leave a Comment

2014-2015 Subscriptions now on sale!

Are you impatient for more theatre? (Us too.) Check out our plans for next season with Fancy Nancy, Skippyjon Jones, Goldilocks, and The BFG. It’s going to be a great year!

Leave a Comment

2014 One Fund Winners Announced!

We are proud to announce the 21 winners of the 2014 One Fund awards! The program seeks to inspire a love of reading though play by bringing a play and a new book to qualifying low-income CPS students. The One Fund expands Emerald City’s reach of 80,000 Chicagoans per year to include 6,357additional children who may not have access to arts programming. To learn more about The One Fund, visit our website.

One Fund Winners Lorca

One Fund Residency winners at Lorca Elementary show off their actor faces with their new copies of The Three Little Pigs. They are working with Emerald City teaching artists to create a performance based on the story this spring,

The One Fund is delivered three ways:

  • Read, Write & Act Classroom Residency—valued at $10,500
  • Performance at Apollo Theater—valued at $2,000
  • Performance Assembly at the School—valued at $3,800

2014 One Fund Winners

Winning School Principal Applicant Arts Liasion
Beethoven Shirrie Tilisa Jackson Ethel Southern Ethel Southern
Cameron Stephen Harden Karen Love Adam Lewis
Carroll-Rosenwald Adell Brock Kelly McCollom Kelly McCollom
CICS – Loomis Primary Lindsey Girard Stephanie Piper Stephanie Piper
Claremont Rebecca Stinson Cheryl Anderson Cheryl Anderson
Crown Academy Lee M. Jackson Martha Williams Mari Rice
Dewey School of Excellence Cleophas Rodgers Angelica Kamysz Angelica Kamysz
Edwards Judith Marie Sauri Diana Betout Diana Betout
Gallistel Kimberly Nelson Gayle Schifferl Lorie Soso
Haines Ginger Lumpkin Kelly Hawkins Smith Kelly Hawkins Smith
Hamline Taina Velazquez-Drover Leah Stephens Leah Stephens
Henderson Marvis Jackson-Ivy Bayyinah Ali  
Jungman Suzanne Mazenis-Luzzi Cynthia Valenciana Jeanne Rivera
McAuliffe Ryan Belville Suzanne Santos Suzanne Santos
Morton Peggie Burnett-Wise Deirdre Garcia Jon Hearon
Nixon Gerald Byers Isaly Acevedo Felipe Velazquez
Thorp, J.N. Vikki Stokes Zipporah Gwin Brittanie Wine
Westcott Monique Dockery Stephanie Mistretta Stephanie Mistretta
Whittier Antonio Acevedo Allison Manasse  
Woodson Tamara Littlejohn Krista Adams Corby Steinbraker


2014 One Fund Residency Winner

Lorca July Cyrwus Britnee Mosher   & Carmen Mojica Melinda Prater

Leave a Comment

Mama & Buddy Bear on WCIU!

Thanks to Aly Bockler from WCIU for coming to visit us for coming to visit us! We loved sharing our picnic with you.


Leave a Comment

The Three Little Pigs take the Small Screen!

Check out the opening number from Stiles and Drewe’s The Three Little Pigs, playing at the Apollo Theater now through May 17th!

When the pigpen starts to look like a real sty, Mama says it’s time to leave and build something new. Help Cha, Siu, and Bao watch for wolves while they use hay, sticks, and bricks to make it in a big, bad world. From the same Broadway composers as Honk! and Mary Poppins, this American premiere of this Stiles and Drewe musical is a curly tail not to be missed!

Tickets and information:

Leave a Comment

One Fund Campaign Ends March 2nd–Give Free Books and Free Performances to Low-Income CPS Students

One Fund Books

2013 One Fund Winners receive free, brand-new books after a free performance of The Cat in the Hat.

Emerald City’s One Fund seeks to address the literacy crisis by bringing free performances and free books to low-income CPS students. Every $10 donated brings this programming to one qualifying student.

Imagine the power of a free performance like Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat for students. Then imagine giving each of those children a new book to take home. For many, that will be the first book they own. In the One Fund’s first two years, it has served 4,000 CPS students.

This year, we set out to serve 5,000 students by raising $50,000. We’ve surpassed that goal, so we’ve set a new one: help us serve 6,000 early learners in Chicago by getting us to $60,000 for this year’s One Fund. The campaign ends March 2nd, so donate today!

Leave a Comment

The Miniature World of Ramona Quimby


All three dollhouses with the Quimby sisters for scale. From right to left: Aunt Bea’s apartment, the Quimby house, and the Kemp’s house. 

In our production of Ramona Quimby, the design team decided to represent Klickitat Street as large dollhouses. They correspond to where the different characters in the show live: The Kemps, Aunt Bea, and of course, The Quimbys. Set designer Michelle Lilly tells us more about the inspiration behind, and detail within, this charming concept. 

Why dollhouses?
It was important to our design team that the story of the play is told from the perspective of the girls, specifically Beezus.  We wanted to reference the way in which children often work through real, hard, and scary life situations through playing with their toys.  It was also important to us to represent Klickitat Street on the stage, since the street itself is very much a character.  We found a striking intersection between these ideas and decided dollhouses could help us tell the story in the way we wanted.  The events of the whole year unfold as if Beezus and Ramona are retelling the stories for us in their playroom.  You can see the room the audience is in inside the Quimby’s dollhouse!
ImageWhat are your favorite parts of the houses?
My favorite detail is in Mrs. Kemp’s house – it’s the yellow yarn and knitting needles sitting on the rocking chair. The actress who plays Mrs. Kemp (Marsha Harman) knits onstage and she and our director, Jackie, asked if I could put a tiny knitting set in the house.  It’s my favorite piece because it connects something the character is doing onstage with her tiny environment in the dollhouse.
What might we learn about the characters from what they have in their houses?
If you look in Mrs. Kemp’s attic, you’ll see boxes with labels like photos, wedding, and Hobart Baby.  This tells you a little about what she has kept over the years.  She also has a lot of maps, including maps of Saudi Arabia, where Hobart is living.  Mrs. Kemp also likes cats, so she has a lot of cat pictures in her house.
You can see posters in Ramona and Beezus’ room that tell you a little about their interests, as well as a dollhouse in their playroom, bean bag chairs, and books.
Aunt Bea has a lot of stylish things in her apartment.  She’s a teacher, but you might guess that she paints as a hobby if you notice the easel for painting in her bedroom!
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
YES! Creating these dollhouses was a lot of work!  I created a lot of the pieces you see, but I also had lots of help from the props team!  Tierra Novy is the props designer, and she helped find most of the dollhouse furniture online.  The props assistant, Keenan Minogue, did lots of work painting that furniture, adding fabric, making curtains, building old console TV sets, making mirrors, and dressing all the beds!  The lighting designer, Keith Parham, and his assistant, Eric Vigo, ran all the wiring that allowed the dollhouse lights to light up.  It takes a dedicated team to create this kind of magic!

Leave a Comment

Announcing Katie Gonring as Mamma Bear!

Announcing Katie Gonring as Mamma Bear!

We’re proud to announce that Katie Gonring, last seen in this season’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as the doll, will be taking over the role of Mama Bear in The Teddy Bears’ Picnic! Her experience as an actress and as an accomplished teaching artist are sure to make this picnic… well… a picnic!

Leave a Comment

The Three Little Pigs and the Paparazzi

The Three Little Pigs and the Paparazzi

In Stiles and Drewe’s The Three Little Pigs, our heroes gain their level of stardom for defeating the notorious Big Bad Wolf, and their lives are changed forever. Our photographer, the talented Tom McGrath, created this production photo of the Pigs surrounded by flashbulbs by combining several different pictures, each with only one flash. Can you tell?

Leave a Comment

How well do you know Ramona Quimby? Take our quiz to find out!

Ramona Quimby Opens February 8th! 

In the meantime, we’re getting excited by delving into Beverly Cleary’s series about Ramona, Beezus, and the whole Quimby gang!
Can you match the Ramona happenings below with the books that they come from?
Ramona Book Titles
1. Ramona and Beezus help make the fastest wedding in the west for their Aunt Bea and (new) Uncle Hobart.
2. Ramona goes to Kindergarten and begins writing her last initial “Q” with ears, whiskers, and a tail.
3. Ramona and Beezus help their dad quit smoking after he loses his job.
4. Ramona’s classmate Susan copies her paper bag owl, so Ramona throws her own away, and scrunches Susan’s–getting in trouble with their teacher, Mrs. Griggs.
5. Ramona accidentally brings a raw egg to school(instead of a hard-boiled one) and smashes it on her head.
6. Ramona locks Ribsy, Henry Huggins’ dog, in the Quimby’s bathroom.
7. Ramona makes a new friend–a best friend–named Daisy.
8. Ramona gets a brand-new set of pajamas, and loves them so much that she decides to wear them to school underneath her clothes.
1. Ramona Forever
2. Ramona the Pest 
3. Ramona and her Father
4. Ramona the Brave
5. Ramona Quimby, Age 8
6. Beezus and Ramona
7. Ramona’s World
8. Ramona and her Mother
 Can’t get enough Ramona? See the show at the Apollo Theater!

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »