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Founded in 1979, Imagination Stage has a long history of both student and professional productions. For the professional theatre, Imagination Stage commissions two shows per year and controls the rights to many of these works. If you are interested in securing rights for your own production, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Enjoy!

2012–2013 Theatre Season

Seussical November 14 2012–January 6, 2013

Music by Stephen Flaherty; Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens; Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty; Co-conceived by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Eric Idle; Based on the works of Dr. Seuss; Directed by Janet Stanford

Our story begins in the land of Nool | where we find Horton the Elephant, alone by the pool.
All of a sudden, a small speck floats on by. | Horton can't see a thing but hears a small cry.
Upon that small speck is the home of the Whos | and one boy named JoJo who breaks all the rules.
"This speck is a World!" Horton proclaims. | But no one believes him, they all call him names.
Gertrude McFuzz follows behind without fail, | in hopes he'll notice her and her one feathered tail.
Back on our planet, the size of a bubble, | JoJo's "thoughts" get him in trouble.
The peak of our tale is when the Whos must be heard! | Their fate lies with JoJo and one brand new word.
This enchanting musical adventure will transport you to a world where "a person's a person, no matter how small" and most importantly, anything's possible. Best for ages 4-12.

Anime Momotaro January 30–March 10, 2013
Adapted from the traditional Japanese folktale; By Alvin Chan, Eric Johnson, and Honolulu Theatre for Youth; Directed by Eric Johnson

An old couple in ancient Japan long for a child. They have their wish granted when a huge peach floats down the river and breaks open to reveal a baby boy. They name him Momotaro, and he grows up to be the strongest young man in all of Japan. But Momotaro's village has a tiny problem...GIANT OGRES! Ogres have been bullying the villagers for years, and Momotaro decides he must make a stand. With the help of friends-the dog Inu, the monkey Saru, and the bird Kiji-Momotaro meets his foes face-to-face. Performed in the style of popular anime cartoons with traditional Japanese influences, this action-packed staging of Japan's most famous folktale teaches powerful lessons about inner strength and how creativity, kindness, and cooperation win out over brute force. Best for ages 5-10.

A Roald Dahl play in repertory with The Magic Finger
James and the Giant Peach
April 3–May 26, 2013
By Roald Dahl; Adapted by David Wood; Directed by Janet Stanford

Young, orphaned James Trotter is sent to live with his two wicked aunts on a hillside by the sea. Life with Aunts Sponge and Spiker-who make James wait on them hand and foot-is lonely and sad . . . it's the pits. James' luck begins to change when he is gifted a mysterious bag of crocodile tongues believed to bring marvelous and magical things. And do they ever! One giant peach, five oversized (and talking!) bugs, and many seagulls later, James and his new friends are off on an exciting adventure across the Atlantic. High over the ocean, destination unknown, this unlikely crew sails to new and fantastical heights, proving that courage and ingenuity can overcome all odds. Best for ages 4-10.

A Roald Dahl play in repertory with James and the Giant Peach

The Magic Finger April 12–May 24, 2013
By Roald Dahl; Adapted by David Wood; Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer
Lucy is an influential 8-year old with a passion for righting wrongs and a "magic" index finger that doles out justice. When Lucy sees something she thinks is unfair, she points her magic finger at the problem, and it causes all sorts of mischief! One day, when visiting her friend William Gregg on his family's farm, Lucy observes the Gregg family shoot a group of ducks. Horrified, Lucy she points her magic finger at the family and oh, boy that little finger makes things topsy turvey! Overnight the tables are turned. The Gregg family is transformed into miniature people with duck wings while the members of the hunted duck family become human sized and sprout arms. The ducks are adjusting to TV, telephones, and even the bathtub while the Greggs must nest in a tree and learn to survive in the air. Can Lucy make things right? Best for ages 5-10.

Peter Pan and Wendy June 26–August 11, 2013

A musical by Alyn Cardarelli and Steve Goers; Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer

In this musical, Peter Pan's not the only one who won't grow up. Wendy's having trouble coming to terms with moving out of her childhood room and putting on adult clothes. She wants to play! Wendy's life gets sprinkled with a little pixie dust when the daring Peter Pan comes along to whisk her away to the magical island of Neverland where children never grow up. With the help of Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, Tiger Lilly, mermaids, and a rather dedicated crocodile, Peter and Wendy battle the dreaded, but extremely funny pirate, Captain Hook! In this swashbuckling adventure, which includes opportunities for audience participation, our heroes must decide if growing up is really all that bad. Best for ages 4-10.


2011-2012 Season

Aladdin's Luck September 23-October 30, 2011

By Janet Stanford with music by Fahir Atakoglu | Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer
A clever street urchin called Aladdin falls madly for the Princess Leilah when they meet by chance at the bazaar. Determined to impress the Princess, he embarks on a search for fortune and instead finds a dingy oil lamp. But this is no ordinary lamp; it houses a magical genie who helps Aladdin masquerade as a grand emir to win Leilah's hand. Leilah, however, fell for the street urchin, not the grand emir. Frustrated that Aladdin won't admit who he really is, Leilah gives the lamp to an unscrupulous magician and ends up his prisoner. Now Aladdin must travel across the desert to rescue Leilah by doing the thing that scares him the most...being himself.

Dr. Dolittle November 22 2011-January 8, 2012

Inspired by Hugh Lofting's The Story of Doctor Dolittle | Book and Lyrics by Mark St. Germain | Music and Lyrics by Randy Courts | Directed by Janet Stanford
It is the dark days of World War I, and Hugh Lofting is a Lieutenant in the British Army. In his letters to his son, he tells exciting stories about an eccentric doctor who can talk to animals! Dr. Dolittle has abandoned his traditional medical practice in favor of feathered, four legged, furry, ferocious, and in some cases, fantastical beasts. His profession leads him to Africa where he and his young apprentice encounter clever monkeys, giant elephants, lion cubs and even the wicked pirate Bel Ali! Through his unconventional methods, Dr. Dolittle succeeds in bringing peace to all the warring creatures. At the same time, Lt. Lofting ends his tour of duty and is reunited with his wife and son.

P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical February 1-March 11, 2012

By Psalmayene 24 | Music by Nick Hernandez | Directed by Psalmayene 24
This world-premiere musical re-imagines the classic Pinocchio story in the enchanted land of Hip-Hopia. G.Petto, a designer of computer games, magically finds himself with a "son" when his character, P.Nokio, comes to life. He sends his son to the Old School to become a real boy by mastering style, originality, and swagger. Unfortunately, P.Nokio is tempted by The Way of Fun and Trouble, gets in with a bad crowd, and is swept up in a tangle of lies that endanger his newfound father. To save G.Petto, P.Nokio must wise up, keep it real, and learn that words and truth are the mightiest weapons of all.

Rapunzel April 4-May 20, 2012

Book and Lyrics by David Crane and Marta Kauffman | Music by Michael Skloff | Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer

Rapunzel is a typical 16-year-old girl, with a couple small exceptions: she was stolen from her real parents by a wicked witch who pretends to be her mother, and her home is a high-security tower in the middle of nowhere. She's content, and as far as she knows, hers is a great life...if a little boring. Excitement finds Rapunzel when the charming and handsome Prince Brian stumbles upon her remote abode, and she realizes how much she has been missing! Brian dodges the witch to visit his new friend regularly, and the two plot an escape. But the witch is crafty and casts a spell that sets the young couple on a difficult journey to happily ever after.

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe June 20-Aug 12, 2012

Libretto and Lyrics by Janet Stanford | Choreography by Septime Webre & David Palmer | Music composed by Matthew Pierce | Directed by Janet Stanford
Told through a dazzling fusion of dance, acting and puppetry, our story begins in wartime Britain when Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter are sent off to the countryside to avoid the Blitz. Homesick and restless, the siblings find themselves at odds with one another until Lucy discovers a magical wardrobe that leads them into the fantastical world of Narnia. There, the four become embroiled in an epic battle between the evil forces of the White Witch and her arch nemesis, the great lion Aslan. It's an epic adventure with terrible betrayals, great battles, heroic deeds and noble kings and queens!


2010-2011 Season

BUNNICULA September 25-October 31, 2010

It is a dark and stormy night at the Monroe house when family pets Harold the dog and Chester the cat are confronted by a mysterious new addition to the family: small, furry with long ears and fangs. Bunnicula! Soon the carrots in the kitchen are left drained of juice and with suspicious teeth-marks. First the veggies, next...the Monroes? Chester and Harold try to thwart the vampire bunny before it is too late! This musical adaptation of the book is a hugely imaginative tale full of belly laughs and suspense. Enjoyed by ages 4+
Based on the book by Deborah & James Howe, Adapted and Lyrics by Jon Klein, Music by Chris Jeffries, Directed by Nick Olcott

JUNIE B. IN JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS! November 24, 2010-January 9, 2011

It's holiday time in Room One and that means drama!  Tattletale May keeps picking on Junie B.,  and things get even worse when Junie B. draws May's name for Secret Santa.  She hatches a plan to give May a lump of coal, while getting an awesome Squeeze-A-Burp for herself.  Will Junie B. have a last-minute change of heart and show her true holiday spirit?  Just like its heroine, the show has laughs, verve and energy to spare! Enjoyed by ages 4+
By Allison Gregory, Adapted from the Junie B. Jones Series of books by Barbara Park, Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer

PERSEUS BAYOU February 5-March 13, 2011

This award-winning musical sets the classic Greek myth of Perseus and his quest for the snake-headed Medusa in post-Civil War Louisiana. To save the bayou from the evil Polydectes, Percy must journey to the edge of the human world with the help of a conjure woman, Miss Athena, a spirit-cat, Panther Hermes and a tomboy named Andromeda. Percy's coming-of-age is vividly told in this epic and magical theatrical work.   Imagination Stage is delighted to welcome back Mary Hall Surface, whose The Hundred Dresses and The Sorcerer's Apprentice played here in prior seasons. Enjoyed by ages 6+
Book by Mary Hall Surface, Music by David Maddox, Lyrics by Mary Hall Surface and David Maddox, Directed by Mary Hall Surface

GEORGE & MARTHA: TONS OF FUN April 9-May 29, 2011

The two endearing hippos from the James Marshall picture books stomp onto stage in this warm and funny musical adaptation.  George and Martha are best friends.  They play music together and share meals, presents, picnics, and exciting adventures like flying a balloon.  Sometimes they have differences as all friends do.  But it cannot last.  Like all good friends George and Martha just can't stay angry for long!  This simple story says much about our relationships at any age.  Geared for our youngest theatre-goers but enjoyable for all, this new musical by Joan Cushing sparkles with clever lyrics and laughter. Enjoyed by ages 3+
Based on the books by James Marshall, Music, book and lyrics by Joan Cushing, Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer

THE DAY JOHN HENRY CAME TO SCHOOL April 16-May 28, 2011

Johnny is a typical 5th grader, way into video games and not especially motivated at school.  Imagine his surprise one night when there's a loud knock at the door and his ancestor John Henry bursts into his bedroom, wielding a 12 lb hammer and insisting that he will visit Johnny's class the next day for "Show & Tell."  At first unimpressed by John Henry's tragic tale about his race with the steam engine, the kids in Johnny's class come to appreciate the importance of his ultimate sacrifice.  The award-winning playwright of Lost & Foundling (seen here in 2008) has created another witty and insightful contemporary comedy. Enjoyed by ages 7+
By Eric Pfeffinger, Directed by Janet Stanford

 

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS June 22-August 14, 2011

Go on a wild ride with Mr. Toad! It's early in the twentieth century, and Mr. Toad embraces the motor car with reckless abandon. When it is clear that he is on a road to disaster, Toad's friends Mole, Ratty and Mr. Badger decide to intervene. Can they save Toad from himself? In an adventure with police chases, prison breaks and bandits, Mr. Toad learns the true meaning of friendship. This musical event is faithful to the classic, enchanting novel. Enjoyed by ages 4+
Based on the book by Kenneth Grahame, Adapted by Richard Hellesen, Music and lyrics by Michael Silversher, Directed by Janet Stanford

 


2009-2010 Season

FERDINAND THE BULL September 26-November 1, 2009

Ferdy is an easy-going flower-loving kind of bull, whose best friend, Cochina, a star-struck pig, hears about an opportunity which will transport them to exciting Madrid. There, Ferdy meets the unhappy Danilo, a boy torn between his own dreams and his father’s very different plans for him. Their dramatic encounter has a happy surprise ending and shows how hard, but ultimately how important—it is to be true to one’s self. Another outstanding musical from the creators of Looking for Roberto Clemente.Enjoyed by ages 4+
Book and lyrics by Karen Zacarías, Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, Based on the story by Munro Leaf, Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer

DISNEY'S MULAN November 24, 2009-January 10, 2010

Revisit a beloved film live on stage! Born into traditional ancient China, Mulan struggles to do as she’s told. But when her war-wounded father is called up to fight the Huns, Mulan knows her true duty is to join the Chinese army in his place. The Gods send her a lucky dragon named Mushu, but Mulan’s independent streak and wits consistently win out over brawn. An epic tale, sprinkled with humor and filled with the wonderful music you loved in the movie.Enjoyed by ages 4+
Music and Lyrics by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel, Stephen Schwartz, Jeanine Tesori and Alexa Junge, Music Adapted and Arranged and Additional Music and Lyrics by Bryan Louiselle, Book Adapted and Additional Lyrics by Patricia Cotter, Based on the 1998 Disney film Mulan and the story “Fa Mulan” by Robert D. San Souci, Directed by Janet Stanford

 

PETER AND THE WOLF February 3-March 21, 2010

The familiar musical story is expanded into a lively theatrical version, with bold movement and original songs. We meet the clever Peter and his friends, the starving Cat and the bickering Duck and Bird. Together they scheme to capture the Wolf and make the forest a safer place. But Wolf is a wily trickster and will stop at nothing to capture his prey! There are mad chases, mysterious appearances, high comedy, suspense and, of course, the brilliant music. Enjoyed by ages 5+

By Allison Gregory, Music by Hummie Mann, Lyrics by Allison Gregory and Hummie Mann,Adapted from the story by Sergei Prokofiev,Directed by David S. Leong

THE DANCING PRINCESSES April 17-May 30, 2010

Set in the Roaring ‘20’s, the show is a new musical take on the old Grimm’s tale. After the death of his beloved Queen, a grief-stricken King banishes dance from all the land, much to the distress of his people, including his two daughters, Lara and Lena. But the girls find their way to a magical world where jazz music, the Charleston and their mother’s indomitable spirit are alive and well. Finally, the girls, his loyal lieutenant and a muckraking newspaper man bring the King to his senses. He lifts the ban and everyone rediscovers the joy of living. Enjoyed by ages 4+
Book by Allyson Currin, Music and Lyrics by Christopher Youstra, Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer

HOW I BECAME A PIRATE June 23-August 14,  2010

Imagine Jeremy Jacob's surprise when he's accosted on the beach by a motley crew of pirates. They need a digger to bury their treasure and Jeremy, clutching his little sand spade is recruited. At first, the pirate life is all fun: swabbing decks and singing shanties. But when night falls, Jeremy gets no bed time story and no tucking in. At last, Jeremy comes up with an idea that both pleases the pirates and allows him to return to his "regular" life in time for soccer practice. A light-hearted summer musical romp! Enjoyed by ages 3+
Adaptation and Lyrics Alyn Cardarelli, Music by Steve Goers, Based on the book by Melinda Long, Illustrations by David Shannon, Directed by Paul McEneaney

PIRATES! A BOY AT SEA July 6 - August 15, 2010

Time: 1718. Place: the high seas. Captain McGovern is pursuing the famous female pirate and treasure hunter, Captain Freely, when a modern boy, Jim, magically finds himself in the middle of their battle. As Jim finds himself first captured by the pirates, then rescued from the deep by sailors from the British Man-of-War, the action has deep connections to Jim’s life. The strict McGovern reminds Jim of his Dad while the fun-loving but enigmatic Freely reminds him of his estranged Mom. Combining laughs with drama, playwright Charles Way (Playing from the Heart, Merlin and the Cave of Dreams) ties all the elements together into a nail-biter perfect for older children. Enjoyed by ages 7+
By Charles Way, Directed by Janet Stanford


2008-2009 Season

BUSYTOWN September 27 - November 2, 2008

"Big day today!" is how the characters greet each other in Busytown, Richard Scarry's vividly drawn world. As the day unfolds, Grocer Cat, Stitches the Tailor, and Alfalfa the Farmer tell of their jobs in silly songs and scenes. One catchy number explores vehicles from the Broom O'Cycle to the Pickle Car, another, sung by Able Charlie Baker, describes goodies from donuts to biscotti, and there's even a sea shanty from Captain Salty. Young children love to see their favorite animal characters brought to life while older siblings enjoy this tuneful trip down memory lane! Enjoyed by all ages!
Based on the books of Richard Scarry, Adapted by Kevin Kling, Music by Michael Koerner, Lyrics by Kevin Kling and Michael Koerner

PLAYING FROM THE HEART November 2 - 30, 2008

Playing from the Heart is inspired by the life of internationally acclaimed percussionist Evelyn Glennie. Evelyn begins having earaches at age 8, but even as her hearing worsens, her love of playing drums grows. Although she is eventually pronounced "profoundly deaf," she excels in the school orchestra and, with unshakeable determination, applies and is accepted by the Royal Academy of Music. The story is a tribute to all kids, whatever their circumstances, who find the inner strength to overcome all obstacles and pursue their passions. Enjoyed by Ages 6+. Sign interpreted performance Sunday, November 23 and Sunday, November 30 at 4:00 PM.  All performances of Playing from the Heart will be Open Captioned. In addition, the two performances noted above will be sign interpreted.
By Charles Way, Directed by Janet Stanford

 

MISS NELSON IS MISSING! November 22, 2008 - January 4, 2009

Miss Nelson is Missing . . . is back! In 2001, Imagination Stage commissioned and premiered this musical comedy gem, which has been a hit at theatres from coast to coast. Now it is time for a new generation of children (and their parents) to experience this witty, wacky musical. Meet the fifth graders in Room 207 at horace ?B. Smedley Elementary, whose poor behavior drives away their sweet teacher, Miss Nelson. her substitute is the dreaded Viola Swamp. So the kids engage the bumbling Detective McSmogg to search for Miss Nelson and try to make amends.  Enjoyed by Ages 4+
Based on the book by Harry Allard, Illustrated by James Marshall, Book, music & lyrics by Joan Cushing, Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer

ZOMO THE RABBIT: A Hip Hop Creation Myth January 24 - March 8, 2009

This world premiere, set right here in our Nation's Capital, is a contemporary, high-energy take on an African tale. Zomo the Rabbit calls the Sky God (on his cell phone, of course) and raps that he wants the ultimate prize of wisdom. Sky God gives him three tasks: 1) get the dance shoes of Big Fish at the DC Waterfront; 2) get the spray paint can from Wild Cow at the National Zoo; 3) get the turntable from DJ the Leopard in Adams Morgan. Zomo succeeds in trickster fashion, but it's only by sharing the prizes he's won that he invents hip-hop, leading all the characters to celebrate their African American culture together. Enjoyed by Ages 4+
Written and Directed by Psalmayene 24

HEIDI April 4 - May 17, 2009

 

In this world premiere musical retelling of the classic Victorian-era book, Heidi moves from a small Swiss village to the Alps, to Frankfurt, Germany, and back to her beloved mountains (complete with singing goats!). Everywhere she goes, Heidi brings joy to the people around her: her lonely grandfather and neighbor Peter in the Alps, as well as her sickly friend, Clara, in the city. This richly emotional show is a welcome breath of mountain air that celebrates how the power of love can restore hope for the future and a better life. Composer/lyricist Joan Cushing has premiered four other shows at Imagination Stage and writer Martha King De Silva returns for her second. Enjoyed by Ages 5+
Based on the novel by Johanna Spyri, Book by Martha King De Silva, Music & Lyrics by Joan Cushing, Directed by Janet Stanford

 

LYLE THE CROCODILE June 23 - August 9, 2009

What a croc! Loveable Lyle is a "resting" mime-artist and magician who's meant to liven up a lazy summer's day. When the Primm family moves into their New York City apartment, their son Joshua is surprised to find a crocodile in the tub. The multi-talented Lyle quickly becomes part of the family, but a nasty neighbor, Mr. Grumps, has it out for the reptile, and it is only a matter of time before he accuses Lyle of frightening his cat. Lyle is shipped off to the zoo, but his old showbiz partner, Hector P. Valenti, springs him just in time to save the day when Mr. Grumps' brownstone catches fire. Enjoyed by Ages 4+
Based on the books by Bernard Waber, Adapted by Kevin Kling, Directed by Kathryn Chase Br

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