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Owl Moon at Stages Theatre Company


MARCH 8 – 24, 2019   (ALL AGES)



Based on the book by Jane Yolen
Illustrated by John Schoenherr
Music by Aaron Gabriel
Scenario Artist – Jennifer Kirkeby

In collaboration with Escalate Dance

“When you go owling you don’t need words or warm or anything but hope.” In celebration of our 35th anniversary, we are bringing back the magical production that started our continuing collaboration with Escalate Dance. Journey with us into the magnificent wintery woods, where a father and child venture out hoping to spot an owl. Surprises abound behind every tree in this ballet-inspired story adapted from the Caldecott Medal book by Jane Yolen and illustrated by John Schoenherr.

RUN TIME: Approximately 45 MINUTES with no intermission.



Faith Barrett (Tree), Anika Christy Benz (Tree), Rylie Benz (Hedgehog), Georgia Blando (Tree & Owl Wing), Joseph Blando (Bunny), Todd Bruse (Pa), Maggie Cronan (Porcupine), Marcus Fischer (Bunny), Thaddeus Fischer (Bunny), Madeleine Glenna (Tree/Owl), Abby Horter (Bird), Ella Kozak (Tree), Annaliese Leab (Fox), Brooke Menne (Fawn), Elena Middleton (Bunny), Hayley Mullins (Tree), Ryan Kathleen Pierce (Rabbit), Kate Ross (Raccoon), Cecilia Samadani (Owl Wing & Tree), Mira Samadani (Tree), Mia Towne (Jane), Julia Foster Warder (Tree), and Evie Wright (Mouse)


Artistic Director + Director: Sandy Boren-Barrett
Artistic Director Escalate Dance  + Director:  Ann Marie Omeish
Animal Headwear Designer: Kim Ford
Music Composer: Aaron Gabriel
Technical Director & Props Designer:  Jim Hibbeler
Sound Designer: Gretchen Katt
Scenario Artist: Jennifer Kirkeby
Lighting Designer:  Mike Kittel
Costume Designer: Lori Opsal
Set Designer: Joe Stanley
Costume Supervisor:  Christa Ludwig
Stage Manager: Emily Sullivan
Production Manager:  Melanie Salmon-Peterson


Friday, March 8 – 7 PM
Saturday, March 9 – 1 PM
Sunday, March 10 – 1 PM & 4 PM

Wednesday, March 13 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Thursday, March 14 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Friday, March 15 – 10 AM & 7 PM
Saturday, March 16 – 10 AM* & 1 PM
Sunday, March 17 – 1 PM & 4 PM

Wednesday, March 20 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Thursday, March 21 – 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Friday, March 22 – 10 AM & 7 PM
Saturday, March 23 – 10 AM & 1 PM
Sunday, March 24 – 1 PM**

* = Sensory Friendly performance
** = ASL performance

Pay What You Can Performance: Sunday, March 10, 1pm
Sensory Friendly Public Performance: Saturday, March 16, 10am
• To Reserve Sensory Friendly Performance Tickets: Call  (952) 979-1111, option 4 or  EMAIL
ASL Interpreted Performance: Sunday, March 24, 1pm
Audio Described Performance: Sunday, March 24, 1pm



Photos by Fischeye Films

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In this section you will find:

  • SHOW BACKGROUND – See below




Based on the book by Jane Yolen, Illustrated by John Schoenherr, Music by Aaron Gabriel, Scenario Artist – Jennifer Kirkeby



ABOUT ESCALATE DANCE: Escalate Dance and Theatre Studio was founded in 2004 by Owner and Director, Ann Marie Omeish. Ann Marie took her love for theatre and dance and fueled what has become one of the most thriving and active dance studios in the Northwest Suburbs. When Ann Marie began the process, she knew her main goal was to create a place where all levels, ages, and abilities were welcomed and appreciated. Escalate encourages every single student to reach their highest potential, hence the name: Escalate. No, it is not a fancy caffeinated beverage (although we do love those!) but a studio that becomes a family by emphasizing individual health, fitness and fun. Peruse through our site or stop in for a visit to see just what Escalate Dance and Theatre Studio is all about! LEARN MORE



JANE YOLAN   (BOOK AUTHOR)   Born and raised in New York City, Jane Yolen now lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts. She attended Smith College and received her master’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. The distinguished author of more than 170 books, Jane Yolen is a person of many talents. When she is not writing, Yolen composes songs, is a professional storyteller on the stage, and the mother of three grown children, and a grandmother.

Active in several organizations, Yolen has been on the Board of Directors of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1986 to 1988, is on the editorial board of several magazines, and was a founding member of the Western New England Storytellers Guild, the Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, and the Bay State Writers Guild. For twenty years, she ran a monthly writer’s workshop for new children’s book authors. In 1980, when Yolen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, the citation recognized that “throughout her writing career she has remained true to her primary source of inspiration–folk culture.” Folklore is the “perfect second skin,” writes Yolen. “From under its hide, we can see all the shimmering, shadowy uncertainties of the world.” Folklore, she believes, is the universal human language, a language that children instinctively feel in their hearts.

All of Yolen’s stories and poems are somehow rooted in her sense of family and self. The Emperor and the Kite, which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1983 for its intricate paper cut illustrations by Ed Young, was based on Yolen’s relationship with her late father, who was an international kite-flying champion. Owl Moon, winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal for John Schoenherr’s exquisite watercolors, was inspired by her husband’s interest in birding.

Yolen’s graceful rhythms and outrageous rhymes have been gathered in numerous collections. She has earned many awards over the years: the Regina Medal, the Kerlan Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Society of Children’s Book Writers Award, the Mythopoetic Society’s Aslan Award, the Christopher Medal, the Boy’s Club Jr. Book Award, the Garden State Children’s Book Award, the Daedalus Award, a number of Parents’ Choice Magazine Awards, and many more. Her books and stories have been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Portuguese, and Braille.

With a versatility that has led her to be called “America’s Hans Christian Andersen,” Yolen is a gifted and natural storyteller. Perhaps the best explanation for her outstanding accomplishments comes from Jane Yolen herself: “I don’t care whether the story is real or fantastical. I tell the story that needs to be told.”   Courtesy of


AARON GABRIEL (COMPOSER)    Aaron Gabriel most recently composed the scores for Mixed Blood/Footprints Collective’s Vet’s Play Project, Interact Theater’s Madame Josette’s Naughty and Nice and Sugar and Spice, By the Seat of Our Pants, Work of Heart, Hot Jazz at da Funky Butt, and Madame Majesta’s Miracle Medicine Show (for which he won a 2010 Ivey Award.) Aaron has composed for the Stages Theater Company’s productions of Number the Stars, Starry River of the Sky, Owl Moon, Princess Academy and last season’s Whoever You Are. Aaron has worked with theaters throughout the Twin Cities including Theater Latte Da, Guthrie Theater, Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Illusion Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Minnesota Opera, Nautilus Music Theater and Chicago Avenue Project. His new album LISTEN is available on ITunes and

(Taken from

JENNIFER KIRKEBY (STORY TEXT WRITER)    Jennifer Kirkeby has been involved in theatre for over 25 years as a playwright, actress, choreographer, director and teacher. She has worked with Stages Theatre Company for over a fifteen years, writing the memorable productions of Dot and Tot of Merryland, Madeline’s Christmas, The Frog Prince, Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Twelve Dancing Princesses, all published by Dramatic Publishing, as well as Harriet and Walt; The Mitten, Owl Moon; Aladdin and His Magical Lamp; The Paper Bag Princess; Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type; Giggle, Giggle Quack; Duck for President; If You Give a Moose a Muffin; Llama, Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Bear Snores On, The Snow Queen; The Velveteen Rabbit; and last season’s The Nightingale. Other work includes Eyes Wide Open, a touching play about a teenage girl struggling with anorexia, which continues to tour schools. Jennifer is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc., The Playwrights’ Center, and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. Used by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd.. Copyright © 1987 All Rights Reserved.


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