Saturday, May 9, 2015

Theater: Free Performance of "Lon Po Po" (Chinese LRRH) TODAY in Pennsylvania

For those who don't know, Lon Po Po is a Chinese variant of Red Riding Hood. It's fairly widely known, especially as a book by Ed Young was awarded a Caldecott medal and, as a result, can usually be found in libraries and schools.

A theatrical version of Lon Po Po, however, is unusual to come across! I love that they get the children involved with this, learning Chinese, twisting the tale around a bit, helping the children in the story know what to do - it's a great interactive way to learn the story, and the variant. (I love the multicultural cast involved too.)

Here are the details about today's performance:
CLARKS SUMMIT – A free performance of “Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story from China” will be presented at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 9, hosted by The Gathering Place at the Clarks Summit Borough building, 304 South State St.
This interactive play for children and their families is the final performance in a series presented by the Dietrich Children’s Theatre and The Gathering Place for Community, Arts and Education, a new nonprofit currently fundraising to turn the former Clarks Summit firehouse into an arts and education center.
“Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story from China” takes audience members on a trip to the Chinese countryside. Join three small children as they bid farewell to their father who is traveling overnight to visit their sick grandmother. The children are warned not to open the door to anyone, as the wolf may be lurking nearby. When there is a knock on the door late at night, however, the children are uncertain.
Is it their grandmother or the wolf?
Audience members will join the Dietrich Children’s Theatre and help the children figure out what to do in this unique retelling of a well-known story.
Dietrich Theater has a great collection of storytelling plays for children, including:

  • Balto: A True Story of the Bravest Dog In America
  • The Fairy Wife of Llyn Y Fan Fach (Welsh tale)
  • The Gifts of Wali Dad (Pakistani tale)
  • The Gingerbread Man 
  • The Mouse's Marriage (Japanese folktale)
  • Peter and the Wolf (Russian story to teach children about musical instruments)
  • Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears (West African folktale)
  • Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories (more than Mowgli!)
  • Coyote: A Native American Trickster Tale 
  • Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story from China (which remain part of their regular repertoire).

You can see a little preview of the performance on YouTube HERE.

And here's a great reading of the book by Ed Young, complete with music and animation. I couldn't find a better version of the video, sorry, but you get a pretty good idea from this one. It's a beautiful book and the story is wonderful - highly recommended:

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