Jerome Hairston Adapts Ezra Jack Keats for Children’s Theatre Company

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21-Mar-16
Joy Dolo, left, and Dean Holt in The Snowy Day, featuring puppet design by Fabrizio Montecchi. Photo by Dan Norman.                 
 
Playwriting alumnus and Adjunct Professor Jerome Hairston ’01 has adapted several classic children’s stories by Ezra Jack Keats for the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minneapolis. The production, The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats, runs until March 20th.

Hairston’s new staging of Keats’s beloved works—including Caldecott Medal winners The Snowy Day and Goggles!, Whistle for Willie, and A Letter to Amy—features puppet design by Italy’s renowned Fabrizio Montecchi, and coincides with the 100th anniversary of Keats’s birth.

The production has received great acclaim from the praise. “Many of the young people at Sunday evening’s performance were on the edge of their seats for the hourlong show, captivated by its interplay of human actors and the shadow puppets they manipulate onstage to show us the explorations of a little boy named Peter,” The Star Tribune said in their review. The Minneapolis website HowWastheShow.com called it “good-hearted and charming,” adding: “The Snowy Day will undoubtedly allow parents of young children the opportunity to witness the simple joys and triumphs of life through the eyes of their own children as well as remind all of us of the purity and modesty with which we once approached the world.”

Hairston has collaborated with CTC before. In 2009 his stage adaptation of Francesco D’Adamo’s novel Iqbal was honored with an American Alliance for Theatre and Education Distinguished Play Award. His other work has been developed or produced at theaters across the country ,including Playwrights Horizons, the Atlantic Theater Company, Primary Stages, The Public Theater/NYSF, Hartford Stage, Arena Stage, New York Stage and Film, the McCarter Theater, Crossroads Theater Company, the Kennedy Center, Naked Angels, the Sundance Theater Lab and the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. He has also worked in television, having written and produced for Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Smash and Survivor’s Remorse.

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