Emerald City Theatre to Open the Chicago Premiere of “Diary of a Worm, a Spider, & a Fly”

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Emerald City Theatre (ECT) will open its 2016 – 2017 season with the Chicago premiere of the critically-acclaimed musical comedy, Diary of a Worm, a Spider, & a Fly, directed by Jen Ellison with music direction by Alex Benjamin.The production will star Christian Edwin Cook (Worm), Shaun Baer (Spider), Deanalis Resto (Fly), Juanita Andersen (Butterfly), Jacquelyne Jones (Mrs. McBee), Travis Austin Wright (Ant), Julian Otis (Male Understudy), and Cailtyn Cerza (Female Understudy).

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The production team also includes Mandy Work (Choreographer), Greg Pinsoneault (Scenic Designer), Sarah Jo White (Costume Designer), Claire Chzran (Lighting Designer), Aaron Stephenson (Sound Designer), Letitia Guillaud (Props Designer), Alex Weisman (Casting Director), Leslie Cobb (Stage Manager), Taylor Saltkill (Assistant Stage Manager), Tom Daniel (Technical Director), Nicole Malmquist (Master Electrician/Assistant Lighting Designer), Kirstin Johnson (Audio Engineer), and Marni Balint (Wardrobe Supervisor).

This marks ECT’s 20th season of helping Chicago children creatively face the world. According to Artistic Director Jacqueline Stone, ECT is thrilled to revel in its milestone year with “productions based on best-selling books that feature characters in diverse communities and explore the journey of childhood.”

About the Show:

DIARY OF A WORM, A SPIDER, & A FLY
October 1, 2016 – January 7, 2017
At the Apollo Theater in Lincoln Park
2540 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago

Adaptation from the Books by Doreen Cronin
Illustrated by Harry Bliss
Books, Music, and Lyrics by Joan Cushing
Directed by Jen Ellison

For Ages 3 – 9
“A Creepy Crawly Musical Comedy!”
Enter the whimsical world of insects with a cast of creepy crawly characters, and laugh away the trials of being a young bug in school. Through musical genres such as rap, hip-hop, pop, and Broadway standards, this choral comedy humanizes the life cycles of insects to celebrate and accept the passions and differences in every child. Taken from the best-selling books by Doreen Cronin, “There’s an alternate world that’s very cool beneath your feet and in the air!”

Tickets start at $19 and are available online or through the Apollo Theater box office at 773.935.6100.

About Director Jen Ellison:

Ellison has been performing, writing and directing in Chicago for nearly twenty years. As a resident director at the Second City, she has overseen two national touring companies, developed multiple shows for their Outreach and Diversity program, and directed Apes of Wrath. Other directing credits include Collaboraction, Trap Door Theatre, WNEP, and The Neo-Futurists, where she is an artistic associate. In addition to teaching ethics at DePaul University, she is a member of the Comedy Writing and Performance faculty at Columbia College Chicago.

About Emerald City Theatre (ECT):

Celebrating its 20th anniversary season, ECT is one of Chicago’s most-attended nonprofit theater companies reaching children 0 – 13-years-old through its three pillars of work: artistic, education, and outreach.

Serving over 80,000 children and their grown-ups annually, the company has created nearly 100 productions and over 605,000 performances at the Apollo Theater in Lincoln Park, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, and its very own Little Theatre – the nation’s first facility dedicated to Theatre for the Very Young – in Lakeview.

ECT also builds skills in children through its yearly camps, classes, and residencies – the largest theater arts education program in Chicago, serving over 62,000 students to date and 200 schools annually.

The company’s outreach initiatives make ECT programs available to any child of any household income level by providing free plays and companion books to children in under-served neighborhoods. To date, over 23,000 students have been served, and in March of 2016, ECT additionally served all 30,000 CPS second grade students in a ground-breaking partnership with Random House Publishing and KPMG – Family for Literacy.

ECT’s lead funders include iHeartMedia Chicago, The Land of Nod, KPMG, and Amita Health.

For more information, please visit EmeraldCityTheatre.com.

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