The Cat in the Hat returns for Carousel Theatre's 40th anniversary season. Photo by Tim Matheson.
The Cat in the Hat returns for Carousel Theatre's 40th anniversary season. Photo by Tim Matheson.

Carousel Theatre for Young People celebrates its 40th anniversary with a 2016/2017 season that is a mix of new stories and beloved classics.

“The theme for this season is resilience and resourcefulness; two values that are so important for young people today,” says Carousel Theatre’s artistic director, Carole Higgins. “All of the characters in this season’s plays face great challenges as they question moral dilemmas, their own faith and the challenges of poverty, and in each play, characters overcome adversity and the human spirit triumphs. We are excited to share these stories with audiences.”

Starting the Carousel Theatre season off in July is a production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (Jul 29-Aug 13), set during the electric 1970s.  Part of the company’s annual Teen Shakespeare Program, a six-week intensive for teens aged 13-18 who receive training in classical voice for the stage, Shakespeare text, movement, and character development.

In October Carousel stages Indo-Canadian playwright Anusree Roy’s Sultans of the Street (Oct 29-Nov 13). Presented in association with Diwali Fest,  Sultans of the Street is the story of four children from different worlds who become trapped in a world of begging on the streets of Kolkata, India. Dressed as gods, they bless the generous and threaten to curse those who are not. Together, they must work to escape servitude and set a course for a new life. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

In November two beloved children’s stories, Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny (Nov 19-26) come to life through puppetry and black light from Nova Scotia’s Mermaid Theatre. Adapted from Margaret Wise Brown’s sixty-year-old classic, Goodnight Moon is a celebration of familiar nighttime rituals, while The Runaway Bunny’s pretend tale of leaving home evokes reassuring responses from his loving mum. Recommended for ages 3 and up with select all ages performances for the whole family.

Just in time for the holiday season, the Peanuts Gang come to life in Eric Schaeffer’s stage musical adaptation of the timeless television classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas (Nov 25-Dec 24). With a little help from his friends, and his dog Snoopy, Charlie Brown discovers the true meaning of the season. Recommended for ages 3 and up with select all ages performances for the whole family.

The New Year sees the return of Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat (Feb 24-Mar 19) in which The Cat and his Hat appears one rainy day to turn The Boy, Sally and the Fish’s world upside down. This production features all ages performances for the whole family and a relaxed performance for families and children with autism.

Carousel’s ruby anniversary concludes with the world premiere of Good Day and Good Night (Jun 6-18), a play for little ones under three by long-time Carousel collaborators, Kayla Dunbar and Dustin Freeland. Recommended for babies and toddlers, ages 0-3.

Tickets for Carousel Theatre for Young People’s 40th anniversary season are now on sale. Visit http://carouseltheatre.ca for tickets and information.