Friday, April 27, 2012


Bay Area Children’s Theatre
2012 – 2013 Season Announcement!

BACT is thrilled to announce a fun filled seasons of new hits and old favorites! 

In classic BACT fashion – excitement, adventure, and outdoor theater - our season kicks off at Children's Fairyland with the well loved children’s story Click Clack Moo: Cows that Type. This delightful musical adaptation of the Caldecott Honor Book by Doreen Cronin brings the amusing story of Farmer Brown’s c-c-c-cold cows who demand electric blankets to life, and is geared for preschoolers and their parents.  

We are excited to start off our main stage season with LYLE THE CROCODILE at Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage on October 6. Adapted from the books by Bernard Waber, the show tells what happens when the Primms move into their new house on East 88th Street and find Lyle in the bathtub.  
TALES OF OLYMPUS: A GREEK MYTH MUSICALThe stories of the Olympus never get old, and this musical, a world premiere, is no exception. BACT is so excited to introduce our audiences of all ages to the classic Greek stories through song, dance, and laughter. This show will also go on school tour!
Also in December, BACT is bringing back the wildly popular Pinkalicious for a limited run.  For those who missed the show’s recent run, here’s another chance to find out what happens when everyone’s favorite proponent of pink looks at her mom’s pink-frosted cupcakes and asks, "Can't I have just one more?"
IVY and BEAN, the Musical!
The mischievous second-grade heroines of the award-winning Ivy + Bean stories by Bay Area author Annie Barrows will make their stage debut at the Freight and Salvage. Come meet quiet, imaginative Ivy and outgoing, action-oriented Bean – who together make for endless adventures and fun!
Another adaption of a beloved book, Knuffle Bunny, completes BACT’s season.  This musical version of the hilarious picture book by Mo Willems brings to the stage the adventures of toddler Trixie and her beloved stuffed animal, Knuffle Bunny, when they go off to the laundromat with her somewhat distracted dad. - all the information you need for next season. Like what you see? Spread the love! 'Like' us on Facebook, and tell your friends! 
Make going to the Theatre a family affair.

We can't wait to share another incredible season with you!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs: Spotlight on: Music

Musical Director Julia Norton has worked with BACT on several shows, including Go Dog Go, Frog and Toad, and most currently, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. She is an internationally acclaimed voice teacher and performer based in the Bay Area - we are so lucky to have her! Here, she answers some questions about being a musical director for an adapted children's story.

BACT: What do you think music brings to a show that non musicals don't have?

Julia: I am biased of course, but I think music has the ability to heighten the emotional content of a play whether through humor, sadness, anger or excitement. When you think of a song from a favorite musical or opera it can bring back the whole scene or show. I find that doesn't happen for me in the same way if I remember part of a monologue. But like I said I'm biased :)

BACT: Some shows are written as musicals, but some, like 3 little pigs, are stories with music added. How do you think this changes the experience of the story, especially for children.

Julia: I think music pulls children in like nothing else. It speaks to them in a way that sometimes words alone can't.  When my son was very young and was trying to memorize my cell phone number for emergencies, he had the hardest time, until we made up a little melody to go with
it. Then he had it straight away. Children can sing whole songs from memory before they can write or read!

BACT: What is difficult about doing a show with music over a non musical show?

Julia: Well, I don't know if difficult is the right word, but there are certainly different considerations. First of all the actors need to be able to sing, it's helpful if they have a good sense of rhythm
and can harmonize too. A lot is expected of the 'musical' actor. Then as music director I'm not only trying to make sure everyone knows what they're supposed to be singing & when, but also that they are blending together or sometimes singing in character voices and are still able
to be understood. At the same time I want to advocate for the actors if I think the dance or costumes are compromising their ability to be able to sing. Finally as a voice coach and singing teacher I want to make sure that the cast members I'm working with are using their
voices in a healthy way.

BACT: What's your favorite song in 3 Little Pigs, and why?

JULIA: 'The Pointy,  Pointy Maneuver of Blame-osity'. I love the James Brown feel of this song, it gives the actors a chance to really spread their wings and have fun using their voices in a big and soulful way.Then out of nowhere they are challenged to sing their fear and 'pigsteria' in the second half of the song with lines like "he's a critter a mongrel, he sure don't belongrel"  The child in me gets really excited about breaking the rules with language and rhyme. Then there's this tiny break in the music where poor Julia has to squeeze in her dialogue before the final chord slams in.  Very exciting stuff I'll tell you.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, featuring Julia's musical direction, opens at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley April 14.