Press Release - Elephant & Piggie


PRESS RELEASE: Northwest Children’s Theater Launches 2015-2016 Season of Plays
with Elephant & Piggie’s “We are in a Play!” 

Friday, Sept 3, 2015

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NWCT's 23rd Season kicks off with beloved children’s book characters Elephant & Piggie! Based on author Mo Willem’s popular book series of the same name, Gerald the Elephant and Piggie the Pig take to the stage and explore what it means to be “bestus friends!”

Perfect for first-time theater-goers, this upbeat musical tale explores the rollicking world of friendship and adventure through the eyes of Gerald the Elephant (John Ellingson) & Piggie (Joellen Sweeney). On a day when anything is possible, Dog (Nate Foland) drops by with an invitation to a party from The Squirrelles (Annabel Cantor, Michaela Warren, and Georgia Welch). But what does one wear to a party? Is it a fancy party? A pool party? A costume party? Gerald knows – Gerald knows parties.

Elephant & Piggie is the second Mo Willem’s story to appear on NWCT’s stage, following 2009’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Artistic Director Sarah Jane Hardy creates the world of Elephant & Piggie atop a playful set designed by award-winning scenic designer John Ellingson. The storyline weaves in and out of eight of Willem’s books, including Elephants Cannot Dance, I Love My New Toy and Should I Share My Ice Cream?, set to music by Deborah Wicks La Puma with music direction by Ezra Weiss.

NWCT’s 2015-2016 season follows a record-breaking, award-winning 22nd Season. Boasting three sell-out productions, last season saw unprecedented recognition for the Children’s Theater in the form of 9 Portland Area Musical Theater Awards (PAMTAs) and 7 Drammy Awards, including Best Production of a Musical, Best Director, as well as awards for Costume and Design. NWCT’s 23rd season promises to delight families with stories of familiar friends, fantastical adventure, and the return of two of NWCT’s most popular original productions.

Elephant & Piggie also features the first of four NWCT Sensory Friendly Performances for this season. Featuring shorter run-times, no intermission, reduced or removed lighting and sound cues, and the constant presence of house lights, these performances are specially designed for children on the autism spectrum or with other sensory sensitivities. These performances are accompanied by a unique Social Story to help guide families through the entire theater experience from parking lot to the final bows.

NWCT's 2015-16 Season offers four Sensory Friendly Performances free of charge (one each for Elephant & Piggie’s “We are in a Play!”, The Sun Serpent, Alice in Wonderland and Snow White) thanks to generous funding from the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Jackson Foundation, and NWCT Donor Circle Members.

Elephant & Piggie is produced in part through the support of the Collins Foundation, Regional Arts and Culture Council and Work for Art, Kafoury & McDougal, Schwabe, Williamson, & Wyatt, the Oregon Arts Commission, and NWCT Donor Circle Members. More than 5,000 school children will play along with Gerald and Piggie during twelve student matinee performances.

WHERE: NW Neighborhood Cultural Center • 1819 NW Everett Street, Portland • Participants pick up their event programs and start tour here.


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WHEN: September 26, 2015 - October 25, 2015 (Sensory Friendly Performance on October 18th)

SHOW TIMES: Sat & Sun 10 am & 1 pm

WHERE: NW Neighborhood Cultural Center • 1819 NW Everett Street, Portland • Participants pick up their event programs and start tour here.

TICKETS: 503-222-4480 or online at

INFO: 503-222-4480 or


Release Date: September 3, 2015

Kill Date: October 25, 2015

Media Contact: To set up interviews or discuss other possibilities for feature stories, please contact: Marri-Beth Serritella, Sucha Production, Inc. at 503-528-1370 or


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