The Woodruff Arts Center, it seems, is crazy about animator and author Mo Willems.
Specifically, the Alliance Theatre and the High Museum of Art, both of which have spring events planned around the work of the children’s author.
At the Alliance, Rosemary Newcott will direct Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical (May 27-June 21), a one-act she helped develop for its world premiere at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. It’s recommended for ages 3-10.
It follows Trixie, Daddy and Knuffle Bunny to the laundromat, a trip that goes horribly wrong when Trixie realizes somebunny was left behind. It uses live actors and projections that mirror the artwork in the book.
The High Museum, meanwhile, will present Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art and Whimsy by Mo Willems (opening May 23 and running for eight months). The retrospective features more than 100 works, from preliminary drawings to finished illustrations. It chronicles Willems’ past 12 years, time spent with such characters as Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie, and the Pigeon.
In the fall, the Alliance will stage Play the Play With Cat the Cat, based on Willems’ Cat the Cat book series, as a Theatre for the Very Young offering, the Alliance’s groundbreaking program for audiences age 18 months to 5 years and their grownups.
Willems, 47, who now lives in Massachusetts, grew up near Chicago and began drawing characters at age 3 or 4. He has created more than 40 children’s books (Leonardo, the Terrible Monster; Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! among them) and has won three Caldecott Honors.
Knuffle Bunny performances, all on the Hertz Stage, are at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday; 10 and 11:45 a.m. Thursday-Friday; and 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Exceptions: The May 29 show is at 7 p.m. and the June 5 show is at 5 p.m. There is no show June 3. Tickets are $15; $8 ages 6-17; and free for age 5 and under. Get them HERE or by calling 404.733.5000.
Combo tickets for the musical and the High Museum exhibition are $20; $10 children; under age 5 free. These are available only by calling the Woodruff box office at 404.733.5000.