An Aesop Fable Makes Its Way to the Stage: The Ant and the Elephant

Saturday, October 4, 2008, 3:00pm
Tickets: $10, $12, $15
Center for the Arts at the College of Staten Island
718.982.ARTS or www.cfashows.com

When a tiny ant finds himself in trouble, he looks to the African animals for help. Find out who his unlikely hero is in The Ant and the Elephant on Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 3:00pm at the Center for the Arts (CFA). The creative team who brought last season’s sold-out performance of The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley brings this new family musical about the power of one “good deed.” Produced by Stephen Gabriel of IntraMusic Theatricals, The Ant and the Elephant is based on the children’s book by Bill Peet, who is responsible for illustrating, storyboarding, and producing many of the greatest animated Walt Disney features of all time from Dumbo to Fantasia. Major funding for this CFA Kids event was provided by New York State Senator Andrew J. Lanza.

Stranded in the middle of a river, an ant clings precariously to a blade of grass. A turtle wanders by, and although he could easily rescue the poor ant, he declines to help. The turtle soon falls into troubles of his own and just as he refused to help the ant, the turtle’s pleas for help is also ignored. And so the cycle begins of misfortune and misdeeds that is not broken until a kind elephant arrives providing help to all in need. The elephant becomes prideful about his size and conceitedly announces “Everyone has his troubles. Everyone but big me. I’ll never get into a fix where I need help.” Sure enough, misfortune befalls the big elephant. Will anyone remember his good deeds and return the favor? Join us for a story that personifies animals with human characteristics, weaving a simple but powerful message of moral choices based on the lesson that even the smallest among us can prove the most powerful.

It’s not often that a person achieves national recognition in two careers but that was the case with Bill Peet. Starting as an animator, he quickly became known for his ability to develop a story. During his 27-year career Peet worked on such feature films as Song of the South, Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, and wrote the script for 101 Dalmatians. While still working at Disney, Peet began writing children’s books. His first book was published in 1959 and he eventually left Disney Studios in 1964 to become a full-time writer. Peet wrote 35 books, which are still available at public libraries and bookstores today. Inspired by the popular Aesop fable “The Ant and the Dove,” The Ant and the Elephant is finally being brought to the stage 28 years after being written.

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Major funding for this CFA Kids event was provided by New York State Senator Andrew J. Lanza. The Center for the Arts is supported, in part, with funds from the Richmond County Savings Foundation; a gift by the Carnegie Corporation (made possible by an anonymous donor); the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Office of the Borough President, Hon. James P. Molinaro; the College of Staten Island; and by our many business and individual patrons.

Directions to the Center for the Arts, 2800 Victory Blvd., 1P, Staten Island, NY:

By Car: A few minutes’ drive from the Verrazano-Narrows, Goethals, and Bayonne bridges. Take I-278 (the Staten Island Expressway) and exit at Victory Boulevard, proceed to campus parking lots 1 and 2. Parking is free.

By NYC Transit: From Manhattan, the CFA is served by the S62, S61, X10 buses, coordinated with the Staten Island Ferry schedule. From Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, the CFA is served the S93 and S53 buses. To plan your trip, use the MTA trip planner at www.tripplanner.mta.info/.

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