Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pittsburgh International Children's Festival Presents Harold and the Purple Crayon


Media Contact: Diana Roth, (412) 471-8717;
Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater presents

The Enchantment Theatre Company in

The Adventures of

Harold and the Purple Crayon

November 8-14, 2009

Six performance locations:

City: Byham Theater; Butler: Marshall Middle School; East: Gateway High School;

North: Pine-Richland High School; West (Sewickley/Leetsdale): Quaker Valley High School;

South: Keystone Oaks High School

(Pittsburgh, PA) Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater, a division of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, proudly presents a musical adaptation of Harold and the Purple Crayon by The Enchantment Theatre Company (USA) from Sunday, November 8 through Saturday, November 14, 2009 at six locations in the greater Pittsburgh area. Citizens Bank is the proud season sponsor of Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater.
In this delightful production based on the well-known book series by Crockett Johnson, Harold journeys through the world that he creates with nothing but his big, purple crayon and his imagination. The possibilities are endless as Harold joins a circus and jets to mars in less than an hour! Enchantment Theatre Company combines life-size puppets, masks, music and magic to make Harold and the Purple Crayon come alive before audiences who are adventurous and young at heart. "The artful adaptation of a well-known story made it engaging for all to see – parents and kids alike,” says Patrick Donnelly of the Roselle Center for the Arts University of Delaware. Production staff for the performance includes musical score by Charles Gilbert, story adaptation and illusions by Jennifer and Landis Smith, Jonathan Becker (Mask Designer), Dirk Durosette (Set Designer), David O’Connor (Lighting Design), Brian Strachan (Costumer Designer), Stephen Bombkoski (Technical Director), John Benson, Bill Gastrock, Chris Garvin (System Design), and Robbie Molinari (Animation Director).

Following the performance, the cast will respond to the audience’s questions and comments in a unique “Talk Back” session.


Using all the elements of its signature style, Enchantment’s life-size puppets, masked actors, magic, and music will delight and amaze audiences. But this time it will add a new dimension with the use of large-scale video animation to create Harold’s world of make-believe. Enchantment’s Harold and the Purple Crayon opens with a magic trick that transforms an ordinary actor into the delightful main character, Harold, in order to establish early that the audience should expect the unexpected. Enchantment Theatre’s actors will wear masks to portray some of the characters in this production of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Though masks are rare in American contemporary theater, masks have been used since the very beginning of theater and in different ways by various cultures. The mask universally facilitates a transformation of the actor and the audience. Similar to masks, puppets also have a long and esteemed history in theatre. Enchantment Theatre Company uses puppets so they are not limited by the size and shape of an actor. Puppets are similar to the mask in their fascination and power. Used with art and skill, masks and puppets can free the actor and the audience from what may otherwise seem ordinary and mundane.

The Enchantment Theatre Company was founded in 1979 by Jennifer and Landis Smith and has toured its original productions worldwide. In 1985, its premiere production, The Symphony and the Sorcerer, opened with accompaniment by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. This event was to be the first of many symphonic programs produced by The Enchantment Theatre Company. They have since appeared with the Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore, Houston, Minnesota, Cleveland and Seattle Symphony Orchestras. Enchantment Theatre’s arts education program, The Magic of Masks, offers school day performances and encourages field trips with reduced ticket prices and in-school artist-in-residency programs. The company’s own Camp Enchantment, launched in 2007, has also been successful in reintroducing children to the arts, yielding an entirely original, youth-driven production titled The Boy Who Made Peace in the camp’s first season alone. The Company’s artistic directors say their mission is “to engage the imagination and spirit of the audience until a transformation occurs and the true grace of our mutual humanity is revealed – not one time but every time that we perform.”

Performance locations for Harold and the Purple Crayon include City: Byham Theater: Sunday, November 8 at 2:00 p.m. and a student performance on Monday, November 9 at 10:15 a.m.; Butler: Marshall Middle School, Tuesday, November 10, 7:00 p.m.; East: Gateway High School: Wednesday, November 11 at 7:00 p.m.; North: Pine-Richland High School: Thursday, November 12 at 5:30 & 7:30 p.m.; West (Sewiskley/Leetsdale): Quaker Valley High School: Friday, November 13 at 7:00 p.m.; South: Keystone Oaks High School: Saturday, November 14 at 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.

Individual ticket prices for Harold and the Purple Crayon are $11. Group tickets can be ordered by calling (412) 471-6930 or online at For additional information, visit or call (412) 456-6666.

Pittsburgh International Children's Theater, a division of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, sponsors, presents, promotes, and premieres international, national, and regional performing arts and visual arts programming of professional quality for the cultural enrichment and education of children and families.


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