Family show at Shakespeare theater

Nathan Sebens (Toad) and Brandon Alert (Frog) in “A Year with Frog and Toad.” 
BETSY DYE/ COURTESY PHOTO Nathan Sebens (Toad) and Brandon Alert (Frog) in “A Year with Frog and Toad.” BETSY DYE/ COURTESY PHOTO Orlando Shakespeare Theater, in partnership with the University of Central Florida, continues its 2012-13 Theater for Young Audiences Series with the whimsical tale, “A Year with Frog and Toad.”

Based on the books of Arnold Lobel, this musical adventure is recommended for families with children ages 4 and older. The show will be in the Margeson Theater through Nov. 20 with preview performances on Oct. 18 and 19. Free fall-related activities, crafts and a costume parade will be provided by Amaya Papaya one hour before the opening performance on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m.

A Tony Award nominee for best musical, “A Year with Frog and Toad” celebrates an unlikely friendship between an eternally optimistic frog and a rather grumpy toad as they try to keep their sleds on the ground, kites in the air, and themselves from devouring cookies. Their friendship flourishes through triumphs and challenges, sending a heartwarming message to the whole family.

“We love to present family musicals and ‘A Year With Frog and Toad’ is one of the best. It will be a fun-filled show for the entire family,” says young audiences coordinator Lisa Devins Horohoe.

Following each weekend performance of “A Year with Frog and Toad,” children will have an opportunity to meet and get autographs with the entire cast. Orlando Shakes also offers weekday student matinees specifically for schools and day cares Tuesdays through Fridays. School groups purchasing 10 tickets or more enjoy significant discounts, with curriculum guides and additional resources available for teachers. Inquire at the Box Office for rates and information

Taking the reins for this production is director Steve McKinnon, who has directed multiple children’s shows, including last year’s Orlando Shakes favorite, “Miss Nelson is Missing.” Leading the cast is a dynamic duo of newcomers, Brandon Alpert and Nathan Sebens, who play Frog and Toad, respectively. Rounding out this list of players are Casey Noble as Snail, Lauren Butler as Mouse and Kelly Kilgore as Turtle. The creative team who will convert the stage to a woodland oasis include choreographer Kim Ball, set designer Robin Watts, costume designer Mel Barger, lighting designer Mary Hefferman, and sound designer Britt Sandusky.

Orlando Shakes also offers new opportunities for the deaf, hard of hearing, or differently abled. American Sign Language interpretation is offered during a performance on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 4:30 p.m. There is no additional charge for this service, provided by Florida Hands & Voices.

Single tickets, TYA Flex Passes, and group discounts are available by calling 407-447-1700, visiting www.orlandoshakes.org/tickets, or purchasing in person at the box office located inside the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 East Rollins St. in Orlando’s Loch Haven Cultural Park. ¦

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