As everyone gears up for “spooky season,” Valley Youth Theater celebrates “spooky season” with the Arizona debut of Spookley the Square Pumpkin The Musical. Right now, the musical is running through October 30, 2022 at the Valley Youth Theater at First Street and Fillmore in downtown Phoenix.
Based on Joe Troiano’s popular book series, Spookley the Square Pumpkin: The Musical follows a square pumpkin trying to fit into a round pumpkin world. Spookley does his best in his pumpkin patch at Holiday Hill Farm, but he’s not sure he has what it takes until a powerful storm threatens the farm. Spookley realizes it’s up to him and his boxy form to save the day. As a result, all the pumpkins in the patch learn that the things that make you different make you special.
According to VYT’s production art director, Bobb Cooper, it was this theme of acceptance that got him excited about bringing Spookley to the stage. “I’ve wanted to do this show for a while because of its message. We’re better people when we embrace the things that make us different.”
While all of VYT’s shows are performed by young people from the valley, viewers will see something a little different on stage this time around – puppets! The actors will play alongside their puppets. According to Cooper, “The puppets add a magical touch to the performance. It’s such a fun addition to the story that our audience will love!”
Alongside its public performances, Valley Youth Theater will host in-person and virtual field trips, as well as VYT’s Literacy and The Arts program, the award-winning program that provides students in Title 1 schools with a page-to-stage experience by combining the learning at school with live theater experience. Books related to the production and accompanying instructional guides are provided free of charge to children before seeing the show.
Produced and directed by Cooper with musical co-direction by Mark Fearey and Tyler Thompson. Spookley features puppets by James Kemp from James Kemp Puppets with lighting design by Dawson Buckholz and costume design by Karol Cooper. The production manager is Morgan McCall.
Public performances include Saturdays, October 15, 22, and 29 at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. and Sundays, October 16, 23, and 30 at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. The theater is located at 525 North First Street in downtown Phoenix. Tickets are $22.50 and can be purchased at www.vyt.com or by calling the box office at 602-253-8188.
Valley Youth Theater’s mission is to inspire young people to be their best through a variety of performing arts opportunities. In addition to their main stage performances, VYT offers eight-week fall, winter, and spring performing arts classes, as well as spring break and summer camps. VYT’s ongoing community programs include Literacy and the Arts, Sponsor-a-Seat, and the Nigel Ross Scholarship Fund as well as their annual fundraising event, the VYTal Affair (Valley Youth Theater Applauds Leadership ), in August.
For more information about Valley Youth Theater, visit www.vyt.com.