Children's Theater play shows kids how to get un'Stuck'
By Kellie B. Gormly
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Like a car stuck in the mud, sometimes the harder you try to break free and solve a problem, the more stuck you get.
The results can be comical, like in the play “Stuck” opening this week.
Presented by Pittsburgh International Children's Theater, “Stuck” brings to stage the bestselling, illustrated children's book by Oliver Jeffers, along with recorded original music.
The simple book tells a picturesque story about a boy named Floyd whose kite gets stuck up in a tree. The story revolves around the other things — shoes, a cat, an orangutan, a whale and even the kitchen sink — that Floyd throws into the tree, in an effort to free the kite, that also get stuck.
“Each thing is more outlandish than the last,” says Pamela K. Lieberman, executive director of Pittsburgh International Children's Theater and manager of children's programming with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Author Jeffers describes the “Stuck” story “as trying to solve a growing problem by throwing things at it, which we all do, sometimes,” Lieberman says. “It's told from a very humorous standpoint. It really sparks imagination and gets kids to think about creative problem-solving and open-endedness. There are a lot of opportunities to ask, ‘What would you have done in that situation?' ”
Big Wooden Horse Theatre Company, a British group based in London, produces the stage version of “Stuck.” It's the same team that produced the book-turned-play “Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.”
Lieberman says one of the remarkable traits of “Stuck” stems from the producers' transformation of a very short and simple book you can read in just a few minutes, into a fleshed-out, hourlong play. The play, however, remains simple, with just two actors and a simple stage setting with the giant tree.
Lieberman says kids should enjoy the opportunity to participate in the action during the play, when the actors will ask them for advice about what to do, and ask the kids what they think.
“It's very interactive and very engaging,” she says.
“It's about problem-solving and looking at things from different angles,” Lieberman says.
“Maybe you don't always get things right. ... Those messages are what resonate for me throughout the story.”
Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7824.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt rallies in final seconds of regulation en route to OT win at Clemson
- Wikileaks founder teases about more secrets to be released
- Ganassi celebrates 25 successful years with Target
- Man injured in fight outside South Side bar
- Penguins notebook: Fleury feeling sharp entering tough stretch
- Greensburg woman accused of assaulting nurse in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital
- Pirates notebook: Liriano looks to complete consecutive quality seasons
- Led by Kittanning’s Nolf, 3 locals win Class AA state wrestling titles
- Democratic leaders endorse Wolf for Governor
- Fuel spill discovered on Loyalhanna Creek
- Penguins stave off Ducks’ shooting barrage to win in shootout