'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' combines slapstick with fantasy
Whether the fictional family members onstage are actually hunting a bear in the wilderness or playing make-believe in their house is irrelevant to the main target audience, says a key actor in a children's musical play opening Sunday.
“We're Going on a Bear Hunt” — based on the popular 1989 children's book by British author Michael Rosen and British illustrator Helen Oxbury — is filled with slapstick humor and fun during its 55 minutes, and its plot is open to interpretation, says Duncan Foster, who plays the dad.
“You can see it in two ways: They are out in the forest looking for a bear, or they're just in their house using a bucket and mops,” says Foster, 52. “As grown-ups, we want to know: Is that real or is that not real? For children, they believe what they're doing when they're playing. Whether it's real or not, for a 3-year-old, it's much more gray than that.”
“We're Going on a Bear Hunt” — presented by Pittsburgh International Children's Theater and produced by the British company KW & NB, Ltd. — caters to kids ages 3 to 10 and their parents with a simple but entertaining plotline, Foster says. A dad, his two kids and his dog go off in search of a bear, and encounter many obstacles along the way. They wade through swishy-swashy grass, a splishy-splashy river, and thick, oozy, squelchy mud in search of their prey; meanwhile, the performers sing and dance to catchy tunes, Foster says.
The play includes a few mildly scary scenes, such as when the bear chases the people, Foster says.
The audience loves the energy and comedy of the show, and the zaniness, as performers go crazy and throw things around on stage, and get into their shenanigans, he says. Meanwhile, the audience gets rowdy along with the characters.
“We just muck around,” Foster says. “It gets crazy. It's ... just being silly and having lots of fun.”
Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.