“A Year with Frog and Toad” Opens Thursday at The Billingsley Theatre
Posted on: September 20, 2023
Tigerville, SC (Sept. 20, 2023) NGU Theatre will open its 2023 season with seven showings of “A Year with Frog and Toad,” beginning Sept. 21 at The Billingsley Theatre in Tigerville.
A Theatre for Young Audiences musical by Robert and Willie Reale based on the children’s book by Arnold Lobel, the show is a jazzy, upbeat production for all ages.
“It’s an incredibly high energy show,” said Amy Dunlap, associate dean for North Greenville University’s School of the Arts and director of the musical. “It’s very fun and very accessible. It’s great for kids, but it’s also enjoyable for all ages. There’s such a warm message about friendship, forgiveness, and community. It’s been so much fun to work on.”
The musical includes many adventures but is ultimately a story about friendship.
“Frog and Toad are friends,” Dunlap said. “They’ve been friends for a long time, and this story follows them through a year of that friendship. They go through adventures like sledding down a scary hill. They learn how to manage their fears and how to accept one another for who they are.”
The Cast of “A Year with Frog and Toad” includes Alyse Barrett (Frog), Logan Stewart (Toad), Jaylan Brinson (Bird, Turtle, Mother Frog, Mole), Caleb Riley (Bird, Lizard, Snail, Father Frog, Mole), and Isabelle Western (Bird, Mouse, Young Frog, Mole).
The five-member group has been working on the production since the summer.
“Rehearsals began over the summer and ramped up a week before classes started in August,” Dunlap said. “The cast has had the opportunity to tour the production at several local elementary schools, so they have been working really hard even before the show opens in The Billingsley Theatre.”
Dunlap said musicals like “A Year with Frog and Toad” continue to expand the diversity of offerings at The Billingsley Theatre.
“We try to offer a variety of different shows for our audiences,” she said. “We want our students and the community to have chances to experiences different styles and genres.”
“A Year with Frog and Toad” will run Sept. 21-23 and Sept. 28-30, with nightly showtimes beginning at 7:30 p.m. A matinee showing is planned for Sept. 23 at 2:30 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit go.ngu.edu/theatre.
In November, NGU Theatre will present “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” by Alfred Uhry, author of “Driving Miss Daisy.”
“It’s a relatively contemporary piece set in 1939,” Dunlap said. “It’s about a Jewish family in Atlanta during the premiere of ‘Gone With the Wind.’ It deals with their search for their identity within their Jewish heritage. It’s a really great comedy, dealing with loyalty prejudice, and faith.”
“The Last Night at Ballyhoo” will run from November 9-11 and November 16-18.
“On the Verge: or the Geography of Yearning” by Eric Overmyer will be the first NGU Theatre production showing at The Billingsley Theatre in 2024.
The show follows three Victorian explorers who set out on an adventure, only to find themselves on a time-traveling safari.
“One the Verge is an abstract production,” Dunlap said. “It’s a very fascinating piece that we can’t wait to see.”
Audiences can see “On The Verge” February 15-17 or February 22-24 at The Billingsley Thetre.
NGU Theatre’s spring production will be “Jane Eyre the Musical.”
“We’ll be collaborating with the School of Music and Dr. Cheryl Greene,” Dunlap said. “It will be exciting to work with both the music students and theatre students on what should be a great performance.”
Based on the book by John Caird, “Jane Eyre,” Charlotte Bronte’s classic gothic romance is brought to life in this musical adaptation, which follows independent, passionate governess Jane Eyre and her harsh childhood through her employment as a governess at Thornfield Hall.
“Jane Eyre the Musical” will run April 11-13 and April 18-20.
“All of our shows are open to anyone on campus in our community who wants to come out and audition,” Dunlap said. “We’re very inclusive and would love to have as many people involved as would like to be.”