BRUNSWICK – Sharing the stage with its four main stage productions this year, The Maine State Music Theatre will present the TheatreWorks USA production “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie & Other Story Books” Wednesday, June 11.

Based on eight popular children’s tales, this musical revue for children features a multiracial cast and touches on various issues, ideas and themes relevant to young audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Shows at the Pickard Theater on Bowdoin College’s campus are at 1 and 3 p.m. (A 10 a.m. show is sold out.) For more information or to purchase tickets at $7-$10 apiece, call the box office at 725-8769 or visit www.msmt.org.

Several of the eight vignettes teach children lessons through engaging plot and dialogue. The title production, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” demonstrates cause and effect by showing how one request can quickly lead to many more. In “Amazing Grace,” young audiences learn to pursue their dreams by following the plight of a young African-American girl named Grace who desires to play the role of Peter Pan in a school play. Yet another tale, “Imogene’s Antlers, introduces children to a young girl named Imogene who wakes up one day with antlers and who learns that differences are what make people unique.

Other tales expose young audiences to new ways of viewing and understanding the world around them. “Borreguita and the Coyote” demonstrates how music, art and stories can reflect culture through the tale of a little lamb, or borreguita, who escapes being eaten by a coyote using only her wits. “Math Curse,” another short tale, helps children overcome their anxiety about math problems by highlighting the ways in which math is already a part of their everyday lives.

Stephen Suskin of Variety magazine calls the production “sixty minutes of theatrical enchantment,” saying: “This is pure theater, with a capital ‘I’ for imagination.”


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