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A Year With Frog and Toad: A Family Musical from Keene State

Frog and Toad

The Keene State Theatre and Dance Department shines a spotlight on friendship with its spring production, A Year with Frog and Toad. The musical, which is designed to delight children and adults alike, runs March 3 to 6 at 7:30 p.m. and March 7 at 1 and 4 p.m. in the Wright Theater at the college’s Redfern Arts Center.

Tickets are $12 general admission, $8 for seniors and youth, and $6 for Keene State students. For information, contact or 603-358-2168.

Based on the children’s book Days with Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel, A Year with Frog and Toad premiered on Broadway in 2002.

“It’s the story of two people – two amphibians – who go through a year together and trials and tribulations and challenges and triumphs, and realize that every day they learn something new and wonderful about the other,” says Kirstin Riegler, assistant professor of theatre and dance, who directs the production. “There is something to embrace throughout the show in connection to every kind relationship.”

The show features music and dancing and audience participation. It lasts just over an hour, with no intermission, and is suitable for kids ages four or five and up, Riegler says. Theatre-goers will also have a chance to meet the cast after the show, as the actors will come into the hall to greet audience members and thank them for coming.

The set, lighting and props design, all by Celine Perron, chair of the Theatre and Dance Department, evokes the original picture book. The music and costumes reflect the era of the 1940s and ’50s.

Musical direction is by Thomas R. Martin. Costume design is by Mary Robarge. Cast members are senior Laura Valastro as Frog; first-year Erika Walker as Toad; senior Emily Fitzgerald as Bird, Mouse, Squirrel, Young Frog, and mole; Keene resident Ayla Cordell as Bird, Turtle, Squirrel, Mother Frog, and Mole; junior Laughlin Hentz as Bird, Lizard, Father Frog, and Mole; senior Darius Sanchez as Snail; and junior Alex Lamoureux as Large and Terrible Frog, plus voice-over narration.

Also on the creative team are junior Tyler Chebetar, sound designer; senior Mariah Palmer, stage manager; first-years Molly Delaney and Jayson Casetta, assistant stage managers; senior Shane Horsman, technical director; senior Anna Heindl, poster designer; Craig Lindsay, faculty advisor to the technical director.

Riegler performed in A Year with Frog and Toad when she lived in the Washington, DC area, and remembers the experience as being a joyful one. She wanted to share that with Keene State students, she says, and also expose them to the career possibilities available in TYA - theatre for young audiences.

For viewers, the musical is an hour and five minutes of fun, she adds, a chance to relax and “take in the simple joys of life.”

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435