‘Mouse on the Move’ at Imagination Stage by Julia L. Exline

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Imagination Stage presents Mouse on the Move as part of their “My First Imagination Stage – Early Childhood” program, providing interactive and educational shows for children ages 1-5. This production features two adventurous mice who enlist help from the young audience on their voyage to the moon!

(L to R:) Jasmin Danielle Johnson (Amelia) and Julia Krebs Patterson (Nellie) in Imagination Stage’s January 2012 production of ‘Mouse on the Move.’ Photo by Blake Echols.

Set Designer Milagros Ponce de Leon paints colorful buttons around a large felt circle on the floor, showing parents and children where to sit, with a little tent (or, “mouse hole”) erected for the children to crawl through before finding their seat. Large props are used throughout the production in many different ways – using the same items to build a car, boat, and rocket, among other things. Each child is given a small plastic suitcase, which holds a variety of objects used to help the mice on their adventure. Lighting by Zachary Gilbert helps enhance the setting, going from bright sunlight to evening hours, and Composer Tim Guillot moves along the plot and changes the tone easily, from twittering birds to ominous, heavy raindrops. Costumer Debra Kim Sivigny uses an unusual mish-mash of casual clothing to create unique outfits for the two characters, such as frilly tops, sweatpants, stockings, and scarves. Mouse ears and tails complete the look.

Amelia Mouse (Caitlin Shea) and her sister Nelly (Jasmin Danielle Johnson) have a big problem – they’re out of cheese! Settling on a trip to the moon (didn’t you know that it was made of cheese?) Ameilia and Nelly start out on an adventure that involves cars, boats, rockets, and encounters with new friends such as a southern ladybug and a Jamaican starfish. Through it all, they need help and encouragement from the young audience, who are excitedly willing and often have to be called back to their seats by the parents, (or ‘Big Mice,’ as they’re called). One particularly nice moment comes when the mice get caught in a snowstorm, and the children crowd onstage to play with them in the falling ‘snow.’ Together they venture through a colorful flower garden, paddle across a lake, and blast into space!

Kids in the audience interacting with the cast of ‘Mouse on the Move.’ Photo courtesy of Imagination Stage.

Every kid in the audiences seemed to be having a wonderful time, and the parents enjoyed watching their children have a fun time! This is also a wonderful opportunity to meet new families, as the show is highly interactive and children are able to talk and play with one another.

Go see a performance of Mouse on the Move for a fun-filled hour with your child! Say ‘Cheese!”

Running Time: 45 minutes without an intermission.

Mouse on the Move runs through November 11, 2012 at Imagination Stage – 4908 Auburn Avenue, in Bethesda, MD. For tickets, call (301) 280-1660, or order them online.