My children and I have been fans of the Ezra Jack Keats classic, The Snowy Day, for as long as I can remember. When I heard that it was going to be brought to life on the Nashville Children’s Theatre stage, I couldn’t have been more excited! What I didn’t expect, was to be introduced to three additional stories by the renowned children’s book author and illustrator during the show. What a welcomed surprise!
The show opens with Peter, a young boy growing up in the city, waking up to a winter wonderland right outside of his apartment. Like all kids, Peter can’t wait for his mom to finish bundling him up so he can run outside to play. On his adventures, he enjoys making footprints in the snow, watching the big kids’ snowball fight (from afar), sliding down “snow mountain” and collecting a very special snowball which he decides to keep safe in his pocket for tomorrow. When Peter discovers the inevitable later in the night, he slumps back to bed and drifts off to sleep. Peter has a night full of dreams of his snowy day adventures and wakes to a surprise the next morning!
The three additional Keats stories you get to see on the stage are Whistle for Willie, Goggles! and A Letter to Amy. All of these stories are engaging, exciting, endearing and absolutely hilarious! Every time I looked over at my 5 year old daughter during the show, she had a grin from ear to ear. Every child in the theatre, in fact, had moments of bursting out in laughter.
The entire hour long production is played by a cast of just three, fantastic actors. Peter is played by the perfectly child-like Elvie Williams. The very talented Tamiko Robinson Steele and Déyonté Jenkins, play Mom and Dad, as well as several additional characters throughout the 4 stories. Through the use of creative lighting, sound, and stunning shadow puppetry, there isn’t a single moment where your little ones won’t have their eyes glued to the stage. This truly is an all around fun show for the entire family!
Nashville Children’s Theatre Synopsis
By Ezra Jack Keats
Adapted for the stage by Jerome Hairston
“One winter morning, Peter woke up and looked out the window… Snow!”
Oh, the magic of a snowy day! Follow Peter and his friends as they romp and play, starting snowball fights and making snow angels in this imaginative ode to childhood joys and the challenges of growing up. Packed with humor and fun, this production uses wonderfully innovative shadow puppetry and live action to celebrate Keats’ treasured characters.
An adaptation of Whistle for Willie, Goggles!, A Letter to Amy, and groundbreaking Caldecott Winner The Snowy Day, this uplifting story collection encourage us to play and live life to the fullest each day.
Short Biography of Ezra Jack Keats
Ezra Jack Keats (1916-1983) was an American author and illustrator of children’s books. He illustrated jackets for adult and juvenile books and provided drawings for almost a dozen children’s books. Keats used cut-out and gouache collage to create cityscapes that carry a strong dose of urban reality: grime, graffiti, and a lot of energy. His books focus on learning new things — how to whistle, outwit a tougher kid, or cope with emotion.
Keats is the author of The Snowy Day (1962), which received the Caldecott Medal. Because of his own experience with discrimination due to strong anti-Semitism at the time, he developed empathy for those who also experienced bigotry. This influenced his work and inspired him to create Peter, The Snowy Day’s protagonist and, one of the first African American protagonists of a children’s picture book. His books featuring Peter displayed the universal qualities of childhood.
Keats stated, “Then began an experience that turned my life around—working on a book with a black kid as hero. None of the manuscripts I’d been illustrating featured any black kids—except for token blacks in the background. My book would have him there simply because he should have been there all along.”
For lots of fun crafts and activities to go along with this show, be sure to check out the NCT Curriculum Guide!
Family Fun Facts
The Snowy Day at the Nashville Children’s Theatre (Map)
Saturday January 20 2PM
Saturday January 27 2PM Grandparents Day and “After-Words” a discussion with the cast
Sunday January 28 2 PM ASL Sign-Interpreted Performance
Wednesday January 31 1 PM (Homeschool Day)
Saturday February 3 2PM Sensory Friendly Performance
Sunday February 4 2 PM
Saturday February 10 2PM
Sunday February 11 2PM
Cost: $20/Adults, $15/Children. Buy tickets online HERE or call the box office at (615) 252-4675