PlayTime Productions Shows & Events

June 21, 2022

Dear Alumni, Families, and Friends,

The time has come to acknowledge that PlayTime has taken its final bow. The pandemic has rewritten the script for keeping the wheels turning as they had been for over four decades. I have worked to maintain and build the organization for 23 years. Over the past two years, I have had to oversee the majority of that work be dismantled. An overwhelming amount of time and energy would need to be devoted to get back to what we once had.

Truthfully, the organization was at a turning point with a growing need for revitalization of staff and adequate sustainable funding. Unfortunately the opportunity for transition and training has passed. Maybe if I were 10 years younger, it would be worth the reinvestment of time and energy to rebuild and start again.

The “Theater for Young Audiences” course I took at UW-Madison years ago taught that children’s theatres fell into two models; performance or process. Most performance-based models feature adult actors putting on shows for children. In the other model, the process of learning about theatre is key for child participants, ending with a limited performance for relatives and friends. There are many other process-oriented theatre and arts opportunities in which children can participate. PlayTime has been an unusual hybrid model featuring a cast of children focusing on performance while encompassing and absorbing the process component.

One reason this children’s theatre has been so worthwhile and unique is the standard to which we held ourselves. We spent weeks rehearsing with the kids to create a top-notch performance for thousands of audience members in a dozen different public venues. There was real purpose to our extensive planning and rehearsal time together.

Other reasons PlayTime meant so much to me in particular were; the sharing of story morals, helping children gain reading and language acuity, interpreting and expressing vocal, facial, and body language to enhance social skills. All of these aspects were solidified in importance by my studies in psychology.

Furthermore, I valued the opportunity to interact with people from many different walks of life; the children, families, fellow artists, teacher mentors, and representatives of other benevolent community and arts organizations.

During my tenure, PlayTime’s staff has gotten older as we aged into, and past, our retirement years. There have been numerous attempts to replace our now retired musician, our production crew that puts up the set and runs the lights, as well as the producer and manager positions, all to varying success, but the opportunity to implement our transition planning has vanished since March of 2020.

Maybe as time goes by someone else will step forward. I am willing to advise and I am willing to maintain the non-profit organizational status a bit longer, but the accounting, grant writing, reporting, fundraising, promotion, managing, scheduling, venue procurement, equipment maintenance, coordinating cast, families, staff and board would have to be done by someone else. This Managing/Artistic Director/Producer position is equal to that of a full-time teaching position.

Working with the amazing children to foster a successful cooperative effort was the greatest privilege. I also adored designing the art of the moving picture on the stage. I would love to direct more plays in the future if that were the only commitment, but that is the one job most eagerly sought after. The hard task is providing the organizational opportunity to direct, and no one has yet stepped forward to take that crucial role. Now, with waning to no compensation, it will be nearly impossible to fill this managerial position.

I could also wait in the wings to help guide a sanctioned someone else, but we must take care to protect and retain the special reputation that has surrounded PlayTime since the beginning. When it was time for me to take over from our founding director, Teddy Studt, it was like a buggy passenger hopping into the driver’s seat to take over one rein, and then the other, to safely guide the horses before transitioning to driving an automobile. Now, there is nothing to transition from but words on a page. Therefore, I am now administering a glide to a graceful ending.

Thank you to Teddy and all of the cast alumni and parents and staff and board members and volunteers and benefactors and audience members over all the years. As the curtain falls, may the memories of the magic live on in the family of PlayTime, happily ever after.

Sadly and Sincerely,

Letter PDF


PlayTime Show Production

Children's Theatre Performance

Fun for Kids Play Performance

Shyness is Won Over

Children's Classic Play

Classic Children's Theatre Play

Storybook Play Performance

Remake of a Classic

Children's Play

Historical Schedule of Productions

Velveteen Rabbit
Summer 1982 Sleeping Beauty
Summer 1983 Wizard of Oz
Summer 1984 Ali Baba
Winter 1984 Little Match Girl
Summer 1985 Reluctant Dragon
Fall 1985 Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Spring 1986 Charlotte’s Web
Summer 1986 Cinderella
Fall 1986 Little Princess
Spring 1987 Red Shoes
Summer 1987 Emperor’s New Clothes
Fall 1987 Prince & The Pauper
Spring 1988 Snow White
Summer 1988 Peter Pan
Fall 1988 Snow Queen
Spring 1989 Sleeping Beauty
Summer 1989 Ali Baba
Fall 1989 Little Match Girl
Spring I990 Princess & The Pea
Summer 1990 Wizard of Oz
Fall 1990 Emperor’s New Clothes
Spring 1991 Cinderella
Fall 1991 Little Princess
Spring 1992 Peter Pan
Fall 1992 Sleeping Beauty

Spring 1993 Wizard of Oz
Fall 1993 Prince & the Pauper
1994 Ali Baba
Spring 1995 Princess & the Pea
Fall 1995 Snow Queen
Spring 1996 Little Princess
Fall 1996 Snow White or Into DeForest
Spring 1997 Emperor’s New Clothes
Fall 1997 Peter Pan
Spring 1998 Sleeping Beauty
Fall 1998 Little Match Girl
Spring 1999 If The Shoe Fits…A Cinderella Story
Fall 1999 Reluctant Dragon
Spring 2000 Wonderful World of www.oz
Fall 2000 Red Shoes
Spring 2001 Ali Baba
Fall 2001 Prince & The Pauper
Spring 2002 Princess & The Pea
Fall 2002 Snow Queen
Spring 2003 Snow White
Fall 2003 Little Match Girl
Spring 2004 Sleeping Beauty
Fall 2004 Emperor’s New Clothes
Spring 2005 If The Shoe Fits…A Cinderella Story
Fall 2005 Reluctant Dragon
Spring 2006 WWW.OZ

Fall 2006 Prince & The Pauper
Spring 2007 The Red Shoes
Fall 2007 Ali Baba and a Few Thieves
Spring 2008 The Princess & The Pea
Fall 2008 Snow Queen
Spring 2009 Snow White
Fall 2009 Little Match Girl
Spring 2010 Sleeping Beauty
Fall 2010 Emperor’s New Clothes
Spring 2011 If The Shoe Fits…A Cinderella Story
Fall 2011 WWW.OZ
Spring 2012 Reluctant Dragon
Fall 2012 Prince & The Pauper
Spring 2013 The Red Shoes
Fall 2013 Ali Baba & A Few Thieves
Spring 2014 The Princess & The Pea
Fall 2014 The Snow Queen
Spring 2015 Snow White
Fall 2015 Emperor’s New Cothes
Spring 2016 Sleeping Beauty
Fall 2016 If The Shoe Fits…A Cinderella Story
Spring 2017 WWW.OZ
Fall 2017 The Little Match Girl
Spring 2018 The Reluctant Dragon
Fall 2018 Prince & The Pauper
Spring 2019 Red Shoes
Fall 2019 Ali Baba & A Few Thieves