June 13, 2012

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

PSST! Opens 'Go, Dog. Go!' on Friday


VALDOSTA -- The 2012 Peach State Summer Theatre season gains momentum on Friday, June 15, with the opening of “Go, Dog. Go!”

A small cast of nine actors -- under the direction of Barbara Hartwig, resident artist in dance and choreographer at Coastal Carolina University and certainly no stranger to Peach State Summer Theatre audiences -- will bring P.D. Eastman’s classic 1961 children’s book to life on Valdosta State University’s Sawyer Theatre stage. Through movement, color, and space, the actors will describe the actions and interactions of a group of highly mobile dogs who snorkel, howl at the moon, ride a Ferris wheel, sing, dance and climb trees, all in the pursuit of work and play.

The musical version of Eastman’s book was created in 2003 by Allison Gregory and Steven Dietz for the Seattle Children’s Theatre.

“This play is adapted from a book renowned for its ability to generate fun, learning, adventure, and surprise with a minimum of text,” Gregory and Dietz were quoted as saying at Plays for Young Audiences. “It honors the joyous simplicity of the world around us. Therefore, in the making of this play, it is not our intention to ‘fill out’ or ‘open up’ the story in the style of many traditional adaptations. ‘Expanding the book’ in this way would, we believe, rob it of its essential wondrous and loopy anarchy. Instead, we hope to celebrate and explore the existing words and pictures, to look not ‘outside the book’ but more closely ‘within it,’ in the way that a child can page through Mr. Eastman’s book night after night and find something remarkable and new with each subsequent reading. We have chosen, therefore, to play inside the story, to explore the buckets of bliss, wonder, longing, and discovery that are waiting for us, for all of us, there.”

The Valdosta Daily Times and Smith Northview Hospital have partnered, once again, with Peach State Summer Theatre, or PSST!, to host a coloring contest for kids to win tickets to the opening performance of “Go, Dog. Go!” An ice cream social will be held for all of the winners at 6:30 p.m. The show will start at 7:30 p.m.

Jacque Wheeler, Peach State Summer Theatre artistic director, said, “We are grateful for a National Endowment of the Arts grant to support our Theatre for Youth production of ‘Go Dog. Go!’ In particular, the grant focuses on the promotion of reading readiness for young readers, and we are working with community organizations and schools to help distribute books to early readers, as well as to arrange attendance at the performances. This production is also sponsored by Wild Adventures Theme Park.”

Peach State Summer Theatre, or PSST!, is Valdosta’s premiere professional summer stock theatre. Each summer, dozens of singers, dancers, technicians, managers, and creators gather on the campus of Valdosta State University for nine weeks. During that time, they rehearse, build, and present three musicals in rotating repertory.

The 2012 Peach State Summer Theatre season marks the 23rd year of VSU producing professional theatre for the city of Valdosta, the state of Georgia, and beyond. From 1990 to 2004, VSU produced the Jekyll Island Musical Theatre Festival. In 2005, the summer theatre program was relocated to the university and renamed PSST! Then, in 2006, it was designated the Official Musical Theatre of the State of Georgia by the Georgia Legislature.

The musical theatre season kicked off on June 2 with the opening of “Legally Blonde: The Musical.” The third and final show in the lineup, “The Light in the Piazza,” will open on Friday, June 22. The three shows will be presented in rotating repertory through the weekend of July 14-15 on the Sawyer Theatre stage in VSU’s Fine Arts Building, which is located on the corner of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.

The Peach State Summer Theatre box office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays. It is located on the first floor of the VSU Fine Arts Building and can be reached by calling (229) 259-7770.

Individual show tickets are $25 plus tax for adults and $20 plus tax for all children, students, and senior citizens.

Visit www.valdosta.edu/psst or read  “Peach State Summer Theatre Box Office Is Open For Business” or  “PSST! Season Kicks Off Saturday With ‘Legally Blonde: The Musical’” or  “PSST!: Creating Three Very Different Worlds On One Small Stage” or “PSST! Opens ‘Go, Dog. Go!’ On Friday” or “PSST!’s ‘The Light In The Piazza’ Continues Wednesday” for more information.

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