From the Director
The world is a hectic place, even for kids. It’s nice to stop and smell the roses once in awhile. Sometimes we need a friend who can point out where those roses are growing. Arnold Lobel knew just how to describe such friends with his award winning picture books, Frog and Toad. In fact he did such a fantastic job of it, his Frog & Toad books won both the Newbery and Caldecott Honor awards. They were also voted into the “Top 100 Picture Books” of all time in 2012.
None of this surprises me. I have been a fan of Mr. Lobel’s stories since I was exposed to them as an actor in 1990 working for the very company presenting this production. I had the honor of playing Frog at a time when I definitely benefited from a deep understanding of how friends can improve the quality of life. It’s no surprise that Facebook became as popular as it did with “friending” as its main function.
When I discovered that the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis was commissioning the musical adaptation of the Frog & Toad stories, I was very excited. To have these wonderful stories set to music and dance seemed to me a perfect use of children’s theater. Audiences and producers agreed and the original production moved on to Broadway and became the first theater for young audiences piece to be nominated for a Tony Award.
Now it’s here at The Rose and I have the honor of directing a marvelous cast with an industry-leading production team backing me up. Now my excitement centers around you and your families experiencing these meaningful relationships first hand!
Show Director Kevin Ehrhart
This show will be interpreted for the hearing impaired on Saturday, May 4th at 2 pm.
Going to The Rose Guide
It’s almost time for our next production, A Year with Frog and Toad. We’ve assembled some special information to help you and your family to get ready. Before you go to the show, you might want to take a few moments to review this guide so everyone will know what to expect from the performance.
The Story You Will See
Frog and Toad are best friends, and it isn’t any wonder why. They enjoy one another’s company, no matter what the weather, and they participate in lots of delightful activities together.
During the coarse of a year packed full of fun, they greet spring, go for a swim, have picnics, rake leaves, tell scary stories, and race down snowy hills in a sled. Their adventures, big and small, help them to learn a lot about what it takes to be best friends.
With their other woodland pals Turtle, Mouse, Lizard, Snail, and the Birds, they discover the best way to spend every season: with a friend.
The Characters You Will Meet
• Frog – A calm and cheerful amphibian who is best friends with Toad. Frog helps Toad to overcome his worries and is often just the friend that Toad needs.
• Toad – A rather nervous fellow who tends to worry about things. Toad is sometimes very unsure of things and needs encouragement.
• Snail – An enthusiastic messenger, this eager mollusk claims to be “as fast as any cheetah.”
• Turtle – A somewhat sarcastic friend of Frog and Toad.
• Mouse – A sometimes helpful friend of Frog and Toad.
• Squirrels – Two mischievous squirrels that mess up the leaves in the yards of Frog and Toad.
• Father, Mother, and Young Frog – Frog’s family in a scary story he tells.
• Large and Terrible Frog – The big scary frog in Frog’s scary story.
• Birds and Moles – A chorus of critters that helps to tell the story of Frog and Toad’s friendship.
Things To Know Before You Go
• At one point in the play, Frog tells Toad a scary story about a little frog that escapes from a large monster-like frog that is trying to eat him. Though mostly silly, this spooky tale might be frightening for younger audience members.
• Toad tends to worry and sometimes gets very emotional as he is dealing with his daily problems. He becomes angry with Frog and others as he gets frustrated and does not always show admirable behavior.
• Turtle, Mouse, and Lizard sing a song making fun of Toad in his bathing suit. It is a funny song in a funny part of the story, but some children may worry that it hurts Toad’s feelings. You may want to talk with your child about how making fun of someone can hurt that person’s feelings.
Topics for Dinnertime Discussion
One of the best ways to enjoy a show is to talk about the story and the characters with others who attended. Below are some topics you may want to discuss.
Before the Show
• A Year With Frog and Toad tells a story of two friends who have lots of fun together over the coarse of a year. What kinds of activities do you like to do with your friends? Do you look forward to certain kinds of activities during different times of the year?
• Frog and Toad encounter some situations that scare them or make them nervous or worried. Can you remember a time when you were nervous or worried? What are some things you can do to feel better when you are nervous about something?
• Frog sends Toad a letter in the mail at the beginning of the story. Have you ever received a letter or card in the mail? What did the letter say? How did it make you feel? Have you ever sent someone a letter? What did you write in your letter?
After the Show
• Toad tends to worry a lot and sometimes has a hard time being patient. Think of a time when you had to wait for something to happen. Was it hard to be patient? What happened after you waited?
• Some of Toad’s animal friends make fun of him because they think he looks funny in a bathing suit. How do you think it made Toad feel when his friends made fun of him? What would you do if you ended up in a situation like Toad’s?
• In the summer, Frog goes to an island on the lake to be alone. How did he feel about being alone? Is it okay to be alone sometimes? Has there ever been a time that you wanted to be alone? What do you like to do when you are by yourself?
• Throughout the year, Frog tries to help Toad be brave. When was a time that you felt brave? When was a time you did not feel brave? How does it help to have a friend to support you when you feel shy or nervous?
Awesome Aftershow Activities
After your family enjoys the show, you might want to try these fun activities at home to extend the experience!
• Costume a Character - The actors in A Year With Frog and Toad dress up as different animals. Choose one of the animals from the play and create a costume for that character using old clothing or recycled materials like cardboard boxes and scrap fabric. Once you create your costume, use your movements and voice to bring the character to life!
• Grow a Garden – Like Frog and Toad you can enjoy living near lots of green growing things. Collect seeds for different plants, like flowers or vegetables. Plant the seeds in soil in an egg carton, and make sure they get enough water and sunshine to sprout. Once they sprout, you can transfer them to flowerpots or to an outdoor garden.
• Share Some Love with a Letter – Toad felt much happier after he received a nice letter from Frog. You could cheer up a friend or family member by writing them a letter. You can tell them a story, list the things you like about them, and even draw them pictures.
• Scare Up Some Stories – Try telling your own spooky tales with your friends and family! Build a fort out of sheets and pillows in your bedroom or living room, turn out the lights, and make up scary stories to tell your friends and family. You could check out a book of scary stories from the library for ideas and inspiration.
While at The Rose
• Stay for the Post-Show Q&A – Our actors end each performance with a 5-10 minute Q&A session conducted from the stage. The Q&A offers a wonderful opportunity for children to ask questions and learn more about the scenery, costumes, special effects, and more!
• Meet the Cast & Get an Autograph – Select actors from the show will be available after the show to sign autographs. Meet them on the mezzanine outside the entrance to the balcony level seats.
• Grab a Class Brochure – If you like what you saw on the stage and think you would like to be a part of it, try taking a class at The Rose Theater. The Rose offers a wide variety of classes for every interest and experience level.