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The Little Engine That Could

Adapted by Matthew Gutschick.
Based on the Book by Watty Piper.
Published by Penguin Group, Inc.

“All aboard!!!” for a First Stage adaptation of the all-time classic children’s book The Little Engine That Could! This production for our youngest theatergoers brings Watty Piper’s timeless tale of perseverance and positivity to fresh new life for contemporary children! Screen-centered Watty and stuff-collecting Piper aren’t exactly on the same track. But when the train is delayed leaving them stranded in the station, they must learn to work together—with lots of help from children in the station—to pass the time and use the objects around them to tell a creative tale. With its universal themes of finding your own confidence, believing in yourself and helping others, you and your little ones will relish this ride on the rails of doing the right thing!

  • Run Dates Feb 15 - Mar 8, 2020
  • Appropriate Ages 2+
  • Duration 30 minutes
Purchase Tickets

Show dates and times

Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 at 9:30 am
Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 at 11 am
Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020 at 9:30 am
Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020 at 11 am
Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 at 10 am
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 at 9:30 am
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 at 11 am
Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020 at 9:30 am
Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020 at 11 am
Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 at 10 am
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 at 9:30 am
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 at 11 am
Sunday, Mar. 1, 2020 at 9:30 am
Sunday, Mar. 1, 2020 at 11 am
Monday, Mar. 2, 2020 at 10 am
Saturday, Mar. 7, 2020 at 9:30 am
Saturday, Mar. 7, 2020 at 11 am*
Sunday, Mar. 8, 2020 at 9:30 am
Sunday, Mar. 8, 2020 at 11 am

Members receive discounted
tickets to this show!

Member tickets can be purchased by members for $1o each. (Regularly $12.)

Non-Member Tickets available after August 1 for $12 each.

Reservations Required. Tickets required for all attendees over 1 year of age.
CALL 402.345.4849 or click the “Purchase Tickets” button above.
(Members may now reserve their free member tickets online.)

Ticket Information

Show tickets are available at Will Call, if not picked up earlier.
Lobby doors will open 45 minutes prior to the show.
Tickets that have not been claimed five minutes prior to the show may be released or sold.

* ASL interpretation for the deaf and hard of hearing is provided

Field Trip Info


Best for Grades:
  • Pre-K to 2nd Grade
State Requirements:
  • Retelling information from narrative text
  • Making connections between characters or events in narrative and informational text, to own life or other cultures
  • Describing how people’s actions affect others
Field trip dates and times:
  • Mon. Feb. 17th at 10 am
  • Wed. Feb. 19th at 10 am
  • Thurs. Feb. 20th at 10 am
  • Fri. Feb 21st at 10 am
  • Mon. Feb 24th at 10 am
  • Wed. Feb. 26th at 10 am
  • Thurs. Feb. 27th at 2 pm
  • Fri. Feb. 28th at 2 pm
  • Mon. Mar 2nd at 10 am
Field Trip Pricing:
  • Teachers are FREE!
  • $5.00 Students
  • $3.00 Students on Free/Reduced Lunch Program
  • $5.00 Adult Chaperones
  • Note: Tax will be added to groups that do not have a tax exemption code on file
Click here for online study guide

Book a Field Trip

First Stage: A small stage for big imaginations

The Rose is proud to offer young theater-goers a unique opportunity to experience the theater arts. Our FIRST STAGE productions are perfect for preschoolers, children with special needs or sensory needs or others who desire a gentler, more interactive and personal performance.


Our FIRST STAGE productions feature:

  • Interactions with performers
  • A smaller theater space where kids are part of the action
  • Flexible seating in chairs, on the floor, on benches, etc.
  • A “shush-free” environment
  • Minimal periods of darkness or loud sounds
  • A whole lot of imagination and fun!

The Rose’s Hitchcock Stage (a smaller theater space located on our 4th floor), allows children to become completely absorbed in the theatrical experience. We encourage their interaction with the performers and invite your family to tear down the fourth wall and become a part of the performance.

FIRST STAGE provides a way to nurture creative thinking and imagination
while inspiring both children and their parents.

Introduce your child to the magic of theater through FIRST STAGE!


NEW in 2019-20!

Purchase a FIRST STAGE+ PACKAGE for $75 and receive 4 tickets to A Bucket of Blessings, The Little Engine That Could AND the mainstage production of Corduroy! Plus, receive 2 sample dance and drama classes to give your preschooler a jump start into the arts!

Click here for more information.

Carina DuMarce

Carina DuMarce

Piper -
All aboard! Carina is from South Dakota but studied Theater Arts at Minnesota State University Moorhead, in Moorhead, MN. While living in the Fargo/Moorhead area, Carina worked as a freelance theater artist directing, choreographing, prop designing, stage managing, teaching, and acting. Some of their favorite projects include Darkness Like A Dream (as Hermia), The Jungle Book (as Baloo), Eurydice (Director), Cinderella: If the Shoe Fits (Director/Choreographer), A Year with Frog and Toad (Stage Manager) and Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Stage Manager/Prop Designer). In Fall of 2018, Carina made their way to The Rose Theater to start as a Teaching Artist Fellow. Now as a Teaching Artist Contract, Carina has been seen on stage in Winnie the Pooh (as Winnie the Pooh), Ella Enchanted (as Olive), and now back for a second time in The Little Engine That Could! (reprising the role of Piper). Carina would love to thank Hayley and Michael for being an absolute dream to work with, Stephanie for her fearless guidance and storytelling, Meghan and Kira for their brilliant leadership, and the entire production team for bringing this story to life.

Hayley Greenstreet

Hayley Greenstreet

Watty -
Hayley Greenstreet comes from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She earned her BA in Theatre from Wake Forest University in 2015. Since graduating she has worked as an Education Intern at Lexington Children’s Theater in Kentucky and is returning for her fourth year as a Rose Teaching Artist! She has most recently directed A Bucket of Blessings for the First Stage Series here at The Rose, as well as assistant directed Elf the Musical. This past year she had the thrilling opportunity to work with TVY production as the Assistant Director to Kerfuffle’s Nested - a devised theater experience for the very young at The Union for Contemporary Art. This upcoming spring she looks forward to working as an AD on The Rose’s Corduroy, and Nebraska Shakespeare’s Shakespeare in Love. She hopes to continue her work with Theater for Young Audiences by attending grad school in the upcoming years! She is so very happy to be working at The Rose Theater where she and the rest of the wonderful education staff continue to engage, inspire, and empower students every day. Thank you for joining us, and we hope that you enjoy our production of The Little Engine That Could!

Michael Miller

Michael Miller

Conductor -
Michael is an actor and teaching artist at The Rose Theater. He has worked as an Arts Education Specialist with various Omaha cultural arts programs. As a registered Nebraska Arts Council artist, Michael has designed and delivered educational theater programs in the schools for the past ten years. He has also worked with young people at the Omaha Theater Company for nearly 15 years. Michael also serves as Literary Manager for The Rose Theater. He worked as development dramaturge for the award winning scripts The Adventures of Nutrition Man and Dr. Exercise among others. Michael was recently in The Rose Theater’s James and the Giant Peach and Huck Finn. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies with a concentration on educational issues from Yale University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Stephanie Jacobson

Stephanie Jacobson

Director -
Stephanie is a full time Teaching Artist and the Director of Youth Productions at The Rose Theater. She previously directed The Little Engine That Could, George and Martha, Charlotte’s Web, A Child’s Garden of Verses, Curious George and The Golden Meatball and The Rose’s world premiere of The Grocer’s Goblin and The Little Mermaid as well as The Misfits, and Thumbelina: A New Friend’s Journey (which she wrote and directed). She appeared on The Rose stage as Arrietty in The Borrowers, Frog in A Year with Frog and Toad, Nancy in Ivy & Bean, Ida in Honk, and Kaa in The Jungle Book. Stephanie has her MFA in Acting from the University of Iowa, is a certified Yoga instructor, participated in the Diavolo Project: Nebraska, is a Dance Company Member of The UNO Moving Company and is a trained puppeteer specializing in shadow puppetry and Bunraku. She has presented and led workshops for Opera Omaha, UNO College of Education/ Celebration of The Young Child, The Nebraska State Education Continuing Education Department, Creighton University and the National LGBTQA Mid-West College Conference. Before moving to Omaha, she lived in NYC where she worked with Liz Swados, Lee Bruer’s Mabou Mines, Taylor Mac and The Jim Henson Company. She would like to thank her Rose family, her husband Chad, son Finn, and Blue. Thank you, Rose Theater goers, for supporting this theater and arts for children in the Omaha area!

Know Before You Go

Join Our Post-Performance Q&A Session!

A few minutes after the performance, our actors will conduct a Question & Answer session from the stage. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the scenery, costumes, special effects, and other aspects of the production. The actors may even have a question or two for you about the story.

Meet the Cast & Get an Autograph!

Some performers will be available after the show to say hello, pose in pictures, and sign their autographs for you. You can meet them on the mezzanine level right outside the entrance to our balcony level seats.


Everyone deserves a chance to experience the magic of theater. Performances are open to children and family members of all abilities. Click here to learn more about accessibility at The Rose.

Social Stories

A social story is a tool that helps individuals better understand the world around them so they can plan for a positive experience, even if they are going into an place that is unknown to them. Social stories help individuals know what to expect and what to do in unfamiliar situations by walking them through the experience. They are often used by individuals on the autism spectrum, children with sensory needs or those with other special needs. They can be very helpful for very young children anticipating their first theatrical experience. The Rose’s social stories feature photos of all areas of the theater to help children of all abilities with a step-by-step explanation of what it is like to visit The Rose, as well as answering questions they may have. Click here to access The Rose’s show-specific social stories.

Theater Location

The Rose is located in downtown Omaha at 2001 Farnam Street on the southwest corner of 20th & Farnam Streets.


From west Omaha, take I-80 East to 1-480 North and exit onto 20th Street. The Rose is located on Farnam Street, approximately three blocks south of the 20th Street exit.

Convenient Parking

Parking is available for $2 in the parking garage at 19th & Harney, courtesy of the Omaha Douglas Public Building Commission (1910 Harney St., Omaha, NE 68102).

Parking meters surrounding the theater are active from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with free parking available on Sundays and holidays.