GLEN ELLYN, Ill.– The Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour presents the inspiring musical, “Me…Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of Young Jane Goodall” at the McAninch Arts Center Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. This production, based on the book “Me…Jane” by Patrick McDonnell, is adapted and written by McDonnell, Andy Mitton and Aaron Posner with music and lyrics by Andy Mitton. Using anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall’s autobiography, “Me…Jane” makes Goodall’s true story accessible and entertaining for the young—and young at heart. “Me…Jane” is recommended for ages 6 and up.
Before she was a renowned humanitarian, conservationist and animal activist, Dr. Jane Goodall was a little girl with a special toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. “Me…Jane” shows how her youthful attachment to Jubilee grew into a lifelong devotion to primates, which redefined species conservation to include the needs of local people and the environment. The play also foreshadows the gender-based discrimination that Goodall would repeatedly face in her lifelong quest to study wild animals.
Goodall herself gave the show, created by the Kennedy Center’s renowned young audiences program, a stamp of approval when it premiered in 2017. “The idea of bringing ‘Me…Jane’ to the stage is very exciting,” she told the Kennedy Center. “I love the book and I am sure that the live action will inspire children of all ages to pursue their dreams and to realize if Jane did it, they can do it, too.”
Goodall, born in 1934 and raised in Bournemouth, England, was the first person to study chimpanzees in their native African habitat. She is best known for her six-decade study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees, primarily in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. Goodall has written more than 30 books (includes 15 children’s books) about her experiences; founded the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots & Shoots, a global environmental and humanitarian education program for young people; and has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues. In 2002, she was named a UN Messenger of Peace. Goodall is an honorary member of the World Future Council.
“Me…Jane” is directed by Aaron Posner. The artistic/design team also includes Christopher D’Amboise (choreography), William Yanesh (co-arrangements/music direction), Paige Hathaway (scenic design), Helen Q. Huang (costume design), Andrew Cissna (lighting design) and Justin Schmitz (sound design). The cast includes Shinah Brashears (Young Jane), Liz Filios (Mum), and Phoebe Gonzalez, Harrison Smith and Michael Mainwaring (The Pack).
The Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences (KCTYA) Program commissions, produces, tours and presents performances in theater, opera, dance, music, puppetry and storytelling for children and their families. With a focus on new and innovative theater and musical theater works that excite, inspire and challenge young audiences, KCTYA devotes itself to producing and presenting diverse productions that draw on the talents of playwrights, composers, directors, designers and actors from around the country and the world. Its busy season includes three to four commissioned works for in-house productions and two tours that travel across the US for up to eight months at a time. KCTYA also produces a biennial program, New Visions/New Voices, that helps theaters in the US and abroad develop new work for young audiences. For more information about KCTYA, visit kennedy-center.org.
The Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour production of “Me…Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of Young Jane Goodall” comes to the McAninch Arts Center, located at 425 Fawell Blvd. on the campus of College of DuPage, Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $14 for youth and $20 for adults. For tickets and more information, visit AtTheMAC.org or call 630.942.4000.
The Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour is represented by Shaw Entertainment Group, LLC.
About the MAC
The McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at College of DuPage is located 25 miles west of Chicago near I-88 and I-355. It houses three indoor performance spaces (the 780-seat proscenium Belushi Performance Hall; the 236-seat soft-thrust Playhouse Theatre; and the versatile black box Studio Theatre), the outdoor Lakeside Pavilion, the Cleve Carney Art Gallery and classrooms for the college’s academic programming. The MAC has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 1.5 million people since its opening in 1986 and typically welcomes more than 100,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances each season.
The mission of the MAC is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community. Visit AtTheMAC.org or facebook.com/AtTheMAC for more information.
The MAC’s 2018-2019 Season is made possible in part with support by, Follett, Hilton Lisle/Naperville, WDCB 90.9 FM and the College of DuPage Foundation.
Established as a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit charitable organization in 1967, the College of DuPage Foundation raises monetary and in-kind gifts to increase access to education and to enhance cultural opportunities for the surrounding community. For more information about the College of DuPage Foundation, visit foundation.cod.edu or call 630.942.2462.
Programs at the MAC are partially supported through a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.