Canadian group brings puppetry to Omaha’s Rose theater


The Rose children’s theater in Omaha is opening its 2014-15 season with a first for Omaha – a guest theater company staging a show.

The Rose is home to “The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites” Sept. 5-21.

The show combines three Carle classic stories: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” “Little Cloud” and “The Mixed-Up Chameleon.”

“Caterpillar” follows the adventures of a very tiny and very hungry caterpillar as he eats his way through an amazing variety of foods on his path to becoming a beautiful butterfly.

In the sky, “Little Cloud” playfully transforms himself into various creatures, including a sheep, an airplane, a shark, as well as other shapes.

“Chameleon” features a character bored with his life, sitting about predictably changing color all day. Following a trip to the zoo, he tries to emulate the beautiful animals he sees, but eventually concludes that there is value in his own unique self.

The show features Jackson Fowlow and Graeme Black Robinson of Mermaid Theatre in Nova Scotia. The theater group started in 1972 and has performed on four continents.

The show features brightly colored puppets with black light effects.

“We are very excited to bring this show to Omaha,” said Rose artistic director Matt Gutschick. “The imagery in the show is simply amazing. The puppets and scenery stay true to Eric Carle’s original illustration. You can’t help but fall in love with every character as you journey along with them on their adventures.”

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It’s considered a great show to introduce children to theater, said director Jim Morrow. He considers the show a “no-shushing” production.

“The ‘no-shushing’ thing was my idea,” he explains. “I think it’s important to let children engage and interact with the performance. You don’t usually get that in the theatre. You’re always told to be quiet.”

Eric Carle has written and illustrated more than 70 books for young children, which combine collage artwork with an imaginative approach to learning, and has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.

The Rose is Omaha’s premier children’s theater. It puts on some of the best shows using actors of all ages from the area. My daughters participated in shows and acting camps as children.

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites” has performances on Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Interpretation for the hearing impaired will be offered at the 2 p.m. show on Saturday, Sept. 13.

The show is targeted for families with children ages 3 and up. It runs about an hour without an intermission. Tickets are $18 per person, but discount tickets are available through Hy-Vee for $14 each.

For more information on the show and the Rose, please visit its website at