Where do little one’s imaginations grow boundless? In the great outdoors. And so, the Stamford Museum & Nature Center (www.stamfordmuseum.org) launched “Off the Trail for Squeak and Squawk – An Immersive Outdoor Theatre Adventure” for children and their caregivers. It is planning to host eighteen sessions this September.
The series, produced by Stage Partners of Stamford, offers an outdoor theatre experience for children in grades K-5. The performers, costumes and music are all inspired by nature, not only for effect, but also to teach a bit about the outdoors. The children learn about theater, enjoy time to play and appreciate the wonders of being in nature. Where could be better than Stamford Museum & Nature Center, a nonprofit dedicated to art, science and history and boasting great walking trails and views? As participants walk along a wooded trail, they get to meet and interact with mythical creatures. They also look for clues to find Squeak and Squawk–two mice children.
The cast includes Leyla DeMolina, Stephen Kaplin, Betzabeth Castro, Emma Duffy, and Maggie Tumiotto-Jackson, with costume design by Sophie Howard of Darien. Katherine Braun is production manager, and Ben McCormack composed the music. Together, they create magic. The project is the brainchild of theater artists and Stamford residents Jason and Maria Pizzarello. From March 2020 (the start of the pandemic) until September 2020, Jason was serving with the New York Army National Guard. On his leave, he walked the trails of the Nature Center with his wife and their children. Together they created and shared stories, which was the start of the idea for Off the Trail.
Each session runs about forty-five minutes. They take place on September 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 27 (11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m.). The program is funded by the Stamford Arts Council and the Francis R. Dewing Foundation. You can get tickets ($10-$15) at www.stamfordmuseum.org/offthetrail.