Central Texas’ most well-known children’s theatre company, Pollyanna Theatre, a resident company of the Long Center for the Performing Arts, presents the world premiere of Playing Possum: A Trickster Tale from Mexico by Holly Hepp-Galvan. This new play, best suited for children ages 5-9, opens May 12 – 21 at the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 West Riverside, Austin, TX 78704.

Long ago, possums didn’t look the way they do today. They were silky white and had beautiful tails with long, thick fur. And they loved to play tricks, particularly on poor Coyote. In this retelling of Mexican folklore, we follow Possum’s adventures with Coyote, Rabbit, Snake and Grandmother Turtle as they prepare for el gran fiesta when every animal gets to choose what they will look like forever. Along the way, Possum ends up playing one trick too many and he is called upon to save the world by bringing a chunk of the sun down to earth. Combined with Spanish language elements and traditional Mexican symbols, this play will have children laughing while they think about what it really means to be clever.

While the plot and characters in Playing Possum: A Trickster Tale from Mexico are drawn from several popular Mexican folktales, many cultures use traditional trickster and animal characters to explain human nature. The trickster figure in this play, Possum, will show kids the values of being clever and the consequences of being tricky. Children will also be able to discuss the power of storytelling, which was once only an oral tradition through which older generations passed down valuable life lessons. This play provides teachers and caregivers of Latino children an opportunity to connect by understanding their culture and expands the cultural knowledge of non-Latino children.

Parents, teachers and caregivers can download a free study guide to accompany the production by visiting http://www.pollyannatheatrecompany.org/teachers/lesson-plans/. The guide contains an overview of the play, educational objectives and pre/post discussion questions and activities. In addition to public performances, Playing Possum: A Trickster Tale from Mexico is also available for schools and camps throughout Central Texas.

WHEN: May 12 at 11:30 am, May 13 – 14 and 20 – 21 at 2:00 pm, May 15, 18, 19 at 9:30 am and 11:30 am

WHERE: Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts 701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX  78704

TICKETS: Tickets range from $10 – $14. For weekend performances, tickets may be purchased online by visiting www.thelongcenter.org/event/playing-possum. For weekday performances, call (512) 743-7966 for tickets.

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