Baby Bear takes Ladybug Theater shows on the road

See why parents of little tykes are telling their friends about the new, summertime location for this renowned children’s theater group …

Ladybug Theater director Michele Earley, Baby Bear, and Janell Collier start their production of “Baby Bear and the Seven Dwarves (or, Seven Kids from the Audience)”, acted out in their own special way.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Even though they’ve moved from the Oregon Zoo, to Oaks Park – and now in inner SE Portland throughout their 43 year existence, the Ladybug Theater has operated with one goal in mind: teaching children to enjoy live theater.

“The very nature of all Ladybug Theater shows has been about getting kids involved in live performance,” said its director, Michele Earley. “We give parents a place to take young children and let them learn appropriate theater behavior and etiquette while attending a live performance.”

But mostly, Earley says, it’s about having a good time. “More importantly, our programs show youngsters that live shows are fun experience – it’s not scary. And, they’re geared to encouraging kids to use their own imagination and humor.”

The show’s namesake, “Ladybug” asks the Dwarf (Janell Collier) why she’s so tall. “I’ve been sick, it makes me grow,” the Dwarf answers comically.

Baby Bear’s ‘road show’
For the last several years, Ladybug Theater shows have been presented at in Sellwood’s SMILE Station S.E. 13th at Tenino, a block south of Tacoma St.

But, during July and August, they’re also performing at the Day Music building at 5516 S.E. Foster Road.

“Baby Bear” a beloved and perennial star of many productions, also takes the stage at the Day Music programs. “It is quite a trip, for such a small bear, to come all the way from Sellwood to outer East Portland,” Earley noted.

Just then, the sassy Baby Bear chimed in, retorting, “It’s not that far. I’ve been all the way out to … Gresham!

To learn more about their shows – and they ask you make telephone reservations, and pay at the door – call (503) 232-2346.

The Rabbit asks Baby Bear if he’s ready for another Ladybug Theater show.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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