Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Foxtales Exemplifies Theatre for Young Audiences

Modern adaptation of Aesop’s fables teaches life lessons to children and adults alike

Foxtales Exemplifies Theatre for Young Audiences

By Teresa Monaco

Each year, the SDSU School of Theatre, Television, and Film produces one show for young audiences. This year, it’s Foxtales by Charles Pascoe. According to Co-Director Vinh Nguyen “Foxtales is an ensemble-based, modern adaptation of Aesop’s fables, told through the journey of a young fox named Sonny.” Foxtales runs February 16 through 21 in the Don Powell Theatre. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $17 for students/military/seniors, and $10 for children 12 and under. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Co-director’s career grew from this play

Co-Director and SDSU faculty member Peter Cirino has a special relationship with Foxtales—he acted in its premiere! “When I first started acting, this was the first show I was cast in during my undergraduate career at Southwest Texas State University. There was a production in the fall, and in the spring we toured with it all over Texas—something like 287 shows by the time we were done.” Cirino goes on to describe that the tour was invited to a few festivals, including the Virginia Children’s Festival, where the show was well-received.

“It gave me such an advantage to have that ownership of a piece,” Cirino explains. “I developed how I would begin to create other roles, direct, and devise pieces from that experience—it was truly amazing.” Cirino was great friends with playwright Charles Pascoe, and keeps in touch with Pascoe’s son to this day. “Charles was truly amazing. He wrote around 15 plays and kids shows—thousands of kids in Texas were exposed to his work.”

Appeals to children and adults

When asked why this show is appealing to young audiences, Nguyen explains “With our DIY approach to telling the story, we hope to show children how easy and fun it is to put on a show and further promote theatre education in our schools.”

Although Foxtales is billed as theatre for young audiences, there are elements of the play that adults will appreciate. “The story deals with subjects like friendship, teamwork, bullying, judging people who are different, and patriotism – themes that are quite relevant, considering our current political climate. I hope that the deeper messages of the story will be a takeaway for our adult audience as well,” explains Nguyen.

Cast member Dillon Hoban echoes Nguyen’s sentiments on Foxtales’ significance in today’s world. “What I love most about Foxtales is how topical it has become. Often in theatre, we see shows which reflect the time and place in which they are written and performed. Foxtales has managed to stay relevant, which is both a testament to the times we live in and a reminder of how art can leave a lasting impact on our lives.”

Foxtales has themes that will resonate with children and adults alike—and at the end of the day, everyone could use a reminder of the morals and lessons taught in Aesop’s Fables. Be kind to your neighbors and yourself, and check out SDSU’s upcoming production of Charles Pascoe’s Foxtales!

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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