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Imagine U set to make young imaginations soar with 2018-2019 season

Imagine U's 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown' runs Nov. 2 to 18 at the Wirtz Center
Imagine U's 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown' runs Nov. 2 to 18 at the Wirtz Center

EVANSTON --- A purple crayon wielding adventurer, a dancing beagle and an intrepid young aviator will fuel a season of stories for young audiences when Northwestern University’s 2018-2019 Imagine U season lifts off Sept. 29 at the Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts.

Limited tickets are still available for the season opener, “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” from Sept. 29 to 30. The stage adaptation by Claire Glubiak and Noah LaPook uses circus arts, puppets and dance to bring Crockett Johnson’s classic tale to life.

The Tony Award-winning musical “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,” from Nov. 2 to 18, and the Chicago premiere of Susan Zeder’s “When She Had Wings,” from Feb. 24 to March 10, round out the Imagine U offerings.

Imagine U productions are geared toward families with young children. Performances include an opportunity to meet the cast and receive a take-home program with activities related to the production themes.

For information on sensory-friendly performances for children with autism, learning differences and other sensory needs, visit the Imagine U website.

Tickets for all productions are available online through the Wirtz Center website. Phone and in-person box office sales begin Sept. 26.

The 2018-2019 Imagine U season includes:

Imagine U: “Harold and the Purple Crayon”
By Claire Glubiak and Noah LaPook adapted from the book by Crockett Johnson
Directed by Noah LaPook
One weekend only: Sept. 29 to 30
Upstairs Blackbox Theatre, 1949 Campus Drive

One evening, Harold decides to go for a walk in the moonlight. Armed only with a purple crayon, young Harold creates a landscape full of wonder and excitement. He and his trusty crayon travel through forests, across seas and past dragons before returning to bed, safe and sound. This freshly devised adaptation of the popular children’s book by Crockett Johnson utilizes circus, dance, clowning and shadow puppetry to bring the timeless story to life.  

Limited tickets are still available for Saturday, Sept. 29 at noon and 2 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 30 at 1 and 3 p.m. The sensory-friendly performance is Sunday at 1 p.m.     

Performances on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. are sold out.

Imagine U: “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”
Music and lyrics by Clark M. Gesner with additional lyrics by Andrew Lippa
Based on the “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles M. Schulz
Directed by Stephen Schellhardt
Nov. 2 to 18
Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, 1949 Campus Drive

Explore a day in the life through the eyes of Charlie Brown and his colorful friends in the Peanuts gang including Lucy, Sally, Schroeder, Linus and Snoopy. Based on the beloved Charles Schultz comic strip, this witty and big-hearted Broadway musical features charming songs and vignettes that remind us of the joys of friendship and the pleasure of the simple things in life. Musical numbers include “My Blanket and Me,” “The Baseball Game,” “Little Known Facts,” “Suppertime” and “Happiness.” Recommended for ages 3 and older.

Director Stephen Schellhardt says the musical captures a look into what being an adult is from the point of view of children. “You won’t see a cartoon, but you will experience the humor and essence of a year in the life of Charlie Brown and his friends,” Schellhardt said.

Performances are Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The sensory-friendly performance is Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. 

Imagine U: “When She Had Wings”
By Suzan Zeder
Directed by Rives Collins
Feb. 24 to Mar. 10
Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, 1949 Campus Drive

A fiercely determined young girl and aspiring pilot named B. has decided that she must realize her destiny to fly before turning 10. In a makeshift airplane built in her backyard treehouse, she recounts the thrilling and legendary victories of her hero, Amelia Earhart. That night, following a tremendous summer thunderstorm, a mysterious birdlike visitor takes up residence in her imaginary cockpit, and B. wonders if the strange creature might be an incarnation of her hero and inspiration to finally take flight.

Performances are Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The sensory-friendly performance is Sunday, March 3 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available on the Wirtz Center website. Beginning Sept. 26, tickets can be purchased by phone at 847-491-7282 or in-person at the Wirtz Center box office, located in the lobby of the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. 

Box office hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. The box office is closed Sundays and Mondays. 

The Wirtz Center is a member of the Northwestern Arts Circle, which brings together film, humanities, literary arts, music, theater, dance and visual arts. 

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