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Childsplay brings 46th season to Herberger Theater in downtown Phoenix

Photo of Selena Maria Sings
A view of Selena Maria Sings by Miriam Gonzales with original music by Las Cafeteras’ Daniel French. (File Photos/

Tempe-based playhouse offers 4 works this season

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Childsplay launches its 46th season with a four-show lineup.

Childsplay was founded in 1977 by David Saar, who recognized during his collegiate studies children could reap great benefits from experiences with professional theatre. Childsplay is at 900 S. Mitchell Drive in Tempe.

The lineup for the 46th season at Childsplay is

  • Selena Maria Sings
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Tomás and the Library Lady
  • The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen.
  • Selena Maria Sings
  • Tomás and the Library Lady

Flex Ticket packages are available starting at $18. Ticket holders can choose seats and performances at any time throughout the season. Backstage tours also are included. Single tickets will go on sale later this summer.

All performances are on Stage West at the Herberger Theater Center, 333 E. Monroe in downtown Phoenix.

The 2022-2023 season schedule includes:

Selena Maria Sings, by Miriam Gonzales, original music by Las Cafeteras’ Daniel French. A co-production with Magik Theatre of San Antonio, Texas. Oct. 22-Nov. 5. Saturdays at 1 and 4 p.m., Sundays at 1 p.m. Recommended for ages 9 and older.

Named after Selena Quintanilla, queen of the Tejano music scene, Selena Maria has so much to live up to. Like her namesake, Selena Maria’s passion is music — but her heart belongs to indie sounds and songwriting. Her mom, a Selena superfan, wants her to be all the things her beloved icon stood for (on and off the stage), but Selena Maria struggles to be herself while she’s trying to be someone else. With the help of her prima Cissy and a few others along the way, Selena Maria begins to find her own voice. Selena Maria Sings tells a story of music, family, immense love and the strength it takes to be yourself.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, adapted by Robert Penola based on the animated television special. Music and lyrics by Johnny Marks. Nov. 19-Dec. 24. Saturdays at 1 and 4 p.m., Sundays at 1 p.m. Recommended for ages 5 and older.

The holiday classic soars off the screen in this musical adaptation of the beloved television special. Filled with holiday hits like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Holly Jolly Christmas,” Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer features all of your favorite characters including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Because of his shiny nose, Rudolph doesn’t feel like he belongs in Christmastown and sets off to find a place that accepts him. Along his journey, he encounters fellow misfits, only to realize that home is where he has belonged the whole time. When a storm threatens to keep Santa’s sleigh from taking flight, what makes Rudolph different turns out to be what helps him save Christmas!

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

Tomás and The Library Lady, by José Cruz Gonzalez, music and lyrics by José Cruz Gonzalez, music arranged and performed by Adam Jackson, Feb. 4-March 12. Saturdays at 1 and 4 p.m., Sundays at 1 p.m. Recommended for ages 5 and older.

Tomás loves stories! Papa Grande tells them to him todas las noches (every night) but soon Tomás knows all of them by heart. One day while his family is in Iowa picking crops, Tomás meets the Library Lady and nothing is ever the same again. Based on the true story of Tomás Rivera and the book by Pat Mora, this play is a celebration of reading, imagination and creativity.

The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen, by Gloria Bond Clunie, based on the book by Thelma Lynne Godin, A co-production with Imagination Stage of Bethesda, MD. April 29-May 21. Saturdays at 1 and 4 p.m., Sundays at 1 p.m. Recommended for ages 5 and older.

Kameeka is confident that today she will finally beat her rival, Jamara, and become the Hula-Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street. But then Mama reminds her that today is their neighbor Miz Adeline’s birthday, and Kameeka has a ton of chores to do to get ready for the party they are hosting. Kameeka is so preoccupied with thoughts of victory that she accidentally ruins Miz Adeline’s birthday cake and has to confess to her that there won’t be a cake for her special day. And Miz Adeline loves chocolate cake. But to
Kameeka’s surprise it turns out she also loves something else — hula hooping! The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen is a charming celebration of family and community ties. Set in Harlem, this intergenerational story shows the importance of staying young at heart.

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