Keeping little ones entertained and occupied during the holiday break without spending a fortune or battling crowds can be challenging. But with its free New Year’s run of The Glowy, Snowy Day, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis brings the stage outdoors to treat families to a one-of-a-kind literary journey.
Based on Ezra Jack Keats’ beloved children’s book, “The Snowy Day,” the production tells the story of Peter who finds adventure with his friends during the year’s first snowfall. Families become part of the fun by joining the characters outside for a delightful drive-through spectacle, complete with giant illuminated puppets and glow-in-the-dark installations that wow the senses. An accompanying podcast starring actors from The Rep tells Peter’s story as you travel from scene to scene.
According to Adena Varner, Director of Learning and Community Engagement, The Rep created The Glowy, Snowy Day with StoneLion Puppet Theatre out of Kansas City over the course of just a few weeks last year – adapting the story, building the puppets, and staging the production – to provide families with a socially-distanced theater experience during the pandemic.
Audiences were not only thrilled with the enchanting show, but also with The Rep’s focus on diversity and inclusion.
“The response to the show that really stood out was the families’ appreciation of representation,” said Varner. “We need to see the human experience through the lens of all different people, including a young brown boy just playing in the snow.”
The popularity of the production led The Rep to stage it again in 2021 – but this time, they had a year to plan. And this advantage of time allowed The Rep and StoneLion to launch an even more spellbinding retelling of Peter’s story.
“We were humbled by the families who said they loved it and wanted to see more. So, if they’re hungry for it, we’re going to keep serving it up! This year, we had the time to reimagine every moment so we could create a more robust, more active, and more interactive show. It will definitely feel more immersive this year and a lot more engaging. And of course, there are more puppets, including some that will be really exciting for the kids.”
The Glowy, Snowy Day will be held outside the Missouri History Museum Dec. 31, Jan. 1, and Jan. 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. each night. This 10-minute outdoor production is free to enjoy, but reservations – which are going fast – need to be made through The Rep website. (Follow this link to register for free tickets)
Through The Glowy, Snowy Day, The Rep is not only offering a family-friendly outing, but helping to set the foundation for a child’s love of the theater.
“People really appreciated that The Rep was intentionally offering something for families,” Varner explained. “Our audience is usually more mature, but with The Glowy. Snowy Day, we’re really trying to create a fun opportunity for families to be together and bring joy to the community.”
Metro East mom Nicole Plegge is the lifestyle and pop culture blogger for STL Parent. Besides working as a freelance writer & public relations specialist, and raising two daughters and a husband, Nicole's greatest achievements are finding her misplaced car keys each day and managing to leave the house in a stain-free shirt. Her biggest regret is never being accepted to the Eastland School for Girls. Follow Nicole on Twitter @STLWriterinIL