From puppets to socks, classic tales take new twists at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival
Vancouver International Children’s Festival artistic and executive director Katharine Carol has scanned Canada and the world for classic stories told in nontraditional ways for this year’s event. Besides Kutz & Dawgz and Little Red and the Sea Wolf, there’s Italy’s L’elefantino (The Little Elephant), told entirely through a clothesline and sock-heavy basket of laundry. The Brothers Grimm’s The Happy Prince takes the form of Taiwanese puppets, while Hansel and Gretel are elegant marionettes in Montreal company L’Illusion’s Under the Stars. Modern-day storybooks come to life too, with appearances by bestselling sensation Eric Litwin, of Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes fame.
“I was thinking how important stories are in our lives, whether they’re from storybooks or passed down from our families, and about our own story at the festival: the fest is 35 years old, and we’ve moved,” Carol says, referring to the event’s big leap from Vanier Park to Granville Island last year.
Other highlights this year include a new pyjama series of early-evening performances, complete with jammies and snacks; and an activity zone with nine new stations aimed at toddlers to tweens. The fest runs from Tuesday (May 29) to June 3 on Granville Island. See the Children's Festival website for more details.